Prime Minister Justin Trudeau left on Thursday in response to Pierre Poilievre’s pledge to fire the Bank of Canada governor if he becomes prime minister.
Trudeau questioned whether the leader of the Conservative leadership perceived how central bank independence is essential to the country’s economic stability and international reputation.
“The fact that one of the leading candidates in the Conservative Party of Canada seems to deeply understand this or not care about the facts is a little disappointing at a time when we need more responsible leadership, not less,” Trudeau said. . “But this is obviously a decision for Conservative Party members to weigh in, not for me.”
During Wednesday night’s debate in Edmonton, Poilievre vowed to replace Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem with someone with a low-inflation term.
When asked about this during a Parliament Hill press conference on Thursday, Trudeau said that the Bank of Canada is one of the “strongest, most stable and most respectable banking systems in the world” and that its independence from government of the time is “a really important principle.”
“It is something that is a source of pride and a source of stability not only for Canadians, but for Canadian companies, for Canadian investors and investments, for investors coming to Canada, to know that we have a robust and rigorous central bank that is independent of political machinations or interference,” Trudeau said.
Poilievre’s critique of Canada’s central bank is a key pillar of his leadership campaign. He promised to audit it, said he would stop him from using his own digital currency, and generally questioned his independence.
With inflation at its highest rate in three decades, the Bank of Canada’s monetary policy has received more attention. Asked if he thinks the recent scrutiny is a problem for the central bank or if the federal government has a role to play, Trudeau said there is work to be done on both sides to reduce inflation and improve affordability.
“We have a responsibility to be there to support Canadians, the Bank of Canada has a responsibility to fight inflation. We do this independently of each other,” Trudeau said.
Poilievre’s latest suggestion to step in and fire the governor also raised eyebrows among some of his leadership opponents, some of whom strongly criticized their competitors’ comments on the non-inflation option through cryptocurrencies during Wednesday’s debate. .
Candidate Leslyn Lewis told reporters after the confrontation in English that she was concerned about the Bank of Canada’s Poilievre comments, saying politicians should not harm Canada’s financial institutions.
Former Bank of Canada governors have spoken out against Poilievre’s campaign comments about the institution, something he appears to be embracing. After former governor David Dodge entered CTV’s question time to say that he thought Poilievre’s claim that the central bank was “financially illiterate” was “nonsense”, Poilievre soared on social media.
“Former central banker Dodge should be ashamed that he didn’t say anything when the Bank of Canada became Trudeau’s ATM… The establishment doesn’t want to be held responsible for the misery it caused our working class. Too bad. Get used to it. if. just getting started,” he tweeted.
With files by Sarah Turnbull from CTV News