Bank of Canada seeks public input on 2pc inflation target
The Bank of Canada is asking Canadians for the first time to provide feedback on the inflation targeting framework it uses to set monetary policy, the central bank said. The bank has tried to keep the annual inflation rate at 2% since 1991, a goal that is reviewed jointly by the central bank and the federal government every five years.
The bank is launching an online survey here asking Canadians for their thoughts about inflation and other price stability tools available to central banks. The deadline for completing the survey is Oct. 1. The bank will publish the results in the coming months.
The survey marks the first time the Bank of Canada has sought public input about the inflation target. As part of its review, the bank says it plans to compare different monetary policy frameworks.
"The Bank is committed to accountability and transparency in everything we do," Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem said in a release.
In November 2018, Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins said one option was for the bank to set a target path for the level of aggregate prices rather than an inflation rate. This could make monetary policy more effective, but the idea is hard to understand, Wilkins said.
"The 2% inflation target is fairly easy for people to comprehend and appreciate," said Shaun Osborne, chief currency strategist at Scotiabank, adding that the consultation could be a way to acclimatize people to other possible tools.
Wilkins will host a Bank of Canada workshop about the 2021 renewal of its Monetary Policy Framework on Wednesday. Macklem is scheduled to participate in a Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City panel discussion on Thursday about crisis management during the coronavirus pandemic. (Reporting by Kelsey Johnson in Ottawa; Additional reporting by Fergal Smith in Toronto and David Ljunggren in Ottawa; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
In the shadow of Canada's largest cluster of skyscrapers, Toronto is looking to preserve a majestic, centuries-old oak treebut efforts have been complicated by the pandemic.
The towering 24-meter (79feet) high Northern Red Oak is one of the oldest trees in these parts, having sprouted an estimated 300 years ago, around the time that French explorers set up a trading post on the nearby shores of Lake Ontario.
The tree now finds itself in the back yard of a nondescript bungalow on a winding street in the heart of a residential North York neighborhood. Its huge trunk has a circumference of five meters and brushes up against the back of the 1960s house. In summer, its long leafy branches shade the entire lot from the sun's rays.
But in recent years, a new homeowner expressed concerns about being able to afford proper tree maintenance and its roots cracking the house's foundation.
Neighbors also worry that this awesome specimen may one day be damaged by strong winds or felled in a storm.
To protect it and make it accessible to everyone in this city of six million people, Toronto's city council voted in 2018 to buy the property, raze the house and turn the land into a small public park. "'Takes your breath away' -
A deal was reached with the homeowner last year to sell the property to the city.
That outcome delighted Edith George, a local resident who lobbied over 14 years to preserve the oak tree, whose beauty she says "just takes your breath away." "It's the Rolls-Royce of heritage trees. No other tree in Canada has the heritage value that this tree has," the 68-year-old retiree told AFP.
Experts say that with care and under the right conditions, the tree could live another 200 years or more. "A tree like this is expensive to maintain. If the lot is a public space, the city will be able to take care of it better than I can," says Ali Simaga, who purchased the home in 2015.
"I don't want to be selfish and keep it to myself, either," he adds.
The deal, however, is not done yet. The city's purchase offer is conditional on private donations to cover half of the price tag for the property. Fundraising started in December 2019, with a target of raising Can$430,000 (US$325,000) by the end of this year.
After a promising start, including a Can$100,000 pledge by a couple of local philanthropists, contributions slowed to a trickle during the pandemic. As of mid-July, about Can$125,000, or nearly 30 percent of the goal, had been collected. If the target is missed by the deadline, without an extension, the monies collected would be used to support tree planting across the city while the future of the historic oak tree would be in doubt.