The Bank of Canada’s Carolyn Wilkins got to do something on July 13, 2016, that none of the nine men who preceded her in the role of senior deputy governor had ever done: play governor.
Wilkins, who had been elevated from the rank of adviser to second-in-command two years earlier, delivered the opening statement at the central bank’s quarterly press conference as Stephen Poloz, the governor, sat quietly by her side.
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Poloz wanted to signal that monetary policy was a team sport and not all about him. The moment also marked Wilkins’ arrival as a serious policy-maker, as it brought public recognition of an expanding role behind the scenes. She and Poloz would alternate leading the quarterly press events for the rest of Poloz’s tenure, which ended in June.
In the process, Wilkins became the first senior deputy governor who stood a chance of being recognized in public. It wasn’t enough to convince Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to make her governor, but it’s something she can shove in the face of those who used to sniff at her lack of PhD in economics.