LILLEY: Your priorities are not Trudeau’s priorities

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The government’s priorities are not the same as the public’s priorities. That much was made clear with Tuesday’s speech from the throne.

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For Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, climate change and reconciliation were the obvious messages that he wanted to get out. True, there was some talk of the economy but often as it relates to his plans to fight climate change.

The No. 1 issue facing Canadians, the cost of living, was given a brief mention along with policies that will do nothing to fix the problem.

“Inflation is a challenge that countries around the world are facing. And while Canada’s economic performance is better than many of our partners, we must keep tackling the rising cost of living. To do that, the government’s plan includes two major priorities: housing and child care,” Gov.-Gen. Mary Simon said in reading the speech.

Housing and child care are both big-ticket items for Canadians, but Trudeau’s solutions there, if they work, won’t yield results for some time.

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His much-vaunted, $10-a-day child care plan doesn’t even promise to get to $10 a day for five years from now, meaning that if you have a newborn now, they will be in school before that happens. His housing plan will do nothing to increase supply and will mostly increase the government bureaucracy around home ownership.

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Those are also issues that apply to small segments of Canadian society, whereas the increasing cost of food, fuel, clothing, and everything else is a reality all Canadians face.

“The reality is that from coast-to-coast-to-coast, life is getting more expensive for Canadians,” Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole said after the speech. “Instead of presenting an economic plan for families, seniors and small businesses that have been left behind, Justin Trudeau’s approach means more ballooning deficits, leading to higher taxes, at a time when Canadians are barely making ends meet.”

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The latest figures from Statistics Canada showed that compared to October 2020, the price of gasoline was up 41.7% in October 2021. It was far from the only significant price spike with natural gas up 18.7%, beef prices up 14.4%, pork up 8.8%, and chicken 8.3%.

General Mills, maker of brands such as Betty Crocker, Cheerios, Nature Valley, and Pillsbury, has announced price increases in the United States of as much as 20%, starting in January. Canadian price increases are sure to follow.

Prices are rising faster than anyone’s wages, and the Trudeau government doesn’t seem to have a handle on this issue.

When inflation statistics were released in August — just days after he called the election — Trudeau said he didn’t think much about issues like this. The throne speech proves that to be an accurate statement.

  1. A Canadian dollar coin, commonly known as the

    EDITORIAL: Cost-of-living rises once again

  2. Justin Trudeau, Erin O'Toole and Jagmeet Singh will hit the road on the first day of the federal election campaign.

    LILLEY: As cost of living skyrockets under Trudeau, what are his solutions?

  3. Statistics Canada building and signs are pictured in Ottawa, July 3, 2019.

    LILLEY: Trudeau shows he doesn’t get cost of living while O’Toole and Singh campaign on it

On Tuesday morning, O’Toole tweeted out a photo of a big breakfast featuring bacon, eggs, pancakes, juice, and coffee. The photo also included how much prices for those items have gone up: 20.2% for bacon, 11.6% for maple syrup, 7.4% for eggs, and 5% for orange juice.

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It was a powerful and easy-to-understand statement on the impact of inflation. The response from Liberal Twitter, including Trudeau’s longtime adviser Gerry Butts, was to mock the breakfast as unhealthy.

While I’d say that misses the point, Butts and company do understand, they just don’t care.

Inflation is not an issue unique to Canada, but there are things the government could do to cool things down, including slowing down with the government’s out-of-control spending.

That was not part of the plan announced in the throne speech or something this government is likely to do anytime soon.

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