September 2016 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. and Spectra Energy Corp of Texas announced they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Enbridge and Spectra will combine in a stock-for-stock merger transaction, which values Spectra Energy common stock at approximately $37 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017, subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals.
  • Enbridge Inc., together with Enbridge Income Fund Holdings Inc., announced it had entered into an agreement for the sale of the South East Saskatchewan Pipeline System to Tundra Energy Marketing Limited of Calgary for $1.075 billion. Enbridge said it expects the transaction to close around the end of the fourth quarter of 2016 subject to customary closing conditions.
  • Calgary-based Agrium Inc. and PotashCorp of Saskatoon announced they have agreed to combine in a merger of equals. PotashCorp said that the new company will have close to 20,000 employees, operations and investments in 18 countries, and a pro forma enterprise value of USD $36 billion. The transaction is expected to close in mid-2017 subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals.
  • The De Beers Group of Companies and Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. of Toronto announced the official opening of the Gahcho Kué diamond mine approximately 280 km northeast of Yellowknife. De Beers said the mine remains on track to reach full commercial operations in the first quarter of 2017 and will employ 530 people full-time.
  • New Brunswick-based Irving Oil Ltd. announced it would begin its 2016 fall turnaround project at its Saint John Refinery. The company said the project represents an investment of $135 million over a six-week time frame and that it will have 2,400 workers working on the project.
  • Toronto-based Brookfield Infrastructure and institutional clients of Brookfield Asset Management Inc. announced they had reached an agreement to acquire a 90% controlling stake in Nova Transportadora do Sudeste S.A., a system of natural gas transmission assets in the southeast of Brazil owned by Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. ("Petrobras"), for approximately US $5.2 billion. Brookfield said the closing of the transaction is targeted for December 2016, subject to a number of conditions including regulatory approvals.
  • The Government of Alberta announced it had approved three new oil sands developments that represent about $4 billion of potential investment. The proposals include The Blackpearl Resources Inc. Blackrod oil sands steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) development, the Surmont Energy Ltd. Wildwood oil sands SAGD development, and the Husky Energy Inc. Saleski oil sands development. The government said final investment decisions on the projects are at the discretion of the companies.
  • The Government of Canada announced it had approved the Pacific NorthWest LNG Project, subject to over 190 legally binding conditions. The Pacific NorthWest LNG Limited Partnership is proposing the construction, operation, and decommissioning of a new facility for the liquefaction, storage, and export of liquefied natural gas.


  • General Motors of Canada and Unifor announced they had reached a new collective agreement, covering approximately 3,860 represented employees.
  • Waterloo-based BlackBerry Limited announced it plans to end all internal hardware development and will outsource that function to partners. The company said it will focus on software development, including security and applications.


  • Strathmore Alberta-based Western Feedlots Ltd. announced its shareholders have decided to voluntarily wind down cattle ownership and cattle feeding operations. The company said it would continue to feed and market the existing cattle but will be suspending feedlot operations after the cattle have been sold. The company also said it will continue farming operations for the foreseeable future.
  • The Government of Canada and the Government of China announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on trade in canola, along with a protocol to expand market access for Canadian bone-in beef. The two countries also agreed to launch exploratory discussions for a possible Canada-China Free Trade Agreement.


  • Montreal-based Laurentian Bank of Canada announced it would merge fifty branches over the next eighteen months resulting in the reduction of about 300 positions, mainly through natural attrition.
  • Canada Pension Plan Investment Board announced that it has signed an agreement with American International Group Inc. (AIG) to acquire London-based Ascot Underwriting Ltd., a Lloyd's of London syndicate and specialty insurance underwriter, for USD $1.1 billion. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.


  • Walmart Canada announced that it will stop accepting Visa credit cards at its 16 Manitoba stores beginning on October 24th. On July 18, 2016, Walmart Canada stopped accepting Visa credit cards in Thunder Bay.
  • Hudson's Bay Company announced it plans to open its first Quebec Saks Fifth Avenue location in Montreal. Hudson's Bay said the opening is planned for Fall 2018.

Other news

  • The Bank of Canada announced that it was maintaining the target for the overnight rate at 0.5%. The last change in the target for the overnight rate was a 25 basis-point reduction announced in July 2015.
  • Waterloo-based OpenText Corp announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Massachusetts-based Dell EMC's Enterprise Content Division for USD $1.62 billion. OpenText said it expects the transaction to close within 90 to 120 days subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.
  • The mayors of Windsor and Tecumseh, Ontario, declared a state of emergency following heavy rainfall and flooding.

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 0.25% to 0.50%. The last change in the target range was a 25 basis point increase announced in December 2015.
  • 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 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 left unchanged at 0.25% and -0.40%, respectively.
  • 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 BoJ. The BoJ also said it would purchase Japanese government bonds (JGB) so that 10-year JGB yields will remain more or less at the current level (around zero percent) and that the Bank will continue expanding the monetary base until the year-on-year rate of increase in the observed CPI exceeds the price stability target of 2 percent and stays above the target in a stable manner.
  • 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 2.0%. The last change in the Official 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.
  • 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 Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) announced it had opted for a production target ranging between 32.5 and 33.0 million barrels per day. OPEC said that its estimated crude oil production stood at 33.24 million barrels per day in August.
  • Germany-based Bombardier Transportation announced it had signed a contract to supply 665 new Bombardier Aventra vehicles to Angel Trains for operation by Abellio Greater Anglia on its East Anglia rail franchise in the United Kingdom. The rolling stock contract is valued at approximately USD $1.1 billion. The company said the trains are expected to be delivered between January 2019 and September 2020.
  • Germany-based Bayer AG and Missouri-based Monsanto Company announced that they had signed a definitive merger agreement under which Bayer will acquire Monsanto for approximately USD $66 billion. The companies said they expect the deal to close by the end of 2017, subject to Monsanto shareholder and regulatory approvals.
  • Germany-based Commerzbank AG announced it would reduce staff by around 9,600 full-time positions as it discontinues some business activities and digitalizes and automates workflows. The company also said it will create around 2,300 new jobs in areas of business growth.
  • Apple Inc. introduced its iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in more than 25 countries, including Canada, on September 16th.
  • The Rio 2016 Paralympic games were held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from September 7th until September 18th.

Financial market news

  • Crude oil (West Texas Intermediate) closed at USD $48.24 per barrel on September 30th, up from USD $44.70 at the end of August. The Canadian dollar closed at 76.24 cents U.S. on September 30th, identical to the closing rate on August 31st. The S&P/TSX closed at 14,725.86 on September 30th, up from 14,597.95 at the end of August.
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