Our neighbors to the north enjoy Disney+ as we here in the United States do, but Canadians were recently urged to back out of their Disney+ subscriptions immediately.
Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, compared the stress of inflation in Canada to her own family’s canceling of their Disney+ subscription, leaving many Canadians fuming.
On November 6, Freeland appeared on a political talk show called The West Block and spoke with the show’s host Mercedes Stephenson. The two discussed Canada’s rising inflation and the economic hardships being experienced by the Canadian public. But instead of ignoring the problem as one might expect a politician to do, Freeland made a futile attempt to relate to other Canadians by acknowledging the problem.
“I agree with your basic premise, Mercedes,” the Deputy Prime Minister said during the exchange. “I think things are really challenging for Canadian families, and I think Canadian families are looking really closely at all of their expenses.”
Then Freeland said, “I personally, as a mother and wife, look carefully at my credit card bill once a month, and last Sunday I said to the kids, ‘You’re older now, you don’t watch Disney anymore, let’s cut that Disney Plus subscription.’ So we cut it. It’s only $13.99 a month that we’re saving, but every little bit helps.”
Freeland continued by saying, “And I think every mother in Canada is doing that right now, and I want to say to all of those mothers, I believe that I need to take exactly the same approach with the federal government’s finances because that’s the money of Canadians.”
"let's cut that @DisneyPlus subscription"
Feeling the sting of inflation, Canada's Minister of Finance announced Saturday that she cut her DisneyPlus subscription for a savings of $13.99 per month, and encourages all Canadians to do the same. pic.twitter.com/SBvm5CE7sB
— NOT inkless (@NotInkless) November 6, 2022
But many who live in the Great White North were not amused, and they certainly didn’t feel validated, as Freeland’s speech came off as unreliable, leaving many to regard it as disrespectful toward Canadians who are living with “the realities of the country’s current economic situation.”
“So to recap today, the Finance Minister is targeting $13.99,” responded Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola MP Dan Albas. ” This is coming from the same Liberal Government that feels entitled to spend $6,000 a night on a luxury hotel room when it is your money. It is simply incredible how all over the fiscal map these Liberals have become.”
“Trudeau’s inflation-causing deficits drove up prices and robbed your paycheque of its value,” said Regina—Qu’Appelle MP Andrew Scheer. “[And this is] his Finance Minister’s message to people visiting food banks and defaulting on their mortgages?”
Another MP responded, saying, “Canadians are out of money, and Liberals are out of touch.”
The backlash continued after Freeland’s televised comments, causing the Deputy Prime Minister to finally apologize two days later for her comments and insensitivity toward her fellow Canadians.
“I want to start by recognizing that I am a very privileged person,” Freeland began. “For sure. Like other elected federal leaders, I am paid a really significant salary and I know that that puts me in a really, really privileged position. And I really recognize that it is not people like me – people who have my really good fortune – who are struggling the most in Canada today. The people who are struggling in Canada today, with today’s high prices, aren’t people like me. They are not federally elected politicians. They are people across the country who earn a low income, who really do find that today’s high prices mean they have to make difficult choices about what food to buy, about whether to buy groceries or pull together the money to pay the rent. So I 100% recognize that.”
It remains to be seen how Freeland’s fellow Canadians will respond to the apology, and whether they will follow suit and cancel their Disney+ subscriptions as she suggested.