Liberals will use ‘everything in their power’ to stabilize prices, Freeland promises – National

A gathering of Canada’s top food executives on Monday is part of the Liberal government’s efforts to control prices, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said.

Freeland spoke briefly to reporters on her way to meet the heads of Canada’s largest grocery chains, a summit hosted by the Liberals as Parliament Hill returns to session and the government promises to take action on the affordability issues that concern Canadians.

“Our government will do everything in its power to ensure that prices stabilize. Today’s meeting is part of that effort,” she said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last week that the invitation to executives from Loblaw, Metro, Empire, Walmart Canada and Costco came with an ultimatum to develop a plan to combat food inflation before Thanksgiving, otherwise ” tax measures” would be on the table.

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Grocery store food inflation remained high at 8.5 percent according to the latest consumer price index, even as price pressures elsewhere in the economy show signs of easing.

Some food economists who spoke to PKBNEWS ahead of Monday’s grocers’ summit said the Trudeau government’s efforts to shift the responsibility for calming food inflation onto grocery executives was misguided and “disingenuous.”

Michael von Ma*sow of the University of Guelph said his “cynical” view of the meeting was that it was more about being a balm for the Liberals’ recent polling woes than an answer for significantly to cost-of-living concerns.

“We see this government attacking the issue of affordability,” he told PKBNEWS.

“It seems like this is a way to appease them, rather than something that will fundamentally affect affordability for Canadians.” »

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Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre on Sunday called the meeting “political theater” and instead blamed the Liberal government for the rising cost of food. In his comments, he also opposed rising profits for big grocery stores – a common line of attack from federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.

Liberal Housing Minister Sean Fraser and Karina Gould, leader of the government in the House of Commons, spoke to reporters Monday before Parliament returned, promising that a bill to address housing concerns affordability would be presented “imminently” during the new session.

&copy 2023 PKBNEWS, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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