The Bank of Canada (BoC) is the country’s central bank, a financial institution that provides banking services on behalf of the federal government. Its operations include four principal functions: to manage the country’s money supply; to act as the federal government’s agent in issuing its bonds and managing its holdings of foreign currencies; to manage various monetary policies that can influence the performance of the economy, such as interest rates; and to manage the overall financial industry in Canada and economic relations with other countries and international organizations. The Bank of Canada’s headquarters are in Ottawa.
Gross domestic product (GDP) refers to the value of all final goods and services produced within a country by all factors of production, regardless of their ownership, usually during one year. Statistics Canada switched to GDP in their calculations of national production in 1986 to facilitate comparisons with other international statistics as most other countries used GDP. Despite its limitations, GDP is considered the best and most concise overall measure of economic performance. It is often used to calculate changes in a country’s standard of living. The growth of inflation-adjusted GDP (known as real GDP) is an important economic performance indicator. The tracking of GDP over time is used as evidence of business cycle performance, as traditionally two consecutive quarters of negative real GDP growth are referred to as a recession. As well, the distinction is often made between the growth of total real GDP (known as extensive growth) and the growth of real GDP per person (intensive growth), with intensive growth often used as an indicator of welfare per person in an economy.
The Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) is an inter-governmental trade agreement regulating trade within Canada. It took effect on 1 July 2017. The goal of the agreement was to reduce or eliminate regulations against the free movement of goods, services, and investments within Canada. The officials who framed the new deal said they wanted to ensure that Canadian firms got the same access to the Canadian market as firms from the country’s international trading partners. CFTA also more closely matches the terms of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA), which began taking effect in 2017.
Bombardier Inc. is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of trains and commercial and private airplanes. Headquartered in Montréal, the company was originally incorporated as L’Auto-Neige Bombardier Limitée in 1942. Its founder, Joseph-Armand Bombardier, was a Québécois mechanical engineer who invented one of the first commercially viable snowmobiles. Bombardier Inc. has grown considerably from its beginnings as a snowmobile manufacturer and is now an iconic Canadian company, known for its public transportation vehicles and aircraft such as the C Series.
Coal miners at Bienfait, Saskatchewan, had joined the militant Mine Workers' Union of Canada in 1931. In September of that year they went on strike to win recognition of their union as a prelude to pressing demands for a restoration of wages cut by the local coal operators.
It was a feat of magic befitting Harry Potter. In early July, Allan MacDougall, the head of Vancouver's Raincoast Books, was in the same jam as most Canadian publishers. Collectively, they were owed tens of millions of dollars in back payments by gigantic bookstore chain Chapters Inc.
Ontario and Quebec constitute Central Canada, a region that accounts for over 58 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP). The economic history of the region begins with the hunting, farming and trading societies of the Indigenous peoples. Following the arrival of Europeans in the 16th century, the economy has undergone a series of seismic shifts, marked by the transcontinental fur trade, then rapid urbanization, industrialization and technological change.
Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Newfoundland constitute the Atlantic provinces of Canada, a region that in 2016 accounted for 6 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP). The economic history of what is now Atlantic Canada begins with the hunting, farming and trading societies of the Indigenous peoples. Following the arrival of Europeans in the 16th century, the economy has undergone a series of seismic shifts, marked by the early Atlantic fishery, the transcontinental fur trade, then rapid urbanization, industrialization and technological change.
Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia constitute Western Canada, a region that accounts for 35 per cent of the Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP). The economic history of the region begins with the hunting, farming and trading societies of the Indigenous peoples. Following the arrival of Europeans in the 18th century, the economy has undergone a series of seismic shifts, marked by the transcontinental fur trade, then rapid urbanization, industrialization and technological change.
The Toronto-Dominion Bank, commonly known as TD, is the second-largest chartered bank in Canada. The Toronto-Dominion Bank is the result of the past mergers of three financial companies: The Bank of Toronto, The Dominion Bank, and Canada Trust. The mergers began in 1955 when The Dominion Bank merged with The Bank of Toronto. This group then acquired Canada Trust in 2000, creating a new entity called TD Canada Trust. Toronto-Dominion Bank is a public company that trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TD. In 2017, TD registered $36.1 billion in revenue and $10.4 billion in profit and held $1.3 trillion in assets. The bank employs 83,160 people, who serve 25 million customers.
The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) was founded in 1864. Today, it is the country’s largest chartered bank and financial institution, and one of the 20 largest banks in the world. It has five divisions that operate under the umbrella brand name of RBC Financial Group: Personal and Commercial Banking, consisting of banking operations in 37 countries around the world; RBC Wealth Management, consisting of investment products and services for retail investors; RBC Capital Markets for international investment banking services; RBC Insurance for individual and group clients; and Investor and Treasury Services, providing custody services and fund administration for international clients. RBC is a public company that trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange, the New York Stock Exchange and SIX Swiss Exchange under the symbol RY. In 2017, RBC registered $40.7 billion in revenue and $11.4 billion in profit and held $1.2 trillion in assets. RBC employs 80,000 people, who serve 16 million customers.
The Bank of Nova Scotia, commonly referred to as “Scotiabank,” is Canada’s third largest chartered bank. Incorporated in 1832, the bank has established itself as Canada’s most international bank through extensive operations throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, Central America and parts of Asia. It is also known as “Canada’s gold bank” because of its dominant position in bullion trading. The bank also operates three other business lines: personal banking, commercial banking, and wealth management. Scotiabank is a public company that trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BNS and on the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange under the symbol SBTT. In 2017, Scotiabank registered $27.1 billion in revenue and $8.2 billion in profit and held $915.3 billion in assets. The bank employs 88,645 people, who serve 24 million customers in nearly 50 countries.
The Bank of Montreal was founded in 1817, making it Canada’s oldest incorporated bank. From its founding to the creation of the Bank of Canada in 1935, the Bank of Montreal served as Canada’s central bank. Today, the various components of the Bank of Montreal are collectively known as BMO Financial Group. It’s Canada’s fourth largest bank by assets, and the eighth largest in North America. It offers services in three distinct areas — personal and commercial banking, wealth management, and investment banking. BMO is Canada’s fourth largest bank by assets, and the eighth largest in North America. It offers services in three distinct areas — personal and commercial banking, wealth management, and investment banking. BMO is a public company that trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BMO. In 2017, BMO registered $22.2 billion in revenue and $5.3 billion in profit and held $709.6 billion in assets. BMO employs 45,200 people, who serve more than 12 million customers.
Tim Hortons is a Canadian restaurant chain known for its coffee, doughnuts and connection to Canada’s national identity. Its namesake, Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Tim Horton (1930–74), founded the business with Montréal businessman Jim Charade. The first Tim Hortons doughnut franchise opened in Hamilton, Ontario, in April 1964. Since then, Tim Hortons has become Canada’s largest restaurant chain, operating 3,665 stores across the country as of 2016. In 1995, American fast-food chain Wendy’s bought Tim Hortons in a partnership that lasted until 2006. In 2014, the chain was again purchased by a foreign company, this time by Brazilian firm 3G Capital, known for its ownership of Burger King. Despite foreign ownership, Tim Hortons remains a Canadian cultural phenomenon.
Canada is the world’s leading producer and exporter of maple products, accounting for 71 per cent of the global market. In 2016, Canadian producers exported 45 million kg of maple products, with a value of $381 million. The province of Québec is by far the largest producer, representing 92 per cent of Canadian production. Maple syrup and maple sugar products are made by boiling down the sap of maple trees. World production of maple syrup and sugar is mainly limited to the Maple Belt, the hardwood forest stretching from the midwestern United States through Ontario, Québec and New England and into New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island; however, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan also produce some syrup.
Enbridge is a Canadian-based multinational corporation that generates, transports and distributes energy. It also has growing investments in wind, solar and geothermal energy generation. It owns and operates the world’s longest pipeline network, which transports 28 per cent of North America’s crude oil. It is North America’s leader in gathering, processing, transporting and distributing natural gas, with about 3.6 million customers in Canada and New York state. Enbridge’s headquarters is in Calgary, Alberta, and the company employs approximately 16,000 people. In 2016, it boasted revenue of $34.5 billion, $85.8 billion in assets and 2.1 billion in profits. Enbridge is a public company that trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ENB.
Pipelines are systems of connected pipes used to transport liquids and gases — namely oil and natural gas — across long distances from source to market. More than 840,000 km of pipelines criss-cross the country, part of a larger oil and gas sector that employs between 100,000 and 200,000 Canadians. According to Natural Resources Canada, the sector earns the government an average of $19 billion in royalties, fees and taxes each year. It also contributes nearly 8 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product. Yet pipelines have also been controversial in Canada over fears that the fossil fuel use they facilitate could be significantly contributing to climate change. In recent years, Indigenous groups, environmentalists, municipalities, mayors and labour unions have opposed numerous pipeline projects they believe could contaminate local waterways through spills and leaks.
George Weston Limited is one of North America’s largest processors and distributors of food. The company operates two subsidiaries: grocery, drugstore and general retailer Loblaw Companies Limited and Weston Foods, a baking company. George Weston Ltd. owns a variety of brands and retail banners. Weston Foods includes Wonder, D’Italiano and Country Harvest and Loblaw brands include No Name, President’s Choice, Life Brand and Joe Fresh. Loblaw stores include Loblaws, Zehrs, Your Independent Grocer, Provigo, Atlantic Superstore, Fortinos, Dominion, Independent City Market, Valu-mart, ARZ Bakery, Wholesale Club, T&T Supermarket, Real Canadian Liquorstore, Real Canadian Superstore, No Frills, Maxi, Extra Foods and Shoppers Drug Mart. In 2016, George Weston Ltd. registered $48 billion in revenue and $550 million in profit and held assets valued at $38 billion. George Weston Ltd. is the country’s largest employer, with 201,500 full- and part-time employees as of 2016. It is a public company headquartered in Toronto and listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol WN.
Encana Corporation produces, transports and markets oil and natural gas. It was formed in 2002 through the merger of the Alberta Energy Company Ltd. and the PanCanadian Energy Corporation. Its corporate headquarters is in Calgary, Alberta. In 2009, the company split in two. Encana remained a corporate entity focused on the exploration, production and marketing of natural gas, and Cenovus Energy was formed to concentrate on oil exploration, production and sales. In 2016, Encana Corporation earned $3.9 billion in revenue. It is a public company and trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ECA.