Grocery executives in Ottawa for meeting with Freeland, Champagne on food prices

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The heads of Canada’s largest grocery chains are in Ottawa for a hastily called meeting with two top cabinet ministers to discuss the federal Liberal government’s demand for the grocers to come up with a plan to “stabilize” prices.


Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry François-Philippe Champagne are meeting with executives from major grocery store corporations in downtown Ottawa.


The meeting is the result of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declaring on Friday that he was summonsing top officials from Loblaw, Metro, Empire, Walmart and Costco to begin discussions to address what a House committee has long been studying: the escalating price of groceries in Canada.


Trudeau’s ultimatum was: Come up with a credible plan by Thanksgiving or he’ll consider “the use of tax measures in order to restore the grocery price stability that Canadians expect.” 


“Rather than casting blame where the experts agree it does not belong, the federal government should look in the mirror. The government could take a number of steps to make food more affordable,” said the Retail Council of Canada in a statement last week.


The retailer advocacy group said that grocers “continue to do what they can… to stabilize food prices,” while stating the cause of high food prices is “driven by increased vendor costs from food manufacturers and producers” caused by global factors including inflation.


CTV News was on-scene as the grocery executives and ministers arrived for their sit-down.


Here’s what they had to say:



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