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Agriculture

CN strike prompts potash mine shutdown, triggering 550 temporary layoffs

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SASKATOON — Nutrien Ltd. says it is temporarily shutting down its largest potash mine because of the strike at Canadian National Railway Co., resulting in some 550 short-term layoffs at the fertilizer giant.

Nutrien chief executive Chuck Magro says workers received notices today alerting them that the mine in southeastern Saskatchewan will halt operations for two weeks starting Dec. 2. The vast majority of the Rocanville mine’s product is shipped by CN Rail, which is now operating at 10 per cent capacity.

Magro says the “hardship” and “uncertainty” farmers and mine workers face due to the strike in a year already plagued by poor weather and trade disputes is “extremely disappointing.”

Hundreds of Quebec farmers also marched through Montreal streets today alongside a convoy of tractors to dump piles of corn at the steps of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s riding office, calling for action by Ottawa to resolve the week-long strike.

Ottawa has continued to urge a negotiated settlement rather than reconvening Parliament ahead of schedule for back-to-work legislation as some industries and provincial ministers have demanded.

About 3,200 CN staff across the country, who have been without a contract since July 23, walked off the job early last Tuesday morning over worries about long hours, fatigue and what they consider dangerous working conditions.

A Nutrien spokesman says about 50 more employees at the mine will likely be affected, but remain on the job.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2019.

Companies in this story: (TSX:CNR, TSX:NTR)

The Canadian Press

Agriculture

Cannabis firm Aphria signs deal for $100M investment from institutional investor

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LEAMINGTON, Ont. — Aphria Inc. says it has signed a deal with an unidentified institutional investor who has agreed to invest $100 million in the cannabis company.

The investor will acquire roughly 14 million units of the company at a price of $7.12 per unit.

Each unit will include one Aphria share and one-half of a share purchase warrant.

Each whole warrant will entitle the investor to acquire one Aphria share at a price of $9.26 for a period of 24 months from the closing date of the offering.

Aphria says it plans to use the net proceeds from the offering to finance international expansion, working capital and general corporate purposes.

The announcement comes more than a week after the Leamington, Ont.-based cannabis company slashed its outlook due to delays in opening additional Ontario cannabis stores and a ban on vape products in Alberta.

Aphria said on Jan. 14 that it now expects net revenue for its 2020 financial year to be between $575 million and $625 million.

It had previously predicted that total would be between $650 million and $700 million.

Aphria chief financial officer Carl Merton said the company was being hampered by a delay in opening another wave of cannabis stores in Ontario. The province recently announced it would abandon a controversial lottery-based system that allowed 25 Canadians to open pot stores in Ontario last April, but people hoping to open new stores might not get the go-ahead until spring.

Aphria also said its adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amoritization will now amount to between $35 million and $42 million, rather than between $88 million and $95 million.

Shares in the company behind brands including Solei, Broken Coast Cannabis, RIFF and Good Supply were down 31 cents or 4.09 per cent at $7.27 in midmorning trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Cannabis stocks have rallied somewhat since a second wave of products known as Cannabis 2.0 has become available, including cannabis-infused chocolates, cookies, soft chews, mints, tea and vapes.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 24, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:APHA)

The Canadian Press

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Agriculture

Cannabis price gap increases, as illegal cannabis prices fall: StatCan

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OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the gap between legal and illegal cannabis prices in Canada increased in the fourth quarter of last year.

The average price of legal cannabis increased to $10.30 per gram in the period between October and December 2019 from $9.69 per gram the year before.

The change came as the average price of illegal cannabis fell to $5.73 per gram in that fourth quarter from $6.44 per gram a year earlier.

Statistics Canada based these conclusions on price quotes gathered using its StatsCannabis crowdsourcing application between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31. Out of 291 price submissions, 248 of were deemed plausible, it said.

The overall average price of cannabis rose to $7.50 per gram in the period between October and December 2019, an increase from $7.46 per gram a year earlier.

The agency says Quebec has the lowest legal cannabis prices in Canada at $7.88 per gram and Ontario has the highest illegal cannabis price with an average of $6.21 per gram.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2020.

 

 

The Canadian Press


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january, 2020

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