Premier Doug Ford says he will be having a conversation with local MPPs after being asked whether the City of Barrie’s recent parking rate increase was an example of price gouging.
“That’s absolute price gouging,” Ford said during his Friday afternoon media briefing. “Fifty dollars up in Barrie? I’ll talk to Attorney General Doug Downey, he represents that area.” The Premier indicated a similar conversation would take place with Orillia’s provincial representative after increases were put in place there.
“You know what I can’t stand? I can’t stand when companies or governments take advantage of people in a crisis,” Ford continued. “People can barely put food on their tables, they can barely pay their rent, barely pay their mortgage. People are barely hanging on by their fingertips and some municipal government wants to gouge you? It’s disgusting in my opinion.”
The City of Barrie increased per hour parking rates for out of town visitors at many of its waterfront lots in late June as a means of deterring daytrippers from crowding the city’s beaches amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was one of many steps the city took to curb the number of people congregating at the city’s beaches, parks, and trails, reportedly coming from the GTA. The city handed out over 200 parking tickets to non-residents last weekend alone.