Trudeau Cabinet Retreat: Inflation Remains Top Concern

Trudeau Cabinet Retreat: Inflation Remains Top Concern

Updated: 14 days, 3 hours, 1 minute, 54 seconds ago

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No cabinet reshuffle announcements have been made yet. (File photo)

Inflation challenges and the threat of an impending recession are front and center among the topics discussed during the Trudeau government's cabinet retreat, which begins Monday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his ministers will spend the next three days at a hotel in Hamilton, Ontario, to plan their political strategy for the weeks and months ahead.

In a written statement released last week, Mr. Trudeau said the retreat will allow ministers to explore ways to make life more affordable and seize new opportunities for Canadian workers and businesses.

Incidentally, the Prime Minister has just returned from a week-long trip across the country to showcase the federal government's efforts to develop its battery and electric vehicle industries, including ;extraction of minerals essential to these two sectors.

Justin Trudeau notably visited the Charge LAB at the University of Windsor, which specializes in research on electric motors.

The Liberals' retirement comes as Canadians continue to feel the effects of inflation for more than a year.

We're going through a tough time right now, Mr. Trudeau said last week during a stop at a Stellantis assembly plant in Windsor, Ont.

If the recession materializes, it would come after three years of instability and anxiety caused first by the COVID-19 pandemic and then by Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine , both of which caused disruptions in supply chains. These two events also contributed to inflation and the subsequent interest rate hikes decreed to slow it down.

Much of the prime minister's time in office was defined by how he had to respond to a series of emerging crises, observes Braeden Caley, chief executive of the think tank Canada 2020 and former director of communications for the Liberal Party of Canada.

Affordability had also been a priority at the last Liberal cabinet retreat in Vancouver last September. The federal government has offered assistance, including the one-time supplement to the Canada Housing Benefit and the additional rebate of the GST collected. He also proposed a dental benefit for young children as part of the confidence deal the Liberals struck with the NDP last March.

The Fall Economic Statement also promised to help low-income workers adjust the Canada Workers Benefit to advance the money each quarter and to permanently end interest on federal student loans.

“Our economy is slowing down,” said Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland as she presented her fall economic statement in the House of Commons. (File photo)

Carlene Variyan, associate vice president of Summa Strategies and a former senior staffer in several Liberal ministers' offices, said if further measures are offered, they will be similar to those that have already been offered.

I think we know what the government's plan is in terms of what to do to support Canadians through an economic downturn. It will always be about policies that are very worker-oriented and offer direct support to families rather than stimulus, she said.

Variyan expects the retreat to be an opportunity for the cabinet to step back and re-evaluate its priorities just over a year after the 2021 election.

I expect them to spend quite a bit of time in Hamilton next week taking stock of what they've been able to accomplish in a year and what they've been up to. #x27;they expect to perform during the remainder of their term, she pointed out.

“World events have changed a lot of dynamics, whether it's trade, economic conditions or, of course, the war in Ukraine. How have these priorities evolved or changed?

—Carlene Variyan, former senior staffer in several Liberal cabinets

Justin Trudeau has spent much of the past week meeting with most of his ministers individually to begin this process. Some commentators have also wondered if Mr. Trudeau will choose to reorganize his cabinet before the resumption of work in the House, but there would be no reorganization at this stage.

New Democratic Party (NDP) Leader Jagmeet Singh is also in political retirement with his party.

Cabinet should also keep in mind the government's confidence and supply agreement with the NDP. New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh signaled last week that a promise to pass a pharmacare bill this year must be kept for the deal to hold. /p

The fall economic statement placed a heavy emphasis on the government's fiscal priorities for 2023 with the promise that the upcoming spring budget would contain more detail on how the government will remain competitive to other jurisdictions on clean technology investments.

The Trudeau government is also promising Just Transition legislation this year. This is a bill to help workers in Canada's oil and gas industries retrain for new jobs in clean and renewable energy or energy. a technology to be used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels. This bill has already caused political wrangling with the Alberta government, which is due to hold a spring election.

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos , is also making progress in talks with the provinces for a new federal-provincial health transfer agreement. He will likely update ministers in Hamilton on this.

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