Indigenous Infants in Temiskaming Region Face Formula Shortages and Retailer Price Gouging
Indigenous Infants in Temiskaming Region face formula shortages
and retailer price gouging.
Kirkland Lake, ON – An Indigenous family faced the reality of the year-long shortage of infant formula last week and was forced to drive hundreds of kilometres to purchase the product at an inflated price.
Last week, Krista Boucher and her family experienced the reality of the infant formula shortage. Ms. Boucher attempted to purchase Enfamil Lactose Free formula concentrate for her 6-month-old son, at the pharmacy in Temiscaming, Québec. She was surprised to find that this formula was unavailable at that location. Ms. Boucher then drove from her home to North Bay in an attempt to purchase the formula.
“I called several stores in North Bay, but none of them had the formula my son needs, and no one could tell me when it would be available. I had no choice but to drive to North Bay, in the winter hoping that one store would have the formula. When I arrived at No Frills in North Bay, the price per case was inflated by ten dollars per case, from $61.99 to $71.99, in a matter of weeks. I had no choice but to purchase the non-lactose Enfamil formula at the inflated price the retailer was selling it for. This is blatant price gouging, and retailers shouldn’t be allowed to the do that,” Ms. Boucher said. “This practice puts Indigenous children and families at risk and the government should do something about this.”
Bertha Cormier, Executive Director of Keepers of the Circle, supports Ms. Boucher’s demand that the supply of infant formula be stabilized, and that the government must direct retailers to stop price gouging on essential products.
“We have written to MPs, MPPs and MNAs about this urgent situation. We are extremely concerned about this issue and are hoping that all levels of government will intervene to take action on the ongoing shortage of infant formula and the unethical practice of price gouging,” Ms. Cormier said. “Retailers should not be allowed to do this and in the spirit of Reconciliation we want all levels of government to intervene on this issue.”
Keepers of the Circle (https://keepersofthecircle.com/) is an urban Indigenous hub with two support centers in Kirkland Lake and Temiskaming Shores. The organization provides wrap-around supports to Indigenous community members including childcare and primary health care services, pre-employment training and various other programs, and works very closely with Indigenous families affected by the ongoing shortage of infant formula.
For more information contact:
Keepers of the Circle – Communications Lead
Phone: 1 (855) 647-7874
Email: [email protected]