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Evaluating policies to improve food affordability, nutrition and food security in Canada's remote Northern communities

Expensive bacon sold in a northern grocery store

This image illustrates the high cost of some food items, with bacon sold for almost $15/lb, almost three times the price sold in Southern Ontario grocery stores. 

Photo credit: Nicolas Li

This project is focused on a quantitative analysis of two existing policy tools - freight subsidies for nutritious foods paid to retailers and income transfers to households - and an assessment of their impact on local food prices, consumption of nutritious foods, and food security in remote Northern communities. This work builds on a recently published paper evaluating subsidy pass-through and my previous work analyzing the connection between competition and food prices in North America as well as India’s food security programs. Building on newly available product-level price data and rich household-level data collected by Statistics Canada, we will provide a rigorous evaluation of the current tools used to address food insecurity, including the impact of expanded child benefits and COVID relief money and recent reforms that increased subsidy rates for specific food products.


Nicholas Li, Toronto Metropolitan University
Angela Daley, University of Maine
Tracey Galloway, University of Toronto
Barry Watson, Acadia University



SSHRC Insight Development Grant

Project dates

Summer 2023-Summer 2025