The Zoomer List: Canada’s Top 45 Over 45: Jim Flaherty

5. Jim Flaherty, 60, Federal finance minister
Why? For introducing a series of age-friendly economic measures

Back in October 2006, it would have seemed laughable to suggest that Jim Flaherty’s name would ever appear on The Zoomer List. The fledgling Conservative finance minister had just stoked the ire of a whole lot of seniors by effectively killing income trusts, a welcome source of high returns for retired investors. After this unpopular announcement, legions of seniors swore they would never vote Tory again. Since then, however, the member from Whitby-Oshawa, who came to Ottawa via Ontario provincial politics, has been determined to reach out to 45-plus electorate. In an effort to win back their support, Flaherty has backed a series of crowd pleasing measures, including increasing the Age Credit, doubling the Pension Income Credit, introducing Tax-Free Savings Accounts and (through intense lobbying by CARP), ushering in pension income splitting, which allows seniors with pensions to shave their tax bills. And in June this year (again, with a big push from CARP), he announced plans to overhaul the Canada Pension Plan, saying it was necessary to ensure the retirement security of Canadians who aren’t part of workplace pension plans. Now, a cynic might suggest that all of these moves are motivated by Flaherty’s desire to curry favour with mature electors, especially with a federal election ever-looming. Our response is: “Yeah, so what’s wrong with that?”