Opinion: Pandemic brought out worst in sketchy Burnaby profiteer

When people read 50 years from now about the great COVID-19 panic of 2020 (hopefully that’s the only year involved), my hope is that it will be about how people pulled together to get through this crisis.

My hope is that a few sleazy people who have been profiting off of the crisis are mere footnotes in a time of triumph over adversity.

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And yet, as a journalist, I still have to note for the historical record a small parade of bad people doing bad things during this crisis.

One reader emailed me a photo of a truck being used to sell hand sanitizer at a tidy profit across the street from one of the Burnaby Costco’s. The photo was a long way away and I couldn’t identify the licence plate.

But it’s good that people are looking for and reporting profiteers who show no common sense during this crisis.

One Burnaby man who did get caught was out in Delta,

Delta police spotted an online ad re-selling N95 masks at a high profit, plus a $300 “delivery fee.”

After setting up a meeting, this scum was handed a $500 bylaw ticket for operating with no business license. Police took possession of 60 masks, for which the seller was asking $1,200.

These masks shouldn’t be sold. They should be donated to health workers who really need them during the pandemic. People need to look themselves in the mirror and find a conscience.

“Our crime reduction unit follows crime trends, and it’s troubling to see people trying to flout the ministerial order during this pandemic,” said DPD spokesperson Cris Leykauf.

Police are consulting with Fraser Health Authority to determine how the masks can best be put to use.

The BC Public Safety Minister issued a ministerial order March 26 under the Emergency Program Act, banning the secondary resale of medical supplies and personal protective equipment.

  • With files from the Delta Optimist

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.


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