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PHOTOS: $29 Cheez Whiz? High Arctic food costs

February 13, 2011 Comments off

These grocery shelves in the High Arctic community of Arctic Bay, Nunavut, have people talking this week — $38 for cranberry cocktail, $29 for Cheez Whiz, and a whopping $77 for a bag of breaded chicken.

Arctic Bay-based MLA Ron Elliott, who represents three of Canada’s most northern communities, said he is concerned about already high food prices going up even more in the High Arctic.

“It’s sort of the talk of the town,” he told CBC News on Thursday. “You go in and people are pointing [things] out, and it’s obvious to see that this has gone up, and that’s gone up.”

Arctic Bay, NU

While groceries in Canada’s remote northern communities are generally more expensive than elsewhere in the country, due to shipping costs, Elliott said prices in his communities have skyrocketed since the federal government changed its northern food subsidy program in the past year.

Elliott said the new subsidy program, called Nutrition North, does not cover food items that are considered not to be healthy or perishable, although those items used to be covered under the government’s old Food Mail Program.

Elliott said the price hikes are hurting the most vulnerable people in his region, like elders and those on social assistance.

Even some healthy foods that are subsidized are still Read more…