Dollarama bucks the trend
MONTREAL -- Dollarama Inc. is expanding faster than initially planned this year by increasing the number of new store openings to take advantage of a mall construction boom in Canada.
The discount retailer said it expects to open 65 to 70 net new stores for the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2013, up from an earlier guidance for 55 to 60 stores. Dollarama opened 52 net new locations last year.
"It seems we're getting more opportunities, there's more construction in Canada, more big boxes being built across Canada, particularly in Western Canada, but even in Ontario," CEO Larry Rossy said Wednesday during a conference call to discuss second-quarter results.
North's short-term mining down
THE Conference Board of Canada says lower commodity prices have weakened the North's immediate mining outlook, but the economic think-tank says longer-term prospects for the industry in the three territories remain strong.
"Most mineral-exploration plans are proceeding this year, albeit at a somewhat weaker pace than expected six months ago," said the board's outlook released Wednesday.
"The economic forecast remains positive for the territories as a whole over the medium to long term."
The board expects growth in the North to outperform Canada as a whole. It predicts Arctic GDP will expand by 3.6 per cent this year, 5.4 per cent the next and 4.3 per cent in 2014.
Rejig inflation report: think-tank
OTTAWA -- Statistics Canada is being urged to change the way it calculates housing costs in its inflation reports, with critics saying its current method could be fuelling a housing bubble.
In a report released Wednesday, the C.D. Howe Institute, one of Canada's leading policy think-tanks, argues house prices have risen far faster than Statistics Canada has calculated in the past few years.
If a true measure of house price increases is used, inflation would have been close to a percentage point higher in most years since 2009, when home prices began taking off, likely causing the Bank of Canada to hike interest rates, the report argues.
Rogers bashes Bell's claim
MONTREAL -- TV providers are already launching on-demand services to compete with Netflix, says Rogers Communications, which argued Wednesday against Bell's testimony that buying Astral Media will help provide a Canadian alternative to foreign online companies.
"This notion that Bell plus Astral is the scale that we need to defeat Netflix in Canada is one that we find absurd," Ken Engelhart, senior vice-president of regulatory at Rogers (TSX:RCI.B) told a CRTC hearing into Bell's $3.4-billion deal to buy Montreal-based Astral.
Bell told the CRTC earlier this week it will launch a "made-in-Canada" competitor to Netflix and other big U.S. online TV and entertainment providers, as part of its pitch to buy Astral.
But Engelhart said cable companies in Canada and around North America are already buying rights to libraries of television shows and movies in order to compete with Netflix -- making Bell's offer just one of many.
-- from the news services