A sharp rise in the consumer price index released by Statistics Canada, the government bureau, created the most important issue in the Canadian election campaign during the past week.
A sharp rise in the consumer price index released by Statistics Canada, the government bureau, created the most important issue in the Canadian election campaign during the past week. Prime minister Pierre Trudeau on Tuesday predicted that the leaders of the opposition parties would greet the announcement with cries of doom and gloom. On Wednesday when it was revealed that the cost of food had gone up three per cent in May, the highest monthly increase in twenty-three years, both Conservative leader Robert Stanfield and the socialist leader, David Lewis, said it showed that the Liberal government could not contain inflation in Canada.
SYNOPSIS: The conservative leader said the figures were shocking and alarming and added that millions of Canadians are being betrayed. At the start of the campaign, Mr. Stanfield had promised that if a Progressive Conservative government was elected he would impose a short term freeze on wages and prices to slow-down inflation.
The latest polls indicate Mr. Stanfield could form a minority government although Prime minister Trudeau is still regarded by more Canadians as the best leader.
Mr. Trudeau campaigned in Western Canada, an area where he does not have many members but is fighting to pick up more votes.
The liberal party leader outlined his transportation policies including cheaper railway rates to move western grain to the ports and better port facilities. Mr. Trudeau also promised government aid for rapid transit projects in the cities. Unlike the last election, Nargaret Trudeau is actively campaigning with her husband.
The New Democratic Party, led by David Lewis, held the balance of power in the last parliament, and Mr. Lewis is fighting to retain his bloc of seats. Most observers are predicting a minority government. He is campaigning heavily in British Columbia and paying special attention to the New Canadians who in the past have usually supported liberal candidates. He also flew to the Northwest Territories where an NDP member, Wally Firth, represents a riding of more than one-million-three-hundred-thousand square miles.