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Why the Bank of Canada suddenly wants to hear from us

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That work will be coming along, and, as it does, the Bank of Canada has decided to pull open the curtains even wider. On Aug. 26, Wilkins will host a second workshop on the mandate renewal, including something of a half-time report on the “horse race,” which could bring the biggest clue yet as to whether policy-makers are ready to consider overhauling — or even dropping — the inflation target.

In another significant embrace of transparency, Tiff Macklem, the governor, has determined that neither parliamentary committees nor news outlets can be trusted to hold him accountable, so he’s going to ask the public to do it.

Macklem on Aug. 24 announced the central bank would be soliciting input from Canadians via an online survey called Let’s Talk Inflation, which will allow experts and non-experts alike to share their thoughts on questions related to potential new approaches, such as targeting nominal gross domestic product instead of the Consumer Price Index, and whether the goal of monetary policy should be maximum employment rather than price stability.

“The bank is committed to accountability and transparency in everything we do,” Macklem said in a press release.

It’s the latest evidence that central bankers have come to understand that they can no longer take for granted that the public sees them as positively as they see themselves.

The U.S. Federal Reserve prevented a global depression a decade ago, and became a political target in the process, as some Americans recoiled at the sight of unelected officials wielding so much power, while others saw the Fed as little more than a tool of Wall Street.

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