Good morning! It seems we have crisis stories for you today. Much of Ontario and the U.S. northeast was shocked by General Motors’ announcement that it is shutting plants, which will put jobs and towns in crisis. We have a number of stories on that for you to catch up on, as well as an oil-crisis story, a Tesla near-crisis and a Toronto rental crisis. But there is one story that doesn’t fit the mould.
It was a surprise to most everyone that GM is shutting its Oshawa, Ont. plant — the one started exactly 100 years ago — as well as others in the U.S. and overseas. Some 2,973 Oshawa workers will lose their jobs, jobs that GM says are creating outdated and unwanted vehicle types. Emily Jackson reports on GM consumer demand and competitiveness; Naomi Powell on the automobile trade and the USMCA; and Geoff Zochodne and Jake Edmiston on the betrayal the town feels over the loss that it had worked hard to avoid.
Don’t kid yourself, we’re facing a made-in-Canada energy crisis. Investors need to take immediate action on their energy portfolios, Martin Pelletier says. Energy remains the second-largest weighting in the S&P TSX 60 at over 19.6%, even though Canada’s two largest oil companies have seen their market caps shrink by more than $38B from July highs. Suddenly, he says, balance sheets and the calibre of management matter more than ever.
This is the dark side of Toronto’s housing boom. Tighter mortgage rules and a surge in immigrants has created an all-out war for rentals. Not only has Toronto taken in almost 100,000 incomers in the past year, there have been fewer than 12,000 new rental units built since 2005 for the more than 17,000 fresh apartment seekers every year. Not all of them can afford the average $2,385/mo. rent. And so “homelessness is growing, couch-surfing is growing and this will have a lot of pressure on families and on the city itself.”
COUNTING THE DAYS
Tesla was mere weeks away from death in the past year, CEO Elon Musk reveals. “The company was bleeding money like crazy, and if we didn’t solve these problems in a very short period of time, we would die.” And when he said “very,” he really meant it. But then, production and deliveries of the Model 3 ticked up and the catastrophe was averted. At least for now. The SEC is still investigating those tweets Musk made about taking the company private.
NO SMALL TASK
Manulife is looking to simplify. The company is acting on research that revealed customers across several business lines, from insurance to group benefits to wealth management, found dealing with Manulife complex. With 1,500 logos and trademarks attached to the company’s various offerings, it’s no wonder. Barb Shecter explains how executive vice-president Gretchen Garrigues plans to accomplish the streamlining.