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Saturday, November 26, 2022

Three-decade High Inflation Hits Canadian PM’s Popularity

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s popularity has taken a hit due to high inflation just four months after his Liberal Party retook power in Canada following mid-term elections in September.

Statistics Canada, the government’s data department, announced that the consumer price index for December rose to 4.8 percent, the highest level in three decades.

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This has resulted in a condition known as “inflation anxiety.” On social media, Justin Trudeau’s opponents have exploited the hashtag #JustinFlation to great effect. As a result, Trudeau’s Liberals are trailing the main opposition Conservatives in tracking polls for the first time since forming another minority government in September after precipitating hasty polls. According to Nanos Research, the ruling party has 28.2 percent of the vote, just ahead of the Conservatives who have 28.5 percent.

According to a new study from the non-profit, non-partisan Angus Reid Institute, a majority of Canadians (57%) “say it is currently tough to feed their household” (ARI). In 2019, on the other hand, the figure was 36%. More people, 29%, feel their financial situation will deteriorate in the next 12 months, which is six points higher than those who believe it will improve.

Even in the midst of a fifth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic caused by the Omicron variant, there is concern that inflation, particularly for groceries, will rise further, as Canada has announced that it will only allow fully-vaccinated truckers from the United States, resulting in a supply shortage, according to experts.

“Trudeau’s vaccination vendetta is emptying store shelves and skyrocketing food costs,” opposition finance critic and Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre tweeted.

In the next days, Justin Trudeau is likely to try to address the issue. As he leads a virtual Cabinet retreat this week, cutting costs will be on the table, as “making living more affordable” was mentioned as one of the goals, according to a release from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Furthermore, the Bank of Canada is likely to raise interest rates next week, which could help to slow the inflationary trend. Such actions will be politically imperative for Trudeau, as 39% of individuals polled in the ARI study said they were in worse shape now than they were a year ago. “In ARI’s 13 years of tracking, this constitutes the largest group claiming this,” the agency observed.

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