Miss something this week? Don’t panic. CBC’s Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need.
Want this in your inbox? Get the Marketplace newsletter every Friday.
Ontario’s LTC inspection system fell apart during 1st COVID-19 wave: report
Ontario’s long-term care inspection system was totally overwhelmed during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the ministry overseeing care homes was caught unprepared and unable to ensure the safety of residents and staff, the province’s ombudsman says.
In the report issued Thursday, Ombudsman Paul Dubé revealed there were no inspections of long-term care homes in the province for seven weeks in the spring of 2020, and no inspection reports issued for two months.
“To effectively oversee a system, you have to have inspections,” Dubé said at a Thursday morning news conference. “It was already strained before the pandemic, and it was not ready.
“The system wasn’t there to enable inspections to happen in a safe and effective manner.”
The ministry’s lack of planning and preparedness was “unreasonable, unjust and wrong,” the ombudsman found. His office has made 76 recommendations to the government.
A news release from Dubé’s office says the province has accepted all of the recommendations, and the ministry has agreed to report back every six months on its progress in implementing them.
“The people of Ontario should be able to count on their public services to learn lessons from our experience with COVID-19 and be adequately prepared for the next threat to our collective health,” Dubé wrote. Read more
Air Canada is apologizing after booting passengers who refused to sit in vomit-soiled seats
Air Canada says it has apologized to two passengers who were escorted off a plane by security after protesting that their seats were smeared with vomit.
The airline said Tuesday that the passengers “clearly did not receive the standard of care to which they were entitled.”
The incident during boarding for an Aug. 26 flight from Las Vegas to Montreal was described in graphic detail by another passenger, Susan Benson of New Brunswick, who said she was in the row behind two women.
In a Facebook post that has since gone viral, Benson wrote there was a foul smell when she boarded the plane, “but we didn’t know at first what the problem was.”
“Apparently, on the previous flight someone had vomited in that area,” Benson wrote. “Air Canada attempted a quick cleanup before boarding but clearly wasn’t able to do a thorough clean. They placed coffee grinds in the seat pouch and sprayed perfume to mask the smell.”
Reached by phone Wednesday, Benson told CBC News that the passengers assigned to those seats told a flight attendant that the seat and seatbelt were wet and they could still see residue of vomit.
The attendant and a supervisor told them they were sorry, but that the flight was full, and they would just have to sit there.
After some back and forth between flight staff and the passengers, Benson said staff “finally agreed” to give the two women blankets, wipes and vomit bags to try and clean up and protect their clothes as best as they could.
But soon after, one of the pilots approached the women, who were on their way to Vienna, and gave them two options.
“They could go on their own accord and work out their own new flight, or they would be escorted off and placed on a no fly-list,” Benson said.
When asked why they were being kicked off, the pilot accused the women of being rude to the flight attendant. Benson disputes this, saying the women were upset and firm, but “they were definitely not rude.”
In its statement, Air Canada said it was still reviewing the matter on Tuesday and has contacted the passengers “as our operating procedures were not followed correctly in this instance.
“This includes apologizing to these customers, as they clearly did not receive the standard of care to which they were entitled, and addressing their concerns.” Read more
Did you know the seat isn’t the dirtiest part of the airplane? We rank the 5 filthiest surfaces. You can see that full investigation here.
This car was stolen from a driveway in Canada, but found in West Africa
The call from Ghana woke Len Green at the Toronto home where his prized vehicle had been stolen a year earlier.
“I’m calling from CBC News,” said the journalist on the other end of the phone. “We’re doing an investigation into stolen vehicles, and I’m pretty sure I’m sitting in your vehicle … in West Africa.”
“Whoa,” he replied. “I can’t believe it … that’s crazy.”
In the same lot, journalists found dozens of other vehicles, some with Canadian licence plates, often with their provincial registration and insurance documents still in the glove box.
All had been reported stolen from Ontario and Quebec. In 2021, there were just over 27,000 vehicles stolen from Ontario alone, according to a recent report by the Canadian Financing and Leasing Association. That’s a car stolen every 17 minutes.
“A large portion of them are leaving the country,” said Det.-Sgt. Mark Haywood of Peel Regional Police. “You’ll see about 80 per cent of them going out through the ports.”
The vehicles are often destined for Africa and the Middle East — everywhere from Nigeria to the United Arab Emirates, Israel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo — where they’ll soon appear in local used car lots, be listed on TikTok or sometimes be found in online classified ads with Canadian licence plates still attached.
But it was in the bustling capital of Ghana where CBC News located dozens of stolen vehicles. Many had been seized by authorities, while others were found on car sales lots, in parking lots and beyond.
While driving in a motorcade with Ghana’s Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), CBC reporters witnessed a Honda CR-V with Quebec licence plates drive past. The driver quickly darted onto a side street.
Investigators surmised that the car was stolen, as that model is among the most stolen in Canada, and had only just been unloaded from a ship. Read more
So how exactly are thieves stealing cars, and what can you do to protect yourself? Marketplace dug into it all in our 2022 investigation into stolen cars. You can watch that anytime on CBC Gem.
What else is going on?
Scammers are targeting Swifties
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre is warning Taylor Swift fans about ticket resale scams through Facebook Marketplace or Kijiji.
Companies are calling people back to the office, but many workers want to stay home
In a survey asking workers what they would do if their employer mandated returning to the office, 31 per cent said they’d start looking for a new job.
Looking for a new way to tour New York City?
There’s more than one tour company now offering tours of rat hotspots for tourists hoping to catch a glimpse of the critters.
Marketplace needs your help!
We’re looking for Canadians to help us during our upcoming season. Ever dreamt of taking part in a Marketplace test? Or maybe you’ve wanted to share your thoughts on TV. We want to hear from you! If you’re interested, tell us about you, your family, where you’re from and your biggest consumer concerns. Reach us at email@example.com.
Are you prepared for an emergency? Do you have a fully stocked evacuation kit, or no idea where to start? We want to hear from you. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attention new drivers! We want to hear your experiences with taking driving lessons. Send us your stories: the good, the bad and the bizarre: email@example.com.
Are you looking for the latest in business news? You’ll want to subscribe to this newsletter, too.
Mind Your Business is your weekly look at what’s happening in the worlds of economics, business and finance. Subscribe now.
Catch up on past episodes of Marketplace on CBC Gem.