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By Sandro Contenta
Nothing conjures up images of folksy Canadiana as vividly as maple syrup — pancake breakfasts, horse-drawn rides through sugar bushes, buckets hanging from maple trees. But little about the industry is quaint in 21st-century Quebec. In Amber Gold: Maple Syrup Wars and a Huge Canadian Heist, Star feature writer Sandro Contenta tells how a producers' cartel has cornered the world market, doubling the price to a staggering $1,800 a barrel, roughly 17 times the price of crude oil. It has sparked a free-market revolt and the theft of $18 million worth of the liquid gold -- one of the largest heists in Canadian history.

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