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Noah Zivitz

Managing Editor, BNN

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TransCanada might be about to walk away from Energy East. The company announced late yesterday it wants to suspend its application to build the controversial pipeline so that it can carefully assess the project’s viability amid new rules recently announced by the National Energy Board. Recall the regulator said last month it’s now going to take upstream and downstream greenhouse gas emissions into account; plus, it also wants to consider how emission targets factor into pipeline economics. So now we’re left to wonder if the 4,500-kilometre pipeline is going to be hung out to dry. We’ll chase reaction from political leaders, the oil patch and the investment community.  

CANADIAN ECONOMY EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS IN AUGUST 

Canada’s economy continues outpacing expectations. 22,200 jobs were created last month and the unemployment rate ticked down to 6.2 per cent. Economists were expecting 19,000 new jobs and 6.3 per cent unemployment. Details are important: 88,100 full-time jobs were lost, while 110,400 part-time positions were added. And Ontario was the only province to post substantial job growth (+31,100). 

RBC’S CEO ON TAXES, TALENT AND CANADA’S COMPETITIVENESS

Beyond talking about banking and rising rates, BNN's Greg Bonnell also got deep in Canada’s competitiveness in his interview with Royal Bank of Canada CEO Dave McKay. As far as RBC’s chief is concerned, attracting and retaining top talent is “mission critical” for Canada. And while he wouldn’t wade into the firestorm over Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s plan to tighten up tax rules for private corporations, he did point out this country needs to make sure it doesn’t fall behind to lower-tax jurisdictions.

CITIES VYING FOR AMAZON HQ

Yesterday morning we took note of Amazon’s plan to build a second HQ in North America. At the time, it made us how cities would position themselves to win Jeff Bezos’s favour. By late yesterday afternoon, it became clear the race is on among Canadian municipalities hoping to win the US$5-billion investment. Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa and Kitchener, Ont., are all demonstrating interest. Pun intended or not, Toronto Mayor John Tory says his city is a prime candidate. We’ll speak with him about how he’ll try to lure HQ2 on The Business News today.

ONTARIO TO UNVEIL PLANS FOR CANNABIS RETAIL

Ontario will release its plan for the distribution of legalized recreational cannabis later this morning. According to The Globe and Mail, Kathleen Wynne’s government will allow retail sales at 40 stores across the province, plus online. The announcement happens at 11:15 a.m. ET. We’ll be there, with reaction to come throughout the day on BNN.

'REAL DOWNSIDE RISK' FOR COHN’S FUTURE IN WHITE HOUSE

Another day, another round of speculation about Gary Cohn’s future in the White House. Reuters is citing sources who believe there’s increasing uncertainty about how long he’ll remain as U.S. President Donald Trump’s top economic advisor. “The calculus has shifted for Gary,” said one source. “The message is clear that suddenly Cohn’s job in the White House has real downside risk.” Another source said Trump “hates him.” We’ll consider the downside risk for investors if Cohn hits the road.

OTHER NOTABLE STORIES:

-Irma is now barreling through the Bahamas as a category-4 hurricane, with warnings in place for sections of Florida. TD Bank has decided to close all 150 of its branches in the state until at least Monday. We’ll get the latest on the storm from our CTV colleagues.

-The U.S. dollar index is languishing at its lowest level since early 2015. Take your pick of the risks weighing on the greenback: Irma, North Korea, tax reform, etc. As the USD goes down, we’ve seen the loonie come close to hitting 83 cents US this morning.

-Hudson’s Bay Company is dismissing speculation it could sell Kaufhof. A spokesperson for the retailer told Reuters HBC has “no interest in doing business with Signa,” referring to a rival company that has been seen a potential suitor. HBC, however, is still not addressing Land and Buildings’ claims about a potential management buyout.

-Sun Life is bolstering is its investment management business, announcing late yesterday it’s buying emerging markets-specialist Excel Funds.  

NOTABLE RELEASES/EVENTS

-Notable earnings: Kroger

-Notable data: Canadian labour force survey (8:30 a.m. ET), Canadian industrial capacity utilization rates (8:30 a.m. ET)

-8:25 a.m. ET: Toronto Mayor John Tory holds media avail in Toronto  

-10:15 a.m. ET: Ontario technical briefing on cannabis sales

-11:15 a.m. ET: Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa, Health Minister Eric Hoskins and Attorney General Yasir Naqvi hold media avail on cannabis plan (we’re sending camera; reporter TBD)

-2:45 p.m. ET: Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland announcement in Toronto regarding funding research

-5:00 p.m. ET: B.C. throne speech 

-6:00 p.m. ET: Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer delivers closing remarks at party caucus in Winnipeg 

Every morning BNN's Managing Editor Noah Zivitz writes a ‘chase note’ to BNN's editorial staff listing the stories and events that will be in the spotlight that day.  Have it delivered to your inbox before the trading day begins by heading to www.bnn.ca/subscribe