NDP says wouldn't intervene with Bank of Canada

Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:07pm EDT
 
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KAMLOOPS, British Columbia (Reuters) - The Bank of Canada is an arm's-length institution and governments should not interfere with its interest rate decisions, New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton said on Friday.

"We have a longstanding institutional arrangement here with the Bank of Canada dealing with monetary policy at arm's-length from the government. That's the way it should be," Layton told a news conference. He added that interest rates were "a decision for the governor of the Bank of Canada."

In an interview with Reuters on Thursday, Layton was asked if he would like to see the Bank of Canada hold off on interest rate hikes and he said, "yes." The comment prompted a flurry of criticism from political opponents. Layton said on Friday he had just been expressing an opinion.

(Reporting by Rod Nickel; writing by Randall Palmer; editing by Peter Galloway)