Measures to support Canadians | Freeland says Canada will weather the inflation storm

(Ottawa) Canada will be able to weather the new storm that is rocking the global economy and is fueled by inflation through banking on immigration, building new homes, a historically low unemployment rate, increased budget discipline, and financial assistance for the underserved. Lucky, says Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland.

Posted at 1:26 PM
Updated at 2:25 PM.

Joel Dennis Belavance

Joel Dennis Belavance

She said the Bank of Canada will play a critical role in curbing inflation by using the tools at its disposal and maintaining its complete independence.

In a speech to the Empire Club in Toronto on Thursday, Minister Freeland tried to reassure Canadians who are increasingly concerned about the rising cost of living while the COVID-19 pandemic is not entirely over.

Inflation reached 6.8% in Canada in April, the highest level since 1991. In the United States, it rose to 8.6%, prompting the US Federal Reserve to raise interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point on Wednesday. The Bank of Canada may follow suit in July, adding to recession fears and causing a sharp decline in stock markets.

From the start, M.I Freeland said Canada is better positioned to weather another period of economic turmoil, exacerbated by the Russian war in Ukraine and tough containment measures in China.

No country alone can solve these global problems. But what we can do is help Canadians weather this new storm, just as we have done for the past two years.

Chrystia Freeland, Canadian Finance Minister

She noted that the Trudeau government adopted several measures totaling $8.9 billion announced in the last two budgets. These measures, which are being implemented in phases to provide a respite for Canadians, include:

  • Enhanced Canadian Workers’ Benefits, which provides $1.7 billion in new support for workers. Concretely, this will save up to $2,400 in the pockets of low-income families starting this year.
  • A 10% increase in old-age insurance for people over the age of 75. That means paying an additional $815 to more than 3 million seniors this year.
  • The $500 payment will be made this year to the nearly 1 million Canadian tenants who are struggling to pay rent.
  • Reducing childcare costs by 50% on average by the end of the year thanks to childcare services agreements with all counties.
  • and dental care to be provided to Canadians earning less than $90,000, starting with thousands of children under 12.

Inflation Index

Minister Freeland also noted that other support programs, such as the Canada Child Benefit, the Goods and Services Tax Credit, the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Insurance and the Guaranteed Income Supplement, will be linked to inflation. The federal minimum wage, which has been raised to $15 an hour, will also be pegged to inflation.

We’ve had two years of remarkable upheaval. Our challenge now is to get things done. Everything is not guaranteed to go smoothly. But, fortunately for us, no country in the world is better positioned than Canada to accomplish this task.

Chrystia Freeland, Canadian Finance Minister

According to the minister, immigration remains an essential tool to support the growth of the Canadian economy. She pointed out that many companies were facing difficulty in filling hundreds of thousands of vacancies in the country, due to the shortage of labor.

The Conservative Party was not impressed by Minister Freeland’s speech. “The so-called liberals’ solution to the inflationary crisis ravaging Canadians will only make matters worse. […] Rep. Gerard Deltell said in a statement that Canadians are grappling with a cost-of-living crisis caused by Trudeau’s flawed tax and spending approach.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh was equally critical. Canadians fear not being able to feed their children or keep their homes. Today we clearly see that this government has neglected them. »

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