The mandate of the Bank of Canada is spelled out in the Bank of Canada Act. Under this Act, the Bank of Canada is required to submit each year its audited financial statements accompanied by a report by the Governor to the Minister of Finance. The Annual Report is presented to Parliament by the Minister and a copy is published in the Canada Gazette.

The Payment, Clearing and Settlement Act gives the Bank of Canada responsibility for the oversight of payments and other clearing and settlement systems in Canada, for the purpose of controlling systemic risk.

The Governing Council's main tool for implementing monetary policy is the target for the overnight rate. This rate is normally set on eight "fixed dates" per year. The Council arrives at its decisions about the rate by consensus, rather than by individual votes as is the case at some other central banks.