Pierre Poilievre hates Canada’s central bank.
And who doesn’t hate the banks, right? But hating this particular bank while running for prime minister? That’s a big problem.
Because a central bank isn’t just any bank. The importance of it is found on the currency in your wallet or purse: The signatures on those bank notes belong to the governor and senior deputy director of the Bank of Canada. Not politicians.
Some days, we wonder if Pierre Poilievre wants “Pierre Poilievre” inscribed there. Because he sure thinks he’s smarter than Canada’s central bankers.
That’s a big problem, as noted, because the Bank of Canada controls our currency and our money supply — essentially, how much dough is in circulation at any given time. Their main job is stabilizing prices of things.
Central banks also determine interest rates, which is basically setting the cost of money. So, as you can see, the central bankers — who aren’t elected, but are selected by elected representatives — have a very big impact on your life and mine.
Poilievre says the Bank of Canada is “an ATM machine” for the government, which is a lot of crap. He says it’s “more and more political,” which also isn’t true. He supports a private member’s bill that would “audit” the Bank of Canada, which isn’t needed — because it already has auditors on its board.
Now Poilievre isn’t the first politician who wanted to control a central bank. Demagogues do it all the time. Donald Trump attacked America’s central bank regularly, likening it to a dictatorship, a form of government he usually approved of. Globally, Russian allies like Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan to India’s Narendra Modi have gone after central banks, as well.
It’s like Church and State: Central bankers shouldn’t involve themselves with politics, and politicians shouldn’t boss around central bankers. Because, among other things, politicians shouldn’t be deciding prices. Can you imagine?
But Pierre Poilievre is deeply arrogant, as seen in his repeated claim to be “running for prime minister” – meaning, he sees the Conservative leadership race as a mere trifling. He’s leader already, in effect, and is going straight for 24 Sussex Drive.
But Poilievre’s arrogant belief that he knows better than the Bank of Canada is dangerous. Evidence of that is found in the company he keeps.
This week, Mitchell Thompson at Press Progress published a lengthy investigation into Poilievre’s cozy association with a Bitcoin trader who also trades in COVID-19 conspiracy theories — and who has actually compared central banks to Nazism and slavery.
Last month, Poilievre was the star of Robert Breedlove’s podcast, What Is Money? Poilievre gushed that he often listens to Breedlove “late into the night.”
Poilievre: “I find (Breedlove) extremely informative and my wife and I have been known to watch YouTube and your channel late into the night once we’ve got the kids to bed. And I’ve always enjoyed it and I’ve learned a lot about Bitcoin and other monetary issues from listening to you.”
The rest of us usually go get a stiff drink after wrestling the kids to bed. At Poilievre’s house, they listen to a nutbar conspiracy theorist. Here’s a sampling of what they hear.
• COVID-19 isn’t really real. Instead, “COVID is a government diversion strategy.”
• COVID is “mass formation psychosis.”
• “Hitler would not be a household name if (government-issued) currency never existed … he used fiat currency to fund the blitzkrieg.”
• The World Economic Forum is comparable to “the former Nazi death camp Auschwitz.”
• “Central banking is an institution of slavery. Burn. It The. F***. Down.”
Were the Poilievres concerned with what they heard, post-bedtime? Nope. The Conservative leadership frontrunner told Breedlove he thinks his show — replete with Nazi and slavery analogies — is “extremely informative.”
It is “extremely informative,” although not in the way that Pierre Poilievre wants.
It is extremely nuts.