Mar. 9, 2018

Lt. Governor Lois Mitchell, Speech from the Throne – March 8, 2018

  • “We are stronger when we look out for each other.”
  • Our jobs, our money are being transferred to the U.S.
  • Bill 1, The Energy Diversification Act: Alberta will support the commercialization of upgrading our refineries so that we can increase our pipeline capacity, exports, and create jobs.
  • Bill 2, The Growth and Diversification Act: expanding existing tax credits, introducing new ones, increase training and education.
  • “Our task together is to make sure this recovery works for working people”.

Employment statistics

  • Canada added 15,000 jobs in Feb. vs 20,000 expected.
    • Unemployment rate 5.8% vs 5.9% M/M.
    • Alberta added 2,300 jobs in Feb.; unemployment rate 6.7% vs 7.0% M/M.
  • U.S. added 313,000 jobs in Feb. (largest gain since 2007) vs 200,000 expected.
    • Unemployment rate 4.1%, 17-year low.
    • Average hourly earnings up $0.04 to $26.75; 2.6% Y/Y vs Jan’s 2.8% Y/Y.

Trade deals

  • The U.S. excluded Mexico and Canada from steel and aluminum tariffs on the condition that NAFTA is renegotiated to the satisfaction of the U.S.
  • The U.S. is the world’s biggest importer of steel, purchasing 35 million tonnes of raw material in 2017.
    • South Korea, 3rd largest steel exporter to the U.S., will file a complaint with WTO if not exempt from tariffs.
    • China is being urged to retaliate by targeting coal and other sectors.
      • 2017 U.S. coal exports to China totaled 3.2 million tonnes, worth $420 million vs 694 tonnes in 2016.
    • EU said it will retaliate within 90 days if no exemption is granted.


  • Ontario plans on introducing a “pay transparency” bill in an effort to close the wage gap between women and men.
    • If passed, the bill would require all publicly advertised job postings to include a salary range, bar employers from asking about past compensation, and prohibit reprisal against employees who do discuss or disclose compensation.
    • According to the province, the gender wage gap has remained stagnant over the past 10 years, with women earning approximately 30% less than men.


  • Amazon is in talks with JP Morgan and Capital One about offering customers a product similar to a chequing account. The target is younger consumers and people without chequing accounts.
  • North Korea has promised to halt developments of its intercontinental ballistic missile program on the condition of establishing U.S. diplomatic relations and suspension of Washington’s deployment of strategic military assets in South Korea.