Sept. 7, 2018

“Canada closed for business with Bill C69” – Alberta Senator Doug Black

  • Federal Government is rewriting the rules for approving national resource projects (bill C-69) creating the ‘Impact Assessment Agency of Canada’.
  • Ontario and Saskatchewan said that ‘the changes would result in a more complex, costly and time-consuming process, while creating uncertainty that could ultimately erode Canada’s economic competitiveness’.
  • Bill C-69 is up for 2nd reading in the Senate. Independent Sen. Doug Black of Alberta has major concerns stating that it broadens the scope of the approval process so far that it would allow those opposed to projects to delay them indefinitely.
    • He will oppose the legislation at every stage as it is “wrong for Canada”.
    • If the bill passes “We can’t approve projects, even when the taxpayers own the pipeline.”

Economic news

CANADA

  • Canada unexpectedly lost a net 51,600 jobs in August; lost 92,000 part-time, gained 40,400 full time. Unemployment rate 6% vs 5.8%.
    • Alberta added 16,200 net jobs; added 11,000 full time and 5,200 part-time.
      • Unemployment rate unchanged at 6.7%.
  • Bank of Canada left interest rates unchanged due to concerns around NAFTA; however, the committee had debated whether to accelerate rate hikes.

US

  • US Employment added 201,000 in August, more than expected.
    • Unemployment rate unchanged 3.9%.
    • Average hourly earnings up 2.9%; fastest year-over-year gain in 8 years.
    • Initial jobless claims for week ending September 1 were the lowest since December 1969.

Currency volatility

  • As the US dollar strengthens, currencies around the world (in US dollar terms) are under pressure. Since the beginning of 2018:
    • Venezuelan Bolivar down 99.99%
    • Bitcoin down 46.7%
    • Ethereum down 61.3%
    • Turkish Lira down 44%
    • Russian Ruble down 15.3%

Tidbits

  • Canada’s average yield on wheat production is expected to drop 11% this year, the smallest crop in 3 years. Canola production is expected to drop 10% to the lowest level since 2015.
  • President Trump will lead a UN Security Council session on Iran in September and could be seated across from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
  • Mercedes Benz unveiled its first electric SUV; expected to be priced in the US$50,000 range.