Increase in the trade deficit came as imports rose 2.4% to $49.8 billion, led by an increase in aircraft imports.
Economists had expected another surplus – about $500 million.
Import volumes fall 6.2%, prices edge down 0.1%.
BMO calls it a worrying sign the transition away from energy sector-driven growth might be stalling.
StatsCan trade figures provide Canada’s first glimpse of how the economy weathered the Alberta wildfires.
Exports to the US slipped 6.3% to $30.4 billion.
Deficit with China set a record in 2015, rising 6.6% to $365.7 billion.
Numbers buoyed by a 3.1% increase in motor vehicle exports to $7.8 billion.
Exports rose 2.3% to nearly $45.5 billion and were concentrated in non-energy products.
Exports to countries other than the US fall 1.6% to $10 billion.
Commerce Department says data reflects flood of imports.
Deficit was far bigger than the $850 million that economists had expected.
Unifor, USW cite growing trade deficit as a potential threat to Canadian auto sector, jobs.
Transportation related industries contributed to the decline in exports: Statistics Canada.
Demand for energy products, motor vehicles and parts, and aircraft lead imports jump.