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Why some Canadians are ready to travel; landlord boots tenant over tattoos: CBC's Marketplace cheat sheet – CBC.ca

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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.

Ottawa still wants us to stay home. But many travellers are heading to warmer pastures anyway

For many Canadians accustomed to a life of travel, the last year and half has only made their feelings of wanderlust grow stronger.

While the delta variant has complicated plans for a post-pandemic future where it’s safe to travel without reservations, many people are still planning to head south in the coming months.

Air Canada, Air Transat and Sunwing all say the upcoming fall and winter looks promising for travel to sun destinations.

“When looking to the sun market, we are very optimistic about our recovery,” Air Canada spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick told CBC News in a recent email. He noted the airline is currently “observing demand growth that is above 2019 levels.”

Despite this increased demand, the federal government is still feeling uneasy about people travelling internationally.

In an email to CBC News, Global Affairs Canada said its still advising against non-essential travel outside of Canada and also pointed to practical concerns for those who do choose to go abroad.

“Additional travel restrictions can be imposed suddenly. Airlines can suspend or reduce flights without notice. Travel plans may be severely disrupted, making it difficult to return home.” Read more

A row of beach chairs in Varadero, Cuba, is empty of sun-seekers in March 2021. Cuba is relaxing restrictions for incoming Canadian tourists starting in mid-November. (Ramon Espinosa/The Associated Press)

Can a landlord cancel a lease because of tattoos? It happened to this student

A first-year Western University student who arrived in London, Ont., from Saskatchewan says she had a rental agreement cancelled at the last minute by a landlord who said she didn’t like her tattoos. 

Kadince Ball, 18, started school at Western earlier this month and secured an apartment ahead of her move. She’d already signed a lease and paid her damage deposit, but shortly after she met her landlord Esther Lee in person, Lee told her that she couldn’t move in.

“A lease was signed and because I look a certain way, I was denied tenancy,” said Ball. “None of my tattoos are offensive. They are works of art. They are somebody’s works of art on my body.” 

Lee told CBC News she moved to cancel the lease because she became “scared” after seeing Ball’s tattoos. The day the two first met in person, it was hot and Ball was wearing a tank top that showed her tattoos, which include a snake wrapped around a flower on her forearm, a cherub on one shoulder and a flower on the other shoulder 

“It covered almost 70 per cent of her arm,” said Lee. “That’s why I don’t want to rent it to her because it’s scary, so scary.”

Ball eventually found another apartment. She’s more concerned with her studies than pursuing legal action. But a lawyer at the Community Legal Services Clinic at Western says if she chose to bring the incident to small claims court, she likely would have a case. Read more

Kadince Ball signed a lease for an apartment in London, Ont., before arriving from Saskatchewan for her first year at Western University. When she met the landlord in person, the landlord said she wouldn’t rent to her. She later told CBC News it was because of Ball’s tattoos. (Andrew Lupton/CBC)

How much air pollution is too much? The answer is lower than we once thought

The World Health Organization said earlier this week that the harmful health effects of air pollution kick in at lower levels than it previously thought.

As a result, the WHO is setting a higher bar for policymakers and the public in its first update to its air quality guidelines in 15 years. 

Exposure to air pollution is estimated to cause seven million premature deaths and affect the health of millions more people each year, and air pollution “is now recognized as the single-biggest environmental threat to human health,” said Dr. Dorota Jarosinska, WHO Europe program manager for living and working environments.

Air pollution is now comparable to other global health risks such as unhealthy diets and tobacco smoking, WHO said. Read more

Vehicles drive on a highway as smog envelops the area of Lahore, Pakistan, on Nov. 11, 2020. The World Health Organization said this week that the negative health impacts of poor air quality kick in at lower levels than it previously thought. (K.M. Chaudary/The Associated Press)

What else is going on?

Here’s how the housing landscape could change under a newly re-elected Liberal government
Ottawa looks very similar post-election, but there is optimism about affordability — if promises are kept.

Office vacancies are at a pandemic high. Blame the fourth wave
The vacancy rate rose to 15.7 per cent in the third quarter of 2021, according to CBRE Group Inc., a commercial real estate firm.

The EU wants to push all smartphone makers to use the same charging point. Even Apple 
EU wants to cut down on 10,000 tonnes a year of e-waste generated by obsolete tech.

Is your device spying on you? CBC Kids News has the answers
Experts say that’s a bit of a stretch.

Marketplace needs your help

Are you currently in a fight with your home insurance company over flooding or water damage? We want to hear your story! Email us at marketplace@cbc.ca.  

Do you get harassing phone calls demanding you owe the CRA money for unpaid taxes? Or callers claiming you’ve got a virus and need tech support? If so, we want to hear from you. Send us a video message detailing your experience so we may use it in our show! And share your phone number so we can get in touch! Email us at marketplace@cbc.ca 

Season premiere this Friday

Marketplace is back!

Join Charlsie Agro as we investigate the quality of some of the world’s top fast fashion brands. The clothes might be trendy and the price might be right, but you’ll be shocked to learn some of these garments might actually be toxic. 

Tune in Friday at 8 p.m., 8:30 in Newfoundland and Labrador on CBC Television and CBC Gem.

You won’t want to miss it. 

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

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Bitcoin hovers near 6-month high on ETF hopes, inflation worries

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Bitcoin hovered near a six-month high early on Monday on hopes that U.S. regulators would soon allow cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds (ETF) to trade, while global inflation worries also provided some support.

Bitcoin last stood at $62,359, near Friday’s six-month high of $62,944 and not far from its all-time high of $64,895 hit in April.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is set to allow the first American bitcoin futures ETF to begin trading this week, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday, a move likely to lead to wider investment in digital assets.

Cryptocurrency players expect the approval of the first U.S. bitcoin ETF to trigger an influx of money from institutional players who cannot invest in digital coins at the moment.

Rising inflation worries also increased appetite for bitcoin, which is in limited supply, in contrast to the ample amount of currencies issued by central banks in recent years as monetary authorities printed money to stimulate their economies.

But some analysts noted that, after the recent rally, investors may sell bitcoin on the ETF news.

“The news of a suite of futures-tracking ETFs is not new to those following the space closely, and to many this is a step forward but not the game-changer that some are sensing,” said Chris Weston, head of research at Pepperstone in Melbourne, Australia.

“We’ve been excited by a spot ETF before, and this may need more work on the regulation front.”

 

(Reporting by Hideyuki Sano in Tokyo and Tom Westbrook in Singapore; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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China’s plunging construction starts reminiscent of 2015 downturn

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China’s September new  construction starts slumped for a sixth straight month, the longest spate of monthly declines since 2015, as cash-strapped developers put a pause on projects in the wake of tighter regulations on borrowing.

New construction starts in September fell 13.54% from a year earlier, the third month of double-digit declines, according to Reuters calculations based on January-September data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Monday.

That marks the longest downtrend since declines in March-August 2015, the last property malaise.

When the sector recovered in 2016 after authorities loosened their grip on purchases and development, tens of thousands of real estate firms borrowed heavily to build homes.

But as regulations tightened again this year, many of them have started to face a liquidity crunch, which was then worsened by sharply weaker demand due to tighter restrictions on speculative purchases.

Property sales by floor area dropped 15.8% in September, down for a third month, according to Reuters calculations based on the statistics bureau’s data.

The slowdown in the sector was also underscored by a 3.5% drop in property investments by developers in September, the first monthly decline since January-February last year at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in China.

“All the data are poor,” said Zhang Dawei, chief analyst with property agency Centaline.

“Financing is hard, sales are tough, so of course, there has been no enthusiasm to build. For the first time in history, developers are encountering two blockages – blockages in sales and blockages in financing.”

The potential collapse of highly indebted real estate firms such as China Evergrande Group have raised concerns about systemic risks to the broader economy. The real estate sector accounts for a quarter of China’s gross domestic product.

Authorities will try to prevent problems at Evergrande from spreading to other real estate companies to avoid broader systemic risk, Yi Gang, governor of China’s central bank, said on Sunday.

On Friday, a central bank official said the spillover effect of Evergrande’s debt problems on the banking system was “controllable.”

“There is a likelihood that housing policies may loosen in the fourth quarter, and that would ease the pessimism in the property transaction data,” said Yan Yuejin, director of Shanghai-based E-house China Research and Development Institution.

On Friday, representatives from 10 Chinese Property Companies met government regulators to ask for an “appropriate loosening” on policy restrictions, financial news outlet Yicai reported.

China’s real estate shares have fallen 22% so far this year. On Monday, they were down 2.6% as of 0300 GMT.

In the first nine months, property investment rose 8.8% from a year earlier, slowing from 10.9% growth seen in January-August.

Funds raised by China’s property developers grew 11.1%, slower than the 14.8% rise seen in the first eight months.

(Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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Saks Fifth Avenue ecommerce unit aims for IPO at $6 billion valuation – WSJ

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The ecommerce business of luxury department store  Saks OFF 5TH is preparing for an initial public offering and targeting a $6 billion valuation, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, citing sources.

The company is interviewing potential underwriters this week for an  IPO that could take place in the first half of next year, according to the report.

 

(Reporting by Sheila Dang; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

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