Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland has issued an apology after her comparison of the pressures of rising inflation on the average Canadian citizen to her own family’s cancelling of their Disney Plus description was met with massive outrage from across the Great White North.
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The Trudeau government member first drew the ire of the Canadian public following a November 6th appearance on the political talk show The West Block.
Speaking with host Mercedes Stephenson about the growing economic hardships country’s rising inflation rate – which as of September 2022 sits at 6.9% – Freeland attempted to relate to her fellow citizens by acknowledging the problem rather than ignoring it.
“I agree with your basic premise, Mercedes,” said the Deputy Prime Minister [time stamp 5:50 in the video above]. “I think things are really challenging for Canadian families, and I think Canadian families are looking really closely at all of their expenses.”
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Seeking to communicate how said problem was effecting Canadians across the economic spectrum, Freeland then recalled how “I personally, as a mother and wife, look carefully at my credit card bill once a month, and last Sunday I said to the kids, ‘You’re older now, you don’t watch Disney anymore, let’s cut that Disney Plus subscription.”
“So we cut it,” she continued. “It’s only 13.99 a month that we’re saving, but every little bit helps.”
“And I think every mother in Canada is doing that right now,” she concluded. ” And I want to say to all of those mothers, I believe that I need to take exact the same approach with the federal government’s finances, because that’s the money of Canadians.”
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Unfortunately, Freeland’s attempt at coming off as relatable did not go over well with Canadians, as many felt her comments showed a flippant disregard for the realities of the country’s current economic situation.
“Trudeau’s inflation-causing deficits drove up prices and robbed your paycheque of its value,” criticized Regina—Qu’Appelle MP Andrew Scheer. “[And this is] his Finance Minister’s message to people visiting food banks and defaulting on their mortgages?”
“[This is] the Trudeau Team’s answer to people skipping meals & cutting portions, hiked mortgage & rent payments, record food bank visits,” asserted Carleton MP Pierre and running candidate for the Prime Minister Pierre Poilievere. “Canadians are out of money and Liberals are out of touch.”
“One month of rent in Toronto costs the same as 14 years of Disney Plus,” observed @EvanSambasivam. “You might as well tell voters to eat cake at this point.”
“So to recap today the Finance Minister is targeting $13.99,” said Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola MP Dan Albas. ” This is coming from the same Liberal Government that feels entitled to spend $6,000 a night on a luxury hotel room when it is your money. It is simply incredible how all over the fiscal map these Liberals have become.”
Eventually, in the face of this overwhelming backlash, Freeland issued a public apology for her comments.
“I want to start by recognizing that I am a very privileged person,” the politician told reporters on November 7th. “For sure. Like other elected federal leaders, I am paid a really significant salary and I know that that puts me in a really, really privileged position.”
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“And I really recognize that it is not people like me – people who have my really good fortune – who are struggling the most in Canada today,” Freeland added. “The people who are struggling in Canada today, with today’s high prices, aren’t people like me.”
“They are not federally elected politicians,” she concluded. 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. So I 100% recognize that.”
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