Credit score glitches, and can fast fashion be green? CBC’s Marketplace cheat sheet | CBC News

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A glitch at Equifax left this man with a ‘poor’ credit rating, and you should check yours, too

Equifax says it’s working to resolve the issue for all Meridian Credit Union customers by September. (Equifax)

Velimir Drecun says he wouldn’t have noticed his credit rating had apparently plunged had it not been for a landlord asking specifically for an Equifax credit check when he wanted to rent a basement suite in Toronto earlier this month.

Now, Drecun is warning other Meridian Credit Union customers to check their Equifax credit scores after learning an error within the credit-reporting company had duplicated a maxed-out credit card.

His score was 526 on Equifax, 150 points lower compared with another credit bureau.

Drecun says he normally wouldn’t have known because he gets his credit reports from TransUnion, which listed his credit as “good” at 676.

“It’s frustrating,” Drecun said. “You put the work in to improve it and to have a good history …  and you’re still at the bottom of the barrel.”

Equifax Canada told CBC Toronto a technology change had duplicated credit cards on some Meridian customers’ credit rating reports.

Drecun’s score was amended after he and CBC reached out to Equifax, but not in time for him to put together his rental application. He’s concerned about other Meridian customers who may not know their credit report could be affected.

Meridian is the largest credit union in Ontario and second largest in Canada. Equifax says customers across the country are affected, but neither Meridian nor Equifax would say how many.

Equifax says it’s working to resolve the problem by September. Read more

A new report is highlighting Canada’s health-care crisis, including surgery backlogs, staff shortages and lack of family doctors

A nurse wearing blue scrubs, including a navy scrub cap and a stethoscope around her neck, stands with her arms crossed in front of some bushes.
Toronto-based trauma nurse Eram Chhogala says she experienced burnout during the COVID-19 pandemic, juggling 12-hour days while her own father was sick with the virus. (Submitted by Eram Chhogala)

A new report highlights Canada’s major drop in surgeries during the early years of the pandemic, but those pains were felt unequally across the country’s patchwork provincial health-care systems — with the largest decrease in procedures seen in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The findings were released Wednesday by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), an independent organization that compiles and analyzes health system data.

The CIHI team found roughly 743,000 fewer surgeries were performed in Canada during the first 2½ years of the pandemic — a drop of about 13 per cent compared to 2019.

“It takes a long time to catch up when you have to cancel a large number of surgeries,” said Kathleen Morris, CIHI’s vice-president of research and analysis.

Despite the drop in surgeries, overtime hours in Canada’s public hospitals from 2020 to 2021 increased by 15 per cent over the previous year — a “stark example” of the pressure COVID-19 put on health-care workers, the CIHI report noted.

The findings also shone a spotlight on other health-care issues, including staff shortages and burnout, levels of access to personal health information, and the roughly one in 10 Canadians who say they don’t have a regular health-care provider. Read more

Can fast fashion slow down? It’s not that simple

Inditex, Zara’s parent company, announced on July 11 that it will cut its emissions in half by 2030, and become net zero by 2040.
Inditex, Zara’s parent company, announced on July 11 that it will cut its emissions in half by 2030, and become net zero by 2040. (Andrea Comas/Reuters)

One of fast fashion’s biggest players says it’s taking major steps toward a more sustainable business model. But in an industry predicated on low cost, low quality and high production volume, experts say it won’t be simple.

“It’s hard to see how they actually deliver on their emissions reductions targets,” said Ken Pucker, a lecturer at the Fletcher School at Tufts University in Medford, Mass., who focuses on sustainability.

“Because volumes are going to continue to go up.”

In an ambitious new plan, Inditex, Zara’s parent company, announced earlier this month that it will seek to cut its emissions in half by 2030 and become net zero by 2040. It also says it will transition to using materials that last longer and are easier to recycle.

Experts say the move signals a shift toward a circular business model — meaning materials get reused and regenerated instead of thrown away — as the fashion industry faces more and more criticism over its outsized environmental footprint.

In 2021, the World Economic Forum identified the fashion industry as the world’s third-largest polluter. And as the trend cycle accelerates, most of the clothing purchased is only worn seven times before it’s thrown out, according to a 2015 British study.

In its new plan, Zara says 40 per cent of the Spanish-based international clothing chain’s fibres will come from recycled material, 25 per cent from sustainably farmed crops, and another 25 per cent from “next-generation materials” that Inditex is investing in.

The big problem, say experts, is that the company shows no signs of slowing production, raising questions around how realistic these targets are.

“To get to their targets, these things all have to happen yesterday. And I worry that there is insufficient financial incentive and time that will compromise their ability to deliver on their goals,” said Pucker. Read more

What else is going on?

Australia made a deal to keep news on Facebook. Why couldn’t Canada?
In 2021, Facebook temporarily blocked news on its platform across Australia, but about a week later, a deal was struck and the restriction was lifted.

Some Canadian companies have switched to 4-day work weeks
One firm said it lead to a drop in personal and sick days and had no effect on revenue.

Spotify is raising prices by up to $2
The company reports it’s gaining customers but still losing money.

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