Inflation rate surges to highest level in almost two decades

Latest figures come just days before a federal election where affordability has become a hot-button issue

Inflation rate surges to highest level in almost two decades

Canada’s inflation rate has hit an 18-year high last month, according to recent figures from Statistics Canada.

The consumer price index (CPI) rose 4.1% on a year-over-year basis in August 2021 – the fastest pace since March 2003 and up from a 3.7% gain in July, according to StatCan.

Read more: Canada’s inflation rate is in – and it’s big

StatCan data also showed that homeowners' replacement cost index, which is related to the price of new homes, continued to trend upward, rising 14.3% year over year in August – the largest yearly increase since September 1987.

The figures come just days before a federal election where affordability has become an increasingly hot-button issue, and opposition parties wasted no time using StatCan’s figures to criticize the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“Justin Trudeau's housing plan is always meant for big developers, not people who want to find a place they can actually afford,” New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Jagmeet Singh said in a statement. “When he promises affordable housing and then lets prices climb like this, it costs people. People can't afford Justin Trudeau's empty promises anymore.”

Meanwhile, Conservative leader Erin O’Toole said in a statement that the inflation numbers proved that Trudeau has “made life more expensive for average Canadians who are exhausted and want life to return to normal.”

“We literally can’t afford more of the same from Justin Trudeau,” O’Toole said.

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