The hidden price of your clothes; What you need to know about travelling abroad: CBC’s Marketplace Cheat Sheet

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Canadian brands sold clothing from factory suspected of secretly using North Korean forced labour

Do you think you know where your clothes are coming from?

You might want to think again. 

Marketplace investigation found that Reitmans brought more than 100 shipments of clothing into Canada from a Chinese factory suspected of secretly using North Korean forced labour. And they’re not alone

YM Inc., which owns well-known brands such as Sirens, Stitches, Bluenotes and UrbanKids, also did business with the same factory, Dandong Huayang Textile and Garment Co. Ltd., up until 2019. Although a smaller volume, the company imported clothing at least 27 times, according to U.S. shipping records.   

YM says it does not partner with anyone using forced labour. And Reitmans says it has a policy against using forced labour, and that its orders from the Dandong factory were a small amount of what they’ve sold on store shelves.

According to a news release posted by Reitmans on Friday — just as the Marketplace episode featuring the investigation aired — the company announced it will remove from its stores all remaining inventory made at a factory in China suspected of using North Korean forced labour. Read more

The Hidden Price of your Clothes

Secret video exposes where some of your favourite clothing is made, and the truth behind some of those “Made in the USA” labels. 22:30

Fully vaccinated and ready for a winter getaway? It may cost more than you think

Now that restrictions have eased for fully vaccinated travellers, Canadians are starting to think about travelling abroad over the holidays. 

But that winter getaway may be more costly than you think. Both airfare and car rental prices are on the rise, and Canadians must also show proof of a negative COVID-19 test to return home, and Canada will only accept a molecular test — such as a PCR test — which can range in price from $150 to $300.

In many countries, like in the United States, a negative COVID test is required upon entry as well. Meaning the extra costs can add up — and fast. Read more

Travellers move through Toronto’s Pearson International Airport on Nov. 1, 2021. Now that travel restrictions have eased for fully vaccinated travellers, many Canadians are ready to travel. But is it worth it given added costs? (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Billions of dollars for affordable housing not making it out the door, non-profit advocates say

There’s a whole lot of money allocated for the National Housing Co-investment Fund (NHCF), but non-profit advocates for affordable housing say it’s not going where it needs to be.

The NHCF is the federal government’s flagship initiative for building affordable housing, with a trove of more than $13.8 billion in loan money to build homes for families forced to choose between rent and groceries.

But it’s a trove some non-profit builders say they can’t access. 

Many blame a complex process to access federal loans that is holding up construction for many tenants in need. 

“We’re hoping that CMHC can accelerate their approvals process so that money can actually get out the door,” said Jeff Morrison, head of the non-profit group Canadian Housing and Renewal Association. 

“We need that money to be out there, in the regions, in Halifax, in places throughout the country, building new community housing. Because otherwise, it’s doing nothing.” Read more

Four years into the National Housing Strategy, non-profit housing advocates say a federal loan program needs a total revamp. (Tina Mackenzie/CBC)

What else is going on?

Canada is weaning itself off thermal coal but keeps shipping it elsewhere
Canada has a clear path to quit coal-fired power at home, but the plan for exports isn’t yet defined.

Home warranty program failing to protect Albertans from shoddy builds, advocate warns
Homeowners fall through the cracks of program designed to protect them, says John McKale.

Amara brand Organic Smoothie Melts – Carrot Raspberry recalled due to plastic pieces
Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased.

Elektron BP-1 Power Handles recalled due to burn and fire hazards
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled Elektron Power Handle BP-1 and contact Elektron to arrange free return shipping and a full refund.

What else is going on? 

Life coaching is a booming industry — and we want to hear from you! Have you ever enlisted the services of a life coach? Have you practiced as a life coach yourself? Get in touch! Send us an email at marketplace@cbc.ca.  

Winter is coming and so are slippery, icy sidewalks. Have you ever slipped on ice and been hurt? We want to hear from you. marketplace@cbc.ca

Watch this week’s episode of Marketplace and catch up on past episodes anytime on CBC Gem



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