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Canada's Flaherty to interview central bank chief candidates

* Finance minister outlines involvement in recruitment process

* Spox says not unusual for minister to interview candidates

* Governor appointment subject to cabinet approval

* No timelines given for decision

OTTAWA, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Canada’s finance minister will interview a short list of candidates for the job of Bank of Canada governor, his office announced on Wednesday after a meeting with the head of a special recruitment committee of the central bank.

Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney is leaving in June to head the Bank of England, and the process of finding his replacement is underway. Tiff Macklem, currently the senior deputy governor, is considered the frontrunner for the job.

An external recruiting firm, Odgers Berndston, has advertised the position, and a special committee of the Bank of Canada’s board of directors has the task of compiling a list of potential candidates for the job.

The federal cabinet must approve all Bank of Canada governor appointments.

The bank’s committee will work in “close consultation” with Flaherty to review the list of initial candidates, the statement said on Wednesday.

“Once fully vetted, the special committee will then recommend a roster of qualified candidates to the minister for him to interview,” the Department of Finance said in a statement without giving a timeline.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty ‘s spokeswoman Kathleen Perchaluk said on Wednesday he had a lso interviewed candidates the last time a governor was sought in 2007. But there was no official mention of it back then.

In November the central bank described the procedure to be followed this time: “Governors of the Bank of Canada are appointed by the independent directors (of the central bank), subject to the approval of the Minister of Finance and the federal Cabinet.”

In July 2007, when Carney was a contender, the Bank of Canada said its own special committee would conduct the interviews.

“Over the summer, the Special Committee will meet to review potential candidates, conduct interviews, identify a short list and complete the appointment process with the approval of the Minister of Finance and the federal Cabinet,” the bank said at that time.

The independence of the central bank, a point of pride in Canada, came under scrutiny recently after reports that Carney vacationed at the home of a Liberal lawmaker at the same time the opposition party was trying to recruit the central banker to be their new leader.