Five Canadian business stories to watch this week

Closing curtain: Ontario's securities regulator hears closing submissions Monday in the case against Garth Drabinsky for his role in the Livent Entertainment fraud scandal nearly two decades ago. Drabinsky has served a prison term for fraud for orchestrating a kickback scheme that cost investors an estimated $500 million. Now, a tribunal of the Ontario Securities Commission is deciding whether to mete out regulatory penalties.

War of words and wood: The ongoing battle between Canada and the U.S. over softwood lumber could flare up Tuesday, when the U.S. Commerce Department is expected to announce whether it will impose the first of two duties on Canadian softwood. Trade tensions are rising between the two countries, with President Donald Trump recently singling out lumber as one of the main irritants.

Money and politics: ”A budget tells us what we can't afford, but it doesn't keep us from buying it,”' U.S. publisher William Feather is reported to have said. We'll see if the adage applies Thursday, when the Liberal governments of Ontario and Nova Scotia release their fiscal blueprints.



Knocking down the Great Wall: Exploratory talks on a free trade deal between Canada and China, the world's second-largest economy, take place this week in Ottawa. The federal government has looked more at markets such as China's when it comes to the free flow of goods in response to the rising tide of protectionism in the United States.

The bottom line: A number of various industry leaders report their latest results this week, including CN Rail, Barrick Gold, Metro, Bell, Jean Coutu and Suncor Energy.