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U.S. softwood lumber prices near all-time high as Canadian producers pass on duties to U.S. consumers

Softwood lumber prices in the U.S. soared to near-record highs Wednesday, as Canadian producers passed on higher export duties charged by the U.S. government straight on to American consumers. Prices for KD Western S-P-F, a common benchmark for softwood lumber exported into the U.S., was trading above US$494, near its all-time high, that appear to neutralize any potential impact of …

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Murray Koffler, Shoppers Drug Mart founder, dies at 93

Murray Bernard Koffler, the founder of Shoppers Drug Mart and a noted philanthropist, has died at 93. Koffler, born in 1924, took over his father’s two Toronto pharmacies when he was just 17 years old, following his father’s death. He died on Sunday, Nov. 5, at his home in Toronto. He is survived by Marvelle, his wife of 67 years, …

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While politicians play politics with Sears pensioners, the Supreme Court appears to be on their side

On Monday in Ottawa, a private member’s bill is expected to be tabled by NDP Hamilton Mountain MP Scott Duvall that will attempt to give corporate employees rock-solid protection for their pension benefits in the event their employer goes bankrupt. The bill, developed in the context of Sears Canada’s collapse with a $270-million pension fund shortfall, is good policy that …

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Despite their celebrity, video-game voice actors have to fight for rights

LOS ANGELES—She woke up with a tickle in her throat. This was worrying for Ashly Burch, who, at 27, is a rising star in the small world of voice actors, best known for her work in video games. She knew actors who had blown out their voices in the studio. She’d come close herself. So leaving her house that morning …

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Michael Kors turns to personalized style tips and store revamps to win back customers

NEW YORK—Michael Kors Holdings Ltd.’s turnaround plan hinges on making its customers feel like they’re being personally dressed by its namesake designer — even if they aren’t. The company is revamping stores and training sales associates to deliver personalized style ideas that are handed down from Kors. Example: how to match a black-sequined-and-cheetah-print dress to a pair of calf leather …

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Competition Bureau’s bread price-fixing probe leaves experts surprised

Experts reacted with surprise on Wednesday to news that the Competition Bureau is investigating possible price-fixing of bread products by suppliers and retailers in Canada’s grocery industry. “I think it’s unlikely that it’s a widespread or very senior scheme,” said Mark Satov, strategy adviser and founder, Satov Consultants Inc. Satov was reacting to the news that Competition Bureau investigators, accompanied …

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Tesla driving away customer confidence with unfulfilled promises

A year ago, Tesla set up a hastily organized conference call between Elon Musk and reporters. Tesla had something big to announce — big enough for the chief executive to open the floor to questions. That doesn’t happen very often. What followed wasn’t so much the unveiling of a new product as a plan for a product. Tesla’s driver-assistance platform, Autopilot, was about to begin …

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How keeping up could keep you back from your goals: Vaz-Oxlade

Meet Jackie. Jackie and Alex, have a great life. They’ve lived well, managing their money carefully and are building up quite a nice little nest egg. Their home is paid for, mostly because Jackie and Alex have always driven older models cars, shopped carefully for their clothes, and made do with not quite the latest cellphone. Jackie recently got a …

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Shopify shares slide after company called ‘get-rich-quick scheme’

Shopify Inc. tumbled as much as 10 per cent after Citron Research began shorting the stock, saying the Canadian e-commerce company’s claims that it’s minting millionaires should be investigated, and questioning its ability to scale up. In a stinging tweet and video rebuke, Citron founder Andrew Left called Ottawa-based Shopify a “get-rich-quick” scheme and “dirtier” than Herbalife Ltd., which has …

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Bombardier could eventually join Siemens-Alstom, says French finance minister

MONTREAL—The merger between European railway manufacturers hasn’t ended with Alstom and Siemens, and could eventually see other players such as Bombardier joining the fold, France’s finance minister said Wednesday. Testifying before France’s economic affairs committee, Bruno Le Maire described the Franco-German railway merger as inevitable as the industry consolidates in an attempt to compete with Chinese state-owned CRRC. Pressed by …

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