OTTAWA — One week after Canada’s NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh introduced his plan to lower prices for Canadians, on Tuesday morning he urged the government to adopt his more rigorous approach to tackle high food prices.
The Liberal Industry Minister met with food manufacturer executives yesterday to talk about food pricing amidst the government’s proposed minor changes to the Competition Act that Singh is calling “toothless.”
“The cost of food has been hurting Canadian families for almost two years now and the Liberals have stood by while people paid thousands of dollars, increasing grocery CEOs’ bottom line,” said Singh. “It took all this time for the Liberals to come up with this show and those toothless changes. Asking kindly for CEOs to play nice and lower prices is frankly absurd, when they haven’t done it for months. If Justin Trudeau wants to show that he is serious about this, he will need to implement stronger protections for Canadians — and stop delaying meaningful action and disappointing Canadians.”
While the Liberals’ bill includes some minor changes to the Competition Act that were needed, they do not increase the penalties for price fixing and price gouging, they won’t significantly increase the power of the Competition Bureau to crack down on those consumer abuses or protect smaller grocery players. The Liberals have the chance to do more to protect Canadians and includes the comprehensive measures Jagmeet Singh put forward in his Lowering Prices for Canadians Act.
“After the bread price fixing scandal, the big grocery CEOs have lost the trust of Canadians. Protections against price gouging and the anti-competition practices that keep costs high shouldn’t be left up to the good will of CEOs. We can’t just rely on them to do the right thing,” said Singh. “Real leadership means taking action to protect Canadians’ hard-earned money, not pandering to the rich and well-connected CEOs making record profits. Will Liberals delay and disappoint again or will they finally stand up for Canadian families?”