In January 2002, officials from the Department of Finance and the Bank of Canada sought views of Government Securities Distributors and investors on a number of issues related to the domestic debt program as part of the development of the Debt Strategy 2002-03 and in keeping with the Government's ongoing commitment to consult with market participants. The consultations focused on recent market developments and potential initiatives geared towards enhancing liquidity and maintaining a well-functioning market for Government of Canada securities. To allow comments to be received from a broader range of participants, the Debt Strategy Consultation documents were made available on the Bank of Canada's Web site. A summary of the comments received is being made public today on the Bank's Web site in conjunction with the release of the Government's Debt Management Strategy for 2002-03.

In general, market participants were positive about the initiatives that the Government has undertaken in recent years. Market participants recommended that the current benchmark targets be maintained and strongly recommended that the Government continue to issue 30-year bonds. Most also felt that the Government could expand bond baskets for buyback operations. In addition, support was given to raise the ceiling for individual buyback operations. Most participants indicated that no adjustment was required to the treasury bill program. Investors and dealers are anxious to see developments of electronic fixed-income trading systems in Canada.