Bank of Canada showers executives with $3.5 million in bonuses in 2022

Author: Franco Terrazzano 2023/10/26

The Bank of Canada lavished millions of dollars in bonuses on its executives last year amid seven interest rate hikes and the worst inflation crisis in four decades, according to access-to-information records obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. 

All but two of the central bank’s 82 executives (97.5 per cent) received an “at-risk pay” bonus. Twenty-five received a “performance pay” bonus. 

The average bonus among Bank of Canada executives last year was $43,700, for a total cost of more than $3.5 million.

“Executives at the Bank of Canada shouldn’t be showering themselves with big bonuses when Canadians can’t afford gas, groceries or mortgages,” said Franco Terrazzano, CTF Federal Director. “Most organizations don’t give 98 per cent of their executives bonuses when they have their worst year in four decades.”

Executive bonuses at the Bank of Canada total nearly $21 million since 2015. Since then, the size of the executive class at the Bank of Canada spiked by 18 per cent. 

Table: Executive bonuses at Bank of Canada, 2015-2022


Number of executives





























The records provided by the Bank of Canada indicate its executives did not receive “at-risk” bonus pay in 2015 or 2016. 

It was a bumpy year for the Bank of Canada in 2022. 

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.” 

But inflation was 6.8 per cent in 2022, representing “a 40-year high, the largest increase since 1982,” according to Statistics Canada. The Bank of Canada also failed to meet its inflation target in 2021.

After Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem told Canadians in 2020 that interest rates would remain low for a “long time,” the central bank turned around and hiked interest rates seven times in 2022. 

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. “Canadians have every right to be furious when they find out executives at their central bank were taking bonuses as inflation and interest rates soared.”

Speaking at an event organized by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business in July 2022, Macklem told companies not to adjust wages for inflation, sparking outrage among labour leaders. 

All told, bonuses at the Bank of Canada total about $55 million since 2020, according to separate access-to-information records obtained by the CTF.

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Franco Terrezano
Federal Director at
Canadian Taxpayers

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