Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Canada's economic growth slips, could lead to another interest rate cut

The Bank of Canada's governor said a further interest-rate reduction is possible as he pared back the country's first-quarter economic growth estimate.

"We are neutral — that means a rate cut cannot be taken off the table at this stage," Stephen Poloz said.

His comments came as the central bank kept its trendsetting interest rate at 1 percent, where it has been since September 2010.

Economic growth will slip to 1.5 percent, down 1 percent, for the first quarter, largely because severe winter weather kept shoppers home. Full-year economic growth was revised to 2.3 percent, down 0.2 percent.

The somewhat negative comments caused the dollar to fall, giving another boost to the economy by making Canadian goods less expensive in the United States and abroad.

Exports could be harmed, however, because of the Russian situation with Ukraine, Poloz said.

Psychiactric exam ordered for Calgary stabbing suspect

A Calgary man, arrested in the fatal stabbings of five university students, is undergoing a psychiatric examination before a court appearance Tuesday.

Matthew de Grood, 22, also a University of Calgary student, was arrested after the incident during a house party to mark the end of the school term.

Doug de Grood, the suspect's father and an inspector with the Calgary Police Service, said the family is devastated by what happened.

Police Chief Rick Hanson called it the city's "worst mass murder." The victims, four men and one woman in their 20s. were "all good kids" and did nothing to provoke the incident, he said.

News in brief

• "What a sad time this is in the life of our country," Prime Minister Stephen Harper told mourners at the funeral in Toronto of former finance minister Jim Flaherty. The member of Parliament died of a heart attack at age 64 just three weeks after retiring from his finance position. Harper said he told him then that he had been "the best finance minister in the world, if not indeed the best in our history." He is survived by his wife, Ontario politician Christine Elliott, and triplet sons.

• The Mounties say that Nigel Wright, former chief of staff to Prime Minister Harper, won't face criminal charges in the Senate expenses scandal. Police were investigating Wright for giving now-suspended Sen. Mike Duffy $90,000 to pay back improper housing expenses. Still under investigation are expenses claimed by Duffy and suspended Sen. Pamela Wallin.

• Canada's housing market is moving toward slower growth as affordability constraints temper sales and builders have scaled back new developments, Scotiabank says. Resale activity will edge lower over the next year as mortgage rates rise and higher house prices and tougher mortgage regulations strain affordability, the bank said.

Facts and figures

Higher energy and food prices pushed Canada's inflation rate last month to 1.5 percent, up 0.6 percent, the highest in two years.

The Canadian dollar is lower at 90.69 cents U.S. while the U.S. dollar returns $1.1026 in Canadian funds, before bank exchange fees.

The Bank of Canada's key interest rate is steady at 1 percent while the prime-lending rate is 3 percent.

Stock markets are higher, with the Toronto exchange index at 14,500 points and the TSX Venture index 998 points.

The average price of a liter of gasoline across Canada is up at $1.3678 (Canadian).

Lotto 6-49: (April 16) 3, 16, 26, 40, 41 and 49; bonus 14. (April 12) 2, 7, 35, 36, 42 and 45; bonus 30. Lotto Max: (April 11) 1, 3, 14, 33, 35, 39 and 45; bonus 28.

Regional briefs

• Ontario Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne is seeking $2 million in damages in a libel suit against Conservative Leader Tim Hudak. The suit is over Hudak's comments that Wynne "oversaw and possibly ordered the criminal destruction of documents" dealing with canceling two controversial gas plants before the last election. An inquiry found the action cost taxpayers $1.1 billion.

• Several hundred pro-choice supporters protested at the New Brunswick legislature calling on the government to cover the cost of abortions at private clinics. They want the repeal of a regulation requiring abortions to be performed only at hospitals after two doctors certify the procedure is medically necessary. The protesters say the rule and the impending closing of the Morgentaler abortion clinic in Fredericton puts women at risk.

Jim Fox can be reached at

Canada's economic growth slips, could lead to another interest rate cut 04/18/14 [Last modified: Saturday, April 19, 2014 11:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Remember him? Numbers prove Ben Zobrist is one of greatest Rays of all time

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The first foray back to the Trop by the best manager the Rays have had obscured the second return visit by arguably the second-best player in franchise history.


    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) takes the field to start the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.
  2. GOP's new repeal bill would likely leave millions more uninsured, analyses suggest


    WASHINGTON — The latest Republican bid to roll back the Affordable Care Act would likely leave millions of currently insured Americans without health coverage in the coming decades, and strip benefits and protections from millions more, a growing number of independent studies suggest.

    Vice President Mike Pence listens as President Donald Trump talks to reporters about the Graham-Cassidy health care bill during a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, in New York. [Evan Vucci | Associated Press]
  3. Mueller casts broad net in requesting extensive records from Trump White House


    WASHINGTON — The special counsel investigating Russian election meddling has requested extensive records and email correspondence from the White House, covering the president's private discussions about firing his FBI director and his response to news that the then-national security adviser was under …

    In a photograph provided by the Russian foreign ministry, President Donald Trump meets with Sergei Lavrov, left, the Russian foreign minister, and Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, May 10, 2017. Special counsel Robert Mueller is interested in this meeting, where Trump said dismissing FBI Director James Comey had relieved "great pressure" on him, the New York Times reported on Sept. 20. [Russian Foreign Ministry via  New York Times]
  4. 'We will find our island destroyed': Hurricane Maria demolishes Puerto Rico


    SAN JUAN — Sleepless Puerto Ricans awoke Wednesday knowing to expect a thrashing from the most ferocious storm to strike the island in at least 85 years. They met nightfall confronting the ruin Hurricane Maria left behind: engorged rivers, blown-out windows, sheared roofs, toppled trees and an obliterated electric …

    Rescue vehicles from the Emergency Management Agency stand trapped under an awning during the impact of Hurricane Maria, after the storm  hit the eastern region of the island, in Humacao, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Maria has lost its major hurricane status, after raking Puerto Rico. But forecasters say some strengthening is in the forecast and Maria could again become a major hurricane by Thursday. [Carlos Giusti | Associated Press]
  5. Obamacare repeal bill offers flexibility and uncertainty


    The latest Republican proposal to undo the Affordable Care Act would grant states much greater flexibility and all but guarantee much greater uncertainty for tens of millions of people.