As Loblaw Companies Ltd. continues to reap huge profits while Canadians see their grocery bills soar, people are calling on parliament to finally investigate and intervene.
On February 23, 2023 Loblaw Companies Ltd. reported that it was expecting to grow profits at a faster rate than sales -- despite claiming that their profits are not related to the upsurge in food price inflation -- over the course of the year and that it had "earned a profit available to common shareholders of $529 million in its latest quarter as its revenue rose nearly 10 per cent compared with a year ago."
This comes as Statistics Canada reported this week that grocery prices rose 11.4 per cent in January compared with a year earlier.
As we noted in March, 2021 on The Left Chapter the start of the pandemic was a boon for Loblaw's profits but not at all for the wages of its workers. Loblaw, along with other major grocery retail chains, rather infamously cancelled the pandemic pay premium of an extra $2 an hour in June, 2020 even though the danger to workers was far from over. They also successfully defeated a 12 week strike by Dominion workers in Newfoundland who had fought to improve wages and working conditions.
Now some are organizing to demand that parliament take action.
A parliamentary petition initiated by Haruun Ali of Edmonton in January and sponsored by NDP MP Blake Desjarlais collected over 17,000 signatures and read:
Loblaws currently owns a grocery store within 10km of 90% of Canadians;
Loblaws has posted record profits while many Canadians struggle to eat;
Loblaws has monopolized basic necessities that Canadians rely on;
Loblaws introduced a price-freeze however have failed to live up to that promise;
The price of food is rising and more Canadians are relying on food banks to get food for their family; and
Loblaws in the middle of the pandemic cut their pandemic pay for workers.
We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the House of Commons to:
1. Open a parliamentary investigation into Loblaws Co. for their pandemic profiteering, greedflation and continued price gouging of Canadians; and
2. Open an investigation into the monopolization of Canadian grocery stores and to create legislation to prevent this from occurring again.
Now an Ekō (formerly SumOfUs) petition is calling for parliament to "Investigate Loblaws Now!"
During the height of inflation last year, Loblaws was making an extra $1 million every single day!
Now Loblaws has further increased prices after ending its very short price freeze on its in-house brand, selling 5 chicken breasts at nearly $40, at a time when more Canadians are obliged to use food banks than ever in the history of the country.
This is ultimate greed, but together we can stop it.
Canadians are now demanding the parliament investigates Loblaws’ profiteering from both the pandemic and the inflation to skyrocket their earnings at the expense of the Canadian people. Join the call today and let’s make sure Loblaws, the parent company of Real Canadian Superstore and Shoppers Drug Mart, understands it can’t exploit consumers.
Canadian Parliament: Investigate Loblaws pricing and stop consumers’ exploitation by grocery chains!
When Loblaws Co fixed the price of bread for over 14 years, it made more than $1,400 extra from each customer. In return, the chain gave its customers a $25 gift card, to be used at Loblaw stores.
The federal Competition Bureau launched a study on the spike in food prices but it's not enough – it’s been 5 years since the Bureau ‘studied’ Loblaws price fixing and it still has no answers.
Members of Parliament have summoned the CEOs of Canada's largest grocery store chains including Loblaws to answer for rising food prices. Now is your chance to call for a full investigation into Loblaws’ grocery pricing.
You can sign it at: Investigate Loblaws Now! (eko.org)