Canadians feel financially squeezed by inflation, taxes and rising interest rates – Dan in Ottawa

Earlier this week I was contacted by a local reporter to react to reports that the government delegation led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to attend the Queen’s funeral in London earlier this month cost $397,000 to five night stay.

A room would have cost $6,000 per night and included a private butler. The government has so far refused to disclose who stayed in this room.

For the record, this was a nonpartisan delegation that included former Liberal and Conservative prime ministers, as well as other dignitaries and elected officials.

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

My reaction then was the same as now. It is totally unacceptable that there is not more respect for the spending of taxpayers’ money.

In the case of former Tory cabinet minister Bev Oda, she did the honorable thing and quit after her expenses were flagged. She also reimbursed the expenses out of her own pocket.

In this case, the government won’t even tell us who should be held responsible for staying in a $6,000 a night hotel room. It is totally unacceptable.

This week, the Bank of Canada also announced an increase in the overnight interest rate to 3.75%. This was after a previous increase to 3.25%

I hear from many families who are in serious financial trouble because the increase in household debt payments has 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 on the line of credit is also increasing and they have calculated that they can make two months of additional payments before reaching the maximum on 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 will break the camel’s back. Unfortunately, every effort by the Conservatives to delay carbon tax increases or scrap the GST on fuel has been met with opposition from the Liberal/New Democrat partnership.

With the Bank of Canada now confirming that carbon taxes increase inflation, this would be a step the government could take to help many struggling Canadians, but they are refusing.

At a time when many are struggling, the government doesn’t (seem) to care about renting a hotel room for $6,000 a night. I am seriously concerned that Trudeau does not appreciate or understand how real the financial challenges some Canadians are facing are.

I should add that many of those I hear about in their current difficult financial situation have good jobs and therefore do not qualify for many of the rebates and assistance programs that are available.

The government has already promised to help the middle class and yet every day I hear from more and more middle class families who 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 trying to stay warm during 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.

Leslie M. Gill