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Food pricing bill passes second reading at House of Commons

North Island-Powell River MP disappointed in Liberal votes against bill
A federal bill will tackle increasing food prices. Photo GoToVan/Wikimedia Commons

A new bill passed in the House of Commons should lower food costs for Canadians, says North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney.

The bill, pushed through by NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, made it past a second reading and will go to committee for more discussion and changes. The bill increases penalties for price-fixing and wage-fixing, and it clarifies rules around anti-competitive mergers.

The bill passed with a vote of 178 in favour, and 149 against. Of those votes against, 148 were by members of the Liberal Party.

Blaney spoke about the vote record, saying that “It seems like every day, the Liberals do something new to show just how out-of-touch they are with what people are going through. People are doing everything they can to keep healthy food on the table and still cover their other bills,” said NDP MP Rachel Blaney. “But the Liberals want to leave hard-working Canadians to fend for themselves while doing everything possible to protect the profits of greedy grocery CEOs. It’s absurd.”

“If it were up to the Liberals and the Conservatives, nothing would ever get done to save you money. Instead, the Liberals would sit quietly by the CEOs who are gouging you and the grocery checkout, or the Conservatives would cut and gut any support so CEOs can get richer at your expense,” added Blaney. “But New Democrats are delivering for everyday people, not the most powerful – and we’re going to keep fighting for you.”

However, the Conservative MPs all voted in favour of the bill.

Three Liberal MPs were in favour, 31 Bloc Québécois MPs voted in favour, 25 NDP in favour, two independent MPs were also in favour, and both Green MPs were as well. One Independent MP was opposed to the measure.

According to the 2024 Canada Food Price Report, food prices are expected to increase by 2.5 to 4.5 per cent in 2024, roughly $700 more than in 2023 for a family of four.

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