Secret RCMP report says 'bleak economic outlook' will lead to more civil unrest

'The coming period of recession will … accelerate the decline in living standards that the younger generations have already witnessed compared to earlier generations,' reads a secret RCMP report. Front and centre of those economic woes is the federal carbon tax. 

Secret RCMP report says 'bleak economic outlook' will lead to more civil unrest
The Canadian Press / Jacques Boissinot
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A secret RCMP report forewarned of more civil unrest should Canadian taxpayers become disillusioned by their fleeting financial security.

Though intended only for federal lawmakers and the national police service, a heavily redacted version of the report became public through an access to information request by Matt Malone, an assistant professor of law at Thompson Rivers University.

It paints a bleak picture of Canada’s short-term future, reported True North.

“The global community has experienced a series of crises, with COVID-19, supply-chain issues, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine all sending shockwaves throughout the world,” reads the report Whole-of-Government Five-Year Trends for Canada.

“The coming period of recession will … accelerate the decline in living standards that the younger generations have already witnessed compared to earlier generations,” it adds.

According to in-house Privy Council research, about a third (36%) of Canadians worry they will never enjoy the standard of living their parents did.

Pandemic Outlook And Recovery rated the cost of living the biggest worry shared by Canadians, cited by 69% of respondents, compared to climate change (63%) or the “possibility of a recession” (47%).

The RCMP report addressed ‘climate change,’ anticipating “extreme weather events and drought” in Canada will intensify scarcity. Among the prophesied catastrophes include floods, wildfires, and a ceding Arctic territory.

The report quotes French President Emmanuel Macron warning “the end of abundance” in the near future.

“At the moment how much do you worry about the following topics?” asked the Privy Council study. Thirty-six percent picked, “The possibility I won’t be financially better off than my parents.” Authors did not comment on the finding.

Many Canadians under 35, according to Five-Year Trends for Canada, are unlikely to ever afford a place to live, noting that conditions “will probably deteriorate further in the next five years.”

The RCMP’s warnings of declining living standards and fleeting aspiration to own a home are backed by statistics.

Since the 1980s, Canada’s GDP per capita or economic productivity has trended downwards though concerns have emerged in recent years.

Last year, University of Calgary economist Trevor Tombe found that per capita earnings would be $5,500 higher had its economy kept pace with the United States.

On housing affordability, a December analysis by RBC pegged housing affordability had reached its “worst-ever” levels ever in Canada’s major housing market. Less than half (44.5%) of Canadian households can afford to purchase a condo at current prices. For single-family homes, only the top 25% of earners have sufficient income to own a home.

“Economic forecasts for the next five years and beyond are bleak,” reads the RCMP’s assessment for the rest of the decade. The stark findings follow 2023 Statistics Canada data showing inflation decimated household finances, reported Blacklock’s Reporter.

“Most workers have seen their purchasing power decline,” said the report Research To Insights: Consumer Price Inflation, Recent Trends And Analysis. “Wages and earnings have not kept pace with price pressures, especially those related to food and shelter,” it added.

Last year, the Agriculture Committee attributed food inflation to global phenomena — war in Ukraine, spiking feed, fuel and fertilizer costs, supply chain interruptions and climate events.

The Bank of Canada found that retailers passed on increases from their suppliers, dollar-for-dollar, providing no indication they increased their margins. 

Canada's leading food research institute, the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University, concurred with the central bank on grocer profits. 

“High inflation especially for food products has put a severe strain on living costs especially among more vulnerable households as income and saving levels adjust to the withdrawal in pandemic-related supports,” said Research To Insights. 

“Low- and middle-income households have seen large reductions in their net savings while younger households have become more leveraged,” wrote analysts.

In addition, the RCMP warned of “paranoid populism” creeping into western countries to counter the above.

According to the secret report, “authoritarian movements have been on the rise in many liberal-democratic nations” which populists have capitalized on due to “the rise of political polarization and conspiracy theories” to breed “extremist movements.”

On February 14, 2022, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act to grant cabinet extra-judicial powers to deter the 2022 Freedom Convoy. It permitted the freezing of bank accounts, detaining protesters, and mobilizing troops on Canadian soil to disrupt the three-week gridlock of the nation’s capital.

Justice Paul Rouleau, who oversaw the Public Order Emergency Commission (POEC) to review the use of emergency powers, noted the convoy was rooted in a "loss of faith in government" and "economic hardship" caused by the government's pandemic response. 

He wrote that the "peaceful demonstrations," to oppose the draconian pandemic mandates, surprised him.

Front and centre of those economic woes is the federal carbon tax. On April 1, the federal carbon tax will increase to $80 per tonne and will continue to rise by $15 per tonne annually until 2030.

An unknown number of Canadians are set to protest the tax hike at 15 interprovincial border crossings across Canada, starting the morning of April 1.

“We are reaching out to truckers, farmers, business owners, and individuals who feel the weight of these changes. Your participation is crucial in making our collective voices heard. Stand with us, as we strive for a change that benefits all Canadians,” reads a statement posted to their website.

Conservative MP Philip Lawrence earlier asked the Bank of Canada governor for how long a period ending the carbon tax would reduce inflation. Tiff Macklem said one year.

On October 30, he told the Commons finance committee it "would create a one-time drop in inflation of 0.6 percentage points" from the current rate of 3.8%.

The group, Nationwide Protest Against the Carbon Tax, clarified that at least one centre lane must remain open for traffic at each location where a strike will occur.

“We will be assembling at our respective provincial borders to peacefully protest the carbon tax,” the group said. “Continue the peaceful event until goals are achieved, regardless of duration. Demand action from government leaders to permanently end the Carbon Tax.”

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