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 Government of Ontario announced on June 6th that it had extended all emergency orders currently in force under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until June 19th. On June 17th, the Government extended all emergency orders currently in force until June 30th. Subsequently, the Government extended all emergency orders on June 27th until July 10th.
- The Government of the Northwest Territories announced on June 9th that it had extended the territory-wide Public Health Emergency and the State of Emergency effective June 10th until June 23rd. On June 23rd, the Government extended both the Public Health Emergency and the State of Emergency until July 8th.
- The Government of British Columbia announced on June 10th that it had formally extended the provincial state of emergency through the end of day on June 23rd. On June 24th, the Government announced it had formally extended the provincial state of emergency through the end of day on July 7th.
- The Government of Manitoba announced on June 15th that it would extend the province-wide state of emergency under The Emergency Measures Act for a period of 30 days.
Selected COVID-19 responses
- The Government of Canada announced on June 5th that it would contribute $14 billion toward a safe restart agreement with the provinces and territories and that it was working with the premiers on what this restart could look like in the coming months.
- The Government of Canada announced on June 16th that it was extending the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) by eight weeks, making the benefit available to eligible workers for up to a total of 24 weeks.
- The Council of Atlantic Premiers announced on June 24th that interprovincial travel without requirement to self-isolate will be permitted in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia, for residents of Atlantic Canada, as of July 3, 2020.
- The Government of Canada released a Ministerial Regulation to improve the efficiency of the assessment process for exploratory drilling projects in an area of the Newfoundland and Labrador offshore, subject to a series of conditions that focus on protecting the environment and ensuring meaningful Indigenous engagement. The Government said the Regulation provides that exploratory drilling projects in a specific area of the Canada-NL offshore are excluded from the requirement to undergo a project-specific federal Impact Assessment and that the Regulation only applies to exploratory drilling.
- Calgary-based Trans Mountain Corporation announced that construction preparation had begun for the Kamloops Urban Area pipeline section that is 7 km in length and will take approximately 7 months to complete. The company said the workforce will increase to approximately 600 people at peak construction in the late summer or early fall.
- Calgary-based Baytex Energy Corp. announced it had restarted approximately 80% of the previously announced shut-in volumes that have remained off-line for April and May. The company said it continues to forecast capital spending for this year of $260 to $290 million, which represents an approximate 50% reduction from the original plan of $500 to $575 million. Baytex also said that, with this revised capital program, they suspended drilling operations in Canada and expect to see a moderated pace of activity in the Eagle Ford.
- Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. announced on June 25th that a Michigan Circuit Court had issued a Temporary Restraining Order requiring Enbridge to shut down Line 5 through the Straits of Mackinac within 24 hours until a hearing on the State's request for preliminary injunction can be held Tuesday, June 30, 2020, and a ruling made on the preliminary injunction.
- Unifor announced on June 22nd that Unifor Local 594 members had ratified a tentative agreement with Co-op Refinery, ending a six-month lockout of 730 workers by Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL).
- Vancouver-based Lundin Gold Inc. announced that its first phases for restart of operations at Fruta del Norte in southeast Ecuador are well underway following suspension of operations on March 22, 2020.
- Brazil-based Vale S.A. announced that production is expected to resume at the Voisey's Bay Mine in Labrador in early July following a period of three months of monitoring progress and events associated with the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Calgary-based WestJet Airlines Ltd. announced organizational changes that will see the company consolidate call centre activity in Alberta, contract out airport operations in all domestic airports outside of Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, and Toronto, and restructure its office and management staff. WestJet said that overall, 3,333 employees across the country will be affected.
- Toronto-based Porter Airlines announced it was modifying its return-to-service date to August 31st instead of the previously announced target of July 29th in light of ongoing government travel restrictions. Porter said it temporarily suspended operations as of March 21st.
- Montreal-based Air Canada announced it was indefinitely suspending services on 30 domestic routes and closing eight stations at regional airports in Canada, including four in Quebec, two in Ontario, one in Newfoundland and Labrador, and one in New Brunswick. Air Canada also said that other changes to its network and schedule, as well as further service suspensions, will be considered over the coming weeks.
- Montreal-based Reitmans (Canada) Limited announced, as part of its operational and commercial restructuring plan, that it will close the Thyme Maternity and Addition Elle brands on July 18, 2020, and August 15, 2020, respectively. The company said it will be reducing its workforce by approximately 1,100 employees in its retail stores and approximately 300 employees at its Head Office. Reitmans also said it would carry on with three brands: Reitmans, Penningtons, and RW & Co.
- Bombardier Aviation announced it would reduce its workforce by approximately 2,500 employees to align with current market conditions reflecting the industry interruptions and challenges caused by COVID-19. Bombardier said the majority of the reductions will impact manufacturing operations in Canada and will be carried out progressively throughout 2020.
- Edmonton-based Aurora Cannabis Inc. announced it had initiated a plan to close operations at five facilities over the next two quarters as well as an approximate 25% reduction in Selling, General and Administrative staff, most with immediate effect, and an approximate 30% reduction in production staff over the next two quarters.
- The Bank of Canada announced it was maintaining its target for the overnight rate at the effective lower bound of 0.25%. The target for the overnight rate was reduced by 150 basis points in March 2020. The Bank also said it was reducing the frequency of its term repo operations to once per week, and its program to purchase bankers' acceptances to bi-weekly operations. The Bank said its other programs to purchase federal, provincial, and corporate debt are continuing at their present frequency and scope.
- Fitch Ratings, Inc. announced it had downgraded Canada's Long-Term Foreign Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) from 'AAA' to 'AA+' with a stable outlook. Fitch said the downgrade reflects the deterioration of Canada's public finances in 2020 resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
- The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) announced that, effective July 1st, the following changes will apply for new applications for homeowner transactional and portfolio mortgage insurance: (i) limiting the Gross/Total Debt servicing ratios to its standard requirements of 35/42; (ii) establish a minimum credit score of 680 for at least one borrower; and (iii) non-traditional sources of down payment that increase indebtedness will no longer be treated as equity for insurance purposes. CMHC also said it had suspended refinancing for multi-unit mortgage insurance except when the funds are used for repairs or reinvestment in housing.
- British Columbia's minimum wage increased from $13.85 per hour to $14.60 per hour on June 1st.
- On June 15th, the Government of Saskatchewan presented Budget 2020-21, which included investments in health, education, and social services and assistance; an additional $502 million for COVID-related expenses resulting from Government measures introduced since March 18, 2020; and another $205 million relative to the original capital plan directed to government-owned capital assets such as schools, hospitals, and highways in 2020-21. The Government forecasts a $2.4 billion deficit for 2020-2021 and a contraction in real GDP of 6.3% in 2020.
- On June 17th, the Government of Prince Edward Island presented the 2020-2021 Budget, which includes investments in health care, education, clean air and sustaining the environment, as well as for emergency shelters, enhanced dental care benefits for seniors, and an increase in the Childcare Subsidy. The Government forecasts a $172.7 million deficit for 2020-2021 and a contraction in real GDP of 5.1% in 2020.
- On June 29th, the Government of Alberta announced a plan to address short-term and long-term challenges, including a $10 billion investment in infrastructure, creating 50,000 jobs; a reduction of the corporate tax rate to 8.0%—a year and a half sooner than promised; and strategies to support growth in other high-opportunity sectors such as value-added petrochemical manufacturing, mineral, pharmaceuticals, the financial sector, logistics, and aviation.
- On June 30th, the Government of Manitoba released its Economic and Fiscal Update, which included investing $2.1 billion dollars to fight COVID and restart the economy. The Government forecasts a $2.9 billion deficit for 2020-2021, with a downside risk approaching $5 billion, and a contraction in real GDP of 5% in 2020.
- Toronto-based Cineplex Inc. announced that in all markets where Cineplex is permitted by government and health authorities, it plans to reopen as many of its locations as it can on July 3rd.
- Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group announced that it and certain of its affiliated companies have filed for protection from creditors under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) in order to restructure its capital structure.
United States and other international news
- The U.S. Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) maintained the target range for the federal funds rate at 0.00% to 0.25%. The last change in the target range was a 100 basis points decrease announced in March, 2020. The FOMC also said that to support the flow of credit to households and businesses, the Federal Reserve over the coming months will increase its holdings of Treasury securities and agency residential and commercial mortgage-backed securities at least at the current pace to sustain smooth market functioning.
- The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted to maintain the Bank Rate at 0.1% and to continue with the existing programme of £200 billion of UK government bond and sterling non-financial investment-grade corporate bond purchases, financed by the issuance of central bank reserves. The Committee also voted to increase the target stock of purchased UK government bonds, financed by the issuance of central bank reserves, by an additional £100 billion, to take the total stock of asset purchases to £745 billion.
- The European Central Bank (ECB) announced that (i) the interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at 0.00%, 0.25% and -0.50% respectively; (ii) net purchases under the asset purchase programme (APP) will continue at a monthly pace of €20 billion, together with the purchases under the additional €120 billion temporary envelope until the end of the year; and (iii) the envelope for the pandemic emergency purchase programme (PEPP) will be increased by €600 billion to a total of €1.35 trillion and that the horizon for net purchases under the PEPP will be extended to at least the end of June 2021.
- The Bank of Japan (BoJ) announced it will apply a negative interest rate of -0.1% to the Policy-Rate Balances in current accounts held by financial institutions at the BoJ and that it would purchase a necessary amount of Japanese government bonds (JGBs) without setting an upper limit so that 10-year JGB yields will remain at around zero percent. The BoJ also said it will actively purchase exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and Japan real estate investment trusts (J-REITs) for the time being and that it would maintain CP and corporate bonds outstanding at about ¥2 trillion and about ¥3 trillion, respectively. The BoJ said that, in addition, until the end of March 2021, it will conduct additional purchases with the upper limit of the amounts outstanding of ¥7.5 trillion for each subset.
- The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) maintained the target for the cash rate and the yield on 3-year Australian Government bonds at 0.25%. The last change in the target for the cash rate was a 50 basis points reduction in March 2020.
- The Reserve Bank of New Zealand left the Official Cash Rate (OCR), its main policy rate, unchanged at 0.25% and its Large Scale Asset Purchase (LSAP) programme unchanged at NZD $60 billion. The last change in the OCR was a 75 basis points reduction in March 2020.
- The Executive Board of Norway's Norges Bank decided to keep the policy rate unchanged at 0.0%. The last change in the policy rate was a 25 basis points reduction in May 2020.
- The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) announced on June 6th that all OPEC and non-OPEC participating countries reconfirmed the existing arrangements under the April agreement to adjust downwards overall crude oil production and agreed to the option of extending the first phase of the production adjustments pertaining in May and June by one further month.
- Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy Corporation announced it had voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 protection. The company said it had secured USD $925 million in debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing and that it will operate in the ordinary course during the Chapter 11 process.
- UK-based BP plc announced it had agreed to sell its global petrochemicals business to INEOS, also of the UK, for a total consideration of USD $5 billion. The company said the transaction is expected to complete by the end of 2020, subject to regulatory and other approvals.
- Texas-based ConocoPhillips announced it expects to begin restoring curtailed production in Alaska and the Lower 48 region during the month of July. The company said that at Surmont in Canada, it is also planning to increase production from curtailed levels in the third quarter.
- UK-based Centrica plc announced plans to restructure, which would lead to a reduction of around 5,000 roles across the Group. Centrica said that over half of the departures would come from management layers and that the majority of the restructuring is expected to take place in the second half of 2020.
- Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. announced a recapitalization plan, including the issuance of HK$19.5 billion in preference shares with detachable warrants to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government and the receipt of HK$7.8 billion in a bridge loan facility by the HKSAR Government.
- Ohio-based Macy's Inc. announced it will reduce corporate and management headcount by approximately 3,900. Additionally, Macy's said it has reduced staffing across its stores portfolio, supply chain, and customer support network, which will adjust as sales recover.
- The European Council announced on June 30th that it had adopted a recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU, as from July 1st, for countries listed in the recommendation, including for Canada.
Financial market news
- West Texas Intermediate crude oil closed at USD $39.27 per barrel on June 30th, up from a closing value of USD $35.49 at the end of May. Western Canadian Select crude oil traded near USD $30 per barrel throughout June. The Canadian dollar closed at 73.38 cents U.S. on June 30th, up from 72.53 cents U.S. at the end of May. The S&P/TSX composite index closed at 15,515.22 on June 30th, up from 15,192.83 at the end of May.