PRESS DIGEST-Canada-Nov 16

Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:42am EST

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Nov 16 (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

* A former official of the Canada Revenue Agency has become an RCMP informant, helping the Mounties go after an alleged network of corruption and fraud that has engulfed the tax-collection agency, sources say.

The RCMP has used the informant to collect information on officials at the CRA who have been accused of corruption and business people who are alleged to have offered them bribes to reduce their tax bills. ()

* The federal Conservative government is attempting to negotiate the transfer of a renowned freshwater research facility in Northern Ontario to a Winnipeg-based international institute, sources familiar with the discussions say.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has been heavily criticized for its decision to sell the Experimental Lakes Area, a one of a kind natural laboratory consisting of 58 small lakes and their drainage areas which, for 44 years, has been helping solve critical water problems like acid rain. ()

Reports in the business section:

* TransCanada Corp is facing new risks in its bid for a quick approval of its long stalled Keystone XL pipeline, including a potential delay to await completion of a government-ordered study into whether oil sands bitumen is more dangerous to transport than conventional crude. ()

* Canada's competition watchdog is being criticized by British bankers over its handling of an international investigation into interest rate fixing.

Royal Bank of Scotland says the Canadian Competition Bureau has not respected British law in trying to force the bank to produce documents relating to fixing of the London interbank offered rate, or Libor. ()

NATIONAL POST

* A controversial Canadian imam who has been banned from several countries says Ottawa delayed renewing his passport for almost six months while federal officials conducted an investigation.

Bilal Philips, 65, a Jamaican-born Canadian who lives in affluent Qatar, said he arrived in Toronto in May intending to stay for 10 days, but was grounded after Passport Canada put him under scrutiny. ()

* The honeymoon appears to be over for NDP leader Tom Mulcair, with Canadians shifting some support to the man creating a lot of buzz on Parliament Hill: Justin Trudeau.

If a federal election were held now, the federal NDP would garner 30 percent of the popular vote, an eight percentage point drop from June and the biggest decline since the summer for any party, according to an exclusive poll conducted by Ipsos Reid for Postmedia News and Global Television. ()

FINANCIAL POST

* The energy industry and Canadians opposed to its plans seem to be speaking in different tongues. One side is focused on economic climate, the other on climate change. One brandishes impressive employment numbers, the other embarrassingly high CO2 emissions. One talks about provincial and federal permits, the other highlights the absence of a "social licence".

A common gripe among industry executives is that the average Canadian doesn't comprehend the economic benefits and job creation the industry brings to the table, nor does he or she trust the safety of the technologies deployed. ()

* Bay Street investment firm Invesco Canada Ltd has hit a roadblock in its attempt to dislodge the board of chronically-underperforming hardware retailer Rona Inc.

After meeting late Wednesday to discuss Invesco's planned putsch, Rona's board called its annual shareholders meeting for May 14, at which time its current board will come up for re-election. A Rona official said in an interview Thursday that by law, another meeting cannot now be called "on the same topic."

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