Nunavut: home of the $19 jar of Cheez Whiz

Change to federal program results in massive price hikes in Canada's Far North

Residents of Canada’s Far North are dealing with a staggering rise in the price of sugar, canned goods, toilet paper, and nearly every other basic staple of life. The price hikes are due to a change to the way the federal government finances the cost of shipping grocery items to northern communities. Ottawa used to fund the cost of sending all essential grocery items to the North. But, as of last October, the program became limited to non-perishable food items after a study commissioned in 2008 found the program expensive and inefficient. The end result has been a whopping increase in the price of virtually everything. According to a report in La Presse, in Puvirnituq, Nunavika, a 2 kg bag of sugar currently sells for $14,74; in Kuujjuaq, the same can of tomato juice which used to cost a hefty $5.42 now goes for $8.51; meanwhile, in Nunavut, a jar of peanut butter will run you $17.69.

La Presse

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