Freeland to deliver keynote address about Canadian economy in Toronto

TORONTO -Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is scheduled to deliver a keynote address about the Canadian economy in downtown Toronto this afternoon.

Freeland’s speech comes as Canadians are feeling the effects of stubbornly high inflation, as well as rising interest rates.

Last month, Statistics Canada reported the inflation rate for April rose 6.8 per cent compared with a year ago. That’s the highest since January 1991.

The federal agency is expected to release May’s inflation report next week.

The U.S. Federal Reserve hiked its key interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point on Wednesday, its largest hike since 1994, leading economists to predict the Bank of Canada will follow suit next month.

Canada’s central bank has increased its key rate by half a percentage point twice in recent months, bringing it to 1.5 per cent in June and governor Tiff Macklem has hinted he is prepared to act “more forcefully” if high inflation persists.

Ahead of Freeland’s speech, a group representing Canadian unions called on the finance minister to announce new measures “to make sure millions of vulnerable workers and their families aren’t left behind by the worsening inflation crisis.”

“It’s the responsibility of governments to intervene and make sure families are not being left to bear this burden alone,” Bea Bruske, president of the Canadian Labour Congress, said in a news release Thursday morning.

“Beyond measures already announced in Budget 2022, additional direct and targeted help to families through an immediate increase in the GST credit would help vulnerable families who need it the most.”

Freeland’s speech is being held at the Empire Club of Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 16, 2022.


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