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NDP MPs call on Liberals to support Canadians unable to keep up with soaring costs

Despite five per cent inflation, NDP say wages have only risen 2.4 per cent
NDP MPs say that despite regular Canadians struggling to keep up, the “ultra rich” have made record profits since the pandemic began. (Black Press Media File)

Two NDP MPs are calling on the federal government to help Canadians struggling with soaring costs.

NDP Finance critic Daniel Blaikie and NDP whip Rachel Blaney called on the Liberal government to help Canadians affected by inflation rates that are now over five per cent. Despite high inflation, the MPs said that wages on average only have risen 2.4 per cent.

“Earlier this week, the Bank of Canada raised the interest rate, and families who were already struggling to get ahead will be forced to pay even more interest while banks continue to make huge profits,” says a press release from the NDP.

“People have been through the ringer in the last two years, and now the cost of housing and groceries is soaring. They want to know that the government is doing its part to help them and their families,” said Blaney. “But the Liberal government keeps proving that they aren’t standing up for everyday people... in communities like Victoria, housing has gone up 96 per cent in the past six years.

“Under (t)his government things are getting worse for hardworking people,” she said. “There are better ways to help Canadians buy a home and cool the housing market than giving more money to banks and making it harder for families dealing with debt.”

Blaney also spoke on the issue at Question Period this week. She compared how regular Canadians and the “ultra rich” have fared through the pandemic.

“Sixty per cent of Canadians say they’re struggling to feed themselves and their families,” Blaney said on March 4. “Under the Liberals the ultra rich are thriving while Canadians feel abandoned.

“While people are forced to pay more on food, CEOs of huge grocery chains and other big box stores like Walmart and Canadian Tire are making billions in profits during the pandemic,” she said. “The Liberals have repeatedly refused to make the ultra rich pay their fair share. When will the government stop protecting corporate profit and start standing up for Canadians?”

According to the NDP press release, big box stores like those Blaney mentioned in Question Period are making billions in “record profits.”

“While you and your family are forced to pay more on your weekly grocery bill, the CEOs of huge grocery chains and other big box stores have made record profits during the pandemic,” said Blaikie. “The ultra rich are getting richer while 60 per cent of Canadians say they are struggling to feed their families. Grocery prices are increasingly unaffordable, yet the Liberals are doing nothing to force these corporations to pay their fair share.

New Democrats will continue to call on the Liberal government to close tax loopholes for big corporations and put a wealth tax on the ultra-rich in order to invest in solutions that will make life more affordable for all Canadians,” he said.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister Terry Beech responded to Blaney during Question Period, saying that “we care deeply about the issues of affordability and we also want to make sure that organizations pay their fair share and we’ve made commitments as such.

“We in fact lowered taxes on the middle class while increasing them at the top 1 per cent. We created the CCB (Canada Child Benefit) that lifted 435,000 children out of poverty. In fact, we implemented a comprehensive poverty strategy that lifted 1.3 million Canadians out of poverty. We’re going to continue working… to make sure that affordability is top of mind because it’s a priority for our government.”

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