North Island – Powell River MP Rachel Blaney says she is supporting Jagmeet Singh’s private members bill, calling on the federal government to lower grocery prices.
Blaney says the bill is aimed to ensure Canadians “are not subjected to price gouging at the grocery store,” and it will bring down the cost of food. She adds it will increase penalties for price fixing, protect small grocery stores from anti-competitive tactics and give the competition bureau more power to crack down on price gouging.
“People in North Island – Powell River and across Canada can’t afford basic necessities while CEOs continue to get richer, clearly the process is broken,” said Blaney. “We need to put the needs of everyday people front and centre while addressing inflation.”
The NDP say food inflation hit 6.9 per cent in August, above the current inflation rate of four per cent.
North Island – Powell River conservative candidate Shelley Downey said, however, that lowering the carbon tax would be the most efficient way to lower grocery prices, rather than targeting corporations.
“The carbon tax affects and impacts all levels of the supply chain beginning with producers, to the processors and to the distributors,” said Downey.
“I have witnessed it personally in our family retail business. When the carbon tax went Canada wide, the price of goods to our door increased as did the freight costs to bring it here.”
Blaney meanwhile says both the liberals and conservatives have voted in favour of grocery CEOs while Canadians have to make tough decisions to keep up with the cost of living.
“Despite the fact that Canadians are working hard, families are falling further behind,” said Blaney. “We are tired of seeing CEOs’ profits continually increase while we are being gouged on our grocery bills.”
Meanwhile, Downey says future legislation could also decrease the production of farmers, causing prices to rise and food inflation to continue.