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Singh says feds not taking inflation ‘seriously’, demand Liberals take action on rising cost of living

Ottawa, June 7: The Conservatives and the New Democrats are demanding that the federal government introduce new measures to address the rising cost of living for Canadians, with different suggestions to tackle the inflation crisis.

The Conservatives have put forward an opposition day motion asking that the government temporarily suspend the Goods and Services tax collected on gasoline and diesel, freeze the carbon tax, and eliminate tariffs on fertilizer, among other requests, in order to provide immediate relief to Canadians.

People are paying over – in some provinces – $2 a litre for gas. People can’t afford groceries, they can’t afford rent, much less mortgage…What’s very frustrating is that the Liberals won’t even give consideration to cutting taxes. As I’ve said, this isn’t a novel idea, other countries are doing it, ” said Interim Conservative Leader Candice Bergen.

Bergen said she’s hopeful the motion will gain the support of the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois.

However, in a separate press conference Tuesday to address the rising cost of living, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh argued the way to tackle it is by imposing an excess profit tax on big companies.

“We see clearly that corporations are making these massive profits. They’re making record-setting profits and their record-setting profits are directly contributing to the cost of living going up,” Singh said.

“We believe very strongly the solution has to be redistributing wealth.”

The calls for action come the same day the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) released a new report showing that the Consumer Price Index inflation now sits at its highest level since the introduction of inflation targeting in 1991.

The PBO pointed to the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine as unexpected yet major inflationary pressures.

Innovative, Science and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne responded to the Conservatives’ and NDP’s demands, noting that inflation is “top of mind” for the government.

“I think everyone is seized with the issue of trying to find ways to make life more affordable for Canadians from coast to coast…Within my remit, I seized the Competition Bureau to make sure that we would be looking at any practices that could be anti-competitive,” he said.

The minister also pointed to the government’s child-care deals with the provinces as a mechanism to ease everyday living costs.

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