OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is looking to former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney to help navigate the country out of the COVID-19 recession, CTV News has confirmed.

Trudeau has tapped the long-time economist as an "informal advisor" on the government’s pandemic recovery plan, as BNN/Bloomberg first reported. He is also seeking advice from Michael Sabia, former president and CEO of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, a Quebec-based pension fund giant.

Efforts by the prime minister to draw expertise outside his inner circle comes after revelations that Finance Minister Bill Morneau accepted paid travel from WE Charity – the organization chosen to roll out the now-halted student grant program – and has close family ties to the charity. He is currently under investigation by the ethics commissioner.

It also follows grim news that the estimated federal deficit for 2020-21 will sit at $343.2 billion as detailed in the Liberal’s July fiscal snapshot. Many of the government’s support programs, including the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, will be phased out in August leaving many struggling businesses and jobless Canadians wondering what will happen next.

Carney has taken on the role of the United Nations’ special envoy on climate action and finance since leaving his most recent post as the governor of the Bank of England in March.

He left Ottawa for London in 2013 at a time when the British economy was in flux as the country prepared for the possibility of leaving the European Union.

Before that, he was appointed head of Canada’s central bank in 2008 during former prime minister Stephen Harper’s tenure, helping steer Canada out of the global financial collapse.

In June, he announced he was writing a book about creating a more equitable post-pandemic economy titled "Value(s): Building a Better World For All," scheduled for release next spring.

With a file from The Canadian Press.