Air Canada refunds; Why you shouldn't hesitate to get the AstraZeneca vaccine: 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

Airline passengers to get refunds in Air Canada’s deal with Ottawa

6 months ago
Air Canada and the federal government reached an agreement for low-interest government loans to support the beleaguered airline, and it includes refunds for passengers whose flights were cancelled because of COVID-19. 2:01

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How pandemic-grounded Air Canada customers can get their money back

If you've been wanting to exchange your Air Canada vouchers for a cash refund, the wait may be almost over. 

Millions of Air Canada customers are now eligible for refunds under the terms of the company's federal relief package, which will provide $5.9 billion in financial support to the company through a mix of low-interest loans and equity financing. 

In exchange for the support, the company has agreed to refund customers, restore regional routes, and set limits on executive compensation, share buybacks and dividend payments. Read more

An Air Canada check-in desk at the Calgary airport is seen on March 25, 2020, in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Air Canada customers who saw their flights cancelled or chose not to fly since February 2020 are now eligible for refunds. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

Health Canada says people shouldn't hesitate to get AstraZeneca vaccine

Hesitant about getting the AstraZeneca vaccine? Don't be, says Health Canada. 

Following reports of rare blood clotting events among some who have received the vaccine, officials said this week they still believe the product is safe — and Canadians should have no qualms about rolling up their sleeves for it when the time comes.

Dr Supriya Sharma, Health Canada's chief medical adviser, says that with a third wave of COVID-19 raging — and with the risk of hospitalization and death still much greater than the risk of developing clots following an AstraZeneca shot — the benefits of this vaccine clearly outweigh any risks. Read more

Health Canada medical adviser says Canadians should take the first vaccine that's available

6 months ago
Dr. Supriya Sharma tells reporters the COVID threat is "real" and outweighs rare instances of blood clots reported with the AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson/Janssen vaccines. 1:39

Courier giant DHL padded own pockets with 'hidden fees,' class action alleges

A Vancouver law firm is going to court against DHL, alleging the courier giant profited by misrepresenting some of the fees it charges customers, Go Public reports.

According to a proposed class action filed in B.C.'s Supreme Court last week, the North American operations for DHL's express courier delivery service have been requiring customers to pay extra fees to receive their parcels by making claims that are "false, misleading and deceptive."

Court documents claim that DHL leads customers to believe that fees they must pay once a parcel arrives from out of the country are government import and tax fees — when a large portion of them are actually going to DHL as a "processing fee." Read more

A DHL worker delivers packages in Bonn, Germany, in December 2020. A proposed class-action lawsuit filed in a B.C. court alleges the courier giant requires some customers to pay extra fees by making 'false, misleading and deceptive' claims. (Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters)

What else is going on?

Average price of Canadian home rising at fastest annual pace ever, now up to $716,828
Market is showing signs of finding an equilibrium, Canadian Real Estate Association's chair says.

Lessons from Quebec City's gym outbreak, one of Canada's largest COVID-19 superspreading events
Government must align policies with the science as it contends with more transmissible variants, experts say.

Lack of shipping containers causing bike shortages, headaches for Canadian farm exporters
Changes in consumer demand mean shipping containers are leaving Canada empty, analysts say.

This Firefly Frank Teether is a choking hazard
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled Firefly Frank and return it to any Hudson's Bay store for a full refund, or contact Battat to return by mail for a full refund.

This Mastercraft power bar is an electric shock hazard
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled products and return them to any Canadian Tire store for a full refund.

These syringes have been recalled due to improper labeling and a lack of child-resistant packaging
Consumers should immediately stop using the products, keep them out of the reach of children and return any product to obtain a refund, or safely dispose of them.

This season on Marketplace

It's been a season unlike any other for Marketplace

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we tell stories and forced us to find creative new ways to bring you the investigative reporting you've come to expect. 

From video calls around the world, to physically distanced shoots all across Canada, we're proud of the work we've done this year as your consumer watchdog.

From tracking Amazon returns, to facing racism in the oilsands and the home appraisal industry, to following the spread of COVID-19 conspiracies and blowing the whistle on some PPE being made in unsafe factories overseas, we've been on the case.

We also investigated which smartphone, laptop and tablet brands break down the most, how thousands of puppies, some carrying diseases, are being imported to Canada each year, and "outrageous" interest rates being charged by alternative lenders.

But that's not all: We also looked at headlight glare and tinted windows, Canada's broken recall system, UV devices that promise to rid your belongings of germs, how to spot fake N95-style masks, and tested over 20 masks to find out which ones were the most effective.

Elsewhere, we looked at pandemic price gouging, hidden sugar in your favourite foods, the human cost of ingesting lettuce contaminated with E.coli, the differences between regular and organic eggs, and determined which purifiers are best to clean the air in your home. And we stayed on the case, investigating the latest phone scam you tell us continues to target you on a regular basis. 

Needless to say, we've been busy, and we're already working ahead on our next season! 

That's where you come in — we want your input! If you've got an idea for a story that Marketplace should investigate, send us an email at

Thanks for tuning in,

—The Marketplace Team

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