Monday, March 23, 2015

The bozo eruptions of the Governor of the Bank of Canada!

Pricey Bank of Canada meeting included trip to oil sands

Helicopter rides, wine, 3-course meals in Alberta cost Bank of Canada more than $100K

By Dean Beeby
Sunday, March 22, 2015
Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz and other officials attended a bank meeting last June in Edmonton with a side trip to Fort McMurray, that racked up more than $100,000 in expenses. (Ryan Remoritz?Canadian Press)

A Bank of Canada junket to the oilsands at Fort McMurray, Alberta helped push the cost of a single Board of Directors meeting last June to over $100,000, a CBC News analysis shows.

The scheduled meeting of the Board in Edmonton included a side trip to Fort McMurray, with a reception, dinner, museum tour and three private helicopter flights over northern Alberta costing about $2,500 each.

Those bills were in addition to meeting costs at Edmonton’s Matrix Hotel of at least $27,000, including almost $1,300 for wines and $900 for centrepieces for the tables.

Travel and accommodation costs for Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz and four of his senior staff came in at $20,000, with another estimated $50,000 for the dozen independent members of the Board, who flew in from across the country.

The Bank of Canada has declined to provide detailed costs for the event. But publicly posted expense claims and other invoices and records obtained under the Access to Information Act indicate the final bill was in excess of $100,000.

Panelists and speakers

Each June, the central bank holds one of its six or seven annual Board of Directors meetings outside Ottawa. Last year’s in Edmonton focused on the oil and gas industry, with at least nine panellists and speakers from the private sector. The event occurred when oil was trading at more than $100 US a barrel, before falling sharply in the months following, catching many economists off-guard.

But before the Edmonton session, Poloz and more than a dozen others flew to Fort McMurray in two planes, took helicopter tours, paid a visit to a museum, and attended a reception and dinner before heading back to Edmonton for more receptions, lunches, a visit to an art gallery and a three-course dinner on June 18-19.

The Bank of Canada has refused to make public its guidelines for travel and hospitality costs, which differ from those of the federal government. Treasury Board rules set strict limits on such costs for government departments, and require a minister’s pre-approval to exceed them.

"A greater understanding of regional economic conditions" - Bank of Canada official on reason for oil sands visit.

The Conservative government has for years been clamping down on travel and hospitality, setting tighter limits and encouraging teleconferencing, as it eliminates the federal deficit.

A bank spokeswoman declined to answer a series of questions about the cost of the Edmonton-Fort McMurray events.

"The Bank of Canada has its own policies and guidelines for travel-related expenses," Louise Egan, a media-relations official, said in an email. "It takes guidance from the policy directives of the federal government but is not bound by them." She did not respond to a question about whether the bank had abided by its own guidelines for the June events.

Asked about the value for public money for the Alberta events, Egan said such regional meetings "afford the board and staff members an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of regional economic conditions and the outlook for key industries."

Carney farewell cost $30K
Former Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney was treated to three farewell bashes that cost about $30,000 in 2013. (Alastair Grant/Reuters/Pool)

In 2013, the Bank of Canada’s hospitality policy came under scrutiny when The Canadian Press reported officials spent about $30,000 for three farewell bashes for outgoing governor Mark Carney. At the time, bank officials volunteered much of the cost information.

Last fall, Poloz himself generated headlines when he suggested unemployed young people should seek unpaid work as interns to gain job experience, a suggestion slammed by critics who said only the children of the rich could afford to give up a paycheque.
The Bank of Canada is currently refurbishing its Wellington Street headquarters in a $460-million construction project, with another $150 million budgeted to locate staff to temporary offices while the work continues to 2016.

Follow @DeanBeeby on Twitter

And if that were not enough Mr. Poloz distinguished himself with this gem of a bozo eruption. Wonder if he or his children would work for free? Looks like he still hasn't mastered the concept free labour is never appreciated.
Try it yourself, e-mailer tells Poloz after work-for-free remark

By Greg Quinn
Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Governor of the Bank of Canada Stephen Poloz. Unpaid job experience "is very worth it," Poloz said at a press conference in Toronto after speaking to a business audience there. (Photograph: Cole Burston/Bloomberg)

If Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz had any doubt that his comment suggesting jobless young people should work for free to build a resume was controversial, this e-mail should have cleared it up:

“As the parent of three young people, I say they will work for free when you do,” one person said in an e-mail from Vancouver.

Poloz’s Nov. 3 comments, aimed at what he called kids living in parents’ basement, provoked written responses from at least 51 people, 13 of whom suggested the governor himself should try working for free. Ten people suggested Poloz was advocating a form of slavery. The e-mails were contained in 115 pages of correspondence sent to Bloomberg News after a freedom of information request.

Unpaid job experience “is very worth it,” Poloz said at a press conference in Toronto after speaking to a business audience there. He reiterated his comments later that week in parliamentary testimony. The Governor was offering his advice for young people struggling in what he called a tough job market, and his words became front-page news.

The documents didn’t include any responses from Poloz. He did respond to some of the correspondence, however it was outside the timeframe of Bloomberg’s information request, Josianne Ménard, a Bank of Canada spokeswoman, said by e-mail, adding the volume of correspondence during the period was “slightly higher” than usual.
Out of Touch

Criticism arrived from a variety of people, among them a retired employment counselor, the head of one of the country’s largest labor unions and the Ontario employment minister. Messages range from formal, polite letters questioning Poloz’s grasp of economic policy to profane e-mails fired off from mobile devices.

“Mr. Poloz has presented himself as being just as out of touch with Canadians as the corporations he obviously serves,” one person wrote.

Three people referred to French Queen Marie Antoinette. Eight resorted to profanity. Three said the governor should resign.

“What does this guy know about the horrors of unemployment, poor wages, poverty and all that junk that afflicts folks who are trapped in these cycles of lack,” one person wrote.

Kevin Flynn, Ontario’s labor minister, said “the rise of unpaid work is a troubling phenomenon that undermines minimum wage laws and other employment standards,” in his letter dated Nov. 7.

Not everyone disagreed with Poloz. Four people expressed support for his position, including one person who called it “good advice,” and offered the governor some guidance:

“Treat this tempest as training for the slings and arrows that will be hurled your way once the time comes for the Bank to start raising interest rates.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Quinn in Ottawa at gquinn1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net Chris Fournier, Carlos Caminada

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