Roundup: Meet the new Bank of Canada Governor

In a somewhat surprising move, the Bank of Canada has named Stephen Poloz as its new governor, and not Tiff Macklem, as had long been speculated. Poloz, who was most recently the head of Export Development Canada, has worked at the Bank of Canada in the past, but at the press conference yesterday, Mark Carney stressed that it’s a team effort at the Bank, so Macklem will still play a role, and so on. Maclean’s gives you the ten things you need to know about Poloz, John Geddes writes about what we’ll miss about Carney, and John Ivison writes about Poloz’s challenge of working with the government’s agenda.

The Commons Heritage committee is going to undertake a study of the way that history is taught in this country, and present a number of suggestions of things that should be covered, which includes a number of significant battles and conflicts. The NDP is crying foul, and worries about the “politicization of history,” never mind that all history is political. This follows on the revelations of just how much the PMO micromanaged the War of 1812 ads they put out, but as Susan Delacourt points out, the way the government continues to act – to the point of pettiness in that they couldn’t be bothered to invite Marc Garneau, our first astronaut and someone who has used the Canadarm in space, to the unveiling of the Canadarm’s arrival at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum – history may yet show that this government was possibly the sorest winners on record.

Stephen Harper has officially declared he will boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka in November, but as much as his supporters insist that this is about principled foreign policy – and let’s not kid ourselves, there are serious problems in Sri Lanka – some wonder if this move isn’t designed more to try to win over votes in the Tamil community in Canada.

What’s that? Acquiring new search and rescue planes has been beset by the same kinds of problems endemic to the broken military procurement system that has felled the replacement fighter jet/F-35 process? You don’t say! Meanwhile, Peter MacKay and company announced new money and policies to help reform the search and rescue system, and those changes will include satellites and a “one stop shop” website for mariners. But this totally wasn’t triggered by the Auditor General’s report, since they couldn’t possibly have come up with this in 24 hours. Err, except the department knows about the results of the audit well in advance so that they can prepare responses – responses like this one.

Elsewhere in military procurement, there are all kinds of questions as to why it’s costing us so much to design the new Arctic patrol ships (aka slushbreakers) when we bought the design specs from the Norwegians. Peter MacKay admitted that there seems to be a “premium” for doing the work in Canada, but that means Canadian jobs – but really? That many millions to adapt a proven design that we’ve acquired? More for our design phase than it took the Norwegians to design and build theirs? There definitely seems to be a problem.

Professor Mike Moffatt looks at the tariff hikes in the budget, and suggests a better way of not giving China special treatment, if that is the goal that the government has in mind, as Harper and others have suggested in QP when the tariff changes have bee brought up.

The chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission looking into Residential Schools talks about the challenges identified in the Auditor General’s report, the willingness of the government to resolve them, and the likely need to extend the commission’s mandate in order to process the millions of documents they say still need to be turned over.

Retired senator Bert Brown is now saying that Senate reform will require a constitutional amendment, after spending years insisting otherwise while he beat the reform drums. Because that’s actually correct – it would require an amendment. And while we’re at it, can we please stop listening to Brown? He’s not an expert and has no idea what he’s talking about.

And PostMedia reporters Stephen Maher and Glen McGregor have been honoured by the World Press Freedom awards for their robocall reporting. Well done, gentlemen!