Bank of Canada (BoC) officials earned $20 million in bonuses while hiking interest rates on Canadians and failing their 2% inflation mandate.
According to records obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) through access to information requests, as inflation reached a 40-year high, 80% of the central bank’s workforce received at least one bonus.
BoC bureaucrats received an average of $11,200 in bonuses.
“Bonuses are for people who do a god job, not people who fail at their one and only job,” Franco Terrazzano, federal director of the CTF, said on the organization’s website.
“Most organizations don’t shower employees with bonuses when they have their worst year in four decades.”
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the BoC has spent $72 million on staff bonuses and pay raises. Despite authoritative lockdowns which forced many Canadians out of work, there were no pay cuts between 2020 and 2022 at the central bank.
In late 2020, BoC Governor Tiff Macklem assured the federal finance committee that the inflation rate would be below 2% through 2023. However, it reached a 40-year high of 6.8% in 2022.
Despite Macklem claiming to keep the overnight lending rate at its “effective lower bound [of 0.25%] into 2023,” he announced seven rate hikes last year, and three this year.
Macklem has admitted to some consequential mistakes for which he said central bankers should be held accountable, but Terrazzano isn’t convinced.
“Handing out big bonus cheques is an odd way to hold your organization accountable,” Terrazzano said. “Central bankers shouldn’t get bonuses when Canadians can’t afford groceries, gasoline or homes.
A separate access to information request filed by the CTF revealed that since Justin Trudeau became prime minister eight years ago, 487 BoC bureaucrats – or 30% of its workforce – earned at least $100,000. By the end of 2022, 1,095 staff members comprising 49% of its total workforce were earning six-figure salaries.
Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre appeared on the Canadian Taxpayers podcast and said he would disallow bonuses for bureaucrats who fail at their duties.
“I don’t think we should reward failure,” Poilievre said.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article previously mistakenly stated that BoC officials received $20 billion in bonuses. This has been updated.