The basics on 'skinny' cable & ugly food's time to shine: BUSINESS WEEK WRAP

From consumers not liking the look of new cable packages to budget-conscious grocery shoppers eagerly gobbling down produce that doesn't quite look right, it was a busy week in business news. The CBC's Jacqueline Hansen gets you caught up on the week that was in her video digest.
From new cable packages to budget-conscious grocery shoppers, the CBC's Jacqueline Hansen gets you caught up on the week that was 2:23

The biggest business news story this week was the advent of pared-down and cheaper cable TV packages, on paper for as little as $25 a month.

So-called "skinny basic" plans were mandated by the CRTC last year, and the telecom regulator insisted that cable providers offer them to Canadians as of this past Tuesday, March 1.

Cable companies aren't thrilled about the plan, and it seems they don't especially want consumers to be either. The CRTC, wanted to give Canadians freedom from big cable bills for channels they don't watch.

Basic cable plans starting at $25 aren't so skinny once extra channels and equipment rentals are factored in. (Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

But it seems the slimmed down options don't have such a 'skinny' price tag after all. Sure, the basic package can only cost $25. But get ready to pay more, for things like equipment rentals, and installation fees.

The CBC found many plans that quickly add up to almost $100 a month once a few extra channels and equipment are factored in. As Mario Mota from consulting firm Boon Dog told us this week "You are never really going to save money over what you have today. It's just a simple fact."

Shortcut to frustration

Drivers in search of shortcuts in Los Angeles are making some people mad enough to protest. They're blaming an app, called Waze, that directs drivers to less busy routes by using real-time traffic info culled from various users. The angry L.A. residents claim it also fills traditionally quiet roads with drivers who are in a rush.

"Residential streets like this don't have crosswalks, they don't have signage, and they're not meant to be travelled at the speed that commuters are travelling at," protestor Joel Becker told us this week.

The backlash has reached the ears of some L.A. politicians, including Councillor Paul Krekorian, who has safety concerns. "My limited concern is the routes that go through the small residential streets. That's certainly not essential," he said.

Users trying to find a way through L.A.'s famously traffic-choked streets love it, but it's clear Waze app is in for a bumpy ride from those who don't like their local roads being used as de facto highways.

Ugly food, pretty profits

Another one of our most popular stories this week got real ugly.

That's because after a successful pilot project last year, Loblaws grocery chain is expanding its Naturally Imperfect produce line. because shoppers are eating it up.

The grocer started selling blemished and misshapen apples and potatoes at a 30-per-cent discount. It's a break for budget-conscious shoppers, and some say it also cuts down on food waste. Now the trial is turning into a full-out program, available at additional grocery stores across the country.

And the list of available ugly produce is growing. It'll also include unsightly peppers, onions and mushrooms.

Other stuff

Those were just a few of our most read stories this week. Check out our landing page often for more, and don't forget to follow us on Twitter here to stay up to date on our latest offerings. In the meantime here's a day-by-day list of our most read stories of the past seven days.







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