REGINA - Today, Official Opposition Leader Carla Beck and Affordability Critic Trent Wotherspoon called for an investigation into food and meat pricing.
“Ground beef is up ten percent, carrots are up almost thirty percent, and hardworking Saskatchewan people that don't normally struggle are missing meals and using the food bank,” said Beck. “Our job as MLAs is to ensure that we are fighting on behalf of the people we serve. We need to get to the bottom of why corporate grocery stores are making record profits while Saskatchewan families are struggling with surging food prices. Rather than making life more expensive with new taxes and higher power and energy bills, Scott Moe’s Sask. Party government should stick up for Saskatchewan producers and cash-strapped families.”
Canada’s Food Price report indicates that the average household of four will pay $966 more in groceries this year and that Saskatchewan is set to lead the nation in food price increases in 2022. At the same time, wages in Saskatchewan have only increased 2% over the last year, second last in terms of wage growth in Canada.
“Livestock producers are getting short-changed when they take their products to market and families are still walking past the meat counter because everything is simply too expensive. We deserve to know where our dollars are going,” said Wotherspoon. “Families are struggling as corporate grocery store chains in Toronto are raking in record profits and the consolidated meatpacking industry is failing producers and consumers. Saskatchewan people are producers and consumers and that means we’re getting hit twice as hard.”
The Saskatchewan NDP called for an investigation into skyrocketing food prices and the creation of a special committee of the legislature to work with the federal agriculture committee on food prices, including investigating grocery and supply chain issues, meat processing and packaging, and food security in Saskatchewan’s north.
This adds to the suite of affordability measures the Sask. NDP have called for in recent months:
- Expanding $500 affordability cheques for parents with children
- Creating a consumer advocate for fair and reliable utilities
- Rolling back the 8% SaskPower and 23% SaskEnergy increases
- Rolling back the PST expansion
- Removing the PST on restaurant meals and children’s clothing
- Suspending the provincial gas tax