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Thiessen, Gordon (1938–)

Gordon Thiessen addressing the Regina Chamber of Commerce, September 1999.
Roy Antal (Regina Leader-Post)

Gordon Thiessen was born in 1938 in Ontario, but grew up in several small towns across Saskatchewan. Studying economics at the University of Saskatchewan, he completed his BA in 1960 and MA in 1961, and took his PhD from the London School of Economics in 1972. Thiessen began working for the Bank of Canada in 1963 in research and analysis. From 1973 to 1975 he served as visiting economist at the Reserve Bank of Australia. Returning to the Bank of Canada, he was appointed Advisor to the Governor in 1979, Deputy Governor in 1984, Senior Deputy Governor in 1987, and finally Governor for a seven-year period between 1994 and 2001. His leadership was marked by transparency and accountability, as he presided over an era of economic boom, setting bank rates and promoting anti-inflation while distancing Canadian monetary policy from American practices. As a result, the Canadian dollar weakened against the world market, which drew criticism from business leaders. Since his resignation in 2001, Thiessen has been awarded the Order of Canada. He is a member of the University of Saskatchewan Board of Governors, the founding chair of the Canadian Public Accountability Board, a member of the Institute for Public Policy, and a director of both IPSCO and Manulife Financial.

Merle Massie

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