Trudeau cabinet ministers expected to focus on cost of living at retreat

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The rising cost of living and inflation are expected to take centre stage at a federal cabinet retreat set to get underway Tuesday in Vancouver.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and federal ministers are meeting from Sept. 6 to Sept. 8 ahead of the return of Parliament later this month.

On the agenda will be the feedback ministers heard while away from the House of Commons over the summer, in particular, inflation, rising food costs, and rising prices on gasoline. All three are expected to be under the spotlight when the House of Commons returns on Sept. 23.

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While inflation dipped slightly last month, it remains at a near 40-year high, amid a continued crunch in global supply chains caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The latter has throttled gas flows to Europe and choked off grain and other exported goods from Ukraine.

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Interest rates continue to rise as central banks around the world attempt to tamp down inflation, which many had previously insisted would be “transitory.”

The Bank of Canada is expected to raise rates again on Sept. 7. Governor Tiff Macklem said in a recent opinion piece published in the National Post that despite the inflation dip, the central bank’s job on weakening consumer demand is “not done yet.”

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