Facing racism in the oilsands; the push for better masks in schools: CBC's Marketplace Cheat Sheet

·5 min read
Facing racism in the oilsands; the push for better masks in schools: CBC's Marketplace Cheat Sheet

Miss something this week? Don't panic. CBC's Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need.

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Fighting back against racism in Canada's oilsands

Shane MacQueen and Garry Similien are speaking out about racial discrimination they've experienced working in Alberta's oilsands. Both say that they were the subject of racist jokes from co-workers and differential treatment on the job, even as they were just trying to do their work and provide for their families. "I went there to make a better life for myself," MacQueen said. Read more

Neill Fitzpatrick/CBC
Neill Fitzpatrick/CBC

After Marketplace's investigation, parents are pushing for better masks in schools

Some parents are calling on the Toronto District School Board and the Ontario government to make sure students are being given proper face coverings to slow the spread of COVID-19 when they forget to bring their masks to class.

The controversy began after Cortleigh Teolis read about the Marketplace story on testing masks. She sorted through her family's basket of face coverings, pulling out the backup masks issued to her two children at their elementary school in Toronto, and comparing them to the results.

The combination of fabrics, including a 100 per cent cotton inner layer and a 100 per cent polyester outer layer, was ranked among the "worst performers" from the more than 20 different masks tested. Read more

LM Otero/The Associated Press
LM Otero/The Associated Press

Ontario moves to cap delivery app fees in regions where indoor dining banned

Ontario is set to cap the fees third-party delivery apps impose on restaurants in regions where indoor dining is prohibited, in a bid to protect what profits restaurants can still make during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Food delivery services companies have collected up to 30 per cent in commissions from these restaurants. And they're enjoying record sales and uptake," MPP Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria said.

He said restaurants can expect to see a cap of 15 per cent on delivery fees, with a cap of 20 per cent inclusive of all fees. Read more Back in 2018, Marketplace investigated food apps like Uber Eats and SkipTheDishes for their delivery times and prices, and revealed hidden markups.

Neil Hall/Reuters
Neil Hall/Reuters

COVID surge in dog demand has shelters, breeders urging caution

In the 30 years Barry Harrison has bred and trained dogs in London, Ont., he says he's never fielded so many calls. "People are scrambling to buy any type of puppy," Harrison said. "You shouldn't breed dogs just to make money. I've been breeding for many years, and I don't think I've made a profit. I do it to better the breed, not to make a buck."

As Marketplace reported last week, the surging demand for dogs has even created a market for puppies imported from Europe, a trade that is virtually unregulated and has animal experts worried it could bring new diseases to Canada. Read more

Andrew Lupton/CBC
Andrew Lupton/CBC

What else is going on?

Anti-mask hostility forces B.C. grocery store to hire security guard for 1st time in 45 years Kootenay Co-op has seen an increase in aggressive customers who refuse to wear masks since provincial mandate.

Why the federal government lets Canadians travel abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic The decision is rooted in Canadians' constitutional rights.

This crock pot is a burn hazard Consumers should immediately contact Sunbeam to obtain a free replacement lid.

These kids' bikes are a chemical hazard Stop using the product and contact Decathlon Inc. for additional information and a refund.

Miss Vickie's chips recalled in Eastern Canada were also shipped west The chips were recalled for possible glass contamination.

This week on Marketplace

It's been an extremely tough year. From the global pandemic to the reckoning on race.

Over the last six months, since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, many of us have had really open and brutally honest conversations about racism and social injustice.

There's also been a lot of talk about how to make meaningful change.

That's part of the reason why we're launching this new series called Face Racism, about Canadians who are calling out discrimination on the job and in the marketplace.

We're investigating how these issues affect consumers and workers in various sectors, including oil and gas, retail, education and real estate. You're going to hear from people who say they've been targeted because of their natural hair, profiled in a store or given a low home appraisal because of the colour of their skin.

But we're not just focusing on the problem; we want to advance the conversation. We want to tackle the issues in new ways and identify possible solutions. We'll follow people as they search for justice and action, and sometimes we'll even bring them face to face with company executives and government officials.

This week, two workers in Fort McMurray, Alta., are going public with their experiences of racism in the oilpatch. Shane MacQueen and Garry Similien will be sharing their personal stories with us. They'll also be laying out a unique idea to diversify the workforce.

I hope you'll tune in for this very important episode.

And if you have a story you want to share, email us at marketplace@cbc.ca -Asha Tomlinson and the Marketplace team

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