Health Canada cracks down on UV wands; Will cheap flights get Canadians flying?: CBC’s Marketplace cheat sheet

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Airlines are offering cheap domestic flights to entice Canadians back to travel. But will it last?

Are you ready to take flight?

Despite pandemic and travel restrictions still in place in several provinces, Canada’s major airlines are advertising discounted domestic flights to entice us to start flying again.

Air Canada and WestJet are currently offering 20 per cent off base fares for domestic flights — some of which appear low even without the discount — through to the end of December.

The catch is that customers must book before Monday, and it’s not clear if the prices will stay this low forever. 

Frederic Dimanche, director of the Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Ryerson University in Toronto, says he believes airlines have dropped their prices for two reasons: to make some quick cash after travel plummeted during the pandemic and to get Canadians to warm up to the idea of returning to air travel. Read more

As provinces begin to ease their COVID-19 restrictions, Air Canada, WestJet and Air Transat are each offering cheap deals on domestic flights. (David J. Phillip/The Associated Press)

Health Canada cracks down on UV wands and lights

Health Canada has announced new, strict measures to regulate UV wands and lights that may claim to kill viruses like the coronavirus. 

Until now, hundreds of unregistered products have been advertised for sale in Canada without regulatory approval. But on Monday, Health Minister Patty Hajdu signed an interim order that will regulate the devices for the first time. 

This comes after Health Canada promised to review the devices following a Marketplace investigation that found most UV wands and devices on the market are not cleared for sale in Canada. 

Health authorities and experts have been warning about the use and safety of UV disinfecting products for killing the novel coronavirus, germs and bacteria on surfaces. CBC Marketplace looks into the devices’ claims and finds many are not cleared for sale in Canada. 5:49

Nursing homes with repeated violations continue to break law, despite Ontario’s promise to crack down

After a year that revealed the cracks in the long-term care system, with 3,773 residents dying of COVID-19 in Ontario nursing homes, politicians promised better conditions for those living in long-term care. But some homes continue to be cited by provincial inspectors for serious violations of Ontario’s Long-Term Care Act.

Last year, a CBC Marketplace investigation looking at thousands of provincial inspection reports revealed that 85 per cent of homes had broken the same section of the act repeatedly in a five-year period. Most faced no repercussions.

At Orchard Villa in Pickering, Ont., for example, 70 residents died of COVID-19 in the spring and early summer of 2020, the deadliest outbreak of the first wave in the province. Since then, the home has been cited twice for infection-prevention and control violations — once in November 2020 and once in April this year. 

“It’s like nothing’s changed,” said Cathy Parkes, whose father Paul died in last year’s outbreak. “You know, you take your eyes off for one second and things go back to the way they were.” Read more

Merrilee Fullerton, Ontario’s minister of long-term care, answers questions about the Auditor General’s report on her ministry’s response to the pandemic in Toronto on April 28. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

What else is going on?

Bad news for fishing: Climate change is sucking the oxygen out of lakes, study suggests
Warming reduces transfer of oxygen from air to water, and boosts algae blooms that consume oxygen.

$1,600 taken from customer’s account — and her bank won’t say why
Most account agreements say banks can reverse deposits without explanation, Go Public reports.

Compostable packaging exemption in Ontario Blue Box overhaul criticized as a ‘loophole’
With most compostable plastics going to landfills, there are calls for better regulation.

These Fisher Price soothers have been recalled due to a possible risk of suffocation
Immediately stop using the Fisher-Price 4-in-1 Rock ‘n Glide Soothers and the Fisher-Price 2-in-1 Soothe ‘n Play Gliders and contact Fisher-Price to obtain a full or partial refund.

Marketplace needs your help

We’re on a mission to find Canada’s worst contract. They’re long. They’re wordy. They’re hard to understand. But you’ve probably needed to sign a number of them: before opening up a bank account, getting a credit card, a cell phone, a warranty, or even while visiting a trampoline park. If you’re stuck in a contract you think is unfair, one-sided, or downright bizarre, we want to hear about it. Email us at marketplace@cbc.ca

Have you bought a refurbished smartphone, laptop, or tablet online? We want to hear about your experience. Email us at marketplace@cbc.ca

Catch up on past episodes of Marketplace anytime on CBC Gem.



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