June 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.


  • Calgary-based Enbridge Inc., Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. and Enbridge Income Fund Holdings Inc. announced that the Line 3 Replacement Project has been approved by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, and that the project’s anticipated in-service date is in the second half of 2019.

  • The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced that the construction of the Voisey’s Bay underground mine will proceed this summer. The Government said the underground mine will extend the operating life of Voisey’s Bay by at least 15 years and that Brazil-based Vale will invest close to $2 billion in the project.

  • Baytex Energy Corp. and Raging River Exploration Inc., both of Calgary, announced that they had agreed to a strategic combination of the two companies, with a combined enterprise value of approximately $5 billion. The companies said the transaction is anticipated to close in August 2018, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.

  • Australia-based South32 Limited and Arizona Mining Inc. of Vancouver announced they had entered into an agreement for South32 to acquire the remaining 83% of issued and outstanding shares of Arizona Mining via a plan of arrangement, representing a fully funded, all cash offer of $1.8 billion. The companies said the transaction is expected to close in the September 2018 quarter, subject to Arizona Mining shareholder approval and a limited number of other conditions.

  • Calgary-based AltaGas Ltd. announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to indirectly sell 35% of its interest in the Northwest British Columbia Hydro Electric Facilities for $922 million. The company said it will remain the majority holder of the Facilities and continue to provide all operational, maintenance and management functions. AltaGas said the transaction is expected to close prior to the end of June 2018, subject to closing adjustments and customary closing conditions.


  • Montreal-based Bombardier Commercial Aircraft announced that Delta Air Lines, Inc. of Atlanta, Georgia has signed a firm purchase agreement for 20 CRJ900 aircraft, valued at approximately USD $961 million based on list prices. The company said Delta will take delivery of the aircraft in late 2018.

  • Aurora, Ontario-based Magna International Inc. announced its intention to form two new joint ventures with Beijing Electric Vehicle Co. Ltd of China for complete vehicle manufacturing as well as engineering of electric vehicles. Magna said the joint ventures are expected to take over an existing manufacturing facility in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province, where the first production vehicles are planned for 2020. Magna said both joint ventures are subject to a number of conditions including agreement on final joint venture agreements and obtaining all necessary regulatory approvals.

Finance and insurance

  • Toronto-based Scotiabank and the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) announced that Scotiabank will acquire MD Financial Management (MD) of Ottawa for a purchase price of $2.585 billion. Scotiabank said that the acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018, subject to regulatory approvals and closing conditions.

  • Toronto-based Manulife Financial Corporation announced it expects to reduce its Canadian workforce by approximately 700 roles over the next 18 months through voluntary exit and natural attrition.

Other news

  • The Government of Canada announced on June 29th that in response to the U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, reciprocal surtaxes on $16.6 billion of imports of steel, aluminum and other products from the United States will come into effect on July 1st, 2018. The Government released a list of steel, aluminum and other products that will be subject to surtaxes. The Government also said that it will make available up to $2.0 billion to protect the interests of Canadian workers and businesses in the steel, aluminum and manufacturing industries.

  • Ontario Premier-designate Doug Ford announced that his cabinet’s first act following the swearing-in of his government will be to cancel Ontario’s current cap-and-trade scheme, and challenge the federal government’s authority to impose a carbon tax on the people of Ontario.

  • The Government of Nunavut tabled Budget 2018-19 on May 28th, which includes investments to strengthen income assistance, to increase the capacity of information technology infrastructure, and to fund additional teacher positions. The Government forecasts a $28.1 million deficit in 2018-19 and real GDP growth of 4.4% in 2018.

  • Calgary-based Canadian Pacific Railway Limited announced it plans to invest more than $500 million on new high-capacity grain hopper cars, beginning with an initial order for 1,000 cars from National Steel Car of Hamilton, Ontario. CP said it expects to see more than 500 new cars in service before the end of 2018, and that over the next four years it plans to order approximately 5,900 hopper cars in total.

  • Calgary-based Swoop Inc. announced it had officially been granted its air operating certificate (AOC) approval by Transport Canada and that its inaugural flight would take place on June 20th.

United States and other international news

  • The U.S. Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) raised the target range for the federal funds interest rate by 25 basis points to 1.75% to 2.00%. The last change in the target range was a 25 basis point increase announced in March 2018.

  • 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 ECB also confirmed that net asset purchases will continue at a monthly pace of €30 billion until the end of September 2018, after which the monthly pace of net asset purchases will be reduced to €15 billion until the end of December 2018 and then end.

  • The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee voted to maintain the Bank Rate at 0.50% 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 November 2017.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • On June 15th, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released a list of products imported from China that will be subject to an additional duty of 25%. The USTR said that the list of products covers 1,102 separate U.S. tariff lines valued at approximately USD $50 billion. The USTR said that Customs and Border Protection will begin collecting the additional duty on 818 product lines that cover approximately USD $34 billion worth of imports on July 6, 2018, and that the remaining 284 proposed product lines, which cover approximately USD $16 billion of imports, will undergo further review.

  • On June 17th, the Chinese government announced it has decided to impose a tariff rate of 25% on imports of U.S. goods such as farm products, autos and aquatic products, valued at USD $34 billion. The Chinese government said these measures will come into force on July 6th, 2018. The Government also said it plans to impose additional tariffs of 25% on chemical products, medical equipment and energy imported from the U.S., valued at USD $16 billion, and that the final measures and effective date will be released separately.

  • On June 18th, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that he had directed the United States Trade Representative to identify USD $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for additional tariffs at a rate of 10%, and that these tariffs will go into effect if China refuses to change its practices, and if China insists on going forward with the new tariffs that it had recently announced. President Trump said that if China increases its tariffs yet again, the U.S. will meet that action by pursuing additional tariffs on another USD $200 billion of goods.

  • On June 20th, the European Commission (EC) announced it had adopted regulation putting in place the European Union’s rebalancing measures in response to the U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum. The EC said these measures would immediately target a list of products worth €2.8 billion and would come into effect on June 22, 2018.

  • Illinois-based Conagra Brands, Inc. and Pinnacle Foods Inc. of New Jersey announced their boards of directors unanimously approved a definitive agreement under which Conagra Brands will acquire all outstanding shares of Pinnacle Foods in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately USD $10.9 billion. The companies said the transaction is expected to close by the end of 2018, subject to the approval of Pinnacle Foods shareholders, the receipt of regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

  • Washington-based Microsoft Corp. announced it had reached an agreement to acquire GitHub, a software development platform, for USD $7.5 billion in Microsoft stock. The company said the acquisition is expected to close by the end of 2018, subject to customary closing conditions and completion of regulatory review.

  • Washington-based Starbucks Corporation announced a set of strategic priorities and corresponding operational initiatives that included slowing licensed store growth and increasing the closure of underperforming company-operated stores in its most densely penetrated markets to approximately 150 in fiscal year 2019 from a historical average of up to 50 annually.

Financial market news

  • Crude oil (West Texas Intermediate) closed at USD $74.15 on June 29th, up from $67.04 at the end of May. The Canadian dollar closed at 75.94 cents U.S. on June 29th, down from 77.23 cents U.S. on May 31st. The S&P/TSX closed at 16,277.73 on June 29th, up from a closing value of 16,061.50 at the end of May.
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