The global financial crisis that began in 2007 dragged much of the world economy into recession, and Canada was not spared. Although the effects on Canada were milder than on the United States and in Europe, the Canadian recession of 2008–09 was still severe enough to generate sharp declines in output and employment and to require significant responses by Canadian policy-makers.
Banking is a financial process carried out by an institution that accepts deposits, lends money and transfers funds. Canada's major banks play a vital role in the economy and today also engage in the insurance, trust and securities markets. Their business, the technology surrounding it and the regulations that govern it, have evolved continuously over the centuries.
Interest is the price charged to borrow money. Expressed as a rate, interest is a percentage of the amount of money borrowed (the principal amount) that is to be paid for an agreed period of time. Interest can be paid by a borrower to a lender (e.g., to a bank), but it can also be paid by a bank to individuals whose money the bank uses to lend money to other borrowers. In Canada, interest rates are determined by the policy of the Bank of Canada, the demand for loans, the supply of available lending capital, interest rates in the United States, inflation rates and other economic factors. The Bank of Canada helps the Canadian government manage the economy by setting the bank rate and controlling the money supply.
Manufacturing is a critical component of Canada’s economy. The production, sale and distribution of finished products contribute to consumer and labour markets, and secure Canada’s position as an economic leader among developed nations. Major, medium-sized and small manufacturers produce goods used by Canadians and contribute to the revenue gained from the export of goods to other countries. Since the early 2000s, the manufacturing sector in Canada has declined significantly in response to changes in the global economy and fewer regulatory controls over Canadian products (see Free Trade; Globalization). The composition and structure of the Canadian manufacturing industry is transitioning in response to these changes, aiming to produce new goods that are in greater demand.
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.
In late October of 1929, terror seized the stock exchanges of North America. Capitalism’s speculative party, with its galloping share prices and its celebrity millionaires, came to an abrupt stop. The Great Crash, it was called, and it was followed by the Great Depression.
The distilling industry is that part of the food and beverage industries engaged in clarifying, flavouring, blending and aging alcohol to make potable spirits (eg, brandies, grain spirits, rum) and establishments which manufacture ethyl alcohol, whether they are or are not used in potable spirits.
A recession is a temporary period of time when the overall economy declines; it is an expected part of the business cycle. This period usually includes declines in industrial and agricultural production, trade, incomes, stock markets, consumer spending, and levels of employment. In purely technical terms, a recession occurs when two or more successive quarters (six months) show a drop in real gross domestic product (GDP), i.e., the measure of total economic output in the economy after accounting for inflation. In this sense, recessions are broad and can be particularly painful and challenging times for a country.
Roots Corporation (better known as Roots or Roots Canada) is a publicly traded retail clothing business. It was co-founded by fashion designers and businessmen Michael Budman and Don Green, both from Detroit, Michigan. Budman and Green first met in 1962, when they were attending Camp Tamakwa in Ontario’s Algonquin Park. Following their graduation from Michigan State University, Budman moved to Canada in 1969 and Green followed a few years later in 1972. In 1973, Budman and Green began production of their version of the “negative heel” shoe — the first product sold under the Roots brand. That same year, on 15 August, the duo opened their first store in Toronto. Inspired by their early years at Algonquin Park, Budman and Green quickly made Roots, with its beaver logo and cottage feel, an iconic Canadian brand. In 2015, Budman and Green sold a majority stake to Searchlight Capital Partners, though the founders remain prominent shareholders. In October 2017, Roots made its initial public offering (IPO) in Canada, trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol ROOT.
The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, commonly known as CIBC, is the fifth largest bank in Canada. It was created through the 1961 merger of two Ontario-based banks, the Canadian Bank of Commerce and the Imperial Bank of Canada — the largest merger of two chartered banks in Canada’s history. Today, CIBC operates its business in Canada and abroad through three divisions: retail and business banking, wealth management, and capital markets.
BlackBerry Limited (formerly Research In Motion) is a mobile communications company. Founded in 1984 by Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin in Waterloo, Ontario, the company released its first device — a pager capable of email — in 1999. Following the release of its first smartphone in 2002, BlackBerrys quickly became must-have pieces of technology, first among business people and later the general public. However, in the early 2010s they struggled to keep pace with the competitive smartphone market. In 2016, the company announced it would outsource all hardware production to other companies, instead focusing on software development. Today, BlackBerry is credited with putting Waterloo on the map as an innovation hub. The business trades under the ticker BB on the Toronto Stock Exchange and BBRY on NASDAQ.
The business cycle is a term used to describe the ups and downs of the economy over time. A business cycle consists of a repetition of four phases — expansion, peak, contraction, and trough — that is often called the boom-and-bust cycle. Most often a measure of change in a country’s gross domestic product (GDP), the business cycle is a tool used by investors and business managers to analyze the performance of the economy and to make spending and investment decisions. Though business cycles cannot be predicted, forecasting when an economy will expand or contract and knowing when key turning points have arrived is important for consumers and business. The wave pattern of a business cycle can be measured in length from peak to peak, or trough to trough, in terms of months and years. On average, cycles last just over 7 years, though there is no definitive time frame for how long they usually last.
Money consists of anything that is generally accepted for the settlement of debts or purchase of goods or services. The evolution of money as a system for regulating society’s economic transactions represented a significant advancement over earlier forms of exchange based on barter, in which goods and services are exchanged for other goods or services. Canadian money has its roots in the Indigenous wampum belts of the East, the early currencies of European settlers and the influence of the United States.
Founded in 1869, the T. Eaton Company Ltd., commonly known as Eaton’s, was an iconic Canadian department store with a retail presence in every province, at its height. From its beginnings as a retail store in Toronto to its eventual bankruptcy and absorption into its long-time rival, Sears Canada, Eaton’s significantly shaped Canadian shopping. The Eaton’s name and legacy persist today, from Toronto’s Eaton Centre to the red bricks incorporated into the facade of Winnipeg’s Bell MTS Place, a reminder of the former Eaton’s store that stood on the site for so long.
The Canadian dollar, also known as the loonie, for the loon on the $1 coin, is the currency of Canada. Its international currency code is CAD and its symbol $, or C$, to distinguish it from other dollar currencies. As money, it is the measure of value in which all prices in Canada are expressed and the medium of exchange for goods and services. It is divided into 100 cents (¢) and available in material form as coins circulated by the Royal Canadian Mint and banknotes circulated by the Bank of Canada.
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 20 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 2017, market researchers estimated the company held as high as 3.8 per cent of the Canadian beer market and would generate $216 million in revenue.
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.
Gross domestic product (GDP) refers to the value of all final goods and services produced within a country by all factors of production, regardless of their ownership, usually during one year. Statistics Canada switched to GDP in their calculations of national production in 1986 to facilitate comparisons with other international statistics as most other countries used GDP. Despite its limitations, GDP is considered the best and most concise overall measure of economic performance. It is often used to calculate changes in a country’s standard of living. The growth of inflation-adjusted GDP (known as real GDP) is an important economic performance indicator. The tracking of GDP over time is used as evidence of business cycle performance, as traditionally two consecutive quarters of negative real GDP growth are referred to as a recession. As well, the distinction is often made between the growth of total real GDP (known as extensive growth) and the growth of real GDP per person (intensive growth), with intensive growth often used as an indicator of welfare per person in an economy.
Bombardier Inc. is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of trains and commercial and private airplanes. Headquartered in Montréal, the company was originally incorporated as L’Auto-Neige Bombardier Limitée in 1942. Its founder, Joseph-Armand Bombardier, was a Québécois mechanical engineer who invented one of the first commercially viable snowmobiles. Bombardier Inc. has grown considerably from its beginnings as a snowmobile manufacturer and is now an iconic Canadian company, known for its public transportation vehicles and aircraft such as the C Series.
Tim Hortons is a Canadian restaurant chain known for its coffee, doughnuts and connection to Canada’s national identity. Its namesake, Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Tim Horton (1930–74), founded the business with Montréal businessman Jim Charade. The first Tim Hortons doughnut franchise opened in Hamilton, Ontario, in April 1964. Since then, Tim Hortons has become Canada’s largest restaurant chain, operating 3,665 stores across the country as of 2016. In 1995, American fast-food chain Wendy’s bought Tim Hortons in a partnership that lasted until 2006. In 2014, the chain was again purchased by a foreign company, this time by Brazilian firm 3G Capital, known for its ownership of Burger King. Despite foreign ownership, Tim Hortons remains a Canadian cultural phenomenon.
Founded in 1779, the North West Company was a major force in the fur trade from the 1780s to 1821. Managed primarily by Highland Scots who migrated to Montréal after 1760, or came as Loyalists escaping the American Revolution, it also drew heavily on French-Canadian labour and experience. The name first described Montréal traders who in 1776 pooled resources to reduce competition among themselves and to resist inland advances of the Hudson’s Bay Company.
The balance of payments, or balance of international payments, is an accounting statement of the economic transactions that have taken place between the residents of one country (including its government) and the residents of other countries during a specified time, usually a year or a quarter.
A free trade area as defined by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is "a group of two or more customs territories in which duties and other restrictive regulations of commerce ... are eliminated on substantially all the trade between the constituent territories in products originating in such territories."