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

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

(File Photo)
COVID-19: District of Kent responds to provincial health restrictions

CRCC limits schedule, Municipal Hall offers alternate services for those unable to wear masks

Google Maps screenshot taken at 7:06 a.m.
Early-morning crash on Highway 1 has morning commuters in gridlock

Westbound crash occurred in Langley, west of 264th Street; left lane blocked

The Small Works display features work from local artists on wood panels. Panels are available at Ranger Station Art Gallery (File Photo)
Small Works submission deadline approaching

Ranger Station Art Gallery seeks local artists for upcoming display

Signs up at Hope Secondary School inform visitors that the school is a closed campus during the coronavirus pandemic. (Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard)
Second COVID-19 exposure at Hope Secondary School

Fraser Health website lists exposure on Nov. 11 and 12

New Chilliwack Chief Ray Fust.
Chilliwack Chief Ray Fust in the mix for Swiss U20 roster spot

Fust is hoping to make the team that will compete in the World Junior Hockey Championships

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

(Black Press Media files)
B.C. to test emergency alert system on cell phones, TVs, radios on Wednesday

The alert is part of a twice yearly test of the national Alert Ready system

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Phillip Tallio was just 17 when he was convicted of murder in 1983 (file photo)
Miscarriage of justice before B.C. teen’s 1983 guilty plea in girl’s murder: lawyer

Tallio was 17 when he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his 22-month-old cousin

This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Monday Nov. 23, 2020, that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective, giving public health officials hope they may soon have access to a vaccine that is cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
VIDEO: How do the leading COVID vaccines differ? And what does that mean for Canada?

All three of the drug companies are incorporating novel techniques in developing their vaccines

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Forty-one positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

7-year-old Mackenzie Hodge from Penticton sent a hand-written letter to premiere John Horgan asking if she’d be able to see her elf, Ralph under the new coronavirus restrictions. (John Horgan / Twitter)
Elf on the shelf an acceptable house guest, B.C. premier tells Penticton girl

A 7-year-old from Penticton penned a letter asking if she’d be allowed to see her elf this year

Most Read