*Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story reported that half of gold reserves had been sold off in early 2016, leaving 1.7 tonnes in the vaults by the beginning of February. Those numbers were based on International Monetary Fund statistics released Feb. 4. The IMF figures dated from late December, however, and additional sales were conducted through January, dropping the reserves to 0.62 tonnes. Global News regrets the confusion caused.
The government of Canada sold off large chunks of its gold reserves in recent weeks, continuing a pattern of moving away from the precious metal as a government asset.
According to the International Monetary Fund’s International Financial Statistics, Canada held three tonnes of gold reserves as of late 2015.
The latest data, published last week by the Department of Finance, show the total Canadian gold reserves have now dropped to 0.62 tonnes. That’s less than 0.1 per cent of the country’s total reserves, which also include foreign currency deposits and bonds. In comparison, the U.S. holds 8,133 tonnes of gold, while the United Kingdom weighs in at 310 tonnes.
The decision to sell came from Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s office.