Are nursing homes above the law? WestJet changes course on COVID-19 refunds: CBC’s Marketplace Cheat Sheet


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Ont. Nursing homes are breaking the law repeatedly, with few consequences

In our latest investigation, we uncover exclusive details on serious safety violations before the pandemic, including abuse, inadequate infection control, unsafe medication storage, inadequate hydration and poor skin and wound care. Our data analysis reveals 85 per cent of the province’s nursing homes are repeat offenders for some of the most serious violations with almost no consequences. Read more

This man installed a hidden camera in his mother’s room at a long-term care home in Scarborough, Ont. The videos showed different employees physically and verbally abusing the 82-year-old. She was “holding onto the bed rails for dear life,” her son said. 5:00

WestJet says it will now provide refunds for COVID-19 cancellations. Will other airlines follow? 

If you’re among the thousands of Canadians fighting for a refund on air travel cancelled because of the pandemic, you might be in luck. WestJet announced on Wednesday that it would begin offering refunds in the original form of payment, instead of credits. The company said it’s the first national airline in the country to proactively begin refunding customers during the pandemic — a comment that Air Canada has since contested. Read more

WestJet says it will soon offer refunds for flights cancelled due to the pandemic. The refunds also apply to flights booked on the company’s low-cost affiliate, Swoop Airlines. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Google is facing an antitrust lawsuit from the U.S. Justice Department. Here’s what it means

The United States Justice Department alleges Google abused its dominance in online search and advertising to stifle competition and harm consumers. It’s a serious charge and one that Google is expected to fiercely oppose. The company tweeted shortly after the announcement that the “lawsuit by the Department of Justice is deeply flawed. People use Google because they choose to — not because they’re forced to or because they can’t find alternatives.” Read more

Last week, Marketplace investigated fake appliance repair listings online and why you can’t always trust Google Maps

A Marketplace investigation has linked one company in the industry to a network of fake locations and names on Google Maps. 2:09

She wants to honour her husband’s dying wish. But Apple won’t let her access his account

It’s been four years since Carol Anne Noble’s husband died, but she’s still struggling to fulfil a promise she made before his death. Noble wants access to an Apple account she and her husband shared — but was under his name — so she can access and ultimately publish a journal he wrote documenting the progression of his illness. But instead of giving her the password she’s forgotten, the tech giant is demanding she jump through complicated legal hoops to satisfy what experts say is an outdated U.S. law. Go Public reports. Read more

Carol Anne Noble of Toronto wants access to an Apple account she and her late husband shared — but was under his name — so she can fulfil a promise she made to him before he died. 2:32

What else is going on?

Tim Hortons to stop using two cups for hot drinks, use sleeves instead 
It’s part of the coffee chain’s pledge to reduce paper waste.

Government calls on private sector to come up with compostable, recyclable pandemic gear
Initiative seeks to reduce waste from single-use PPE, such as masks, as consumption skyrockets.

Dollarama recalls bogus hand sanitizer
Daily Shield hand sanitizer contains methanol, which can be deadly to humans.

Air Transat lays off half of its remaining flight attendants, closes Vancouver base
128 attendants got layoff notices last week. 

Ontario restaurants near virus hot spots weigh safety-vs-profit with locals-only dining
Some restaurants are making the choice to bar out-of-town customers from indoor dining.

These SALT lounge chairs have been recalled due to a fall hazard
Owners are being urged to return the affected chairs to any Bed Bath & Beyond location for a full refund or credit.

These Cottonelle flushable wipes have been recalled due to possible contamination
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled product and dispose of it.

This CB2 bookcase has been recalled 
The bottom of the bookcase can become weak or collapse, posing an injury hazard.

This week on Marketplace

David Common reveals exclusive details on the state of Ontario long-term care homes. 22:33

Imagine being a senior locked down in a long-term care home during COVID-19.

Most of your family can’t visit. Meals have been a solitary affair in your room. And, if there’s an outbreak, people are dying around you. It’s a haunting prospect — but hardly the first bad thing to happen inside a nursing home.

Marketplace has, for three years, had a specialized team investigating care homes, the companies that own and operate them, and the government system that supports them. 

In the stories we’ve done, we’ve always wondered: Do things get better?

And that’s what we’ve set out to answer in this week’s episode.

Our team has found that long-term care homes have violated legislation governing Ontario’s care homes 30,000 times over five years. And found that many of the problems identified by government inspectors — offences like abuse and neglect — actually repeat year after year.

It’s one thing to look at numbers, but our team has found the people impacted — and their stories are gripping (and, at times, horrifying). Many of them also have secret video that they’ve shared exclusively with us — and now, you. 

This story is years in the making, and a window inside a world many of us don’t see — but could well end up inside.

-David Common and the Marketplace team

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