April 2, 2014 / 6:54 PM / in 4 years

Canada deputy finance minister retires after minister's exit

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada’s deputy finance minister will retire this month, the government said on Wednesday, confirming the latest in a series of departures by senior financial policymakers.

The news of Michael Horgan’s departure comes about two weeks after long-serving finance minister Jim Flaherty quit, and as the central bank seeks to fill two positions on its policy-setting council.

Flaherty was replaced by Joe Oliver, the former energy minister, who is still getting up to speed on his new portfolio.

“He took retirement,” Oliver told reporters when asked to confirm a report in the Globe and Mail newspaper that Horgan told his staff on Wednesday that he was leaving as of April 19.

Oliver said Horgan, who had a 36-year career in the federal government, had reached his maximum pension.

“He’s performed a magnificent service for the country, most recently in finance, and I wish him well,” he said.

A new deputy minister will be announced shortly, he added.

The deputy minister of finance in Canada tends to be a low-key figure who stays out of the limelight, but plays an important role in managing the department and providing policy advice to the minister.

Flaherty announced his resignation on March 18 after eight years as finance minister. Oliver was sworn in as his successor the following day.

The Bank of Canada is about to lose its No.2 policymaker, Senior Deputy Governor Tiff Macklem, who is leaving May 1. John Murray, one of four deputy governors, is also leaving on April 30.

The central bank must also hire someone soon to fill the newly created position of chief operating officer.

Reporting by Louise Egan. Editing by Andre Grenon

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