The recession that has battered the United States for several months made a sudden arrival in Canada late last year, bringing with it a chill of consumer caution expected to affect the fortunes of Canada's food retailers at least through the balance of the year. “We are prepared for a challenging 2009,” Galen Weston, executive chairman of Canada's largest grocer, Loblaw Cos., said last month in a conference call. More recently, Loblaw's president and deputy chairman, Allen Leighton, ...

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