Conservative leadership: Poilievre pledges to control Bank of Canada

Ottawa-

Conservative leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre kicked off his campaign against Canada’s central bank on Thursday, promising to have it audited and ban it from using its own digital currency.

The Ottawa Member of Parliament unveiled his policies for the Bank of Canada, standing in front of the museum in the national capital.

He was joined by former Conservative leader and Saskatchewan MP Andrew Scheer, whom Poilievre said was the one who suggested the idea of ​​controlling the central bank in a bill Poilievre now promises to pass.

Scheer is one of 51 Conservative MPs – the largest number to support a candidate for leadership – to back Poilievre, who has long expressed concerns about inflation in Canada.

Poilievre praised that history on Thursday when he announced he would not allow Bank of Canada digital currencies to enter the country’s retail banking system.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Poilievre has repeatedly criticized the central bank for statements made by the governor and other officials about the country’s risk of seeing inflation rise.

The country’s inflation reached 6.7 percent last month, representing the fastest annual increase in more than 30 years.

While Poilievre puts the blame entirely on the Trudeau government’s spending, financial experts say the Russian invasion of Ukraine is the main driver of oil prices. They also point to pandemic-related problems in the supply chain as another factor.

For more than a year, Poilievre expressed his criticism of the Bank of Canada on social media, including in a recent tweet calling the institution “financially illiterate.”

He defended his target from the central bank on Thursday, saying Canadians are suffering from the higher cost of goods.

“If you think I’m going to keep quiet about that to protect the egos of bankers and politicians, then you’re in for a surprise,” Poilièvre told reporters.

Bruce MacLellan, CEO of Proof Strategies, which researches Canadian confidence levels, said 2022 will be an important year for central bank credibility as people look to see how it manages inflation by managing interest rates, which they recently opened. has increased.

“It’s like the fire brigade has been called and now people are going to decide how well they are doing,” he said on Thursday.

“We could have an inflationary fire in Canada, so now the Bank of Canada has to demonstrate that it can be a good firefighter when needed.”

But, MacLellan said, Poilievre’s campaign against the institution reflects how he is trying to win the conservative leadership race by delivering a populist message, including attacking Ottawa-based institutions.

He said his organization’s survey found that confidence in the Bank of Canada was highest in Quebec this year and lowest in the Prairies. The conservative constituency calls Western Canada home.

MacLellan said that while he believes Poilievre’s message is aimed at the people of the prairies and the countryside, he questions whether campaigns against the central bank in general will resonate with Canadians. His group’s data shows that confidence in the institution is generally stable.


This report from The Canadian Press was first published on April 28, 2022.

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