Here’s what’s causing inflation in Canada

It was not so long ago that the Conservative Party of Canada prided itself on being literate about the major economic and financial problems of the day. But if the party’s deepening obsession with inflation (and insistence on attributing it to the prime minister) is any indication, those days are over.

Instead, they seem content to do business with the kind of threadbare fiction and populist propaganda of fear that defined, and still animates, the Trumpian economy.

Case in point: His decision to appoint conspiracy theory enthusiast Pierre Poilievre as shadow finance minister. After demoting him from his job in the spring, leader Erin O’Toole returned his old job to him. That signaled the CCP’s intention to continue to beat the same drum that Poilievre played throughout the summer: accusing the liberal government of creating inflation through its overspending. “Our goal is to pressure them to stop doing the things that cause inflation,” Poilievre. saying the National mail.

Those things, unsurprisingly, are the same things Poilievre opposed in March 2020 when the pandemic was just beginning: spending money to support Canadian homes and businesses. “You may want to address it through big, fat government programs,” he said. said in response to a question about his belief that tax cuts were the correct way to respond to COVID-19. “We are conservatives, so we don’t believe in that.”

It doesn’t matter that leading conservative experts like Ken boessenkool and John Ivison have accepted The current outbreak of inflation that Canadians are grappling with has nothing to do with federal government policies, or with similar levels of inflation in countries like Germany, the United Kingdom and the USA seems to suggest that it cannot possibly be the work of Justin Trudeau.

In Poilievre’s universe, Trudeau is From Schrodinger Prime Minister: simultaneously too weak to accomplish anything substantial and so powerful that it determines global markets and inflationary trends.

But if Trudeau is not responsible for inflation, what is? In the short term, it is being driven by COVID-19 and its impact on everything from oil and gas prices to supply chains (or, as Ivison called them, “supply problems”). Indeed, there is a certain irony in conservatives who cry out for a bloody murder by inflation when up to a third of it is due to soaring prices for oil and natural gas, which disproportionately benefit their western supporters. Canada and will help transform Alberta and Saskatchewan. finance from raging garbage fires to mere smoking garbage cans.

Yet in the long run, the real driver of inflation is the one conservatives desperately want to avoid: climate change.

Take the recent cheep by O’Toole, in which he suggested that the rising cost of breakfast foods like bacon, syrup, and coffee was somehow attributable to Trudeau’s policies rather than things like supply chain disruptions and extreme weather events. But like the Dalhousie agri-food analysis laboratory indicated In a September 29 survey, “Many commodities, such as meat, dairy and groceries, have risen in recent months due to macroeconomic shocks, caused by both unfavorable weather patterns in the Northern Hemisphere and challenges logistics due to the global pandemic “.

Syrup prices are not rising because of Trudeau’s nefarious policies, but rather a climate-driven demand-supply mismatch (and weather). Like NPR indicated In an article on the global syrup shortage, “This year’s short, warm spring resulted in an unusually low yield for growers.”

Opinion: In Pierre Poilievre’s universe, Trudeau is Schrodinger’s prime minister: simultaneously too weak to accomplish anything substantial and so powerful that it determines global markets and inflationary trends, says columnist @maxfawcett. #CDNpoli

As for the coffee? That’s even harder to attribute to Trudeau, given frost out of season in July it damaged production in many key producing regions of South America.

And while supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19 will improve, the potential impact of climate change will only get worse. That’s the working theory Willing by Umair Haque, a British writer and director of the London-based Havas Media Lab. “Prices are going to go up, probably exponentially, over the next few decades,” he writes. “The reason is simple: everything, more or less, has been artificially cheap.” This is because the costs we have long outsourced, from carbon emissions to plastic pollution, will now have to be borne by businesses and consumers for decades to come.

Those supply chains in the meantime? It is possible that they will bend again much faster than we would like to think.

“Making, producing, distributing, buying, selling the basics of civilization in the dirty way we do causes climate change, and climate change is trying to teach us a lesson,” Haque writes. “Climate change is made up of fires, floods, typhoons and pests. Do you see the feedback effect? Good luck distributing that batch of steel when there is a mega flood or mega fire on the way. “

The catastrophic flooding in British Columbia, and the effect it will have on everything from shipping to agriculture, will offer Canadians an unwanted preview of this.

Poilievre and the Conservative Party of Canada will ignore this looming threat, just as they have downplayed or downplayed the threat of climate change for as long as they have been a political party. But at some point, the reality of climate-driven inflation will become apparent to even the most stubborn observer. The only real questions are whether it will be too late to do something about it and how much it will cost the hard-working Canadians that conservatives like Poilievre say they are fighting for.

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