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Adios, Corolla & Poloz stands pat: BUSINESS WEEK WRAP

04/17/2015 05:45 EDT | Updated 07/05/2015 08:59 EDT
One of the biggest news stories this week was word on Wednesday that Toyota would be moving its Corolla production from plants in Ontario to a new one in Mexico.

The Woodstock and Cambridge, Ont., plants have made more than three million Corollas since the first plant opened in the late 1980s. But the company is moving production to Mexico, where costs are much cheaper.

It's not the end for Toyota's presence in Canada. Although short on specifics, the company says the Ontario facilities will be modified to build what the company calls more "high value" cars. That may be a nebulous bone to workers worrying about their jobs, but the head of the largest autoworkers union in the country isn't buying that positive spin. 

"It's a terrible day for the team members of Toyota," Unifor president Jerry Dias said. "You can't take the number one selling vehicle that Toyota has in North America out of an assembly plant and somehow think that everything's going to be fine cause it's not going to be."

Airline seat squeeze

New fees and a generally less enjoyable flight experience may become commonplace for air travellers. But there may be some relief coming in the future, as U.S. regulators looked into the issue of cramped seating on planes this week.

A U.S. Department of Transportation advisory committee heard from expert witnesses, who voiced their concern over the lack of rules around seat size and spacing. It's a valid medical concern for some, but in an age of razor thin profits, some aviation experts say it's a growing trend.

"They have no financial downside and every financial upside to cramming us in there," says Ira Goldman, the inventor of the knee defender, a small device that travellers can attach to the seat in front of them to prevent it reclining.

With more airlines moving to a model of lower fares in exchange for crammed planes and fees for just about everything, it's clearly an issue that's not going to go away

Bank of Canada stands pat

The Bank of Canada did basically what was expected this week, deciding to keep its benchmark interest rate at 0.75 per cent. 

This time last year, speculation was that the Bank of Canada was going to have to raise rates at some point. But that was before the price of oil cratered, throwing a wrench in Canada's economic plans. In January, the bank surprised many watchers with a surprise rate cut — a sign it thinks the economy is in bad enough shape to need a jolt of stimulus. 

Some people thought another cut could have been in the offing this week. While that didn't happen, the bank clearly signalled its belief that everything isn't hunky-dory in the economy — which means another cut is possible at some point.

"There is a lot of doubt, there's a lot of uncertainty and I think the uncertainty itself is one of the reasons why the economy's not performing very well," BMO economist Michael Gregory told Amanda Lang this week.

Sunny side up for eggs

Another story we brought you this week turned out to be an egg-cellent egg-splainer for an often overlooked Canadian industry. 

After a few years in the doldrums due to health fears, Canadian egg farmers are doing very well at the moment, the CBC's Paul Haavardsrud reported this week. Demand for eggs is up to about 22 dozen eggs a year per capita, well above the recent lows seen a half-decade ago. 

At the same time, prices have rebounded, in part because of a supply management system that keeps prices higher than they might otherwise be.

With increased demand, increased consumption and higher profits, it sounds like Canada's egg industry has finally cracked out of its shell. And that's no yolk.

Other stories

Those were just a few of our best stories this week. Be sure to check out our website often for more, and don't forget to follow us on Twitter here. In the meantime, here's a list of some more of our stories that you may have missed from the past seven days.

Monday

- DON PITTIS: Why Stephen Poloz can't fix a weak economy

​Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

- TAX SEASON: 10 questions on our quiz to keep your tax brain sharp 

Friday

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