Bank of Canada issues $23 million in bonuses in 2023

Author: Ryan Thorpe 2024/06/03

The Bank of Canada printed $23 million in bonus cheques for staff in 2023, according to access-to-information records obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. 

This pushes total bonuses at the Bank of Canada up to $78 million since 2020. 

“When you absolutely fumble the ball trying to do your one and only job, you should probably get a pink slip, not a big fat bonus cheque,” said Franco Terrazzano, CTF Federal Director. 

Executives took home $3.5 million in bonuses in 2023, while the rest went to lower-level staff at the central bank. Total compensation among the bank’s 80 executives was $32 million, for an average of $400,000 each.  

Bonuses at the Bank of Canada, 2020-2023, access-to-information records













The Bank of Canada’s mandate is to keep “an inflation target of two per cent inside a control range of one to three per cent.”

In November 2020, Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem told the federal finance committee that “inflation is projected to remain less than two per cent into 2023.”

In each year of 2021, 2022 and 2023, the Bank of Canada failed to meet its inflation mandate. 

Inflation was 3.4 per cent in 2021. In 2022, inflation reached 6.8 per cent, representing “a 40-year high, the largest increase since 1982,” according to Statistics Canada. 

Inflation was 3.9 per cent last year.

Macklem also told the committee the central bank expects to keep its interest rate at its “effective lower bound [of 0.25 per cent]” into 2023. However, it increased interest rates seven times in 2022, and three times in 2023. 

The Bank of Canada’s policy interest rate is currently five per cent. The bank is slated to announce its next interest rate decision June 5.

In 2022, Macklem admitted “we got some things wrong” and the deputy governor acknowledged “we haven’t managed to keep inflation at our target,” adding that Canada’s central bankers “should be held accountable.”

“Handing out big bonus cheques is an odd way to hold your organization accountable,” Terrazzano said. “Central bankers shouldn’t get bonuses when Canadians can’t afford groceries, gasoline or homes.”

In Budget 2023, the federal government said it plans to work with Crown corporations to “ensure they achieve comparable spending reductions, which would account for an estimated $1.3 billion over four years starting in 2024-25, and $450 million ongoing.”

“At best, the Bank of Canada failed to keep a lid on rising inflation and, at worst, it drove inflation higher by printing hundreds of billions of dollars out of thin air,” Terrazzano said. “Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland should find savings by ending bonuses at failing Crown corporations like the Bank of Canada.”

A Note for our Readers:

Is Canada Off Track?

Canada has problems. You see them at gas station. You see them at the grocery store. You see them on your taxes.

Is anyone listening to you to find out where you think Canada’s off track and what you think we could do to make things better?

You can tell us what you think by filling out the survey

Join now to get the Taxpayer newsletter

Franco Terrazzano
Federal Director at
Canadian Taxpayers

Join now to get the Taxpayer newsletter

Hey, it’s Franco.

Did you know that you can get the inside scoop right from my notebook each week? I’ll share hilarious and infuriating stories the media usually misses with you every week so you can hold politicians accountable.

You can sign up for the Taxpayer Update Newsletter now

Looks good!
Please enter a valid email address

We take data security and privacy seriously. Your information will be kept safe.