The central bank's rate decision arrives as Canada faces significant trade-related uncertainties, including stalled NAFTA talks, US steel and aluminum tariffs and the threat of more duties on the automotive sector. In addition, "household spending is being dampened by higher interest rates and tighter mortgage lending guidelines". The central bank increased its benchmark interest rate to 1.5 per cent, up from 1.25 per cent, marking the fourth increase over the last 12 months. USA tariffs on the auto sector's integrated cross-border supply chains would have "large impacts on investment and employment", the Bank of Canada warned Wednesday in its accompanying monetary policy report. -Canada trade dispute would figure prominently in the bank's decision-making process for today's rate announcement. The increase will raise the cost of borrowing for customers with loans linked to the prime rate such as variable rate mortgages and lines of credit. But it is watching what happens in trade tensions with the United States, that it predicts will cut almost 0.7 per cent from economic growth by the end of 2020. The bank expects the negative blow of the trade policies to be largely offset by higher oil prices and the stronger US economy - both of which, on balance, will benefit Canada. Another hike this week would come with Canada facing a number of trade-related uncertainties, including NAFTA talks, US steel and aluminum tariffs and the threat of more duties on the economically critical automotive sector. The rates had previously been set at 3.45 per cent. For its part, the bank said Wednesday that it's expecting higher interest rates will still be necessary over time to keep inflation near its target. It was reasonable to think at the beginning of the year that the unknowns surrounding NAFTA talks could pause business investment and lead to a decline in activity, he said. Poloz also signaled he was comfortable with how financial markets were interpreting the central bank's message, noting the hike was "highly anticipated".
The recent Bank of Canada (BOC) rate hike bodes well for the Canadian Dollar. This is even though the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is still yet to be agreed upon. The recent interest rate hike from 1.25% to 1.5% was justified by a host of positive economic data. This was the fourth rate hike from the BOC in a year and they could be set to continue. The BOC have stated they believe the Canadian economy will expand by 2% a year on average between 2018-2020. It was mentioned that current tariffs on aluminium and steel would only have minor effects on inflation and growth. Inflation is predicted to rise to 2.5% before falling to around 2% in the second half of 2019. Canada is benefiting from high oil prices and the current strength of the US economy.
Trump told Fox about proposing to his G7 partners during last month's summit in Quebec that they remove all trade-related barriers and taxes. Free Trade Agreement and NAFTA, said he doesn't go to many functions anymore - but he decided to make a point of attending this year's party after he heard that some people planned to avoid it. Trump, however, has said he wants to wait until after November's USA congressional midterms before committing to a new agreement. On Sunday, Ottawa responded to the Trumpadministration's tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum with duties of its own against USA imports. Ties between the two neighbors and long-time allies have been strained by U.S. President Donald Trump'sdecision to impose tariffs on U.S. imports of steel and aluminum on national security grounds. Newly elected Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, running for "Juntos haremos historia" party, cheers his supporters at the Zocalo Square after winning general elections, in Mexico City, on July 1, 2018. Canada will tax USA steel exports at a rate of 25%, and the rest of the goods will be taxed at a 10% rate. Huge blow for West Brom as key player leaves for Premier League The 25-year-old Preston-born shot-stopper is a United youth product who has spent his senior career away from the club on loan. Ben Foster is expected to have his move to Watford confirmed imminently, with a medical at Vicarage Road taking place today. It's Canada Day, a day of parties and celebrations of all things Canadian, but this year, the festivities may be eclipsed by concerns over the escalating trade war with the United States. The talks have stalled over several issues, including Trump's insistence on a clause that would end NAFTA every five years unless all three countries agree to sustain it. "The president is working to fix the broken system, and he's going to continue pushing for that". But any reworked deal would need to be considered by Congress, and negotiators missed a self-imposed deadline to wrap up the talks by mid-May to allow it to be considered by lawmakers before the November elections. "I certainly understand and sympathize with the Canadian position of Prime Minister Trudeau that if you are going to be faced with a unilateral set of tariffs being imposed by the United States, it's only natural that other nations respond". Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has said she spoke with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer six times last week and that she expects NAFTA talks to move into a higher gear this summer. The new Canadian tariffs, which took effect at 12:01 a.m. Sunday, are hitting a long list of USA consumer goods, including ketchup and other Kraft Heinz products.
Sheldon Levy is thinking about the future of health care. Best known for his transformative tenure as president of Ryerson University, Levy has for the last year and a half served as CEO of the the non-profit startup incubator NEXT Canada. He has big plans to expand operations to Montreal and western Canada, and just recently moved the operation into a larger office space that can house all of its startups. But, sitting in his new corner office at the corner of Bloor and Church streets in downtown Toronto, it’s NEXT Health that gets him really excited. “If this ever was able to take off, everything else becomes minimized,” he said, in an exclusive interview with the Financial Post. Levy was careful with his words, because the idea is still in development, but he said shortly after he started at NEXT Canada, he was approached by a group of hospital administrators who wanted help bringing innovative ideas and technology to Canada’s healthcare sector. Levy said that his incubator is already helping to foster several health-related startups, but it’s tough. “The truth of it is, no matter what their idea is, they will get bruised fingers as they continue to knock on the door of Canada’s health system,” he said. “We need hospitals across the country that are into this, that will take it as their mandate to support the adoption strategy for new technologies in health.” Levy said that they already have several large, recognizable hospitals in the GTA signed on to adopt technologies from NEXT Health when it launches, hopefully at the end of this year or early in 2019. Now they’re lining up other partners across the country, and in the United States. If this works, it will give health tech companies a fast track to commercialization, by giving them customers, validation in a real-world environment, and endorsements from leading health care institutions. It’s ambitious, but Levy might be the sort of person who can pull it off. At Ryerson, Levy helped pioneer the trend of tech incubators and accelerators in Canada by founding the DMZ. “It was simply unknown. It was literally the first time anyone tried it,” Levy said. “The ballsy part of what we did, as I tell people, no committees, no anything, we just opened up the DMZ in a really, really nice space. And in some sense, the rest is history. It became the No. 1 university incubator in the world, recently.” After leaving Ryerson, Levy did a turn in the Ontario government as deputy minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, a period that gave him a sense of why government is bad at innovation, and how to navigate the bureaucracy. Levy now has plans to expand the NEXT AI stream for artificial intelligence startups to Montreal, to partner with the Scale.ai supercluster in Quebec. Talking about his work, Levy is clearly excited about fostering entrepreneurs; he said part of the reason they moved to the office at Church and Bloor is so that they could put all the companies under one roof. “I wanted to be close to the action, and the action was the teams,” he said. All the same, in the eight years since the Ryerson DMZ and NEXT Canada were founded, Canada has become a crowded place for business incubators and accelerators. Entrepreneurs sometimes hop from one incubator to another as they work to grow their companies. Part of Levy’s play by moving into health tech and expanding the NEXT AI program to give it a national footprint is to make NEXT Canada one of the dominant players in this scene. “I think it’s an evolutionary thing, and I do think it’s time for a consolidation of (incubators and accelerators),” Levy said. “We’re really at a point in Toronto where, if we were a business, we would be doing mergers and acquisitions.”
Canada’s largest pension fund is about to issue its first green bond, which will provide additional funding for its eco-friendly energy investments. Based in Toronto, the $356 billion Canada Pension Plan Investment Board ((CPPIB) is planning to invest more than $2.3 billion in the renewable energy sector, in line with the low-carbon initiative many institutional investors are participating in. The fund says it is the first pension program to issue this type of bond. Green bonds support environmental, social, and governance (ESG) projects, such as climate change-related investments. ESG bonds are tax exempt and can also provide tax credits. To qualify for “green” status, the bonds must be verified by a third party, such as the Climate Bond Standard Board. The Canada pension plan is working with the Center for International Climate Research for second opinions on green bond qualifications. Green bonds have been around since 2007, and have risen in popularity with the increase in environmental awareness campaigns. The Canadian pension board will invest green bond proceeds into renewable energy, sustainable water and wastewater management, and green buildings (designed and constructed around preserving our natural environment). The board invests on behalf of the Canada Pension Plan, which covers some 20 million contributing workers and beneficiaries. Poul Winslow, the fund’s senior managing director and global head of capital markets and factor investing, called the green bond issuance “a logical next step to [the] CPPIB’s investment-focused approach to climate change,” adding that the capital raised will help support the fund and its future success. All Canadian green bonds will be issued on a private placement basis. The investment board did not specify when it will begin the issuance of the bonds.