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The finance minister’s fall fiscal update projected a $26.6-billion deficit for 2019–20, an increase from the $19.8-billion estimate in the March federal budget. That will rise to $28.1 billion in 2020–21. The finance department predicts the economy will grow 1.7 per cent in 2019 and 1.6 per cent next year, unchanged from its budget projections. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Monday’s fiscal update differed from a typical fall economic statement, which includes new programs and policies. But the lack of new spending means the deficit projections could grow further after the 2020 federal budget, when the Liberals start to implement their election platform. And while Canada’s national debt remains low compared to the size of the economy, Morneau’s update acknowledges “fundamental structural shifts” across the world that could hurt global growth. If the result is a recession, a large deficit could leave less money for economic stimulus programs.

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Mark Evans is a former partner at the European arm of Benchmark Capital, a top Silicon Valley venture capital firm. He also spent 15 years at Goldman Sachs, leaving as global co-head of equity research. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Evans brings tech experience to a board with expertise in more traditional economic sectors for institutional investors, like financial services, telecommunications, agriculture and consumer goods. His background could come in handy as CPPIB gets into tech investing in a major way. In December 2018, my colleague Zane reported that the organization was planning to invest between $500 million and $1 billion in venture capital funds in North America, Europe and emerging markets. CPPIB has also made a number of direct tech investments in recent months, including a $166-million investment in Visma Group, a software company, in April, and participation in a US$11-billion buyout of Ultimate Software, a cloud HR platform, in February.

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The finance minister said the economy will continue to grow in 2019 and “the forecastable future.” Earlier this month, the Bank of Canada cut its forecast for economic growth this year to 1.7 per cent, down from its prediction of 2.1 per cent in October 2018. Morneau cited trade troubles and the oil sector’s difficulties as reasons for a recent slowdown. (Bloomberg)

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Talking point: Those trade and oil troubles haven’t been resolved yet. While crude prices have increased, there’s still limited capacity to transport it out of Alberta to overseas markets, which is the reason the industry cites most often for the price difference between U.S. and Canadian oil. Meanwhile, the U.S.-China trade war has delayed negotiations to remove the Donald Trump administration’s tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminium, Morneau said last month. But Canada did get some new allies in that battle this week—more than 40 U.S. business groups issued an open letter saying the duties were eroding the benefits of the USMCA.

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The deal will make CPPIB the majority stakeholder at 50.1 per cent, up from 40 per cent. SNC-Lavalin will retain a 6.8 per cent stake in the highway and use the proceeds from the sale to pay off debt, including $600 million to the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. (Bloomberg)

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Talking point: The deal ends months of wrangling between pension giant CPPIB, Spanish developer Cintra Global and another pension giant, OMERS—all of which tried to buy parts of SNC-Lavalin’s stake. For SNC-Lavalin, this deal provides badly needed cash, as its stock has dropped 37.39 per cent in the past year, and it’s in the midst of a public fight with its largest shareholder, the Caisse, which is calling for a fundamental restructure of the company’s business. For CPPIB, this deal allows it to bring in more revenue from an asset that’s been performing well for it for years, while it’s taking a growing number of bets on newer—and potentially riskier—investments. On Monday, the board announced plans to set up a credit arm in India’s capital-starved financial sector, part of a long-term investment-diversification strategy. Tech investments are also a big part of the effort —earlier this year, the board invested $166 million in software company Visma Group, and participated in a US$11-million buyout of Ultimate Software, a human-resources app developer.