Principles for External Communication by Members of Governing Council
Clear and transparent communication is essential to the effectiveness of monetary policy, and serves a key role in the Bank’s accountability to Canadians. That is why members of the Bank’s Governing Council take part in regular communication activities, such as meetings, speeches, interviews and press conferences.
Engaging in two-way communication with the public, businesses, industry associations, academia, labour and other groups is invaluable to the formulation of monetary policy and to the Bank’s accountability. Discussions with external groups help Governing Council members better understand prevailing dynamics in the economy and the financial system, as well as structural issues and economic research relevant to the work of the Bank.
To uphold public confidence in the transparency and integrity of its work on behalf of Canadians, the Bank adheres to the following principles for Governing Council’s external communications.
Principles for External Communication
- Communication of policy decisions first takes place via a press release published at each of eight Fixed Announcement Dates. Communication of forecasts for growth and inflation in Canada first takes place via four Monetary Policy Reports per year. The Governor’s Monetary Policy Report press conference opening statements provide additional detail about relevant aspects of the Governing Council’s policy deliberations.
- Governing Council members commit to respecting the Bank’s Blackout Guidelines, which prohibit all communication activities (speeches, meetings, interviews) on topics related to monetary policy or the economic outlook in the week before the Bank’s regularly-scheduled interest rate announcements. Media interviews given outside the blackout period on these topics should not be published within it.
- Governing Council takes a consensus-based approach to its monetary policy decisions. Individual members’ external communications on monetary policy or the economic outlook will reflect this consensus viewpoint. As such, Governing Council members do not share personal views, nor do they provide detail of the policy deliberations beyond what has been published in the Governor’s Monetary Policy Report opening statements. Where they express views about other matters of public interest, Governing Council members consider any potential risk to the integrity and impartiality of the Bank.
- Governing Council members commit to communicate new information about monetary policy, the economic outlook or the evolution of risks only through venues that are widely accessible to the public – such as scheduled Bank publications, published speeches, media interviews and press conferences.
- Governing Council members therefore refrain from expressing views about the economic outlook or monetary policy in any private meeting, conversation or address to any company, group or individual, unless those views have already been communicated publicly.1
- In considering invitations to speak at private events or to accept bilateral meetings, Governing Council members weigh carefully the benefits of accepting such an invitation against any risk of perceived informational advantage. As a matter of precaution, and where feasible, a Bank of Canada staff member is present for such encounters.
- Governing Council members refrain from accepting invitations to speak at events that:
- Purport to sell restricted or privileged access to members of Governing Council;
- Are hosted by a group promoting a specific political affiliation, single private interest, charitable cause or lobby effort;
- Pose a risk of harming the Bank’s credibility and reputation.