::


:: PoliticsWatch Archives

> Frontpage
> Recent News
> News Archive
> Recent  Features 
> Features Archive


:: Inside PoliticsWatch

> Contact PoliticsWatch


:: PoliticsWatch News

MP blasts Mulroney for bank 
merger remarks 

[PoliticsWatch updated 4:20 p.m. May 24, 2007]

OTTAWA  — An NDP MP is accusing former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney of violating the traditional role of ex-prime ministers after his widely reported comments in favour of bank mergers.   
  
"We do have a well established tradition in this country of former prime ministers not meddling in the affairs of current governments," NDP MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis told PoliticsWatch.com. 

"For Brian Mulroney to stick his nose into one of the most controversial issues in recent political times is just unprecedented and very worrisome." 

Two weeks ago, the former Tory PM made headlines when he told reporters following the annual meeting of Quebecor that Canadian banks should be allowed to merge or risk being marginalized by international competitors. 

"If there's a legitimate case to be made for merging banks, why not do it?" Mulroney said. 

The former prime minister is viewed as influential in Ottawa now with the Conservatives in power. Although it is believed that Mulroney speaks on occasion with Harper,  Mulroney told reporters two weeks ago that he had not discussed the bank merger topic with the current government. 

Since coming to power, the Tories have been reluctant to touch the contentious bank merger issue. 

While the banks and their supporters argue mergers are necessary to compete globally, Canada's six largest banks -- Royal Bank, CIBC, Bank of Montreal, Scotiabank, TD-Canada Trust and National Bank -- posted a combined $19 billion in profits in 2006, surpassing the previous record year by $6 billion. 

In 1998, a proposed merger between TD Bank and CIBC was blocked by the federal government.  For the past nine years there has been a moratorium on domestic bank mergers in Canada. 

Many financial observers believe if the moratorium was lifted National Bank would be one of the targets and the TD-CIBC merger could be revisited. 

It is not the first time that Mulroney has weighed in on a major public policy decision since the 2006 election that saw the Conservatives return to power for the first time in 13 years. 

In December, Mulroney said in an interview with CBC that the Tories should embrace the issue of the environment if they had hopes of attracting middle-class voters and winning a majority government. 

Within a month of Mulroney making those comments, Harper had shuffled out embattled Rona Ambrose and replaced her at environment with John Baird, who had more cabinet experience at the provincial level. 

"Brian Mulroney clearly has the ear of Stephen Harper and if Brian is advancing bank mergers again it's cause for clear worry," Wasylycia-Leis told PoliticsWatch. "It just reinforces to me that we've got to fight tooth and nail."

Also on Thursday,  Wasylycia-Leis announced the NDP plans to pressure the minority Conservative government to get tough on corporate crime. 

Among the general proposals outlined by the NDP MP were the creation of a single "pan-Canadian" securities regulator and legislation to create corporate accounting oversight committees and independent auditors. 

: Related Links

> Washington considers Internet pharmacy crackdown

© PoliticsWatch® 2007. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PoliticsWatch content, including by framing, copying, linking or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Public Interests Research and Communications Inc. (PIRCINC). PoliticsWatch is registered trademark of PIRCINC.

> More Recent PoliticsWatch News...







:: Got a News Tip?

Call the PoliticsWatch
tip-line at 613.232.0516
or
e-mail

 

PoliticsWatch Home  |  News Services  Voter Resources  |  Research Base

© PoliticsWatch® 2007. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PoliticsWatch content, 
including by framing, copying, linking or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of 
Public Interests Research and Communications Inc. (PIRCINC). PoliticsWatch is registered trademark of PIRCINC.
PoliticsWatch® | Canada's Political Portal™
85 Albert Street, Suite 1502, Ottawa ON K1P 6A4 |  phone: 613.232.0516
news@politicswatch.com  |  Terms of Service, Copyright, Trademarks, and Disclaimers Statement