Finance (Personal)

Canadian inflation decelerates slightly

Statistics Canada reported today that annual inflation rate slowed to 5.9 per cent in January from the previous month’s 6.3 per cent despite continued surging food and gasoline costs. The agency said it expects the overall rate to continue decelerating. [node:read-more:link]

China Bank faces lawsuit

A B.C. woman defrauded of $69,000 in 2018 has won the right to sue the Canadian branch of the Bank of China after she appealed the ruling denying her claim. She had received a call from someone claiming to be with the Chinese consulate in Vancouver, saying she was being prosecuted for money laundering and that she could settle the issue by transferring funds, which she did with the help of a Bank of China teller. Her complaint that the bank was aware of fraudulent activities was eventually upheld January 30 by a Court of Appeal tribunal which ordered a retrial. [node:read-more:link]

Bank rate boosted yet again

Continuing its attempts to curb inflation, the Bank of Canada raised its benchmark interest a quarter-point to 4.5 per cent today, the eighth increase in less than a year. Governor Tiff Macklem said he expected to “pause rate hikes while we assess the impacts of the substantial monetary policy tightening already undertaken” and “if we need to do more to get inflation to the two per cent target, we will.” [node:read-more:link]

Inflation eased in December

As measured by the Consumer Price Index, Canada’s annualized inflation rate was 6.3 per cent eased in December, down from 6.8 per cent the previous month. Excluding food and energy, two of the more volatile CPI components, prices rose 5.3 per cent on an annual basis in December compared with 5.4 per cent in November. [node:read-more:link]

Inflation eases but remains problematic

Statistics Canada reported today that the national inflation rate eased in November as a drop in retail gasoline prices offset a continued surge in food and accommodation costs. The overall Consumer Price Index rose 6.8 per cent compared a year-earlier, down from 6.9 per cent and continuing its gradual slide from a June peak of 8.1 per cent. [node:read-more:link]

Federal regulator blocks Telus proposal

The Canadian Radio-television & Telecommunications Commission has rejected a Telus proposal to charge some customers who pay by credit card for home phone lines. However, it applies only to customers in remote areas of Alberta and B.C., leaving card-related service fees applicable elsewhere, a policy the CRTC said today is concerning because “it goes against affordability and consumer interest.” [node:read-more:link]

Central bank rate rises again

The Bank of Canada raised its overnight rate by 50 basis points to 4.25 per cent today, its seventh increase in nine months; the last time it was this high was in January 2008. Like the final adjustment this year, it’s part of the central bank’s attempt to curb inflation which, at 6.9 per cent in October, remains above the bank’s two per cent target. [node:read-more:link]

Covid benefits clawback confirmed

At least $3.2 billion in federal emergency payment to taxpayers affected by the pandemic is being clawed back by the Canada Revenue Agency. In confirming the government’s decision, two senior CRA officials also have indicated that the total likely will be much higher as the agency’s investigations continue. [node:read-more:link]

Royal Bank buying HSBC Canada

Royal Bank of Canada has agreed to pay $13.5 billion for the Canadian operations of HSBC, a British-based multinational which has 130 branches serving 780,000 customers in Canada. RBC chief executive Dave McKay said the deal “positions us as the bank of choice for commercial clients with international needs, newcomers to Canada and affluent clients who need global banking and wealth management capabilities.” [node:read-more:link]

Albertans get pre-election economic support

Six months ahead of a scheduled general election, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith announced a $2.4-billiion package of measures she said November 22 will provide relief from high inflation which she said is the federal government’s fault. In addition to cash payments to seniors and families with children, the initiative includes suspended fuel taxes, extended winter electricity rebates, investment in food banks and expanded transit passes for low-income earners. [node:read-more:link]

Federal carbon cheques for Atlantic provinces

Residents of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland & Labrador will begin receiving consumer carbon cheques next summer to offset the impact of higher energy prices when the federal government imposes its emissions levy on their provinces. The provinces were able to use provincial pricing programs when national standards took effect in 2019, but that will no longer be the case after stronger standards take effect. [node:read-more:link]

No-so-cryptic criticism of Poilievre

He wasn’t in the House of Commons today to hear it, but Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre was the target of pointed criticism of his support for cryptocurrency while he sought the party leadership. The MPs were debating Bill C-249, a private bill introduced last February by Alberta Conservative Michelle Rempel Garner who wants the Finance Department to “encourage the growth of the cryptoasset sector.” Since then, however, cryptocurrency values have crashed and Poilievre’s critics said investors have suffered major losses. [node:read-more:link]

Inflation stabilized in October

Statistics Canada reported today that inflation as measured by its Consumer Price Index was unchanged in October from the previous month at 6.9 per cent. After easing in September, gasoline prices rebounded in October to an annual 17.8 per cent compared to 13.2 previously. However, while food costs continued to rise in October, by 10.1 per cent annually, that was a deceleration from 10.3. [node:read-more:link]

Airlines challenge compensation ruling

WestJet and Air Canada are asking the Federal Court of Appeal to overturn Canadian Transportation Agency orders that they must compensate one or more passengers for flight cancellations caused by staffing issues. The airlines (Docket Nos. 22-A-12 and 22-A-18) argue that the quasi-judicial CTA misinterpreted the federal government’s compensation regulations. [node:read-more:link]

Telecom deal far from done

Despite weeks of negotiations, the federal Competition Bureau has failed to resolve differences over a proposed $26-billion takeover of Shaw Communications by Rogers Communications. The bureau wants to block the deal, saying it would mean poorer service and higher costs for customers, but the companies contend that “the bureau's unwillingness to meaningfully engage unduly delays lower wireless prices.” [node:read-more:link]


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