October 5th, 2023
NDP MP Lisa Marie Barron calls for real solutions to bring down food prices in Nanaimo-Ladysmith
NANAIMO – On Wednesday, after a new report from Dalhousie University revealed that close to three out of five Canadians are worried about compromising on nutrition due to high food prices at the grocery store, NDP MP Lisa Marie Barron (Nanaimo – Ladysmith) joined NDP leader Jagmeet Singh in reiterating his call for the Liberal government to adopt New Democrats’ proposal to bring down food prices.
To up the pressure, on Friday, Singh will bring the fight directly to Justin Trudeau’s home riding and demand that he stops propping up big grocer CEOs and start taking action to bring down food prices.
“The price of food items shouldn’t come before you or your kid’s nutritional health – but for most people right now, choosing less healthy food is the only option to keep costs down,” said Barron. “As a former school board trustee, I’ve seen firsthand how difficult it can be on our kids and their ability to learn when they can’t get the healthy food that their brains need. But what makes this matter worse is that the Liberals have tools to bring food prices down - they just don’t want to use them because it would mean standing up to their rich CEO friends.”
Two weeks ago, Singh introduced the Lowering Price for Canadians Act, legislation that gives the Competition Bureau more power to increase competition and lower prices, increase fines for price-fixing and price-gouging, and close loopholes that let big grocery chains price out the competition. Under Trudeau, food prices increased by 30 per cent. Meanwhile, Canada’s three largest grocers— Loblaws, Sobeys, and Metro — collectively earned more than $3.6 billion in profits in 2022.
For 21 months, food prices outpaced inflation, and Trudeau did nothing. And despite all his grandstanding, Pierre Poilievre is not who he says he is. During his nine years in government, food prices increased by 25 per cent. Ground beef by 128 per cent and coffee by 89 per cent. He had his chance to go after corporate greed, but instead, he gave large grocery chains like Loblaw billions in tax giveaways.
“While the Conservatives and the Liberals let the CEOs of massive grocery chains hike prices to make even more money, New Democrats are fighting to end this gouging,” added Barron. “Asking these CEOs nicely to lower prices isn’t cutting it – and so far, that seems to be the Liberals' main plan. And all Pierre Poilievre has done is vote against measures, like the GST rebate, that help families trying to keep up with their grocery bills. It’s time for the government to step up and show real leadership – which is why New Democrats are bringing the fight to Trudeau’s backyard.”