Federal Government Renews Bank of Canada Mandate on Inflation
An Exercise in Being Earnest When Saying Nothing of Substance
Federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem unveiled the Bank’s renewed five year monetary mandate at a news conference in Ottawa on December 13. The conference took over an hour with two presentations and a twenty minute question and answer session with official media.
Freeland summed up the proceedings in a later tweet writing, “Today’s renewal of Canada’s monetary policy framework is fundamental to Canada’s economic success. This is about continuity and continuing to do what we know works. The renewed framework will keep the Bank focused on delivering low, stable, and predictable inflation.”
The Bank’s previous five year monetary mandate was to keep price inflation at two per cent annually within a range between one and three per cent. According to the press conference this mandate remains the same.
Canada’s annual price inflation rate rose to over four per cent during the summer and is now approaching six per cent. The oligarchy has integrated Canada’s economy into the U.S. war economy where price inflation was 6.8 per cent in November.
The Freeland/Macklem press conference and questions from the official media seemed disconnected from the real world. Freeland began with glowing words of praise for the Bank and the exemplary situation of the economy that, according to her, is progressing wonderfully out of the collapse during the pandemic. The Governor returned her kind words with equal praise for the economic situation. The two members of the ruling elite and fawning media appeared unconcerned and not at all embarrassed with their disconnect from the real world and the many problems facing the people and economy.
Their lack of concern with the situation of rapidly rising prices of everything except what is paid for labour, and their dogged determination only to talk of their policy mandate of two per cent inflation made the entire press conference appear silly. The silliness was compounded in particular with the earnestness with which Minister Freeland tried to appear earnest. Her words were made to sound extremely profound and thoughtful and not at all detached from reality. She even unleashed her best impression of a scornful professor admonishing a student for doubting the brilliance of her presentation. This was in response to a question suggesting the monetary mandate had in fact been changed to a â dualâ one with the addition of keeping unemployment low as a consideration.
Governor Macklem praised the Bank for its handling of “quantitative easing,” glossing over the fact that the Bank had massively increased government debt to private moneylenders who are already beginning to demand higher interest rates for their money. The Bank has reduced itself to managing government borrowing from the global financial oligarchy and ensuring the moneylenders receive their pound of flesh from the people who will be forced to pay higher taxes along with higher interest rates on money they have to borrow such as mortgages and student loans.
The earnestness of Freeland, contrived to contrast with the cavalier performance of Justin Trudeau so as to make her appear as a credible alternative, all serves to divert attention from the fact that it is wages which will be kept down. It is a show to make believe that government is concerned with the plight of the working people and in control of the economy. In fact, the countryâ s political and economic affairs rest firmly in the hands of the global oligarchy, of which Freeland is a prime conduit.
Minister Freeland continues her campaign of appearances outside Parliament on December 14 with the release of her fall economic and fiscal update. Despite her feigned earnestness, the Finance Minister has come under increasing criticism from Members of Parliament for refusing to discuss any of these economic matters in the House of Commons and its committees. The entire performance further renders Parliament and civil society as irrelevant to governance.