Business News Summary Headlines

Company releases, economic news, and business coverage.

Next stop, Brexit: Britain's EU divorce bill becomes law

LONDON - Britain’s delayed and disputed Brexit bill became law on Thursday, removing the last U.K. obstacle to the country leaving the European Union in just over a week.

The U.K. is finally leaving the 28-nation bloc more than 3 1/2 years after voters narrowly opted to do so in a June 2016 referendum — and after interminable rounds of political wrangling.

Thursday, January 23, 2020 | 01:22 PM

Birchcliff shares fall after it unveils higher-than-expected 2020 budget

CALGARY - Shares in natural gas producer Birchcliff Energy Ltd. fell by as much as 13.7 per cent on Thursday after it announced a higher-than-expected $350-million 2020 capital spending budget.

The Calgary-based company's stock slipped to as little as $1.77, down 28 cents from its $2.05 close on Wednesday. In the past year, its shares have ranged from $4 in March to $1.70 in August.

Thursday, January 23, 2020 | 12:48 PM

Knopf names Reagan Arthur as its new publisher

NEW YORK - One of the world's most prestigious literary publishers has chosen just its fourth editorial leader in its 105-year history: Reagan Arthur has been named executive vice-president and publisher of Alfred A. Knopf, where authors have ranged from Robert A. Caro to the late Toni Morrison.

Arthur, 55, currently heads another venerable publisher, Little, Brown and Company, and will begin her new job on Feb. 11. She succeeds longtime Knopf publisher Sonny Mehta, who died in December and had mentioned her in recent months as a worthy replacement. According to Madeline McIntosh, CEO of parent company Penguin Random House, Mehta and Arthur had met last fall to discuss future plans.

Thursday, January 23, 2020 | 12:04 PM

European Central Bank holds rates, launches policy review

FRANKFURT - The European Central Bank has decided to launch a top-to-bottom review of how it steers the economy in the 19 countries that use the euro currency. The review, the first since the global financial crisis, could include tweaking the bank's goal for inflation and finding ways to help fight climate change.

The bank’s 25-member governing council on Thursday gave the green light for the proposal from new ECB head Christine Lagarde, which follows a similar review underway at the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Thursday, January 23, 2020 | 11:54 AM

CAMH urges companies to do more to improve mental health in the workplace

TORONTO - The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and the Bank of Montreal are partnering to help companies to address mental health issues in the workplace.

They say improving workplace mental health can help reduce costs and result in higher performance and lower absenteeism.

Thursday, January 23, 2020 | 10:17 AM

Switzerland mints world's smallest gold coin

BERLIN - No joke: Switzerland has minted a gold coin so small you'd need to look very closely to see Albert Einstein sticking out his tongue at you.

State-owned Swissmint said Thursday that the 2.96-millimeter (0.12-inches) gold coin is the smallest in the world.

Thursday, January 23, 2020 | 05:18 AM

Downtown Tokyo's homeless fear removal ahead of Olympics

TOKYO - Shelters made of cardboard start popping up in the basement of Tokyo's Shinjuku train station right before the shutters come down at 11 p.m., in corridors where “salarymen” rushing home and couples on late-night dates have just passed by.

Dozens of homeless people sleeping rough in such spots worry that with Japan's image at stake authorities will force them to move ahead of the Olympics. Already, security officials have warned them they will likely have to find less visible locations by the end of March.

Thursday, January 23, 2020 | 05:18 AM

Japan has second straight year of red ink on trade last year

TOKYO - Japan logged a deficit for a second straight year last year as its exports were hurt by a slowdown of demand in China amid a tariff war with the U.S.

Government data released Thursday showed Japan's exports fell 5.6% in 2019, to 76.9 trillion yen ($701.6 billion), while imports fell 5.0% to 78.6 trillion yen ($710 billion). That left a deficit of 1.6 trillion yen ($14 billion).

Thursday, January 23, 2020 | 01:25 AM

Volkswagen ordered to pay $196.5M in emissions scandal

TORONTO - Volkswagen was ordered Wednesday to pay $196.5 million to the Canadian government for importing cars that secretly violated the country's emissions standards, a record-setting fine an Ontario judge said marks "a new era" in environmental protection.

Judge Enzo Rondinelli handed down the fine hours after the company formally pleaded guilty to all 60 environmental charges it faced in the emissions-cheating scandal.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020 | 06:49 PM

Greeting card retailers Carlton Cards and Papyrus closing 79 stores in Canada

TORONTO - Greeting card retailers Carlton Cards and Papyrus are closing their doors, including 79 stores in Canada.

A Papyrus store employee at Lime Ridge Mall in Hamilton says employees were told that stores will close in four to six weeks.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020 | 06:38 PM