A former grand chief from Manitoba is looking for a lot more than a $25 gift card when it comes to price-fixing on Canadian bread.
Loblaw and parent company George Weston Ltd. admitted back in December to taking part in what was described as an industry-wide arrangement with other major grocery retailers and another bread wholesaler to co-ordinate price increases between 2001 and 2015.
Loblaw has since offered to distribute $25 gift cards by way of an apology to Canadian consumers.
However, The Winnipeg Free Press reported Wednesday that the price-fixing is now the subject of a class action lawsuit filed in Manitoba’s Court of Queen’s Bench.
The Free Press reported that Derek Nepinak, who previously served as grand chief of Manitoba’s Assembly of Chiefs, filed the suit on Dec. 29 on behalf of all Canadians who bought bread since 2001.
Nepinak is represented by Norman Boudreau of Winnipeg’s Boudreau Law firm.
The lawsuit reportedly seeks a total of $1 billion in damages from Loblaw, Weston Foods Ltd, Weston Foods Canada Inc., Weston Bakeries Ltd., Canada Bread Company Ltd., Wal-Mart Canada Corp., Sobeys Inc., Metro Inc. and Giant Tiger Stores Ltd.
Nepinak’s would be at least the third class-action suit filed over the price-fixing scandal, which is also still under investigation by Canada’s federal Competition Bureau.
None of the claims made in Nepinak’s lawsuit have been tested in court.
— With files from The Canadian Press