Enhancing stakeholder engagement

As a public institution, the Bank of Canada recognizes and embraces the need to engage with a broad range of Canadians. As well, new imperatives have driven it to deepen that engagement:

  • the COVID‑19 pandemic and associated economic fallout
  • new mandates and initiatives being undertaken by the Bank
  • economic reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples

In 2022, as pandemic restrictions were lifted, the Bank resumed many in-person activities, including reopening the Bank of Canada Museum. The Bank’s leaders and its staff also engaged face to face with Canadians from coast to coast to coast to help them understand and adjust to changes in the economy, inflation and monetary policy.

Listening to Canadians

The Bank uses surveys and consultations to better understand how changes in the economy affect Canadians.

Broadening outreach through surveys

In 2022, the Bank developed new surveys and made extensive use of existing ones.

  • The new Business Leaders’ Pulse uses an online platform to reach a diverse set of firms. It provided insights into how firms form inflation expectations and make pricing decisions.
  • The Market Participants Survey, which will be published each quarter beginning in 2023, fed into the Bank’s financial market analysis.
  • The Business Outlook Survey, Senior Loan Officer Survey and Canadian Survey of Consumer Expectations remained highly relevant, as did the Bank’s ongoing public opinion surveys.

The survey data shed light on the uneven effects of the rapid changes in monetary policy for households and businesses. They also informed the ongoing policy-making process.

Consulting with key stakeholders

The Bank consulted a wide range of stakeholders in 2022, including:

  • businesses
  • industry associations
  • labour and civil society organizations
  • academics, researchers and private sector economists
  • other government agencies

The Governor and other senior executives participated in round-table discussions with industry and labour leaders. These interactions provided insights into:

  • real-time developments in the economy
  • the pricing decisions of businesses
  • labour market conditions
  • broader structural trends

The Bank also consulted with financial market participants through the Canadian Fixed-Income Forum and the Canadian Foreign Exchange Committee. Each of these groups met quarterly to share information on a variety of topics, including:

  • assessments of liquidity conditions in core funding markets
  • market adjustments to an environment of higher global interest rates
  • conditions in foreign exchange markets

As part of its approach, the Bank worked to ensure that diversity was a key consideration when planning for and engaging in such consultations.

Explaining the Bank’s work and educating the public

The Bank took extra steps in 2022 to explain its work and decisions. It held virtual briefing sessions after each Monetary Policy Report and the Financial System Review, for example. These interactive meetings allowed interested stakeholders from financial market, business, policy, labour and other communities to ask members of Governing Council questions.

The Bank also continued to engage with and educate the public through the Bank of Canada Museum. While the Museum was closed to in-person visits from March 2020 to May 2022, it expanded its virtual education programs and website content, with a significant focus on reaching teachers. Thousands of Canadians accessed these materials in 2022. As well, more than 27,000 people have visited the Museum since it reopened.

Four individuals interacting with a circular table with embedded digital pads in the Bank of Canada Museum.

The Bank of Canada Museum is one of the ways the Bank can speak directly to Canadians.

Informing the public of the Bank’s evolving role and responsibilities

In recent years, important shifts have taken place in Canada and around the world as well as in the Bank’s strategic priorities. As a result, the Bank has taken on new mandates and areas of responsibility. It has also continued to innovate in response to the needs of Canadians. Keeping stakeholders updated on how the Bank is evolving was another focus for 2022, particularly in the areas of:

  • retail payments supervision
  • climate change
  • diversity and inclusion
  • central bank digital currency

Charting a path toward reconciliation

In late 2021, Governor Macklem announced that the Bank would work with a broad range of Indigenous groups to define what reconciliation means for the Bank’s work. He committed the Bank to engaging with both existing and new partners to build a common understanding of its role.

In 2022, the Bank held more than 25 meetings with organizations representing Inuit, Métis and First Nations peoples. In addition, Bank representatives attended general assemblies of the Assembly of First Nations, the Métis Nation of Ontario, the Manitoba Métis Federation and the Métis National Council.

These extensive and ongoing discussions and activities give the Bank a nuanced understanding of the challenges that Indigenous economies face. The lessons learned are feeding into the reconciliation action plan, currently being developed.

Looking forward

In 2023, the Bank will continue its outreach to stakeholders, in line with Governor Macklem’s objective to develop a deeper relationship between the central bank and Canadians.

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