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TFSA changes, loonie travel and KD’s new colour: BUSINESS WEEK WRAP


The biggest story of the week, without a doubt, was the federal budget. But after numerous leaks of some of the bigger details ahead of time, the actual day itself was somewhat devoid of news.

Most of the headlines centred around the government’s plan to almost double the TFSA contribution limit to $ 10,000. It’s an idea that has fans and detractors on both sides, but nobody managed to synthesize the issues as pithily as the Finance Minister himself did, in an interview on The Exchange with Amanda Lang that night.

“I heard that by 2080 we may have a problem,” he told Lang. “Well, why don’t we leave that to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s granddaughter to solve that problem.”

It was definitely a clip of the week. And likely to be one you’ll be hearing a lot of in the coming months, with an election campaign in the offing.

Canadians staying home?

Canadians are putting the brakes on cross-border car travel to the U.S., new numbers from Statistics Canada showed this week.

The number of same-day trips fell seven per cent in February from a year earlier. Small wonder, considering the loonie has lost about 15 cents in the previous 12 months. Trips to the U.S. from Canada are now at their lowest level since 2010.

kraft-620

A plan to remove artificial colour from Kraft Dinner was one of our most read business stories this week.

But there are two sides to every coin. Some parts of the country say that a cheap loonie is luring Americans northwards to travel.

“We’re really excited to see the recovery in the U.S. economy, they’ve rebuilt their economy since the great recession, based on innovation,” Paul Nursey at Tourism Victoria told the CBC’s Chris Brown this week, “so we think this is sustainable growth and not just tied to ups and downs in the dollars.”

Loonie helps exporters

There’s another group of people getting a bump from the cheap loonie: exporters. The CBC’s national business reporter Renee Filippone reported this week that the weaker loonie is helping some Canadian companies sell their products outside the country.

A new report suggests now is the time to attract U.S. buyers for Canadian products. But an uncertain Canadian economy means many companies may put off plans to get into the export business.

“It’s gonna take some time before businesses get, kind of optimistic enough to be able to say, okay I’m gonna make some major new investments in my product or in my investments across border,” Ted Mallett of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business told us this week

Click here to watch an interview on the outlook for Canadian exporters.

Kraft sheds the electric orange hue

Speaking of new strategies, Kraft made headlines this week for tinkering with a classic. Kids and college students alike would tell you Kraft Dinner isn’t complete without that packet of bright orange cheesy powder.

But the company wants to attract the all-natural eaters with a new recipe, removing synthetic dyes and artificial flavours from its original macaroni and cheese.

Kraft says KD will still taste — and look — the same. But picky kids at dinner tables across the country will surely put that claim to the test.

Other stuff

Those were just some of what we had on offer this week. Be sure and check out our website often for more, and don’t forget to follow us on our Twitter account here. In the meantime, here’s some more of our best stuff you might have missed over the past seven days.

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

CBC | Business News