When the pandemic hit, millions of Canadians’ jobs were affected. They faced layoffs, reduced hours, and business closures. These people needed to know how the $2,000 a month benefit worked and how to apply. They wanted to keep track of changes, when it would eventually end and be replaced by new programs like CRB. There were also a lot of questions about how Ottawa would pay for it.
#2 Air Canada:
COVID-19 put an end to travel plans and airlines were among the hardest hit industries. Air Canada was forced to cancel flights because of travel restrictions. It also cut routes and laid off staff. It sought government assistance and investors watched its share price plummet in the early days of the pandemic. Although shares have rallied on vaccine news, there’s still a long way to go before a return to its pre-pandemic high.
It was a similar story for rival WestJet in its first year as a private company. A key difference was how it handled cancelled trips. In October, WestJet announced it would provide refunds for all customers whose flights were cancelled as a result of COVID-19. Air Canada has also provided refunds to customers, but those who purchased non-refundable tickets have been offered travel vouchers instead of cash. It led to something of a spat on Twitter between the two airlines.
#4 Oil Prices:
Lockdowns meant demand for Texas tea and Canadian crude would fall through the floor, causing prices to plummet. That was great news for people filling up their cars, but scary for oil producing parts of the country. Though prices have partially recovered, it’s still a tough slog for the oil patch, where companies with battered share prices are struggling to turn the profit of the past.
It was supposed to be a big year for WestJet’s ultra-discount carrier. Swoop was going to embark on an ambitious expansion plan and add new travel destinations to its roster, including Victoria, Kamloops, and San Diego. But of course 2020 had other ideas and the plans were shelved.
Jessy Bains is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jessysbains.