CEOs of northern retailers, minister, heading to committee to talk about northern food subsidy program 

The CEOs of some of the key players in northern Canada’s retail sector will go before a Parliamentary committee on Wednesday to explain how federal government subsidies are used to make food and products cheaper for northern residents.

The heads of Calm Air International, Canadian North Inc., Kimik Cooperative, and the North West Company have been called to meet with the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs, following concerns raised about the effectiveness of the federally subsidized food program aimed at making nutritious food more accessible in isolated northern communities.

As reported by APTN in January, subsidies through Nutrition North Canada, or NNC, a federally subsidized food program that seeks to make nutritious food accessible to residents in isolated northern communities,

An APTN Investigates report found that only 67 per cent of federal subsidies are being passed along to consumers.

In the January report, the North West Company, one of the northern retailers that receives a subsidy, disputed those findings.

“The North West Company unequivocally passes along 100 per cent of all NNC subsidies in our pricing,” said a spokesperson for the northern retailer.

In mid-April, the NDP passed a motion to have CEOs appear before the committee to talk about NNC.

Dan Vandal, minister of Northern Affairs responsible for the Nutrition North Canada program, told the committee on March 20 that an internal review of the program is planned.

Vandal will also appear before the committee on Wednesday.

The subsidy program has $144.9 million budget in the next year which includes the harvesters program.

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