Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came out swinging Thursday in response to Pierre Poilievre’s pledge to fire the governor of the Bank of Canada if he came to power.
Trudeau said that the perceived Conservative leadership frontrunner either misunderstands or doesn’t care about how integral the independence of the central bank is to the country’s economic stability and international reputation.
“The fact that one of the leading candidates for the Conservative Party of Canada… seems to profoundly either misunderstand that or not care about the facts at all, is somewhat disappointing in an era where we need more responsible leadership, not less,” Trudeau said. “But that is a decision obviously for members of the Conservative Party to weigh in on, not for me.”
During Wednesday night’s debate in Edmonton, Poilievre pledged to fire the governor of the Bank of Canada, a position currently held by Tiff Macklem.
When asked about this during a press conference on Parliament Hill Thursday, Trudeau said the Bank of Canada is one of the “strongest, most stable, most reputable banking systems in the world,” and that its independence from the government of the day is “a really important principle.”
“It is something that is a source of pride and a source of stability not just for Canadians, but for Canadian businesses, for Canadian investors and investments, for investors coming into Canada, to know that we have a robust and rigorous central bank that is independent from political machinations or interference,” Trudeau said.
Poilievre’s criticism of Canada’s central bank is a key pillar of his leadership campaign. He’s vowed to have it audited, said he would bar it from using its own digital currency, and overall has questioned its independence.
But his latest suggestion to intervene and fire the governor as part of the solution, has raised some eyebrows, including among some of his leadership opponents.
After going after his advocacy for cryptocurrency during the debate, candidate Leslyn Lewis told reporters following the English-language faceoff that she was concerned about his comments, stating that politicians should not be undermining Canada’s financial institutions.
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