So a funny thing happened Tuesday morning. I received an email alert of a last-minute press conference with the Finance Minister at promptly 10:30 that morning.
I figured it was an unusual advisory because Jim Flaherty doesn’t normally hold formal press conferences with such short notice. There was no immediate legislative urgency – and Flaherty’s junior minister had just announced a bump to TFSA’s moments earlier – so obviously it was something significant enough to overshadow the government’s own “proactive” news strategy.
True, it was widely known the Cameron government was to name the new head of the Bank of England around the same time. But I dismissed any links to Flaherty’s news conference simply because Bank of Canada Governor, Mark Carney, had repeatedly insisted he wasn’t in the running for the job.
So as I made my way to the National Press Theatre, several theories ran through my mind about the topic and/or issue. When I arrived, I spotted Flaherty’s media handlers standing off to the side, but they were unusually distant and noticeably quiet.
When the clock hit 10:30, assembled reporters were informed the press conference would be delayed for exactly 5 minutes … not too unusual, I thought … but the mystery intensified.
So as I waited for it to start, I was scrolling through my twitter feed and nearly jumped out of my chair when I saw this post.
I was stunned an announcement of this magnitude was kept under wraps on both sides of the pond. No one saw it coming (and if someone tells you they knew all along, they’re lying).
Nevertheless, it explained the delay of the Ottawa press conference. Bank of England Chancellor George Osborne had to make the announcement first, in the British Parliament.
Seconds later, Mark Carney and Jim Flaherty entered the room. And then … this happened.