Ottawa asks Canadians if Canada Savings Bonds are outdated – The Globe and Mail

Finance Minister Bill Morneau says he wants to hear from Canadians about whether Ottawa should scrap the 70-year-old Canada Savings Bonds program.

For decades, the federal government has run folksy television ads promoting “safe, cashable, Canada Savings Bonds” as a reliable option for savers. But as Ottawa expanded its backstop of private-sector savings options through the Canada Deposit Insurance Corp., many fixed-income investors have shifted their savings elsewhere.

The value of bonds under the program has fallen from -billion in 1987 to just over -billion in 2015. A 2015 review by KPMG for the Department of Finance found it was costing Ottawa -million a year and there was “no valid economic rationale” for the program.

“I know that there are Canadians who make use of Canada Savings Bonds. I also know that my ongoing responsibility is to make sure that the programs that we have in place function as we expect them to,” Mr. Morneau told reporters Tuesday following a cabinet meeting on Parliament Hill.

The minister was responding to a report by the French service of the CBC that said the government is considering whether to phase out the program in the 2017 budget. Mr. Morneau said Tuesday that no decision has been made.

“If Canadians have a point of view on the importance of Canada Savings Bonds for them, we’d be happy to hear them in our prebudget consultations,” he said. “We will, on an ongoing basis, consider all Canadian programs to make sure that they’re efficient, that they meet the objectives that are set out and, in that regard, we will look at this one as well. Should we hear points of view from Canadians that help us to best evaluate that, we’ll take them into consideration.”

The question of whether to wind down the program has surfaced from time to time as its popularity continued to wane. It currently operates in two parts under a heading called the Retail Debt Program. That includes Canada Savings Bonds that are sold through payroll deductions and Canada Premium Bonds that are sold by banks, investment dealers and over the phone.

Canadian Labour Congress president Hassan Yussuff said he’s been using Canada Savings Bonds for decades and has the amount deducted from his pay.

“I appreciate the fact that it’s there and I obviously find it of value,” he said, noting that the savings are secure and easy to access. “It’s a good structure and I don’t know why the government would want to get rid of it.”

Mr. Yussuff suggested the program could be expanded by offering green bonds for Canadians who want to support the financing of environmental projects.

In 2015, under the Conservative government, Finance Canada responded to the KPMG recommendations by noting that the program could come in handy when interest rates inevitably rise. The department also argued that KPMG’s finding that the program was not cost effective was based on the current historically low interest-rate environment.

“Approximately 2.5 million Canadians continue to hold over -billion of Government of Canada Retail Debt products, demonstrating Canadians’ continuing support for the program,” the department said last year.

Many alternatives to savings bonds are protected by the government through Canada Deposit Insurance Corp. Protected savings include up to 0,000 per depositor per category of savings, such as savings accounts or term deposits that mature within five years.



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Follow on Twitter: @curryb

Ottawa asks Canadians if Canada Savings Bonds are outdated – The Globe and Mail

Finance Minister Bill Morneau says he wants to hear from Canadians about whether Ottawa should scrap the 70-year-old Canada Savings Bonds program.

For decades, the federal government has run folksy television ads promoting “safe, cashable, Canada Savings Bonds” as a reliable option for savers. But as Ottawa expanded its backstop of private-sector savings options through the Canada Deposit Insurance Corp., many fixed-income investors have shifted their savings elsewhere.

The value of bonds under the program has fallen from -billion in 1987 to just over -billion in 2015. A 2015 review by KPMG for the Department of Finance found it was costing Ottawa -million a year and there was “no valid economic rationale” for the program.

“I know that there are Canadians who make use of Canada Savings Bonds. I also know that my ongoing responsibility is to make sure that the programs that we have in place function as we expect them to,” Mr. Morneau told reporters Tuesday following a cabinet meeting on Parliament Hill.

The minister was responding to a report by the French service of the CBC that said the government is considering whether to phase out the program in the 2017 budget. Mr. Morneau said Tuesday that no decision has been made.

“If Canadians have a point of view on the importance of Canada Savings Bonds for them, we’d be happy to hear them in our prebudget consultations,” he said. “We will, on an ongoing basis, consider all Canadian programs to make sure that they’re efficient, that they meet the objectives that are set out and, in that regard, we will look at this one as well. Should we hear points of view from Canadians that help us to best evaluate that, we’ll take them into consideration.”

The question of whether to wind down the program has surfaced from time to time as its popularity continued to wane. It currently operates in two parts under a heading called the Retail Debt Program. That includes Canada Savings Bonds that are sold through payroll deductions and Canada Premium Bonds that are sold by banks, investment dealers and over the phone.

Canadian Labour Congress president Hassan Yussuff said he’s been using Canada Savings Bonds for decades and has the amount deducted from his pay.

“I appreciate the fact that it’s there and I obviously find it of value,” he said, noting that the savings are secure and easy to access. “It’s a good structure and I don’t know why the government would want to get rid of it.”

Mr. Yussuff suggested the program could be expanded by offering green bonds for Canadians who want to support the financing of environmental projects.

In 2015, under the Conservative government, Finance Canada responded to the KPMG recommendations by noting that the program could come in handy when interest rates inevitably rise. The department also argued that KPMG’s finding that the program was not cost effective was based on the current historically low interest-rate environment.

“Approximately 2.5 million Canadians continue to hold over -billion of Government of Canada Retail Debt products, demonstrating Canadians’ continuing support for the program,” the department said last year.

Many alternatives to savings bonds are protected by the government through Canada Deposit Insurance Corp. Protected savings include up to 0,000 per depositor per category of savings, such as savings accounts or term deposits that mature within five years.



Report Typo/Error

Follow on Twitter: @curryb

Ottawa asks Canadians if Canada Savings Bonds are outdated – The Globe and Mail

Finance Minister Bill Morneau says he wants to hear from Canadians about whether Ottawa should scrap the 70-year-old Canada Savings Bonds program.

For decades, the federal government has run folksy television ads promoting “safe, cashable, Canada Savings Bonds” as a reliable option for savers. But as Ottawa expanded its backstop of private-sector savings options through the Canada Deposit Insurance Corp., many fixed-income investors have shifted their savings elsewhere.

The value of bonds under the program has fallen from -billion in 1987 to just over -billion in 2015. A 2015 review by KPMG for the Department of Finance found it was costing Ottawa -million a year and there was “no valid economic rationale” for the program.

“I know that there are Canadians who make use of Canada Savings Bonds. I also know that my ongoing responsibility is to make sure that the programs that we have in place function as we expect them to,” Mr. Morneau told reporters Tuesday following a cabinet meeting on Parliament Hill.

The minister was responding to a report by the French service of the CBC that said the government is considering whether to phase out the program in the 2017 budget. Mr. Morneau said Tuesday that no decision has been made.

“If Canadians have a point of view on the importance of Canada Savings Bonds for them, we’d be happy to hear them in our prebudget consultations,” he said. “We will, on an ongoing basis, consider all Canadian programs to make sure that they’re efficient, that they meet the objectives that are set out and, in that regard, we will look at this one as well. Should we hear points of view from Canadians that help us to best evaluate that, we’ll take them into consideration.”

The question of whether to wind down the program has surfaced from time to time as its popularity continued to wane. It currently operates in two parts under a heading called the Retail Debt Program. That includes Canada Savings Bonds that are sold through payroll deductions and Canada Premium Bonds that are sold by banks, investment dealers and over the phone.

Canadian Labour Congress president Hassan Yussuff said he’s been using Canada Savings Bonds for decades and has the amount deducted from his pay.

“I appreciate the fact that it’s there and I obviously find it of value,” he said, noting that the savings are secure and easy to access. “It’s a good structure and I don’t know why the government would want to get rid of it.”

Mr. Yussuff suggested the program could be expanded by offering green bonds for Canadians who want to support the financing of environmental projects.

In 2015, under the Conservative government, Finance Canada responded to the KPMG recommendations by noting that the program could come in handy when interest rates inevitably rise. The department also argued that KPMG’s finding that the program was not cost effective was based on the current historically low interest-rate environment.

“Approximately 2.5 million Canadians continue to hold over -billion of Government of Canada Retail Debt products, demonstrating Canadians’ continuing support for the program,” the department said last year.

Many alternatives to savings bonds are protected by the government through Canada Deposit Insurance Corp. Protected savings include up to 0,000 per depositor per category of savings, such as savings accounts or term deposits that mature within five years.



Report Typo/Error

Follow on Twitter: @curryb

FOREX-Mexican and Canadian currencies rise, investors feel Clinton won deb… – Reuters


* Mexican peso climbs about 2 pct, Canadian dollar rises

* Dollar/yen up from recent 1-month low

* Clinton seen keeping status quo, uncertainty over Trump

(Updates throughout, adds fresh quote)

By Anirban Nag

LONDON, Sept 27 The Mexican peso rose 2 percent
on Tuesday after record lows against the U.S. dollar, buoyed by
a view that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton
fared better than rival Donald Trump in a television debate.

The peso was on track for its best daily rise in
three weeks, lifting the higher-yielding Canadian dollar
along with it. Canada, like Mexico, has close trade ties with
the United States and is part of the North American Free Trade
Agreement.

Markets have tended to regard Clinton as someone who is
likely to retain the status quo, while few are sure what a Trump
presidency might mean for U.S. foreign policy, international
trade deals or the domestic economy.

Higher-yielding currencies like the Australian and
New Zealand dollars also did well, rising 0.3 percent
against the U.S. dollar. The safe-haven yen
underperformed.

“The currency market is dominated by risk-on. Not only the
currencies of the neighbouring countries Mexico and Canada were
able to appreciate notably, but also other conventional risk
currencies such as the Aussie, kiwi and the Scandinavian
currencies,” said Esther Reichelt, currency strategist at
Commerzbank.

“Similar to the June 23 Brexit referendum date, Nov. 8 (the
presidential election date) entails some very binary risks.
Either everything remains as it is, which a Clinton victory
would imply, or there is a likelihood of everything or at least
a lot changing rapidly.”

Earlier, the Mexican peso touched record lows of around
19.92 pesos per dollar on concerns that a Trump victory would
threaten Mexico’s exports to the United States, its single
biggest market. Data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading
Commission on Friday showed that speculators had recently ramped
up their bearish bets against the peso.

It was trading at 19.5950 in Europe, up around 1.4 percent
on the day. Similarly the Canadian dollar was flat at C.3215
per U.S. dollar, having weakened to a six-month low
earlier in the Asian trading session.

Earlier, both presidential candidates traded barbs and
accusations in their first debate. Clinton accused Trump of
racism, sexism and tax avoidance while the real estate tycoon,
making his first run for public office, said Clinton’s long
years of service represented “bad experience”.

A CNN/ORC snap poll said 62 percent of respondents felt
Clinton won and 27 percent believed Trump had prevailed.

“Markets fretted that a strong Trump performance would add
to his recent momentum, but the consensus takeaway was that
Clinton had the upper hand with a sharp performance and the
concern in asset markets yielded to a relief rally,” said John
Hardy, head of currency strategy at Saxo Bank.

(Editing by Mark Heinrich)

FOREX-Mexican and Canadian currencies rise, investors feel Clinton won deb… – Reuters


* Mexican peso climbs about 2 pct, Canadian dollar rises

* Dollar/yen up from recent 1-month low

* Clinton seen keeping status quo, uncertainty over Trump

(Updates throughout, adds fresh quote)

By Anirban Nag

LONDON, Sept 27 The Mexican peso rose 2 percent
on Tuesday after record lows against the U.S. dollar, buoyed by
a view that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton
fared better than rival Donald Trump in a television debate.

The peso was on track for its best daily rise in
three weeks, lifting the higher-yielding Canadian dollar
along with it. Canada, like Mexico, has close trade ties with
the United States and is part of the North American Free Trade
Agreement.

Markets have tended to regard Clinton as someone who is
likely to retain the status quo, while few are sure what a Trump
presidency might mean for U.S. foreign policy, international
trade deals or the domestic economy.

Higher-yielding currencies like the Australian and
New Zealand dollars also did well, rising 0.3 percent
against the U.S. dollar. The safe-haven yen
underperformed.

“The currency market is dominated by risk-on. Not only the
currencies of the neighbouring countries Mexico and Canada were
able to appreciate notably, but also other conventional risk
currencies such as the Aussie, kiwi and the Scandinavian
currencies,” said Esther Reichelt, currency strategist at
Commerzbank.

“Similar to the June 23 Brexit referendum date, Nov. 8 (the
presidential election date) entails some very binary risks.
Either everything remains as it is, which a Clinton victory
would imply, or there is a likelihood of everything or at least
a lot changing rapidly.”

Earlier, the Mexican peso touched record lows of around
19.92 pesos per dollar on concerns that a Trump victory would
threaten Mexico’s exports to the United States, its single
biggest market. Data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading
Commission on Friday showed that speculators had recently ramped
up their bearish bets against the peso.

It was trading at 19.5950 in Europe, up around 1.4 percent
on the day. Similarly the Canadian dollar was flat at C.3215
per U.S. dollar, having weakened to a six-month low
earlier in the Asian trading session.

Earlier, both presidential candidates traded barbs and
accusations in their first debate. Clinton accused Trump of
racism, sexism and tax avoidance while the real estate tycoon,
making his first run for public office, said Clinton’s long
years of service represented “bad experience”.

A CNN/ORC snap poll said 62 percent of respondents felt
Clinton won and 27 percent believed Trump had prevailed.

“Markets fretted that a strong Trump performance would add
to his recent momentum, but the consensus takeaway was that
Clinton had the upper hand with a sharp performance and the
concern in asset markets yielded to a relief rally,” said John
Hardy, head of currency strategy at Saxo Bank.

(Editing by Mark Heinrich)

FOREX-Mexican and Canadian currencies rise, investors feel Clinton won deb… – Reuters


* Mexican peso climbs about 2 pct, Canadian dollar rises

* Dollar/yen up from recent 1-month low

* Clinton seen keeping status quo, uncertainty over Trump

(Updates throughout, adds fresh quote)

By Anirban Nag

LONDON, Sept 27 The Mexican peso rose 2 percent
on Tuesday after record lows against the U.S. dollar, buoyed by
a view that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton
fared better than rival Donald Trump in a television debate.

The peso was on track for its best daily rise in
three weeks, lifting the higher-yielding Canadian dollar
along with it. Canada, like Mexico, has close trade ties with
the United States and is part of the North American Free Trade
Agreement.

Markets have tended to regard Clinton as someone who is
likely to retain the status quo, while few are sure what a Trump
presidency might mean for U.S. foreign policy, international
trade deals or the domestic economy.

Higher-yielding currencies like the Australian and
New Zealand dollars also did well, rising 0.3 percent
against the U.S. dollar. The safe-haven yen
underperformed.

“The currency market is dominated by risk-on. Not only the
currencies of the neighbouring countries Mexico and Canada were
able to appreciate notably, but also other conventional risk
currencies such as the Aussie, kiwi and the Scandinavian
currencies,” said Esther Reichelt, currency strategist at
Commerzbank.

“Similar to the June 23 Brexit referendum date, Nov. 8 (the
presidential election date) entails some very binary risks.
Either everything remains as it is, which a Clinton victory
would imply, or there is a likelihood of everything or at least
a lot changing rapidly.”

Earlier, the Mexican peso touched record lows of around
19.92 pesos per dollar on concerns that a Trump victory would
threaten Mexico’s exports to the United States, its single
biggest market. Data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading
Commission on Friday showed that speculators had recently ramped
up their bearish bets against the peso.

It was trading at 19.5950 in Europe, up around 1.4 percent
on the day. Similarly the Canadian dollar was flat at C.3215
per U.S. dollar, having weakened to a six-month low
earlier in the Asian trading session.

Earlier, both presidential candidates traded barbs and
accusations in their first debate. Clinton accused Trump of
racism, sexism and tax avoidance while the real estate tycoon,
making his first run for public office, said Clinton’s long
years of service represented “bad experience”.

A CNN/ORC snap poll said 62 percent of respondents felt
Clinton won and 27 percent believed Trump had prevailed.

“Markets fretted that a strong Trump performance would add
to his recent momentum, but the consensus takeaway was that
Clinton had the upper hand with a sharp performance and the
concern in asset markets yielded to a relief rally,” said John
Hardy, head of currency strategy at Saxo Bank.

(Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Ottawa asks Canadians if Canada Savings Bonds are outdated – The Globe and Mail

Finance Minister Bill Morneau says he wants to hear from Canadians about whether Ottawa should scrap the 70-year-old Canada Savings Bonds program.

For decades, the federal government has run folksy television ads promoting “safe, cashable, Canada Savings Bonds” as a reliable option for savers. But as Ottawa expanded its backstop of private-sector savings options through the Canada Deposit Insurance Corp., many fixed-income investors have shifted their savings elsewhere.

The value of bonds under the program has fallen from -billion in 1987 to just over -billion in 2015. A 2015 review by KPMG for the Department of Finance found it was costing Ottawa -million a year and there was “no valid economic rationale” for the program.

“I know that there are Canadians who make use of Canada Savings Bonds. I also know that my ongoing responsibility is to make sure that the programs that we have in place function as we expect them to,” Mr. Morneau told reporters Tuesday following a cabinet meeting on Parliament Hill.

The minister was responding to a report by the French service of the CBC that said the government is considering whether to phase out the program in the 2017 budget. Mr. Morneau said Tuesday that no decision has been made.

“If Canadians have a point of view on the importance of Canada Savings Bonds for them, we’d be happy to hear them in our prebudget consultations,” he said. “We will, on an ongoing basis, consider all Canadian programs to make sure that they’re efficient, that they meet the objectives that are set out and, in that regard, we will look at this one as well. Should we hear points of view from Canadians that help us to best evaluate that, we’ll take them into consideration.”

The question of whether to wind down the program has surfaced from time to time as its popularity continued to wane. It currently operates in two parts under a heading called the Retail Debt Program. That includes Canada Savings Bonds that are sold through payroll deductions and Canada Premium Bonds that are sold by banks, investment dealers and over the phone.

Canadian Labour Congress president Hassan Yussuff said he’s been using Canada Savings Bonds for decades and has the amount deducted from his pay.

“I appreciate the fact that it’s there and I obviously find it of value,” he said, noting that the savings are secure and easy to access. “It’s a good structure and I don’t know why the government would want to get rid of it.”

Mr. Yussuff suggested the program could be expanded by offering green bonds for Canadians who want to support the financing of environmental projects.

In 2015, under the Conservative government, Finance Canada responded to the KPMG recommendations by noting that the program could come in handy when interest rates inevitably rise. The department also argued that KPMG’s finding that the program was not cost effective was based on the current historically low interest-rate environment.

“Approximately 2.5 million Canadians continue to hold over -billion of Government of Canada Retail Debt products, demonstrating Canadians’ continuing support for the program,” the department said last year.

Many alternatives to savings bonds are protected by the government through Canada Deposit Insurance Corp. Protected savings include up to 0,000 per depositor per category of savings, such as savings accounts or term deposits that mature within five years.



Report Typo/Error

Follow on Twitter: @curryb

Ottawa asks Canadians if Canada Savings Bonds are outdated – The Globe and Mail

Finance Minister Bill Morneau says he wants to hear from Canadians about whether Ottawa should scrap the 70-year-old Canada Savings Bonds program.

For decades, the federal government has run folksy television ads promoting “safe, cashable, Canada Savings Bonds” as a reliable option for savers. But as Ottawa expanded its backstop of private-sector savings options through the Canada Deposit Insurance Corp., many fixed-income investors have shifted their savings elsewhere.

The value of bonds under the program has fallen from -billion in 1987 to just over -billion in 2015. A 2015 review by KPMG for the Department of Finance found it was costing Ottawa -million a year and there was “no valid economic rationale” for the program.

“I know that there are Canadians who make use of Canada Savings Bonds. I also know that my ongoing responsibility is to make sure that the programs that we have in place function as we expect them to,” Mr. Morneau told reporters Tuesday following a cabinet meeting on Parliament Hill.

The minister was responding to a report by the French service of the CBC that said the government is considering whether to phase out the program in the 2017 budget. Mr. Morneau said Tuesday that no decision has been made.

“If Canadians have a point of view on the importance of Canada Savings Bonds for them, we’d be happy to hear them in our prebudget consultations,” he said. “We will, on an ongoing basis, consider all Canadian programs to make sure that they’re efficient, that they meet the objectives that are set out and, in that regard, we will look at this one as well. Should we hear points of view from Canadians that help us to best evaluate that, we’ll take them into consideration.”

The question of whether to wind down the program has surfaced from time to time as its popularity continued to wane. It currently operates in two parts under a heading called the Retail Debt Program. That includes Canada Savings Bonds that are sold through payroll deductions and Canada Premium Bonds that are sold by banks, investment dealers and over the phone.

Canadian Labour Congress president Hassan Yussuff said he’s been using Canada Savings Bonds for decades and has the amount deducted from his pay.

“I appreciate the fact that it’s there and I obviously find it of value,” he said, noting that the savings are secure and easy to access. “It’s a good structure and I don’t know why the government would want to get rid of it.”

Mr. Yussuff suggested the program could be expanded by offering green bonds for Canadians who want to support the financing of environmental projects.

In 2015, under the Conservative government, Finance Canada responded to the KPMG recommendations by noting that the program could come in handy when interest rates inevitably rise. The department also argued that KPMG’s finding that the program was not cost effective was based on the current historically low interest-rate environment.

“Approximately 2.5 million Canadians continue to hold over -billion of Government of Canada Retail Debt products, demonstrating Canadians’ continuing support for the program,” the department said last year.

Many alternatives to savings bonds are protected by the government through Canada Deposit Insurance Corp. Protected savings include up to 0,000 per depositor per category of savings, such as savings accounts or term deposits that mature within five years.



Report Typo/Error

Follow on Twitter: @curryb

Ottawa asks Canadians if Canada Savings Bonds are outdated – The Globe and Mail

Finance Minister Bill Morneau says he wants to hear from Canadians about whether Ottawa should scrap the 70-year-old Canada Savings Bonds program.

For decades, the federal government has run folksy television ads promoting “safe, cashable, Canada Savings Bonds” as a reliable option for savers. But as Ottawa expanded its backstop of private-sector savings options through the Canada Deposit Insurance Corp., many fixed-income investors have shifted their savings elsewhere.

The value of bonds under the program has fallen from -billion in 1987 to just over -billion in 2015. A 2015 review by KPMG for the Department of Finance found it was costing Ottawa -million a year and there was “no valid economic rationale” for the program.

“I know that there are Canadians who make use of Canada Savings Bonds. I also know that my ongoing responsibility is to make sure that the programs that we have in place function as we expect them to,” Mr. Morneau told reporters Tuesday following a cabinet meeting on Parliament Hill.

The minister was responding to a report by the French service of the CBC that said the government is considering whether to phase out the program in the 2017 budget. Mr. Morneau said Tuesday that no decision has been made.

“If Canadians have a point of view on the importance of Canada Savings Bonds for them, we’d be happy to hear them in our prebudget consultations,” he said. “We will, on an ongoing basis, consider all Canadian programs to make sure that they’re efficient, that they meet the objectives that are set out and, in that regard, we will look at this one as well. Should we hear points of view from Canadians that help us to best evaluate that, we’ll take them into consideration.”

The question of whether to wind down the program has surfaced from time to time as its popularity continued to wane. It currently operates in two parts under a heading called the Retail Debt Program. That includes Canada Savings Bonds that are sold through payroll deductions and Canada Premium Bonds that are sold by banks, investment dealers and over the phone.

Canadian Labour Congress president Hassan Yussuff said he’s been using Canada Savings Bonds for decades and has the amount deducted from his pay.

“I appreciate the fact that it’s there and I obviously find it of value,” he said, noting that the savings are secure and easy to access. “It’s a good structure and I don’t know why the government would want to get rid of it.”

Mr. Yussuff suggested the program could be expanded by offering green bonds for Canadians who want to support the financing of environmental projects.

In 2015, under the Conservative government, Finance Canada responded to the KPMG recommendations by noting that the program could come in handy when interest rates inevitably rise. The department also argued that KPMG’s finding that the program was not cost effective was based on the current historically low interest-rate environment.

“Approximately 2.5 million Canadians continue to hold over -billion of Government of Canada Retail Debt products, demonstrating Canadians’ continuing support for the program,” the department said last year.

Many alternatives to savings bonds are protected by the government through Canada Deposit Insurance Corp. Protected savings include up to 0,000 per depositor per category of savings, such as savings accounts or term deposits that mature within five years.



Report Typo/Error

Follow on Twitter: @curryb

Ottawa asks Canadians if Canada Savings Bonds are outdated – The Globe and Mail

Finance Minister Bill Morneau says he wants to hear from Canadians about whether Ottawa should scrap the 70-year-old Canada Savings Bonds program.

For decades, the federal government has run folksy television ads promoting “safe, cashable, Canada Savings Bonds” as a reliable option for savers. But as Ottawa expanded its backstop of private-sector savings options through the Canada Deposit Insurance Corp., many fixed-income investors have shifted their savings elsewhere.

The value of bonds under the program has fallen from -billion in 1987 to just over -billion in 2015. A 2015 review by KPMG for the Department of Finance found it was costing Ottawa -million a year and there was “no valid economic rationale” for the program.

“I know that there are Canadians who make use of Canada Savings Bonds. I also know that my ongoing responsibility is to make sure that the programs that we have in place function as we expect them to,” Mr. Morneau told reporters Tuesday following a cabinet meeting on Parliament Hill.

The minister was responding to a report by the French service of the CBC that said the government is considering whether to phase out the program in the 2017 budget. Mr. Morneau said Tuesday that no decision has been made.

“If Canadians have a point of view on the importance of Canada Savings Bonds for them, we’d be happy to hear them in our prebudget consultations,” he said. “We will, on an ongoing basis, consider all Canadian programs to make sure that they’re efficient, that they meet the objectives that are set out and, in that regard, we will look at this one as well. Should we hear points of view from Canadians that help us to best evaluate that, we’ll take them into consideration.”

The question of whether to wind down the program has surfaced from time to time as its popularity continued to wane. It currently operates in two parts under a heading called the Retail Debt Program. That includes Canada Savings Bonds that are sold through payroll deductions and Canada Premium Bonds that are sold by banks, investment dealers and over the phone.

Canadian Labour Congress president Hassan Yussuff said he’s been using Canada Savings Bonds for decades and has the amount deducted from his pay.

“I appreciate the fact that it’s there and I obviously find it of value,” he said, noting that the savings are secure and easy to access. “It’s a good structure and I don’t know why the government would want to get rid of it.”

Mr. Yussuff suggested the program could be expanded by offering green bonds for Canadians who want to support the financing of environmental projects.

In 2015, under the Conservative government, Finance Canada responded to the KPMG recommendations by noting that the program could come in handy when interest rates inevitably rise. The department also argued that KPMG’s finding that the program was not cost effective was based on the current historically low interest-rate environment.

“Approximately 2.5 million Canadians continue to hold over -billion of Government of Canada Retail Debt products, demonstrating Canadians’ continuing support for the program,” the department said last year.

Many alternatives to savings bonds are protected by the government through Canada Deposit Insurance Corp. Protected savings include up to 0,000 per depositor per category of savings, such as savings accounts or term deposits that mature within five years.



Report Typo/Error

Follow on Twitter: @curryb