Province to penalize businesses caught price gouging on necessary goods
Speaking today, Premier Doug Ford announced new penalties that will hold businesses accountable if they try to significantly raise prices on items Ontarians need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Effective immediately, a government-issued emergency order states that retail businesses and individuals in Ontario cannot charge unfair prices for necessary goods such as:
- Masks and gloves used as personal protective equipment in relation to infections.
- Non-prescription medications for the treatment of the symptoms of the coronavirus.
- Disinfecting agents intended for cleaning and disinfecting objects or humans.
- Personal hygiene products, including soap products and paper products.
Individual offenders could face a ticket of $750 or, if convicted in court, a maximum penalty of a $100,000 fine and one year in jail.
If convicted, a company director or officer could face a fine of up to $500,000 and up to a year in jail, while a corporation could face a fine of up to $10 million.
“Starting today, we are taking serious steps to ensure our frontline workers, our families and our most vulnerable citizens have what they need to stay safe,” said Ford.
“We are putting an end to those trying to profit off of one of the darkest periods in our province’s history. If you’re engaging in price gouging on necessary goods, we are going to slap you with a ticket or you could face fines or jail time.”
The order will be in effect for the duration of the province’s declared emergency.
According to the government, unfair or unconscionable prices are defined as a price that grossly exceeds the price at which similar goods are readily available to like consumers, in accordance with principles from the Consumer Protection Act.
Consumers can report price gouging by calling 1-800-889-9768 on weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. or by filing a report online.
- Doug Ford announces substantial health care investment, pledges laws against price gouging
- Pusateri’s responds after being called out for price gouging by Doug Ford
- Premier Ford announces $50 million fund to help businesses assist province in fighting COVID-19
- Province: Nearly $90 million in equipment and supplies provided by Ontario businesses
- Here are the penalties you could face if you violate a COVID-19 quarantine order in Canada
- Pearson Airport in Mississauga welcome 19 international and 13 domestic flights with COVID-19
- Special weather statement in effect for Mississauga and Brampton
- International travelers are walking out of Mississauga's Pearson Airport and ignoring quarantine rules
- Ontario ticket holder wins $70 million Lotto Max jackpot
- Police responding to male with firearm in Mississauga convenience store