Parliament should consider an excess profits tax on grocers, the Commons agriculture committee said yesterday. Grocers testifying at committee hearings denied profiteering on food inflation.

“Despite the range of inflationary pressures, some large firms in certain sectors have reported record earnings, leading some to question whether firms may be contributing to inflation by driving up prices,” said a committee report Grocery Affordability: Examining Rising Food Costs In Canada. “The committee heard from several economists on this topic but their opinions varied.”

“The committee recommends that if the Competition Bureau finds evidence in its upcoming market study that large grocery chains are generating excess profits on food items, the Government of Canada should consider introducing a windfall profits tax on large, price-setting corporations to disincentivize excess hikes in their profit margins for these items,” wrote MPs.

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