Rural grocer doesn’t think $12M Loblaw funding is fair
Published Wednesday, April 10, 2019 4:56PM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, April 10, 2019 6:28PM CST
One grocer in rural Manitoba doesn’t think it’s fair for Ottawa to give $12 million to Loblaw Companies Ltd.
Stevenson's Foods in Lundar, Man., is facing a bill in the thousands after its refrigeration system recently failed.
"It's old," said co-owner Amanda Stevenson. "The compressor blew, and it's not fixable. So we'll have to get a new one."
The small rural store will have to foot the bill for the new refrigeration unit, but not every grocer is on their own for these type of upgrades.
The federal government is giving Loblaw companies $12 million dollars to help install lower-emission refrigeration systems in 370 of its stores. The cash is coming from Ottawa's $450 million low carbon economy fund.
"By changing how they cool their products, it’s the equivalent of taking 50,000 vehicles off the road every single year," said Environment & Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna.
"As a taxpayer, I'm going, ‘What's going on?,’" said Food Fare Owner Munther Zeid, who wonders how he could get a piece of that money to help replace his own units.
"I mean it’s got to be fair for everyone, not just for big corporations. I mean, big corporations can afford to do it themselves without getting government money."
Stevenson doesn't agree with using any tax dollars for a program like this.
"It's just such an outrageous proposition," said Stevenson. "I don't think it's fair to people."
She believes companies should pay for new refrigeration systems all by themselves, as she intends to.