Industry Minister Stresses Gradual Progress in Stabilizing Food Prices

by Ella

Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne has emphasized that stabilizing food prices is a process that cannot be swiftly accomplished, noting that it will likely take several weeks and months to yield noticeable results. This statement comes in the wake of an agreement between Champagne and major grocery chains to address rising food costs, with promises of steadier prices in the near future.

For weeks, Champagne and the federal government have been addressing concerns regarding grocery expenses and had set a Thanksgiving deadline for the CEOs of Canada’s five largest grocery chains to devise a plan to “stabilize” prices.


This week, Champagne indicated that Canadians will soon witness grocers taking specific measures to address prices. These measures include price freezing, price matching, and discounts on select products. However, he did not specify the metrics by which shoppers can gauge the plan’s effectiveness.


In an interview with CTV’s Question Period, Champagne acknowledged that the process of lowering prices would likely continue for months. He emphasized that it is not as simple as flipping a switch to achieve immediate results, stating, “It’s not like a switch you flip, and you say, ‘oh, it’s Thanksgiving, and suddenly everything is solved.'”


Champagne clarified that the Thanksgiving deadline was for grocers to devise a plan, not to achieve price stability by that weekend. He emphasized that this is an ongoing process and the initial set of measures announced is just the beginning.


Food inflation last year reached an alarming 11.4 percent, marking the fastest year-over-year growth in over four decades. Although it has since slowed to 6.9 percent in August, it remains significantly higher than the overall inflation rate of 4 percent for the same month.

Additionally, the Liberal government is moving forward with proposed changes to Canada’s Competition Act through Bill C-56, known as the Affordable Housing and Groceries Act. This legislation aims to bolster protections for Canadians in the grocery sector’s competitive landscape. Plans are also in motion to establish a grocery “code of conduct” to promote fairness and transparency within the industry.

When questioned about whether the federal government should have acted sooner, considering the extended period of record-high food prices, Champagne asserted that the focus is on action, not taking credit. He stressed the importance of continuous efforts to address the issue effectively.

Champagne further stated that the government’s actions in recent weeks were not driven by political considerations, despite declining popularity in the polls. He emphasized that the ongoing process of addressing food prices is essential, and the government is committed to continued efforts to benefit all Canadians.



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