A consultation document on issues relating to the design and operation of government debt programs for fiscal year 2003/04 and beyond, prepared jointly by the Department of Finance and the Bank of Canada, was published today. Debt-strategy planning is based on the fiscal outlook in the 2002 Economic and Fiscal Update released 30 October 2002, which projects that government borrowing in financial markets will remain near current levels.

These consultations will focus on how to maintain stable, low-cost funding for the Government of Canada and enhance the functioning of the market in Government of Canada securities. The government, as part of its ongoing commitment to consult with market participants, will seek views on programs for treasury bills and cash-management bills and on a range of issues associated with the operation of government bond and bond-buyback programs.

Comments on the specific questions raised in the Debt-Strategy 2003/04 Consultation Document can be emailed before 6 January 2003 to:

For further information, please contact:
Rob Stewart
Senior Chief
Financial Markets Division
Department of Finance
613 992-4468
Marc Pellerin
Principal
Debt Management & Settlement Systems
Bank of Canada
613 782-8429