‘It’s crazy, isn’t it?’: Quebec’s maple syrup rebels face ruin as cartel crushes dissent

Maple syrup producers in spring tap the sap that flows up the trunks of maple trees and boil it down for maple syrup. Harold and Nicole Varin, who own a sugar bush with 25,000 taps in Oka, Que., keep busy in the fall as well, transforming their sweet golden syrup into maple butter, taffy and candies, which they wrap in colourful packages to sell at Christmas craft sales across the Montreal region.

But the Varins these days have to squeeze in their holiday candy-making with a much more...

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