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Noah Zivitz

Managing Editor, BNN Bloomberg

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Stephen Poloz has delivered a self-described “call to arms” to diversify Canada’s mortgage market and give borrowers a wider range of options to choose from. In a speech yesterday in Winnipeg, the Bank of Canada governor pointed out only two per cent of mortgages issued last year had fixed-rate terms longer than five years. And he wants that to change. “At a minimum,” he said, “we could do more to make people aware of the longer-term options that are available — many people I talk to do not know that longer-term mortgages exist.” Now the question is whether financial institutions will play ball.

FEDS REPORTEDLY LIKELY TO APPROVE TMEP

Our Bloomberg News partners are reporting the federal government “is likely” to give the green light to the Trans Mountain expansion project, while noting “things remain fluid” and the June 18 deadline could be delayed again to allow for more consultations. We’ll address the economic and political stakes.  

CHINA-U.S. TRADE UNCERTAINTY

Major North American markets nearly fully recovered yesterday from early losses in the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariff threat against China. This morning, futures are pointing to another weak open. Presumably, some of the sour sentiment can be pinned on U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer’s comments late yesterday afternoon confirming the tariff hike will take effect Friday.

OTHER NOTABLE STORIES

-WestJet’s first-quarter profit surged 33.3 per cent, easily exceeding the average analyst estimate. Check out the 15.2 per cent jump in ancillary guest revenue (ie, everything we pay extra for).

-Pembina Pipeline's proposed Jordan Cove LNG export terminal suffered a setback late yesterday when the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality declined to issue a water quality certificate. Pembina is allowed to reapply for certification.

-Bank of Nova Scotia is creating a new Global Wealth Management division in the wake of its Jarislowsky and MD Financial acquisitions. The bank also announced its Canadian Banking head, James O'Sullivan, will move out of that role and will be replaced by Dan Rees.

-CP Rail is raising its quarterly dividend 27.5 per cent to $0.83/share. “CP remains well-positioned for sustainable, profitable growth and providing balanced shareholder returns is an important part of our success,” said CEO Keith Creel in a release late yesterday.

-Sleep Country Canada’s first-quarter adjusted profit sank almost 22 per cent, missing analyst expectations in the process. The mattress retailer’s same-store sales fell 3.4 per cent in the latest quarter; CEO Dave Friesema is blaming the weather for the particularly “soft” performance in January and February.

-Khiron Life Sciences, a Venture-listed Latin American medical cannabis company, is poised to raise up to US$28.75 million in a bought deal share sale led by Canacccord Genuity and BMO Capital Markets. Shares are priced at US$2.90 apiece. Stock closed yesterday at US$3.23.

-Chevron has four days to improve its offer after Anadarko Petroleum late yesterday said it intends to terminate their friendly deal after determining Occidental’s cash-rich bid is superior.   

NOTABLE RELEASES/EVENTS

-Notable earnings: WestJet, RioCan REIT, Intact Financial, Element Fleet Management, George Weston, Kinross Gold, Lyft, Electronic Arts, Papa John’s

-8:30 a.m. ET: StatsCan publishes report "Representation of Women on Boards of Directors"

-9:30 a.m. ET: Vivian Krause addresses Senate Transport and Communications committee hearing on Bill C-48 (Oil Tanker Moratorium Act)

-10:00 a.m. ET: Barrick holds annual meeting in Toronto

-10:00 a.m. ET: Auditor General of Canada releases Spring Reports

-11:00 a.m. ET: CP holds annual meeting in Calgary

-11:30 a.m. ET: Conservative Party of Canada Leader Andrew Scheer delivers speech in Montreal on foreign policy

-12:00 p.m. ET: WestJet holds annual meeting in Calgary (media scrum at 1:00 p.m. ET)

-1:00 p.m. ET: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Finance Minister Travis Toews to "introduce the first step in government's plan to bring Alberta's finance's back to balance"​ in Edmonton

-5:00 p.m. ET: Senate Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee conducts clause-by-clause consideration of Bill C-69

-5:00 p.m. ET: Knight Therapeutics shareholder meeting

-5:00 p.m. ET: International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr discusses global trade agenda and WTO reform at Council of the Americas conference in Washington, D.C.

-Google’s I/O developer conference begins in Mountain View, California (CEO Sundar Pichai keynote at 1:00 p.m. ET)