Five Canadian business stories to watch this week


Talking drugs and politics: The Jean Coutu Group holds its annual meeting Tuesday after reporting its first-quarter results. The Quebec-based drug chain has been one of the more vocal opponents of the provincial government’s plan to seek cheaper generic drug prices through a bidding process.

Rising interest in rising rates: All eyes will be on the Bank of Canada on Wednesday amid expectations it will raise its key interest rate for the first time in seven years. The rock-bottom rate of 0.5 per cent was intended to rejuvenate an economy that was in the throes of a contraction two years ago. But governor Stephen Poloz has signalled that the days when such stimulus was needed are over.

Sears saga: Sears Canada heads to court Thursday to seek approval to suspend benefits for retirees and special payments to its defined benefit pension plan as it tries to right itself. The retailer was granted creditor protection last month after years of falling sales and is seeking investors and buyers.

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Sold over asking: In Toronto, those signs may have been the real estate equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel. But maybe no longer. Property prices have slipped over the last couple of months after Ontario brought in measures to cool the city’s frenzied market. On Thursday, Statistics Canada releases the housing price index for May, which covers Toronto and other cities.

Trudeau travels: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be hitting the road again this week, this time for a summer gathering in Providence, R.I., of the U.S. National Governors Association. He gives a keynote speech Friday. One focus of the meeting will be trade, a particularly important issue for states and provinces in a climate of rising protectionism.

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