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 April 18th, the Government of Canada announced that the Governor in Council had extended the deadline for the completion of Phase III Crown consultations so that a decision on the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion can be made by June 18th, 2019.
- On April 30th, the Government of Alberta proclaimed Bill 12, Preserving Canada's Economic Prosperity Act. The Government said the act gives it authority to require companies to obtain a license before exporting energy products from Alberta via pipeline, rail or truck, including natural gas, crude oil, and refined fuels such as gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. The Government also said that if enacted, anyone who fails to comply with the act, its regulations or a term or condition of a license may face fines.
- The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) announced that the proposed $1.8 billion Blackwater Gold Project can proceed based on the conclusions of an environmental assessment process. The project consists of the construction, operation and closure of an open-pit gold and silver mine located southwest of Vanderhoof, British Columbia. The CEAA said that the Decision Statement established 172 conditions that the proponent must fulfill throughout the life of the project.
- Toronto-based Lundin Mining Corporation announced it had entered into a definitive purchase agreement with Yamana Gold Inc., also of Toronto, to purchase Yamana's 100% ownership stake in Mineração Maracá Indústria e Comércio S/A, which owns the Chapada copper-gold mine in Brazil, for cash consideration of USD $800 million. Lundin said that completion of the acquisition is expected in the third quarter of 2019, subject to typical closing conditions.
- Toronto-based Agnico Eagle Mines Limited announced that its Meliadine mine in Nunavut is expected to achieve commercial production in May, 2019, and that its Amaruq mine, also in Nunavut, remains on schedule to begin production in the third quarter of 2019.
- Vancouver-based Canfor Corporation announced it will be temporarily curtailing operations at all British Columbia dimension mills effective April 29th due to low lumber prices and the high cost of fibre. Canfor said the curtailment will reduce its production output by approximately 100 million board feet.
- Toronto-based Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada announced it will begin producing the Lexus NX and Lexus NX Hybrid compact luxury SUVs at its Cambridge, Ontario facility starting in early 2022.
- The Bank of Canada maintained the target for the overnight rate at 1.75%. The last change in the target for the overnight rate was a 25 basis-point increase announced in October 2018.
- The Government of Canada announced that on April 19th, provincial authorities in New Brunswick and Québec submitted requests for federal assistance to assist with flood relief operations. The Government said that shortly thereafter, the Ministers of Public Safety and National Defence committed support from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). The Government also said that on April 25th, the CAF received a request for federal assistance from the Province of Ontario.
- On April 26th, the Government of Canada announced its intent, following the release of a report by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT), to enact final safeguards on imports of heavy plate and stainless steel wire. The Government also announced that in response to the CITT ruling on imports of five additional steel categories (concrete reinforcing bar, energy tubular products, hot-rolled sheet, pre-painted steel, and wire rod), it will undertake an intensive 30-day consultation with industry and workers, in order to determine what further protections are required.
- On April 11th, the Government of Ontario tabled Budget 2019, which included investments in health and childcare; support for four rapid transit projects in the Greater Toronto Area; and measures to provide corporate income tax relief through faster write-offs of capital investment under the Ontario Job Creation Investment Incentive. The Government forecasts a $10.3 billion deficit for 2019-20 and real GDP growth of 1.4% in 2019.
- On April 16th, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador tabled Budget 2019, which included investments in infrastructure, health care and education, along with the elimination of the retail sales tax on automobile insurance. The Government forecasts a $1.92 billion surplus for 2019-20 and real GDP growth of 4.1% in 2019.
- Newfoundland and Labrador's minimum wage increased from $11.15 per hour to $11.40 per hour on April 1st.
- Prince Edward Island's minimum wage increased from $11.55 per hour to $12.25 per hour on April 1st.
- New Brunswick's minimum wage increased from $11.25 per hour to $11.50 per hour on April 1st.
- Nova Scotia's minimum wage for experienced employees increased from $11.00 per hour to $11.55 per hour on April 1st.
- Yukon's minimum wage increased from $11.51 per hour to $12.71 per hour on April 1st.
- Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin announced it had reached an agreement to sell 10.01% of the shares of 407 International Inc. to OMERS and that gross proceeds to SNC-Lavalin from the sale could reach $3.25 billion in aggregate. The company said the deal is expected to be completed within approximately two months, subject to certain shareholders' rights and customary closing conditions.
- Smith Falls, Ontario-based Canopy Growth Corporation and Acreage Holdings, Inc. of New York announced that they had entered into a definitive arrangement agreement that grants Canopy Growth the right to acquire 100% of the shares of Acreage with a requirement to do so at such time as cannabis production and sale becomes federally legal in the United States, for a total consideration of approximately USD $3.4 billion. Canopy said the transaction is subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals and certain other closing conditions.
- Illinois-based Cresco Labs Inc. and CannaRoyalty Corp. d/b/a Origin House of Ottawa announced that they had entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which Cresco Labs will acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Origin House for a total consideration of approximately $1.1 billion. The companies said the transaction is expected to be completed by the end of June 2019, subject to Origin House shareholder and regulatory approvals as well as other customary closing conditions.
- Edmonton-based Aurora Cannabis Inc. announced that its Aurora Sun facility, currently under construction in Medicine Hat, will be expanded to 1.62 million square feet, representing a 33% increase from its originally planned 1.2 million square feet. The company said it is expecting production capacity at Aurora Sun in excess of 230,000 kg of cannabis per year.
- Toronto-based Canada Goose Holdings Inc. announced plans to open six new stores, with two in Europe, one in the United States, and three in Canada. The company said the new stores will be located in Milan, Paris, Minneapolis, Toronto, Edmonton, and Banff. Canada Goose said that it currently operates 11 company stores.
United States and other international news
- The European Central Bank (ECB) left the interest rate on the main refinancing operations of the Eurosystem unchanged at 0.00%, and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility unchanged at 0.25% and -0.40%, respectively.
- The Reserve Bank of Australia maintained the cash rate at 1.50%. The last change in the cash rate was a 25 basis point reduction in August 2016.
- The Bank of Japan (BoJ) announced it will continue to apply a -0.1% interest rate to the Policy-Rate Balances in current accounts held by financial institutions at the BoJ. The BoJ also said it would continue to purchase Japanese government bonds (JGB) so that 10‑year JGB yields will remain at around zero percent.
- Sweden's Riksbank left its main interest rate, the repo rate, unchanged at -0.25%. The last change in the repo rate was a 25 basis point increase in December 2018. The Riksbank also said it will purchase government bonds for a nominal value of SEK 45 billion from July 2019 to December 2020.
- On April 10th, the European Council announced it had agreed to an extension of the Article 50 period to allow for the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement by the United Kingdom. The European Council said that such an extension should last only as long as necessary and, in any event, no longer than October 31st, 2019.
- The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced on April 8th that it had begun its process under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 to identify products of the European Union to which additional duties may be applied until the EU removes its subsidies to Netherlands-based Airbus.
- Illinois-based Boeing Company announced it was adjusting the 737 production system temporarily to accommodate the pause in MAX deliveries in order to prioritize additional resources to focus on software certification and returning the MAX to flight. Boeing said that is has decided to temporarily move from a production rate of 52 airplanes per month to 42 airplanes per month starting in mid-April.
Financial market news
- West Texas Intermediate crude oil closed at USD $63.91 per barrel on April 30th, up from $60.14 at the end of March. Western Canadian Select crude oil traded at over USD $50 per barrel throughout April. The Canadian dollar closed at 74.50 cents U.S. on April 30th, down from at 74.83 cents U.S. at the end of March. The S&P/TSX composite index closed at 16,580.73 on April 30th, up from a closing value of 16,102.09 at the end of March.