I am disappointed but not surprised at the appointment of Michael Sabia as Deputy Minister of Finance. His ideas, as enunciated in an essay he wrote fo the Globe and Mail back in March, seems wholly aligned with the wooly, silk-stocking socialist views of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland. I’m disappointed because I had hoped for a fiscal disciplinarian, that’s what Team Trudeau (and Canada) needs; I’m not surprised because that’s exactly what Team Trudeau doesn’t want.
Mr Sabia is NOT a noted fiscal policy guy. But he is described as “A veteran manager at the top levels of business and government with a formidable track record managing change … [and] … Sabia has been advising the Trudeau government since its earliest days.” His time in government, proper, was in the 1980s and he served in the Privy Council Office in the Mulroney years. When his boss, Clerk of the Privy Council Paul Tellier, was sent off to head the newly privatized Canadian National Railways, he took Mr Sabia with him and after that Michael Sabia was CEO of Bell Canada and later of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, so he knows a lot about managing big entities that suck hungrily at the public teat.
He has impeccable Liberal connections and qualifies, fully, as a limousine-liberal, too, so it’s not really surprising to find him in a key policy role in the Trudeau regime. I hope I’m wrong about his attitude towards fiscal policy. Time will tell. But I’m prepared to be disappointed: