OTTAWA, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Canada’s main opposition leader declined to say on Saturday whether he would be open to extending the central bank chief’s term past June, which would make Stephen Poloz the first Bank of Canada governor to get a second term since the 1980s.
“Those are things we’ll look at after the election. We’re focused right now on earning the trust of Canadians. That’s our focus for the next nine days,” Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said when asked if he was open to Poloz staying on for a second term.
Polls show Scheer’s Conservatives are in a dead heat with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s governing Liberals. Canadians vote on Oct. 21.
Poloz took office in June 2013 and is in the final year of a seven-year mandate. He has not said if he wants to continue in the role.
Advanced polls opened on Friday and will remain open until Monday, Canada’s Thanksgiving holiday. An overnight poll by Nanos Research compiled for CTV and the Globe and Mail put the Liberals at 33.2% and the Conservatives at 32.1%. In Canada, the Bank of Canada’s board of directors oversees the selection process but the federal finance minister and the prime minister have the final say.
Asked what he would look for in a new Bank of Canada governor, Scheer said he would ensure Canadians had confidence in a governor who “opearates independently” and who “looks at economic indicators to make decisions about monetary policy.”
The Conservative leader was in Burnaby, British Columbia (B.C.) where he promised to establish a blue-ribbon commission to find ways to cut C$1.5 billion ($1.14 billion) in corporate subsidies annually, as promised in the party’s platform
The commission, to be headed by former B.C. finance minister Kevin Falcon and former VIA Rail executive Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, would be struck within 100 days of the Conservatives taking office, Scheer said.
Elsewhere on the campaign trail, Trudeau and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who’s left-leaning party has been gaining momentum in recent days, are in the vote-rich Greater Toronto Area.
Singh met with supporters in Brampton, Ontario at a get-out-the-vote event on Saturday morning, while Trudeau is expected to address Liberal supporters at an evening rally in Missassauga, Ontario.
$1 = 1.3196 Canadian dollars Reporting by Kelsey Johnson; Editing by David Gregorio