August 2018 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 August 30th, the Federal Court of Appeal announced it would quash the Order in Council that had approved the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline and remit the matter back to the Governor in Council for appropriate action.
  • Calgary-based TransCanada Corporation announced it had entered into an agreement to sell its 62% share of the Cartier wind power facilities, and its related operating entities, to Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. of Longueuil, Quebec, for approximately $630 million. TransCanada said the sale is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018, upon satisfaction of closing conditions.
  • Calgary-based Cenovus Energy Inc. announced it had entered into an agreement to sell the general partnership that holds the Pipestone and Wembley natural gas and liquids business in northwestern Alberta for cash proceeds of $625 million. The company said the sale is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018, subject to customary closing conditions.


  • Winnipeg-based New Flyer Canada ULC announced that the Société de transport de Montréal and the Société de transport de Laval had awarded New Flyer a contract for 40 forty-foot, zero-emission, battery-electric heavy duty transit buses. The company said the notice to proceed for the pilot bus is expected October 31, 2018, and the notice to proceed for the production buses is expected following the nine month review of the pilot bus.

Finance and insurance

  • Markham, Ontario-based Enercare Inc. and Brookfield Infrastructure Partners L.P. of Toronto announced they had entered into an arrangement agreement pursuant to which Brookfield has agreed to acquire all the issued and outstanding common shares of Enercare in a transaction valued at $4.3 billion including debt. The companies said the transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018, subject to approvals by Enercare shareholders, the Ontario Superior Court, and certain other customary closing conditions.
  • Toronto-based Brookfield Business Partners L.P. and Macquarie Capital of Australia announced an agreement to sell Quadrant Energy to Santos Limited, both of Australia, for USD $2.15 billion. Brookfield said the sale is subject to certain consents and approvals, and is expected to settle in the fourth quarter of 2018.
  • Toronto-based OMERS Infrastructure Management, Inc. announced a definitive agreement to acquire a 50% interest in BridgeTex Pipeline Company, LLC of Oklahoma for USD $1.438 billion.

Other news

  • On August 13th, the Government of Canada accepted a formal request for federal assistance from the Government of British Columbia to help protect communities affected by wildfires in the province. On August 15th, the Government of British Columbia declared a state of emergency to support the province-wide response to the wildfire situation. On August 29th, the Government of British Columbia formally extended the state of emergency through to the end of September 12th. As of August 29th, 534 wildfires were burning in the province, approximately 3,200 people were affected by evacuation orders, and approximately 21,800 were impacted by evacuation alerts.
  • On August 21st, the Government of Ontario announced that one of the largest fires in northeastern Ontario – Parry Sound 33 – was being held, and some waterway and road restrictions had been lifted.
  • The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) announced it had determined that a U.S. industry is not materially injured or threatened by reason of imports of uncoated groundwood paper from Canada that the U.S. Department of Commerce has determined are subsidized and sold in the United States at less than fair value. The USITC said that as a result, no antidumping or countervailing duty orders will be issued on imports of this product from Canada.
  • The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) announced its affirmative preliminary determinations in the antidumping (AD) investigations of imports of large diameter welded pipe from Canada, China, Greece, India, Korea, and Turkey. The DOC said that in the Canada investigation, it assigned a preliminary dumping rate of 24.38% and that as a result of the preliminary affirmative determinations, the DOC will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to require cash deposits based on these preliminary rates. The DOC also said that Commerce is scheduled to announce its final determinations on or about January 3, 2019.
  • New York-based Constellation Brands Inc. and Smiths Falls, Ontario-based Canopy Growth Corporation announced an expansion of their strategic partnership, under which Constellation will increase its ownership interest in Canopy, resulting in an investment of approximately $5 billion. The companies said the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including Canopy shareholder approval and applicable Canadian government and regulatory approvals, and is expected to close by the end of October 2018.
  • Toronto-based Molson Coors Canada, and cannabis producer The Hydropothecary Corporation (HEXO) of Gatineau, Quebec announced they had entered into a definitive agreement to form a joint venture to pursue opportunities to develop non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages for the Canadian market following legalization. The companies said the transaction is targeted to close before September 30th, 2018, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, including execution and delivery of various transaction agreements.
  • Ohio-based DSW Inc. announced it will exit its full price, mall-based Town Shoes banner, which operates 38 locations in Canada, mostly by the end of the fiscal year.

United States and other international news

  • The U.S. Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) maintained the target range for the federal funds interest rate at 1.75% to 2.00%. The last change in the target range was a 25 basis point increase announced in June 2018.
  • The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee increased the Bank Rate by 0.25 percentage points, to 0.75%. The last change in the Bank Rate was a 25 basis-point increase in November 2017. The Committee also voted to maintain the stock of UK government bond purchases, financed by the issuance of central bank reserves, at £435 billion.
  • The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released a list of approximately USD $16 billion worth of imports from China that will be subject to a 25% additional tariff. The USTR said the list contains 279 tariff lines and that Customs and Border Protection would begin to collect the additional duties on the Chinese imports on August 23rd, 2018. On August 24th, China announced it had appealed to the World Trade Organization over these tariffs.
  • The United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced that the United States and Mexico had reached a preliminary agreement in principle, subject to finalization and implementation, to update the NAFTA.
  • U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the United States was taking action to reimpose nuclear-related sanctions with respect to Iran, including reimposing sanctions on Iran's automotive sector and on its trade in gold and precious metals, as well as sanctions related to the Iranian rial. The President also said that all remaining U.S. nuclear-related sanctions will resume effective November 5, 2018, including sanctions targeting Iran's energy sector, including petroleum-related transactions, as well as transactions by foreign financial institutions with the Central Bank of Iran.
  • New York-based PepsiCo, Inc. and SodaStream International Ltd. of Israel announced they had entered into an agreement under which PepsiCo has agreed to acquire all outstanding shares of SodaStream in a transaction valued at USD $3.2 billion. The companies said the transaction is expected to close by January 2019, subject to approval by SodaStream shareholders, certain regulatory approvals and other customary conditions.
  • UK-based Whitbread PLC announced it had entered into an agreement for the sale of Costa Limited, also of the UK, to The Coca-Cola Company of Atlanta, Georgia, for an enterprise value of £3.9 billion. The company said the transaction is expected to complete in the first half of 2019, subject to Whitbread shareholder approval and various other approvals.

Financial market news

  • Crude oil (West Texas Intermediate) closed at USD $69.80 on August 31st, up from $68.76 at the end of July. The Canadian dollar closed at 76.60 cents U.S. on August 31st, down slightly from 76.82 cents U.S. on July 31st. The S&P/TSX closed at 16,262.88 on August 31st, down from a closing value of 16,434.01 at the end of July.
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