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Editorial: Affordability crisis

It's a national crisis with local implications.
Editorial Stock Photo

The affordability of pretty much everything is reaching a tipping point. 

Gas, groceries, housing – virtually every commodity or service has been rising in cost in the last months, courtesy of record-high inflation. 

A recent report from Rentals.ca indicated rent in Calgary rose 21 per cent year-to-date this May, and the cost of rent in that city is up 6.1 per cent month-over-month.

Regular gas prices in Cochrane are creeping closer and closer to $2 per litre, and were hovering around $1.91 a litre as of press time.

Canada's Food Price Report for 2022 predicts a five-to-seven per cent increase in food costs this year, highlighting that an average family of four with two adults and two children ages 14 to 18 and nine to 13 will likely pay close to $1,000 more this year for food compared to in 2021.

It's a national crisis with local implications. A letter to the editor our newsroom received this week expressed concern about the writer's long-term ability to stay in her Cochrane condo, given the increase in property taxes. 

At some point, something is going to have to give. Canada's inflation in April was reported at 6.8 per cent – the highest its been in more than 30 years. The Bank of Canada has raised interest rates a few times already this year, and Queens University economist Don Drummonds suggested in a recent Global News article that the Bank would have to hike interest rates to or above three per cent to make sure the current inflation doesn't become entrenched.

Will there be another recession or economic depression? It certainly feels ominous. The stock market has been very volatile lately and several stocks have been dropping in value. According to a CNBC article, on Wall Street, the S&P 500 is currently in a "bear" market, which refers to when the value of securities or commodities are continuously dropping.

Even cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have seen a recent steep decline in price, leading to a selling frenzy.

Scary times, indeed.