Five Canadian business stories to watch this week


Time to have “the talk”?

Alimentation Couche-Tard’s hosts its first-ever investor day on Monday. The large convenience store chain, which operates as Circle K outside Quebec, recently said it hasn’t given up hope of selling cannabis as some Western Canadian provinces turn to the private sector for over-the-counter sales.

Getting nasty over NAFTA

Canadian negotiators will put their game faces on as they enter the sixth round of NAFTA negotiations in Montreal on Sunday. President Trump called NAFTA a “bad joke” last week and linked its future to Mexico’s willingness to pay for a border wall. Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau conceded that the uncertainty surrounding the deal might be causing some companies to hesitate in making investment decisions. Talks run until Jan. 28.

Telcos behaving badly

Rogers Communications Inc. discusses fourth-quarter and year-end results on Thursday. The company just came out of an intensely competitive holiday sales period, in which Rogers and its competitors offered a limited-time low-rate plan to counter inroads low-cost carrier Freedom Mobile has been making with Canadian consumers.

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A slew of November data

Statistics Canada releases the wholesale trade figures for November on Monday, a sector which was credited with adding 55,000 Alberta jobs in 2017. StatCan will also release the retail trade figures and payroll employment, earnings and hours for November on Thursday.

Syncrude in court

Syncrude Canada will appear in provincial court on Wednesday to face charges related to the deaths of blue herons at one of its mine sites in northern Alberta in August 2015. Despite initial reports that bird deterrents at the facility were fully working, a Syncrude spokesman later acknowledged that no such equipment was in operation. The company is facing both provincial and federal charges for the incident.

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