By Rosalind Russell – Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP Carol Hughes is calling out grocery chains on their pricing.
Hughes says the cost of groceries has been a significant challenge for Canadians over the past year and a half, but unlike many other consumer items, food is essential.
She says the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-food has been examining the issue of food prices in grocery stores since last year and have compiled an extensive report on their findings including making 13 key recommendations to bring food costs down.
She says those recommendations to the government include collecting and making public data on costs throughout the Canadian agri-food supply chain; providing additional funding to Indigenous-led initiatives in remote and Northern areas to improve food security; and reimbursing farmers and retailers the 35 per cent tariff on their imports of Russian fertilizer, among others.
However, one recommendation from the committee is if the Competition Bureau finds evidence in its upcoming market study that large grocery chains are generating excess profits on food items, the government should consider introducing a windfall profits tax on large, price-setting corporations to disincentivize excess hikes in their profit margins.
Hughes supports the move stressing an effective windfall tax would not harm those companies who are keeping their products at a reasonable rate but would certainly impact those attempting to gouge consumers.
Photo: Hughes supports a windfall profits tax being placed on grocery chains that are found to be price gouging the public. Photo – unsplash.com