grocery monopoly canada

Thousands of Canadians support campaign demanding end of grocery monopolies

The organizers of the Loblaw boycott launched a petition on May 3 asking the Canadian government to prevent food monopolies.

The e-petition to the House of Commons is backed by NDP Member of Parliament Matthew Green. It's already received over 6,000 signatures within a week of being posted.

At the time of publishing this article, more than half of the petition's signatures were from Ontario (3,200+), followed by BC (900+) and Alberta (600+).

Emily Johnson, creator of the subreddit Loblaws Is Out of Control, initiated the petition.

"While we remain non-partisan in our work, despite what our biggest fan might say, we welcome all political backgrounds and affiliations," reads a statement in the subreddit.

"Our group represents many people, many stories, and with that comes many political ideas and approaches."

The Reddit community organized the month-long boycott of Loblaw stores, including Real Canadian Superstore, Shoppers Drug Mart, and No Frills.

This petition, however, isn't just aimed at Loblaw. It targets all major grocers in Canada, including Metro and Sobeys.

"There is growing concern among Canadian citizens regarding the exploitative marketing, pricing, and unfair practices employed by large food retailers," it reads.

"The monopolistic behaviour of large food retailers, including Loblaws, grants them excessive power in the market to dictate terms to suppliers and set prices, thus stifling competition."

It adds that essential grocery items are "becoming less affordable," impacting low to middle-income families, persons with disabilities, and fixed-income households.

The petition is urging the Parliament to do the following:

  1. Implement strong anti-trust laws to prevent monopolistic practices in the food retail sector, including a rigorous scrutiny of mergers and acquisitions with the goal of ensuring they do not lead to increased market concentration
  2. Conduct thorough investigations into the pricing strategies of large food retailers, particularly focusing on allegations of price-fixing, collusion and "shrinkflation"
  3. Investigate and implement measures which promote fair competition in the food retail industry, including mandatory disclosure of supplier terms and pricing structures, and support for smaller independent food vendors who provide consumers with more options
  4. Provide resources and support to consumer protection agencies, enabling them to more adequately monitor anti-competitive behaviour by large corporations
  5. Explore the possibility of implementing price controls or other regulatory mechanisms to prevent excessive price gouging on essential food items
  6. Mandate Loblaws and Walmart to sign the Grocery Code of Conduct and provide definitive, tangible consequences for refusal to sign

In an email statement shared last week, Johnson shared that she had spoken with Loblaw CEO Per Bank.

Overall, the boycott organizer feels the meeting was "the first positive step of many."

Are you signing the petition? Let us know why or why not in the comments.

Lead photo by

JHVEPhoto /

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