Tim Sargent is a CIGI distinguished fellow with 28 years of experience with the Government of Canada. He most recently served as deputy minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada where he was involved in the passage of a new Fisheries Act and a new Oceans Act, the renewal of the Coast Guard’s fleet and international fisheries negotiations. He has policy-making experience at the highest level, in particular in the areas of trade policy, international finance and macroeconomics. His research interests are centred on the implications of digital technologies for the global economy, and on how trade policy and international governance need to respond to this challenge.
Tim has held positions in five different government departments. He began his career at the Department of Finance, where he researched the impacts of technological change, policies to combat climate change and unemployment insurance. He then moved on to run the department’s macroeconomic forecasting group, before becoming director of the Financial Institutions Division.
In 2007, Tim became assistant secretary to the Cabinet (Liaison Secretariat for Macroeconomic Policy) within the Privy Council Office (PCO) and was responsible for advising the prime minister on a wide variety of issues, including monetary, tax and fiscal policy. Tim then moved within the PCO to become assistant secretary to the Cabinet (Economic and Regional Development Policy). In this role, he advised the prime minister on microeconomic policy issues, including international trade, growth and innovation, resource development, climate change and procurement. He also served as secretary to several cabinet committees.
Tim then held the role of associate deputy minister, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and later became associate deputy minister of finance, and a Group of Seven (G7), Group of Twenty (G20) and Financial Stability Board (FSB) deputy. In this role, he was responsible for providing advice to the minister of finance on economic and fiscal policy, financial sector policy, and international trade and finance, and supporting the minister for meetings of G7 finance ministers, G20 leaders and finance ministers, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, and annual International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings. He was the Department of Finance’s representative on the FSB and acted as a key contact between the department and other financial market authorities, in particular the Bank of Canada and the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions.
In 2016, Tim became deputy minister of international trade at Global Affairs Canada. He was involved in negotiations including the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement, the Canada-EU Trade Agreement and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, as well as negotiations on bilateral issues such as softwood lumber. He supported the minister of international trade at the World Trade Organization meetings and helped set up and host the first meeting of the Ottawa Group. He was also responsible for Canada’s global network of trade commissioners.
Tim earned a Ph.D. in economics at the University of British Columbia, an M.A. at the University of Western Ontario and a B.A. in economics at the University of Manchester.