Agathe Côté, Deputy Governor, Bank of Canada

EVENT DATE: January 10, 2011
TOPIC: Trends in the Canadian economy, with a focus on the household sector

Agathe Côté’s speech attracted much media attention.  Here is how the television station CKWS summarized it.  She spoke about the importance household spending has played in Canada’s recovery.  She said a number of factors – like the tax rebate on home renovations and consumer confidence – brought Canada out of the recession.  But all that spending has led to higher debt loads for consumers.  Canada’s recovery is closely tied to the United States — which is our largest trading partner.  She said: “Going forward the bank expects the composition of demand to shift away from government and household spending towards business investment and net exports and in that regard the surge in business investment that started in the past year is a very encouraging start.”  Her full speech is available on the Bank of Canada’s website.

The luncheon was held at Minos Uptown Village Restaurant, Kingston, and was attended by 102 people.  Invited guests were: Peter Milliken, MP for Kingston and the Islands, and Speaker of the House of Commons; John Gerretsen, Ontario MLA and Minister of the Environment; Brian Reitzel, Councillor, Pittsburgh District; Florence Campbell, President, Community Foundation for Kingston and Area; Frank Milne, Queen’s University, BMO Professor of Economics and Finance – and formerly Special Advisor, Bank of Canada; Lloyd Fleming, Regional VP, Bank of Montreal; and John-Paul Shearer, Director of Business Development, KEDCO.

Agathe Côté is one of two deputy governors responsible for overseeing the Bank’s analysis and activities in promoting a stable and efficient financial system.  As a member of the Bank’s Governing Council, she shares responsibility for decisions with respect to monetary policy and financial system stability, and for setting the strategic direction of the Bank.

Ms Côté joined the Bank in 1982 as an economist.  After assuming a series of positions of increasing responsibility, she was appointed Deputy Governor effective 30 July 2010.  Born in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, she received a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1981 and a master’s degree in economics in 1983, both from the University of Montréal.

The Bank of Canada is the nation’s central bank. It is responsible for Canada’s monetary policy, bank notes, financial system and funds management. Its main role, as defined in the Bank of Canada Act, is “to promote the economic and financial welfare of Canada.”  It does not offer banking services to the public.

Summary by John Foster