Canadian Economic News, December 2023 Edition

This module provides a concise summary of selected Canadian economic events, as well as international and financial market developments by calendar month. It is intended to provide contextual information only to support users of the economic data published by Statistics Canada. In identifying major events or developments, Statistics Canada is not suggesting that these have a material impact on the published economic data in a particular reference month.

All information presented here is obtained from publicly available news and information sources, and does not reflect any protected information provided to Statistics Canada by survey respondents.


  • Calgary-based Suncor Energy Inc. announced that the Terra Nova Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading vessel southeast of Newfoundland and Labrador had safely restarted following the completion of the Terra Nova Asset Life Extension project. Suncor said production is expected to ramp up over the coming months.
  • The Governments of Canada and Nova Scotia jointly announced that they had notified the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board of their shared decision to veto the fundamental decision to issue Exploration Licence 2437, which would have provided United Kingdom-based Inceptio Limited the exclusive right to explore in a shallow water parcel on the Sable Bank of the Scotian Shelf. The Governments said they are actively pursuing the establishment of a joint regulatory regime for offshore renewable energy by amending the Atlantic Accord Acts to expand the board's mandate so that it can regulate and enable the development of an offshore wind sector in Nova Scotia.
  • Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to sell its 50.0% interest in Alliance Pipeline and its 42.7% interest in Aux Sable to Pembina Pipeline Corporation, also of Calgary, for $3.1 billion. Enbridge said closing is expected to occur in the first half of 2024, subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.
  • Vancouver-based First Quantum Minerals Ltd. noted comments made by the President of Panama that on publishing of the Supreme Court of Panama's ruling of Law 406 as unconstitutional, there will be a transition process for the closure of the Cobre Panama mine. First quantum said that it and Panama had agreed to a new Concession Agreement contract in March 2023 which was approved by contract law 406 by the National Assembly on October 20, 2023.
  • The Government of Nova Scotia announced on December 27th that the stop work order for the Donkin coal mine had been lifted and the company can resume production if it chooses to do so. The Government said the stop work order had been in place since July 15th after a significant roof fall in Tunnel 2.


  • Michigan-based Dow Chemical Company announced it had declared Final Investment Decision on its USD $6.5 billion Fort Saskatchewan Path2Zero investment to build its net-zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions integrated ethylene cracker and derivatives facility in Alberta. Dow said the approval enables the company to begin construction in 2024, with the first phase starting up in 2027 and the second phase starting up in 2029.
  • Vancouver-based Rogers Sugar Inc. announced on November 24th it had applied to the British Columbia Labour Relations Board for mediation to reach a collective agreement with the Public and Private Workers of Canada (PPWC) Local 8 representing workers at the Company's Vancouver refinery, and that the union had accepted. On December 14th, Rogers Sugar announced that the PPWC Local 8 had rejected the latest global proposal by the Company.


  • The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) announced that it will maintain the Domestic Stability Buffer at 3.5% of total risk-weighted assets, a level announced in June 2023 and in effect since November 1, 2023. OSFI said it expects all systemically important banks to target a Common Equity Tier 1 ratio of at least 11.5% of risk-weighted assets.
  • OSFI later announced that the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured residential mortgages will remain the greater of 5.25% or the mortgage contract rate plus 2%.

Quebec strikes

  • On December 1st, the Fédération Autonome de l'Enseignement (FAE) announced it had received a new offer from the Quebec Government on November 28th and had judged that the proposal was insufficient to suspend the unlimited general strike, which the FAE said began on November 23rd.
  • On December 8th, the Alliance du personnel professionnel et techninique de la santé et des services sociaux (APTS) announced that the Front commun representing 420,000 workers in health and social services, schools, and CEGEPS would be on strike from December 8th to the 14th inclusively. On December 28th, the APTS said that the Front commun had reached a proposed tentative deal for 420,000 Front commun workers.

Other news

  • The Bank of Canada held its target for the overnight rate at 5.0%. The last change in the target for the overnight rate was a 25 basis points increase in July 2023. The bank said it is also continuing its policy of quantitative tightening.
  • The Government of Canada introduced its draft framework to cap pollution from the oil and gas sector. The Government said the proposed Regulatory Framework for an Oil and Gas Sector Greenhouse Gas Emissions Cap proposes to cap 2030 emissions at 35% to 38% below 2019 levels.
  • The Government of Canada announced the details of the upcoming roll-out of the Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP). The Government said the CDCP will be rolled out using a phased approach over the coming months, starting with seniors.
  • The Government of Saskatchewan released its 2023-24 Mid-year Report on November 27th. The Government forecasts a $250.5 million deficit in 2023-2024 and real GDP growth of 1.6% in 2023 and 1.3% in 2024.
  • The Government of British Columbia released its 2023/24 Financial Update, Economic Outlook and Six Month Financial Results on November 28th. The Government forecasts a $5.6 billion deficit in 2023-2024 and real GDP growth of 1.0% in 2023 and 0.7% in 2024.
  • The Government of British Columbia announced on December 7th that regulations and policy manuals had been issued to further support local governments as they work with homebuilders to deliver more homes, including details and technical resources to support the implementation of Bill 35 (Short-Term Rental Accommodations Act), Bill 44 (Housing Statutes (Residential Development) Amendment Act), and Bill 47 (Housing Statutes (Transit-Oriented Areas) Amendment Act).
  • The Government of Alberta released its 2023-24 Mid-year Fiscal Update and Economic Statement on November 30th. The Government forecasts a $5.5 billion surplus in 2023-2024 and real GDP growth of 2.8% in 2023 and 2.6% in 2024.
  • The Government of Prince Edward Island released its fiscal and economic update on December 6th. The Government forecasts a $98.6 million deficit in 2023-2024 and real GDP growth in the range of 3.0% in 2023 and 3.5% in 2024.
  • The Government of Nova Scotia released its second Budget 2023-24 Update on December 18th. The Government forecasts a $264.3 million deficit for 2023-24 and real GDP growth of 1.2% in 2023 and 1.1% in 2024.
  • The Government of Saskatchewan announced that starting January 1, 2024, both SaskEnergy and SaskPower will remove the federal carbon tax from home heating. The Government said this will save the average Saskatchewan family approximately $400 in 2024.
  • CBC/Radio-Canada announced it will be implementing program and job cuts over the next year. CBC said that the corporation expects to cut about 600 union and non-union positions across the entire organization and that it has identified about 200 currently vacant positions across the Corporation that will be eliminated.
  • Waterloo-based OpenText announced it had reached a definitive agreement to divest its AMC business to Rocket Software, Inc. of Massachusetts for USD $2.275 billion in cash. OpenText said the transaction is expected to close in the company's fourth fiscal quarter ending June 30, 2024, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.
  • Mississauga-based Walmart Canada announced it is investing nearly $1 billion this fiscal year, including unveiling a future flagship location in Mississauga and over $300 million in store remodels and renovations. Walmart said these investments mark the midpoint in the five-year timeframe of the retailer's $3.5 billion investment in store infrastructure and customer experience transformation, first announced in July 2020.
  • Toronto-based Rogers Communications Inc. announced the sale of all of its shares of Cogeco to Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec in a private transaction for $829 million.
  • Toronto-based TMX Group Limited announced it had agreed to acquire the remaining approximately 78% of the common units of VettaFi Holdings LLC of New York, an indexing, digital distribution, analytics and thought leadership company, for USD $848 million. TMX Group said completion of the transaction is expected in January 2024, subject to customary closing conditions.
  • Montreal-based TFI International Inc. announced it had agreed to acquire Daseke, Inc. of Texas for a total enterprise value of approximately USD $1.1 billion. TFI said the transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2024, subject to customary closing conditions, including Daseke shareholder and other regulatory approvals.

United States and other international news

  • The U.S. Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) maintained the target range for the federal funds rate at 5.25% to 5.50%. The last change in the target range was a 25 basis points increase in July 2023. The Committee also said it will continue reducing its holdings of Treasury securities and agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities.
  • The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) left the cash rate target unchanged at 4.35%. The last change in the cash rate target was a 25 basis points increase in November 2023.
  • The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) left the Official Cash Rate (OCR), its main policy rate, unchanged at 5.50%. The last change in the OCR was a 25 basis points increase in May 2023.
  • The Bank of Japan (BoJ) announced it will apply a negative interest rate of -0.1% to the Policy-Rate Balances in current accounts held by financial institutions at the BoJ and that it will purchase a necessary amount of Japanese government bonds (JGBs) without setting an upper limit so that 10-year JGB yields will remain at around zero percent.
  • OPEC+ announced additional voluntary cuts by several OPEC+ countries, including Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and the United Arab Emirates, to the total of 2.2 million barrels per day, starting January 1, 2024 until the end of March 2024.
  • Texas-based Occidental Petroleum Corporation announced it had entered into a purchase agreement to acquire oil and gas producer CrownRock L.P. for approximately USD $12.0 billion, including debt. Occidental said the transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2024, subject to customary closing conditions and the receipt of regulatory approvals.
  • New York-based Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies, Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust, Inc., Toronto-based Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and funds affiliated with Rialto Capital of Florida announced they had entered into a newly formed joint venture with the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and acquired a 20% equity stake for USD $1.2 billion in the venture which holds a $16.8 billion senior mortgage loan portfolio retained in receivership following the failure of Signature Bank.
  • Colorado-based Energy Fuels Inc., a U.S. producer of uranium, announced that, in response to strong uranium market conditions, it had commenced uranium production at three of its permitted and developed uranium mines located in Arizona and Utah. The company said that in addition, it is preparing two additional mines in Colorado and Wyoming for expected production within one year and advancing permitting on several other large-scale U.S. mine projects in order to increase uranium production in the coming years.

Financial market news

  • West Texas Intermediate crude oil closed at USD $71.65 per barrel on December 29th, down from a closing value of USD $75.96 at the end of November. Western Canadian Select crude oil traded in the USD $49 to $55 per barrel range throughout December. The Canadian dollar closed at 75.61 cents U.S. on December 29th, up from 73.63 cents U.S. at the end of November. The S&P/TSX composite index closed at 20,958.44 on December 29th, up from 20,236.29 at the end of November.