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Ontario premier slams high-end Toronto grocery store for selling $30 Lysol wipes
TORONTO -- Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he is disgusted after a high-end Toronto grocery store began selling single containers of Lysol disinfectant wipes for $29.99 and is now in the process of making price gouging illegal.
Ford was reacting to viral images taken inside a Pusateri's Fine Foods store, which showed containers of the wipes with a paper sign behind them stating a price of $29.99 per unit – several times higher than the regular retail price.
“Nothing gets me more furious than someone taking advantage and price gouging the public that are in desperate need of these items,” Ford said during a news conference on Thursday.
“Vast majority of companies around this province, around this country are trying to help people out [and] people have the nerve to actually jack up their prices to $30 a container for hand wipes? It’s beyond belief.”
The Premier said the issue would be discussed at an upcoming cabinet meeting and that price gouging would be made illegal under the new powers afforded to the government under the Emergency Management act.
“We’re coming after you. We’re going to come after you hard, we’re going to protect the people of this province,” Ford said of Ontario businesses that increase much-sought after COVID-19 protective products.
In a statement, Pusateri’s called the issue a “mistake” and promised to issue full refunds to customers who purchased the product at the higher price point.
“Our stores are facing immense pressure on all levels of operation,” CEO Frank Luchetta said in a statement. “As a result of this mounting pressure, critical elements were overlooked including the incorrect pricing of this product.
“This was our mistake, our error, our oversight and we apologize to everyone impacted.”
The premier’s office said the cabinet order to prevent price gouging should be signed today.