As it has done in the Fall of previous years, the Department of Finance jointly with the Bank of Canada held consultations with market participants on issues relating to the design and operation of government debt programs in 2001-2002. A discussion paper and background note was released at that time, inviting comment from interested parties. A summary of the comments received is being made public today on the Bank's web site.

Market participants indicated that the Government of Canada securities market is functioning well, but that liquidity has declined over the last year. In general, participants indicated a preference to maintaining the current structure of debt program, and increasing liquidity through larger benchmark bond targets, particularly at the long end of the yield curve, and enhanced bond buyback operations. Comprehensive information regarding the federal government's debt management strategy for the upcoming fiscal year can be found in the Debt Management Strategy 2001-02 being made public today by the Department of Finance (