Canadians feeling financially squeezed by inflation, taxes and rising interest rates

Tough making ends meet

Early this week, I was contacted by a local journalist for reaction to reports the government delegation headed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to attend the Queen’s funeral in London earlier this month cost $397,000 for the five-night stay.

One room was reported to have cost $6,000 per night and included a private butler. The government so far has refused to disclose who stayed in that room.

For the record, this was a non-partisan delegation that included past Liberal and Conservative prime ministers, as well as other dignitaries and elected officials.

When I was asked for my reaction, I was taken back to 10 years ago when it was revealed a former Conservative cabinet minister charged taxpayers $16 for a glass of orange juice, ironically also while travelling in London at an expensive hotel.

My reaction was the same then as it is now. It is totally unacceptable there is not greater respect for the spending of tax dollars.

In the case of the former Conservative minister, Bev Oda, she did the honourable thing and resigned after her expenses were reported. She also repaid the expenses out of her own pocket.

In this case, the government will not even tell us who should be held accountable for staying in a $6,000 a night hotel room. That is totally unacceptable.

Also announced this week was the Bank of Canada once again raising the overnight interest rate to 3.75%. That was after a previous increase to 3.25%

I am hearing from many families who are seriously struggling financially, as the increased payments on household debt have become unsustainable for them. As one family recently shared, they are now coping with the extra payments solely through their line of credit. The interest of the line of credit is also increasing and they have calculated they can make two more months of payments before they max out their line of credit.

Many have also expressed concern that if there is a cold winter, having high heating bills on top of everything else will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Unfortunately, every effort the Conservatives have made to have carbon tax increases delayed, or GST removed from fuel, have been opposed by the Liberal/NDP partnership.

With the Bank of Canada now confirming carbon taxes increase inflation, it would be one measure the government could undertake to help many struggling Canadians but they refuse.

At a time when many are struggling, the government does not (appear to) have any concern with renting a $6,000 a night hotel room. I am seriously concerned Trudeau does not appreciate, or understand, just how real the financial challenges some Canadians are facing are.

I should add, many who I hear from about the current challenging fiscal situation have good jobs and as a result, do not qualify for many of the rebate and assistance programs that are available.

The government once promised to help the middle class and yet, everyday, I hear from more middle-class families that cannot afford to make ends meet.

My question this week:

Do you think Canadians who heat their homes with natural gas or propane should be punished with a carbon tax for attempting to stay warm in the cold winter months?

I can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free 1-800-665-8711

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola and the co-chair of the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best.

Dan  is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active Members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and also continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

Dan welcomes comments, questions and concerns from citizens and is often available to speak to groups and organizations on matters of federal concern. 

He can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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