Nova Scotia

N.S. inflation rate hurts families, business

Nova Scotia is a leader in Canada when it comes to the inflation rate which is sitting at 4.4 per cent, well above the national average of 3.1 per cent.

Nova Scotia is a leader in Canada when it comes to the inflation rate which is sitting at 4.4 per cent, well above the national average of 3.1 per cent.

That news is no big surprise to Nova Scotians who are trying to cope with rising prices.

A visit to the playground is the closest James Hollett and Alyshia Wambolt and their two children will get to a vacation this year.

She is a stay-at-home mom who's working on her high school diploma so she can enroll in college and become a continuing care assistant. He works full-time as a cleaner.

James Hollett said the high inflation rate is hurting his family. ((CBC))
"Financially, it's extremely hard," Hollett said. "I don't make much money at my job, and the money I do make is nowhere near enough."

Hollett and Wambolt are not alone.

At the Parker Street Furniture and Food Bank in Halifax, Mel Boutilier said there's been a substantial increase in the number of people looking for help.

He said it's not just among low-income earners. He said he's seeing an increasing number of middle-income families who just can't keep up.

"The time is coming, I believe, this winter when there's more expenses, that people are just going to rise up," Boutilier said. "And it wouldn't surprise me one little bit if people take to the streets and demand that somebody does something so at least they can have a home that's comfortable and they can have enough food to eat."

In the last year, prices in Nova Scotia have jumped:

  • Fuel oil prices are up 27.6 per cent.
  • Gas prices jumped 25.7 per cent.
  • Meat prices are up 8.5 per cent.
  • Bakery and cereal prices have increased 8.4 per cent.

It's not just families feeling the pinch. Small businesses, like Chebucto Coffee in Halifax, are noticing it, too.

Coffee shop owner Mike McInnis says he may have to raise his prices. ((CBC))
"Everything has gone up," owner Mike McInnis said. "Milk has gone up, coffee has gone up unbelievably."

He opened his business 11 months ago. He works 70 hours a week and has three part-time employees, but he's worried rising costs may force his prices up.

James Hollett knows there's little he can do about rising prices.

"I try to look for the positive in everything," he said.