Twenty reporters will join the staff of 15 reporters at the Metros in Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton and an undisclosed number will join the team in Toronto to function as support, Torstar CEO John Boynton said.

"It's an exciting day for news in Canada," he told the Toronto Sun.

"Everybody seems to be going one way, which is a slow, eventual, continual decline in costs and a degradation of the product, and a retraction. I think we're going completely the opposite direction, which is we're going to invest in what we do best," he told the Sun.

He said, "contrary to conventional wisdom," there's a desire in Western Canada and the Maritimes for a "progressive voice" in media.

Boynton said the papers will lead readers to city-tailored versions of thestar.com. The company has no immediate intention put up a paywall for those digital news products, said Torstar spokesman Bob Hepburn.

Torstar competitor Postmedia Network Canada Corporation, parent of the Toronto Sun, owns newspapers in the areas Torstar is targeting.

Meanwhile Canada's Competition Bureau is alleging anti-competitive behavior by the two companies in an investigation of a newspaper swap in 2017 that involved 41 titles changing hands and 36 being closed, the Sun reported. There have been no charges in the investigation to date.

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