Price Gouging

Summary

Today Premier Doug Ford announced new penalties to combat price gouging and hold offenders accountable for raising prices significantly on necessary goods. These new measures are effective immediately and apply to those who have increased prices on these goods since March 17, 2020, the day Ontario declared a State of Emergency.

Key Messages

  • Our government has been clear – price gouging during the current COVID-19 pandemic is unacceptable, unCanadian and we are ending it.
  • Through an emergency order, we will protect Ontarians by holding businesses and individuals that engage in price gouging accountable.
  • As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve locally and globally, goods, such as hand sanitizers and household cleaners, are increasing in demand all over Ontario.
  • In the lead-up to the Declaration of Emergency, some usinesses and individuals have been hording and selling household necessities at an inflated price – this is absolutely unacceptable and unCanadian.
  • Businesses that are bold enough to jack-up the prices on the goods that Ontarians desperately need will be met with zero tolerance and harsh penalty.
  • Price gouging should be reported to Consumer Protection Ontario online or by phone.
  • We are calling on all Ontarians to work together during this difficult time. The vast majority of Ontario businesses have not engaged in this behaviour and have instead gone the extra mile to help Ontarians out.
  • Violating the order can result in a $750 ticket for an individual.
  • Individuals may also be charged under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA), with the possibility of a court imposed fine of up to $100,000 and up to a year imprisonment.
  • A director or officer of a corporation could face a fine up to $500,000 and a term of imprisonment of up to one year.
  • In the case of a corporation, a fine up to $10,000,000 may be imposed. 

News Links

English: https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/56500/ontario-protecting-consumers-from-price-gouging

French: https://news.ontario.ca/fr/release/56501/lontario-protege-les-consommateurs-contre-laugmentation-abusive-du-prix-des-produits-de-premiere-nec