Fighting inflation: ‘It’s okay to be mad at me,’ says Freeland

In an interview broadcast Sunday on the show Rosemary Barton Live of the CBC, Ms. Freeland, who also serves as Deputy Prime Minister, said she was open to other measures to help Canadians with the rising cost of living, but she also said she believed that the measures in place – which total a value of $8.9 billion – are already helping to mitigate the impacts on Canadians.

She talks about increasing benefits for low-income workers, increasing other inflation-indexed benefits, and implementing government child care and dental care programs, among other things. The money for these programs is, according to the minister, already on its way to Canadians.

But Ms. Freeland said she must also consider the fact that the Bank of Canada is trying to encourage Canadians to spend less, in order to bring down inflation.

I have to find a balance. On the one hand, we need to help Canadians who have financial accessibility problems and, on the other hand, we need budgetary restrictions, because I do not want to make the work of the Bank of Canada more difficult than it already is. »

A quote from Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Finance

The Bank of Canada is mandated to maintain Canada’s inflation target of 2% (or within a range of 1% to 3%) per year. Ms Freeland said it was the Bank’s responsibility to deal with inflation and that she respected its independence.

“It’s normal to be angry”

The Minister of Finance acknowledged the frustration felt by many Canadians with rising prices, especially for major consumer staples. She said friends have sent her pictures of prices at the pump and she is aware that groceries are more expensive.

And for many Canadians, it’s a real ordeal. I really get itshe said.

Asked about the general unease that many Canadians feel about the economy, Ms. Freeland struck a similar tone.

It’s okay to be mad at me. I truly understand that these are incredibly difficult economic times. It’s really, really difficult for a lot of people. »

A quote from Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Finance

Opposition to attack

In response to Ms Freeland’s speech, Tory MPs Dan Albas and Gerard Deltell issued a statement criticizing what they call the strategy tax-and-spend of the government.

This flawed economic approach eats away at the incomes of Canadian workers and ignores the most fundamental principle of economics: spending during an inflationary crisis will only fuel inflation further. Yet the Liberals continue down this path with reckless abandon, inflicting even more inflationary pain on Canadians.

the NDPwho has argued that companies take advantage of inflation to boost their profits, says the government should impose a excess profit tax to oil and gas companies and giving money back to Canadians through the credit for the GST/HST and child benefit.

New Democrat Leader Jagmeet Singh called Ms Freeland’s approach aabsolutely insulting.

A soft landing always possible

Ms Freeland met earlier this week with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who recently said a US recession was not inevitablealthough inflation is unacceptable.

Canada still has the possibility of a soft landingMs. Freeland said, where the country could stabilize economically after the huge shock of the COVID-19 pandemic, without the severe recession feared by many.

Ms. Freeland maintained an optimistic tone about Canada’s ability to weather global economic uncertainty, especially compared to other G7 countries.

The challenge is not yet met, but I sincerely believe that we will get through this togethershe said.

With information from Christian Paas-Lang (New window) by CBC

Leave a Comment