Social Justice and Democracy

Governments must help families facing economic precipice

July 28, 2022

Bruske: Mounting evidence of low-income families at grave risk from inflation crisis must be wake-up call to all levels of government

OTTAWA––Canada’s unions are calling on Canada’s governments to take immediate action to increase supports for low-income people as evidence mounts of a growing number of families unable to afford skyrocketing housing, energy and food costs.

“So many are struggling from rising gas and energy prices, high food costs and soaring rents. We are on the cusp of a homelessness crisis,” warned Bea Bruske, President of the Canadian Labour Congress. “Low-income Canadians are poised on the edge of an economic precipice. Governments of all levels must act without delay to help.”

In a new report released this week, researchers from the University of Calgary demonstrated how low-income families and individuals are subject to economic risk from rising costs but also political risk from government inaction, as many benefit programs are not indexed to inflation.

“Fall and winter will put even more pressure on struggling families, as energy needs rise and less locally grown food is available which will raise grocery costs. Governments must increase supports and index assistance programs to inflation,” said Bruske. “Doing nothing while costs for essentials skyrocket means thousands more families will be facing extreme economic hardship. There is no time to waste.”

Statistics Canada’s latest CPI report showed food inflation slowing, but still up 8.8% over the past year, far outpacing wage growth or social assistance program support. Additionally, while higher interest rates have slowed the housing market, demand for rental accommodation has increased, leading to rental costs soaring almost 14% since the start of the year.

“A critical lesson learned from the past two years of the pandemic was how supporting low-income people through an economic crisis not only helps them, it strengthens our whole economy,” concluded Bruske. “It is critical that governments not lose sight now of their responsibility to help the people who need it most.”

-30-

For more information please contact:
CLC Media Relations
media@clcctc.ca
613-526-7426

  • Workplace Health and Safety
  • Progress towards a world of work free of violence and harassment

    August 11, 2022
    Click to open the link
  • Social Justice and Democracy
  • Bruske to PM: Work with premiers to fix Canada’s crumbling care system

    August 10, 2022
    Click to open the link
  • Forward Together
  • Bank of Canada governor should stay in his lane and not undermine collective bargaining

    August 2, 2022
    Click to open the link
  • Social Justice and Democracy
  • Canada’s unions welcome today’s B.C. court’s decision in Cambie case

    July 15, 2022
    Click to open the link
  • Social Justice and Democracy
  • Canada’s unions welcome Premiers’ call for more federal health investment – but demand greater accountability

    July 12, 2022
    Click to open the link
  • Social Justice and Democracy
  • Canada’s unions to engage Premiers at the Council of the Federation on strengthening public health care

    July 7, 2022
    Click to open the link
  • Gender Equality
  • Bea Bruske: Canada’s unions express solidarity and demand action on reproductive rights

    June 24, 2022
    Click to open the link
  • Jobs, Economy and Environment
  • Indigenous Peoples Day 2022: Honouring Indigenous cultures on June 21 and beyond

    June 21, 2022
    Click to open the link