Canadian Economic News, May 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.


  • On May 6th, the Government of Alberta declared a provincial state of emergency in response to the threat of multiple wildfires burning throughout the province.
  • On May 11th, the Government of Canada announced it had approved a Request for Federal Assistance from the Province of Alberta to support efforts to combat the wildfire situation in the province, including authorizing the Canadian Armed Forces to provide personnel and resources to assist and enable fire fighting.
  • On May 17th, the Government of Saskatchewan announced that provincial command had been activated through Saskatchewan Public Safety's Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC) to assist in response to wildfire across northern Saskatchewan. On May 24th, the Government announced that due to recent rainfall and cooler weather it was lifting the provincial fire ban that had been in place since May 16th.
  • On May 28th, the Halifax Regional Municipality declared a local state of emergency in the communities affected by fires. On May 29th, the Government of Nova Scotia declared a provincewide burn ban until June 25th because of the seriousness of the current fires.
  • Calgary-based TC Energy Corporation announced on May 8th that as a result of the wildfires’ paths and proximity, the company conducted precautionary controlled shutdowns of three compressor stations on its NGTL System nearest to the active wildfires. On May 10th the company said it had been able to complete a restart of compressor units at all locations that were shut down.
  • Calgary-based Pembina Pipeline Corporation announced on May 8th that it had shut down assets, including the Saturn I and II gas plants north of Hinton, and the Duvernay Complex, west of Fox Creek, with a combined processing capacity of 443 million cubic feet per day. The company said that various related pump stations, gathering systems and other supporting infrastructure were also shut down. On May 11th, Pembina said that all facilities previously shut down due to the wildfires had resumed operations.
  • Calgary-based Cenovus Energy Inc. announced that on May 4th it began shutting in a number of producing Conventional fields and bringing down processing plants and that approximately 85,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) of production, primarily dry gas, had been impacted in the company’s Rainbow Lake, Kaybob-Edson, Elmworth-Wapiti and Clearwater operating areas.
  • Calgary-based Crescent Point Energy Corporation announced on May 8th that it had temporarily shut-in approximately 45,000 boe/d of production in the Kaybob Duvernay. On May 10th, the company said it had restored approximately 75% of the production. On May 16th, Crescent Point said it was temporarily shutting back-in the remainder of its 45,000 boe/d of production in the area as a precautionary measure due to changing wildfire conditions. On May 29th, Crescent Point said that over the past week it had brought back on stream the full 45,000 boe/d of Kaybob Duvernay production previously shut in.
  • Calgary-based Paramount Resources Ltd. announced on May 7th that as a result of the shut-in of fields and operated and third-party infrastructure, approximately 50,000 boe/d of production had been temporarily curtailed since the evening of May 5th. On May 10th, Paramount said it had restored 75% of the curtailed production and that it had fully resumed operations in the Grande Prairie Region. On May 14th, the company said that the third-party Wapiti natural gas processing facility and the Company's fields producing to the facility were again shut down on the afternoon of May 12th and that approximately 45,000 boe/d of production in the Grande Prairie and Kaybob Regions was temporarily curtailed. On May 29th, Paramount said it had restored the majority of production that had been temporarily curtailed.
  • Calgary-based NuVista Energy Ltd. announced on May 8th that it had temporarily shut in and depressured  all operations and that the impact was approximately 40,000 boe/d. On May 23rd, NuVista said it was able to restart most operations over the prior weekend, with daily production increased to approximately 65,000 boe/d.
  • Calgary-based Whitecap Resources Inc. announced on May 17th that wildfires had continued to impact operations in northern Alberta and in northeast British Columbia and that approximately 26,000 boe/d was shut-in. The company said that over the last two weeks this had fluctuated between 12,000 boe/d and 40,000 boe/d shut-in at any given time.


  • Texas-based ConocoPhillips Company announced it was exercising its preemption right to purchase the remaining 50% interest in Surmont from TotalEnergies EP Canada Ltd. for approximately $4 billion. The company said the transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2023, with an effective date of April 1, 2023, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
  • On May 9th, Calgary-based TC Energy Corporation announced it had halted the majority of construction on an approximately 20-km stretch of the Coastal GasLink project route near the Anzac River, B.C. in order to enhance erosion and sediment control measures during the Spring melt season. On May 11th, the company said  it had stopped construction work on an approximately 10-km stretch of the project route south of Houston, B.C. to implement erosion and sediment control measures. TC Energy said construction on certain areas will continue where conditions permit, with ramp up back to full construction expected in early summer and construction completed by the end of 2023.
  • Toronto-based Centerra Gold Inc. announced on May 31st that it expects to restart full operations at the Öksüt mine in Türkiye in the coming weeks after the Turkish Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change approved the amended Environmental Impact Assessment for the mine.


  • Toronto-based CI Financial Corp. announced it had agreed to sell a 20% minority investment in its U.S. wealth management business (CI US) for approximately $1.34 billion. CI Financial said the transaction was expected to close in late May 2023.
  • California-based Franklin Resources, Inc. announced a definitive agreement to acquire Putnam Investments of Massachusetts from Great-West Lifeco, Inc. of Winnipeg for approximately USD $925 million as well as up to USD $375 million in contingent consideration tied to revenue growth targets from the partnership. Franklin Resources said the transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2023, subject to customary closing conditions.

Other news

  • The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) announced on May 4th that its bargaining team had reached a tentative agreement for more than 35,000 Canada Revenue Agency workers.
  • On May 25th the Government of Prince Edward Island presented its 2023-24 operating budget, which included increased investments in healthcare and housing as well as funding to make life more affordable, protect the environment, and grow the workforce and economy. The Government forecasts a $97.6 million deficit and real GDP growth of 3.5% for 2023.
  • The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW) and the Association of Seafood Producers (ASP) had reached an agreement to commence the 2023 crab fishery.

United States and other international news

  • The World Health Organization announced on May 5th that COVID-19 is now an established and ongoing health issue which no longer constitutes a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).
  • The U.S. Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) raised the target range for the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to 5.00% to 5.25%. The last change in the target range was a 25 basis points increase in March 2023. The Committee also said it will continue reducing its holdings of Treasury securities and agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities.
  • The European Central Bank (ECB) raised its three key interest rates by 25 basis points to 3.75% (main refinancing operations), 4.00% (marginal lending facility), and 3.25% (deposit facility). The last change in these rates was a 50 basis points increase in March 2023. The ECB also said the Asset Purchase Programme (APP) portfolio will decline by €15 billion per month on average until the end of June 2023 and then the Governing Council expects to discontinue the reinvestments under the APP as of July 2023. The ECB also said it intends to reinvest the principal payments from maturing securities purchased under the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP) until at least the end of 2024.
  • The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted to increase the Bank Rate by 25 basis points to 4.50%. The last change in the Bank Rate was a 25 basis points increase in March 2023.
  • The Monetary Policy and Financial Stability Committee of Norway's Norges Bank raised the policy rate by 25 basis points to 3.25%. The last change in the policy rate was a 25 basis points increase in March 2023.
  • The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) raised the target for the cash rate by 25 basis points to 3.85%. The last change in the target for the cash rate was a 25 basis points increase in March 2023.
  • The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) increased the Official Cash Rate (OCR), its main policy rate, by 25 basis points to 5.50%. The last change in the OCR was a 50 basis points increase in April 2023.
  • The U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) announced on May 1st that First Republic Bank of San Francisco was closed by the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation and that to protect depositors, the FDIC entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with New York-based JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association to assume all of the deposits and substantially all of the assets of First Republic Bank. The FDIC said First Republic Bank’s 84 offices in eight states would reopen as branches of JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association and that all depositors of First Republic Bank would become depositors of JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association, and would have full access to all of their deposits.
  • Virginia-based Boeing Company and Ryanair DAC of Ireland announced that Ryanair had signed an order for up 300 737 MAX airplanes, including a firm order for 150 737-10 jets and options for 150 more.
  • Oklahoma-based ONEOK, Inc., an owner of natural gas liquids (NGL) systems, and Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P., a transporter and distributer of refined petroleum products and crude oil, announced they had executed a definitive merger agreement under which ONEOK will acquire all outstanding units of Magellan in a cash-and-stock transaction valued at approximately USD $18.8 billion including assumed debt. The companies said the transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2023, subject to customary closing conditions, including the approvals of both ONEOK shareholders and Magellan unitholders, as well as Hart Scott Rodino Act clearance.

Financial market news

  • West Texas Intermediate crude oil closed at USD $68.09 per barrel on May 31st, down from a closing value of USD $76.78 at the end of April. Western Canadian Select crude oil traded in the USD $46 to $54 per barrel range throughout May. The Canadian dollar closed at 73.51 cents U.S. on May 31st, down from 73.65 cents U.S. at the end of April. The S&P/TSX composite index closed at 19,572.24  on May 31st, down from 20,636.54 at the end of April.