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NorthMart denies price gouging of bottled water; says charges are being lowered

Vice-President of Canadian Operations Mike Beaulieu says emotions running high right now
An empty shelf at NorthMart, where bottled water is normally kept. Iqaluit residents have been buying all of the available water in local stores in light of fuel being detected in municipal drinking water. Trevor Wright/NNSL photo

Since the drinking water crisis in Iqaluit started on Oct. 12, there have been various reports on Iqaluit social media of alleged price gouging of bottled water and refillable jugs at NorthMart.

In response to these reports, the North West Company, which owns NorthMart, has responded that it has not increased the price of bottled water or water jugs since learning of the tainted drinking water advisory.

“We are selling all water at sealift prices, including the additional stock we are flying in this week. We have also made the decision to further lower prices to help ensure anyone who needs to purchase bottled water is able to do so,” said Mike Beaulieu, vice-president of Canadian store operations at the North West Company.

He added that the turmoil may factor in residents’ perceptions of alleged price gouging in grocery stores.

“During stressful times, emotions run high and it is easy to react to pricing misinformation on social media — we understand that. Please be assured that NorthMart will always respond to a crisis by putting the well-being of community members first,” Beaulieu said. “We have a great track record of support and are known for doing the right thing when communities are in crisis, and we will again do the right thing here.”