Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi addressed concerns of alleged price gouging and looting Saturday amid flooding that has wreaked havoc in Alberta and claimed three lives.
“There have been some concerns expressed out there about things like looting and price gouging and I’m here to tell you that we have no evidence that any of that is happening beyond extremely isolated incidents,” he said during a press conference. “Calgarians are looking after their neighbours.”
UPDATE: Home Depot and Travelodge, two businesses accused of price gouging, have issued statements.
Home Depot responded to a complaint about the price of water with the following remark:
"Calgary, we apologize for the mistake made at one of our stores regarding the price of water. There was an internal error which affected a small number of customers. As soon as we were notified we took immediate action, resolved the issue and reached out directly to the customers affected asking them to contact us so we can make it right."
Read the full statement here.
"Our hearts go out to the people who were evacuated yesterday as a result of the flooding in Calgary. The rate quoted by this hotel to this guest was in error and has been adjusted to reflect a rate more reflective of the time of year and occupancy of the hotel. We sincerely apologize for this misunderstanding."
Nenshi also reminded Calgarians price gouging is illegal in a state of emergency, echoing an earlier statement from Bruce Burrell, director of the Calgary Emergency Management Association.
“Under the Emergency Management Act in the province of Alberta, price gouging or price fixing above normal levels during a state of local emergency is illegal and it would take some cooperation between ourselves and police but individuals could be prosecuted for that,” he said, according to 680 News.
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The flooding began on Thursday and prompted mass evacuations.
Over 20 communities have declared a state of emergency, according to CTV.
One picture taken by Gordy Marchant shows ice bags selling for $20. He was “blown away that somebody’s actually willing to stoop that low,” he told Global News.
At least one incident has been refereed to the Calgary Police Service, according to The Globe and Mail.