Canada Business News Archives

Small business helped keep Canada’s economy afloat during choppy economic waters over the past year, according to a new study from CIBC.

The bank’s research showed businesses with less than 500 employees created roughly eight in 10 of all the new private sector jobs in the past 12 months.

CIBC deputy chief economist Benjamin Tal, who co-authored the report, said small businesses have been boosted by consumer spending, which has maintained growth despite the economic contraction in the first half of 2015.

Yet Tal cautioned that small and mid-sized businesses need to look beyond the Canadian market if they are to maintain their growth.

He said the fall in the value of the Canadian dollar against the European and American currencies is an opportunity for Canadian companies to boost their exports.

Only 10 per cent of Canada’s small and mid-sized businesses are involved in exporting, according to the report, a level that hasn’t changed in 15 years.

Missing your trips to Target Canada now that its stores have closed? There’s a new option: Canadians can buy goods from Target’s international website and have them shipped to this country.

Target loves Canada,” states its Canadianized website for shoppers.

The site “is part of a test and we will have more details to share in the near future,” Target spokeswoman Jamie Bastian told CBC News in an email.

If the test is any indication of what’s in store, the retail giant may once again be missing the mark when it comes to winning over Canadian customers.

Target boasts online that it’s making life easy for Canuck shoppers by offering goods priced in Canadian dollars and “low international shipping rates.”

But when CBC News examined the website, the posted prices were often much higher compared with the same items offered in the U.S. And shipping costs were so high they sometimes totalled more than the advertised item.

Considering Target’s track record in this country, marketing expert, Mandeep Malik doesn’t believe the site as it exists now will win any hearts in Canada. “My instinctive reaction [is] that this is something that we will collectively laugh about, like really?” says the McMaster University professor.

Target’s failed expansion

Many Canadians were ecstatic when U.S.-based Target set up shop in Canada in 2013. But the love affair soon ended when customers discovered higher prices and less selection compared with U.S. stores.

The retail giant was hemorrhaging cash and wound up closing all 133 Canadian stores by April 2015.

Since then, some shoppers have been campaigning Target to let Canadians buy its goods online and have them shipped to Canada. 

Now, their dream has come true — or maybe not, once they crunch the numbers.

“I just looked and the pricing is absurd,” wrote one disgruntled shopper on an online discussion thread titled, “OMG — Target shipping to Canada!”

“I was super excited about this yesterday,” posted another shopper. But that excitement quickly died down when the person apparently tried to buy something on the Canadian Target site: “My $30 purchase was almost $70 with shipping and duty. Absolutely ridiculous.”

“$29 to ship a T-shirt, no thanks!” wrote another unhappy customer.

Adding up the costs

CBC News also considered some purchases on the site. We looked at ordering a Star Wars The Force Awakens Battlefront Blanket. The price for the blanket was $28.94. But the shipping cost to send the item to Canada was $30.98 — more than the price of the blanket. Combined with duties and taxes, the total came to $69.24 — $40 extra on top of the original purchase price.

U.S. Target shoppers get free shipping for online purchases of $25 or more.

Shipping costs on the Canadian site were high for all items we checked out. For example, a sleeveless dress made by Mossimo clothing was priced at $34.05. The shipping bill, at $31.46, almost equalled the purchase price.

We found the same dress on Target’s U.S. site for $24.99 US. The Canadian price was almost $10 more, which is greater than the current exchange rate.

CBC News also tried to buy numerous Apple iPads on the site. Even though the items were advertised in Canadian dollars, every time we went to checkout, the site told us, “This product is not available for shipments to this country.”

Another failed venture?

Malik, the marketing professor, says Target didn’t grasp how to please Canadian shoppers when it opened its physical stores in this country. And, he says, once again, it appears that the retailer clearly doesn’t understand how to serve Canadian cyber-shoppers.

“[Target is] almost suggesting through this re-entry into Canada, even though it’s in an online space, that I am not a savvy shopper who doesn’t understand what my options are,” he says.

He points out that online retailers such as Amazon have already won over Canadians with a bevy of products, competitive prices and shipping deals.

Malik concludes that Target’s online offering for Canadians — at least in its current state with no real incentives — is just not a smart marketing move. “It’s a complete waste of time, effort, and poor relationship management with potential consumers in the future,” he says.

Canada’s election upset heralds a big fighter contest

Oct 22, 2015 | Aviation Week & Space Technology

Lockheed Martin lost 65 aircraft from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) orderbook in a matter of weeks, as Canada’s Liberal Party first pledged in writing to dump the JSF and hold a competition and then won an overall majority that no pollsters predicted. It’s not a lethal blow to the JSF project, still bigger on paper than all its Western rivals combined. It was less about the merits of the airplane than the inept, arrogant and dishonest way in which Prime Minister Stephen …

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MONTREAL DOWNTOWN

High angle view of downtown Montreal from Mount Royal at blue hour | Wei Fang via Getty Images

There are so many great things about Montreal.

It’s a culturally vibrant city with great festivals, events and historical sites for people to enjoy.

But if you ask the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), it’s also Canada’s worst city in which to be an entrepreneur.

The CFIB, which represents small business owners across the country, has issued a report titled “Entrepreneurial Communities,” which ranks cities according to how facilitative they are for business.

The organization came up with scores by looking at three main factors: entrepreneurial presence, or the “scale and growth of business ownership”; entrepreneurial perspective, or how optimistic business owners feel, and how much success they enjoy; and policy, or what kinds of taxes and rules have been set by local governments.

The federation arrived at scores out of 100 by looking at 14 indicators and taking perspectives from their membership.

The City of Montreal received the lowest rank, with a score of 36.

CFIB senior economist Simon Gaudreault said one of the major reasons it ranked so low was that business property taxes are four times higher than residential ones, The Financial Post reported.

Delays in issuing certain permits also presented an issue for CFIB members.

“Small business owners are clearly saying enough is enough,” Gaudreault told the newspaper. “It’s time for a change, it’s time for some breathing room.”

But it wasn’t all bad news for Montreal. While its policy score was the worst among all the 121 areas ranked by the CFIB, it also received a score of 10.9 when it came to entrepreneurial presence — putting it in the company of some communities that were listed in the top 15 overall.

At the other end of the rankings, the “Calgary periphery,” or areas surrounding Alberta’s biggest city, ranked as the best place in which to run a business, with a score of 73. It’s the second year in a row the area has topped the ranking.

“The outer rings of major cities are usually better incubators of new businesses because of lower relative costs but still reasonably good access to large markets,” the report reads.

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MONTREAL DOWNTOWN

High angle view of downtown Montreal from Mount Royal at blue hour | Wei Fang via Getty Images

There are so many great things about Montreal.

It’s a culturally vibrant city with great festivals, events and historical sites for people to enjoy.

But if you ask the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), it’s also Canada’s worst city in which to be an entrepreneur.

The CFIB, which represents small business owners across the country, has issued a report titled “Entrepreneurial Communities,” which ranks cities according to how facilitative they are for business.

The organization came up with scores by looking at three main factors: entrepreneurial presence, or the “scale and growth of business ownership”; entrepreneurial perspective, or how optimistic business owners feel, and how much success they enjoy; and policy, or what kinds of taxes and rules have been set by local governments.

The federation arrived at scores out of 100 by looking at 14 indicators and taking perspectives from their membership.

The City of Montreal received the lowest rank, with a score of 36.

CFIB senior economist Simon Gaudreault said one of the major reasons it ranked so low was that business property taxes are four times higher than residential ones, The Financial Post reported.

Delays in issuing certain permits also presented an issue for CFIB members.

“Small business owners are clearly saying enough is enough,” Gaudreault told the newspaper. “It’s time for a change, it’s time for some breathing room.”

But it wasn’t all bad news for Montreal. While its policy score was the worst among all the 121 areas ranked by the CFIB, it also received a score of 10.9 when it came to entrepreneurial presence — putting it in the company of some communities that were listed in the top 15 overall.

At the other end of the rankings, the “Calgary periphery,” or areas surrounding Alberta’s biggest city, ranked as the best place in which to run a business, with a score of 73. It’s the second year in a row the area has topped the ranking.

“The outer rings of major cities are usually better incubators of new businesses because of lower relative costs but still reasonably good access to large markets,” the report reads.

Like Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter

MONTREAL DOWNTOWN

High angle view of downtown Montreal from Mount Royal at blue hour | Wei Fang via Getty Images

There are so many great things about Montreal.

It’s a culturally vibrant city with great festivals, events and historical sites for people to enjoy.

But if you ask the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), it’s also Canada’s worst city in which to be an entrepreneur.

The CFIB, which represents small business owners across the country, has issued a report titled “Entrepreneurial Communities,” which ranks cities according to how facilitative they are for business.

The organization came up with scores by looking at three main factors: entrepreneurial presence, or the “scale and growth of business ownership”; entrepreneurial perspective, or how optimistic business owners feel, and how much success they enjoy; and policy, or what kinds of taxes and rules have been set by local governments.

The federation arrived at scores out of 100 by looking at 14 indicators and taking perspectives from their membership.

The City of Montreal received the lowest rank, with a score of 36.

CFIB senior economist Simon Gaudreault said one of the major reasons it ranked so low was that business property taxes are four times higher than residential ones, The Financial Post reported.

Delays in issuing certain permits also presented an issue for CFIB members.

“Small business owners are clearly saying enough is enough,” Gaudreault told the newspaper. “It’s time for a change, it’s time for some breathing room.”

But it wasn’t all bad news for Montreal. While its policy score was the worst among all the 121 areas ranked by the CFIB, it also received a score of 10.9 when it came to entrepreneurial presence — putting it in the company of some communities that were listed in the top 15 overall.

At the other end of the rankings, the “Calgary periphery,” or areas surrounding Alberta’s biggest city, ranked as the best place in which to run a business, with a score of 73. It’s the second year in a row the area has topped the ranking.

“The outer rings of major cities are usually better incubators of new businesses because of lower relative costs but still reasonably good access to large markets,” the report reads.

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Some major Canadian business groups say they are ready to work with the new Liberal government of Justin Trudeau to find common ground to benefit the country’s economy.

“We will press the new government to avoid a return to structural deficits,” Perrin Beatty, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce said on Tuesday, adding that “we are confident we can use the resolutions adopted during last weekend’s annual general meeting to find common ground that will help grow the economy.”

Globe and Mail Update Oct. 20 2015, 3:05 PM EDT

“Having a strong majority government will permit Mr. Trudeau to put in place a strong plan to promote Canada’s competitiveness,” Mr. Beatty said in a news release.

The Liberals’ plan to invest in infrastructure, “if done strategically, will be positive for Canada’s economy,” he said. “New transportation infrastructure will increase access to markets for Canadian businesses of all sizes.”

The chamber would also like to be consulted on its concerns regarding business competitiveness as the new Liberal government prepares for the Paris Climate Change Conference next month, Mr. Beatty said in an interview.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business said it looks forward to working with the new government on such issues as reducing the corporate tax rate, controlling the payroll tax load, better access to skilled labour and addressing the training needs of small business.

The Liberals have promised to reduce the small business tax rate to 9 per cent from 11 per cent.

David Lindsay, president and CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada, said he wants to make sure the proposed infrastructure investments are not limited to urban projects such as public transit but also include improving transportation links in rural and remote areas.

“If, by infrastructure, they mean all infrastructure in Canada and a reliable transportation system, then that’s great,” he said.

Engineering companies are among the potential winners following the Liberal party’s sweeping electoral victory while the win could be a negative for the country’s oil patch.

The Liberals’ election promise to run modest deficits in order to boost infrastructure spending as a way to stimulate the economy could pay off for companies such as Edmonton-based Stantec Inc., Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin Group and WSP Global, and Aecon Group of Ontario.

Engineering and consulting companies, particularly SNC, Stantec and WSP “could be early beneficiaries of any boost to infrastructure spending given their involvement in the front-end of project planning,” Canaccord Genuity said in a recent market outlook report.

On the other hand, Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau has indicated his government would be selective about giving the green light to oil-and-gas export pipelines and be tougher on the environmental and regulatory fronts.

“While we do see it as a near-term risk, the lack of oil pipeline capacity build-out could create pinch points for egress of Canadian light and heavy crude oil,” the Canaccord Genuity report says.

A proposed Liberal clampdown on the use of the Canadian Exploration Expenses tax deduction would also have potential negative impact on investment in exploration drilling, it said.

Meanwhile, the Harper government angered the country’s two major railways when it sided with western Canadian farmers who complained about poor rail service after the massive harvest of 2013. The government imposed minimum weekly shipping volumes on the railways – backed by fines – even though the companies said the unusually harsh winter and record crop was the cause of the grain backlog.

Hunter Harrison, chief executive officer of Calgary-based Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., said the change in government is “neutral” for the company, and he hopes the Liberals will not have such a heavy hand on regulating grain shipments.

“With due respect to our Conservative friends, they ain’t done much for us,” Mr. Harrison said on a conference call with analysts. “The Liberals didn’t do much for when they were in, and now the Liberals are back…. Just leave us alone, give us a level playing field and let us run our business.”

With Eric Atkins

Follow Bertrand Marotte on Twitter: @globemontreal

Some major Canadian business groups say they are ready to work with the new Liberal government of Justin Trudeau to find common ground to benefit the country’s economy.

“We will press the new government to avoid a return to structural deficits,” Perrin Beatty, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce said on Tuesday, adding that “we are confident we can use the resolutions adopted during last weekend’s annual general meeting to find common ground that will help grow the economy.”

Globe and Mail Update Oct. 20 2015, 3:05 PM EDT

“Having a strong majority government will permit Mr. Trudeau to put in place a strong plan to promote Canada’s competitiveness,” Mr. Beatty said in a news release.

The Liberals’ plan to invest in infrastructure, “if done strategically, will be positive for Canada’s economy,” he said. “New transportation infrastructure will increase access to markets for Canadian businesses of all sizes.”

The chamber would also like to be consulted on its concerns regarding business competitiveness as the new Liberal government prepares for the Paris Climate Change Conference next month, Mr. Beatty said in an interview.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business said it looks forward to working with the new government on such issues as reducing the corporate tax rate, controlling the payroll tax load, better access to skilled labour and addressing the training needs of small business.

The Liberals have promised to reduce the small business tax rate to 9 per cent from 11 per cent.

David Lindsay, president and CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada, said he wants to make sure the proposed infrastructure investments are not limited to urban projects such as public transit but also include improving transportation links in rural and remote areas.

“If, by infrastructure, they mean all infrastructure in Canada and a reliable transportation system, then that’s great,” he said.

Engineering companies are among the potential winners following the Liberal party’s sweeping electoral victory while the win could be a negative for the country’s oil patch.

The Liberals’ election promise to run modest deficits in order to boost infrastructure spending as a way to stimulate the economy could pay off for companies such as Edmonton-based Stantec Inc., Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin Group and WSP Global, and Aecon Group of Ontario.

Engineering and consulting companies, particularly SNC, Stantec and WSP “could be early beneficiaries of any boost to infrastructure spending given their involvement in the front-end of project planning,” Canaccord Genuity said in a recent market outlook report.

On the other hand, Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau has indicated his government would be selective about giving the green light to oil-and-gas export pipelines and be tougher on the environmental and regulatory fronts.

“While we do see it as a near-term risk, the lack of oil pipeline capacity build-out could create pinch points for egress of Canadian light and heavy crude oil,” the Canaccord Genuity report says.

A proposed Liberal clampdown on the use of the Canadian Exploration Expenses tax deduction would also have potential negative impact on investment in exploration drilling, it said.

Meanwhile, the Harper government angered the country’s two major railways when it sided with western Canadian farmers who complained about poor rail service after the massive harvest of 2013. The government imposed minimum weekly shipping volumes on the railways – backed by fines – even though the companies said the unusually harsh winter and record crop was the cause of the grain backlog.

Hunter Harrison, chief executive officer of Calgary-based Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., said the change in government is “neutral” for the company, and he hopes the Liberals will not have such a heavy hand on regulating grain shipments.

“With due respect to our Conservative friends, they ain’t done much for us,” Mr. Harrison said on a conference call with analysts. “The Liberals didn’t do much for when they were in, and now the Liberals are back…. Just leave us alone, give us a level playing field and let us run our business.”

With Eric Atkins

Follow Bertrand Marotte on Twitter: @globemontreal

Some major Canadian business groups say they are ready to work with the new Liberal government of Justin Trudeau to find common ground to benefit the country’s economy.

“We will press the new government to avoid a return to structural deficits,” Perrin Beatty, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce said on Tuesday, adding that “we are confident we can use the resolutions adopted during last weekend’s annual general meeting to find common ground that will help grow the economy.”

Globe and Mail Update Oct. 20 2015, 3:05 PM EDT

“Having a strong majority government will permit Mr. Trudeau to put in place a strong plan to promote Canada’s competitiveness,” Mr. Beatty said in a news release.

The Liberals’ plan to invest in infrastructure, “if done strategically, will be positive for Canada’s economy,” he said. “New transportation infrastructure will increase access to markets for Canadian businesses of all sizes.”

The chamber would also like to be consulted on its concerns regarding business competitiveness as the new Liberal government prepares for the Paris Climate Change Conference next month, Mr. Beatty said in an interview.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business said it looks forward to working with the new government on such issues as reducing the corporate tax rate, controlling the payroll tax load, better access to skilled labour and addressing the training needs of small business.

The Liberals have promised to reduce the small business tax rate to 9 per cent from 11 per cent.

David Lindsay, president and CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada, said he wants to make sure the proposed infrastructure investments are not limited to urban projects such as public transit but also include improving transportation links in rural and remote areas.

“If, by infrastructure, they mean all infrastructure in Canada and a reliable transportation system, then that’s great,” he said.

Engineering companies are among the potential winners following the Liberal party’s sweeping electoral victory while the win could be a negative for the country’s oil patch.

The Liberals’ election promise to run modest deficits in order to boost infrastructure spending as a way to stimulate the economy could pay off for companies such as Edmonton-based Stantec Inc., Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin Group and WSP Global, and Aecon Group of Ontario.

Engineering and consulting companies, particularly SNC, Stantec and WSP “could be early beneficiaries of any boost to infrastructure spending given their involvement in the front-end of project planning,” Canaccord Genuity said in a recent market outlook report.

On the other hand, Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau has indicated his government would be selective about giving the green light to oil-and-gas export pipelines and be tougher on the environmental and regulatory fronts.

“While we do see it as a near-term risk, the lack of oil pipeline capacity build-out could create pinch points for egress of Canadian light and heavy crude oil,” the Canaccord Genuity report says.

A proposed Liberal clampdown on the use of the Canadian Exploration Expenses tax deduction would also have potential negative impact on investment in exploration drilling, it said.

Meanwhile, the Harper government angered the country’s two major railways when it sided with western Canadian farmers who complained about poor rail service after the massive harvest of 2013. The government imposed minimum weekly shipping volumes on the railways – backed by fines – even though the companies said the unusually harsh winter and record crop was the cause of the grain backlog.

Hunter Harrison, chief executive officer of Calgary-based Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., said the change in government is “neutral” for the company, and he hopes the Liberals will not have such a heavy hand on regulating grain shipments.

“With due respect to our Conservative friends, they ain’t done much for us,” Mr. Harrison said on a conference call with analysts. “The Liberals didn’t do much for when they were in, and now the Liberals are back…. Just leave us alone, give us a level playing field and let us run our business.”

With Eric Atkins

Follow Bertrand Marotte on Twitter: @globemontreal

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