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Economy BMO was ready to hail Macklem’s coronation before Poloz’s surprise

Canada’s Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, incoming Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz and outgoing governor Mark Carney pause before walking to a news conference announcing Mr. Poloz’s appointment in Ottawa on May 2, 2013.

CHRIS WATTIE/REUTERS

Just how certain was Bay Street that the Harper government would pick senior deputy governor Tiff Macklem as the next helmsman for the Bank of Canada?

Bank of Montreal on Thursday not only prepared a draft press release congratulating Mr. Macklem as Canada's new top central banker, it also sent Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's office an advance copy 90 minutes before the announcement – where Stephen Poloz was unveiled as the next governor.

"Tiff Macklem is an outstanding public servant with a wealth of experience and a steady hand that will serve the Bank of Canada and Canadians well," the release quoted BMO chief executive officer Bill Downe as saying.

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Bank of Montreal quickly shifted gears after Mr. Poloz was named and issued a release congratulating the former Export Development Canada head.

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