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Bank of Canada Board Meets, Talks Duguay Replacement

The Bank of Canada’s board of outside directors is meeting today in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, and may discuss a replacement for retiring Deputy Governor Pierre Duguay.

The meetings, which include Governor Mark Carney, began yesterday and end around noon tomorrow, bank spokeswoman Jill Vardy said in a telephone interview. Duguay retires July 29, and the board met six times last year, suggesting it’s the directors’ last chance to approve a replacement before he leaves.

“Usually you know who it is decently in advance of the person leaving,” said Finn Poschmann, vice president for research at the C.D. Howe Institute in Toronto, in a telephone interview. “They do need continuity.”

The 12 outside directors manage the bank’s corporate operations, such as human resources and administration policies. This week’s meetings in Charlottetown are the one session per year held outside the bank’s Ottawa headquarters, Vardy said. The trip also includes a public speech by Carney and a private dinner with local business leaders.

“I would expect a decision would be taken in the near future and that would be communicated at the appropriate time,” Carney told reporters after his speech today. “The formal part of the board meeting hasn’t happened yet so I don’t want to speak for the board before any decision has been made.”

Internal Candidate

The bank said March 10 that Duguay’s replacement will be an internal candidate. “The institution is strong. That’s why we focused the search for the person to fill that seat internally,” Carney said today.

“Pierre Duguay served the bank and our country with distinction for more than 35 years,” Carney said. “We will miss his contribution.”

Once Duguay’s replacement is made, the entire panel that sets interest rates at the bank will have changed since Carney was named to replace David Dodge as governor in October 2007. The group will decide how fast and how far to raise the benchmark lending rate after a June 1 decision to lift it to 0.5 percent from a record low 0.25 percent.

The panel sets rates by consensus and doesn’t publish individual voting records.

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