OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he is “extremely concerned” by increases in the cost of living caused by high inflation, adding that Liberal government policies should help address the issue.
Canada’s annual inflation rate hit an 18-year high of 4.7% in October, far above the Bank of Canada’s 2% target, and analysts predict it will rise further.
The official opposition Conservative Party says Trudeau is to blame, pointing to major government spending programs introduced to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are extremely concerned about the rising cost of living brought to people by inflation,” Trudeau told the House of Commons, noting many other nations faced the same problem.
Trudeau, whose Liberals won re-election in September with a minority government, unveiled his formal agenda on Tuesday and promised to focus on cutting the costs of daycare and housing.
“This will help families deal with the increasing cost of living,” he said on Wednesday.
The Liberal aid programs pushed the national debt and budget deficits to record levels.
Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland later said she would present “some sort of fiscal update” later this year and said more details would be released in the days to come.
(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Peter Cooney)
Photo – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. EPA-EFE/JIM LO SCALZO