THE Canadian government has summoned grocery chains in an attempt to lower prices.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday that he is calling on the country’s grocery chains to find a solution to growing affordability concerns.
Trudeau asked leaders of Canada’s five largest grocers, including Loblaw, Sobeys, and Metro, to come to the capital to propose ways to stabilize prices.
They have until October 9 to give an official proposal to the government.
“If their plan doesn’t provide real relief … we will take further action and we are not ruling anything out, including tax measures,” said Trudeau.
“It does not make sense in a country like Canada that our largest grocery chains should be making record profits while Canadians are struggling to put food on the table.”
Many Canadian grocery chains denied profiteering accusations in a hearing earlier this year. In 2022 grocers had astronomical figures, with Loblaw, Sobeys, and Metro alone making C$100 billion in sales and C$3.6 billion in profit.
The government says competition is the solution to the issue and Trudeau said he will remove legislation that defends massive company mergers.
However, the Retail Council of Canada claims the blame should be placed on manufacturers and producers for raising their prices.
A spokesperson for the association, Michelle Wasylyshen, told Reuters that any discussion on prices must include every player in the supply chain.
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Loblaw was seemingly interested in negotiation, saying they are “always open to discussions about what more can be done across the industry.”
Rising prices are a big issue for Trudeau’s administration, with Canadian conservatives blaming him for the issues.
He is already in the minority in the government and currently would lose the 2025 election based on projections.
If he wishes to make it to a fourth term, Trudeau will need to captivate voters with a major resolution to climbing prices.
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