During an end-of-year interview, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau failed to explain what the new Minister of Middle Class Prosperity, Mona Fortier, actually does.
In an interview with CTV National News’ Lisa Laflamme, Laflamme asked Trudeau what the role of the government’s new minister of middle class prosperity was. Trudeau had difficulty explaining what the new position entails.
“You’ve created this new minister of middle class prosperity, what does that actually mean?” Laflamme asked.
“Basically it’s a second person at [department of] finance who’s going to be focused on ensuring that everything we do — we see it a little bit when economists talk about numbers and ratios and approaches and deficits — people often wonder: ‘Well, what does that mean for me, what does that mean for my family, my household,’ and having a second minister in finance that’s going to focus on what it does mean for Canadians.”
Trudeau added that Canadians need someone to explain to them how the state of the economy will affect them materially.
“What does it mean for the outcomes of your kids, whether its education or healthcare. These are the things that sometimes get lost in the numbers, and having someone there to focus on the human side of things, I think is really important when you’re just looking at the numbers,” he said.
Since announcing the creation of the portfolio, which also serves as an associate minister to the minister of finance, Canadians have been questioning the purpose of the role.
Minister Fortier also had trouble defining her new role shortly after being appointed to the position. Even after the mandate letter was published in mid-December, questions remain on the purpose of the new office.
While claiming the desire to assist and elevate the middle class, both Fortier and Trudeau have not been able to define who is part of the middle class.
When pressed repeatedly by a reporter, Fortier defined a middle class person as someone who can afford their lifestyle and afford to do things like let their kids play hockey.
“I define the middle class where people feel they can afford their way of life, they have quality of life and they can send their kids to play hockey or even have different activities,” she said.
When asked in an interview with Breakfast Television to define the middle class last week, Trudeau said that Canadians know who’s in the middle class.