Flood insurance could become 'luxury for the rich'; Updated mask guidance: 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.

Debris litters a road in the Sumas Prairie flood zone in Abbotsford, B.C., on Nov. 22. Concerned about if your home insurance would covered damages in the event of a flood like the one in B.C.? Marketplace's latest investigation will have you double checking your policy. (Ben Nelms/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? Get the Marketplace newsletter every Friday.

Are you protected from flood risk? Many Canadians aren't

If you've been paying close attention to the disastrous flooding devastating British Columbia this week, you've probably wondered what might happen to your own home in the event of a flood.

Will it stay above water, and if not, will your home insurance cover the damages? 

Marketplace's latest investigation will have you double-checking your policy, especially once you hear what insurance expert Jason Thistlethwaite has to say. 

"Insurability — or markets where insurance is available and affordable — is eroding in Canada," said Thistlethwaite, an associate professor at the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development at the University of Waterloo in Ontario. "Unless we make more effort to manage climate risk, insurance will become a luxury for the rich and unaffordable for most." Read more

Are you protected? Investigating home insurance

2 months ago
Duration 22:30
Find out how to get the flood coverage you deserve from insurance companies. 22:30

Why it might be time to upgrade your non-medical mask 

Now that the cold weather has hit and people are moving inside, many doctors and scientists are urging Canadians not only to resist getting complacent about wearing masks to protect against COVID-19 — but also to take a closer look at whether cloth masks are keeping them and others as safe as possible.

"In general, while non-medical masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19, medical masks and respirators provide better protection," the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) said on its COVID-19 mask information webpage, which was recently updated.

Earlier this year, Marketplace investigated N95-style masks and found that some of them were falling way short of filtration standardsRead more

The Public Health Agency of Canada published new COVID-19 mask guidance earlier in November, with a shift toward recommending medical/surgical masks and respirators (such as N95 or KN95 masks) over cloth ones. (David Horemans/CBC)

Plexiglass barriers might make things worse

Some health experts are urging establishments and institutions to re-think the use of Plexiglass as a measure against COVID-19, arguing the barriers can even be "counterproductive" because they could obstruct the ventilation needed to avoid spreading the more transmissible delta variant.

Since the start of the pandemic, plastic barriers have become a common sight in places like stores and schools. But as the coronavirus has evolved, so has our knowledge of it. 

Now experts like Dr. Peter Juni, an epidemiologist at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto and a member of the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, want people to "throw out the Plexiglass" in most situations. Read more

A grocery store worker and a customer are divided by a plastic barrier in Vancouver in April 2020. While experts say Plexiglass barriers may be an important tool in certain situations, they can also obstruct airflow, which is a problem for proper ventilation. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

Thousands of airline compensation complaints still stuck in limbo

Nearly two years after launching an inquiry into thousands of complaints from airline passengers claiming they were wrongly denied compensation for delayed flights, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) has issued a decision.

But it's not one that will satisfy all the affected passengers who've been waiting for a resolution to their complaints.

That's because instead of attempting to resolve the complaints, the CTA has directed airlines to reconsider the passengers' request for compensation based on new guidance the agency has provided. Read more

The federal Air Passenger Protection Regulations mandate that passengers receive up to $1,000 in compensation for flights that are delayed or cancelled for reasons within an airline's control. But since the rules took effect, a number of travellers say they were still denied compensation for reasons that were either inadequate or unfounded. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

What else is going on?

Baby diagnosed with a sprain had actually suffered a stroke 
Hospitals apologize for ordeal; expert says pandemic probably making misdiagnosis more likely.

B.C. woman fined $5,700 at border said agents unaware of new travel exemption issued by Canadian government
Marlane Jones fined after 10-minute trip to Washington state to buy gas.

CRTC hearings begin on Rogers-Shaw deal that would make Big Three telcos even bigger
Hearings will focus on broadcasting assets, though wireless business is a major factor.

Several brands of chocolate-covered raisins recalled over undeclared peanut content
Four brands sold in New Brunswick and Quebec have been recalled due to allergy concerns.

Marketplace needs your help

Life coaching is a booming industry — and we want to hear from you! Have you ever enlisted the services of a life coach? Have you practised as a life coach yourself? Get in touch! Send us an email at

Are you a diehard fan of Marketplace? Do you find yourself binge-watching old episodes and telling all your friends to tune in? We want to hear from you! Send us a video and tell us what you love about the show! Email us at

Is your family using grocery delivery services in the GTA? Let us know which companies you are using and why! You could be on a Marketplace show! Email us at  

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

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now