Today’s news: Trending business stories for November 13, 2023

The latest business news as it happens

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5:10 p.m.

B.C. housing minister tells people not to help ‘desperate scammers’ with Airbnb fraud

The government last month introduced legislation to limit short-term rentals in many cities in B.C.
The government last month introduced legislation to limit short-term rentals in many cities in B.C. Photo by Jason Payne/PNG files

British Columbia’s minister of housing is warning people not to take part in short-term rental scams as the province moves to limit the hotel alternatives to increase housing stock.

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Ravi Kahlon shared a screenshot showing a Vancouver-based short-term rental management company offering people $500 to change the address on their driver’s licence to match an address it selects, then apply for an Airbnb Inc. approval.

That’s to get around new rules coming next year that would allow people to offer short-term accommodation only if it’s at their principal residence, but Kahlon says it amounts to fraud.

Kahlon warns people on the social media platform X, formally known as Twitter, not assist the “desperate scammers.”

The post from the management company has since been removed and the company’s website cannot be viewed.

The government last month introduced legislation to limit short-term rentals in many cities in B.C. in an effort to put thousands of units back into the long-term rental pool, with the changes coming into effect in May.

The Canadian Press

4:57 p.m.

Here are Monday’s top 3 performers on the TSX

Denison Mines Corp.’s McClean facility.
Denison Mines Corp.’s McClean facility. Photo by Cogema Resources Inc. and Denison Mines Inc.

Dye & Durham Ltd. ($12.15, 12.5 per cent)
Shares of the legal software provider jumped after it announced it was contemplating the sale of “non-core” assets to help lower debt levels that have caused investors to push Dye & Durham’s stock down 26 per cent this year. More recently, the Toronto-based company’s shares jumped 57 per cent from their year-to-date low on Oct. 26. Analysts have six buys, no holds and one sell on the stock and a 12-month price target of $23, according to Bloomberg.

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Denison Mines Corp. ($2.31, 6.45 per cent)
Shares of the uranium miner got a boost Nov. 8 after the company reported a third-quarter profit compared with a loss the same time last year, attributing the result to a $63.1 million gain on its physical uranium investments. Toronto-based Denison has had a good year as investors pushed up its shares almost 50 per cent year to date. Analysts have seven buys, one hold and no sells on the stock and a 12-month price target of $3.46, according to Bloomberg.

CCL Industries Inc. ($56.80, 5.26 per cent)
Shares of the company, which supplies packaging for non-durable consumer goods, jumped on Monday. Last week, Toronto-based CCL reported revenue that rose on acquisitions and currency adjustments, but fell “organically.” CCL’s shares are down almost two per cent year to date. Analysts have 10 buys, one hold and no sells on the stock and a 12-month price target of $73.11, according to Bloomberg.

Gigi Suhanic, Financial Post

4:46 p.m.

Market close: Energy and tech help TSX post modest gain as U.S. stock markets mixed

Canada’s main stock index ticked higher, led by strength in tech and energy, while U.S. markets were mixed.

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The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 54.68 points at 19,709.15.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 54.77 points at 34,337.87. The S&P 500 index was down 3.69 points at 4,411.55, while the Nasdaq composite was down 30.36 points at 13,767.74.

The Canadian dollar traded for 72.43 cents U.S., according to, compared with 72.36 cents U.S. on Friday.

The December crude contract was up US$1.09 at US$78.26 per barrel and the December natural gas contract was up 16 cents at US$3.20 per mmBTU.

The December gold contract was up US$12.50 at US$1,950.20 an ounce and the December copper contract was up eight cents at US$3.67 a pound.

The Canadian Press

12:24 p.m.

Midday markets: Energy and tech stocks help lift TSX as U.S. stock markets mixed

Canada’s main stock index was up in late-morning trading as strength in the energy and technology stocks helped lead the way higher and U.S. stock markets put in a mixed showing.

The S&P/TSX composite index was up 84.47 points at 19,738.94.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 32.21 points at 34,315.31. The S&P 500 index was down 2.06 points at 4,413.18, while the Nasdaq composite was down 18.01 points at 13,780.10.

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The Canadian dollar traded for 72.51 cents U.S. compared with 72.36 cents U.S. on Friday.

The December crude contract was up 78 cents at US$77.95 per barrel and the December natural gas contract was up 10 cents at US$3.13 per mmBTU.

The December gold contract was up US$5.90 at US$1,943.60 an ounce and the December copper contract was up seven cents at US$3.65 a pound.

The Canadian Press

11:39 a.m.

Average Canadian rent price hits new high for sixth consecutive month: report

Rent chart

A new report says the average asking price for a rental unit in Canada reached $2,178 last month, a 9.9 per cent year-over-year increase and continuing a trend that has seen asking rents hit new highs for six months in a row.

The data released by and Urbanation, which analyzes monthly listings from the former’s network, shows that while October’s annual rate of rent growth in Canada was down from the 11.1 per cent jump in September, it still marked the second-fastest annual increase of the past seven months.

The average cost of a one-bedroom unit in October was $1,906, up 14 per cent from the same month in 2022, while the average asking price for a two-bedroom was $2,255, up 11.8 per cent annually.

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Vancouver still leads the way as Canada’s most expensive city for renters, with the average one-bedroom unit listed at $2,872 and a two-bedroom at $3,777 — both down from September’s asking prices, but up 6.7 per cent and 5.5 per cent, respectively, on an annual basis.

Toronto is the next highest-ranked major city at $2,607 for a one-bedroom and $3,424 for a two-bedroom.

The report says rent inflation in Canada is being driven by price increases in Alberta, Quebec and Nova Scotia, due to factors such as strong population growth and large infusions of new rental supply priced at above-average market rents.

The Canadian Press

11:04 a.m.

Industry leaders slam bill to ban replacement workers during strikes

Striking workers at B.C. ports
Striking International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada workers march to a rally as gantry cranes used to load and unload cargo containers from ships sit idle at port in Vancouver on Thursday, July 6, 2023. Photo by DARRYL DYCK/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Industry leaders are warning that a bill to ban replacement workers during a strike or lockout could lead to greater disruptions to everything from aviation to package delivery and internet services.

Tabled in Parliament on Thursday, the Liberals’ legislation would be applicable to federally regulated sectors such as air travel, ports, banking and telecommunications and fine companies $100,000 a day for each violation. It would affect about a million employees.

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Derrick Hynes, chief executive of the Federally Regulated Employers — Transportation and Communications industry group, says a ban on replacement workers will create a major imbalance at the table and incentivize strike action.

He also cautions the bill could give small bargaining units in large companies outsized power to shut down entire operations, pointing to airlines and ports as examples.

However, Canadian Union of Public Employees president Mark Hancock says current rules give management unfair leverage in negotiations by allowing firms to hire outside labour, which can drag out strikes.

The legislation does not apply to the federal public service and includes exceptions for situations where replacing employees is necessary to prevent threats to public health and safety.

The Canadian Press

10 a.m.

Markets open: Stocks start the week lower

Stock market chart

Stocks kicked off the week with losses after posting big gains this month, with traders awaiting key inflation data, remarks from United States Federal Reserve speakers and results from some giant retailers.

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The S&P 500 dropped after posting nine positive days out of 10 — a level of consistency seen less than one per cent of the time this century and last observed in the fall of 2021. Treasuries fell across the curve, with 10-year yields approaching 4.7 per cent. The U.S. dollar rose against most of its major developed-market peers.

Equities rallied in November amid bets interest rates are peaking and the Fed will be able to ease policy next year. In a survey from the American Association of Individual Investors, the proportion of respondents who say they’re optimistic on the stock market jumped by three-quarters, while the ranks of pessimists plunged. From one week to the next, the bull-bear spread rose by 41 points, an advance last seen in early 2009.

“It would actually be healthy if the stock market took a bit of a breather near-term,” said Matt Maley, chief market strategist at Miller Tabak + Co. “If it continues to rally in a straight line, especially now that many of the big cap tech names are getting very expensive once again, it could take away from some of the rally’s potential in December. No market moves in a straight line.”

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U.S. traders will also keep a close eye on Washington negotiations to avert a government shutdown at the end of this week, an event that would threaten the loss of the nation’s last top credit rating after Moody’s Investors Service signalled Friday it was inclined to issue a downgrade amid wider budget deficits and political polarization.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 was down 0.39 per cent at 4,398.48. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.08 per cent 34,254.16 while the Nasdaq composite was down 0.62 per cent at 13,710.63.

In Toronto, the S&P/TSX composite index fell 0.11 per cent to 19,634.36.

Bloomberg, Financial Post

9:47 a.m.

First Quantum ramping down ore processing at Cobre Panama due to boat blockade

First Quantum Minerals' Cobre Panama mine
First Quantum Minerals Ltd.’s Cobre Panama mine has been the target of growing protests in the Central American country. Photo by Abraham Teran/THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP

First Quantum Minerals Ltd. says it has started to reduce ore processing operations at its Cobre Panama mine due to a blockade by small boats at the mine’s port as protests against the company’s new mining concession agreement continue.

The company says it is ramping down one ore processing train while two remain operational.

Shares in First Quantum have plunged in recent weeks as people in Panama have been protesting the operating agreement between the company and the government for the mine.

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The scale and scope of the deal have raised nationalist anger as well as environmentalist objections.

First Quantum says the blockade by the boats has affected the delivery of supplies for the mine’s on-site power generation plant, which is necessary for full operations.

It has also affected the loading of copper concentrate onto ships.

The Canadian Press

8:45 a.m.

Dye & Durham launches strategic review of non-core assets

The logo for Dye & Durham Ltd. is shown in this undated handout photo.
The logo for Dye and Durham Ltd. is shown in this undated handout photo. Photo by HO/The Canadian Press

Dye & Durham Ltd. says it has launched a strategic review of its non-core assets in an effort to reduce its debt.

The company says the review will examine a variety of options, including the potential sale of all or part of its non-core assets, including its financial services business.

Dye & Durham chief executive Matthew Proud says the company is working closely with its financial and legal advisers to ensure the review is “comprehensive, diligent and maximizes value.”

The company cautioned that there’s no assurance the review will result in a transaction.

Dye & Durham is a provider of cloud-based legal practice management software.

It has operations in Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and South Africa.

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The Canadian Press

Read more: Dye & Durham shares jump as it hires Goldman, Canaccord for possible payments unit sale

7:30 a.m.

RBC, BMO commit to racial equity audits

Royal Bank of Canada and Bank of Montreal have committed to racial equity audits after facing pressure from shareholders.

RBC said Friday it will conduct a third-party audit of employment practices next year and another on business practices in 2025.

“We remain focused on identifying and helping to address barriers that can impede the success of Black, Indigenous and other racialized groups,” said RBC spokesman Jeff Lanthier by email.

Racial equity audits look to identify and fix practices that may negatively affect Indigenous Peoples and communities of colour, and overall evaluates how well a company is addressing systemic racism.

The bank’s announcement comes after it met this week with shareholder advocacy group SHARE and the British Columbia General Employees’ Union, which had together put forward a resolution at RBC’s annual general meeting calling for an audit that received 42 per cent shareholder approval.

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The two groups also filed a similar resolution at BMO that got 37 per cent support, which SHARE pointed out earlier this week as it raised concerns that six months on from the vote, neither bank had made a public commitment to carry out the audits.

BMO confirmed late Friday that it, too, would go through with one.

The Canadian Press

Before the opening bell: Stocks droop to start the week

stock markets chart November 13, 2023

United States equity futures pointed to a slightly weaker start for Wall Street, following two weeks of robust gains, as investors waited for inflation data that could show if the U.S. Federal Reserve is done hiking interest rates.

Contracts for the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100 slipped about 0.3 per cent, after the underlying indexes closed sharply higher on Friday.

Europe’s Stoxx 600 index climbed 0.7 per cent, boosted by a rally in health-care stocks.

In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index closed up 67.06 points at 19,654.47 on Friday.


What to watch today

Canada observes Remembrance Day. Stock markets are open, but bond markets are closed.

Companies reporting earnings include Sun Life Financial Inc., Li-Cycle Holdings Cop. and Power Corp. of Canada.

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The National “Braiding Knowledge for Clean Energy” Conference and Tradeshow will take place today in Saskatoon with the theme, “Empowering First Nations: Pioneering Clean Energy Solutions and Housing Innovations.”

Related Stories

Need a refresher on Friday’s top headlines? Get caught up here.

Additional reporting by The Canadian Press, Associated Press and Bloomberg

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