They are Canada's third wealthiest family and one of the largest private landowners in the U.S.A. And yet they operate almost entirely in secret. They are the Irvings. And they have always placed a premium on discretion and family unity. They built their empire - which includes Canada's largest refinery, soon to be linked by pipeline to Alberta's oil fields - by remaining private. The Irvings also control all of New Brunswick's English daily newspapers, which often allowed the family's business pursuits to escape journalistic scrutiny. In Irving vs. Irving, veteran journalist Jacques Poitras tells the story of how these ambitious, often ruthless entrepreneurs came to dominate the economic and political affairs of Atlantic Canada, and how they learned to love the property that perplexed them most: their media monopoly.
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