Loonie’s drop hits consumers, helps B.C. tourism

SFU's Lindsay Meredith sees Canadian dollar sliding to 70 cents

The Canadian dollar has slid more than 15 cents against the U.S. greenback from a year ago.

The loonie’s swoon is prompting more B.C. residents to rethink plans to vacation in the U.S., according to a new poll.

The Insights West online survey found 57 per cent of B.C. respondents said they’re more likely to vacation in this province and 53 per cent said they’ll make fewer trips to the U.S. than usual.

Seventeen per cent said they have already cancelled a planned trip to the U.S.

RELATED:Loonie at lowest point in more than a decade

The loonie sank this week below 77 cents U.S., a new low for the year following a 10-cent plunge last winter as oil prices fell.

Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed said the declining Canadian dollar has either a significant or medium effect on their travel plans

SFU business professor Lindsay Meredith said he’s not surprised by the trend of Canadians staying home and said he expects more Americans will come north as they realize their greenback goes farther here.

“Tourism is the big winner out of this, no question about it,” Meredith said. “The big losers are the Canadian consumers.”

The dollar dove after the Bank of Canada cut its interest rate in response to sagging economic growth, which also prompted a recalculation that the federal government is actually heading for a $1-billion deficit this year, rather than a budget surplus.

Meredith suggested the weaker dollar may aid federal government re-election hopes by propping up eastern Canadian export industries, but will be counterproductive to the economy elsewhere, because average families will have less money to spend as prices of U.S. goods climb.

“It adds more gas to the fire because the imports are much more expensive, so you’ve just shorted the Canadian pay cheque again,” he said.

It will become a “double whammy” when the U.S. federal reserve increases its interest rates, widening the spread against the cost of borrowing in Canada, and giving currency markets another reason to dump the loonie for the greenback.

“That will mean more devastation for the loonie,” Meredith said. “My prediction is we’ll go to 70 cents.”

Just Posted

Abbotsford woman charged after police find loaded gun in bag at mall

Danielle Rigdon, now facing 11 charges this year, was on house arrest at the time

Aldergrove community stakeholders react to town centre plans

‘The mall has been an eyesore for many years,’ says Home Hardware owner

Langley Mustangs runner sets Canadian record

Sarah Inglis celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with a standout performance at the Canadian All Comers race

Told ‘no’ twice by local shelter, homeless Surrey man sent to Hope anyways

Deemed medically stable, patient was taxied to Hope by hospital when a spot in Surrey wasn’t located

Music students to stage protest performances in Langley

Sunday demonstration planned to oppose budget cuts at Kwantlen Polytechynic University

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

Woman punched on the sidelines of B.C. soccer game

Both involved were watching the U21 game in West Vancouver from the sidelines when things got heated

Most Read