August 2019 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.


  • The National Energy Board (NEB) announced on August 1st that, in regards to Calgary-based Trans Mountain Corporation's request to commence construction at certain facility sites by August 5th 2019, construction may commence with respect to the Westridge Marine Terminal, Burnaby Mountain Tunnel Portal located in the Westridge Marine Terminal, and the Burnaby Terminal. The NEB said that Trans Mountain does not, at this time, have an authorization to commence construction at the Edmonton Terminal as the variance requested by Trans Mountain is still being processed by the Board.
  • Trans Mountain Corporation announced on August 21st that it had issued 'Notice to Proceed' directives to some of its prime construction contractors triggering mobilization of the initial workforce necessary to build the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.
  • The Government of Alberta announced on August 20th that the oil production limit has been extended to December 31st, 2020, with possible earlier termination. The Government said this limit will be adjusted to better match export capacity. The Government also announced that monthly production limits for raw crude and bitumen are set at 3.76 million barrels per day for September 2019 and 3.79 million barrels per day for October 2019.
  • Calgary-based Pembina Pipeline Corporation announced it had entered into agreements pursuant to which it will acquire Kinder Morgan Canada Limited (KML) and the U.S. portion of the Cochin Pipeline system from Texas-based Kinder Morgan, Inc. for a total purchase price of approximately $4.35 billion. Pembina said the transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2020, and is cross-conditional on the closing of the KML acquisition and the Cochin U.S. acquisition, as well as on regulatory and shareholder approvals.
  • Calgary-based TC Energy Corporation announced that the Nebraska Supreme Court has affirmed the November 2017 decision by the Nebraska Public Service Commission that approved the Keystone XL Pipeline route through the state.
  • St. John's-based Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd (HMDC) announced on August 15th that it had resumed production at the Hibernia platform after an extensive engagement with the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board to complete the plan for return to production. HMDC said that production at the platform was shut in on July 17th, following the discharge of oil and water from a storage cell.
  • On August 18th, Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd (HMDC) confirmed that the Hibernia platform experienced a temporary loss of power on August 17th, resulting in the release of oil and water from the platform's drains system. HMDC announced on August 20th that production at the platform remains shut down.

Other news

  • The Government of Ontario announced on August 28th that it filed an appeal of the Ontario Court of Appeal's decision on the constitutionality of the federal Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act to the Supreme Court of Canada.
  • Mississauga-based Cargojet Inc. announced that it had entered into a new strategic agreement with NV Investment Holdings LLC, an affiliate of, Inc. Cargojet said that under the terms of the strategic agreement, Cargojet will issue warrants to Amazon to purchase variable voting shares that will vest based on the achievement of commercial milestones related to Amazon's business with Cargojet.
  • Mexico-based Nemak, S.A.B. de C.V. announced on July 16th its decision to cease manufacturing operations in Windsor by mid-2020. Nemak said its Windsor plant has 270 employees and produces engine blocks.

United States and other international news

  • The Reserve Bank of Australia maintained the cash rate at 1.00%. The last change in the cash rate was a 25 basis point reduction in July 2019.
  • The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee voted to maintain the Bank Rate at 0.75% and the stock of UK government bond purchases, financed by the issuance of central bank reserves, at £435 billion. The last change in the Bank Rate was a 25 basis-point increase in August 2018.
  • The Reserve Bank of New Zealand reduced the Official Cash Rate, its main policy rate, by 50 basis points to 1.00%. The last change in the Official Cash Rate was a 25 basis point reduction in May 2019.
  • On August 13th, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced the next steps in the process of imposing additional tariffs of 10% on approximately USD $300 billion of Chinese imports. The USTR said this new tariff will go into effect on September 1st, as announced by President Trump on August 1st, and that tariffs on certain articles would be delayed until December 15th, 2019.
  • On August 23rd, the Government of China announced that it would apply new tariffs of 5% or 10% on approximately USD $75 billion worth of U.S. imports, effective in two tranches on September 1st and December 15th.
  • On August 23rd, the USTR announced that it had been instructed by President Trump to increase by 5% the tariffs on approximately $550 billion worth of Chinese imports. The USTR said that it would begin the process of increasing tariffs on approximately $250 billion of Chinese goods from 25% to 30%, effective October 1st, and that the tariffs announced earlier in August on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports would increase from 10% to 15%, in accordance with the schedule announced previously.  
  • UK-based London Stock Exchange Group plc (LSEG) announced it had agreed definitive terms with a consortium including certain investment funds affiliated with Blackstone as well as Thomson Reuters to acquire the Refinitiv business of the U.K. in an all share transaction for a total enterprise value of approximately USD $27 billion. LSEG said that completion of the transaction is expected to occur during the second half of 2020, subject to LSEG shareholder, regulatory, and relevant competition approvals.
  • Indiana-based Elanco Animal Health Incorporated announced it had entered into an agreement with Bayer AG of Germany to acquire its animal health business in a transaction valued at USD $7.6 billion. The company said the transaction is expected to close mid-2020, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
  • UK-based BP plc announced that it had agreed to sell its entire business in Alaska, including BP's upstream and midstream business and BP Pipelines (Alaska) Inc.'s interest in the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, to Hilcorp Alaska for a total consideration of USD $5.6 billion. BP said the transaction is expected to be completed in 2020, subject to state and federal regulatory approval.

Financial market news

  • West Texas Intermediate crude oil closed at USD $55.10 per barrel on August 30th, down from a closing value of USD $58.58 at the end of July. Western Canadian Select crude oil traded in the USD $40 to $45 per barrel range during most of August. The Canadian dollar closed at 75.22 cents U.S. on August 30th, down from 76.06 cents U.S. at the end of July. The S&P/TSX composite index closed at 16,442.07 on August 30th, up from a closing value of 16,406.56 at the end of July.
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