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Despite the country seeing record-high inflation, the Bank of Canada gave out $23 million in bonuses to staff last year, according to access-to-information records obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. 

Last year’s bonuses bring the total to over $78 million for Canada’s central bank staff since 2020. 

According to the records, $16,198,919 was given in bonuses in 2020 and $18,442,288 in 2021. 

Bonus pay increased again in 2022, with $20,214,677 being paid out to Bank of Canada staff and then again last year, with a total of $23,341,537.

Of the $23 million dished out last year, $3.5 million went to executives, while the rest went to lower-level staff. 

The Bank of Canada’s 80 executives received an average total compensation of $400,000 each. 

True North reached out to the Bank of Canada for comment, however, media relations specialist Sean Gordon responded by saying, “we’re currently in a media blackout period ahead of the policy rate announcement on June 5, so we can’t comment.”

While the central bank’s mandate it to keep an inflation target of 2% inside a control range of 1% to 3%, it failed to meet its target each year from 2021 to 2023. 

“When you absolutely fumble the ball trying to do your one and only job, you should probably get a pink slip, not a big fat bonus cheque,” said CTF federal director Franco Terrazzano.

Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem acknowledged that the central bank “got some things wrong” in 2022, admitting “we haven’t managed to keep inflation at our target” and even saying that the country’s bankers “should be held accountable.”

Inflation hit 3.4% in 2021 and 6.9% in 2022, a 40-year high, marking the largest jump since 1982. 

Inflation came down to 3.9% last year, however, it remained far above the Bank of Canada’s target of 2%.

“Handing out big bonus cheques is an odd way to hold your organization accountable,” said Terrazzano. “Central bankers shouldn’t get bonuses when Canadians can’t afford groceries, gasoline or homes.”

The Bank of Canada increased its interest rates 10 times since 2022 but has maintained its overnight interest rate at 5% since last June, with the bank rate at 5.25% and the deposit rate at 5%. 

“At best, the Bank of Canada failed to keep a lid on rising inflation and, at worst, it drove inflation higher by printing hundreds of billions of dollars out of thin air,” said Terrazzano. 

“Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland should find savings by ending bonuses at failing Crown corporations like the Bank of Canada.”