Former Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney insists Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will still be the leader of the Liberal Party going into the next federal election, throwing cold water on years of rumours he is considering a run himself for the party’s leadership.
Carney — who now works as the head of transition investing for Brookfield Asset Management, and as a United Nations special envoy on climate action and finance — told CTV’s Question Period host Vassy Kapelos, in an exclusive interview airing Sunday, he “care(s) deeply” about Canada.
But he wouldn’t say directly whether he plans to go into politics, when asked whether he’s ruled out a run for the Liberal Party leadership.
“It’s easy not to rule out something that doesn’t exist,” Carney said. “So we’re in the hypothetical of hypothetical.”
But when pressed on the persistent speculation over his political aspirations and the fact he has never outright denied any rumours, Carney said he hopes he has “a few years left in (him).”
“But let’s be clear about the near term,” he continued. “We’ve been rightly talking about issues in the medium term, but in the near term, the prime minister is going to be the leader of the Liberal Party in the next election. And I support him.”
Trudeau has repeatedly insisted he plans to lead the party into the next federal election, which is currently scheduled for October 2025, but speculation over whether he’ll step down before then have persisted.
This week, Liberal MP Ken McDonald set in motion a wave of questions over whether it’s time for a leadership review, saying Trudeau may have reached his “best-before date”. He later walked back the comments, saying calling for a review was not the “intent.”
Carney, a card-carrying Liberal, has also long fielded speculation over whether he wants the party’s top job.
In a previous interview with Kapelos for CTV’s Question Period in April of last year, Carney dodged the question, saying he thinks the party is “on the right track,” and he “support(s) the prime minister.”
But he also told The Globe and Mail last November that he hadn’t ruled out a bid for the party’s leadership.
In this week’s interview with Kapelos, Carney said the focus should be on the more pressing issues facing Canadians, including the cost of living, housing, decarbonisation, and competition in major industries.
Kapelos then asked Carney whether his ideas about the kinds of policies the federal government could pursue means he may be interested in a cabinet position in the Trudeau government.
“Well, look, you don’t just hand out positions as cabinet ministers, but you do out hand out gratuitous advice, which is what I’ve been doing,” he said. “And look, I care. This is my country, I care deeply about it.”
“I’ve had the honor of serving in roles here both in the public service and as (Bank of Canada) governor, and this is a time of consequence. These are big, big issues,” he added. “We’ve been touching on the reshaping of the global economy, where Canada is going, and how we deliver for Canadians today and tomorrow. And there’s various ways to contribute to that, and I always look for opportunities to do that.”
Carney in his interview also discussed the country’s economic outlook following this week’s Bank of Canada decision to hold the key interest rate steady at five per cent, where it’s been since last June.
He and Kapelos also delved into Canada’s immigration levels and their impact on the economy and housing affordability, and the federal government’s climate policy, specifically the carbon price.
You can watch Carney’s full interview on CTV’s Question Period Sunday at 11 a.m. ET.
With files from CTV’s Question Period Senior Producer Stephanie Ha