Premier Doug Ford’s daily briefing focused on two main updates: reinforcing commitments to crack down on price gouging and lowering the limit for gatherings from 50 people to five.
Ford praised frontline workers – in health care, child care and manufacturing – for their “heroic” response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He also recognized the many Ontarians who are doing their part to flatten the COVID-19 curve, but noted that there are “a few bad apples out there.” He took specific aim at companies and individuals who are hiking prices on essential goods and vowed to fight this “with a vengeance.”
The government’s emergency order stipulates that individual offenders can face a fine of $750, or, if summoned to court and convicted, 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.
The Premier said the measure is supported by the Retail Council of Canada and the Independent Grocers. He encouraged Ontarians to report instances of price gouging to a new government hotline: 1-800-889-9768.
The Premier warned retailers who violate these rules, “we are coming after you and we will shut you down.”
Ford also announced a pending reduction in non-essential gatherings from 50 people to five people. Exemptions for essential business, child care facilities and families of more than five would apply.
From Empire Canada