Poilievre pledges to audit the Bank of Canada and ban digital currency

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

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The Ottawa-area MP unveiled his policies for the Bank of Canada outside his museum in the nation’s capital.

He was joined by former Conservative leader and Saskatchewan MP Andrew Scheer, who Poilievre says is the one who proposed the idea of ​​auditing the central bank in a bill that Poilievre now pledges to pass.

Scheer is among 51 Tory MPs – the highest amount to back a leadership candidate – to back Poilievre, who has long raised concerns about the rate of inflation in Canada.

Poilievre touted that story on Thursday when he announced he would not allow a Bank of Canada digital currency to enter the country’s retail banking system.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Poilievre has repeatedly criticized the central bank for statements by its governor and other officials about the country’s risk of rising inflation.

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

While Poilievre blames the Trudeau government’s spending squarely, financial experts say Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is the main driver of oil prices. They also point to pandemic-related supply chain issues as another factor.

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For more than a year, Poilievre has been airing his criticisms of the Bank of Canada on social media, including in a recent tweet where he called the institution “financial illiterates.”

He defended his central bank targeting on Thursday, saying Canadians are hurting as the cost of goods rises.

“If you think I’m going to keep quiet about this to protect the egos of bankers and politicians, then you’re going to be surprised,” Poilievre told reporters.

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Bruce MacLellan, CEO of Proof Strategies, which surveys Canadians’ confidence levels, said 2022 will be an important year for the central bank’s credibility as people watch how it handles inflation by managing interest rates. interest, which she recently noted.

“It’s kind of like the fire department has been called in and now people are going to decide how effective they are,” he said on Thursday.

“We can have an inflation fire in Canada, so now the Bank of Canada needs to demonstrate that it can be a good fire service when needed.”

However, MacLellan said, Poilievre’s campaign against the institution reflects how he tries to win the Conservative leadership race by delivering a populist message, which includes attacking Ottawa-based institutions.

He said his organization’s poll showed confidence in the Bank of Canada this year was highest in Quebec and lowest in the Prairies. The Conservative base is at home in Western Canada.

MacLellan said while he believed Poilievre’s message was for prairie and rural residents, he wondered if a campaign against the central bank would resonate with Canadians more broadly. Data from his group shows that trust in the institution is generally stable.

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