Business News Summary Headlines

Company releases, economic news, and business coverage.

Freeland blasts Tories, but thanks NDP for support on pushing new NAFTA forward

OTTAWA - Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland has offered effusive thanks to New Democrats and stinging criticism of the Conservatives after the NDP supported the minority Liberal government's efforts to more speedily ratify the new North American trade agreement.

Freeland said the government wanted to limit study of the new deal, which replaces the quarter-century-old North American Free Trade Agreement, and get on with a vote to put it into effect.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 | 06:02 PM

CRTC's MVNO proposal would weaken regional wireless networks, says Competition Bureau

GATINEAU, Que. - A proposal from Canada's telecom regulator runs the risk of making it harder for the country's regional carriers to compete with the three national carriers, possibly resulting in higher overall wireless prices for consumers, the Competition Bureau said Tuesday.

At the opening of nine days of public hearings into mobile virtual network operators, the bureau said Freedom Mobile, Videotron, Eastlink and other regional carriers may not grow big enough to keep a lid on pricing at Rogers, Bell and Telus if a new type of rival is given a CRTC mandate.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 | 06:00 PM

Bombardier stocks drop as investors flinch at sale of train division to Alstom

MONTREAL - Bombardier Inc.'s shares dropped almost 10 per cent Tuesday, one day after announcing the sale of its rail business to French train giant Alstom SA.

The deal would shrink the Montreal-based transportation company by more than half as it shifts focus solely to private business jets.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 | 05:32 PM

Ottawa changing stress test rate for insured mortgages starting April 6

OTTAWA - The federal government is changing the stress test rate for insured mortgages starting April 6 that experts say should make it marginally easier for some buyers to purchase their first home, or owners refinancing their existing mortgages.

The new minimum qualifying rate will be the greater of the borrower's contract rate or the weekly median five-year fixed insured mortgage rate from mortgage insurance applications, plus two percentage points.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 | 04:53 PM

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

CALGARY - An investment firm buying a stake in the Coastal GasLink pipeline says it remains "committed" to the deal despite protester blockades that have shut down railway lines in parts of Canada and threaten to inflict damage to the Canadian economy.

Alberta Investment Management Corp., which looks after more than $115 billion in public sector pension funds for the province, agreed with American partner KKR in December to form a consortium to buy a 65 per cent interest in the project.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 | 04:47 PM

Higher gold prices prevent Toronto stock market from slipping into red

TORONTO - Canada's main stock index avoided slipping into the red Tuesday as the price of gold hit a seven-year high.

The precious metal moved above US$1,600 an ounce for the first time since March 2013.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 | 04:45 PM

Most actively traded companies on the TSX

TORONTO - Some of the most active companies traded Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:

Toronto Stock Exchange (17,858.34, up 9.98 points.)

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 | 04:29 PM

Air Canada says 737 Max grounding, coronavirus to hurt first-quarter earnings

MONTREAL - Air Canada is bracing for a rough first quarter as the effects of the novel coronavirus and the continued grounding of its fleet of Boeing 737 Max jets bite into sales.

The company lost roughly 25 per cent of its narrow-body fleet after authorities around the globe banned the Max in March following two fatal crashes. Last month, Air Canada halted all flights to mainland China and its Toronto-Hong Kong route due to the spread of COVID-19, a virus that has led to mass quarantines in China and caused more than 1,800 deaths.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 | 03:43 PM

Nova Scotia tables largest single-year capital plan at just over $1 billion

HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's Liberal government has announced the largest single-year capital plan in the province's history at just over $1 billion for 2020-21.

The $1.042-billion figure released Tuesday is a 51 per cent year-over-year increase in capital spending, which saw $691.3 million allocated in 2019-20.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 | 03:26 PM

Business groups call on Ottawa to end rail blockade stranding goods

TORONTO - Urgent action is needed to restore rail service currently being disrupted by anti-pipeline blockades, a group of business leaders said Tuesday.

Dennis Darby, CEO of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, said at a press conference in Toronto that the federal government needs to act as some $425 million worth of goods are being held up for every day the blockade goes on.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 | 01:35 PM