There have been 37 Finance Ministers since Confederation. Many have had very distinguished careers both in politics and in the real world. Only a handful, however, have served in this critical post for as long as the current minister. In the past 12 months, Jim Flaherty has moved up the ranks from seventh to fourth in terms of time-served. And, if Jim Flaherty is still in the post for the 2015 federal budget, he will have passed Paul Martin for second spot on the list.
The longest serving Canadian Finance Ministers are:
- William Stevens Fielding served as finance minister for 20 years, under Liberal prime ministers Laurier (15) and King (5). Fielding’s service was interrupted by ten years of Conservative government under Borden and Meighen.
- Paul Martin served as finance minister for 8 years 8 months during the Liberal governments of prime minister Chretien.
- George Foster served as finance minister for 8 years 3 months over a very turbulent political period under four Conservative prime ministers (Abbott, Thompson, Bowell and Tupper)
- Jim Flaherty has served as finance minister for 8 years (+ 5 days) during the Conservative governments of prime minister Harper.
- Sir Thomas White served as finance minister for 7 years 10 months under Conservative prime minister Borden.
- Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley served as finance minister for 7 years 8 months under Liberal prime ministers King and St. Laurent.
- Douglas Abbott served as finance minister for 7 years 6 months under Liberal prime ministers King and St. Laurent.