January 7, 2013 / 4:08 PM / 6 years ago

Bank of Canada seeks leader with "courage to take a stand"

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Bank of Canada is looking for a new boss with “the courage to take a stand” as it seeks to replace Governor Mark Carney, who is leaving to head the Bank of England.

The Bank of Canada building is pictured in Ottawa March 3, 2009. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

But an advertisement for the position, published on Monday, made clear that Canada is not about to follow Britain in appointing a foreign citizen to head its central bank.

“A Canadian citizen, you have the demonstrated ability to exercise sound judgment in a highly complex environment, to manage competing priorities, and to rank strategic priorities,” the ad said in addressing the hypothetical successful candidate.

“Your leadership style is characterized by a personal inclination to lead through persuasion, and you have the courage to take a stand to support principles and policies.”

The “courage to take a stand” line was not in the central bank’s last ad to hire a governor, published in 2007. It was not clear if the bank was referring to taking a stand against possible opposition from the public, the media, the government or other countries.

The Bank of Canada describes itself as having “considerable independence” from the federal government, compared with other federal institutions.

But the governor must consult regularly with the finance minister, and the government has the power to override Bank of Canada monetary policy.

This power was written into the Bank of Canada Act after a public clash in 1961 between the Conservative government of the day and then-Governor James Coyne over fiscal and monetary policy led to his resignation in what was dubbed the Coyne Affair.

The government has never exercised that power since the clause was put into the Bank of Canada Act.

Carney was named on November 26 last year as the surprise choice to run the Bank of England, effective July 1. The Bank of England has said Carney, who has headed the Bank of Canada since 2008, would be seeking British citizenship.

Senior Deputy Governor Tiff Macklem is widely seen as the front-runner to replace Carney, and the help-wanted ad said the next governor must “have unquestioned technical competence in monetary policy.”

The 2007 ad referred only to the need to have the professional credentials and reputation of an economist; the emphasis on monetary policy may point to inside candidates.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said in December that continuity mattered, phrasing which supports a candidate like Macklem, but he also said that what really mattered was to have someone who would maintain solid monetary policy and control inflation.

Editing by Janet Guttsma, Theodore d'Afflisio and Marguerita Choy

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