The current front-runner for the Conservative Party leadership has said he would prevent the Bank of Canada from developing a central bank-run digital currency if he becomes prime minister.
Poilievre, who has been a Conservative member of Parliament for 18 years, has pushed past all the contenders ahead of a September vote to choose the leader of Canada’s opposition.
Canada’s central bank, along with others around the world, has expressed fears that explosive cryptocurrency growth could destabilize global financial systems. In response, Canada has examined the viability of a “stablecoin” digital currency pegged to the Canadian dollar. Final approval of a digital currency must come from the federal government.
Poilievre has declared that his goal of making Canada the world’s blockchain capital is a cornerstone of his political campaign. He has posted pictures of himself buying lunch with Bitcoin, and even declared that cryptocurrencies offer Canadians a viable way to “opt-out of inflation. But he insists that the central bank has no role to play and does not want the central bank to compete with other cryptocurrencies.
“A Poilievre government will ban a central bank digital currency and allow Canadians to have the economic and financial liberty that they deserve,” he told reporters crowded outside the Canadian central bank building in Ottawa.
Poilievre is an outspoken critic of the central bank, calling it “financially illiterate” and blaming it for the country’s soaring inflation rate, citing the central bank’s pandemic purchases of government bonds, a process known as “quantitative easing.”
Meanwhile, the central bank recently expressed strong disagreement over his claims. Previously, the Bank of Canada declared cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin speculative investments that “have no plausible claim to become the money of the future.”