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Canada Suffers Parity’s One-Eyed King in Land of Blind

Canada’s success in parlaying strong economic fundamentals into a rush of foreign investment has come at a cost: weakened manufacturing competitiveness that’s exacerbating a regional divide between the resource-rich west and the factory-heavy east.

Caterpillar Inc. and Controladora Mabe SA are closing plants in Ontario and Quebec, partly because record foreign-debt purchases are keeping the dollar near parity with the U.S. currency, boosting their costs. Out west, Jim Prokopanko, president of fertilizer maker Mosaic Co., says there’s a “gold-rush” to find workers, and Alberta is trying to win permits for multibillion-dollar oil pipelines.