Sep 18, 2023

By Jane Brown

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Members of parliament return to the House of Commons Monday after the summer recess determined to find relief for Canadians feeling the pinch of inflation.

While some of the most heated debates this fall will focus on bail reform, gun restrictions and climate change, it is grocery bills and housing costs that will likely dominate the agenda.

David Coletto with Abacus Data says the housing crisis is top of mind for most Canadians, and after the Trudeau Liberals caucus retreat this past week, he says they seem to be catching on.

“A political strategy has to recognize that you can’t win alone by being seen helping those most in need. It’s important but it’s not sufficient,” Coletto explained, “And I think the Liberals have recognized that there’s a political component to what they have to do and I think you’re starting to see evidence of it at the end of this past week.”

Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne will get things moving Monday morning when he meets with the heads of Canada’s biggest grocery chains, seeking a plan to curb the growing cost of food.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the heads of Loblaws, Sobeys, Metro, Costco and Walmart Canada have until Thanksgiving to show a plan to lower prices or the government may step in to force the issue.

Opposition Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre says the meeting is nothing more than a photo op that will do nothing to lower food prices.

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