TORONTO – Five things to watch this week in Canadian business:
Auto Talks: Unifor, which represents some 23,000 workers at Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler, will announce on Tuesday which of those automakers will be its target company in the opening round of negotiations for a collective agreement. The union says it plans to use the contract it reaches with that company as a template heading into talks with the other automakers.
Pipeline Politics: The National Energy Board’s review of the Energy East Pipeline was thrust into limbo last week after protests turned violent during hearings in Montreal. Part of that anger stems from a meeting last year between two review panel members and Jean Charest, who was a paid lobbyist at the time for TransCanada, the proponent behind the pipeline. The board has invited the public to submit written comments until Wednesday in an effort to resolve the controversy.
Interest Rate Announcement: The Bank of Canada makes its latest interest rate announcement on Wednesday. The benchmark rate has been stuck at 0.5 per cent for more than a year and the central bank isn’t expected to nudge from that. Still, economists will be reading the tea leaves for any signs that the bank sees economic movement in the months ahead.
Toronto Real Estate Data: After Vancouver saw real estate sales slump in August, all eyes will turn to Toronto on Wednesday when that city’s home sales figures for the month are released. There are concerns that Vancouver’s 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers may push Asian investment to Toronto, driving up prices that have already soared there over the last year.
Jobs: The widely watched job figures come out Friday for the month of August. The economy is barely growing and the employment figures for July painted a pretty bleak picture, with the labour market seeing the biggest one-month loss in full-time jobs in nearly five years. At last check, the national unemployment rate was 6.9 per cent.