Suncor Energy Inc.’s chief executive officer stepped down on Friday after a series of fatalities at the company’s oil sands sites shook confidence in its management.
Mark Little agreed to step down as president and CEO and resign from the board of directors “effective immediately,” the company said in a release. Kris Smith, executive vice president for downstream, has been named interim CEO.
Little’s resignation came a day after a worker was killed at Suncor’s Base Plant mine in northern Alberta, the latest in a series of accidents that has prompted calls for change.
“Suncor is committed to achieving safety and operational excellence across our business, and we must acknowledge where we have fallen short and recognize the critical need for change,” Board Chair Michael Wilson said in the release.
In April, Suncor investor Elliott Investment Management LP called for five directors to be added to the producer’s board and sought a management review after operational mishaps and accidents at its oil-sands projects caused the company to miss production targets. Elliot Investment said in an email Friday that it had no comment.
A truck accident in January killed a contractor and injured two others at the Base Plant mine. In June of last year, a person was killed at the Syncrude mine, and two deaths occurred in December 2020 at the Fort Hills mine.
Suncor’s safety record has been a contributing factor to its poor investment returns. Over the past two years, the company’s share price has risen less than the four other major Canadian oil sands producers Cenovus Energy Inc., Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Imperial Oil Ltd. and MEG Energy Corp.
Suncor’s board has formed a committee to carry out a global search for the next CEO, the company said. External and internal candidates will be considered for the role.
Little took over leadership of the Canadian energy giant three years ago, replacing Steve Williams. He steered the company through the pandemic, when oil demand collapsed and West Texas Intermediate futures prices briefly went negative.
Covid-19 also posed unique operational challenges for oil sands producers such as Suncor, which struggled to stem the rapid spread of the virus among thousands of workers often living and working in close quarters in remote camps.
Little also tried to improve his company’s image within the investment community by focusing, along with other oil sands producers, on reducing the industry’s carbon emissions.
Posthaste: Toronto, Vancouver housing markets face deepest decline in 50 years, says RBC – Yahoo Canada Finance
The toll that rising interest rates are taking across Canada’s housing markets became even more apparent this past week as reports from local real estate boards revealed the downturn was deepening from coast to coast.
“Prices are sliding fast, and the exuberance that permeated these markets earlier this year is being replaced by fear,” wrote RBC assistant chief economist Robert Hogue in a recent note.
“In the Toronto and Vancouver areas, the decline in activity is quickly becoming one of the deepest of the past half a century.”
Apart from the dive housing took in the early COVID-19 lockdown, home sales in Toronto have fallen to the slowest pace in 13 years, Hogue said.
Meanwhile, inventories are climbing quickly, up 58% from a year ago, and buyers are now managing to get “meaningful price concessions” from sellers, he said.
Since March the composite MLS Home Price Index has shed $178,000, or 13%, falling to $1.16 million. In July alone prices declined 3.9% or $47,000.
Toronto is not a buyer’s market yet, according to the sales to new listings ratio, but RBC expects home hunters in the GTA to continue to find better deals, especially in the 905 areas outside of the core where prices soared during the pandemic.
Vancouver, where home sales are down 40% over the past four months, is also experiencing a big chill. July saw an estimated 9% decline.
Home prices have fallen 4.5% since April, or more than $57,000, but RBC thinks the correction here is still in its early stages.
It expects prices to fall more rapidly in coming months, especially in the detached home sector.
The heavy hit to Canada’s two most expensive cities was predictable, but signs of the correction are now cropping up in more affordable cities as well.
“The downturn may be more contained in other markets but unmistaken nonetheless,” wrote Hogue.
Home sales in Montreal this year have been slowing gradually and by July had declined to 17% below pre-pandemic levels. That and a rise in inventories have returned the market to balance, said Hogue.
Previously this had just slowed the growth in prices, but July could be a turning point, with both single-family homes and condo prices actually declining.
“This development took place across the region, suggesting a board-based price correction may be underway,” said Hogue.
Even in Calgary, this year’s real estate star, there are signs the market is softening. Home sales remain at historically high levels, but have calmed since the buying frenzy seen at the beginning of the year.
Higher interest rates are pushing buyers to more affordable options, like condos, and demand for more expensive detached homes is down.
Calgary’s composite MLS HPI peaked in May and has slipped lower since, he said.
A speedy rise to interest rates are the reason for the cross-country correction and with rates expected to go even higher (RBC forecasts another 75 basis by the fall) it will only get worse.
“We expect the downturn to intensify and spread further as buyers take a wait-and-see approach while ascertaining the impact of higher lending rates,” said Hogue.
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THE TEAM BEHIND THE ‘NUMBER’ Canadians are in a historic, inflationary moment — the likes of which some have never seen in their lifetime. The drumbeat of grim, inflation statistics has been steadily pounding for over a year now, pushing the consumer price index to a high of 8.1% in June. But have you ever wondered who calculates “the number” and how they do it? The Financial Post’s Joe O’Connor goes behind the scenes at Statistics Canada’s Consumer Price Division and meets economists like Andrew Barclay, above, to get the scoop on the price “nerds.” Photo by Statistics Canada
Wayne Eyre, Canada’s chief of the defence staff, will hold a media one-on-one call back on the topic of Arctic security and international collaboration following discussions with representatives from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and the United States regarding the evolving security environment in the Arctic, opportunities for enhanced co-operation as well as Canada’s Arctic defence capabilities and initiatives
Meeting requested by four members of the Transport, Infrastructure and Communities committee to discuss their request to undertake a study of airport delays and cancellations
Vic Fedeli, Ontario minister of economic development, job creation and trade, will make an announcement
A fireside chat with Katie Keita, Shopify Inc. senior director of investor relations, at the KeyBanc technology leadership forum in Vail, Colorado
Earnings: Barrick Gold, Hudbay Minerals, WSP Global, RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust, Curaleaf, Hudbay Minerals
Canada’s job numbers Friday surprised economists who had been expecting a gain in employment. Instead the economy shed almost 31,000 positions after losing 43,000 jobs in June. Many saw this as a sign that the economy is cooling, but don’t think that will stop the Bank of Canada from hiking rates. “For the Bank of Canada, the takeaway will be that while growth is clearly cooling, conditions remain drum-tight and wages are stirring,” wrote BMO chief economist Douglas Porter after the data came out Friday. “We believe this backdrop is consistent with another rate hike at the September meeting, but of a less aggressive nature than the mega 100 bp move in July. We look for a 50 bp hike at that time.”
The rise in food prices is pushing 10% and more than two in five Canadians say they’ve been affected by rising costs.
With inflation impacting the prices of everyday goods, finding ways to save money on your grocery bill is more than welcome.
From planning ahead to buying “ugly food,” our content partner MoneyWise has six strategies to help you lower your costs the next time you go to the grocery store.
Have a story idea, pitch, embargoed report, or a suggestion for this newsletter? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or hit reply to send us a note.
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Metrolinx cancels some GO train trips due to staffing issues – CP24
Metrolinx cancelled a number of GO train trips Monday and says more cancellations are possible this week amid staffing shortages.
On its website, Metrolinx attributed the cancellations to staff illnesses and issued an apology.
“We are sorry to advise that due to staff illnesses we will need to cancel some train trips this week,” the company said in a statement. “Please check the service updates page before travelling, check the departure boards at your station, or follow our GO bus and train line Twitter handles for the status of your trip.”
Monday’s cancellations include:
- The Oshawa GO 07:55 – Union Station 08:55
- The Kitchener GO 07:15 – Union Station 08:58
While Metrolinx has not provided information on closures past Monday, they say the possibility of cancellations will be ongoing throughout the week.
Canada continues to have very low unemployment rate | Canada Immigration News – Canada Immigration News
Canada’s unemployment rate held steady at 4.9% in July, matching the record low from the month before.
The total number of unemployed people held steady at one million in July. In addition, 426,000 people wanted a job but did not look for one, and therefore did not meet the definition of unemployed. This was little changed for the sixth consecutive month. The adjusted unemployment rate—which accounts for this source of potential labour supply—remained at 6.8%, the lowest rate since comparable data first became available in 1997.
In addition, employment in Canada decreased by 31,000 jobs, which according to Statistics Canada does not represent a significant change. Canada lost about 74,000 jobs from May to July, but from May 2021 to May 2022, employment had increased by more than one million.
That being said, July marks the second consecutive month of decreased employment in Canada. Plus, the record-low unemployment coupled with more than one million job vacancies means Canada is still facing a tight labour market.
“Two consecutive months of lower employment indicates that the Canadian labour market is running up against capacity constraints, with little room for upside movement,” writes RBC economist Carrie Freestone in an economic update. “Demand for workers is still very high with job postings still 65% above pre-pandemic levels (though the number of job postings continues to fall), and there are few unemployed Canadians available to fill these vacant positions.”
Employment among public sector employees fell by 51,000 (1.2%) in July, the first decline in the sector in 12 months. The decrease was largely concentrated in Ontario and Quebec. Despite the month-over-month decline, public sector employment was up 5.3% (+215,000) compared to July 2021.
The number of self-employed workers increased by 34,000 (+1.3%) in July after falling by 59,000 (-2.2%) in June. Despite this increase, self-employment remained flat on a year-over-year basis and was 214,000 (-7.4%) below its pre-pandemic February 2020 level.
Employment fell by 53,000 (-0.3%) in the services-producing sector in July. Wholesale and retail trade contributed the most to losses in this sector. The number of people working in wholesale and retail trade fell by 27,000 (-0.9%) in July, the second consecutive monthly decline. The majority of the net decrease took place in Ontario and Quebec.
“Job losses were strangely concentrated in the services sector, including wholesale and retail, education and health,” Andrew Grantham, CIBC told Reuters. “With some of those sectors reporting high vacancy rates; labour supply rather than demand appears to be the main issue. That said, the major difference between today’s report and last month’s is that wage growth unexpectedly decelerated.”
Average hourly wages for employees rose 5.2% (+$1.55 to $31.14) on a year-over-year basis in July, roughly the same year-over-year rate of increase seen in June (+5.2%; +$1.54). For a second consecutive month, average hourly wages grew at a similar pace among part-time (+5.0%; +$1.05) and full-time (+4.9%; +$1.52) employees. Earlier in 2022, wage growth had been faster among full-time employees compared to part-time workers.
The most recent inflation data indicated that the Consumer Price Index rose 8.1% on a year-over-year basis in June, the largest annual change in nearly 40 years.
“The rising cost of living is raising the temperature at the collective bargaining table,” wrote economist Liam Daly in a Conference Board of Canada media release. “Given the rate of inflation, unions argue that typical annual pay rises are simply insufficient. Amid high vacancy rates and a low unemployment rate, workers are negotiating from a strengthened position.”
Doug Porter, BMO economist, said in a statement to Reuters the main takeaway is that the job market is still very tight.
“We’re still dealing with the lowest unemployment rate in at least 50 years, and wages that are running strong,” Porter said. “But from a growth angle the reality is employers are having trouble finding employees, and, so that caps the growth of the economy.”
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