Poilievre accuses Singh of targeting Loblaw stores due to brother's employment with Metro

Poilievre wants an investigation launched into Singh's familial connections with corporate grocer Metro after the NDP leader accused the Liberals and Conservatives of being in the pockets of large grocery chains like 'Loblaw and Costco.'

Poilievre accuses Singh of targeting Loblaw stores due to brother's employment with Metro
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
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Jagmeet Singh targets Loblaw-affiliated grocers because of his brother's connections to their competitor, Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre claimed last week.

Singh accused the Liberals and Conservatives of being in the pockets of large grocery chains like "Loblaw and Costco" during Wednesday's question period. The accusation — a common part of Singh's routine — led to Poilievre's assertion that Singh's brother had influenced him, because of his work as a lobbyist for Metro grocery stores.

“Would the prime minister support an investigation into whether or not the NDP leader’s … brother has been unduly influencing the leader of the NDP?” Poilievre asked.

Gurratan Singh, a former NDP MPP for Brampton, serves as the vice president of Crestview Strategy, a Toronto-based public relations agency. During an analysis last year, The National Post found that two executives at the firm had contracts as Metro lobbyists.

According to the federal lobbyist registry, Crestview consultant Alexander Byrne-Krzycki has lobbied the federal government on behalf of Metro Inc. three times in the past year.

Gurratan Singh denied any link between his professional endeavours and his brother's attacks on Loblaw.

“I don’t lobby any politicians for clients, and I have never registered to lobby for a grocery retailer,” he said in a statement to the Post. “When I started my career as a private citizen, I proactively asked the Lobbying Commissioner for advice to ensure I was meeting the highest standards of compliance. The direction I got was clear: I would never lobby my brother or his office on the clients I was working with. I never have, and I never will.”

While Loblaw remains the primary focus of Singh's numerous parliamentary and social media critiques regarding "corporate greed" within the grocery industry, he has also referenced Metro Inc. on several occasions, along with Walmart, Costco, and Canadian Tire.

“Multinationals and grocery giants like Metro are making record profits,” he said in the House of Commons in June.

Loblaw Companies Ltd. recorded a profit of $459 million on revenue totalling $13.6 billion, resulting in a profit margin of 3.4 percent.

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