Justin Trudeau concludes his retreat with a message to millennials
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau concluded a multi-day meeting of his ministers with a message to young people: “We owe it to you to take action.”
From housing affordability to climate change, Trudeau has tried to connect directly with the demographics that helped him win the last election, as his rival, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, tries to capitalize on millennial concerns with a very different message about the challenges the country faces. .
“To young Canadians, I want to say something: You spent two crucial years of adulthood dramatically interrupted by COVID-19, and then were exposed to global inflation and rising interest rates. These events have upended your education, your first jobs, and your early life,” the premier said in Charlotte. Town on Wednesday: “Years of building a career and network.”
After highlighting what the government has done to try to address these pressures so far, from offering ways to save to buy a home to eliminating interest on student loans, Trudeau noted that “there is a lot more to be done.”
“We owe it to you to take action, so you can take full advantage of Canada’s promise. So you can succeed and access all the opportunities that were available to the generations before you. So you can have a healthy economy and a healthy environment at the same time.” “Strong, vibrant communities for a long time to come,” he said. “As a team, this is one of our top priorities.”
Trudeau’s millennial outreach comes after Cabinet heard directly during the retreat from Paul Kershaw, founder of Generation Squeeze, a think tank focused on advocating for young Canadians struggling to get ahead in the current economic climate.
This renewed messaging aimed at younger voters also comes on the heels of a recent Abacus Data poll, which found that liberals trail conservatives by about 11 points among Millennials (those born between 1980 and 1996), and among Generation Z voters ( Those born between 1997 and 2005). Trudeau’s party is four points behind Poilievre’s Conservative Party.
Speaking to CTV News at the Cabinet meeting, Kershaw said Poilievre should be given credit for “exploiting” the grief felt by many young people, but warned that if his “ominous momentum” leads to disillusionment, it could have a counterproductive effect. is expected. Given the enduring electoral clout of the millennial generation.
“If that leads to more cynicism, and drives young people to walk away, and we need them to get involved with their parents and grandparents in changing the system… so we can get our politics ready for the moment… we’re not going to be ridiculed,” Kershaw said.
Millennials are “more indebted than ever,” warns a new RBC analysis released Wednesday.
“Canadians aged 35 to 44 (who have debt) had a total debt-to-disposable income ratio of 250 per cent in 2019. This is significantly heavier than the debt burden that Canadians of the same age had in 1999.” “Younger millennials (under the age of 35) are not much better off, with debt burdens at 165 percent of their disposable income,” the post reads.
Housing is a top priority but there is no new measure
The prime minister, backed by a recently reshuffled front cabinet, said rising housing costs would be one of the minority Liberal government’s “core” priorities heading into the fall, yet he ended the three-day retreat without announcing it. No concrete actions on this front.
Trudeau said the retreat was productive, and included hearing directly from Canadians struggling to buy a home or afford rising rents, as well as studying historical trends and StatCan census data, but he did not offer any timelines or details on additional efforts to address the housing crisis next. Build more houses.
“Everyone agrees it is a complex issue that requires solutions that bring together all parts of government, the private sector and the not-for-profit sector…Middle-class Canadians who want to build equity through home ownership increasingly feel that dream is out of reach,” Trudeau said. “And now, more “More renters in the housing market means higher demand causes rents to rise for everyone.”
Poilievre focused on Trudeau’s handling of housing and how it affects young people at a news conference outside the House of Commons, criticizing the prime minister for exiting Cabinet without a plan, while comparing the current housing market to a prison.
“The truth is… for young people and the working class, the housing market after eight years of Justin Trudeau has become a prison. It is a prison of walls of 350-square-foot apartments that cost $2,000 a month. Or the parents’ basements where 35-year-olds live.” “. “They turn a year old and never have the opportunity to start a family as their biological clocks run out.”
Poilievre talked about how “the average mortgage payment in Canada has now risen to $3,500.” However, by the end of the availability upon questioning by reporters, he clarified that the figure he was citing was based on a housing analyst’s valuation of newly purchased homes with a 20 per cent down payment.
He ended his presence and called on Trudeau to summon the House of Commons, which is on summer recess.
“Open the house so Canadians can have a home,” he said.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh called it a “total failure of leadership” that the Trudeau government pulled out of the East Coast Waterfront Conference without announcing any new housing policy plans.
“One of the most dangerous things we face. How does that make sense? We’re facing a housing crisis, and we have a Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, who is busy blaming others and saying it’s not his responsibility.” “We have conservative leader Pierre Poilievre who wants to blame the cities. The new democrats want to build,” Singh said.
Singh said that while he was happy to talk about housing “any day”, he did not specifically say whether he agreed with his opposition colleagues in calling for an early recall of the House.
“Easy Accommodation” for international students
Trudeau said the government is careful not to place blame on any one group such as foreign homebuyers, aggressive developers, or international students. Rather, he views the current crisis as one that has been going on for decades, has been exacerbated by a large number of factors, and cannot be solved with a single “silver bullet.”
“I think it’s really important at this moment for the federal government to acknowledge the grief that the younger demographic feels about being locked out of housing as renters and owners,” Kershaw said.
However, there was a lot of talk at the cabinet meeting about the Liberals looking at a cap on international students as a way to reduce high rents.
“We can only get through this by rolling up our sleeves and getting the work done… The good news is that Canada has done this before. We have faced housing crises before in our history,” Trudeau said, referring to the post-World War II era. When governments built entire neighborhoods.
To “meet this moment,” Kershaw said, the federal government cannot choose an “easy villain” like the current focus on international students.
Echoing this in an interview on CTV News, Canadian Federation of Students and International Student President Myles Parry called the potential cap “very disappointing and shameful,” and that if implemented it would serve as a “band-aid solution” rather than address the root problem of affordability. Living.
“We know that the housing crisis is rooted in complex economic and political factors that have evolved over decades,” Berri said.
When asked about his views on the cap on international students, Poilievre accused current Housing Minister Sean Fraser, who was immigration minister until a few weeks ago, of sabotaging the programme.
“As governors, we will make sure international students have homes, healthcare and jobs when they want them, so we can return to a system that supports our universities, attracts the brightest people in the world, and helps our demographics.” “We preserve our country, but it does not leave people living in a miserable state,” Poilievre said.
Climate policy ‘more urgent than ever’
On the climate front, Trudeau called it a worsening “emergency” but similar to the housing issue, the Cabinet retreat did not lead to any announcement of new plans, seeing Trudeau making efforts to promote his existing carbon pricing and rebate program, and green industries. Technical efforts.
We talked about the extreme weather the country has seen this summer, from devastating wildfires, to the dangerous air quality blanketing much of Canada as a result of the smoke.
“Climate policies are more urgent than ever,” Trudeau said, in an apparent criticism of Poilievre. “Canadians cannot afford leaders who want to undo them.”
While Poilievre did not speak or be asked about the environment on Wednesday, he has been running paid ads for his fight against the carbon tax and recently had to postpone his British Columbia tour and “repeal the tax.” March in the Yukon due to the wildfires sweeping the region.