Liberals mention inflation fears in Speech from the Throne

OTTAWA – Federal Liberals face mounting pressure to explain how they plan to get COVID-19-battered economy back on track and curb inflation, after throne speech promises to curb rising cost of living .






© Provided by The Canadian Press


The annual inflation rate hit an 18-year high in October, fueled in large part by increases at gas stations and grocery stores, not to mention upcoming housing costs.

Adding to these pressures on consumer prices is the problem of supply chains around the world, which have not been able to meet growing consumer demand for certain products.

Tuesday’s Throne Speech, which outlines the Liberals’ priorities for their third term, notes that inflation concerns are affecting countries around the world, including Canada, despite its economic performance.

The text of the speech spoke of the need to fight the rising cost of living and highlighted, as part of the solution, the Liberal election promises on housing and the pre-election measures for a national child care system at $ 10.

Goldy Hyder, CEO of the Business Council of Canada, praised the government’s commitment to building “a more resilient, sustainable and competitive economy,” including commitments to tackle climate change and stimulate business investment.

Dennis Darby, president of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, noted the government’s commitment to more resilient supply chains and hopes to see more details in the ministers’ mandate letters.

Yet the throne speech did not respond to what business groups and opposition parties expected to address the economic malaise and rising cost of living.

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Business groups were also hoping for a plan to help unblock supply chain bottlenecks, but also to curb the $ 100 billion stimulus package, fearing that overspending in Ottawa could spur the economy. inflation and hamper economic recovery.

Employment insurance reform

“It seems like everything is a priority except the economy,” said Perrin Beatty, president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, adding that more details could come from a planned economic update. in a few weeks.

The National Council of Unemployed Persons (CNC) deplored the silence of the Speech from the Throne on the reform of employment insurance, despite the Liberals’ commitment to this subject.

“We would have liked a signal,” said Pierre Céré, spokesperson for the CNC. “The reform of employment insurance is a major issue, but we have not yet heard about it (…) We hope to see this reform materialize as soon as possible, and be confirmed in the mandate letter of the Minister.”

The CNC also deplores the fact that the support measures to help workers affected by the pandemic remain temporary – some have even been completed – “in particular, leaving independent workers without a social safety net”.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland will soon introduce a bill that would provide support to still struggling industries like tourism and restaurants, and offer employment insurance to workers facing sudden re-adjustments. This decision is part of what the Speech from the Throne called the government’s shift to “more targeted aid and prudent spending management”.

New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh has said his party will not support a bill that cuts support for workers. The leader of the Bloc Québécois, Yves-François Blanchet, expressed his support, because the measure could help workers in the cultural sector, hard hit by the pandemic.

Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre has suggested his party may support targeted relief, but not the stimulus the Liberals are planning.

“We believe we should be back to normal spending levels before COVID,” said Poilievre. We do not believe that it is necessary to create new permanent multi-billion dollar programs that did not exist before. ”

Jordan Press, The Canadian Press

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