Canadian lumber duties would hurt U.S. consumers: housing groups

The imposition of import tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber will place a heavy burden on consumers and U.S. workers, a leading American voice for free trade with Canada says.The U.S. National Association of Home Builders says duties or volume caps on imported lumber will raise the price of lumber, adding more than $1,300 to the cost of a new single-family house.

It also forecasts higher lumber prices will result in a net loss of almost 8,000 jobs if 25 per cent of duties are imposed on Canadian lumber flowing into the United States. About $450-million (U.S.) in wages would …
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TransGlobe cuts risk by building up Canadian operations

TransGlobe Energy Corp., known for operations in Egypt, is returning to Canada, snapping up west-central Alberta oil assets for $80-million in a bid to reduce political and economic risk.This should come as some comfort to Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, whose New Democratic Party government has frequently taken flak from right-wing quarters of the domestic oil patch. The government has been accused of driving away investment over policies such as the coming climate tax and the re-examination of royalties.

Calgary-based TransGlobe had conducted a search for assets in oil-producing countries throughout the developed world before settling on a deal in …
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New Zealand PM John Key resigns after 8 years as leader

New Zealand’s popular Prime Minister John Key stunned the nation on Monday when he announced, in a breaking voice, he was resigning after eight years as leader.
Key had been widely expected to contest his fourth general election next year. But he said he wanted to ensure he didn’t make the mistake that some other world leaders have done, and instead wanted to leave while he was on top of his game.
Speaking in a shaking voice, Key said he had made personal sacrifices for the job and the role had taken a toll on his family.
Key said his National Party caucus would meet Dec. 12 to decide on a new party leader and prime minister, and that he expected to formally submit his resignation to the Governor-General that same day.
He said he would back his deputy Bill English to take over. English said he would likely decide in …
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Italian Prime Minister's defeat plunges EU into uncertainty

The stalling European integration project took another blow Sunday night when Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s effort to overhaul the constitution and stop the populist march in the euro zone’s third largest economy suffered a resounding defeat.Addressing the country shortly after midnight local time from his official residence at Palazzo Chigi in Rome, Mr. Renzi said he “takes full responsibility” for the stinging defeat and will submit his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella on Monday. “I have lost and I will say it out loud,” he said.

Italy’s Matteo Renzi says he will resign following referendum defeat (Reuters)

The referendum’s No outcome means that Mr. Renzi’s bold plan to overhaul the constitution, secure his tenure as a reformist leader and trip up the country’s – and by extension Europe’s – rising populist parties has died a premature death. At 2 a.m., the Italian interior ministry …
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Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to resign after conceding defeat in referendum vote

The stalling European integration project took another blow Sunday night when Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s effort to overhaul the constitution and stop the populist march in the euro zone’s third largest economy suffered a resounding defeat.Addressing the country shortly after midnight local time from his official residence at Palazzo Chigi in Rome, Mr. Renzi said he “takes full responsibility” for the stinging defeat and will submit his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella on Monday. “I have lost and I will say it out loud,” he said.

Italy’s Matteo Renzi says he will resign following referendum defeat (Reuters)

The referendum’s No outcome means that Mr. Renzi’s bold plan to overhaul the constitution, secure his tenure as a reformist leader and trip up the country’s – and by extension Europe’s – rising populist parties has died a premature death. At 2 a.m., the Italian interior ministry …
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Voters in Austria flock to polls to reject far-right candidate

Call it the Donald Trump effect, just not the one that pundits expected.Austria had long been identified as the next beach that could be washed over by the populist tide that had already this year carried Mr. Trump to the White House, and the United Kingdom toward exit from the European Union. Most opinion polls ahead of Sunday’s election suggested Austrians were ready to join the anti-establishment revolt and choose far-right politician Norbert Hofer as their next president.

Voters in Italy – where Prime Minister Matteo Renzi was handed a resounding defeat in Sunday’s referendum on proposed constitutional changes, leading to his resignation – did indeed follow the script. But Austrians appear to have drawn a different inspiration from Mr. Trump’s election. They went to the polls in unexpectedly large numbers on Sunday to reject Mr. Hofer, and to hand a narrow victory to his left-of-centre opponent, Alexander …
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High-stakes referendum: Is Italy next in line for populist shock?

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced he will resign Monday after suffering a stinging loss in a reforms referendum, triggering immediate calls from a populist party and other opposition forces for elections to be held soon.
“The ‘No’s have won in an extraordinary clear-cut way,” Renzi told reporters in Rome about an hour after polls had closed in Sunday’s balloting.
“I lost and the post that gets eliminated is mine,” Renzi said. “The government’s experience is over, and in the afternoon I’ll go to the Quirinal Hill to hand in my resignation” to President Sergio Mattarella.

#Renzi: I lost. Tomorrow afternoon I will hand in my resignation. #italyreferendum #CBC pic.twitter.com/z48E01Ny7u—
@MKWilliamsRome

Leaders of the populist 5-Star Movement, which is led by comedian Beppe Grillo, joined the chorus for early elections. The 5-Stars are the chief rivals of Renzi’s Democrats and are anxious to achieve …
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How photographing Castro started lifelong obsession for this Toronto artist

On Jan. 8, 1959, 24-year-old Harry Tanner leaned over the balcony of his girlfriend’s Havana apartment hoping to catch a glimpse of the man who would change the political edifice of Cuba.
A Cuban resident born to Canadian parents, Tanner was working as a journalist at the time and hoping to get a still image of Fidel Castro, the country’s revolutionary new leader.
“It was an exciting day,” says Tanner, now 82 and living in Toronto. “When he finally arrived in Havana, people welcomed Fidel — we had experienced so many years of corruption and violence under the government of Fulgencio Batista.”

This photo was taken by Tanner on Jan. 8, 1959, the day Castro and his Cuban revolutionaries arrived, triumphant, in Havana. (Harry Tanner)

The significance of Jan. 8, 1959 was not lost on the young photographer, and he captured many indelible images of that day, many of which have never been published before.

The presidential palace …
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Inside Quebec's far right: A secretive online group steps into the real world

If you drive up Quebec’s Route 354 — past Saint-Casimir, Saint-Alban and Sainte-Christine-d’Auvergne — you’ll roll into Saint-Raymond, a town built by 175 years of forestry, and now a gateway for the region’s snowmobile trails.
There is a restaurant not far from Saint-Raymond’s single-spire church. On a snowy Saturday night in late November, about 30 people burst through its doors, ordered beers and swapped fears about radical Islam.
It was a mixed crowd: a couple of former soldiers, a real estate agent, a biologist, a mother of three who blogs about accounting.
Many wore black shirts emblazoned with a wolf paw — the badge of a group that has rapidly become the most visible expression of Quebec’s far right.  
La Meute — or Wolf Pack — has attracted more than 43,000 people to a secret Facebook group in little over a year.
There, they exchange calls to boycott halal products, circulate petitions against government policies that foster multiculturalism and …
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Putin critic urges Canada to adopt sanctions against Russian officials

Garry Kasparov was always a symbol of rebelliousness in Russia. In the 1980s, he was one of two rival Soviet Union chess stars and there was a propaganda distinction: Anatoly Karpov was the Communist establishment man, and Mr. Kasparov the upstart. In chess terms, the Kremlin made Mr. Karpov white and Mr. Kasparov black. If it wasn’t for glasnost, he thinks, he might have been chased out of chess, but he became world champion.

In Vladimir Putin’s Russia, he was a rebel again, as a pro-democracy Kremlin critic and onetime presidential candidate. But he was never going to be allowed to win. Now, his rebellion is in sharply warning Western nations about what Mr. Putin’s Russia has become, and that they must respond in more pointed ways.That’s why Mr. Kasparov will be in Ottawa this week, to push Canada to adopt a so-called Magnitsky law, …
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