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Posthaste: Bill Morneau’s economic blueprint, Trans Mountain’s construction challenge and Netflix counters Apple with India deal

Good morning!

It’s finally here. The federal elections are set to kick off today and Canadians can expect to be bombarded with a new wave of gimmickry, falsehoods, grandstanding and promises from today till Oct 21 (perhaps even beyond).

Right on cue, we have an interview with Finance Minister Bill Morneau on the cost of living, taxes, the deficit and a looming recession that’s top of mind for Canadian voters ahead of the elections.

“We have seen the Chinese economy slow down, we have seen the German economy slow down, we haven’t seen that same situation in Canada. We are just coming off our second quarter, which was very strong, 3.7% growth, and we have the lowest level of unemployment we have seen in more than a generation,” Morneau told Emily Jackson in her weekly Down To Business podcast. “So, we are in a position that we do need to face up to those global issues, but we are coming at it from a position of strength. So what we would do? We would continue to focus on how we can ensure that people see the opportunity for success.”

Meanwhile, Apple will soon launch its $5.99 TV service in Canada, which will likely squeeze Netflix. The Netflix stock fell 2.16 per cent Tuesday. But what got lost in the noise was that the California-based firm said on the same day that it had struck a deal with India’s Karan Johar-owned Dharma Productions to create a range of films and series exclusively for Netflix, according to Bloomberg.

“Director, producer and talk-show host Johar is considered the feel-good cinema king of Bollywood, thanks largely to the effervescent themes, star-studded casts, and the over-the-top sets and glitzy costumes that have helped turn several of his films into blockbusters,” Bloomberg reported.

Apple may have the platform, but content — last I checked — is still king.

Here’s what’s you need to know this morning:

  • Canada’s Federal Elections kick off: Barely centre-left vs. barely centre-right, for all the marbles
  • Grits, Tories start election campaign in dead heat, NDP, Greens tied: Poll
  • Progressive Conservatives keep majority government in Manitoba election despite NDP gains
  • ‘It’s about the rule of law:’ Jason Kenney launches legal challenge against controversial Bill C-69
  • Apple says streaming TV service to cost $5.99 a month in Canada, launch Nov. 1
    New federal Arctic policy focuses on human health, environment, infrastructure
  • U.S. farmers’ group says pharma, not dairy, is main obstacle to ratifying USMCA
  • Construction of Trans Mountain pipeline expansion still faces hurdles
  • Catalyst Capital’s stake in HBC nears 16 per cent, new disclosure reveals
  • Investors unwind bearish bets as optimism grows on trade and stimulus
  • OPEC cuts 2020 oil demand forecast, urges effort to avert new glut
  • Hong Kong Exchanges bids $39 bln to take over London Stock Exchange


  • Down to Business podcast: Bill Morneau on the Liberals’ strategy for the Canadian economy
  • How an idea that moved allied tanks on D-Day can help us build a better road to the far north
  • William Watson: The good (and the bad) from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s election wish list
  • Digital experts raise data, privacy concerns in review of Sidewalk Labs project

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives at Rideau Hall for a meeting with Gov. Gen. Julie Payette, presumably to kick off the elections
    In Trois-Riveieres, Que., Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer delivers remarks; in London, Ont. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh will launch the party’s campaign for the 2019 federal election; People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier appears at the Canadian Club Toronto; Green Leader Elizabeth May takes part in the official launch of the Green Party of Canada election campaign
  • Hearing on merits of judicial review with Manitoba Metis Federation taking province to court over Hydro in Winnipeg
  • releases the report “Trans Mountain Pipeline: The truth about construction” which argues the Canadian federal government faces major construction challenges and questions the project’s three-year construction timeline in Vancouver
  • TranLink CEO Kevin Desmond, Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Bowinn Ma, Parliamentary secretary for Translink and others make an announcement for the first battery-electric buses to enter service in Metro Vancouver
  • Barclays’ annual Global Financial Services Conference in New York featuring Canadian banks including Royal Bank of Canada and Bank of Montreal
  • Notable Earnings: Roots Canada

Home building in Canada looks “rock solid” after data showed housing starts rose 1.9% in August to beat expectations. BMO senior economist Robert Kavcic said the numbers reflect strong demographic demand both from abroad and within Canada. Starts for single detached homes were up 11.4%, coming off lows earlier in the year, while multi-unit starts slipped 1.4%.

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With files from The Canadian Press, Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg




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