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Two grocery items in Coquitlam cost $40. The NDP is not happy

Burnaby South MP and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh was in Coquitlam today, July 8, 2024, to speak about the rising cost of groceries in Canada. His party's motion to force lower grocery bills was rejected last month.

The leader of Canada’s NDP walked into Real Canadian Superstore in Coquitlam, bought a bottle of olive oil and a bag of apples and held them up before media today, July 8, to show how much two basic grocery items cost.

Jagmeet Singh held the news conference outside of the Lougheed Highway store in the City Centre neighbourhood about a month after the ruling Liberals and the Conservative party blocked an NDP motion in Parliament, aimed at lowering food prices across the country.

The June 5, 2024, proposal, which was opposed by Coquitlam–Port Coquitlam Liberal MP Ron McKinnon, reads:

  • That, given that the cost of food continues to increase while grocery giants such as Loblaws, Metro and Sobeys make record profits, the House call on the government to:
    • force big grocery chains and suppliers to lower the prices of essential foods or else face a price cap or other measures
      • stop delaying long-needed reforms to the Nutrition North program
        • stop Liberal and Conservative corporate handouts to big grocers

Since 2021, grocery bills have spiked around the world because of geopolitical threats, climate change and inflation. In Canada, there’s also a lack of competition among grocers.

Still, many European countries have taken measures to bring down grocery bills on essential fare to provide financial relief to shoppers.

The NDP pointed to a recent Statistics Canada’s report showing that between April 2021 and April 2024, grocery prices skyrocketed by 21.4 per cent — well above inflation.

Bonita Zarrillo, NDP MP for Port Moody–Coquitlam, who was joined by Laura Dupont, the NDP's 2025 federal election candidate for Coquitlam–Port Coquitlam, said she’s spoken to Tri-City residents who are struggling to find healthy food options for their families.

Today, Singh said he spent nearly $40 on the olive oil and apples.

“This is what families are up against here in the Tri-Cities and across the country. Families are hurting because they try to go in and buy these basic things […] It’s so expensive to buy healthy. What are families to do when the cost is so high?”

Singh took aim at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, claiming he has “ignored the problem” and failed to penalize the grocery chains that are posting $1 million profits a day.

“These are outrageous numbers and the thing is, when they’re making outrageous profits, people are paying the price. You are paying more for less. People are hurting.”