An expert influence on the budget
Deirdre McMurdy, Sympatico / MSN Finance
As a minority government in turbulent times, the federal Conservatives have made ample use of a series of "expert panels" to advise them on tricky policy and strategy initatives. It's a smart move for a relatively young government with limited bench strength and it also allows them to place their policy direction into the hands and mouths of respected business leaders like Red Wilson, Purdy Crawford, Murray Edwards Carole Taylor and many others who've been deployed since 2006.
Most recently, when putting together the poltically-important federal budget of January 27, the Tories - you guessed it - created a new expert panel.
Usually, it's pretty much impossible to detect which expert had what input. But with the budget group, let's just say there are some clear clues. The panel includes Annette Verschuren, CEO of Home Depot Canada - a widely respected individual who has been involved in leading the home building supplier into the Chinese market.
Surely her involvement with the panel means it's only a coincidence that the Tories decided that a $3-billion home improvement tax credit would be a good idea?