OTTAWA — Finance Minister Bill Morneau will meet Friday with private-sector economists for an unusual gathering that comes in addition to their traditional, twice-a-year sessions.
The meeting in Toronto will take place before a Canadian backdrop of increasing economic uncertainty — from difficult NAFTA talks, to competitiveness worries related to U.S. reforms, to tit-for-tat tariffs with the country’s largest trading partner.
Federal finance ministers typically convene private-sector economists to get their input and forecasts in the lead-up to the release of budgets and fall economic statements.
But a spokesman for Morneau says the minister hopes to keep his ear to the ground by holding more frequent meetings with the group of experts, which usually includes economists from big banks, industry associations, think tanks and academia.
Daniel Lauzon says the meeting isn’t tied to any specific event and is in the same vein as Morneau’s ongoing listening tour on business competitiveness, which is expected to continue into the fall.
He says Friday’s gathering will be less formal because it won’t include a photo-op or a news conference.
The Canadian Press