Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is exploring various options, including taxation, to ensure that grocery store owners provide relief for consumers amid rising costs of living. In an effort to stabilize prices for goods, Trudeau has summoned the leaders of the country’s major grocery store chains to a meeting in Ottawa. The Canadian government is expecting concrete plans from these operators by early October.
Trudeau expressed concern that while grocery stores are making record profits, many Canadians are struggling to afford basic necessities. “It’s not okay,” he said during a press conference held in London, Ontario after a meeting with the Liberal Party caucus.
To encourage meaningful relief for households on prices, Trudeau stated that “further action” would be taken if necessary, without ruling out tax measures. The specific tax measures under consideration have not been disclosed.
In response to an increased corporate income tax rate imposed on banks following the 2021 election, Trudeau expressed optimism that grocery store CEOs will acknowledge the government’s concerns.
However, the Liberal Party is currently facing challenges in the polls. Recent surveys indicate that they are trailing behind the Conservative Party by a significant margin. According to a poll conducted by Ottawa-based Abacus Data, if an election were held today, 41% of voters would support the Conservatives, while only 26% would vote Liberal. Furthermore, 56% of Canadians hold a negative perception of Prime Minister Trudeau.
One of the main issues affecting the government’s popularity is the economy, particularly inflation and high house prices. Recent data for Canada shows that the consumer-price index rose by 3.3% in July compared to the previous year, with food prices at grocery stores increasing by 8.5% during the same period.