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.
Northern Alberta wildfires
- Calgary-based Shell Canada Limited announced on June 3rd that production at its Albian Sands mining operations north of Fort McMurray had returned to planned levels.
- Calgary-based Imperial Oil Limited announced on June 3rd the return to normal operations at its Kearl site north of Fort McMurray.
- Calgary-based Suncor Energy Inc. confirmed on June 6th that it was ramping up production in a staged manner and expected all of its operations in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo to be producing at normal, pre-turnaround rates by the end of June. The company also announced that Syncrude Canada Ltd. anticipated a return to production starting in late June and a full ramp up of production following completion of the scheduled turnaround by mid-July.
- Suncor also announced on June 6th that its gas and diesel production had been reduced due to the cumulative impact of the fires on refinery feedstock and a short unplanned outage at one unit of the company's Edmonton refinery.
- Texas-based ConocoPhillips announced on June 27th that it had resumed production at its Surmont facility in northeastern Alberta to pre-wildfire levels.
- Calgary-based Cenovus Energy Inc. announced on June 7th that it had undertaken a precautionary shutdown and orderly evacuation of all facilities at its Pelican Lake operations north of Edmonton. On June 13th the company announced that production at its Pelican Lake operations had returned to normal levels.
- The governments of Canada and Alberta announced that Alberta will receive an advance payment of approximately $300 million in early July through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements program.
- The Federal Court of Appeal revoked the Order in Council that had conditionally approved Calgary-based Enbridge Inc.'s proposed Northern Gateway project and concluded that further Crown consultation is required. The project would involve the construction of approximately 1,177 km of pipeline to carry crude oil from Bruderheim, Alberta to Kitimat, British Columbia.
- Calgary-based Penn West Petroleum Ltd. announced it had entered into a definitive agreement for the sale of all its Saskatchewan assets to Teine Energy Ltd. of Calgary for cash consideration of $975 million. The company said the deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2016, subject to regulatory approvals.
- Calgary-based TransCanada Corporation announced that its joint venture with IEnova of Mexico has been chosen to build, own and operate the USD $2.1 billion Sur de Texas – Tuxpan natural gas pipeline in Mexico. TransCanada said it expects to invest USD $1.3 billion in the partnership to build the approximately 800-kilometre pipeline and that it anticipates an in-service date of late 2018.
- Switzerland-based Glencore plc announced it had entered into a definitive agreement with British Columbia Investment Management Corporation for the purchase of a 9.99% stake in Glencore Agricultural Products for an aggregate consideration of USD $624.9 million. The company said the transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2016, subject to regulatory approvals.
- Norway-based Statoil ASA announced that a drilling program resulted in two discoveries of oil at the Bay de Verde and Baccalieu prospects in the Bay du Nord area, approximately 500 kilometres east of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. The company said its assessment of the commercial potential of the discovery is ongoing.
- General Motors Canada announced it would expand its Canadian engineering base to reach a total of approximately 1,000 positions over the next few years. GM also said it would open a new Automotive Software Development Centre in Markham, Ontario.
- The government of Ontario announced it would provide up to $85.8 million in funding to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Canada Inc. for enhanced research at the Automotive Research and Development Centre, and to support the company's workforce at the Windsor Assembly Plant through training and plant upgrades for the production of the Chrysler Pacifica.
- Michigan-based Ford Motor Company announced it is shortening its traditional two-week summer shutdown to one week in its SUV assembly plants in Louisville, Chicago and Oakville.
- Montreal-based Bombardier Inc. confirmed that it had entered into a definitive agreement for the previously announced USD $1 billion investment by the government of Quebec in a newly created limited partnership to which the assets, liabilities and obligations of the C Series aircraft program will be transferred. The company said it expects the disbursement of the investment to occur in two USD $500 million payments on June 30, 2016 and on September 1, 2016.
- Bombardier Inc. and Air Canada announced they had finalized a firm purchase agreement, consistent with the Letter of Intent announced in February 2016, for 45 CS300 aircraft and options for an additional 30 CS300 aircraft. The companies said deliveries are scheduled to begin in late 2019 and extend to 2022.
- Mississauga-based General Electric Canada announced it has selected Welland, Ontario as the location for its multi-modal "Brilliant Factory" that will initially manufacture reciprocating engines, components for compression, mechanical drive, and power generation, and manufacture components for GE transportation diesel engines. The company said the facility will create 150 jobs in phase one and begin production in early 2018.
- Sault Ste. Marie-based Essar Steel Algoma Inc. announced it has entered into an asset purchase agreement for the sale of substantially all of the company's assets to a consortium of bidders formed by KPS Capital Partners, LP and Essar Steel Algoma's prepetition term lenders. The company said that, subject to a number of conditions relating to employee and benefit matters and customary regulatory approvals, the transaction is slated to close on or before August 31, 2016.
- Mississauga-based Wal-Mart Canada Corp. announced it will no longer accept Visa credit cards as a means of payment in its stores across Canada, starting with its stores in Thunder Bay on July 18, 2016. The company said this change will then be rolled out in phases across the country.
- Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire PrivateBancorp, Inc. of Chicago for $4.9 billion. CIBC said it anticipates completing the transaction during the first calendar quarter of 2017, subject to regulatory and PrivateBancorp's shareholder approval.
- The government of Saskatchewan tabled its 2016 budget on June 1st which included investments in health care, education and social services, and $3.5 billion for infrastructure. The government projects a deficit of $434 million in fiscal year 2016-17 and expects GDP growth to be 2.5% in 2017.
United States and other international news
- Voters in the United Kingdom voted 51.9% to 48.1% to leave the European Union in a referendum held on June 23rd. On June 27th, the pound sterling, relative to the U.S. dollar, had depreciated to its lowest level since 1985.
- The U.S. Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) maintained the target range for the federal funds interest rate at 0.25% to 0.50%. The last change in the target range for the federal funds interest rate was a 25 basis point increase announced in December 2015.
- The European Central Bank (ECB) left the interest rate on the main refinancing operations of the Eurosystem unchanged at 0.00%. Interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility were also unchanged at 0.25% and -0.40%, respectively. The ECB also announced that on June 8th the Eurosystem would start making purchases under its corporate sector purchase programme.
- The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously (on June 15th) to maintain the Bank Rate at 0.5% and to maintain the stock of purchased assets financed by the issuance of central bank reserves at £375 billion. The last change in the Bank Rate was a 50 basis point reduction announced in March 2009.
- The Bank of Japan (BoJ) announced it would continue to apply a -0.1% interest rate to the Policy-Rate Balances in current accounts held by financial institutions at the Bank. The BoJ lowered the rate to -0.1% in January 2016.
- The Reserve Bank of Australia maintained the cash rate at 1.75%. The last change in the cash rate was a 25 basis point reduction in May 2016.
- The Reserve Bank of New Zealand left the Official Cash Rate, its main policy rate, unchanged at 2.25%. The last change in the Official Cash Rate was a 25 basis point reduction in March 2016.
- The Executive Board of Norway's Norges Bank decided to leave its key policy rate unchanged at 0.50%. The last change in the rate was a 25 basis point reduction in March 2016.
- The June meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) concluded without a new oil production ceiling for its member countries. OPEC next meets in November 2016.
- Microsoft Corp. and LinkedIn Corporation announced they had entered into a definitive agreement under which Microsoft would acquire LinkedIn in an all-cash transaction valued at USD $26.2 billion. The companies said the deal is expected to close in calendar year 2016, subject to LinkedIn shareholder and regulatory approvals.
Financial market news
- Crude oil (West Texas Intermediate) closed at USD $48.33 per barrel on June 30th, down from USD $49.10 at the end of May. The Canadian dollar closed at 77.42 cents U.S. on June 30th, up from 76.28 cents U.S. on May 31st. The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed at 14,064.54 on June 30th, virtually unchanged from its closing value at the end of May.