The Bank of Canada is owned by the people of Canada – the Minister of Finance holding 100% of the Bank’s shares on our behalf. The Bank of Canada was nationalized to create a public bank – a public utility to finance public infrastructure.
A primary purpose of central banks is to hold the cash reserves of the country’s commercial banks as non-interesting bearing deposits. An amendment to the Bank of Canada Act in 1967, prior to the Bank joining the Bank for International Settlements on January 2, 1970, allowed the Bank of Canada to accept interest bearing deposits from the Bank for International Settlements. Accepting interest bearing deposits turned the Bank of Canada into a ‘for profit’ central bank. It was no longer a ‘public utility’ beholden to the people of Canada.