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

Kimberley and District Community Foundation receives $30,000 in emergency funding

Community groups affected by COVID-19 pandemic invited to apply

Evacuation order downgraded in Fairmont, alert remains in place

An evacuation order has been downgraded for properties along Fairmont Creek, but… Continue reading

City of Kimberley Boil Water Notice rescinded

Water Quality Advisory remains in effect

City of Kimberley encourages people and pets to stay away from fast flowing creeks

City doesn’t anticipate flooding but creeks are running very fast

Wolf cubs at play in the Cranbrook area

Photographer Linda Botterill and her husband were out in the backcountry recently… Continue reading

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

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

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

Most Read