Cracking down on COVID-19 conspiracies; CFIA targets puppy importers; CBC's Marketplace cheat sheet

CBC's Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need from the week.

Consumer and health news you need from the week

Graffiti on a Toronto building alludes to conspiracy theories that the COVID-19 pandemic is an elaborate hoax. The idea that Bill Gates had made up the pandemic in order to inject microchips into the world’s population through vaccines circulated widely at the beginning of the pandemic. (Bruce Barrett/CBC)

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

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Inside a COVID-19 conspiracy training boot camp

While Canadian health authorities fight back against what they are calling a COVID-19 infodemic — the spread of false information about the pandemic — others are working just as hard to target the public with conspiracy theories.

Marketplace went inside the movement to find the tactics they use to spread misinformation online, and we test whether social media companies are doing enough to stop it. Read more

Conspiracy theorists teach followers to spread misinformation at ‘boot camp’

2 years ago
Duration 2:13
Marketplace investigates COVID-19 conspiracies and finds hundreds of people are being trained in the tactics of persuasion to spread misinformation at ‘boot camps.’

Canadian Food Inspection Agency targets puppy importers

At least six puppy importers in Canada have been targeted in raids this month, focusing attention on an opaque multi-million dollar business that animal welfare and veterinary groups have repeatedly warned about.

As Marketplace and The National report, the raids have targeted importers bringing puppies into Canada from Ukraine, Poland and other East European countries to sell them online for between $3,000 and $6,000 each. 

Animal welfare and veterinary groups say the imported animals are often raised in poor conditions and arrive in the country unhealthy and, sometimes, with forged vaccination records. But one importer says she was wrongly targeted. Read more 

Back in the fall, a Marketplace hidden-camera investigation looked into unscrupulous puppy importers and sellers.

Federal agents raid puppy importers

2 years ago
Duration 2:37
CBC News has learned officials have moved in on some businesses that import puppies, accusing them of falsifying documents. But one importer says she’s been unfairly targeted, leading to the death of three puppies.

This couple is still fighting for a refund for their pandemic wedding. They're not alone

Joyce Fung and Calvin Chan thought they'd be newlyweds by now — halfway through their first year of wedded bliss, not still locked in a months-long battle over $10,000 they can't get back. 

"It's ridiculous," says Fung, who's angry the venue owner is holding onto their money, insisting a large wedding can still happen. "It's just been incredibly frustrating." 

Countless complaints on social media and reports from various legal experts suggest they are just one of hundreds of couples across Canada struggling to negotiate refunds from vendors who refuse to pay up, citing their own dire finances because of COVID-19. Read more

Calvin Chan and Joyce Fung stand outside the wedding venue they say is unfairly holding onto their $10,000 deposit after COVID-19 scuttled their wedding plans. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

WestJet to restore service to airports in Atlantic Canada, Quebec City

In what may be a sign that things might, slowly, be getting back to some version of normal, WestJet is restoring service to six airports in Eastern Canada that it had suspended last fall due to the pandemic

Flights in and out of Charlottetown, Fredericton, Moncton, Sydney and Quebec City will resume beginning June 24 through to June 30.

Service between St. John's and Toronto, which was indefinitely suspended in October, will also resume on June 24.

The resumption of the flights will restore WestJet's complete network of pre-COVID-19 domestic airports, the airline said. Read more

Calgary-based WestJet says it's going to resume flights to Charlottetown, Fredericton, Moncton, Sydney and Quebec City in June. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

What else is going on?

Puppy scams cost Canadians thousands. Here's how to avoid being ripped off
'Take the necessary steps to ensure the breeder is legitimate and ethical,' says Better Business Bureau.

RCMP breached policy on collection of online information: audit
Internal report said investigations and prosecutions were potentially put at risk.

Why guidelines for what Canadians can and can't do after getting COVID-19 vaccines are still unclear
'Too early' to update guidelines for vaccinated Canadians: Dr. Theresa Tam.

These Tamhoo brand earring sets have been recalled due to excess lead and cadmium
Consumers should immediately take the recalled jewellery away from children and discard in regular household waste.

This évolur bedside sleeper might be an injury hazard
Consumers should immediately stop using the bassinet and contact Dream On Me for a refund.

These baby jogger pram kits may be unsafe for use
Consumers should immediately stop using the pram kit as a bassinet for sleep accommodation.

This week on Marketplace

Do you know how much added sugar is in your food?

Food companies in the U.S. are required to include how much sugar is added to a product on its nutrition label.

But that's not the case in Canada. That's why we're breaking down which packaged foods have added sugar hidden inside.

Plus: COVID-19 conspiracy theorists are preying on your fears — and people are making a lot of money doing it.

We go inside the movement to find the tactics they use to spread misinformation online, and we test whether social media companies are doing enough to stop it.

Watch anytime on CBC Gem.

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

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