October 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.


  • Vancouver-based LNG Canada announced that its joint venture participants – Shell, PETRONAS, PetroChina Company Limited, Mitsubishi Corporation and Korea Gas Corporation – have taken a Final Investment Decision (FID) to build the LNG Canada export facility in Kitimat, British Columbia. LNG Canada said the FID is for two processing units with first LNG expected before the middle of the next decade.
  • Calgary-based TransCanada Corporation announced it will proceed with construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline project after a decision to sanction the LNG Canada natural gas liquefaction facility in Kitimat, British Columbia was announced by the joint venture participants of LNG Canada. TransCanada said that construction activities are expected to begin in early 2019 with a planned in-service date in 2023.
  • Calgary-based Precision Drilling Corporation announced it had entered into an arrangement agreement with Trinidad Drilling Limited, also of Calgary, pursuant to which Precision has agreed to acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Trinidad for an aggregate transaction value of approximately $1.028 billion. Precision said the transaction is expected to be completed in late 2018, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.
  • Calgary-based Encana Corporation announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc., had reached an agreement to sell its San Juan assets, located in New Mexico for USD $480 million to Denver-based DJR Energy, LLC. Encana said the transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018, subject to the satisfaction of normal closing conditions and customary closing adjustments.
  • Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. announced on October 9th that a rupture occurred on a natural gas pipeline owned and operated by Enbridge approximately 13.5 km north of Prince George, B.C. The company said at that time that crews were depressurizing two natural gas transmission lines in the vicinity to contain the incident. On October 19th, Enbridge said that, subject to regulatory approval, its 36-inch TSouth line will be repaired by mid-November, and back in service at a reduced pressure of 80% of normal operating pressure. Enbridge also said that its 30-inch TSouth line was put back into service on October 11th, also at reduced pressure.
  • Calgary-based Imperial Oil Limited announced it had successfully restarted production at its Norman Wells operations in the Northwest Territories following the return to service of Enbridge's Line 21 pipeline. Imperial Oil said Enbridge had suspended shipments on the pipeline in December 2016, and that following a regulatory process, replacement work on a two-kilometer section of the pipeline was completed in September 2018.  Imperial said production at Norman Wells is expected to ramp up in the weeks and months ahead to around 10,000 barrels per day.
  • Calgary-based Crescent Point Energy Corp. announced that its preliminary 2019 capital expenditure guidance is expected to be approximately $1.55 billion to $1.60 billion. The company said its 2018 guidance remains unchanged, with capital expenditures of $1.775 billion.
  • The Government of Canada announced on October 3rd the second part of its path forward to address the Federal Court of Appeal's August 30th decision on the Trans Mountain Expansion Project. The Government said that first, it will not appeal the Court's decision; second, it will re-initiate Phase III consultations with all 117 Indigenous groups impacted by the project; and third, it has appointed former Supreme Court of Canada Justice, the Honourable Frank Iacobucci as a Federal Representative to oversee the consultation process.
  • Saint John, New Brunswick-based Irving Oil Limited announced on October 8th that a major incident occurred at the company's Saint John refinery. On October 9th, the company said the refinery as a whole was safe and the specific site of the incident had been isolated and contained. Irving Oil said on October 16th that all tradespeople were back on site to continue annual turnaround work at the refinery.
  • Vancouver-based Capstone Mining Corp. announced that it and Pembridge Resources plc have elected to terminate the agreement for the sale of the Minto Mine. Capstone announced that it is putting its Minto copper mine in Yukon on temporary care and maintenance, and that approximately 200 employees and contractors will be affected.

Finance and insurance

  • RBC Royal Bank, BMO Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, Scotiabank, and TD Canada Trust announced on October 24th that they had increased their prime lending rate by 25 basis points to 3.95%, effective October 25th, 2018.
  • Quebec City-based Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and Generation Investment Management LLP of the UK announced the acquisition of General Atlantic and H.I.G. Capital's investment in FNZ (UK) Ltd, a global FinTech firm, in a deal valuing the company at £1.65 billion.

Other news

  • The Bank of Canada raised the target for the overnight rate by 25 basis points to 1.75% on October 24th. The last change in the target for the overnight rate was a 25 basis-point increase announced in July 2018.
  • On October 11th, the Government of Canada announced further steps to prevent diversion of foreign steel products into Canada, and provide relief to steel and aluminum users in specific circumstances that are paying for countermeasures on certain products imported from the United States.
  • On October 23rd, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced there would be a federal pollution pricing system in place in Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan in 2019.
  • The Government of Canada announced on October 5th, the start of full construction on the new Gordie Howe International Bridge in the Windsor-Detroit trade corridor. The Government said the bridge is expected to open by the end of 2024 and will provide direct connections between Ontario's Highway 401 and Michigan's Interstate 75.
  • On October 17th, the Government of Canada announced it had implemented a new legal framework that legalizes, regulates and restricts access to cannabis.
  • On October 25th, the Government of Canada announced it had received royal assent to Bill C-79, the act to implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
  • Effective October 1st, the minimum wage increased in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. In Alberta, the minimum wage rose from $13.60 to $15.00 per hour; in Saskatchewan, the minimum wage increased from $10.96 to $11.06 per hour; and in Manitoba, the minimum wage rose from $11.15 to $11.35 per hour.
  • The Government of Nova Scotia tabled its Forecast Update on September 27th, which included a forecasted increase in total capital spending to $610.4 million. The Government forecasts a budget surplus of $34.5 million in 2018-19 and economic growth of 1.0% in 2018.
  • The Government of Yukon tabled its 2018-19 Interim Fiscal and Economic Update on October 1st, which included an increase in gross capital spending of $8.6 million or approximately 3% of the Main Estimates. The Government forecasts a deficit of $4.86 million in 2018-19 and economic growth of 2.5% in 2018.
  • The Government of British Columbia announced on October 16th that it had tabled the Employer Health Tax Act in the legislature, its plan to eliminate Medical Service Plan (MSP) premiums and introduce the employer health tax (EHT). The Government said it will eliminate MSP premiums by January 1, 2020.
  • On October 16th, the Government of British Columbia announced it had introduced legislation to tackle speculation in B.C.'s housing market. The tax includes exemptions for British Columbians' principal residences, rented properties, and special circumstances including major home renovations and difficult life events such as divorce. The Government also said the legislation has exemptions in place to broadly protect the development of land to support the province's growing housing supply.
  • The Government of Ontario announced it was proposing the Making Ontario Open for Business Act which, if passed, would maintain the province's current minimum wage at $14 per hour until 2020, to be followed by increases tied to inflation.
  • Toronto-based GFL Environmental Inc. and Waste Industries of North Carolina announced they had entered into a definitive merger agreement in a transaction that values Waste Industries at a total enterprise value of USD $2.825 billion. The companies said the transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018, subject to customary regulatory approvals.
  • Calgary-based Parkland Fuel Corporation and SOL Limited of the Barbados announced they had entered into an agreement to complete a business combination whereby Parkland will acquire 75% of the issued and outstanding shares in the capital of SOL Investments Limited for a total consideration of USD $1.21 billion. The companies said the closing of the transaction is expected to occur late in the fourth quarter of 2018, subject to the receipt of customary third-party consents and regulatory approvals.
  • Smiths Falls, Ontario-based Canopy Growth Corporation announced it had entered into an agreement to acquire the assets of ebbu, Inc. of Colorado. Canopy said the acquisition is anticipated to close in November 2018 subject to regulatory approval.
  • On October 21st, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) announced it will begin rotating strikes on October 22nd. CUPW said the strikes would last for 24 hours with locations striking daily.

United States and other international news

  • 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 said that it will continue to make net purchases under the asset purchase program at the new monthly pace of €15 billion until the end of December 2018 and then net purchases will end.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • On October 11th, U.S. President Donald Trump declared that a major disaster exists in the State of Florida and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by Hurricane Michael beginning on October 7th.
  • United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced that, at the direction of the President, he had notified Congress that the Trump Administration intends to negotiate three separate trade agreements with Japan, the European Union and the United Kingdom.
  • New York-based International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) and North Carolina-based Red Hat, Inc. announced that they have reached a definitive agreement under which IBM will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Red Hat, representing a total enterprise value of approximately USD $34 billion.
  • California-based GM Cruise LLC and General Motors Company of Michigan announced that they have joined forces with Honda Motor Company, Ltd. of Japan to fund and develop a purpose-built autonomous vehicle for Cruise, and explore global opportunities for the commercial deployment of the Cruise network. Honda said it will contribute approximately USD $2 billion over 12 years to these initiatives, which together with a USD $750 million equity investment in Cruise, brings its total commitment to the project to USD $2.75 billion.
  • UK-based Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to sell its automotive components business Magneti Marelli S.p.A. of Italy to CK Holdings Co., Ltd., a holding company of Calsonic Kansei of Japan, for a transaction value of €6.2 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2019, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
  • The Boeing Company and United Airlines, both of Illinois, announced the carrier is expanding its 787 Dreamliner fleet with a new order for nine 787-9 airplanes, valued at USD $2.53 billion according to list prices.
  • Illinois-based Sears Holdings Corporation announced it and certain of its subsidiaries filed for voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. The company said that its Sears and Kmart stores, and its online and mobile platforms, are open and that its services and brand businesses will also continue to operate as usual. Sears said it will close 142 unprofitable stores near the end of the year, in addition to the previously announced closure of 46 unprofitable stores that is expected to be completed by November 2018.

Financial Market News

  • Crude oil (West Texas Intermediate) closed at USD $67.04 on October 29th, down from $73.25 at the end of September. The Canadian dollar closed at 76.23 cents U.S. on October 29th, down from 77.25 cents U.S. on September 28th. The S&P/TSX closed at 14,721.75 on October 29th, down from a closing value of 16,073.14 at the end of September.
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