After facing criticism over her decision to cancel their family’s Disney+ subscription as a way to save money, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland on Monday recognized her privilege and acknowledged how regular Canadian families are actually struggling with the surging cost of living.
“I am a very privileged person, for sure. Like other elected federal leaders, I am paid a really significant salary. I really recognize that it is not people like me, people who have my really good fortune, who are struggling the most in Canada,” Freeland told reporters in Milton, Ontario.
The deputy prime minister emphasized that it is the struggles of Canadians that shaped the fall economic statement released on Thursday. The fall budget prioritizes vulnerable people with measures like permanently eliminating interest on the federal portion of student loans, advance payments on worker’s benefits, and some housing measures.
“They are people across the country who earn a low income, who really do find that today’s high prices mean they have to make difficult choices about what food to buy, about whether to buy groceries or pull together the money to pay the rent,” she said. “It is that recognition that the people in Canada who are struggling for whom inflation really is a direct, personal challenge.”
But for many, especially the opposition, her Disney+ comment and subsequent admission of privilege verify how disconnected her government is from its people.
In an interview with the Toronto Star, Conservative MP Jasraj Singh Hallan, the party’s finance critic, pointed out that Freeland, “just like the prime minister, is out of touch with the realities of the hardships they have caused and continue to cause for Canadians. Many Canadians are cutting back on basic necessities and don’t need a tone-deaf lesson from the finance minister on how to stretch a dollar.”
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said that “it is clearer than ever, that Minister Freeland and her government don’t understand what families are going through. Asking families to cut costs, instead of asking billionaires to pay what they owe, shows how out of touch the Liberals are with Canadians.”
Singh referred to how the government could’ve waived GST on home heating and implemented a windfall tax on oil and companies and big grocery chains which are both making record profits as consumers struggle to afford daily essentials, but “chose not to.”
Information for this briefing was found via the Star, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.