NDP Calls for Federal Investigation into Soaring Grocery Prices in Canada
As Canadians struggle to fill their refrigerators, the federal New Democratic Party (NDP) demands an investigation into soaring food prices.
Speaking on Tuesday, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh called on the agriculture committee to investigate grocery prices, saying Canadians facing sticker shock were not fair and had no any sense.
“We see prices going up when it comes to food. We see profits going up, and we don’t see prices going down,” Singh said. “It is clear to us that corporate greed contributes to inflation. It is a problem. »
The federal NDP leader also expressed concern about price-fixing in grocery stores.
The cost of groceries is up nearly 11%, overall, this year in Canada compared to 2021, according to Statistics Canada.
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Many individual staples, such as meat, coffee and cooking oil, rose more than that. Yet Canada’s three largest grocery chains — Loblaws, Metro and Sobeys — all posted higher profits in their most recent financial reports.
Loblaws and Metro attribute this to an increase in pharmaceutical sales primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The annual inflation rate slowed to 7.0% in August, Statistics Canada said last week in its latest monthly consumer price index (CPI) report. Prior to the release of the report, RBC’s inflation forecast for August was 7.2%.
Lower gasoline prices led to the slowdown; however, Canadians still feel the pinch in the grocery shop.
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Liberal MP Ryan Turnbull sits on the committee. He said he wasn’t sure now was the right time for an investigation, but noted that this issue needed further consideration.
« The profits we’re seeing companies making are concerning if you look at what Canadians are going through right now, » Turnbull said.
The Retail Council of Canada backtracked, saying the rise in food prices is the result of a variety of issues, including high fuel costs, extreme weather and the war in Ukraine. In fact, the RCC said grocery chain profits are lower than many other industries.
Excluding gasoline pricesyear-on-year inflation was 6.3%, making August the first month since June 2021 that annual non-petrol inflation slowed.
As grocery prices soared in August, prices for bakery products increased by 15.4%, while prices for fresh fruit were 13.2 percent higher than a year ago. Gas prices were up 22.1% in August from a year ago, but down 17.9% since June.