2020-02-19
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Coronavirus threatens the bottom line of Canadian companies

The number of affected people by the coronavirus continues to grow. The number of cases around the world stands at 28,256 as of Thursday morning, with more than 28,000 of those in China. The number of cases in China has grown by 15% every day, with 563 deaths.

The virus not only affects lives, it also represents an economic threat to many companies around the world that deal with China including Canadian companies.

Air Canada plane’s landing. Courtesy of Flickr

Air Canada has cancelled all its direct flights to China. This comes after the federal government ordered Canadians to avoid non-essential travel to the China due to the coronavirus spread.

Air Canada said affected customers will be notified and offered options that include travel on other airlines or a full refund which may result in stiff financial losses.

Close shot of IMAX logo at cinema. Courtesy of Flickr

Canadian-based company IMAX has more than 600 cinemas across China and they will be hit by financial losses. China’s government has closed more than 70,000 theatres across the country, including IMAX cinemas in order to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Sue Horton is an expert in Canadian and international economics and professor at the University of Waterloo who has consulted for the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, several United Nations agencies, and the International Development Research Centre.

“The best guide to have a future view on how could coronavirus impact Canadian economy would be to look up on what happened in SARS,” she said.

The Ontario government determined the cost of the SARS crisis 2003, which claimed the lives of 44 people in the Toronto area, to be $1.1-billion. This means that the coronavirus is expected to have a similar impact on the Canadian economy.

Fatimah Aboutaleb
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Fatimah Aboutaleb
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