With shortages of medical masks and disinfectants in our stores, the last thing we need right now is people hoarding and trying to make money off them. After another B.C. mask seller was busted, the province's Premier John Horgan slammed those trying to profit off the situation. Meanwhile, cities are enforcing rules set by the province to put a stop to it.
"There’s a special place for price-gouging profiteers," Horgan posted on Twitter, on Thursday, April 2. He was responding to yet another report of people in the province selling massive amounts of medical supplies at jacked-up prices.
In this case, it was a man in Richmond just outside of Vancouver. He was caught with roughly 1,000 medical masks in his car.
They weren't all for himself; he was trying to sell them to the bylaw officers that caught him. The officers gave the man a $1,000 ticket for running a business without a license, reported Global News.
"This is exactly why our government banned the secondary resale of medical supplies," said Horgan in his tweet. "... and gave law enforcement the extra teeth needed for enforcement of the provincial health officer’s orders."
B.C.'s Joint Information centre said to Narcity in an email that Horgan's government has "been clear that this has to stop and has brought in measures under the Emergency Program Act to make this practice illegal."
"We have all seen the cases of people trying to make a quick buck during this COVID-19 pandemic at the expense of the greater good," they said.
They also said that moving forward, no one may "engage in the secondary selling of goods...including masks and other medical supplies," and local enforcement will back it up.
There’s a special place for price-gouging profiteers. This is exactly why our government banned the secondary resal… https://t.co/OAALPBow5n— John Horgan (@John Horgan)1585857569.0
Horgan wasn't the only one furious at the resellers; Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said "there's a special place in hell" for those trying to profit off of shortages.
We may be separated, but we are not alone. All of us are in this together. I’m asking every British Columbian to r… https://t.co/x6jBPWT2Y9— John Horgan (@John Horgan)1585767600.0
Despite all the government's doing to curb mask resellers, some are still falling through the cracks. The city of Richmond told Global News that this specific case was the third mask reseller they'd caught in a sting.
We reached out to the city of Richmond for comment. This article will be updated when we hear back.
To every essential worker that has been on shift, pitching in to fight COVID-19: Thank you. https://t.co/mjRkWmVD7n— John Horgan (@John Horgan)1585861200.0
Since the start of the pandemic, communities have had trouble with panic-buying. Masks and sanitizers were the first to go. Then, toilet paper, oddly enough. Now, there are people trying to take advantage of a desperate situation.
But it's important to remember there's good out there, too. And Vancouver's nightly cheers are anything to go by, most people are still great.