The Stevenson-Reisman relationship has been strained for seven years. In 1994, the Federal Competition Bureau gave the go ahead for the Coles-Smithbooks merger that led to the creation of Chapters two years later. Eight months after the Chapters merger was completed Heather Reisman announced that she would enter the ring with US-owned Borders as a partner. However, following intensive lobbying from Stevenson and politician David Peterson, who claimed that the deal would hurt Canadian culture, it was blocked by the federal Investment Review Board.

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