JOHN WOODS/The Canadian Press
Getting caught up on a week that got away? Here’s your weekly digest of the Globe’s most essential business and investing stories, with insights and analysis from the pros, stock tips, portfolio strategies and more.
Alberta will pursue plans to leave the Canada Pension Plan this fall after the provincial government released a report that said it is entitled to over half of the assets in the national program. Premier Danielle Smith is instead pushing to set up an alternative provincial pension system, suggesting Alberta could save billions of dollars a year and offer lower contribution rates to workers and more stable benefits to pensioners. The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), which invests assets from the CPP on behalf of working Canadians, has since questioned the credibility of the province’s math, according to reporting from James Bradshaw, Carrie Tait and Alanna Smith.
Canada is locked in a worsening diplomatic feud with India over allegations that Indian agents were involved in the slaying of a Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, on Canadian soil. Canadian industries and sectors have been closely watching the dispute and asking what it means for the two countries’ economic relationship. So far, the geopolitical tensions have led to the cancellation of Canada’s planned trade mission to India in October, as well as the suspension of talks toward a much-delayed trade agreement. India is Canada’s eighth-largest trading partner, though the $5.6-billion in exports shipped to India over the past year accounted for less than what Canada exported to China or to the United States, Jason Kirby, Niall McGee and James Bradshaw report.
Last year, many people demanded raises from employers amid the rising food costs and living expenses – but unionized workers locked into contracts were left to watch. That pattern is slowly changing and it’s payback time. In July, union settlements included an average wage adjustment of 7.1 per cent in the first year of new contracts, the highest since March, 1991. Economists worry, however, that recent wage settlements could complicate the Bank of Canada’s inflation efforts and lead to more labour disputes in the year ahead. Jason Kirby takes a closer look in the latest Decoder.
Canada’s annual inflation rate accelerated to 4 per cent in August, up from 3.3 per cent in July and the highest since April. The increase, driven by rising gasoline and rent prices, raises the odds that the Bank of Canada could deliver at least one more interest rate increase this year. Mark Rendell reports that core inflation measures, which filter out volatile price movements to capture underlying trends, also increased markedly – a point of concern for the central bank. The average of the central bank’s two preferred core inflation metrics hit 4 per cent in August. That’s twice the central bank’s 2-per-cent inflation target. The next rate decision is on Oct. 25.
Ford Motor Co. of Canada and the Unifor union staved off an autoworkers strike north of the border by reaching a three-year contract that covers 5,680 workers. The agreement is subject to a ratification vote by Ford workers at dates to be announced, and is expected to set the template for automotive labour in the electric age, Eric Atkins reports. Meanwhile, in the United States, the United Auto Workers expanded its strikes at more General Motors and Stellantis facilities, despite making progress with Ford in contract talks.
What’s the best place to retire in Canada? Well, your after-tax income in retirement depends on the strategy you choose in drawing income from different sources. It also depends on where you live. Figures calculated by Mygoals Inc. suggest, geographically, the numbers generally get better from east to west and also from south to north. Here’s a full breakdown from Frederick Vettese.
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