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Manulife Financial Corporation

Manulife Financial Corporation, based in Toronto, is Canada’s largest insurance company and one of the largest in the world. Its principal operations are located in Canada, the United States and Asia. Manulife offers life, health and income insurance protection, as well as annuities and wealth and asset management. It was founded in 1887 as Manufacturers Life Insurance Company Inc. Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. MacDonald, was also the company’s first president. Manulife is a public company that trades on the Toronto, New York and Philippine stock exchanges under the symbol MFC and on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong as 945. In 2018, Manulife registered $39 billion in revenue and $4.8 billion in profit and held $1.1 trillion in assets. The company employs more than 34,000 people, who serve nearly 28 million customers.

Article

Protectionism

Protectionism refers to government policies that shield domestic production (and producers) from foreign competition.

Article

Public Finance

The relative importance of government expenditures in the Canadian economy has risen dramatically over the past 70 years, from 15% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the late 1920s to 40% of GDP in 1980 and 50% in the early 1990s.

Editorial

Women on Canadian Banknotes

Though Queen Elizabeth II has appeared on the $20 bill since she was eight years old, identifiable Canadian women have only appeared on a Canadian banknote once. In 2004, the statue of the Famous Five from Parliament Hill and Olympic Plaza in Calgary, and the medal for the Thérèse Casgrain Volunteer Award were featured on the back of the $50 note. They were the first Canadian women to appear on our currency. However, in 2011, they were replaced by an icebreaker named for a man (see Roald Amundsen). The new bill was part of a series of notes meant to highlight technical innovation and achievement, but the change sparked controversy. Other than the image of a nameless female scientist on the $100 note issued in 2011, and two female Canadian Forces officers and a young girl on the $10 bill issued in 2001, Canadian women were absent from Canadian bills.

On 8 March 2016, International Women’s Day, the Bank of Canada launched a public consultation to choose an iconic Canadian woman who would be featured on a banknote, released in the next series of bills in 2018. More than 26,000 submissions poured in. Of those, 461 names met the qualifying criteria, and the list was pared down to a long list of 12 and finally a short list of five. The final selection will be announced on 8 December 2016.

But how did we get here?

Article

G. Ricordi & Co. Ltd.

G. Ricordi & Co. (Canada) Ltd. Canadian branch of the Italian firm which was established in Milan in 1808 and became the publisher of Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini, Verdi, and Puccini. Gordon Wry acted as Ricordi's Canadian agent early in the 1950s.

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Fur Farming

Starting in the late 1880s a new industry developed in Canada, as animals of various species began to be bred in captivity for their fur. Foxes were first farmed on Prince Edward Island. In 1913, the Island counted 277 fox farms and by 1923, there were 448.

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Child Labour

Child labour is defined as the regular employment of boys and girls under the age of 15 or 16. Attitudes toward child labour have altered dramatically since the late 18th century, when it was generally assumed that children should contribute to the family economy from about age seven.

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Sun Life Financial

Sun Life Financial, based in Toronto, is one of Canada’s largest insurance companies. It has operations located around the world and offers insurance and other investment products to individuals and corporate clients. Total assets of the company have grown from $74 million in 1915, to $55.8 billion in 2000 and $271.8 billion in 2018. Its shares trade on the Toronto, New York and Philippines stock markets.

Article

Canadian Free Trade Agreement

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.

Article

Nortel

Nortel Networks Corporation, or simply Nortel, was a public telecommunications and data networking equipment manufacturer. Founded in 1895 as the Northern Electric and Manufacturing Company, it was one of Canada’s oldest technology companies. Nortel expanded rapidly during the dot-com boom (1997–2001), purchasing many Internet technology companies in a drive to remain competitive in the expanding information technology (IT) market. At its height in 2000, the company represented over 35 per cent of the value of Toronto’s TSE 300 index. It was the ninth most valuable corporation in the world and employed about 94,000 people worldwide at its peak. But Nortel soon entered an extended and painful period of corporate downsizing, and in 2009, the company filed for bankruptcy protection in the largest corporate failure in Canadian history. Shareholders, employees and pensioners suffered losses as a result. Company executives, however, were paid a total US$190 million in retention bonuses between 2009 and 2016. Nortel sold off its assets for a total US$7.3 billion. Those assets were scheduled to be distributed to Nortel’s bondholders, suppliers and former employees in 2017.

Article

Moosehead Breweries Ltd.

Moosehead Breweries Limited, the maker of Moosehead Canadian Lager, is the oldest family-owned brewing company in Canada. Located in Saint John, New Brunswick, the company has been family owned and controlled for six generations and is currently led by founders Susannah and John Oland’s great-great-great grandson, Andrew Oland. Moosehead is the fourth-largest brewing company in Canada — after Molson, Labatt and Sleeman — and the last major brewery to be owned by Canadians. Moosehead beer is sold throughout Canada, in many locations in the United States, and in 15 countries around the world. The company brews 19 beers under 10 brands, including its mainstay Moosehead Canadian Lager, as well as James Ready, Alpine and Hop City. It also contract brews for six companies, including Samuel Adams, from the United States, and Estrella Damm, from Spain. Moosehead is a privately owned company and does not disclose its financial information; however, in 2018, market researchers estimated the company held as high as 3.8 per cent of the Canadian beer market and would generate $247.1 million in revenue.

Article

Seagram

Seagram Company Limited, commonly known as Seagram or Seagram’s, was the world’s largest producer and distributor of distilled spirits. Its head offices were in Montréal. While Seagram traced its roots back to a distillery founded in 1857, it was incorporated as a public company in 1928 under the name Distillers Corporation-Seagrams Ltd., a holding company that acquired the capital stocks of Distillers Corporation Ltd. and Joseph E. Seagram & Sons Ltd. It gained notoriety during American prohibition (1920–33), during which time Seagram legally exported spirits directly and circuitously to the United States. The company was majority owned and operated by the Bronfman family; Samuel Bronfman established the company in 1928 and his eldest son, Edgar, took over after his death in 1971. Edgar in turn handed control to his son Edgar Jr. in 1994. The company expanded and diversified a few times, branching from the liquor business to the oil and gas industry in the 1950s and 1960s, the petrochemicals industry in the 1980s, with industry giant DuPont, and the entertainment and communications business in the 1990s, with MCA Inc. and Universal. In 2000, the company was sold to French conglomerate Vivendi, who retained Seagram’s entertainment and communications wing but sold its distilling interests to Pernod Ricard and Diageo.

Article

Enbridge

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.

Article

Encana (Ovintiv)

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. 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 2019, Encana announced plans to move its corporate headquarters from Calgary, Alberta to Denver, Colorado and rebrand as Ovintiv Inc. Encana Corporation earned $5.9 billion in revenue and $1.07 billion in profit in 2018, and it held $15.3 billion in assets. It is a public company that trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ECA.

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Economic History of Atlantic Canada

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.