Business·MARKETPLACE

Dining out will cost more; rising inflation: CBC's Marketplace cheat sheet

CBC Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need, from the week starting Sept. 19, 2022.

Consumer and health news from the week of Sept. 19, 2022

A server gives food to two white women in a restaurant.
The war in Ukraine and high energy costs are contributing to the high cost of food for restaurant owners, according to a new report. (Justine Boulin/CBC)

Miss something this week? Don't panic. CBC's Marketplace has rounded up the consumer and health news you need.

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Dining out will soon cost more

Restaurants across Canada are saying their prices will be upped by more than seven per cent by the end of the year — in a bid to keep profits sustainable and offset the rising cost of food.

An annual report by Restaurants Canada, entitled Foodservices Facts, says the war in Ukraine and high energy costs are contributing to the high cost of food restaurant owners are experiencing.

The report follows a tough year for restaurants, when nearly 10,000 permanently closed their doors between April 2021 and July 2022 — in B.C. alone.

Mark von Schellwitz, the vice-president of Western Canada for Restaurants Canada, says restaurants still have some "incredible hurdles to overcome" in recovering from the pandemic and inflation.

"You are talking [substantial] increases in our food costs. When you look at dairy, it's up nearly 20 per cent. Beef, 16 per cent. Cooking oil, 20 per cent. There's been a lot of inflationary pressure … and our natural gas costs have gone up by about 22 per cent as well."

Von Schellwitz says about 85 per cent of restaurants in Western Canada went into additional debt to keep their doors open during the pandemic, and with the current labour shortages, restaurants are still struggling to rehire staff; trying to attract employees with increased wages. Read more.

Two unbaked pizzas with various toppings visible on them.
Rising costs have driven up prices at 2001 Pizza in Vancouver, which used to sell slices for less than a dollar. Now the cheapest are $3.50. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

'Crypto King' has $2M worth of luxury cars, assets seized

Two McLarens, two BMWs and a Lamborghini make up just a few of the $2 million worth of assets seized from a 23-year-old from Whitby, Ont., as his investors try to recoup millions of dollars they handed over to the self-described "Crypto King."

But so far, Aiden Pleterski's assets fall far short of what his investors claim they're owed.

Pleterski and his company, AP Private Equity Ltd., allegedly owe $35 million to investors in his cryptocurrency and foreign exchange investments company.

Creditors are currently working to unravel where at least $35 million provided to Pleterski ended up.

Aiden Pleterski, a 23-year-old self-described 'Crypto King,' is facing allegations that he took at least $35 million from investors in Ontario, only for that money to disappear. (aiden_pletersik/Instagram)

Pleterski owned 11 vehicles, was leasing four other luxury cars, flew on private jets and was paying $45,000 a month to rent a lakefront mansion in Burlington, Ont.

Diane Moore invested $60,000 she had earmarked for her grandchildren's education after meeting Pleterski through someone, she says, she'd known for years. Now she's out $50,000.

"The whole thing was based on trust," Moore said. "What Aiden has done, I think, is awful — and I don't know how he can live with himself."

Investors questioned Pleterski at length in the first creditors meeting — which ran more than five hours — in late August, according to the meeting's minutes. When asked why he continued to invest money when he knew he couldn't repay, Pleterski told the meeting he "was a 20-something-year-old kid."

Pleterski didn't respond to requests for comment for this story. Read more.

Inflation is cooling, but prices won't be dropping — here's why

The annual inflation rate came in at seven per cent in August, down from the four-decade high we saw in June.

But even the most optimistic scenarios forecast prices will continue to climb, even as inflation comes back under control. "It's more that price increases will be slower rather than prices will be falling," said BMO's senior economist Benjamin Reitzes.

  • Are you and your family feeling the impacts of inflation? Perhaps you can no longer afford the essentials you used to buy or notice you're getting a lot less for the same price. Marketplace is looking for families and individuals interested in sharing their stories. Email us at: marketplace@cbc.ca

"Some prices will probably pull back, like we've seen gasoline prices come down," he said. "But others are just at a new higher plateau and they'll just be rising at a slower pace and that's what slower inflation is."

Some of the biggest drivers of inflation like oil, shipping and the price of key grains are coming back down to earth, but the cost of food and services are continuing to push higher.

With another interest rate hike expected, some Canadians already pinched by higher prices could be further squeezed by increased debt payments. Read more.

While Canada's inflation rate cooled to seven per cent in August, it doesn't mean the prices of goods are coming down any time soon. (Shutterstock/Stefan Malloch)

Health-care system facing 'collapse,' CMA head warns

Dr. Alika Lafontaine, the new president of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), is warning that without an injection of cash and a plan to increase the number of health-care professionals, Canada's health-care system will collapse.

He pointed out the recent emergency room closures in Ottawa, southwestern Ontario and Quebec, and lengthy wait times as examples of problems that are undermining the long-standing Canadian promise of timely access to care for all who need it.

"We've been saying for a while that we're concerned about collapse. And in some places, collapse has already happened," Lafontaine said.

"All of these things are not normal things for Canadians to experience so we are at a critical point right now. If you can't access services, that literally does mean collapse."

Lafontaine has a few suggestions, like changing from provincial-based physicians' licences to a national, streamlined process. 

"We need to rethink the idea that we can carry on with 13 separate health systems that don't collaborate with each other at a really deep level," he said.

And, of course, cash is king.

"We definitely do need more resources in the system to move forward. But what's important is where those resources go," he said, adding past federal efforts to specifically earmark money for mental health or home care for the elderly have been successful.

Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos has suggested more money will flow to provincial coffers in the coming months — but he has said it won't be a blank cheque. Read more.

A sign indicating the estimated wait time at the emergency department of Toronto's Humber River Hospital is pictured on April 26. (Alex Lupul/CBC)

What else is going on?

There's a $16 million class-action case in Edmonton over a deadly E.coli outbreak.
One person died and 42 others became ill after eating tainted pork products in 2018.

Canada Jetlines is the newest airline to try to take on the giants. 
The self-described, value-focused leisure carrier only flies between Calgary and Toronto, for now, but has plans for expansion. 

U.S. company Otterbox is halting shipments to Quebec until they can beef up their français.
The move follows the introduction of the new law that requires French-language "support across all sales and marketing touch points."

Marketplace needs your help

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Catch up on past episodes of Marketplace on CBC Gem.

Clarifications

  • An earlier version of this story omitted the name of the organization that publishes the report Foodservices Facts.
    Sep 27, 2022 8:12 AM ET

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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

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