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Rogers Communications reinstates ousted chair after court backs his bid to shakeup board

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Rogers Communications Inc on Friday reinstated ousted Chairman Edward Rogers after a court backed his petition to constitute a new board, drawing curtains on a rare public battle for the control of a Canadian company even as the family feud showed no signs of ending.

The Supreme Court of British Columbia ruled in favour of Edward Rogers, handing a big victory to the late founder’s son in a dispute that pitted him against his mother and sisters and had weighed on the stock.

The rare public fight in the Canadian corporate world was sparked over the question of who should lead the company, and some analysts have raised concerns the dispute could potentially impact Rogers’ C$20 billion ($16.1 billion) bid for rival Shaw Communications.

But soon after the ruling, Edward Rogers said that he supported CEO Joe Natale, though the entire conflict was sparked after he tried and failed to remove Natale as chief executive, saying at the time he had lost confidence in Natale’s ability to lead the combined entity after the Shaw deal.

“Much has been written about Rogers CEO Joe Natale and his future,” Edward Rogers said in a statement after Friday’s ruling. “Mr. Natale remains CEO and a director of Rogers Communications and has the Board’s support.”

He said the focus must now return to closing the Shaw deal, the company’s biggest M&A.

In a short statement, Rogers Communications noted the court’s decision and accepted Edward Rogers as the chair, and said Natale remained as CEO.

‘BLACK EYE’

Even as the brawl at the corporate level cooled off, the family fight showed no signs of easing. In a statement, the family matriarch, Loretta Rogers, and her two daughters said the ruling “represents a black eye for good governance and shareholder rights and sets a dangerous new precedent for Canada’s capital markets by allowing the independent directors of a public company to be removed with the stroke of a pen.”

“The company now faces a very real prospect of management upheaval and a prolonged period of uncertainty, at perhaps the worst possible time,” the statement added.

Edward Rogers’ attempt at dislodging Natale as CEO in September put him at odds with his mother and two sisters https://www.reuters.com/business/media-telecom/key-actors-rogers-communications-boardroom-battle-2021-11-01, who are Rogers directors. Edward Rogers – son of the late founder, Ted Rogers – lost out in the ensuing power struggle, and he was removed as the chair of Rogers Communications.

Lawyers for the company on Friday asked for a short stay in the decision to allow them to appeal, saying that if the order was effective immediately, Edward Rogers could quickly take major steps that would effectively end the chances of a legal challenge.

But Fitzpatrick denied the request, saying she was satisfied by assurances by lawyers for Rogers that the new board would not take any steps to end the family’s appeal.

“Accordingly the order will be effective today and there will be no stay in proceedings,” the judge said.

The crucial question for the judge was whether Edward Rogers had the power to make board changes with just a written consent.

“I have concluded that the process by which Edward obtained the Consent Resolution was available him under the Articles and the Act,” Fitzpatrick said in a written ruling. “In accordance with the Articles and the Act, the Consent Resolution is deemed to be valid and enforceable,” she added.

POWER STRUGGLE

Edward Rogers said the judgment confirmed that he had acted in accordance with the company’s rule.

“Our family has disagreements like every other family. I am hopeful we will resolve those differences privately, as any family would,” he added.

After he was removed as the chair of Rogers Communications, Edward Rogers constituted a new board that included himself as chairman, leveraging his power as chair of the family-owned Rogers Control Trust – which controls 97.5% of the company’s voting shares – to do so. He then petitioned the Supreme Court of British Columbia to validate his slate of directors.

“No surprises here,” said one top 20 shareholders, referring to Friday’s ruling, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.

“And since Edward clearly has the right to vote, the control block and the case was merely about process. For shareholders, this is the best outcome because it allows for the shortest period of uncertainty,” the shareholder added.

The boardroom battle and the family feud has weighed on the stock, with Rogers shares down 0.5% so far this year, compared with a 16.2% gain in rival BCE Inc and a 14.8% rise in Telus Corp in the same period.

On Monday, both sides presented their cases, with lawyers for Edward Rogers arguing that he had the authority to appoint a new board without an in-person shareholder meeting.

But Rogers Communications’ lawyer David Conklin told the court the late founder foresaw a stalemate between the family trust and the board of directors, and specifically requested a public meeting to resolve it.

($1 = 1.2461 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa, Michelle Gamage in Vancouver and Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru Additional reporting by Eva Mathews and Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru and Maiya Keidan in Toronto Writing by Denny ThomasEditing by Marguerita Choy, Matthew Lewis and Daniel Wallis)

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GTA gas prices may fall 11 cents on Sunday – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press


Published Saturday, November 27, 2021 3:38PM EST

Canadians should experience the fastest drop in gasoline prices in nearly 13 years on Sunday as fears about a virulent new COVID-19 variant are expected to provide a break of 11 cents per litre at the pumps.

Dan McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy, said the national average price could drop to about $1.32 per litre but begin to rise again midweek.

“(Sunday) represents the single largest decrease at the pumps we’ve seen going back to 2009,” he said in an interview.

Global crude oil prices plunged Friday over fears about a new COVID-19 variant called Omicron that prompted Canada to ban entry for foreign nationals who travelled through southern Africa.

The January crude oil contract fell 13.1 per cent or US$10.24 on Friday and currently stands at US$68.15 per barrel.

The decrease came as U.S. stock markets closed early Friday because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Sunday and Monday are going to be the best days for Canadians to fill up, including British Columbia,” McTeague said

Even residents of flood-ravaged B.C. will save on the province’s high gasoline prices despite facing rationing because severe flooding has shut both the Trans Mountain pipeline and the province’s lone refinery.

Drivers of non-essential vehicles can only purchase up to 30 litres per visit to a gas station in the Lower Mainland, Sunshine Coast, Sea to Sky area, Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island.

East Coast residents won’t reap the immediate benefits of Sunday’s price drop because its regulated regional system averages price movements. That provides price predictability but blunts price discounts.

Despite the upcoming decrease, national gasoline prices have surged nearly 43 per cent in the past year as the reopening of the global economy from pandemic lockdowns prompted a recovery in crude prices.

McTeague suggested Canadians shouldn’t get too comfortable with the energy savings. He said prices are expectd to increase as OPEC and its allies, who are meeting on Monday, will likely refuse to increase production any further. Energy traders realize that Friday’s decrease was overdone and “flies in the face of fundamentals,” he added.

“My sense is that the decreases that we saw were a little exaggerated and overbought, and for that reason I think we might see a little bit more balance come back to the markets and fundamentals by Wednesday,” McTeague said.

“Unless there’s further unsettling news of greater and further lockdowns, I would expect that oil prices are probably going to recover US$3 to US$4 a barrel by Monday or Tuesday, which means by Wednesday or Thursday we could be looking at increases in the order of four or five cents a litre.”

McTeague said some gasoline savings will continue for a couple of weeks, but he foresees crude climbing back to about US$90 a barrel, which would translate into prices in Canada exceeding $1.50 per litre.

Impending carbon tax increases will further boost prices.

A tax of 2.5 cents per litre, including HST, will take effect on April 1, 2022. It will be followed in December by the clear fuel standard that will add another 18.1 cents per litre including HST, said McTeague.

Adding to the inflation pressure is the Canadian dollar which is less valuable than when it was at par the last time crude prices were around US$80. That reduces the purchasing power for all kinds of products, including energy and food.

The Canadian Automobile Association said that as of early Saturday morning, Manitoba had the lowest average pump price of $1.35/L, followed closely by Alberta at $1.377, while Newfoundland and Labrador was the highest at $1.583 with British Columbia at $1.558.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2021.

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Oil crashes more than US$10 as new COVID variant roils markets – BNN

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Oil prices suffered one of the largest ever one-day plunges, crashing more than 11 per cent on Black Friday as a new coronavirus strain sparked fears that renewed lockdowns will hurt global demand.

The crash, the 7th largest ever for Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, may prompt the OPEC+ cartel to re-consider its policy when it meets next week, with the group increasingly leaning toward pausing its output hikes.

The sell-off was amplified by low liquidity on a festive day in the U.S., the breach of several technical supports and Wall Street banks rushing to dump oil futures to protect themselves against positions in the options market.

The development apparently wrong-footed many in the oil market who had been comforted by low inventory levels and demand that had rebounded to 2019 levels, said Rebecca Babin, senior energy trader at CIBC Private Wealth Management.

“It was a lack of downside that had us continuing to think nothing bad could happen,” she said. “No one was thinking we could get a variant that we’re not familiar with and it could have meaningful impact.”

Embedded Image

The price drop capped a dramatic week for the oil market, which started when U.S. President Joe Biden challenged OPEC+ by tapping the country’s strategic petroleum reserve in an effort to bring gasoline prices down. China, India, Japan and South Korea all joined the American effort.

Oil traders and analysts were divided about whether the flash crash was an excessive reaction to the COVID news. Damien Courvalin, oil analyst at Goldman Sachs in New York, called the drop an “excessive repricing” and ventured OPEC+ will respond pausing its production increases by three months.

High gasoline retail prices prompted U.S. President Joe Biden to seek ways to ease the pressure on consumers, leading to Tuesday’s announcement that the U.S. will release 50 million barrels of crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, with China, Japan, India, South Korea and the U.K. also set to tap inventories. Still, oil rose on the day that the move was confirmed, suggesting traders had already priced in the new supply, or that they were underwhelmed by the supply response.

OPEC+ had warned previously it would reconsider a potential output increase if other nations went ahead with a reserve release. UBS Group AG said Friday that OPEC+ could choose to pause its current planned output hike of 400,000 barrels a day, or even cut production.

Prices

  • West Texas Intermediate for January fell US$10.24, or 13.1 per cent, from Wednesday’s close to settle at US$68.15 a barrel in New York. The decline was the largest since April 2020.
  • There was no settlement Thursday due to the Thanksgiving holiday and all transactions will be booked Friday
  • Brent for January settlement tumbled US$9.50 to settle at US$72.72 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange

Friday’s oil selloff was likely exacerbated by a lack of trading activity during the U.S. holiday period, coming a day after Thanksgiving, and as the New York market closed early. 

“It’s a sign the market got carried away from itself and that we still remain very vulnerable to COVID-19,” said John Kilduff, founding partner at Again Capital LLC. 

Aside from the headline prices, crude traders also watched several other notable shifts in the market. WTI crude futures closed below its 200-day and 100-day moving averages, signs of technical weakness. The extreme pressure on the U.S. benchmark meant its discount to Brent expanded, reaching the widest since May 2020. 

The picture wasn’t much brighter in oil-product markets, the part of the oil complex most directly affected by end-user demand. Diesel plunged, particularly in Asia, as the market began to price in a potential renewed hit to economic growth.

“This is a huge overreaction in terms of the market,” Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at consultant Energy Aspects Ltd. said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “This is the market pricing in the worst possible scenarios.”

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Shoppers taking advantage of Black Friday deals in Ottawa – CTV Edmonton

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OTTAWA —
Shoppers rushed to the stores in Ottawa on Black Friday, hoping to get the best deals of the year heading into Christmas. 

Some have even come from other countries for these sales like Elizabeth Elnakla, who is here from Scotland visiting her daughter Reem Almaqla. 

Elnakla is what you might call, a Black Friday newbie. 

“This is my first Black Friday. I’m super excited, it is so busy,” says Elnakla. 

She’s looking to snag all the deals she can before she heads back home in three days.

“Shopping back home, I live in a small town called Dundee and it’s not very large,” says Elnakla. “So the shopping is never crazy. It’s quite quiet.”

Last year, many were stuck doing their Black Friday and Boxing Day shopping online. This year, back to the in-person busyness.

Tanger Outlets

“We missed Black Friday last year,” says Almaqla, who wanted to show her mom what Black Friday was all about. “I just want her to go through this experience. To see what Black Friday is like here.”

Tanger Outlets in Kanata was packed for Black Friday sales all week, but nothing like today. 

“There’s nothing like a good sale, right? We all love the deal,” says shopper Josie Mousseau. “It’s just nice being outside in the fresh air. At least you get a little bit of an escape with your mask. You can take it off occasionally whereas when you’re confined to a mall, you really can’t.”

Monika Mehl describes the amazing deal she got on a Michael Kors purse. 

“I got it for 70 per cent off, and then an additional 15 per cent off. And because everything totalled over $300, I got another 10 per cent off.”

Stores at Tanger opened at 7 a.m. Friday. Maria Argyriou left Montreal at 5 a.m. to make sure she got here on time. 

“We went to all the sports stores and they’re all basically 50 per cent off,” says Argyriou.

Montreal is known for its shopping, but she wanted to try her luck in Ottawa.  

“There’s a lot of people [in Montreal]. Here there’s less people, and we can get better deals,” says Argyriou.

With lineups at dozens of stores, shoppers stood in line for up to 30 minutes, braving the rain and cold to get deals only available once a year.

All day, bags of items flew off the shelves. And with supply chain issues this year, many of these shoppers know that once it’s gone, it’s gone.

“So you better get your shopping done honey,” laughs Mousseau.

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