Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz says low interest rates may become the “new normal” as Canadians have taken on so much debt that any rate spike could send shockwaves through the economy.

The head of the central bank told CBC’s The Current on Thursday that his team is researching a “neutral interest rate” policy, which typically means that policymakers neither stimulate nor restrain economic growth.

Such a policy would mark a departure from how the bank has done things for the past several decades.

“The new normal, as we see it, is probably one in which the interest rate … is probably going to be lower than what we thought in the past,” he said on Thursday’s show.

“So...