Omicron puts holiday plans on ice; woman loses $100K to cryptocurrency scam: CBC’s Marketplace Cheat Sheet

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

Want this in your inbox? Get the Marketplace newsletter every Friday.

How Omicron is wreaking havoc on holiday plans 

The rapid spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant is throwing a wrench into the plans of many Canadians this holiday season.

This week, the federal government issued an advisory warning against non-essential trips abroad, which brought an outcry from airlines and concern from families about whether it’s safe to travel to visit loved ones over the holidays.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has urged all Canadians to be cautious when making their travel plans.

“I understand this sucks,” Trudeau said Wednesday. “The reality is Omicron is here in Canada, and we have to cut down community spread.” Read more

A sign displays COVID-19 safety information at an airport earlier this month. (Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg)

She lost more than $100K from a Facebook ad

A short-haul trucker living in Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., is out tens of thousands of dollars after falling for an online cryptocurrency scam being advertised on Facebook.

Harpreet Sahota says the ad offered what appeared to be a promising investment opportunity, but one particular offer that soon followed, involving bitcoin transactions, never produced any sort of return and led to huge losses that eventually totalled more than $100,000. Read more

According to the RCMP, crypto scams are increasingly common, growing 400 per cent in Canada between 2017 and 2020.

Marketplace has repeatedly investigated similar scams over the years, including the Canada Revenue Agency and tech-support scams — and most recently the bank investigator scam.

Harpreet Sahota was convinced by a company’s agents that she would hit pay dirt if she invested more, so she took out loans and maxed out her credit cards. (Matt D’Amours/CBC)

Impacted by the 2019 Desjardins data breach? You may be eligible for compensation 

If you’ve been a client of Desjardins in the past few years, there’s a chance you may be entitled to compensation.

Financial services firm Desjardins Group will pay up to almost $201 million to settle a class-action lawsuit related to a data breach in 2019 that affected close to 9.7 million Canadians.

The agreement, which is subject to approval by the Quebec Superior Court, would allow eligible individuals who were affected by the privacy breach that came to light in June 2019 to receive a payment.

The settlement applies to members and former members, as well as clients and former clients, of the financial co-operative who have held Desjardins credit cards or financing products. Read more

Financial services firm Desjardins Group will pay up to almost $201 million to settle a class-action lawsuit related to a data breach in 2019 that affected close to 9.7 million Canadians, under an agreement that is subject to court approval. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

Average house price in Canada hit all-time high in November

It’s still a seller’s market.

The average selling price of a resale home in Canada last month was $720,850, topping the previous high set in March of this year.

The Canadian Real Estate Association said Wednesday that the volume of sales was strong, too, with sales increasing by 0.6 per cent from the previous month’s level.

Housing market activity typically peaks in the spring before declining through the summer and fall, and slowing further in the winter months before rebounding again.

But 2021 has bucked that trend, as sales for the year have already smashed the previous annual record for sales with one month to go. Read more

This year has been the busiest year for home sales on record, the Canadian Real Estate Association says. (Cole Burston/Bloomberg)

What else is going on?

A First Nations man died day after leaving Ontario hospital with headache pills. Now his family wants answers
Chief coroner’s office, hospital investigating death of Brent Sky, 32, from Shoal Lake 40.

Marineland charged with using dolphins, whales for entertainment without a licence
Ontario theme park says dolphins doing routine in front of crowd is ‘educational’

Canada Revenue Agency should do more to help taxpayers facing hardship, ombudsperson says
Ombudsperson’s office sent twice the normal number of urgent requests to CRA last year.

This Alasko brand corn has been recalled due to salmonella risk
The recalled product has been sold in British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba and may have been distributed in other provinces and territories.

Hot Paws winter jackets recalled due to strangulation hazard
Consumers should immediately remove the drawstring from the winter jacket.

NXT/GEN fleece hooded popover sweatshirt with kangaroo patch pocket recalled due to strangulation hazard
Immediately remove the drawstring from the sweatshirt hood.

Happiness is … youth unisex crest hoodie recalled due to strangulation hazard
Immediately remove the drawstring from the upper outerwear.

Marketplace needs your help

We’re looking for stories of stolen cars across Canada. Have you had your vehicle stolen? Or another experience with a stolen vehicle? We want to hear about it. Email us at

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