Conservative leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre vowed on Thursday he would up the Bank of Canada’s proposal to offer a digital currency, saying this type of financial instrument should be left to the private sector.
Poilievre has become a fierce critic of Canada’s central bank. He has tried to tie decades-high inflation to his COVID-era quantitative easing policy, recently calling the institution “financially illiterate.”
Polieve said if elected he would extend the power of the auditor general to the Bank of Canada and push for a review of its pandemic policies.
“Justin Trudeau threatened the independence of the Bank of Canada with half a trillion dollar deficits that forced the central bank to print money and cause inflation,” Poilievre said.
“It’s ‘Justinflation,'” he said, using his gag name for inflation rates under the Liberal government. “I will end it by restoring central bank independence, imposing independent auditing of all money printing, and stopping risky central bank digital currency.”
State crypto akin to nationalization, says Poilievre campaign
Poilievre is a big supporter of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. He has suggested that Canadians can “opt out” of inflation by pouring money into these investments, and he doesn’t want the Bank of Canada offering a competing product.
The central bank has been exploring the viability of creating its own digital currency – digital tokens, similar to cryptocurrency, that would be pegged to the value of the Canadian dollar.
Central banks around the world fear that the explosive growth of bitcoin will destabilize the existing financial system.
In response, a number of banks are offering government-backed digital currencies that are issued and regulated by the nation’s monetary authority – a product that could offer the convenience of crypto with the full trust and backing of the government that provides them. has issued.
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Speaking to reporters outside the Bank of Canada’s Ottawa headquarters on Thursday, Poilievre said a digital currency would turn the central bank into a competitor to commercial banks, as Canadians could park their deposits with the bank-run institution. the government.
According to a policy brief provided to reporters, the Poilievre campaign fears a push to “nationalize” deposits could lead to “politicized banking.”
The briefing paper suggests that a deposit-taking central bank would be akin to a state-owned bank and that politicians could “give blessings to voters” and “start making campaign promises of more generous interest rates for depositors or other benefits”.