National Newswatch

Canadian annual inflation rate 1.9% last month as lower gas prices weigh on rate

Oct 16 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — The annual inflation rate was 1.9 per cent in September for a second-straight month, keeping the indicator close to the Bank of Canada's ideal two per cent target. The new numbers released Wednesday in Statistics Canada's latest consumer price index report showed that price growth was once again held back by lower gas prices. Inflation […]

Scheer, Singh campaign in their parties’ regions of relative strength

Sep 28 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh kept their campaign machines rolling Saturday — and they focused their efforts on their parties' historic strongholds. Scheer promoted the Conservatives' pledge to build a national energy corridor during a stop in Edmonton, where he took the stage with an old friend: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Scheer, […]

Canada’s top 1% saw fastest income acceleration, overall decrease in taxes

Sep 25 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — The incomes of Canada's top one per cent grew at a faster pace than everyone else in 2017 — and, overall, they saw their taxes edge down, a new study says. Statistics Canada has found that in 2017, the average total income of all tax-filers rose 2.5 per cent to $48,400 compared to the previous year. The average income growth of the bottom half of tax filers […]

Canada’s top 1% saw fastest income acceleration, overall decrease in taxes

Sep 25 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — The incomes of Canada's top one per cent grew at a faster pace than everyone else in 2017 — and, overall, they saw their taxes edge down, says a new study. Statistics Canada has found that in 2017 the average total income of all tax-filers rose 2.5 per cent to $48,400 compared to the previous year. The average income growth of the bottom half of tax filers […]

Canadian inflation decelerates to 1.9 per cent in August as gas prices weaken

Sep 18 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — Canada's annual inflation rate slowed slightly to 1.9 per cent in August under the weight of declining gasoline prices. Inflation was firm enough to stick close to the Bank of Canada's ideal two per cent target — and August was the sixth straight month that price growth was 1.9 per cent or higher. The steady price picture, on its […]

Federal government posts $14B shortfall in 2018-19

Sep 17 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — The federal government ran a $14-billion deficit in 2018-19, according to its latest annual financial report, the third year in a row with a shortfall bigger than $10 billion. The deficit for the fiscal year that ended March 31 was $900 million smaller than the government projected in last spring's federal budget, however. Revenues in 2018-19 expanded by $21 […]

Political parties urged to commit to policies for data-driven economy

Sep 11 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — Chambers of commerce from Canada's biggest cities will release a campaign wish list Wednesday urging political parties to commit to establishing national data-governance standards, making government research more available for businesses and fully harnessing the value of intellectual property. These issues are likely to draw more attention from politicians than in the past. Experts, however, have doubts any party will go far enough to prepare Canada to compete […]

Bank of Canada holds interest rate as it takes stock of trade war impacts

Sep 4 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — The Bank of Canada says it's staying put on interest rates as it gauges the extent of the damage that deepening trade conflicts are having on the domestic and global economies. The rate decision Wednesday kept the central bank's overnight rate at 1.75 per cent and followed a solid second-quarter rebound for the Canadian economy. The announcement came as other central banks around the world […]

Canada posts strong quarterly growth, but details underwhelm, trade risks loom

Aug 30 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — The Canadian economy beat expectations in the second quarter with its strongest quarterly stretch of growth in two years, according to a report Friday by Statistics Canada. The details, however, were less encouraging, many experts said. The economy expanded at an annualized pace of 3.7 per cent in the second quarter — thanks in large part to a 3.7 […]

New book assesses Trudeau government’s record of living up to pledges

Aug 25 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — A new book arriving on the eve of the federal election campaign is offering policy geeks a comprehensive take on whether Justin Trudeau lived up to his 2015 vows. At the heart of the 237-page publication — the product of work from two dozen Canadian academics — is an analysis of 353 Liberal pre-election promises and an evaluation of how many have actually been fulfilled since Trudeau's team took office. In short, […]

Timing of Bank of Canada’s next statement gives it potential to tinge election

Aug 23 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — Canadians last heard the Bank of Canada's take on the economy in the early days of summer — and the timing of its next update has the potential to tinge political debate during the federal election campaign. Since the bank's most recent public comments in early July, there's mounting evidence of a slowing global economy mostly due to the escalating U.S.-China trade war — including fresh Chinese […]

Inflation hits Bank of Canada 2% target for second straight month

Aug 21 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — Canadian annual inflation hit the Bank of Canada's ideal target for a second straight month, providing a stretch of price stability that's unlikely to weigh heavily on next month's interest-rate decision. The inflation number came in at two per cent last month, Statistics Canada said Wednesday, which kept it right at the mid-point of the central bank's range of one to three per […]

SNC-Lavalin controversy tails PM to Quebec, where affair has different impact

Aug 19 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — Questions about the SNC-Lavalin affair Monday trailed Justin Trudeau to Quebec — the seat-rich province at the centre of the controversy, and a place where the prime minister could conceivably limit the damage. A stinging report last week by federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion concluded that Trudeau violated the Conflict of Interest Act by improperly pressuring former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to stop a criminal prosecution […]

EDC expresses regret for US$41M loan to back Bombardier sale to Zuma allies

Aug 14 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — Canada's export credit agency says it regrets its 2015 decision to lend US$41 million to a South African company owned by members of a family facing corruption allegations related to their ties to former president Jacob Zuma. In the months and years that followed, the agency became increasingly concerned about the loan it provided to Westdawn Investments to backstop the sale of a […]