How not to buy a puppy; pandemic price gouging: CBC’s Marketplace Cheat Sheet

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

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There have been over 30,000 price-gouging complaints since the pandemic began with few repercussions

Remember all that tough talk from premiers about cracking down on price gouging during the coronavirus pandemic? Marketplace has learned there has been little action despite thousands of complaints across Canada. Provinces say the majority of price-gouging complaints received were about personal protective equipment and other essential products, such as disinfecting wipes, toilet paper and paper towels. Read more

Price gouging has been a going concern since the pandemic began. (David Abrahams/CBC)

If you’re looking to buy a puppy, you’ll want to read this

As the pandemic continues, many people without a furry friend are considering the possibility of getting one to keep them company. But if you’re hoping to buy a dog, you might want to watch out for a few things. A Marketplace investigation found that thousands of puppies are being imported to Canada with little oversight, and some may be carrying diseases. Read more

CBC’s Marketplace has learned that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency doesn’t track the number of puppies — like French bulldog Titus — being imported for sale in Canada. (Dave MacIntosh/CBC)

Black Friday is coming, but public health officials want you to stay home 

Black Friday is poised to be more fraught this year than ever. Some stores are still advertising in-person sales, even as the pandemic rages on. But some public officials, including Manitoba’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin, have a message for stores and for shoppers: Look for safer options, such as online shopping or curbside pickup. Read more

The COVID-19 pandemic means Black Friday will look a lot different this year. (Warren Kay/CBC)

Millions of dollars have been stolen from Canadian minor sports organizations, CBC Sports investigation reveals

Do you have kids in minor sports? You’ll be interested in the latest investigation from CBC Sports. It discovered that in the last decade alone, nearly $8 million has been stolen from dozens of sports leagues and associations across Canada, including $2.4 million from the Ontario Minor Hockey Association. Read more 

An investigation by CBC Sports reveals that in the last decade alone, nearly $8 million has been stolen from dozens of sports leagues and associations across Canada. (Daniel Thomas/CBC)

What else is going on?

Flu cases in Canada ‘exceptionally low’ so far, public health says 
The results are encouraging.

Heinz will start making ketchup in Canada again
Company pulled out of Leamington, Ont., facility in 2014 to much public outcry.

Majority of travellers entering Canada during COVID-19 given OK to not quarantine
Experts say routine COVID-19 testing of millions of essential workers crossing border would mitigate risks.

This garlic press is a laceration hazard.
If you own a Kuraidori slice and dice garlic press, you’ll want to return it.

This Ripline outdoor zipline is a fall hazard
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled product and contact B4 Adventure for a replacement trolley.

This scooter is a fall hazard
Consumers should immediately take the recalled scooter away from children.

This ramp from Canadian Tire has been recalled 
The Tri-Panel Multi-Use Ramp may fail, posing a fall hazard.

This week on Marketplace

This week, we’re tackling two different subjects: puppy imports and pandemic price gouging. 

Our investigation reveals that despite more than 30,000 complaints, there have been few repercussions for stores alleged to be price gouging. 

That’s even as data gathered by Statistics Canada for Marketplace shows that the price of disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer and toilet paper had reached higher-than-average prices during the pandemic.

Plus, we investigate how not to buy a puppy.

Many Canadians have welcomed a pet to their homes during the pandemic, often buying them through online sites such as Kijiji. 

But when nearly 40 puppies showed up dead at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport in the summer — part of a single shipment of more than 500 young dogs from Ukraine — the spotlight shifted to where we’re getting all our new pets. 

The trade in puppies is very lucrative, sometimes sourcing out of eastern Europe, where use of puppy mills is rampant. 

So we set up our cameras back at Toronto’s airport to capture a shipment — to see who was picking them up — and took our hidden cameras to witness how they’re sold. 

We also heard from prominent vets who want the feds to crack down, warning that these dogs are bringing disease along with joy to their adoptive families. 

It’s a fascinating dive into the opaque world of puppy trafficking, and we’re hoping you’ll join us for the ride. 

-Asha Tomlinson, David Common and the Marketplace team

Marketplace needs your help

Are you a COVID-19 survivor suffering from long-term side effects that impact your ability to function? Have you been able to access the medical care you believe you need? We want to hear from you. Email us at 
[email protected]

Catch up on past episodes of Marketplace any time on CBC Gem.

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