WINNIPEG – Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) president, Gil McGowan, released the following statement in response to the Bank of Canada’s raise in interest rates by 25 basis points:
“The pretense for these enormous interest rate hikes has been to ‘combat inflation.’ But these measures do nothing to address the causes of inflation.
“Since the pandemic took hold in Canada in early 2020, corporate profits have skyrocketed at an unprecedented rate. In 2022, corporate profits accelerated by 55 per cent, according to the provincial budget.
“This gouging has had a serious impact on working people. Basic household staple items like food and clothes have grown exponentially in price. There has been no serious attempt by the federal government to address this problem.
“Household economic pain has been compounded by these interest hikes themselves. Housing costs are already prohibitive in most of Canada’s urban areas. With these interest hikes, working families looking for their first home are proverbially locked out of the housing market. Landlords are using these hikes to justify steep increases for renters as well.
“Albertans’ suffering is compounded by the UCP’s refusal to work towards improving wages for private- and public-sector workers. When it comes to household bills, Albertans’ pleas for a price cap on electricity, measures to tame insurance rates, and an end to gouging at the gas pump has fallen on deaf ears at the Legislature. Nor has any level of government sincerely considered an excess wealth tax.
“Both the causes of inflation and the sole method employed by the government and Bank of Canada to combat it have come at the expense of working families, instead of the corporate class that caused it. However incendiary the term might be, this is the very definition of class warfare.”
Director of Communications, AFL