As summer ends and kids reluctantly go back to school, and as families get back into the fall routine, we are seeing the direct impacts of Liberal caused inflation. This year, back-to-school shopping is costing more than it ever has, with the average back-to-school shopping trip costing $700 per student. Charity and community support services are seeing record demand for school supplies.
In the past two years, it’s estimated the cost of school supplies has increased by 24%. This is not to mention the lunchbox items—bread and buns are up 8.1%. Apples are up 7.8%. Cookies and crackers are up 12.4%.
This is a direct result of inflationary spending, taxation policy, and poor fiscal management by those at the head of our government. This extra stress on the family budget means more than just cutting back on extracurriculars and vacations, many are having to cut out the essentials. According to reports, up to 45% of Canadian households who are making less than $60,000 a year are foregoing essential items. And 14% of Canadians anticipate they will have to go into debt just to pay for school supplies this year.
It’s not long before Members of Parliament go back to Ottawa to resume debating in the House of Commons. Conservatives have been raising the alarm about inflation and the affordability challenges long before it came to this point. Unfortunately, the Trudeau Liberals barrelled down the path which has led to so much stress for Canadians. It is truly a sad state of affairs when the Liberals brag about how they are “supporting Canadians to buy groceries.” From the failed carbon tax to monetary policy that is causing costs to skyrocket, Canadians need better.
I also want to highlight the importance of schools in rural communities and how some of the increased costs are exacerbated in rural and remote areas like East Central Alberta. In rural communities, schools go beyond the institution of learning, they are community meeting centres, the home of sporting events, and are centres for community activities. While we Canadians face challenges, I am grateful for the teachers, support staff, and parents who dedicate so much of their time not only to our children but to ensuring that rural schools succeed. And I would like to give a shoutout to all those organizations who help ensure that the basics are provided for families facing challenges, especially while affordability is such a challenge.
So, to students, teachers, and parents who are getting back into the routine: I hope despite the challenges that the year goes well, and that you remain hopeful about our future. And while students return to school, Canada’s Conservatives led by Pierre Poilievre will remain focused on addressing the challenges faced by Canadians and unleash the potential our nation has.
Damien C. Kurek, MP
Battle River – Crowfoot