The Canadian dollar is stabilizing somewhat after slipping to a fresh four-month low yesterday – currently at 72.5 cents U.S. – in the wake of the Bank of Canada’s decision to hold on rates. While that hold was essentially a foregone conclusion, it did reinforce the view the BoC is willing to march to the beat of its own drum, even as market expectations are the U.S. Federal Reserve will continue to hike well into the five per cent range (the Bank of Canada is currently at 4.5 per cent). That divergence has been telegraphed, however, with BoC Deputy Governor Paul Beaudry saying the central bank isn’t too concerned with following a different path than its counterparts in the fight against inflation just last month. We’ll get some further insight later today when Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Rogers delivers a speech in Winnipeg at 1:55 EST.


The heads of Canada’s largest grocers – Loblaw, Metro and Sobey’s parent Empire Co. – heard it from lawmakers late yesterday on the topic of food price inflation, and were unsurprisingly eager to push back on the notion their firms were profiteering on higher prices. Loblaw chief Galen Weston came out swinging at that notion, declaring that “no matter how many times you read it on Twitter, the idea that grocers are causing food inflation is not only false, it’s impossible,” as global forces, including the war in Ukraine (long called Europe’s breadbasket) drag prices higher. Still, it’s an optics issue that’s hard to fight (thus the grocers being called on the carpet) as food price inflation has remained above 11 per cent for the last five months, while overall prices pressures have eased to just shy of six per cent.


Sticking with the food theme, something of a tough quarter from Maple Leaf Foods, which swung to a loss – adjusted earnings per share were negative $0.28 against analyst expectations for a profit of $0.13 per share. Bevy of factors at play here, between higher inflation, supply-chain disruptions, that cyberattack, and troubles finding workers, not to mention the company’s struggles with its plant protein division. That said, the company does expect things to normalize or improve in the year ahead as those factors abate. Credit where credit is due, CEO Michael McCain didn’t shy away from the miss, saying that the results are “not where we like them to be.”


The toymaker probably best-known by parents for its Paw Patrol output is warning sales will be at best flat this coming year, or potentially down, as discretionary spending cools (again, a rates story if I ever did see one.) As for the latest quarter, well, things weren’t great, in that same thread – revenue was down 24.9 per cent, and that’s a key operating period for the company, given it falls in the holiday shopping season, and operating margins fell.


  • Thursday, March 9
  • Notable data: Challenger Layoff Report, U.S. Initial Jobless Claims
  • Notable earnings: Surge Energy, Bonterra Energy, Maple Leaf Foods, Wheaton Precious Metals, Gap Inc.
  • 1355: BoC Senior Deputy Governor Rogers delivers the Economic Progress Report in Winnipeg