McGill University’s Max Bell School of Public Policy to Host Conference on Bank Of Canada’s Mandate Renewal

With the Bank’s mandate up for renewal next year, this conference will broaden the debate and explore the policy options facing the Bank.

MONTREAL:áThe Max Bell School of Public Policy at McGill University has re-launched Choosing the Right Target: Real Options for the Bank of Canada’s Mandate Renewal. This conference, originally scheduled for the spring of 2020, is now being hosted online between September 22-25, where the six options facing the Bank of Canada will be debated.

"The current inflation-control agreement between the Government of Canada and the Bank of Canada comes to an end in 2021. Maintaining the status quo isn’t the only option, and it’s really important to Canadians that all the options are fully explored," said Chris Ragan, conference co-organizer and Director of the Max Bell School of Public Policy.

In previous years, the Bank of Canada has always led the debate about the mandate renewal, but these discussions invariably take place in private. Since the Bank enjoys operational independence in its day-to-day operations, interactions between the Bank and external monetary policy specialists typically take the form of expert advice given in confidence.

"Setting the goals for monetary policy is probably the single most important decision that a Minister of Finance will make, " added Stephen Gordon, conference co-organizer and Professor of Economics at the University of Laval.

Over four afternoons, independent economists from across Canada, the United States, and Europe will examine the pros and cons of the alternatives for the next mandate, which will be explained and debated in plain language for a general audience.

When: September 22-25, 2020



Registration :


o The six presenters will break down the arguments of their respective papers on the issue, advocating for approaches ranging from lowering the inflation target to focusing on other metrics such as nominal GDP or the price level.

o Narayana Kocherlakota, Lionel W. McKenzie Professor of Economics at the University of Rochester, will deliver the keynote speech on September 24.

o To wrap up the conference, a panel of policy practitioners will evaluate all the options presented and will indicate their recommendation(s).

About the conference:

This four-day conference will feature the presentation of six possible options for the renewal of the Bank of Canada’s mandate. Each option will be thoroughly examined by one author (and all papers will be available to participants). Discussants will react to each of the policy options being presented. To conclude the conference, a final panel of policy practitioners will evaluate all the options presented, and each panelist will indicate their recommendation.

The authors’ papers, discussants’ comments and a conference summary will be published in a single edited volume - the first of a series of annual conference volumes to be published by the Max Bell School of Public Policy.

About the Max Bell School of Public Policy

McGill’s Max Bell School of Public Policy is committed to the research, teaching, public outreach, and practical advocacy of sound public policy, with each of these four dimensions grounded in a solid understanding of the overall policy process, not merely as it is described in theory but as it exists in the real world, with all its imperfections and limitations. The principle-based design of policy solutions to important problems, the interaction of policy development with partisan politics, and knowledge of the workings of the machinery of government all play central roles in the activities of the Max Bell School.


Media is invited to attend, observe the proceedings, and partake in the discussions. The conference proceedings may prove useful for background and source material. Complimentary registration is available for media. Stephen Gordon & Chris Ragan are available for pre-conference interviews or on background.

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