Canadian Dollar Idea Causes Kerfuffle

5.3.2012
Words by Paul Fontaine
A Progressive-led initiative for Iceland to take up the Canadian dollar as its currency has reportedly caused a minor diplomatic incident. The Progressives blame the ruling coalition for blocking proceedings.

As reported, Canadian ambassador to Iceland Alan Bones confirmed that the Central Bank of Canada is ready for formal talks with the Icelandic government over adopting the Canadian dollar as the new national currency. The idea is not a new one, having been bandied about since at least 2009, but this marked the first time a Canadian official publicly stated a willingness for talks.

However, the idea was also initiated by the Progressive Party, which is in the opposition. The Social Democrats and the Leftist-Greens, who comprise the ruling coalition, have as a part of their platform accession into the European Union, and would thus be diametrically opposed to adopting the Canadian dollar. Even the far-left anti-EU flank of the Leftist-Greens would be opposed, as they want Iceland to keep the crown.

This has led to what The Star has called a "diplomatic embarrassment". Bones was initially supposed to speak at a meeting of Progressives last Saturday. However, The Star reported that Ottawa said Bones would "not be participating in the Icelandic conference tomorrow on currency matters, and will not be speaking on the issue."

This has enraged Progressive chairman Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, Eyjan reports, accusing the Icelandic government of intervening. "It's one thing if the government just wants the EU and the euro," he said. "But out of the question that it would try to disrupt any discussion about any other solution."

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