Wrongful assertions on food insecurity

Winnipeg Free Press

October 1st, 2015

The Free Press posted an opinion article about food security by Norma Kassi and Amanda Sheedy on its website (Food Security off the table in election, Sept. 24). While we agree food insecurity is a significant issue in the North, we take significant exception to the assertion the North West Company enjoys a "virtual monopoly" and is thus cited as one of the contributors to high food costs.

Contrary to the authors' assertion, North West faces competition from local retailers and regional chains of varying size, as well as southern retailers. For example, in Nunavut we are in direct competition with the Arctic Co-op in 20 of the 21 communities where we operate, hardly a "virtual monopoly." We also compete against the growing presence of online and southern retailers that sell into the North but do not invest or employ locally. The analysis and reasoning are unfortunately prevalent throughout the article and distract from several key underlying facts and issues.

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