UPDATE 1-Canada says April "optimal" for naming next Bank of Canada chief
OTTAWA, April 12 (Reuters) - Canada's government would ideally like to name a new Bank of Canada governor this month to replace Mark Carney, who will step down on June 1 to take the helm at the Bank of England, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said on Friday.
"Part of the process is my interviews of the short-listed candidates," Flaherty told reporters on a conference call during an official visit to Bermuda.
"It would be optimal to have the appointment made this month, but we will see if that's possible," he said.
Flaherty had told Reuters in January that he expected to make a decision on the new governor "probably in April" and that he was looking worldwide for the right candidate. The appointment requires approval by the federal cabinet.
The recruitment process is believed to be in the minister's hands at the moment. The Bank of Canada's board of directors met two weeks ago and were expected to afterwards give Flaherty a short list of candidates to interview.
"I'm not going to talk about the sequence and timing of my interviews of the candidates who are short-listed for the governor's job at the Bank of Canada," Flaherty said.
Next week is not ideal timing for such an announcement due to the blackout period surrounding the Bank of Canada's interest rate announcement on Wednesday and the minister's travel to Washington, D.C. for meetings of the Group of 20 finance officials and International Monetary Fund.
Tiff Macklem, currently the senior deputy governor at the Bank of Canada, is widely viewed as the front running candidate for the job, although there is much speculation about a wide field of potential alternative candidates.
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