Photo: Jacques Nadeau Le Devoir
The leader of the parti québecois interim, Pascal Bérubé, suspect that traders may have taken advantage of the situation.
The government Legault has rejected an investigation by the Office de la protection du consommateur (OPC) on the price of food in supermarkets during the crisis of the COVID-19.
The Parti québécois (PQ) has filed on Tuesday a motion in this sense, but the leader of the government in the Room, Simon Jolin-Barrette, has refused to discuss the matter. In the press conference, the interim leader of the parti québecois, Pascal Bérubé, has submitted that all the consumers have noticed the rise in the price of a large number of products. It is suspected that some traders may have taken advantage of the situation.
“We would like to have a portrait of what happened in the time of a pandemic to understand how this is possible, to understand if there are people who enriched themselves at the expense of the pandemic, all the more that the grocery store had almost a monopoly — the restaurants were closed in many ways. “
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Mr. Jolin-Barrette has refused consent to discuss it.
According to Statistics Canada, the consumer price index (CPI) declined 0.2 % on a year-to-year in April, down from the 0.9% increase recorded in march. The CPI has declined under the impact of the drop in energy prices caused by the pandemic of COVID-19. Excluding energy, the CPI rose 1.6 %. The data contains a growth in food prices (+3.4 percent) which accelerated in April 2020. “Among the main components, it is the higher the more pronounced from one year to the other,” said the federal agency.
In detail, the increase in sales of dry food and canned coincided with a rise in the prices of these products in April. “These increases have coincided with an increase in the demand of non-perishable food at the time, in the wake of measures of physical separation that have been introduced, consumers have been encouraged to reduce their number of trips to the grocery store” retains Statistics Canada.
The increase in sales and supply problems, including a slowdown of the trans-border shipments caused by the COVID-19, contributed to the increase in pork prices (+9 %) and beef (+8.5 per cent) in April compared to April 2019. “The canadian facilities of meat processing have reduced production, and some of them have been closed temporarily to protect the workers during the pandemic,” explained Statistics Canada.
Prices household cleaning products and toilet paper, have increased markedly. “The price increases coincide with an increase in the demand for the products of cleaning and household supplies caused by the COVID-19. “
Global pressure to drop
Yet, for the fourth consecutive month, the monthly indicator of the FAO, which follows the price changes of five food commodities (dairy products, sugar, cereals, oils and meats), decreased by 1.9% compared to April, reaching 162,5 points in may, its lowest level since December 2018, and stated the FAO in a press release published at the beginning of the month. Many of these products are in oversupply in many parts of the world, while import demand has declined due to the crisis.
With The canadian Press
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