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Ontario gets tough on price gouging

“Disgusting and un-Canadian” is how Premier Doug Ford referred to price gouging during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ford thanked the frontline workers in healthcare, first responders and people keeping the food supply chain moving and keeping our grocery stores stocked, “This is a defining moment for our province, the best among us shine, and they are all playing on Team Ontario.”

He said there are “bad apples” and says the province is putting in more stringent measures to prevent price gouging, the practice of buying cases of vital medical equipment and supplies and reselling them at an inflated price.

Individual offenders can face a ticket of $750, or, if summoned to court and convicted, could face 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, and a corporation could face a fine of up to $10-million.

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He says national retailers are following the rules and not practicing price gouging but he is more concerned about smaller retailers going into the bigger stores and stocking up and inflating the price, “I’m coming after them with vengeance, it’s unacceptable.”

He encouraged residents to report price gouging, “There are no better people to police this than the people of Ontario.”

If you see a retailer price gouging call 1-800-889-9768.

Later today Ford is expected to announce more measures to limit non-essential gatherings.

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