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Inflation in Canada: the Conservatives fail to launch the debate

The Conservative Party failed to advance an emergency debate on inflation before the House of Commons adjourned for the summer recess.

After making a request to the Speaker of the House for a debate, Tory MP and finance and housing inflation critic Dan Albas was not present in the chamber to speak about his proposal and explain why it was necessary.

Conservative House Leader John Brassard sought unanimous consent for a debate in his place, but was denied.

The developments come as Statistics Canada reported on Wednesday that inflation hit its highest level in nearly 40 years in May.

The agency said the consumer price index (CPI) accelerated 7.7%, the biggest annual increase since January 1983, largely due to higher gasoline prices .

“Higher prices for services, such as hotels and restaurants, also contributed to the increase. Food prices and housing costs remained high in May as price growth remained unchanged year-over-year,” the agency said.

Ahead of a caucus meeting on Wednesday, Brassard told reporters the party was shifting its focus from issues that could be dealt with in the fall session of parliament, such as hybrid sittings, to issues he said needed attention. immediate.

“The first issue is inflation and affordability. Obviously, with inflation numbers hitting 40-year highs this morning – the impact this is having on Canadians, families, businesses across the country,” he said.

He listed ongoing passport delays and accusations of political interference in the RCMP investigation into the Nova Scotia mass shooting as other priorities.

Dan Albas noted Wednesday that the last time the CPI rose at this rate, Pierre Elliot Trudeau was prime minister.

Albas said Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland had been warned government stimulus spending would lead to this.

“She makes life harder for Canadians at a time when the government should be trying to make things easier. So that puts more pressure on the Bank of Canada, and the government has only to blame itself,” he said on Wednesday.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh also addressed inflationary concerns today, raising several proposals to get the money back to Canadians.

“Our proposal is one that will not increase inflation. It is a question of redistributing windfalls in the system. The GST windfall that the government has now due to inflation – we can redistribute that through a GST tax credit,” he said.

Singh also suggested increasing the Canada Child Benefit by $500.

He said the party had consulted a host of economists about its strategy and raised the idea with the prime minister.

During a meeting with U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in Toronto on Monday, Freeland said the government was committed to ‘tightening public finances’ and touted Liberal programs to cut the cost of life, such as their new $10-a-day child care agreements with the provinces.