PRESS DIGEST-Canada-March 4

March 4 Mon Mar 4, 2013 9:46am GMT

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March 4 (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

* Justin Trudeau's campaign team has signed up 150,000 new supporters of the federal Liberals, a show of support that seems to put his bid for leadership beyond the reach of his rivals. The new supporters category allows people to vote for the next leader without formally joining the party as dues-paying members.

* British Columbia Premier Christy Clark faced her own cabinet ministers on Sunday in a bid to persuade them she can still lead the ruling Liberals in a May election - despite a firestorm of criticism over her handling of a leaked memo that has stoked party dissent and raised doubts about her leadership.

* Alberta politicians - facing billions of dollars in red ink - get back to business in the house on Tuesday to pass what Premier Alison Redford calls a watershed budget along with a new centerpiece Financial Management Act. "It's been some time in Alberta since we've taken the time to be thoughtful and deliberate about setting that fiscal framework, and I think it's going to be a really exciting session," Redford said in an interview.

Reports in the business section:

* Canada's energy companies are factoring a carbon price into their business planning, even in the absence of federal climate regulations. In a survey to be released on Monday, 10 of the country's top oil and gas and power companies say they currently use a "shadow carbon price" to quantify and manage the risk of higher costs that would arise from future carbon constraints.

* Bank of Montreal is bringing back its controversial 2.99 per cent five-year fixed-rate mortgages. BMO sparked a mortgage price war among the banks early last year when it first introduced the rate, one that angered Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, who has been worrying that Canadians are taking on too much mortgage debt. The bank stopped offering the rate later in 2012.

* Lawyers for Bell Mobility Inc will appear in a Yellowknife courtroom on Monday, facing off in a class-action lawsuit launched on behalf of Northern residents who were charged for 911 service on their cellphone bills despite not being able to dial it in an emergency.

NATIONAL POST

* Canada's newest have-not region, southern Ontario, got its own billion dollar bailout fund from Ottawa in 2009, after recession devastated the province's manufacturing sector. Four years later, the first report card on how the money was spent shows that bustling Toronto scooped up the lion's share of benefits.

* The Liquor Control Board of Ontario has been violating the privacy of people who belong to wine, beer or spirit clubs by tracking their consumption habits, according to the province's Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian.

* Seven weeks after Prime Minister Stephen Harper and First Nations leaders met amid heightened tensions, there's still no date planned for a follow-up meeting, Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo said on Sunday. The meeting on Jan. 11, which occurred with indigenous protests at a fever pitch across the country, concluded with promises of high-level discussions on treaties and comprehensive land claims, as well as a follow-up meeting between Harper and Atleo.

FINANCIAL POST

* Amid an extremely difficult period for the global mining industry, the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada conference remains a source of cautious optimism for shell-shocked companies and investors. The industry's largest event, expected to draw more than 30,000 people, kicked off Sunday in Toronto. And while none of the speakers pretended that these are pleasant times for mining companies, they tried to remind everyone that some positive fundamentals are still in place.

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