Dodge says people his age are a national asset

Bank of Canada governor David Dodge, who is 63, says the nation must take advantage of the knowledge and skills of people his age.

Canada'schief central banker, who is 63, saysthe nation must take advantage of the knowledge and skills of people his age.

"We have to recognize that changing demographics mean there will be fewer and fewer young people in the labour pool to draw upon," Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge said Thursday.

"We must therefore learn to concentrate on making the most of our experienced and trained workers."

Dodge addressed the issue in a luncheon speech to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce.

"How can we make the very best use of the skills of those workers who are now in their 50s and 60s?" he asked.

"Many individuals may wish to remain active in the labour force well past the conventional retirement age, and to increase our flexibility, it's important that we remove any barriers to their continued participation," he said.

"This means that we, as employers, have to be more flexible in setting up work schedules. It means that we, as employers, must look at the redesign of pension plans.

"It also means that we, as employers, must put more effort into upgrading skills and increasing our openness to hiring mature workers.

"And it means that we, as employers, have to put more emphasis on mentoring programs, so that younger workers can benefit from the skills and experience of older workers, ensuring that intellectual capital is not lost."

No plans totarget Alberta's higher inflation

Dodge also saidhe would not be takingany special steps to curb inflation in Alberta.

He said the central bank's policy is to keep the national inflation rate at two per cent. But the annual inflation rate in Alberta is running at almost twice that.

Dodge said he can't abandon or adjust the national policy in an attempt to limit inflation in Alberta.

"Our mandate at the bank is not to try to tailor things to what's going on in each region, indeed, we just can't do that," he said. "We have to work for the benefit of all Canadians and so we have to keep our focus on the national inflation rate."

The main tool the central bank uses to control inflation is its interest rate policy. Earlier in the week, Dodge left the benchmark rate unchanged at 4.25 per cent.