August 14th, 2013 | Comments (0)
Things appear to be turning around in the Eurozone. The European Union’s statistics office says the recession is the group of 17 nations that use the Euro came to an end in the second quarter of this year. The office says economic input grew 0.3 per cent in the April-to-June quarter, mainly due to solid growth in Germany and France. There were also signs of stabilization in several other places including Portugal and Greece.
August 12th, 2013 | Comments (0)
Blackberry has announced its board has launched a formal review of its “strategic alternatives,” which could result in some joint ventures, partnerships or a possible sale of the smartphone company. The Waterloo company also says that Prem Watsa, one of BlackBerry’s key shareholders, has resigned from its board due to potential conflicts. This all comes amid unconfirmed reports that Blackberry may go private — a move that could result in one or more investors buying out other shareholders and delisting the stock. Meanwhile, the announcement also pushed up share prices in Monday morning trading – with its stock rising 4.9 per cent to $10.54 in the late morning. It closed Friday at $10.05.
August 11th, 2013 | Comments (0)
Chrysler was the big winner in auto sales among the big three last month, with an 8 per cent jump year-over-year. According to Desrosiers Automotive Consultants, General Motors sales were equal to July 2012 and Ford saw a 10 per cent decline. Chrysler sold 26,000 light vehicles in the month. The big three are continuing to experience a year of higher market share, now sitting at 46 per cent.
August 9th, 2013 | Comments (0)
Ontario’s air ambulance service has sold its hangar at the Oshawa Airport, ending any plans for future operations at the site. Ornge purchased the building back in 2011, but new leadership put in place last year determined that the Toronto base met their requirements and the hangar would not be needed. Spokesperson James Macdonald says Durham residents have no need to feel disappointed as the region is well serviced by the Toronto island base as well as critical care centres in Markham and Peterbourgh. The Toronto base completes 1,300 transports every year and is staffed 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
August 9th, 2013 | Comments (0)
Stats Canada says the economy shed 39,400 jobs last month, enough to push the unemployment rate up one-tenth of a point to 7.2 per cent. It was the second consecutive monthly loss of jobs and will come as a surprise to markets, which had expected something closer to the economists’ consensus of a modest 10,000 employment gain. The agency says a whopping cut of 74,000 in the public sector, mostly in health care, social assistance and administration, was the main reason for the poor July labour market performance. Private employers actually added 31,400 jobs during the month. Young Canadians also bore the biggest burden, as workers in the 15-to-24 age group saw their numbers diminish by 45,600.
August 8th, 2013 | Comments (0)
A new leadership team will take the helm of Unifor, which will be Canada’s largest ever union, when it launches on Labour Day weekend. The merger of the Canadian Autoworkers and Electric and Paper Workers Union led many to believe that C.A.W. National President Ken Lewenza would be its founding leader. At a news conference, Thursday, the 59-year-old says stepping aside is the right thing to do. Lewenza has spent 41 years with the C.A.W., including the last five as its national president. Along with Lewenza, Dave Coles – head of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada – is also bowing out of the running.
August 8th, 2013 | Comments (0)
The Maine-based railroad whose oil train caused a fire and explosion that claimed 47 lives in a small town in Quebec has filed for bankruptcy protection. Montreal, Maine and Atlantic has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Company chairman Ed Burkhardt said previously that a bankruptcy filing was likely because of service disruptions because its rail line remains closed in Lac-Megantic, Que. The company also faces lawsuits and enormous cleanup costs following the July 6 derailment and disaster. The train with 72 tankers full of crude oil was unattended when it began rolling, eventually tearing into the town. Burkhardt blamed the train’s operator for failing to set enough hand brakes.
August 7th, 2013 | Comments (0)
Statistics Canada says the value of building permits was down 10.3 percent in June. The federal agency says it’s the first decrease in six months and came mainly from the non-residential sector in Quebec and the residential sector in Ontario. Statscan says overall, municipalities issued 6.6 billion dollars’ worth of building permits in June. The permits are seen as an indicator of future construction activity.
August 6th, 2013 | Comments (0)
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. is limiting guarantees it offers banks and other lenders on mortgage-backed securities. CMHC has notified banks, credit unions and other mortgage lenders that they will each be restricted to a maximum of $350-million of new guarantees this month under its National Housing Act Mortgage-Backed Securities (NHA MBS) program. The federal Crown corporation was given authority to guarantee up to $85 billion this year under the program – of which about $66 billion was committed by the end of July and approaching the total of $76 billion in all of 2012. “As a result of this unexpected increase in issuance volumes to date and to better manage volumes going forward, CMHC will be introducing a formal allocation process in late August,” the agency said in an Aug. 1 note to lenders. The conversion of loans into securities with CMHC backing is a way for lenders to tap funds from a broad range of investors and enables banks to issue more mortgages and at a lower cost. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has expressed concern that the housing market might overheat and infect the economy and has taken a number of steps in recent years to stem the flow of mortgage credit.
July 31st, 2013 | Comments (0)
A group representing restaurants in Ontario is speaking out against new discounts being given out to foreign embassies and consulates. An “embassy” discount, which also applies to federal government purchases, was already in place but the LCBO made its products even cheaper starting June 23rd. The discount equaled 49 per cent on beer, wine and liquor prices. On Tuesday, the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association issued a letter to the liquor board calling the discounts unfair when they have to pay full retail prices for alcohol. The LCBO says it has to offer discounts for foreign embassies under a federal law.
July 29th, 2013 | Comments (0)
Canadian retailer Hudson’s Bay Company says they will acquire U.S clothing chain Saks Incorporated in a $2.9 billion deal. The struggling high-end retailer has been the HBC’s target for months. The Toronto-based company says they will pay $16.00 U.S. per share and assume the debt left by the American chain. Saks operates 42 stores, including its flagship Saks Fifth Avenue in New York. The HBC currently owns U.S company Lord and Taylor as well as Canadian stores the Bay and Home Outfitters.
July 25th, 2013 | Comments (0)
Quebec provincial police say they are gathering evidence to support criminal charges in the Lac-Megantic disaster. Thursday morning, about 15 officers raided an office belonging to the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, the company involved in the fatal train derailment. Company chairman Ed Burkhardt has already been questioned for hours by police. Lac-Megantic officials are pursuing legal action against the company, after they were forced to pay four-million-dollars to workers cleaning spilled oil at the site. The workers had threatened to quit because they hadn’t been paid by the rail company.