Price-gouging on masks or hand sanitizer now carries hefty fines, jail time

Mar 28 2020, 10:29 am

Ontario announced new measures to crack down on price-gouging of goods related to COVID-19 protection Saturday.

Premier Doug Ford said the province is going after people who buy bulk loads of masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, and cold medicine to re-sell at hiked up prices.

“If you’re out there trying to price-gouge and take advantage of this situation … It’s un-Canadian. It’s wrong … We are coming after you, and we will shut you down,” Ford told reporters from Queen’s Park.

The offence now comes with a $750 ticket for individuals. People summoned to court and convicted of the practice also a $100,000 fine and jail time. Directors of businesses engaged in price-gouging face a $500,000 and a year of jail time. Their corporations will also face a fine of up to $10 million.

Ford also announced a hotline where people can report price-gouging. It will be operational as of Monday morning: 1-800-889-9768.

Ford characterized the people engaged in price-gouging as “bad apples,” and said the province is prepared to “throw the book” at them.

Megan DevlinMegan Devlin

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