Open main menu

Michael Ferguson (Auditor General)

Michael Ferguson (April 9, 1958 – February 2, 2019), served as Auditor General of Canada, from November 28, 2011 until his death.[2] Previous to this post, he served as the deputy minister of finance and secretary to the board of management for the province of New Brunswick.

Michael Ferguson
14th Auditor General of Canada
In office
November 28, 2011 – February 2, 2019
Prime MinisterStephen Harper
Justin Trudeau
Preceded byJohn Wiersema
Succeeded byTBD
Personal details
Born(1958-04-09)April 9, 1958
Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada
DiedFebruary 2, 2019(2019-02-02) (aged 60)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Children2 sons
Alma materUniversity of New Brunswick


Early life and educationEdit

Born in Sackville, New Brunswick on April 9, 1958,[3][4] he was the son of Winifred Dorothea Norma (Clarke) and Dr. George Gordon Ferguson, an Irish physician who immigrated to Canada in 1954.[5][4] Ferguson graduated from Fredericton High School in 1976 and then graduated from the University of New Brunswick in 1980 with a Bachelor of Business Administration.[4]


He was a certified Chartered Accountant.[6] In 1985, he started work as an auditor in New Brunswick's comptroller's office. He became the provincial comptroller from 2000 to 2005. From 2005 to 2010, he was the province's Auditor General. Prior to becoming Auditor General of Canada he served as Deputy Minister of Finance for the province of New Brunswick.[6]

From 2005 until 2010, Ferguson held various executive positions with the New Brunswick Institute of Chartered Accountants (NBICA).[7]

Auditor General of CanadaEdit

2012 Spring Report of the Auditor General of CanadaEdit

Ferguson's first report as Auditor General was his 2012 Spring Report, released April 3, 2012.[8] The report covered six audits of various Government of Canada operations and procurements, each contained within a separate chapter of the report:

  • Chapter 1 – Border Controls on Commercial Imports[9]
  • Chapter 2 – Replacing Canada’s Fighter Jets[10]
  • Chapter 3 – Interest-bearing Debt[11]
  • Chapter 4 – Non-filers and non-registrants – Canada Revenue Agency[12]
  • Chapter 5 – Oversight of Civil Aviation – Transport Canada[13]
  • Chapter 6 – Special Examinations of Crown Corporations – 2011[14]

The report also included an appendix report of the President of the Treasury Boards’ Annual Report to Parliament on the Tabling of Crown Corporations’ Reports 2011.[15]

F-35 ControversyEdit

Chapter 2 of the 2012 Spring Report ignited controversy for the Conservative government by revealing the process to procure 65 F-35 Lightning II stealth fighters for the RCAF was troubled by several irregularities. On April 5, 2012, Ferguson revealed the government likely knew prior to the May 2011 General Election that the $16 billion final price tag to purchase and maintain the jets was $10 billion under budget. The report and subsequent revelation prompted the opposition NDP to call for Defence Minister Peter Mackay's resignation.[16]


Ferguson was the son of George Gordon (1918–2004) and Norma (née Clarke) Ferguson.[6] His father was an Irish-born medical doctor[17] and surgeon who was a Medical Director of Medicare and the founder of the New Brunswick Extra Mural Hospital.[18] Ferguson was married to Georgina, and had two sons. Ferguson underwent treatment for cancer in November 2018, and died of the disease in Ottawa on February 2, 2019, while still in office.[19]


  1. ^ "Canada's Federal Auditor General Michael Ferguson, 60, has died". National Post. Retrieved 2019-02-03.
  2. ^ Fekete, Jason (November 4, 2011). "Auditor-general's post filled". Montreal Gazette. Postmedia Network. Retrieved 2011-11-22.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ a b c "Obituary for Michael Ferguson". Telegraph-Journal. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
  5. ^ George Gordon CM Ferguson: obituary and death notice
  6. ^ a b c "New Auditor General appointed (05/09/07)". Retrieved 2019-02-03.
  7. ^ "Michael Ferguson". Canada News Centre. Government of Canada. November 4, 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-22.
  8. ^ "2012 Spring Report of the Auditor General of Canada"
  9. ^ "Chapter 1—Border Controls on Commercial Imports"
  10. ^ "Chapter 2—Replacing Canada’s Fighter Jets"
  11. ^ "Chapter 3—Interest-Bearing Debt"
  12. ^ "Chapter 4—Non-Filers and Non-Registrants—Canada Revenue Agency"
  13. ^ "Chapter 5—Oversight of Civil Aviation—Transport Canada"
  14. ^ "Chapter 6—Special Examinations of Crown Corporations—2011"
  15. ^ "Report on the audit of the President of the Treasury Board’s Annual Report to Parliament on the Tabling of Crown Corporations’ Reports 2011"
  16. ^ Postmedia News. "A timeline on Canada's involvement in the F-35 program." Archived 2012-04-10 at the Wayback Machine, 5 April 2012.
  17. ^
  18. ^ "GEORGE GORDON CM FERGUSON: obituary and death notice on InMemoriam". Retrieved 2019-02-03.
  19. ^ "Canada's auditor general Michael Ferguson dead at 60 - National". Retrieved 2019-02-03.