Why some wildfire-adjacent homes are uninsurable; U.S. land border still closed: CBC’s Marketplace Cheat Sheet


CBC's Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need from the week.

With wildfires expected to occur more frequently, experts say builders and buyers could face even more difficulty finding insurance in the future.(Alexandre Lepoutre/CBC/Radio-Canada)

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Buying a home near an area plagued by wildfires? Good luck getting insurance

In the wake of devastating B.C. wildfires, some potential homebuyers and builders are struggling to find companies willing to offer them home insurance.

Many insurers won't issue new coverage for properties or construction sites that are within a certain distance of an active blaze.

"Some agents are saying if you're within 25 kilometres, some are saying 75, and we've even heard from some that even if you're within 100 kilometres, they're not going to issue a policy," said Ranvir Nahal, owner of Sunterra Custom Homes, a construction company that builds luxury homes in the Okanagan region.

Insurance is being withheld because it's put in place for "unforeseen risk," explained Aaron Sutherland, vice-president for the Western and Pacific region at the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

An active wildfire is not an unforeseeable risk, Sutherland said.

"As our climate changes, we're seeing hotter, drier conditions lasting longer, and the wildfire risk is only likely to go up in this province." Read more

Ranvir Nahal, owner of Sunterra Custom Homes in B.C., says work has stalled on some of his developments because companies won't insure the projects due to wildfire risk.(Brady Strachan/CBC)

Ivermectin is a dangerous and ineffective treatment for COVID-19. Now, Amazon's adding a disclaimer

Please, Health Canada is imploring you: Do not use ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19.

The federal department issued an advisory on Tuesday asking people not to take the drug to treat COVID-19, after CBC News reported that some people were attempting to take the veterinary form of the medicine intended for livestock — likely due to misinformation circulating about its efficacy for that purpose.

"There is no evidence that ivermectin in either [the human or veterinary] formulation is safe or effective when used for those purposes," Health Canada warned on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Amazon Canada has taken action on its platform to prevent shoppers from purchasing ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19.

The company said it has added a disclaimer to search listings for the drug.

In any case, doctors say the most effective prevention for COVID-19 is available free of charge and doesn't need to be ordered on Amazon: vaccination. Read more

Amazon Canada is now adding a disclaimer for customers who search for ivermectin.(Amazon.ca)

She posted a negative review of her plastic surgeon online. Now she owes him $30K

A blogger is on the hook for $30,000 after she posted negative reviews about the plastic surgeon who performed her breast implant surgery.

The B.C. Supreme Court case serves as a cautionary tale that "online review platforms are not a carte blanche to say whatever one wishes without potential consequences," Justice Gordon Weatherill wrote in his judgment.

In court documents, Weatherill outlines how Rosa Campagna Deck hired Kelowna plastic surgeon Dr. Brian Peterson to perform a breast augmentation in 2015, but she was unhappy with the results that left her with one breast lower than the other.

Three years later, she posted reviews on her website and on Google Reviews that called into question Peterson's competency and reputation while claiming he made mistakes — allegations that were later dismissed by the court, which found she misrepresented the facts.

This case, and Weatherill's ruling, could be taken as a warning for anyone who frequents review pages such as Yelp, Google or even Rate My Teachers. Read more

Kelowna, B.C., plastic surgeon Dr. Brian Peterson has won a $30,000 award against a former client who wrote negative reviews about his work.(Donna McWilliam/The Associated Press)

Canadians still can't drive to the United States. Why?

If you've been hoping the U.S. land border would be open by now, you're hardly alone.

When Canada reopened both its land and air borders on Aug. 9 to fully vaccinated American travellers, it was widely assumed the U.S. would reciprocate. Instead, the country has kept its land border closed, frustrating travellers who want to drive — not fly — to the U.S.

It's been especially frustrating for those who live near border towns who have loved ones on the other side and can't visit.

"It's a classist policy," said Devon Weber of Montreal, the founder of Let Us Reunite, an advocacy group for cross-border families affected by the U.S. land border closure. "Not everyone has hundreds of dollars laying around to be able to fly to see their family." Read more

Canadians have been able to fly — but not drive — to the U.S. since the start of the pandemic.(Ben Nelms/CBC)

What else is going on?

Alleged nurse impersonator charged by Ottawa police has history of similar crimes

Police believe there could be more victims.

Apple eases App Store rules to allow for outside links to paid subscriptions

The company is making the change in order to resolve an investigation by Japanese regulators.

These Soo brand enoki mushrooms have been recalled due to a possible Listeria contamination

Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased.

These Veggie Foodle brand whole vegetable noodles have been recalled due to a possible Listeria contamination

Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased.

Marketplace needs your help

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