Michel Saba, Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Pierre Poilievre’s attacks on the Bank of Canada and his promise to sack the central bank governor if elected are discrediting the Conservatives, according to his own party.
“I think we’re losing credibility,” said finance critic Ed Fast nervously as he entered the party’s board of directors on Wednesday.
Mr Fast, who promised not to speak on the issue as co-chairman of Jean Charest’s campaign, but promised “as a finance spokesman”, also said he was “deeply disturbed” by the leadership candidate’s readiness to “mix”. in the “fundamental” independence of one of the country’s largest monetary institutions.
“The central bank has served us well over the years, if not perfect, but has served us well in controlling inflation,” he said. Central banks around the world have struggled with the same challenges as our central bank, and I actually think it’s unwise to attack the central bank governor when the real problem is government borrowing and federal spending.”
Last week, during the first official leadership debate, the recognized leader, Pierre Poilievre, made a fuss by announcing that he would sack Governor Tiff Macklem as the country’s inflation rate has reached unprecedented levels in decades.
Also Wednesday, Statistics Canada announced that the consumer price index continued to rise in April, with inflation rising 6.8% from a year ago. This was the strongest inflation since January 1991, at 6.9%.
Mr. Poilievre also held a press conference outside the Bank of Canada’s Ottawa building last week, at which time he denounced “pseudo-experts”, whom the institution saw as “financially illiterate”.
The polyievre responds
In a written statement sent to The Canadian Press, Pierre Poilievre reiterates that the Governor of the Bank of Canada has “failed” in his “mission” to keep inflation at 2%.
“He preferred to print money for Trudeau to spend,” writes Mr. Poilievre.
The candidate also attacks Mr. Fast, emphasizing with broad strokes that he is militant for the Charest camp.
“Ed Fast and Jean Charest have no problem firing a waiter or a welder for not doing their job. But they won’t do the same for a big banker whose failures cost Canadians a fortune.”
The Conservative Party still had not responded to a request from the Canadian Press earlier in the evening to clarify whether Ed Fast was really speaking for the party as claimed.
The discomfort seemed palpable even in the ranks of the candidate Poilievre.
Ontario MP Marilyn Gladu, who supported him and co-chaired her campaign in Ontario, declined to comment on whether it would be a good idea to show Governor Macklem the door, simply saying “everyone has ideas in the heat of the moment”.
Worried that an important person in the party might harm the credibility of the political party?
“No. I don’t think so,” he replied. Actually, I know the more the liberal media get excited and angry about Pierre Poilievre, the more worried they are that he will win.”
Pierre Poilievre’s comments prompted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to defend the independence of the Bank of Canada the next day.
He stressed that the institution is “internationally recognized” and praised its “meticulousness”, “professionalism” and “independence from political intrigues”.
MNA Gérard Deltell, an innovation, science and industry critic and supporting Jean Charest, immediately repeated the phrase “we must be careful when attacking institutions directly” in French, and reminded that “our competitor’s name is Justin Trudeau”.
“We also must not forget that the Bank of Canada is an independent institution and must have its own leeway, which is not perfect, we recognize that there are excesses in this regard. However, does it deserve final sanction? This is not an opinion I share.
In recent weeks, Mr. Poilievre has also touted cryptocurrencies as a “cure for inflation”, earning him the label of “irresponsible” by one of his rivals in the race, former Quebec Prime Minister Jean Charest.