/Posthaste: Wattpad & WestJets Wexit worries highlight the real-life economic consequences of separation chatter

Posthaste: Wattpad & WestJets Wexit worries highlight the real-life economic consequences of separation chatter

Good Morning!

Investors are scaredy-cats. They flee from uncertainty, clamp up at the first sign of trouble and don’t react well to turmoil. Which is reportedly why Wattpad recoiled from the constant talk of separation in Alberta.

As The Logic’s Zane Schwartz reports, the tech firm chose Halifax over Calgary as the site of its second headquarters, citing concerns about Western separatism and cuts to Alberta’s tax credits for tech companies.

Source familiar with the negotiations but not authorized to speak publicly told The Logic that Wattpad outlined its concerns in a written statement sent to the Calgary Economic Development.

Meanwhile, other major Calgary-based companies such as WestJet Airlines Ltd. are also raising the alarm on unhelpful talk of separation that weaken both Canada and Alberta.

“I won’t tolerate that kind of language,” WestJet CEO Ed Sims told Calgary Herald’s Amanda Stephenson, when asked for his thoughts on Wexit.

“Having come from the U.K., I’ve seen three years of total economic paralysis and stagnation caused by Brexit,” Sims told the paper. “I don’t envy our (U.K.) colleagues trying to deal with attracting people to a U.K. that feels very divided. And there’s no reason for Alberta to feel divided from the rest of Canada.”

As Alberta Premier Jason and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meet today, it would be best to seek ways to unite the country rather than pick at the differences.

Another issue that unites most of Canada is ratification of NAFTA 2.0. Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland is heading to Mexico today to meet her U.S. and Mexican counterparts and put the final touches on the treaty, easing the path for a vote in the House of Representatives as soon as next week, according to sources.

It would certainly remove one uncertainty in an increasingly hazy economic outlook for next year.
Here’s what you need to know this morning:

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with his cabinet in Ottawa
  • The 2019 Fall Reports of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development (CESD) will be tabled in the House of Commons in Ottawa
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to meet with Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil, and separately with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney
  • Ontario Minister of Labour Monte McNaughton and Economic Development Minister Vic Fedeli will make a funding announcement about training in the automotive and advanced manufacturing sectors
  • Enbridge Inc. holds an investor conference from New York at 8 a.m. ET
  • Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. holders of restricted voting and special voting shares to vote on sale of company to Pembina Pipeline
  • Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister holds year-end news conference in Winnipeg
  • Groups including the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, the Dogwood Initiative and Stand.earth release an analysis on the cost of building the Trans Mountain pipeline
  • Notable Earnings: The Hudson’s Bay Co.

Canadians will likely see a slight increase in debt and delinquencies next year, particularly in Western provinces hit by downturns in the oil and farming industries, according to a new report by a consumer credit reporting agency.

The average Canadian’s non-mortgage debt may increase by 1 per cent to $31,531 by the end of 2020, New York Stock Exchange-listed TransUnion Co. forecast. Delinquency rates may fall to 5.41 per cent this year from 5.54 per cent at the end of September before increasing to 5.44 per cent by the end of next year, the data showed.

— Please send your news, comments and stories to [email protected]. — Yadullah Hussain @YAD_FPEnergy

With files from The Canadian Press, Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg


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