Galen Weston arrives for a meeting on the growing cost of food in Ottawa, Sept. 18, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Champagne, Freeland meet with grocery executives to discuss stabilizing prices

Top executives from Canada’s major grocery chains are in Ottawa this morning to meet with two federal cabinet ministers and discuss measures to stabilize grocery prices.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne are set to meet with executives from Loblaw, Metro, Empire, Walmart and Costco this morning.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced last week that the federal government is asking major Canadian grocers to come up with a plan by Thanksgiving to stabilize prices.

Trudeau warned that if the plan is not good enough, Ottawa will take further action — and the government is not ruling anything out, including tax measures.

The call comes as grocery prices rose 8.5 per cent year-over-year in July, showing a slight easing of price growth but still running much hotter than overall inflation at 3.3 per cent.

The Retail Council of Canada said in a statement last week that grocer prices profits have nothing to do with the rising cost of food, pointing instead to higher costs being passed on from food manufacturers and producers.

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