Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has warned grocery chains that they could be hit with new taxes if they do not take steps to control rising food prices.
Trudeau said the heads of the five largest supermarket chains, including Walmart and Costco, would be asked to come up with a plan to address rising prices before Thanksgiving.
Trudeau, who is facing questions about his leadership amid sagging public approval, also announced that sales tax would be waived for the construction of new rental apartments as part of measures to address cost-of-living concerns.
“If their plan doesn’t provide real relief for the middle class and people working hard to join it, then we will take further action, and we are not ruling anything out including tax measures,” Trudeau said at the end of a caucus retreat in London, Ontario, on Thursday.
A day later, federal minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said he planned to meet with the CEOs of Canada’s large grocery chains on Monday morning in the capital, Ottawa.
“Let me be clear: Canadians deserve solutions from the food sector,” said Champagne, who heads the government’s innovation, science and industry department. “We must and we will act together to stabilize food prices for Canadian consumers and improve competition in Canada.”