Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh introduced a private member’s bill, in an attempt to lower Canadian grocery prices on Monday.
According to the NDP, the bill aims to “reign in corporate greed and stop grocery giants like Galen Weston from gouging you at the till.”
The party added that if passed, the bill would work to lower prices in three ways.
My bill will lower grocery prices for you and your family.
Here’s how. pic.twitter.com/Cslnhj6qV0
— Jagmeet Singh (@theJagmeetSingh) September 18, 2023
The first measure would increase fines for overcharging, price-fixing, and “other abuses of Canadian consumers.”
The second measure promises to close loopholes allowing companies to take advantage of anti-competitive behaviour.
Lastly, the bill aims to strengthen merger laws to give the Competition Bureau more powers to prevent big grocery corporations from abusing their position as dominant players in the industry.
The announcement comes as Canada’s “big five” grocery CEOs arrived in Ottawa on Monday to meet with Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry François-Philippe Champagne to establish a plan to “stabilize” grocery prices.
Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the CEOs had until Thanksgiving to figure out a strategy, and if they didn’t follow through, there would be consequences.
“And let me be very clear: if their plan doesn’t provide real relief to the middle class and people working hard to join it, then we will take further action, and we’re not ruling anything out, including tax measures,” stated Trudeau.
During question period in the House of Commons on Monday, Trudeau doubled down on the Liberal’s push to lower food prices.
“Our focus is on making life more affordable and ensuring big corporations pay their fair share. The Minister of Innovation met today with the CEOs of large grocery chains to reinforce the immediate need to stabilize food prices and improve competition,” he said.
In a statement, Singh said Trudeau’s measures were “not good enough.”
“After over a year of ignoring the problem, Justin Trudeau is now saying he’s going to take action,” he stated.
“Huge corporate grocery stores have made record profits off the backs of Canadians and now Justin Trudeau is essentially going to ask them nicely to lower their prices.”