Fines of up to $500,000 for charging unfair prices on necessary goods

TORONTO — The government of Ontario has announced new penalties to combat price gouging on the necessary goods residents need to protect themselves and their families from COVID-19.

According to a provincial statement, released Saturday, March 28, effective immediately, the government has issued an emergency order that retail businesses and individuals in Ontario cannot charge unfair prices for necessary goods.

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.

“Necessary goods” include:
• 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.

Consumers can report an individual who is price gouging by filing a complaint at 1-800-889-9768 between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, or by filing a report online.



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