Higher prices drive major cash flow gains for Canada’s gold miners

The return of the gold bull market in 2016 is driving massive cash generation for Canada’s largest miners of the metal.

The biggest producers reported second quarter results on Wednesday night. And while the results were mixed compared to analyst expectations, the theme throughout was stronger cash flow and improving margins.

Barrick Gold Corp., the world’s biggest gold miner, had adjusted earnings of US$158 million and a whopping US$274 million of free cash flow. Kinross Gold Corp. and Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. also reported major improvements in cash flow generation.

The results illustrate the changing times in the gold industry. Until prices rebounded early in 2016, gold miners were mired in a four-year bear market that forced them into a painful cycle of cost cuts, capital spending cuts, dividend reductions and asset sales. Now they can zero in on growth.

Read the full article by Peter Koven on Financial Post.

Industry critical of new B.C. tax on foreigners buying homes

Industry reaction to the B.C. government’s plan to tax foreign investors an extra 15% when buying residential real estate in Metro Vancouver has been swift and critical.

The government announced July 25 that foreigners who buy B.C. homes will have to pay the new tax, starting August 2.

“Housing affordability concerns all of us who live in the region,” said Real Estate of Board of Greater Vancouver President Dan Morrison.

“Implementing a new real estate tax, however, with just eight days’ notice and no consultation with the professionals who serve home buyers and sellers every day needlessly injects uncertainty into the market.

The measure comes after speculation that foreign money is to blame for surging Metro Vancouver home prices.

The tax is set to apply to the sale of all homes in Metro Vancouver except those on treaty lands of the Tsawwassen First Nation.

Read the full article on BIV.com.

How Canadian Natural Resources beat Encana to become Canada’s top natural gas producer

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd has bought up about 12,000 natural gas wells across Alberta over the last two years, a Reuters analysis of regulatory data shows, becoming the country’s largest natural gas producer as rivals sold assets or held steady in a tough market.

The counter-cyclical shopping spree helped CNRL push its Alberta well count up 60 per cent between the end of 2013 and the end of 2015, building a dominant position in the province and overtaking Encana Corp. to become Canada’s top producer.

Read the full article on Financial Post.

5 things to know about the new Canada Child Benefit

The Liberals promised during last fall’s federal election that nine in 10 Canadian families would be better off once their new child benefit package rolls out.

Significantly better — to the tune of $2,300 annually, on average, according to the finance department’s calculations for the 2016-17 benefit year.

Is that really true?

On July 20, Canadian families will find out exactly how much their new monthly payments will be.

But assessing the full impact of the new Canada Child Benefit (CCB) may take longer.

Here are some things to know about the new monthly child benefit:

How much will families receive?

When the federal budget came out in March, the finance department put out a simple calculator.

Since then, the Canada Revenue Agency has added a more complex calculator for all government benefits. It requires inputting more information, but calculates a more exact figure.

For lower-income households, the CCB is billed as a game-changer. Finance Canada says the CCB will lift 300,000 children out of poverty, compared with 2014-15 figures.

Read the full article on CBC.ca.

Supreme Court sets new deadlines for completing trials

The Supreme Court of Canada has set new rules for an accused’s right to be tried within a reasonable time frame, in a decision that criticizes the country’s legal system for a “culture of complacency” when it comes to delays in criminal trials.

Superior Court cases will now have up to 30 months to be completed, from the time the charge is laid to the conclusion of a trial. Provincial court trials should be completed within 18 months of charges being laid, but can be extended to 30 months if there is a preliminary inquiry.

Any delays beyond these time frames are “presumptively unreasonable” and violate the accused’s charter right to be tried within a reasonable time, the decision said.

Read the full article on CBC.ca.