UPDATE: Police can issue $2,000 fines for price gouging, illegally reselling medical equipment in B.C. - InfoNews

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UPDATE: Police can issue $2,000 fines for price gouging, illegally reselling medical equipment in B.C.

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April 19, 2020 - 10:42 AM

Police officers can now issue $2,000 fine for those who are illegally re-selling PPE equipment and for price gouging in the province, according to the minister of public safety. 

Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, held a live press conference Sunday morning on the compliance and enforcement measures under the provincial state of emergency, as part of the overall response to COVID-19.

He commended the work of healthcare workers and British Columbians who have been following provincial measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, but added “there are always those who seek to take advantage of people’s fears, and those who prey on the collective anxieties of our communities.” 

To prevent price gouging and the re-selling of medical supplies, the province is also calling upon local enforcement staff to support the enforcement of these tickets including Conservation Officers, bylaw officers, gaming inspectors and more, he said during the press conference.

Police and other enforcement officers will also be able to actively enforce and ticket those who:

  • exceed the quantity limits on the sale of specified items; and
  • do not comply with the requirement for hotel and other lodging operators to provide accommodation at the request of the province to serve as self-isolation facilities or to support essential workers.

Most people in B.C. have been complying with physical distancing measures, he said.

“In many communities, you’re seeing local officials out reminding people of this and you’re seeing in the results of the flattening of the curve in B.C. Any changes to the measures regarding social distancing will come from discussions with the provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry,” he said.

READ MORE: No large events will be held this summer, says provincial health officer

Incidents of price gouging and the illegal selling of medical equipment can be reported to the RCMP, Consumer Protection BC and to local bylaw officers.

"These measures are in concert with the federal government’s April 14, announcement that allows local and provincial police forces to issue tickets to returning travellers who do not comply with the requirement to self-isolate for 14 days under the federal Quarantine Act," according to the province in a news release.



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