FILE – A 3M N95 mask. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

B.C. police can now issue $2,000 tickets for reselling medical supplies, price gouging

Fines can be handed out by police, conservation officers and others

Anyone in B.C. who tries to resell medical supplies or engages in price gouging for essential items could now get a $2,000 ticket.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth announced the new fines on Sunday (April 19). The tickets can be handed out by police, conservation officers and other officers in B.C. starting immediately for as long as the COVID-19 crisis continues. The pandemic has led to 1,647 total test positive cases and 81 deaths in B.C.

“We will not allow these practices to continue, ” Farnworth said.

He said the authorities believe it is largely individuals trying to profit off the COVID-19 pandemic rather than organized crime. Farnworth noted that some fluctuation in price in normal, but gave the example of a mask being sold for $5 one day and $50 the next as price gouging that would not be tolerated. In a statement, the province said tickets were a “timelier alternative” to pursuing legal action through the courts.

Aside from price gouging and reselling medical supplies, ticketable offences include exceeding the quantity limits on the sale of specified items and hotels or lodging operators not providing accommodation for self-isolation facilities or to support essential workers.

Consumer Protection BC will be the primary point of contact for price gouging concerns. In a press release, the agency said its received almost 1,500 price gouging complaints related to COVID-19.

The full range of people authorized to hand out tickets, aside from police, includes: municipal bylaw officers, liquor and cannabis inspectors, gaming inspectors, conservation officers, community safety unit inspectors, park rangers, natural resource officers, commercial vehicle safety officials and sheriffs.

The form for reporting price gouging to Consumer Protection BC is here: https://www.consumerprotectionbc.ca/report-price-gouging.

The agency is asking people to provide this information when reporting price gouging:

  • Your name and contact information, for possible follow up
  • The type of product being sold, the new price, and the previous price if possible
  • Any evidence, if possible, such as a picture or receipt
  • The name of the business and the address, including the city

READ MORE: B.C. bans ‘shameful black market’ of food, medical supplies; limits buying quantities

READ MORE: Gaining herd immunity through COVID-19 transmissions ‘ineffective’: B.C.’s top doctor

READ MORE: Summer events, parades, large weddings off the table this summer: Henry


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

British ColumbiaCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Southeast Kootenay school district set to reopen next week

Individual schools have creative timetables and schedules in order to adhere to public health orders

George Morris turns 99

Friends, family and neighbours gathered outside at Terra Lee Terraces in Cranbrook… Continue reading

Rotarians at work at Fred Scott Villas

Members of the Cranbrook Rotary Club, along with some key community volunteers,… Continue reading

The Weed Warrior: an invasive weed, new to the East Kootenay

Wild Parsnip is a plant that most of us don’t want to have a Close Encounter of any Kind with

Possible Kermode Bear spotted near Castlegar

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run on May 27

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Man recalls black bear chasing him up tree in Slocan Valley

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

State of Local Emergency declared for Boundary as communities brace for river flooding

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Most Read