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Oil crunch forces Canadian businesses to make strategy changes

Weak economic conditions brought on by a fall in the price of oil have prompted many Canadian companies to revamp their operations.

TODD KOROL/REUTERS

The fall in the price of oil and other commodities over the last couple of years has had a profound impact on Canadian business. According to the latest quarterly C-Suite survey, two-thirds of executives say their companies have been negatively affected. Almost 90 per cent of Alberta-based companies have taken a hit because of the drop.

The weak economic conditions have prompted many companies to revamp their operations. Forty-five per cent of executives surveyed said they have already altered their strategic plans for the next three to five years, and 14 per cent more say they'll likely make changes. In Alberta, three-quarters have already made changes.

For many, that means cutting employees, trimming operating expenses and reducing capital spending plans. "We've had to cut back on our staffing and our spending, [and] we try to stay within cash flow," said Kevin Stashin, chief executive officer of oil-and-gas firm NAL Resources Ltd. in Calgary. But with no debt, his company is also looking at the downturn as chance to expand. "This is an opportunity to buy great assets that would not normally come on the market," Mr. Stashin said.

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About the Author
Reporter, Report on Business

Richard Blackwell has reported on Canadian business for more than three decades. At the Financial Post and the Globe and Mail he has covered technology, transportation, investing, banking, securities and media, among many other subjects. Currently, his focus is on green technology and the economy. More

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