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Choice of new Bank of Canada chief may come within weeksSean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty could be in a position to choose Canada's next central bank governor within a couple of weeks, if not sooner.

The Bank of Canada's board of directors will interview final candidates at a meeting in Ottawa early next week, and could present Mr. Flaherty with a short list by Thursday or Friday, according to a person familiar with the hiring process.

While the board likely will advise the Minister on its preferred replacement for Mark Carney, Mr. Flaherty said in January that he would interview a short list of "qualified candidates" himself.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's opinion also will carry considerable weight, as the governor of the Bank of Canada by law is a decision of Cabinet. Clearing the Cabinet process likely will delay a final decision until at least the second week of April, the person said.

Tiff Macklem, the senior deputy governor at the Bank of Canada, and Stephen Poloz, a former central bank economist who now runs Export Development Canada, are considered the leading candidates. Both declined to comment on speculation that they are in contention to lead the central bank.

The job search was necessitated by Mr. Carney's surprise decision in November to accept an offer from the British government to lead the Bank of England, effective July 1. Mr. Carney's tenure at the Bank of Canada ends June 1.