It's called "shopping while black." When the colour of your skin can get you increased attention from a store's security guards. And it seems to happen every day.
Consumer racial profiling is a violation of provincial human rights codes, but some security guards admit it happens, a CBC Marketplace investigation reveals.
When an employee asked Mary McCarthy to open her backpack in a Shoppers Drug Mart in Toronto in 2011, it took her a moment to understand why. And then she knew.
"I realized I was being accused of being a thief, I was being accused of stealing," says McCarthy, who is from Fredericton.
"I was a 55-year-old, middle-aged black woman and I didn't deserve that treatment."
In a special months-long investigation, Marketplace looked at how race and culture influence how companies treat shoppers, apartment-hunters and job-seekers across Canada.