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Basic needs bill dominates parliamentary re-opening in Ottawa

Sean Kilpatrick The Canadian Press Prime Minister Justin Trudeau upon his arrival on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday

The fall political contest was launched on the theme of purchasing power in Ottawa on Monday, as the Liberals responded to the opposition with promises of a roof over their heads and food on their plates for less.

“Canadians need to be able to buy their groceries without going into debt,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau briefly declared before rushing into the House of Commons.

The Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, had just come out of a meeting with representatives of five major food brands. They had been publicly invited to Ottawa by the Prime Minister himself four days earlier.

He appeared before the media exhilarated at having been able to tell them, in a “constructive tone”, the promise to “formally support” the federal government’s plan to stabilize food prices. He would not reveal any specific price reduction targets, limiting himself to saying that a plan is planned soon.

Almost the entire question period on the opening day of parliament was devoted to the problem of the rising cost of living, broken down under the themes of the price of housing and food. Among the first bills tabled during this new session, those from the Conservative and New Democratic leaders do not seem to have the government's approval.

The price of onions

The leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Pierre Poilievre, and several of his MPs took turns criticizing the price of houses, but also the price of lettuce, onions and potatoes. The official opposition reiterated its disagreement with federal carbon pricing as well as with a regulation on clean fuels, the subject of criticism towards the Bloc Québécois.

Mr. Poilievre had already announced the broad outlines of a bill that he intends to table this week. The proposal, entitled “Building Housing, Not Bureaucracy Act”, risks increasing the bureaucratic burden and contains “only half measures”, according to the new Minister of Housing, Sean Fraser.

The forthcoming Conservative text proposes forcing municipalities to build 15% more housing each year, would impose penalties and include bonuses for those who exceed the targets. It would provide a whistleblower line for “not in my backyard” cases that block projects.

For its part, the Trudeau government plans to punctuate this “historic” session with a bill containing all the measures announced to address the cost of living. The document promises to be “more complete” than the Conservative proposal, assures the new leader of the government in the House of Commons, Karina Gould.

More competition


The leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP), Jagmeet Singh, also announced that he would table a bill to facilitate the work of the Competition Bureau of Canada and thus fight against price fixing by the big banners and limit possible mergers between them.

The minister responsible for the file, François-Philippe Champagne, had still not taken note of the New Democratic proposal as of Monday afternoon. His government is also proposing a reform of Canada's competition watchdog, with similar objectives.

The NDP has been criticizing the record profits of large supermarket chains for many months. The party reached an agreement with the Liberal Party of Canada to keep Justin Trudeau in power until 2025. In exchange, the Trudeau government promised to honor the agreement by introducing a bill this fall on federal drug insurance. .

The fall of last year was marked by the same diagnosis of inflation, but the proposal of a different remedy: it was then a question of sending checks en masse , one to double the GST credit and another for children's dental care.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116