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Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, commonly known as CIBC, is the fifth largest chartered bank in Canada. It was created through the 1961 merger of two Ontario-based banks, the Canadian Bank of Commerce and the Imperial Bank of Canada — the largest merger of two chartered banks in Canada’s history. Today, CIBC operates its business in Canada and abroad through three divisions: retail and business banking, wealth management, and capital markets. CIBC is a public company that trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CM. In 2021, CIBC registered $20.02 billion in revenue and $6.45 billion in profit and held $837.68 billion in assets. The bank employs approximately 45,282 people, who serve 11 million clients.

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Bank of Montreal (BMO)

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. 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 2021, BMO registered $27.19 billion in revenue and $7.75 billion in profit and held $988.18 billion in assets. BMO employs more than 43,863 people who serve more than 8 million customers across Canada.

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Interest Rates in Canada

Interest is the price charged to borrow money. Expressed as a rate, interest is a percentage of the amount of money borrowed (the principal amount) that is to be paid for an agreed period of time. Interest can be paid by a borrower to a lender (e.g., to a bank), but it can also be paid by a bank to individuals whose money the bank uses to lend money to other borrowers. In Canada, interest rates are determined by the policy of the Bank of Canada, the demand for loans, the supply of available lending capital, interest rates in the United States, inflation rates and other economic factors. The Bank of Canada helps the Canadian government manage the economy by setting the bank rate and controlling the money supply.

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Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) was founded in 1864. Today, it is the country’s largest chartered bank and financial institution. It has five divisions: Personal and Commercial Banking, consisting of banking operations in 36 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. Royal Bank is a public company that trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange, New York Stock Exchange and SIX Swiss Exchange under the symbol RY. In 2021, RBC registered $49.7 billion in revenue and $16.05 billion in profit and held $1.7 trillion in assets. Royal Bank employs more than 87,000 people, who serve 17 million customers.

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Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank)

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 2021, Scotiabank registered $31.25 billion in revenue and $9.96 billion in profit and held $1.18 trillion in assets. The bank employs more than 90,000 people, who serve more than 25 million customers around the world.

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Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

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.

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Fur Trade in Canada

The fur trade was a vast commercial enterprise across the wild, forested expanse of what is now Canada. It was at its peak for nearly 250 years, from the early 17th to the mid-19th centuries. It was sustained primarily by the trapping of beavers to satisfy the European demand for felt hats. The intensely competitive trade opened the continent to exploration and settlement. It financed missionary work, established social, economic and colonial relationships between Europeans and Indigenous people, and played a formative role in the creation and development of Canada.

(This is the full-length entry about the fur trade. For a plain-language summary, please see Fur Trade in Canada (Plain Language Summary).)

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Fur Trade in Canada (Plain-Language Summary)

The fur trade began in the 1600s in what is now Canada. It continued for more than 250 years. Europeans traded with Indigenous people for beaver pelts. The demand for felt hats in Europe drove this business. The fur trade was one of the main reasons that Europeans explored and colonized Canada. It built relationships between Europeans and Indigenous peoples.

(This article is a plain-language summary of the fur trade. If you are interested in reading about this topic in more depth, please see our full-length entry, Fur Trade in Canada.)

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Carbon Pricing in Canada

Carbon pricing refers to a cost that is imposed on the combustion of fossil fuels used by industry and consumers. Pricing can be set either directly through a carbon tax or indirectly through a cap-and-trade market system. A price on carbon is intended to capture the public costs of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and shift the burden for damage back to the original emitters, compelling them to reduce emissions. In 2016, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a national climate change policy that includes a system of carbon pricing across Canada. Provinces can either create their own systems to meet federal requirements or have a federal carbon tax imposed on them. Nine provinces and territories have their own carbon pricing plans that meet federal requirements. Ottawa has imposed its own carbon tax in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.

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Maple Syrup Industry

Canada is the world’s leading producer and exporter of maple products, accounting for 75 per cent of the global market. In 2020, Canadian producers exported over 61 million kg of maple products, with a value of $515 million. The province of Quebec is by far the largest producer, representing 96.4 per cent of Canadian product exports. 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, Quebec and New England and into New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island; however, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan also produce some syrup.

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Automotive Industry

The automotive industry includes the production of cars and car parts (see automobile). Since the early 20th century, it has been one of Canada’s most significant manufacturing industries, as well as a key driver of Canada’s manufactured imports and exports, employment and overall industrial production. (See also Manufacturing in Canada; Industry in Canada.) Though dominated by foreign firms (largely American), Canada boasts a strong domestic parts manufacturing sector that emerged in the last part of the 20th century. Concentrated in Southern Ontario, Canada’s auto sector evolved as a consequence of industrial policies such as protectionism and free trade.

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Unemployment in Canada

Unemployment is the unused supply of labour in the labour force. The unemployment rate measures unemployment and is expressed as a percentage of the total labour force, which is the total number of people who are 15 years of age and over who are either employed or unemployed. The unemployment rate is calculated by dividing the number of unemployed people by the number of people in the labour force. The unemployment rate is considered an economic indicator, an economic statistic that is used to interpret or understand the health of an economy. There are several types of unemployment and their causes are often debated by economists. The unemployed are not a fixed collection of individuals but an ever-changing group, most of whom might be unemployed only briefly.

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Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD)

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 2021, TD registered $42.69 billion in revenue and $14.30 billion in profit and held $1.73 trillion in assets. The bank employs approximately 90,000 people, who serve more than 26.8 million customers.

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Molson Coors Beverage Company

The Molson Coors Beverage Company (formerly Molson Coors Brewing Company) is a partly Canadian-owned enterprise and one of the world's largest beer makers. Its Canadian arm, Molson Coors Canada, is the successor to Molson Breweries, one of the country's oldest companies.

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Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Programs

Temporary foreign worker programs are regulated by the federal government and allow employers to hire foreign nationals on a temporary basis to fill gaps in their workforces. Each province and territory also has its own set of policies that affect the administration of the programs. Canada depends on thousands of migrant workers every year to bolster its economy and to support its agricultural, homecare, and other lower-wage sectors. In 2014, there were 567,077 migrant workers employed in Canada, with migrant farm workers making up 12 per cent of Canada’s agricultural workforce. A growing labour shortage is projected to increase, with a study by the Conference Board of Canada projecting 113,800 unfilled jobs by 2025.

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Taxation in Canada

Taxes are mandatory payments by individuals and corporations to government. They are levied to finance government services, redistribute income, and influence the behaviour of consumers and investors. The Constitution Act, 1867 gave Parliament unlimited taxing powers and restricted those of the provinces to mainly direct taxation (taxes on income and property, rather than on activities such as trade). Personal income tax and corporate taxes were introduced in 1917 to help finance the First World War (see Income Tax in Canada). The Canadian tax structure changed profoundly during the Second World War. By 1946, direct taxes accounted for more than 56 per cent of federal revenue. The federal government introduced a series of tax reforms between 1987 and 1991; this included the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). In 2009, the federal, provincial and municipal governments collected $585.8 billion in total tax revenues

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Minimum Wage

Minimum wage is the lowest wage rate that an employer is legally permitted to pay to an employee. In Canada, provinces and territories regulate minimum wage (see Provincial Government in Canada; Territorial Government in Canada). The federal government also sets a minimum wage for employees covered by Part III of the Canada Labour Code. Minimum wage policy was originally established to protect vulnerable workers from exploitation, and it continues to be used by governments to safeguard non-unionized workers (see Labour Force; Unions).

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Hudson's Bay Company

The Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC), chartered 2 May 1670, is the oldest incorporated joint-stock merchandising company in the English-speaking world. HBC was a fur trading business for most of its history, a past that is entwined with the colonization of British North America and the development of Canada. As of 2020, the company now owns and operates nearly 250 department stores in Canada and the United States, including Hudson’s Bay, Saks Fifth Avenue and Saks OFF 5TH. Originally headquartered in London, England, its head offices are located in Brampton, Ontario. HBC is a private business owned by a holding company.

This is the full-length entry about the Hudson’s Bay Company. For a plain-language summary, please see Hudson’s Bay Company (Plain-Language Summary).

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National Energy Program

The National Energy Program (NEP) was an energy policy of the government of Canada from 1980 through 1985. Its goal was to ensure that Canada could supply its own oil and gas needs by 1990. The NEP was initially popular with consumers and as a symbol of Canadian economic nationalism. However, private industry and some provincial governments opposed it.

A federal-provincial deal resolved controversial parts of the NEP in 1981. Starting the next year, however, the program was dismantled in phases. Global economic conditions had changed such that the NEP was no longer considered necessary or useful. The development of the oil sands and offshore drilling, as well as the rise in Western alienation and the development of the modern Conservative Party of Canada, are all aspects of the NEP’s complicated legacy.