Canadians boycotting Loblaw petition government to prevent grocery monopolies

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

The e-petition to the House of Commons went live Friday afternoon and is backed by NDP Member of Parliament Matthew Green.

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 but at all of the 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 to Daily Hive, Johnson shared that she has spoken with Loblaw CEO Per Bank.
Overall, the boycott organizer feels the meeting was “the first positive step of many.”

As of Friday afternoon, the e-petition has already racked up over 400 signatures and counting.

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