Ontario Premier Doug Ford is asking the Bank of Canada to stop hiking interest rates, saying Ontario families and businesses are struggling to get by and can’t afford another increase.
The bank has raised rates 10 times since March 2022 in an effort to curb inflation. It hit pause on those hikes in January for a few months to determine whether the economy had sufficiently cooled, then resumed its campaign in June.
It’s set to make its next interest rate decision on Wednesday.
“Your rate hikes have made it next to impossible for young people, newcomers, and first-time homebuyers to have any place to call home,” Ford wrote in a letter to Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem on Sunday.
“I urge you to consider the effect higher interest rates are having on everyday people who are simply trying to make ends meet.”
Ford is not the first provincial leader to make such a plea. His call comes days after British Columbia Premier David Eby first penned a similar letter to Macklem.
Ford says instead of higher interest rates, he hopes the federal government will work with provinces and territories to invest in and build out critical infrastructure projects that will create higher-paying jobs and improve the production of goods and services, thus reducing the cost of everyday essentials that have “never been more expensive.”
On its website, the Bank of Canada says its responsible for promoting the economic and financial welfare of Canada, which includes keeping inflation low and stable.
Sean Gordon, a Bank of Canada media relations consultant, said in a statement Thursday that the bank had no comment on Eby’s letter “as we are currently in the blackout period ahead of our next interest rate decision.”
The Bank of Canada announces its key policy decision, the setting of interest rates, eight times a year. Members of the bank’s governing council observe a blackout no-comment period around the time of the decisions, says the bank’s website.
The bank did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Ford’s letter.