Unauthorized online poppy sales; airlines fight compensation rulings: 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

Poppies from the Royal Canadian Legion for sale in Victoria. The legion has trademarked the image of the poppy to 'safeguard' it as a symbol of remembrance. (Ken Mizokoshi/CBC)

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People place poppies on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial following the National Remembrance Day Ceremony in Ottawa, on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. The legion said anyone who wants to use the poppy should consult with the organization first. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

Did you buy your poppy online? It may be one of hundreds of unauthorized products

Red poppies from the Royal Canadian Legion are a common sight at stores and on lapels across Canada leading up to Remembrance Day. 

Also common this time of year? Poppy products sold online that are not authorized by the legion.

It's a growing problem for the organization, which has registered the trademark of the poppy image to "safeguard" it as a symbol of remembrance.

The legion says the number of unauthorized products it's seen has almost tripled since 2021.

"I feel as if it is an insult to those who have served, who are serving and have died for our country," said Mike Turner. He served in the military for eight years and now helps organize the poppy campaign at a Royal Canadian Legion branch in Toronto. 

"If that item is being sold for personal gain or personal profit, then it's not going back to supporting the veterans or supporting the troops or supporting the people who may from time to time need some support." Read more

Air Canada and WestJet have set out to appeal separate Canadian Transportation Agency decisions involving compensation awarded to passengers for flight cancellations caused by crew shortages (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

Air Canada and WestJet are fighting back against paying passengers for cancelled flights

Air Canada and WestJet have both launched a legal battle to appeal separate Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) rulings where, in each case, the airline was ordered to compensate one or more passengers $1,000 for a cancelled flight caused by a staffing shortage. 

The airlines each allege in court documents that they shouldn't have to pay, because the CTA — Canada's transport regulator and a quasi-judicial tribunal — misinterpreted Canada's compensation regulations. 

Consumer advocate and lawyer John Lawford said if the airlines win their appeals, it could affect other compensation claims for flight disruptions.

"Basically anytime the airline has a staffing shortage of any kind, that could be … an event that's out of their control and therefore all those claims would fail," said Lawford.

WestJet and Air Canada told CBC News they abide by Canada's Air Passenger Protections Regulations (APPR). WestJet said it has launched its appeal to ensure the rules are fairly applied. 

"There is no one-size-fits-all crew issue and we believe that's what the CTA is trying to do, is to make all crew issues the same," said Andy Gibbons, WestJet's vice-president of government relations. Read more

What else is going on?

Experts are just as confused as we are about where the economy is going
While companies around the globe are announcing mass layoffs, Canada announced stunning and unexpected employment numbers. 

Drug makers are working on treatments for 'the perfect storm' of respiratory viruses 
RSV is a virus that has been causing wheezing and respiratory problems in babies, and in turn, adding to the pressure on Canada's hospitals.

Canada is starting to feel the shortage of amoxicillin
Doctors and pharmacists in Canada are having trouble finding an important antibiotic for treating bacterial infections in children, and some are insisting a surge in respiratory illnesses is contributing to the shortage.

Marketplace needs your help

(David Abrahams/CBC)

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Catch up on past episodes of Marketplace on CBC Gem.


Jenny Cowley is an investigative journalist in Toronto. She has previously reported for CBC in Nova Scotia. You can reach her at

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