loblaw companies

Thousands of Canadians are now calling for an investigation into Loblaw Companies

Grocery giant Loblaw Companies Limited has received its fair share of criticism over the past few years.

Many Canadians have condemned president Galen Weston Jr.'s salary, as well as the retailer's recent decision to end its infamous price freeze on No Name products

Now, a petition calling for an investigation into Loblaw has amassed over 17,000 signatures after being uploaded to change.org just two days ago.

The petition, titled, "Investigate Loblaw Co for Pandemic Profiteering and Greedflation," was created by Haruun Ali, a community organizer based in Edmonton. 

"Let's be frank, we have all seen the rising cost of groceries at Canadian grocery stores and especially at Galen Weston Jr. owned stores," the petition reads. 

"Over the years, Loblaw Companies has costed Canadians billions as a result of their pandemic profiteering and greedflation." 

The petition includes several examples of these alleged practices, starting off with the grocery chain's close proximity to the majority of the Canadian population. 

"Galen Weston Jr. and Loblaw Co own a grocery store within 10 km of 90 per cent of Canadians. There is little ability for us to boycott them considering they own a significant portion of grocery stores in Canada under several brands," the petition reads. 

"In 2017, Loblaw Co admitted to fixing the price of bread for over a decade. The bread price fixing scheme cost Canadians an estimated $5 billion over 16 years. They only offered Canadians a $25 gift card for this and the competition bureau has offered them immunity in exchange for their cooperation with the investigation," the petition continues. 

"According to Statistics Canada data, it shows that food retailers have earned about an extra $5 billion per year in net income since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic which is more than twice what they earned in 2019," Ali writes. 

"In the 3rd quarter of 2022, Loblaw Co reported its profits had surged 30 per cent and specifically cited high margin items like beauty products and cold medication. Prices are rising faster than inflation is rising which is driving increased corporate profits," the petition reads. 

The campaign also criticized Galen Weston Jr.'s "excessive" salary, writing, "in 2021, Galen was paid a salary of $730,456, a $2,170,000 bonus and stocks valued at $2,470,000 million for a total compensation package of $5,370,456. This means that Galen Weston Jr made nearly 100x what the average Canadian made and nearly 184x the average store clerk." 

Ali says he is now pushing for legislative changes to the Competition Act, and for legislation to prevent the further monopolization of Canadian grocery stores. 

He has also launched a Parliamentary petition (e-4244) calling upon Parliament to take action against Loblaw Co. 

"Over the past few weeks, myself and several activities have been calling out Loblaw-owned stores for these ridiculous prices," Ali writes. "These high grocery store prices are driving more Canadians to be forced to use the food bank." 

You can read more about the petition here

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim

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