Company releases, economic news, and business coverage.
Some of the most active companies traded Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:
Toronto Stock Exchange (15,830.22 down 92.15 points):
TORONTO - Garth Drabinsky has paid his debt to society and shouldn't be punished again for his role in the Livent Entertainment fraud scandal, his lawyer said Wednesday as Ontario's securities regulator began opening submissions in its long-running case against the disgraced theatre mogul.
Drabinsky, who has a visible limp and was using a walker, declined comment on his way into the hearing room at the Ontario Securities Commission, which launched its regulatory cases against him and two Livent executives in 2001. Those cases were put on hold while criminal charges against the three worked their way through the courts.
TORONTO - Canada's competition watchdog is suing Hudson's Bay Co., alleging that the retailer engaged in deceptive pricing practices for four years, an accusation the company denies.
The Competition Bureau claims HBC (TSX:HBC) misled customers over the prices of mattresses and box springs sold together since at least March 2013, according to a notice of application filed to the Competition Tribunal.
WASHINGTON - Federal Reserve officials earlier this month discussed the need to raise a key interest rate again "fairly soon," especially if the economy remains strong.
Minutes of the discussions in minutes released Wednesday showed that while Fed officials decided to keep a key rate unchanged at their Jan. 31-Feb. 1 meeting, there was growing concern about inflation if the economy out-performed expectations.
OTTAWA - Canada is searching for a new "coalition of the willing" to forge trade links in Asia following President Donald Trump's decision to kill the Trans-Pacific Partnership, says the new Liberal trade minister.
Trump followed through on his promise to pull the U.S. out of the 12-country Pacific Rim pact in the days after his inauguration last month, a decision that has effectively killed the TPP.
MONTREAL - The U.S. government's plan to cut corporate taxes will bolster the business jet industry which last year had its weakest performance since 2004, an association representing the sector said Wednesday.
"It will be a good shot in the arm for the industry," said Pete Bunce, CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.
NEW YORK - HSN Inc., long a base for home shopping on TV, wants to refashion itself for shoppers more used to buying on their mobile phones.
The company still broadcasts live to more than 90 million households in the U.S., but also features more than 50,000 products on its website. Fifty-five per cent of its business now comes from online sales, with almost half of that from mobile devices. But HSN, like its rival QVC, has been wrestling with sluggish sales recently for the same reasons as other retailers — Amazon's dominance online, and a preference for experiences over stuff.
OTTAWA - SodaStream is recalling thousands of its bottles in Canada and the U.S. because of a danger they may rupture when a user is in the process of carbonating water.
The maker of water carbonation machines said it was voluntarily recalling the bottles due to a manufacturing defect.
CALGARY - TransCanada (TSX:TRP) is proposing a new pipeline tolling system it says will allow western Canadian natural gas to be shipped to Ontario at lower rates to better compete with growing American supplies.
The Calgary-based energy transport company is inviting shippers to sign long-term binding commitments by March 9 to move gas on its underutilized Canadian Mainline system from a shipping centre in Alberta to a hub in southern Ontario.
MONTREAL - Canadian dairy giant Saputo Inc. is poised to gain full ownership of Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Co. after Lion Dairy and Drinks accepted a sweetened offer to sell its minority stake in the Australian cheese and dairy producer.
Lion, a subsidiary of Japanese beverage firm Kirin, said Wednesday it formally accepted Saputo's improved offer of A$9.05 per share cash (C$9.17 at current exchange rates) for each of the remaining shares. Saputo took control of the company in 2014 after a hard-fought takeover battle.