Grocery prices are out of control

Comment: In Ontario, grocery prices started to rapidly grow in September of 2006, when the gas prices passed the 1 dollar per litre mark. Then, every time the gas prices increased, so immediately did grocery prices. But when gas prices were coming down, grocery prices did not follow. It is a one-way road and it shows us that greed is also a factor in this process. Maximizing corporate profits no matter what is a huge factor and this we have to confront, both with suppliers and retail.

With Canada’s agricultural resources, there is no way we have a shortage of resources. Again, it’s a greed and a human factor – people no longer want to work and if they work, they want to be paid enough to live in mansions and drive Audis. Sorry guys, most of us don’t live in mansions and don’t drive Audis. In a fair society we should share in good times and in bad times. Farmer’s job is not more important than a teacher’s job or nurse’s job and often requires less formal education. Corporate entities and big supermarkets also have their share in this phenomenon and this, too, needs to be addressed. Simultaneously, we should revisit the structure of prices and confront the government policies driving down our agriculture and our economy.

Ukraine may be contributing to increasing prices in Canada only because Canada is financing one side in that war, not because of their alleged oil and gas exports. In 2015 (last year for which this data is available), Ukraine produced only half of its consumption of natural gas, it imported the rest. It exported zero. Some fields were under development, with the main oil and gas corridor (The Dniepr – Doneck Oil and Gas Basin) affected by conflicts since 2014. Notably, Shell was developing the Yuzovsky Shale Gas Block located just NW of Doneck, an area heavily fortified and fiercely defended by Ukrainians supported by western “mercenaries”. Ukraine also has some coal reserves but they are mainly located in the Donbas region, currently under Russian control or in a war zone.

Today, we hear, “We experience energy crisis because of the war in Ukraine”. We keep repeating this mantra like parrots. It does not make any sense. Ukraine was not an oil or gas exporter. It used to be a transfer country for Russian gas to Europe but we are not buying Russian gas anymore, are we? So, what’s the problem?

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