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Flaherty seeks advice from billionaires

Four billionaires out of eleven advisers? That’s the proportion in Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s new Economic Advisory Council. Maybe it’s because they’ve got the most to lose in a depression. Or they’re the only ones who can afford to work for a dollar a year.

At The Progressive Economics Forum, Marc Lee has some reservations:

The Economic Advisory Council is not exactly a representative group. No labour representation, no Aboriginal reps, no one from the social or non-profit sector whatsoever. Thus, the groups most likely to be affected by the recession have no voice on this panel.

In fact it is hard to imagine a less representative group. While it is nice that they are working for $1, it is not like any of them need the cash. Out of eleven panelists, we have four (!) multi-billionaires.

There is James Irving, who along with brother John, sits at number two on Canadian Business’ 2008 Rich 100 list with a combined net worth of over $7 billion. Add in Jimmy Pattison, number five on that list with net worth of just under $5 billion. And Paul Demarais is number eight, with net worth of more than $4 billion. Don’t forget Mike Lazardis of Research in Motion fame, who sits at number fourteen with net worth of $2.6 billion.

The Hook welcomes readers’ suggestions on preferable advisers for Mr. Flaherty.

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