A rocky year for business led to bewildering corporate speak in 2015

CALGARY -- From disruptive synergies to opening the kimono, corporate speak can range from the mildly irritating to the entirely bewildering.

See Full Article

And with 2015 an often tumultuous year for business, such language thrived as companies tried to deflect unwelcome news.

Here's a look at some of the more unusual bafflegab.

Calgary-based Atco didn't formally announce in November it was cutting jobs, but a spokesperson did confirm they were happening -- sort of.

The company had this, and nothing more, to say about the layoffs:

"Atco is responding to the extremely challenging economic times. We remain dedicated to the communities we have the privilege to work in and are committed to providing safe and reliable services to our customers. We wish to thank all of the people of Atco -- past and present -- for their tremendous contributions to our company."

TD Bank had an equally non-committal response in October when asked about the layoffs it was implementing, saying only that after an organizational review "some roles are changing and some are being impacted." The company declined to elaborate on what "being impacted" meant.

In its third quarter results, Telus announced that, along with a dividend hike, it was cutting 1,500 full-time jobs as a result of "efficiency initiatives." It said the job cuts were "a necessary element of aligning our organization with the growth, customer service and capital allocation activities we are implementing."

And Suncor Energy said in January that it had "implemented a series of workforce initiatives" that would see 1,000 positions lost.

But job cuts weren't the only thing companies tried to avoid saying outright.

Last month, plane and train maker Bombardier, which lost US$4.9 billion in the last quarter, said it was setting out a plan to "further stabilize and de-risk our business, solidify our liquidity, and transform our company through a transition period."

Bankruptcies and funding issues also crept up this year as the resource sector crumbled, but companies didn't want to come out and say just how cash-strapped they were.

In early October, Parallel Energy Trust said its US$165 million credit line was not renewed and "Parallel is continuing to work with its lenders on alternative arrangements. There can be no assurances that alternative arrangements will be agreed to with Parallel's lenders."

The Calgary company filed for creditor protection in November.

Sometimes companies are forced to respond to speculation in the market but aren't prepared to confirm any news.

When word first leaked that Canadian Pacific Railway was preparing a takeover bid for Norfolk Southern, the company had only this to say:

"On behalf of the Toronto Stock Exchange, Canadian Pacific Railway Limited advises that there is no material news pending at this time. CP does not comment on market rumour and speculation."

The following week, CP announced its proposal to take over the U.S. railway.

But some of the biggest corporate news of the year was delivered straight up.

When Valeant Pharmaceuticals decided to end its relationship with a questionable drug distributor, the company came out and said it.

"We have lost confidence in Philidor's ability to continue to operate in a manner that is acceptable to Valeant," the Quebec pharmaceutical giant said, adding that it was "severing all ties with Philidor Rx Services."

And when Target announced it was closing all of its 133 Canadian stores employing 17,600 people, the news release began on a blunt note.

"Today Target Corporation announces that it plans to discontinue operating stores in Canada."



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Costco launches online grocery delivery in Canada

    Economic CTV News
    Costco.ca is the latest retailer to launch an online grocery store in Canada, starting with some stores in southern Ontario. The membership-based retailer has begun offering hundreds of non-perishable grocery items, beauty products and supplements online. Source
  • Nova Scotia's 'unique' cannabis stores unveiled

    Economic CTV News
    HALIFAX -- The Nova Scotia Liquor Corp. offered a glimpse inside one of its coming cannabis stores Wednesday, showcasing a unique retail hybrid not likely found anywhere else in the world. NSLC president and CEO Bret Mitchell took media on a tour of the cannabis store that's inside the NSLC on Joseph Howe Drive in Halifax, saying Nova Scotia is the only jurisdiction that brings cannabis and alcohol sales under one roof. Source
  • Manitoba Hydro boss announces retirement; says the time is right to leave

    Economic CTV News
    WINNIPEG -- The president and CEO of Manitoba Hydro has announced he is retiring less than three years after joining the Crown corporation. Kelvin Shepherd, who joined the utility in December 2015 after a five-year stint at MTS Inc. Source
  • CRA lawyers say Loblaw misused Barbadian subsidiary for tax avoidance

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - Government lawyers say Loblaw Companies Ltd.'s Barbadian banking subsidiary was "playing with its own money" rather than an active business with outside customers and is obligated to pay tax back home. Justice Department lawyer Elizabeth Chasson said in her closing arguments at the Tax Court of Canada that Barbados-based Glenhuron Bank Ltd. Source
  • Two become one? Planemakers work on tech to cut pilot numbers

    Economic CBC News
    Airplane manufacturers are working to adapt jets to reduce the number of pilots needed for long-haul flights and to build new cockpits designed for a single aviator in order to ease a global pilot shortage and cut airline costs. Source
  • Condos rushing to ban pot smoking before legalization

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- Gerald Major goes out on the back balcony of his condo several times a day, leaning against the wall and smoking or vaping medicinal cannabis to ease the pain and other symptoms of severe arthritis. Source
  • Marriott to ban plastic straws by next summer

    Economic CTV News
    One of the world's largest hotel companies has followed the lead of other major food and travel players in banning straws across its properties by next summer. Marriott International -- whose portfolio includes more than 6,500 properties in 127 countries and territories around the world -- pledged to eliminate the use of single-use plastic straws by July 2019. Source
  • U.S. launches national security probe into uranium imports

    Economic CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The Commerce Department has started an investigation into the impact of uranium imports on U.S. national security, a move that could result in tariffs and add another front to the Trump administration's trade fight. Source
  • Canada could get caught in cross-fire of U.S. uranium investigation

    Economic CTV News
    Canada could get caught in the crossfire after the U.S. Department of Commerce launched another national security investigation, this time by looking into uranium imports. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the investigation Wednesday, noting U.S. Source
  • Toronto stock market ticks lower, while U.S. markets mixed; Loonie moves down

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - Canada's main stock index ticked lower in late-morning trading as the energy and consumer staples sectors lost ground. The S&P/TSX composite index was down 20.72 points to 16,498.52, after 90 minutes of trading. Source