New Bank Of Canada Governor To Be Announced

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will name a new Bank of Canada Governor on Friday.

Current Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz’s term ends on June 2, and two front-runners have emerged as his likely successor – Tiff Macklem, a former senior deputy governor of the Bank of Canada and the current dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, and Carolyn Wilkins, the current senior deputy governor of the central bank.

Whoever gets the top job will inherit a dramatic situation. In an effort to stabilize an economy hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and tumbling oil prices, the Bank of Canada has cut its benchmark interest rate to near zero, injected hundreds of billions in liquidity into the banking sector and started purchasing government debt.

The immediate task for the new central bank governor will be deciding whether to ramp up emergency measures that have already taken the bank into uncharted waters. The level of real Gross Domestic Product in the second quarter could be as much as 30% lower than the end of last year, the bank said in its April 15 monetary policy report.

Wilkins is viewed as the front-runner, and with the central bank still in the thick of its emergency response, she could offer the most continuity. Her leadership role in keeping financial markets functioning has given her an opportunity to build credibility with key players such as the heads of Canada’s commercial banks, a group that has plenty of influence over who gets the governor job.