This module provides a concise summary of selected Canadian economic events by calendar month. It is intended to provide contextual information only to support users of the economic data published by Statistics Canada. All information presented here is obtained from publicly available news and information sources, and does not reflect any protected information provided to Statistics Canada by survey respondents.

Selected COVID-19 responses

  • The Government of Alberta announced on July 7th that it had introduced Bill 33, the Alberta Investment Attraction Act, which, if passed, would create the Invest Alberta Corporation, an arms-length agency that will promote investment in the province’s primary sectors – energy, agriculture, and tourism. The Government said it would provide $6 million annually for the next three years for its operation.
  • The Government of Canada announced on July 16th a federal investment of more than $19 billion through the Safe Restart Agreement to help provinces and territories restart their economies. The Government said the investment will help address the key priorities, agreed upon by Canada’s First Ministers, for the safe restart of Canada’s economy over the next six to eight months, including measures to increase testing and contact tracing, support the capacity of health care systems, and assist with the procurement of personal protective equipment to help essential workers.
  • The Government of Canada announced on July 17th proposed changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), including allowing the extension of the CEWS until December 19, 2020; making the subsidy accessible to a broader range of employers; and introducing a top-up subsidy of up to an additional 25% for employers that have been most adversely affected by the pandemic.
  • The Government of Canada announced on July 31st that the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) will be extended by one month to help eligible small businesses pay rent for August. The Government said all provinces and territories continue to participate in this initiative.
  • The Government of Canada announced on July 31st that it intends to transition everyone on the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to Employment Insurance, and that more details will be made available before the end of August.

Retail

  • Walmart Canada announced a $3.5 billion investment over the next five years, which includes renovating over 150 stores over the next three years, accelerating digitization to create “smarter stores”, and building two new distribution centres in Vaughan, Ontario and Surrey, British Columbia.
  • Nova Scotia-based Empire Company Limited announced its capital spend is expected to average approximately $700 million annually over the next three years as part of the company’s new three-year growth strategy, which includes investing in the store network, improving store space productivity, and improving efficiency and cost competitiveness.

Other news

  • The Bank of Canada announced it was maintaining its target for the overnight rate at the effective lower bound of 0.25% and that it will maintain the current level of the policy rate until its inflation objective is achieved. The target for the overnight rate was reduced by 150 basis points in March 2020. The Bank also said it was continuing its quantitative easing (QE) program, with large-scale asset purchases of at least $5 billion per week of Government of Canada bonds and that the provincial and corporate bond purchase programs will continue as announced.
  • On July 8th, the Government of Canada presented its Economic and Fiscal Snapshot 2020, which included an overview of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan that delivered an economic response equivalent to nearly 14% of Canada’s GDP. The Government forecasts a deficit of $343.2 billion in 2020-2021 and a contraction in real GDP of 6.8% in 2020.
  • The Government of Canada announced that the new NAFTA entered into force on July 1st.
  • On July 14th, the Government of British Columbia presented its Economic and Fiscal Update, which noted $6.26 billion in COVID-19 supports to people and businesses to date. The Government forecasts an estimated operating deficit of $12.5 billion in 2020-2021 and a contraction in real GDP of 6.8% in 2020.
  • On July 24th, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador presented its 2020-21 fiscal update. The government forecasts a deficit of $2.1 billion in 2020-2021 and a reduction in real GDP of $1.8 billion.
  • On July 29th, the Government of Nova Scotia released its update on Budget 2020-21. The Government forecasts an $852.9 million deficit in 2020-2021 and a contraction in real GDP of 6.0% in 2020.

Click here to visit Statistics Canada for the full report. 

Source: Statistics Canada