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85-year-old with Alzheimer's sold Bell products and services he can't use after visit to The Source
Ross Miller, 85, thought he needed a new TV last October, so he went to The Source — a consumer electronics store owned by Bell Canada. But he got much more than he intended.
A sales rep signed Miller to two-year contracts for Bell Fibe TV and a new cellphone with data and a warranty plan; sold him a cordless phone, landline and tablet; and signed him to another two-year contract for high-speed home internet.
Miller, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, isn't clear what happened. He already had a cellphone, which he doesn't use, didn't know what a tablet was and doesn't understand the internet.
The new products and services "seemed to have been sold to me without my knowledge, I guess," he told Go Public, shrugging. "That's the only explanation I can have. I'm still not sure how that happened."
Miller's son, James Odgen, has a pretty good idea what happened — he says a sales rep at the store in Toronto's Dufferin Mall acted unethically. "There's no justification for what they did, just taking advantage of somebody. It was exploitative."
WATCH | 85-year-old sold Bell products while TV shopping:
An insider who works at another location of The Source tells Go Public that he and his colleagues are encouraged not to ask too many questions when a customer doesn't appear to have good cognitive function. "The goal … is to get them pen to paper, signing a contract. So if the person does not have their faculties, then we're basically just told to go through the [sales] script," he said.
Bell declined an interview request, but eventually refunded Miller and waived the contracts. In a statement to Go Public, spokesperson Nathan Gibson said the company has launched an internal investigation into Miller's experience, that staff involved will face disciplinary action, and that what happened "does not align in any way with our policies and we have apologized to him and his family." Read more on this story here.
Down in defeat
(Marco Bertorello/AFP/Getty Images)
Juventus' Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo reacts after being tackled during an Italian Serie A soccer match against AC Milan on Sunday in Turin. The squad from Milan won the game 3-0.
All kindergarten to Grade 12 students in Winnipeg and Brandon are moving to remote learning starting Wednesday in an effort to curb Manitoba's rising third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the province says. Those students will stay at home until May 30, Education Minister Cliff Cullen said at an impromptu news conference, alongside Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin, on Sunday. Schools that move to remote learning will still be able to accommodate children of critical service workers from kindergarten to Grade 6. They'll also be able to accommodate kindergarten to Grade 12 students deemed high risk or who have certain disabilities, Cullen said. Schools in other parts of Manitoba will stay open for now but will make the shift to remote learning if they have more than one COVID-19 case, unless they involve people from the same household. Read more about the school changes.
WATCH | Winnipeg and Brandon schools moving to remote learning:
A 28-year-old man was shot and killed Sunday at Vancouver International Airport in what police believe was a gang-related killing. The shooting, which occurred mid-afternoon outside the departures terminal, was the latest in a spate of gang-related violence across B.C.'s Lower Mainland, police said. Sgt. Frank Jang with the Lower Mainland's Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said the victim was known to police. Richmond RCMP responded to reports of a shooting at around 3 p.m. local time. Police intercepted the getaway vehicle — an SUV — and were shot at by the suspects, who are still at large, said Jang. Read more on this story here.
Following a week of contradictory advice over whether Canadians should wait for "preferred" mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, Health Minister Patty Hajdu maintains the first vaccine offered remains the best, but she noted that Health Canada continues to adapt its analysis of different types and would stop use if necessary. "Health Canada continues to evolve their analysis based on the data that's accumulating in Canada, based on the data that's accumulating internationally," Hajdu said in an interview that aired Sunday on Rosemary Barton Live. "We wouldn't hesitate to cease or pause the use of a product if it was shown to not have value, safety or effectiveness." The "first is best" approach has been a constant refrain from Canada's political leadership this year, but the mantra was shaken this week after the National Advisory Committee on Immunization indicated there may be "preferred" vaccines. Read more on the government messaging on vaccines.
Advocates for justice system reform are welcoming new proposals from the federal government to address the overrepresentation of Black and Indigenous individuals and other racialized groups in the criminal justice system. In the recent federal budget, the government pledged $216.4 million over five years, and $43.3 million each year after that, to divert Black and Indigenous youth and young people of colour from the courts. The government also is proposing to give $21.5 million over five years to organizations that offer free public legal education and services to racialized communities, and to spend $26.8 million to help provinces maintain immigration and refugee legal aid support for asylum seekers. Raphael Tachie, president of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, said he's encouraged by Ottawa's approach. The key, he said, will be how the measures are implemented. Read more on reaction to the reforms.
If you thought Canada's domestic carbon tax was controversial, just wait for its new global equivalent now being negotiated behind closed doors, say Canadians who have been following its progress. The plan is to "make sure that regulations on a price on carbon pollution apply fairly between trading partners," according to the recent federal budget. "This levels the playing field, ensures competitiveness, and protects our shared environment." It's prompted, in part, by fear of a Rust Belt repeat. Then, industries hollowed out in rich countries as manufacturing chased cheaper labour. This time, the draw would be from countries with climate regulations to those without. So far, the border charge, which is officially not a tax at all but a "border adjustment," has garnered little attention outside specialist circles. But according to Aaron Cosbey, one of Canada's foremost experts on the subject, that is about to change. Read more analysis from CBC business columnist Don Pittis.
Now for some good news to start your Monday: Flower snips in hand, Shelli Kiselycia expertly trimmed an orange rose and placed it carefully into a small glass vase at her shop in Maple Ridge, B.C. "I always put roses in because it's a little special," she said, surveying a row of 50 bouquets all carefully lined up on a table. This wasn't just the usual Mother's Day rush at Kiselycia's shop. She's volunteering her time and supplying the flowers at cost as part of an initiative to brighten up the day for isolated seniors and people in palliative care. It's a relatively new and quickly expanding venture that now sees weekly deliveries of up to 50 bouquets to long-term care homes, seniors living on their own and people in hospices. "Kindness spreads kindness, and it's had a snowball effect, of people doing good for each other in this crazy, crazy time," she said. Read more about the floral donations.
Front Burner: Expectations versus reality for this summer as vaccines roll out
As more people across Canada get vaccinated against COVID-19, there are growing hopes that life might soon return to some semblance of a pre-pandemic normal.
Today on Front Burner, infectious disease epidemiologist Dr. Lynora Saxinger walks us through whether that expectation is realistic, and what an accelerating vaccine rollout might mean for the way we get to spend this summer.
Today in history: May 10
1876: Alexander Graham Bell demonstrates his telephone before the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Philadelphia.
1994: Nelson Mandela is sworn in as South Africa's first Black president.
2006: The federal cabinet approves a $2-billion deal to compensate former students of residential schools for physical and sexual abuse.
2010: Canwest Global Communications approves the sale of its newspapers to Postmedia Network Canada Corp. in a $1.1-billion deal that preserved jobs and paid off the insolvent company's bankers.
With files from The Canadian Press, The Associated Press and Reuters