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Doug Ford calls for end to Bank of Canada interest rate hikes

Doug Ford has become the second Canadian premier to formally express his displeasure with interest rate hikes, calling on the Bank of Canada to end the increases, which he says are “hurting people.”

In a letter sent to the governor of the Bank of Canada on Sunday, Ford echoed the recent words of British Columbia Premier David Eby. He said interest rate hikes were a burden on people and businesses.

“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 said in his letter.

He argued that cooling inflation was a reason not to raise interest rates further.

The central bank’s key interest rate stands at 5.0 per cent following back-to-back increases.

Overall inflation cooled to 3.4 per cent in May from a recent peak of 8.1 per cent in June 2022, but the Bank of Canada’s policymakers have expressed concern that a tight labour market and a resilient economy could make it more difficult to tamp down inflation.

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Ford said people in Ontario “simply cannot cope with the higher monthly payments” on mortgages as a result of increased Bank of Canada rates.

He touted his government’s job creation plans and called for the federal government to “work with all premiers to build Canada for Canadians who are counting on us to make life easier and more affordable, now and for the future.”

The federal government helps set the mandate for the Bank of Canada but the central bank makes its monetary policy decisions independently.

“Instead of painful interest rate hikes, the federal government should work with provinces and territories to invest in and build out the critical infrastructure projects that will create more jobs with better paycheques,” Ford wrote.

— with files from Global News’ Craig Lord

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