February 2017 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. confirmed that its 2017 capital expenditures are expected to be between $4.8 billion and $5.2 billion. The company said its capital expenditures in 2016 were $5.986 billion.
  • Calgary-based Husky Energy Inc. announced its total annual capital spending in 2016 was $1.9 billion. The company previously announced that its capital expenditure program for 2017 will be in the range of $2.6 billion to $2.7 billion.
  • Husky Energy also announced maintenance and turnarounds scheduled for 2017, including three-week turnarounds at both the SeaRose floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, and the Terra Nova FPSO in the third quarter, a seven-week turnaround at the Lloydminster Upgrader beginning in the second quarter, a four-week turnaround at the Lloydminster asphalt refinery in the second quarter, and a five-week partial turnaround at the Lima, Ohio Refinery in the fourth quarter.
  • Calgary-based Imperial Oil Limited announced in late January that it anticipates capital expenditures of about $1 billion in 2017. The company said its 2016 capital and exploration expenditures totalled $1.161 billion.
  • Calgary-based Crescent Point Energy Corp. announced that its 2017 development capital expenditures guidance is $1.45 billion. The company said its 2016 development capital expenditures were $1.14 billion.
  • Calgary-based Encana Corporation announced its 2017 capital program is expected to be between USD $1.6 billion and $1.8 billion. The company said its capital expenditures in 2016 were USD $1.132 billion.
  • Calgary-based Cenovus Energy Inc. announced that its planned capital expenditures for 2017 are between $1.2 billion and $1.4 billion. The company said that its 2016 capital investment was $1.026 billion.
  • Saskatoon-based Cameco Corp. announced that Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. had issued a termination notice for a uranium supply contract with Cameco. The company said the termination would affect approximately 9.3 million pounds of uranium deliveries through 2028, worth approximately $1.3 billion in revenue to Cameco.
  • Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. announced it had acquired an effective 50% ownership in the Hohe See offshore wind project, located in the North Sea off the coast of Germany, from EnBW of Germany. Enbridge said its total investment in the project will be $1.7 billion once in service in late 2019.
  • Calgary-based Veresen Inc. announced it had entered into a suite of separate agreements to sell its power generation business for $1.18 billion.


  • The Government of Canada announced $372.5 million of repayable program contributions to Bombardier Inc. for two projects: to support the development of the Global 7000 business aircraft through the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative and the C Series, under existing contribution programs. The Government said that the program contributions will be provided over four years.
  • Bombardier Commercial Aircraft announced that a firm purchase agreement for six CRJ900 aircraft and options for an additional four aircraft had been finalized with Ireland-based CityJet. The company said the firm order is valued at approximately USD $280 million and could increase to USD $467 million should CityJet exercise all its options.


  • Etobicoke-based HMV Canada announced in late January that it had petitioned for the appointment of Richter LLP of Montreal as Receivers to the business. The company said that, as a result, it is anticipated that all 102 stores across the country would close in the subsequent weeks. Toronto-based Sunrise Records announced on February 27th that it will take over 70 previously-owned HMV locations in malls across Canada. Sunrise said that its stores will start opening in early April 2017.


  • Toronto-based ECN Capital Corp. announced it has entered into an agreement with PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. of Pennsylvania to sell ECN's US Commercial and Vendor Finance business for approximately USD $1.253 billion. ENC Capital said the transaction is subject to customary approvals and is expected to close by early April 2017.

Other news

  • The Government of Canada announced that the European Parliament voted to approve the implementation of the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA). The Government said Canada and the EU will now complete their respective legislative and regulatory processes that will bring virtually all significant parts of the Agreement into force by spring 2017. Bill C-30, the legislation to implement CETA in Canada, passed third reading in the House of Commons and was introduced in the Senate.
  • The Government of Nunavut tabled its 2017-2018 Budget on February 22nd which included increased spending on health care initiatives, infrastructure, and the Nunavut Arctic College. The Government forecasts a surplus of about $2 million in 2017-18. Real GDP is expected to grow by 4.9% in 2017.
  • The Government of British Columbia tabled Balanced Budget 2017 on February 21st which included: A $4.2 billion increase in the Ministry of Health budget over three years; a $740 million increase in the Education budget over three years; $796 million over three years to support families, individuals and children most in need; the elimination of the PST on electricity for businesses over the coming two years; a reduction in the small business corporate tax rate from 2.5% to 2.0%; and, beginning January 1st, 2018, a 50% reduction in Medical Service Plan premiums. The Government said it is forecasting modest surpluses in all three years of the fiscal plan and that economic growth is expected to be 2.1% in both 2017 and 2018.
  • The Government of New Brunswick tabled its 2017-18 budget on February 7th which included a 4.9% increase in the budget for the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development; a 5.4% increase in the budget for Post-Secondary Education; a $65 million increase in the health care budget; and a reduction in the Small Business Corporate Income Tax rate from 3.5% to 3.0%. The Government is projecting a deficit of $192 million in 2017-18. Real GDP growth is forecasted to be 0.6% in 2017.
  • The Government of the Northwest Territories tabled its 2017-18 budget on February 1st which included new spending on education, income assistance, community wellness and safety, and improvements to internet capacity. The Government projects an operating surplus of $167 million in 2017-18. Real GDP growth is forecasted to be 13.7% in 2017.
  • The Government of Alberta announced it is eliminating executive bonuses, capping executive severance pay at 12 months, and eliminating perks such as retention bonuses, golf club memberships and housing allowances for the highest paid top executives at 23 of Alberta's agencies, boards and commissions. The Government said the regulation that enacts these changes comes into effect March 16, 2017.
  • Oakville-based Restaurant Brands International Inc. (RBI) and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. of Georgia announced they have reached an agreement for RBI to acquire Popeyes for $1.8 billion. RBI said the transaction is subject to regulatory and Popeyes' shareholder approval and is expected to close by early April 2017.
  • Vancouver-based MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA), a communications and information company, announced it had entered into a definitive merger agreement, pursuant to which MDA will acquire DigitalGlobe, Inc. of Colorado for approximately $3.1 billion. The company said the transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2017, subject to regulatory and shareholder approval.

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 0.50% to 0.75%. The last change in the target range was a 25 basis point increase announced in December 2016.
  • The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee voted to maintain the Bank Rate at 0.25% and to maintain the stock of purchased assets financed by the issuance of central bank reserves at £435 billion. The last change in the Bank Rate was a 25 basis-point reduction in August 2016.
  • 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 Reserve Bank of New Zealand left the Official Cash Rate, its main policy rate, unchanged at 1.75%. The last change in the Official Cash Rate was a 25 basis point reduction in November 2016.
  • Sweden's Riksbank left its main interest rate, the repo rate, unchanged at -0.5%. The last change in the repo rate was a 15 basis point cut in February 2016. The Riksbank also said purchases of government bonds will continue for the first six months of 2017, as decided in December 2016.
  • On February 22nd, the World Trade Organization (WTO) announced the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) entered into force, which includes improvements to the availability and publication of information about cross-border procedures and practices, reduced fees and formalities related to the import/export of goods, and faster clearance procedures and enhanced conditions for freedom of transit for goods. The WTO said that full implementation of the TFA is forecasted to lower members' trade costs by an average of 14.3%.
  • Netherlands-based Royal Dutch Shell PLC announced its capital investment in 2017 is expected to be around USD $25 billion. The company said its full year 2016 capital investment was USD $26.9 billion.
  • U.K-based BP p.l.c. announced its capital expenditure is expected to be USD $16 to $17 billion in 2017. BP said its capital expenditure for 2016 totaled USD $16 billion.
  • Norway-based Statoil ASA announced it will invest around USD $11.0 billion in 2017. The company said its capital expenditure in 2016 was USD $10.1 billion.
  • Texas-based ConocoPhillips announced that its 2017 capital expenditures guidance is USD $5.0 billion. The company said its 2016 capital expenditures were USD $4.9 billion.
  • Oklahoma-based Devon Energy Corporation announced its capital expenditures guidance for 2017 is between USD $2.285 billion and $2.690 billion. The company said its 2016 capital expenditures were USD $3.109 billion.
  • Illinois-based Sears Holdings Corporation announced it had initiated a restructuring program targeted to deliver at least USD $1.0 billion in annualized cost savings in 2017. The company said these savings include cost reductions from the previously announced closure of 108 Kmart and 42 Sears stores.

Financial market news

  • Crude oil (West Texas Intermediate) closed at USD $54.01 per barrel on February 28th, up from USD $52.81 at the end of January. The Canadian dollar closed at 75.30 cents U.S. on February 28th, down from 76.85 cents U.S. on January 31st. After reaching a record high on February 21st, the S&P/TSX closed at 15,399.24 on February 28th, little changed from the closing value at the end of January.
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