03/26/2020 15:58 EDT

Doug Ford Vows To Make 'Disgusting' Coronavirus Price-Gouging Illegal

The premier called out one grocery chain by name.

TORONTO — Ontario Premier Doug Ford turned a message he usually reserves for criminals on companies that price gouge during the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday. 

“We’re coming after you. We’re going to come after you hard,” the premier said. 

Ford named Pusateri’s, a boutique grocery store company that he says had Lysol wipes available for $29.99 each, calling it a bad actor.

“I’m calling them out: Pusateri’s. I heard that they’re selling hand wipes for $30 a tin?” Ford said at a Toronto press conference. “That’s disgusting. Absolutely disgusting that a company like that would be selling hand wipes for that cost.”

The wipes have been in high demand as people take extra steps to sanitize their homes to stop the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by a novel coronavirus first found in China in late 2019. 

Pusateri’s said the price was a mistake and promised to refund any customers who purchased Lysol wipes if they email info@pusateris.com. 

“While no excuse, our stores are facing immense pressure on all levels of the operation. 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 company said in a statement emailed to HuffPost Canada.   

This never should have happened, and it will never happen again.Pusateri's

“We are a family owned and operated business and we share in the concern of the new realities that COVID-19 has created for everyone. This never should have happened, and it will never happen again.”

The premier said his cabinet is set to discuss an order that would make price gouging illegal. 

He said that the vast majority of companies in Ontario are taking good care of their employees and offering to donate any helpful equipment that they have.

But a few companies are taking advantage of the supply shortage, he said.

“It’s beyond belief … Nothing gets me more furious than someone taking advantage and price gouging the public that are in desperate need of these items.”

“I apologize but that hits a nerve.”

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