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May 21st, 2024

NDP forces debate on grocery prices and making grocery giants pay what they owe

OTTAWA— On Tuesday morning, New Democrats forced a debate on sky-high grocery prices and the need for an excess profit tax on grocery giants. NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and NDP finance critic Don Davies forced the debate in the House of Commons on the same day that Statistics Canada reported that, from April 2021 to April 2024, grocery prices increased by a staggering 21.4 per cent.

“Canadians are beyond frustrated with Justin Trudeau’s inaction. Despite promises and posturing, the Liberals haven’t acted to lower food costs. Thousands of people have taken matters into their own hands by organizing a boycott of Loblaws,” said Singh. “Taking on the corporate greed driving up costs is crucial if we’re going to stop Canadians from being gouged. Forcing grocery CEOs to pay what they owe will allow the government to recoup money and put it back in people’s pockets with another grocery rebate. We’ve watched the Liberals drag their feet and refuse to put in place an excess profits tax. Now New Democrats are forcing Justin Trudeau and Pierre Poilievre to take a stand. Hardworking Canadians deserve to know—are they on the side of CEOs making record profits or everyday Canadians?”

The grocery sector in Canada made more than $6 billion in profit in 2023 alone. Loblaws has almost doubled its profit margin in the last five years and Metro has the biggest profit margin of any grocery company. Meanwhile, Canadians are making tough choices about what groceries their family can afford, with one in five families reporting that they have skipped meals because of high grocery costs.

“The government’s role is to protect Canadians from the out-of-control corporate greed that continues to hurt hardworking people,” said Singh. “But Justin Trudeau has consistently disappointed Canadians by failing to act. As for Pierre Poilievre and his lobbyist buddies, they’ve chosen to handout billions to big corporations and protect big grocer CEOs’ profits while families are skipping meals because of high food prices. This isn’t leadership. Canadians deserve better.

“New Democrats are standing up for you and your family, not wealthy and powerful CEOs who make billions of dollars at your expense. When this comes to a vote, the Liberals and Conservatives will have to show Canadians whose side they’re really on.”