Sales of Canada Savings Bonds put on hold market meltdown

Amid worldwide credit market turmoil, the federal government has postponed sales of one of the country’s favourite investments, Canada Savings Bonds.

A terse message posted on a government website says the 2008 bond campaign, scheduled to start Monday, has been put on hold. And a Department of Finance spokesperson confirmed the postponement.

“There are no bonds on sale at this time,” it says.

“The new sales date, interest rates and bond series will be announced shortly. Rates for outstanding issues of bonds will be announced at the same time.”

‘This is unprecedented as far as I know.’—Evelyn Jacks, Winnipeg-based tax expert

Federal officials would give no reason Tuesday for the delay, which presumably relates to the difficulty of setting interest rates under current conditions.

The bonds, a Canadian tradition since 1946, are backed by the government and promoted as a foolproof way for small investors to save. They are put on sale each fall.

David Gamble, public affairs director of the Department of Finance, which is responsible for CSBs, confirmed that the 2008 campaign has been delayed but would not say why.

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