The Bank of Canada said a bag of documents was stolen from Governor Mark Carney’s unattended car in Montreal on Nov. 1 after a thief smashed the window and grabbed briefing notes and staff reports.
The travel bag has been recovered though it’s not clear if all the documents are accounted for, said bank spokesman Jeremy Harrison. The papers didn’t contain any market-moving information and didn’t have government of Canada security classifications, Harrison said today in Ottawa.
Carney was at a meeting in Montreal when someone smashed a window of the locked car, Harrison said. He declined to comment on where the staff driver was, citing a police investigation. The central bank is reviewing its security procedures, he said.
“All employees are regularly made aware of the bank’s guidelines for safeguarding sensitive information,” Harrison said. “Drivers are expected to exercise sound judgment, understand and use proper protocol and demonstrate security awareness.”
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said he knew of the theft last week. Carney “is a victim of a crime,” Flaherty said outside Parliament today.
Chisholm Pothier, Flaherty’s director of communications, said it was unknown whether all the papers had been recovered and referred inquiries about the status of the documents to the central bank. Flaherty had earlier told reporters in Ottawa that all the documents were recovered.
Thomas Mulcair, a lawmaker for the opposition New Democratic Party, urged Carney to comment on the theft.
“It’s up to him to assume the responsibility and to explain to all of us,” Mulcair told reporters in Ottawa. “He was in Montreal doing important work and he was bringing those documents with him; it was because they were important.”
Scott Brison, a lawmaker for the Liberal Party, said that while there are concerns the documents could “fall into the wrong hands,” the incident is not “the same as some other breaches of security” given it was a theft.