While Canadians are cutting back on their usual grocery lists and struggling to keep food on their plates, the government is busy playing a blame game. Not just healthcare, or housing but food inflation in Canada has also become an area where normal households are really feeling the heat and who is to be blamed for that? The Liberal party in power or the retail chains? Well, if you ask the government, it will shift the blame on the grocery giants.
We know how food prices in Canada have taken a toll on Canadians’ pockets for much of 2022. Food inflation has soared to a 41-year-high in the country and shows no signs of going down.
Earlier this month, Statistics Canada released data showing that, despite a national annual inflation rate drop to 7% in August, the price of food increased by 10.8%, reaching a new 41-year high.
Now, this debate over rising grocery prices has moved to Parliament Hill. The liberal MPs have now brought the grocery executives to summon.
The Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food interrogated senior grocery executives, with members of parliament demanding an explanation for the skyrocketing price of goods.
The leaders of Canada’s top grocery store companies have been called before lawmakers to explain why food costs are rising.
The CEOs and presidents of Loblaw Companies, Metro, and Empire Company Limited, which runs chains like Sobeys, Safeway, and FreshCo, were invited to a Canada House of Commons committee meeting on food price inflation on Monday.
Read More: Did Jagmeet Singh just accuse Trudeau of artificially inflating food prices?
The liberals in a bid to save their skin are now holding the grocery CEOs to blame. Be it housing or economic or immigration or food, the federal government has failed to counter any of them. Infact, the liberal policies have an adverse effect on the already spiralling crisis. One such policy is the milk policy that exposes the dirty dairy secret of Canada.
In Canada, milk production is governed by a national supply management system that includes provincial arms. Farmers are limited in how much milk they can produce, and this quota must be purchased. No farmer may sell or distribute more milk than their quota permits.
Dumping milk has been going on since the start of the system to control supply, and thus price, but few people know about this dirty dairy secret.
In Ontario alone, farmers dumped 74 million litres of milk between Nov. 1, 2020, and Oct. 31, 2021. Those figures, which used to be public, are now considered “commercially sensitive” information and kept secret.
According to Huigen, the excess milk could be given to low-income families or food banks, or even donated to hospitals, but instead it is ordered to be discarded due to government’s redundant policies.
Not to mention, while ordinary Canadians and even economists were pointing out the reasons for the price surge as the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh came up with a leak. Singh argued that if high food prices in Canada were solely caused by international factors, grocery stores would not be simultaneously posting robust quarterly profits.
Read More: Trudeau’s vegan push is killing dairy farmers in Canada
According to Global News, Metro Inc. said last month that its $275-million profit in Q3 was roughly nine per cent higher than last year; Loblaw, meanwhile, reported a Q2 profit of $387 million in July, up 3.2 per cent annually; and in June, Empire Co. Ltd., parent of Sobeys, reported a Q4 profit of $178.5 million, up 3.8 per cent year over year.
“If it was simply an increase of price to match the increased costs, we wouldn’t be seeing the bonuses and the record profits. So that is clear evidence that it’s something beyond the understandable, perhaps, increased costs that flow from the war or gas prices that have gone up (sic),” Singh said.
He even mentioned the Competition Bureau investigation from 2018 that revealed Canadian grocery stores coordinated to control the price of bread as evidence that the sector has previously participated in dishonest conduct.
But then the liberals were tight-lipped over the matter owing to the corporate profits but now when the nation is rising up against the federals and the elections are nearing, the Trudeau government is trying to shift the blame.
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