PRESS DIGEST-Canada-Feb 8

Fri Feb 8, 2013 10:09am GMT

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Feb 8 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories from selected Canadian newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

* Alberta Premier Alison Redford's government has frozen MLA pay, her second symbolic cost-cutting move amid warnings of slumping economic fortunes and bitter contract battles with doctors and teachers.

* Ottawa's finances are taking a hit from discounted prices for Canadian oil, and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says this will force him to hold a harder line on spending as he prepares the 2013 budget.

Reports in the business section:

* Air Canada's push for global growth is raising worries about its ability to match that expansion with customer service. Calin Rovinescu, the company's chief executive officer, said on Thursday that Air Canada continues to put pressure on its operations to compete as profitably as possible, largely by expanding internationally.

* Former Quebec premier Lucien Bouchard is stepping down as head of the Quebec oil and gas association as uncertainty continues over the future of shale-gas development in the province.

NATIONAL POST

* The storm bearing down on Ontario may not be a genuine winter behemoth, but it is shaping up to be the most substantial snowfall most Ontarians have seen in more than four years, Environment Canada said Thursday.

FINANCIAL POST

* The inability to get oil sands crude to the right markets is costing the Canadian economy dearly, according to a new report paid for by the Saskatchewan government. Each stalled pipeline project means a loss to the Canadian economy of between C$30 million and C$70 million every day, said the report penned by the Canada West Foundation, a Calgary-based think-tank.

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