Social Justice and Democracy

Reduce interest rates and offer relief to Canadian families – ball is in your court, Governor Macklem

May 21, 2024
Bruske: Workers are still paying too high of a price; interest rates must come down.

OTTAWA – Despite a slowdown in inflation and the Bank of Canada achieving its target range, high food and housing prices remain a significant concern for Canada’s unions and working families.

“When we look at the price increases since April 2021, it becomes clear that the Bank’s interest rate hikes have not made life more affordable for workers and their families,” said Bea Bruske, President of the Canadian Labour Congress. 

Over the last three years:

  • Consumer Price Index (CPI) has risen by 14%.
  • Grocery prices have surged by 21%.
  • Pasta prices have climbed by 54%.
  • Bread and flour prices have climbed by 23%.
  • Vegetable prices have increased by 22%.

These numbers show how inflation keeps making things more expensive, stressing the importance of carefully thinking about the limits of monetary policy and the need for the federal government to do more.

The annual inflation rate dropped to 2.7% in April 2024. Inflation is just 1.1% when we exclude shelter, which is made more expensive by high interest rates. The Bank is actually making the problem worse… 

“Governor Macklem knows that interest rates were never the right policy for inflation caused by supply disruptions and corporate price gouging, and he needs to lower interest rates,” emphasized Bruske. “Unemployment is rising, which will make it even harder for families already grappling with exorbitant costs for rent, mortgages, and essential groceries.”

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