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The Rising CPI Drains Residents in Alberta, Canada

Residents in Alberta, Canada are feeling the impact of the rising Consumer Price Index (CPI), which hit a 40-year high in 2022, according to a new report released by Statistics Canada on Jan. 17, 2023. In 2022, the CPI was 151.2, rising 6.8 per cent on an annual average basis. The CPI rose 6.8 per cent on an annual average basis, affecting all major components, with energy prices being the most affected. On an annual average basis, consumers paid 28.5 per cent more for gasoline. The CPI for Alberta is 160.8, with food (+10.0 per cent) and shelter (+7.6 per cent) being the categories that increased the most.

Despite Alberta’s oil industry being a significant component of its provincial economy, the province is not seeing an economic boom, according to a report by Alberta Central Chief Economist Charles St-Arnaud. As he mentioned in this report, after almost a decade of depressed oil prices, producers have been under pressure in 2022 to use their extraordinary profits to pay down debt and focus on returns to shareholders rather than investing in their operations. The result is fewer workers and fewer economic spinoff effects. According to Statistics Canada, total employment in Alberta’s oil and gas sector in 2022 is only 75 per cent of what it was in 2014.


The Alberta government has announced a 2.8 billion bill to mitigate the impact of rising living costs in 2022, but residents are still feeling the stress of soaring consumer prices. As an article of Calgary CityNews claimed, wages are up seven per cent over the last two years nationally, while in Alberta, they’re up less than one per cent. The fact that wages in Alberta are not keeping pace with the rising cost of living is a worrying trend that could lead to increased financial hardship and inequality for many individuals and families.

Even students who don’t need a steady job to raise children are feeling the impact of the higher CPI. The CPI of education in Alberta has gone up to 121.1 per cent in 2022, with students facing increasing tuition costs. Students at the University of Calgary, for instance, are paying on average 25 per cent more for their tuition compared to 2019, according to CBC. Engineering students who started this fall are paying 60 per cent more for their tuition, while fees have increased by about 20 per cent.


The rising CPI has also affected students’ grocery shopping patterns, with many having to pay more attention to their food purchases. On “U of Confessions”, a student-run website with related social media pages, many students at the University of Calgary anonymously shared their struggles, expressing a sense of hopelessness about the situation. A third-year anonymous student at the University of Calgary complained about the increase in necessities on it: “For us students, it’s worse to see the grocery prices has gone up dramatically because many of us don’t have a salary in general. The rising cost of living is hurting us.”

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Tags: #Canada #Life #CPI


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