As governments across Canada continue to tout the importance of combatting climate change, internal government research finds the primary concern for Canadians is the rising costs of goods and services caused by inflation.
According to Blacklock’s Reporter, inflation is a more significant concern for Canadians than crime, terrorism or climate change, finds the department of finance report titled ‘Research On The State Of The Economy.’
“The main economic issue of concern was clearly inflation and prices,” reads the report.
“Participants consistently referred to rising grocery and gasoline prices and in many cases also mentioned housing and utility bills. It was noted wages have not kept up.”
The report’s findings are supported by a Pollara Strategic Insights rage index survey that found that 83% of Canadians are angry about inflation and 79% are angry about gas prices.
Canada’s annual inflation rate reached its highest level in June at 8.1% and has recently levelled off at7.6%, leading to millions of Canadians having to tack on debt and take out loans to cover their general expenses.
The department of finance report found Canadians “expressed pessimism and concern about the Canadian economy.”
“When asked to provide one word to describe the state of the Canadian economy, the words used tended to convoy sentiments of uncertainty and pessimism and included ‘poor,’ ‘unstable,’ ‘volatile,’ ‘inflation,’ ‘challenging,’ ‘struggling’ and ‘high prices.’”
While the report found that many Canadians couldn’t point to the cause of the inflation, most pointed to economic concerns that inflationary pressures have exacerbated.
73% of Canadians rated the cost of living as a significant concern, with 62% saying that their generation is worse off than their parent’s generation when it comes to housing.
In recent months, the Trudeau government has deflected responsibility for Canada’s high inflation, blaming the Russia-Ukraine war and supply chain issues.
In July, the finance minister and deputy prime minister Chrystia Freeland dismissed the effect of high gas prices on Canadians, instead emphasizing that higher gas prices help forward the government’s green agenda.
“From my perspective, this price increase in fuel costs is a reminder of why climate action is so important and why as a country, we have to work even harder and move even faster towards a green economy. It’s an insurance policy against higher energy prices,” said Freeland at a July press conference.
Conservative Party of Canada leadership frontrunner Pierre Poilievre has centred his campaign around the message of “Justinflation,” the idea that the Trudeau administration is mainly responsible for the high level of inflation Canada currently faces.
“The more Trudeau spends, the more things cost. It is JustinFlation,” reads a Poilievre campaign press release.
In June, Freeland unveiled an $8.9 billion plan to help quash inflation. However, the Trudeau government had already announced the touted funds in the 2022 budget months ago.
Despite the Trudeau government’s attempts to ease the concerns of Canadians, the finance department’s report finds that most Canadians “were pessimistic about the coming year” and that “they expected prices to keep rising.”