The federal government’s grocery rebate kicks in this week, but the one-time payment is being criticized by some who feels it’s too little too late for those who qualify.
The federal government’s grocery rebate kicks in this week, but the one-time payment is being criticized by some who feel it’s too little too late for those who’ve been pummeled by perpetually rising food prices.
“It’s just a one-time payment?” one person CityNews spoke to on Tuesday in Ottawa asked. “It’ll help me with groceries for one month. And then it’s back to … as if we didn’t have it.”
Canadians who earned less than $32,000 a year, and households that earned less than $38,000 on their 2021 tax return would qualify for the one-time payment.
A single person living alone would get up to $234, while a couple with four kids could get up to $628.
Devon Ford doesn’t qualify, but he says his family of four would devour that money pretty quickly.
“It would be used immediately and it would feel pretty good and then it’d kind of be like inheritance, just essentially would never be available again.”
Another person said in the long-term “it’s meaningless basically.”
“I’m college educated,” he added. “I don’t make very much money, I’m not working in my field right now. Everything is hard to afford. We can’t afford a car, we can’t afford a house, we’re renting. Doesn’t seem very fair to people our age.”
Marc Lee from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, says the one-time payment is “a benefit” but factoring in food inflation, it doesn’t come “anywhere close to covering the full additional costs of food that they are paying out of pocket relative to what they would have spent a couple of years ago.”
Lee believes the government should look to those who have profited most from the situation to pay up and help struggling Canadians.
“For industries like oil and gas, and industries like supermarkets where the companies have been making extraordinary profits…it’s fitting to impose a windfall or excess-profits tax on those profits and then use that money to flow back to households that need it through mechanisms like the grocery rebate or GST credits.”