Tuesday, September 27, 2022

NDP calls for supermarket probe

The federal New Democatic Party is calling for a probe into the three dominant supermarket chains to determine if they are profiteering from inflation.

While their profits have increased, market analysts such as University of Toronto professor Partha Mohanram say there is little evidence to support that allegation.

Statistics Canada recently reported food prices are 10.8 per cent higher than a year ago, the steepest increase in 40 years.

NDP agriculture critic Alistair MacGregor said he plans to table a motion Wednesday at the agriculture committee calling for a probe.

"I think Canadians deserve answers and … in this time where they see the prices of everything going up, unfortunately they have a Liberal government which has not paid much attention to the role that corporate greed plays in the increasing prices they're seeing," MacGregor told CBC radio.

Canada's three dominant supermarket companies all had increased profits announced in their most recent quarterly financial reports.

Loblaw’s was $387 million which is $12 million more than a year ago which was, in turn, much higher than normal.

Metro’s was $275 million, up from $252.4 million in the same quarter last year and Empire (Sobey’s) was $178.5 million, up from $6.6 million.

Profit margins for Canadian supermarkets have traditionally been less than two per cent.

A person in a suit pointing

Description automatically generated with medium confidence

NDP MP Alistair MacGregor