Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland assured Canadians that the federal government is doing everything possible to help them navigate the current challenging economic period. Her statement comes after Canada’s inflation rate rose to four percent last month, igniting a debate in the House of Commons on Tuesday.
Opposition parties, particularly the Conservative Party and the New Democratic Party (NDP), criticized the Liberals for the increase in inflation. Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre blamed the government for the surge in prices, while NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh called the Liberal plan to address rising grocery prices “frankly ridiculous.”
Poilievre highlighted the fact that inflation in Canada is not only high but is across all different products and services. He also criticized Freeland for taking credit in July when inflation numbers started to decline, only to see them rise again. According to Poilievre, these increasing numbers are a result of the Liberal government’s excessive spending.
August’s inflation rate marks the second consecutive monthly increase. This rise comes after Freeland celebrated a drop in inflation to 2.8 percent in June as a “milestone moment.”
The issue of inflation and the cost of living remained a central topic in the House of Commons during the second day of the fall sitting of Parliament. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Freeland mentioned recently announced measures to address the affordability crisis, such as removing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on the construction of new rental apartments to expedite building and reduce housing costs. They also urged the heads of large grocery store chains to develop a plan to stabilize prices.
While Trudeau emphasized that the government will continue to support Canadians and manage finances responsibly, Singh criticized the Liberal plan to stabilize grocery prices as a failure of leadership. Singh has been urging grocery CEOs to reduce their profit margins for nearly two years.
This debate underscores the ongoing concerns about inflation and the rising cost of living in Canada. It also highlights the differing opinions on how best to address these issues among the country’s political leaders.
– CTV News’ Senior Digital Parliamentary Reporter Rachel Aiello.