June 25th, 2024

Federal NDP want a price cap on grocery store staples, Liberals say it won’t work

By The Canadian Press on June 4, 2024.

The federal New Democrats want a price cap on grocery store staples if the Liberal government can't convince grocers to bring down the prices themselves. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh speaks in the Foyer of the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on Monday, June 3, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Spencer Colby

OTTAWA – The federal New Democrats want a price cap on grocery store staples if the Liberal government can’t convince grocers to bring down the prices themselves.

In Europe, some countries have implemented similar measures, and while it’s something Industry Minister Fran├žois-Philippe Champagne said he has looked into, he doesn’t think it’s a good idea.

“You have commodities which are traded on a global scale. So think about sugar, think about wheat, how can you have a price in one particular region,” he said Tuesday.

“But I think the better way to do that is keep putting pressure on the grocers, on the large manufacturers around the world, and bringing more competition.”

For months, the Liberals have been trying to get big grocers in Canada to sign a code of conduct that they say will bring down food prices for everyone.

And Champagne has even said he’s trying to court a foreign grocer to usher in competition.

“I think it would help up shake up the market and bring better prices,” he said.

Some food costs have recently eased due to a slight decline in inflation, but New Democrats say prices have not dropped nearly as much as they have risen in the past three years.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said he’s tired of Canadians getting ripped off by corporations, which he says continue to price gouge.

Last month, some shoppers boycotted Loblaw following a month-long campaign from frustrated consumers who are feeling the pinch and blame the grocery giant.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 4, 2024.

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