The heads of Canada's largest grocery chains were in Ottawa on Monday 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.
The heads of Canada's largest grocery chains were in Ottawa on Monday 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 held an approximately two-hour meeting with executives from major grocery store corporations in downtown Ottawa.
The meeting was 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."
On their way out of the meeting, the CEOs of Sobeys and Metro were the only grocery executives to pass by waiting reporters. Neither signalled that a price drop is coming, but said the table was all committed to finding solutions.
Sobeys CEO Michael Medline described it as a "great" and "very constructive" meeting, but deferred to the politicians on questions about what was discussed.
"Any conversation has to include all the manufacturers, producers, farmers… It's not just about the retailers. The minister understands that very clearly," said Metro CEO Eric La Fleche, denying that his company is profiting from inflation.