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Potential candidates to become next Canada finance minister

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau resigned on Monday after friction with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over spending policies and will also step down from his parliamentary seat.

FILE PHOTO: Canada's Minister of Finance Bill Morneau attends a news conference with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada March 11, 2020. REUTERS/Blair Gable/File Photo

Here are names floated as potential successors.

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER CHRYSTIA FREELAND

Freeland, 52, is one of Trudeau’s key confidants and widely seen as someone likely to replace Trudeau as the head of the Liberal party.

As Canada’s foreign minister and minister for international trade in Trudeau’s previous cabinet, Freeland renegotiated a new North American trade deal. The successful signing of the new NAFTA deal consolidated Freeland’s position in Trudeau’s cabinet, and she was promoted as deputy prime minister after Liberal’s returned to power in last year’s election.

FOREIGN MINISTER FRANCOIS-PHILIPPE CHAMPAGNE

Champagne, a trade lawyer and businessman, hails from the predominantly French-speaking province of Quebec, has held several cabinet portfolios since his arrival in Ottawa. From 2015-2017, he served as Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s parliamentary secretary, before being named Canada’s international trade minister in 2017 and the foreign minister in 2019.

Before entering politics in 2015, Champagne, 50, was vice-president and senior council of ABB Group, a Swiss-Swedish multinational technology company. Fluently bilingual, Champagne spent years working in Switzerland, Italy and the United Kingdom and has earned a reputation in Ottawa circles for his strong work ethic and drive.

JEAN-YVES DUCLOS, PRESIDENT OF TREASURY BOARD

A Francophone economics professor who became a more prominent spokesman in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, Duclos, 55, has been president of the Treasury Board since 2019, a powerful behind-the-scenes role where he oversaw the whole of Canada’s public service and monitored government spending and programs.

Known in Ottawa circles for his low-key manner and studious outlook, he served as Minister for Families, Children and Social Development from 2015-2019, responsible for files like poverty reduction and housing.

MARK CARNEY, FORMER BANK OF ENGLAND GOVERNOR

A potential long shot because he does not currently hold a parliamentary seat, Carney, 55, was recently hired by Trudeau as an informal advisor.

A former Goldman Sachs banker, Carney stepped down as Bank of England governor in March and since returning to Ottawa has been writing a book on ways to build a more inclusive society. Carney currently serves as an advisor to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the COP26 conference and as United Nations special envoy for climate action and finance.

Carney become the BoE’s first foreign governor in its three-century history. He had advised both the Canadian Liberal and Conservative governments before becoming Bank of Canada governor in 2008 and has been long seen as a potential Liberal leader.

Reporting by Kelsey Johnson, Julie Gordon in Ottawa; Editing by Lincoln Feast.

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