The Bank of Canada showered its employees with $45 million in salary hikes and bonuses throughout the pandemic despite failing to accurately predict current inflation rates.
According to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), 1,728 workers got raises in 2020 totalling $5.3 million. The next year, a total of 1,857 employees received a salary hike worth $5.2 million.
No employees at the bank had their wages slashed during the pandemic.
“Why is the Bank of Canada patting itself on the back and handing out millions in bonuses and pay raises while Canadians are struggling to pay for groceries and gas?” said CTF Federal Director Franco Terrazzano.
“If its objective is to keep inflation low, then it doesn’t make sense for Canada’s central bank to hand out bonuses and pay raises while the cost-of-living soars.”
The CTF went on to blast Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem for claiming in Nov. 2020 that “inflation (was) projected to remain less than two per cent into 2023.”
In June, inflation reached 8.1%, the highest single increase since 1983.
Workers were also awarded bonuses to the tune of $16.2 million in 2020 and $18.4 million in 2021 for “sucessfully meeting or exceeding expectations.”
“At best the Bank of Canada failed to keep a lid on rising prices and at worst it drove inflation by printing hundreds of billions of dollars out of thin air,” said Terrazzano.
“The Bank of Canada says it gives bonuses for successfully meeting or exceeding expectations. So why are they getting millions in bonuses when they admit that they failed to hit inflation targets?”
“The Bank of Canada should reverse these pandemic pay hikes and make it clear that it will not be handing out pay raises or bonuses in 2022,” he continued.
Conservative leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre has said that if elected leader of the party he would fire Macklem from his post for the failure.
“I would replace him with a new governor who would reinstate our low-inflation mandate, protect the purchasing power of our dollar, and honour the working people who earned those dollars,” said Poilievre in May.
In response to Poilievre’s criticism, the Bank’s deputy governor admitted that it got its predictions wrong and should be held accountable.
“The aspect that we should be held accountable is exactly right,” said Paul Beaudry.
“Right now we completely understand that lots of Canadians can be frustrated at the situation,” he said. “It’s difficult for a lot of people. And we haven’t managed to keep inflation at our target, so it’s appropriate people are asking us questions.”