PRESS DIGEST-Canada-Dec 13

Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:06am EST

Dec 13 (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 Harper government on Wednesday officially announced it was backing off a sole source plan to buy 65 F-35 Lightning jets as a replacement for Canada's aging CF-18 Hornets - but the federal government is still resisting calls to hold an open competition to pick Canada's next jet purchase. ()

Reports in the business section:

* HD Mining International, building a large coal mine in northern British Columbia using Chinese workers, will take four years before it hires even a single Canadian miner, and another decade beyond that before the work force is fully local, court documents show. ()

* Former key executives of Sino-Forest Corp that allegedly engaged in fraud or the violation of securities laws, could face as much C$84 million ($85.27 million) in potential penalties, the Ontario Securities Commission has told the company. ()

* Close to two thirds of Canadians polled in a new study fear the Canadian economy will suffer if the "fiscal cliff" problem in the U.S. is not resolved. ()


* Ontario's cash strapped government plans to write off at least C$1.4 billion ($1.42 billion) in unpaid taxes because it failed to act promptly and lacked the manpower to collect them, auditor general Jim McCarter found in his annual report. ()


* Real estate investment trusts, along with renewed interest from pension funds and foreign buyers, will boost the investment market which saw C$25.8 billion ($26.19 billion) in property change hands in 2012, a new report said. ()

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