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Affordability, U.S. election to top agenda as federal cabinet meets in Montreal

OTTAWA — The federal cabinet will hear from a range of experts on housing, economics and Canada-U.S. relations over three days of meetings in Montreal next week. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his governing team are set to kick off their winter cabinet retreat Sunday night as they prepare for Parliament to return in the last week of January. 

Cost of living has dominated government discussions for more than a year now and will top the agenda again in Montreal as the Liberals seek a path back to favour among voters.

Canadians watching their spending power diminish in the face of higher interest rates, ballooning housing costs and bigger grocery bills have significantly shifted support away from the Liberals over the last six months. 

The cabinet will hear Monday from top economists and housing experts including Frances Donald, the chief economist at Manulife Financial, and Tim Richter, the president and CEO of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness.

On Tuesday, the focus will shift slightly to global affairs, the Israel-Hamas conflict and the upcoming presidential election in the United States.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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