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June 4th, 2024

NDP targets corporate greed driving up food prices with plan to lower prices

OTTAWA—On Tuesday, Jagmeet Singh and the NDP presented their plan to force big grocery chains to either lower prices for Canadians, or face measures like a price cap on essential food. The motion, debated in Parliament Tuesday, also calls for long-needed reforms to the Nutrition North program and for an end to Liberal and Conservative corporate handouts to big grocers.

Over the last three years, the cost of food has increased by over 20 per cent and food bank usage is at a 35-year high. All the while, the grocery sector made record profits in 2023, raking in $6 billion.

“High grocery prices have been hurting families for months," said Singh. "Canadians know that the problem is corporate greed. People are boycotting grocery stores because the Liberals and Conservatives have failed to protect Canadian consumers from price gouging, or hold these massive corporations accountable

“People need some relief, but Justin Trudeau hasn't cracked down on corporate greed driving up food prices or made them pay what they owe. And Pierre Poilievre chooses to protect the profits of his CEO buddies instead of helping Canadians. New Democrats are making it clear, either these corporations lower the price of essential food, or they’ll face a cap on essential food costs.”

Despite months of empty promises, the Liberal government hasn’t taken bold action to bring down food prices hurting Canadian families. Instead of going after corporate greed, Justin Trudeau and Pierre Poilievre are giving massive handouts to big grocery chains.

Trudeau gave $25 million of public money to Loblaws and Costco while they were already making massive profits. And this is on top of Pierre Poilievre’s $2.35 billion corporate handout to big grocers that Justin Trudeau maintained.

“The government has an obligation to make things fair for people, but Indigenous and Northern communities are being ripped off at the grocery till. All the while, the NorthWest Company received $67 million in subsidies from the Nutrition North program last year from the Liberals,” said NDP MP Lori Idlout (Nunavut). “There are serious allegations that this money is padding the pockets of the CEO instead of helping families afford food.

“In 2022, the NorthWest Company CEO made over $3.9 million. Meanwhile, cashiers at North Mart in Iqaluit make just $21 an hour. With a can of soup costing $10 and a litre of olive oil $36, workers in Nunavut can’t afford to shop at their own stores. That’s why the NDP is calling for Nutrition North to be reformed so the money goes into lowering people's costs, not to greedy CEOs.”

“Food should be affordable for everyone, said Singh. “So now Justin Trudeau and Pierre Poilievre have a choice: will they keep standing with grocery CEOs or will they stand by Canadians who need lower prices for food?”