Residents of a community in northern Labrador say they are furious about the cost of a watermelon at a local grocery store.
The Labrador Investments store in Nain was selling a watermelon with a sticker price of $55.41.
By Friday afternoon, however, the watermelon was no longer on the shelf, and the store manager refused to comment on what happened to it.
The manager said that despite the price tag, the melon's actual price should have been $38.
Sarah Erickson, the angajukKâk, or head, of the Inuit community government, said the pricey fruit was the talk of the town.
"It's been sitting there on the shelf for the last three days, like an attraction, because so many people can't believe the price," she said.
"They've all been going in just to look at it, to see what a $55 watermelon looks like."
Erickson said the issue is no laughing matter, as both the federal and Newfoundland and Labrador governments spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to subsidize the cost of transporting perishable items to Labrador's north coast.
Just two weeks ago, the program was extended to include the summer shipping season.
Erickson said healthy foods like watermelon continue to cost more than most people in Nain can afford.
"It makes you wonder, you know, what's with the whole program," said Erickson, who wants a review of the food subsidy program.
An official in the Labrador Affairs department said that $55 sounded high for a single watermelon.
He said the Nain store will be contacted to try to find out why the price was so high.
CBC News, August 15, 2008.