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Teck Resources says it faces $1.1-billion hit on Frontier oil sands project without federal approval – The Globe and Mail

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Visitors pass a logo of Teck Resources Ltd mining company during the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada annual convention, in Toronto, in a March 4, 2019, file photo.

Chris Helgren/Reuters

Teck Resources Ltd. says it would be forced to take a write down of $1.1-billion on the Frontier oil sands project if the federal government doesn’t approve it.

The Liberals are expected to make a decision by the end of the month on whether Vancouver-based Teck is allowed to proceed with Frontier.

Over the past few months, Frontier has become a political flashpoint in Canada. Its proponents, such as Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, argue that approving the project would boost the ailing provincial economy, but its detractors point out that Frontier would significantly set back Canada’s attempts to reduce its carbon footprint and meet international emissions benchmarks.

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An early stage study predicted that the project could produce 260,000 barrels of oil a day, which would make it one of the biggest operations in the oil sands.

But Teck hasn’t proven whether the project which it previously said would cost more than $20-billion to construct, would be commercially viable.

Last month, the miner’s chief executive, Don Lindsay, told investors at a conference that for the project to go ahead, it would need higher oil prices, sufficient pipeline capacity and a partner, to help shoulder the burden.

If the project does get the go-ahead from the federal government, Teck says it will work on trying to prove the project can be viable.

On Friday, the company said in a statement alongside its fourth quarter earnings, that thanks to ongoing technological and operational improvements it believes Frontier will be “technically feasible and commercially viable.”

The uncertainty over the Frontier project comes as Teck struggles with its other oil sands property, which is already in production. Teck took a $910-million write down on Fort Hills, which it co-owns alongside Suncor Energy Inc., in the quarter, due to lower expectations for crude oil prices.

Teck’s fourth quarter results were weaker than expected.

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It reported adjusted earnings per share of $0.22 compared to the $0.40 that the street was looking for.

The company also sounded a bleak tone for the year, as it navigates weakness across its core metallurgical coal business.

“Ongoing global economic uncertainty negatively impacted commodity prices in the fourth quarter and that has continued into 2020, exacerbated by the effect on markets from the coronavirus and the impact of severe weather conditions in British Columbia, followed by blockades on rail lines,” Mr. Lindsay said in a statement.

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RBC warns house price correction could be deepest in decades | CTV News – CTV News Toronto

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A housing correction, which has already led to four consecutive months of price declines in the previously overheated Greater Toronto Area market, could end up becoming “one of the deepest of the past half a century,” a new report from RBC warns.

New data released by the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) last week revealed that the average benchmark price for a home in the GTA fell six per cent month-over-month in July to $1,074,754.

Sales were also down a staggering 47 per cent from July, 2021.

In a report published on Aug. 4, RBC Senior Economist Robert Hogue said recent data from real estate boards underlines that higher interest rates are beginning to take a “huge toll” on the market.

Hogue said that with further hikes to come, prices will likely continue to slide in the coming months.

That prediction, it should be noted, goes against a report from Royal LePage last month which painted a rosier forecast for sellers in which values would more or less holding for the rest of the year following some declines in the second quarter.

“Our expectations for further hikes by the Bank of Canada—another 75 basis points to go in the overnight rate by the fall— will keep chilling the market in the months ahead,” Hogue said. “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. Canada’s least affordable markets Vancouver and Toronto, and their surrounding regions, are most at risk in light of their excessively stretched affordability and outsized price gains during the pandemic.”

The Bank of Canada has hiked the overnight lending rate by 225 basis points since March and has warned that further hikes will be necessary given that inflation remains at a near 40-year high.

In his report, Hogue pointed out that the housing correction “now runs far and wide across Canada” but he said that it is particularly pronounced in the costlier markets of Toronto and Vancouver.

In fact, Hogue said that housing resale activity in Toronto is at its slowest pace in 13 years, outside of the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The stockpile of available homes is also up 58 per cent from a year ago, he noted.

“With more options to choose from and higher interest rates shrinking their purchasing budgets, buyers are able to extract meaningful price concessions from sellers,” he said, pointing out that the average price of a home in the GTA is down 13 per cent from March. “We expect buyers to remain on the defensive in the months ahead as they deal with rising interest rates and poor affordability.”

While Hogue did say that condos in the City of Toronto are likely to remain “relatively more resilient” he said that prices elsewhere will continue to fall for the time being, especially in the 905 belt “where property values soared during the pandemic.”

The July data from TRREB suggested that the average price of a home in the GTA was still up one per cent from July, 2021.

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Commuters face GO transit cancellations, possible strike – CityNews

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Canada Revenue Agency plans email blitz to get Canadians to cash outstanding cheques worth $1.4-billion – The Globe and Mail

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The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is planning a massive e-mail notification campaign to reach Canadians across the country who have uncashed cheques worth a net $1.4-billion.

The e-mail notifications will target recipients of the Canada child benefit and related provincial and territorial programs, as well as recipients of the GST/HST credits and the Alberta Energy Tax Refund.

The CRA said it plans to send approximately 25,000 e-mails in August, another 25,000 in November and a further 25,000 e-mails by May, 2023.

However, even without receiving an e-mail notification, the agency said a taxpayer can check if they have a cheque by logging into My Account, a secure portal on its website to check if they have an uncashed cheque over a period of six months. It added that representatives can also view uncashed cheques of their clients.

Each year, the CRA said it issues millions of payments to Canadian taxpayers in the form of refund benefits. These payments are issued by either direct deposit or by cheque.

“Over time, payments can remain uncashed for various reasons, such as the taxpayer misplacing the cheque or even a change of address which did not allow for delivery,” the agency said in a statement.

The CRA said since the e-mail notification initiative was first launched in February, 2020, about two million uncashed cheques valued at $802-million were redeemed by May 31, 2022.

The average amount per uncashed cheque is $158 with some of them dating as far back as 1998, the agency said.

As of May, 2022, there were an estimated 8.9 million uncashed cheques with the CRA. In May, 2019, about five million Canadians had an estimated 7.6 million uncashed cheques.

“As government cheques never expire or stale date, the CRA cannot void the original cheque and re-issue a new one unless requested by the taxpayer,” the statement read. “These upcoming e-notifications are to encourage taxpayers to cash any cheques they have in their possession.”

The agency said taxpayers can register for the direct deposit option on its website to receive payments directly into their bank accounts.

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