Tariffs on U.S. goods and Health Canada sunscreen tests: CBC’s Marketplace consumer cheat sheet

Tariffs on U.S. goods and Health Canada sunscreen tests: CBC’s Marketplace consumer 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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Higher prices for U.S. products

Planning to buy a washing machine or a lawn mower? Prepare to pay more than you’re used to at checkout. Canada’s retaliatory tariffs on goods imported from the U.S. take effect today. More than 120 consumer goods will be slapped with a 10 per cent surtax — including dishwashers, fridges, washing machines, pens, beer kegs, coffee and even toilet paper. The list of items hit with tariffs might look random, but it targets specific regions of the U.S. that are politically important to President Donald Trump and to key Republicans. 

More from a look back at Marketplace: Canada vs. U.S. pricing (2013)

Camera directs car into oncoming traffic

Mike Ash’s car has an advanced driver-assistance system to help keep him safe on the road. He had no idea having his windshield replaced could potentially put him in danger because of it. (Sherry Vivian/CBC)

Replacing a windshield could turn into a safety hazard if your car has a high-tech system. A Newfoundland man was shocked when the steering wheel on his 2016 Acura MDX started to move the vehicle into the next lane. His car had a camera attached to the rear-view mirror to help avoid collisions, but he didn’t realize it needed to be adjusted after a simple windshield replacement.

Health Canada tests 27 sunscreens

Health Canada says all 27 sunscreen products it tested were found to have a pH range close to the skin’s natural level. (Canadian Press)

After receiving more than 130 complaints about sunscreen last year, Health Canada investigated. They tested 27 sunscreens from different companies and found no serious concerns or any preservatives known to cause skin reactions. The issue came to light when several mothers complained that their babies suffered burns after using Banana Boat sunscreen. Health Canada is still looking into whether factors other than product quality could have contributed to the reported reactions.

Living in ‘child-care deserts’

A study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says 44 per cent of all school-aged children live in so-called ‘child care deserts’ where the number of children outstrips the available spaces in licensed homes and centres. (CBC)

If you’re finding it impossible to find daycare for your son or daughter, you’re not alone. A new study says an estimated 776,000 Canadian children live in parts of Canada without enough available daycare spaces — so-called “child-care deserts.” The situation in Brampton, Ont., is particularly bleak: 95 per cent of the city’s children do not have access to a daycare centre, according to the report. Charlottetown and Montreal were among the best-served cities.

What else is going on?

Albertans are carrying the most consumer debt. The average Albertan owes $28,155 — $6,000 more than the national average, which excludes mortgages. Fort McMurray residents have borrowed the most money and one expert expects the trend to continue in both the city and the province.

Cineplex will deliver movie theatre snacks to people at home in a partnership with Uber Eats. The movie chain is testing the program in 60 communities in Alberta, B.C., Quebec and Ontario this week.

A Toronto-area hospital has midwives and physicians working together. Markham Stouffville Hospital says the unit will be staffed by midwives 24/7 and doctors will be available if needed. The unit’s director says it’s an extra option for women who want to use a midwife but not have a home birth.

This week in recalls

These microgreens could be contaminated with Listeria; this lighter and this lighter could both pose a fire or burn hazard; these scuba diving regulators could pose a drowning hazard; and these wedge anchors could cause injuries.

What should we investigate next?

Our TV season has wrapped until the fall. Miss an episode? Watch Marketplace investigations on demand here. We are busy working on new stories and want to hear from you.  What do you think we should investigate next? Email us at [email protected]

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