Canada's Loonie Creates a Conundrum

Shoppers rejoiced when the loonie caught the U.S. dollar--but industry is paying the price

Peter Sibbald for TIME

The Canadian and Goodyear flags fly at half mast while employees leave the last shift on November 30, 2007 in Collingwood, Canada. This was the last day of operations for the Goodyear plant in Collingwood, Canada.

Chris Carrier has been hammered with two plant closures in less than a year. First Alcoa shut its wheel-rim plant in June after more than two decades in operation, idling 365 people. Then last month Goodyear Canada did the same at its engine-hose plant, forcing 165 out of work. "It's created a great deal of turmoil," says Carrier, mayor of Collingwood, Ont., a town of 25,000 north of Toronto. "Families aren't sure how they're going to pay bills. Some have moved away." The closures mean not only lost jobs but also a loss of nearly $5 million in annual wages and taxes...

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