PRESS DIGEST-Canada-Jan 16

Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:00am EST

Jan 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

* Canadian finance minister Jim Flaherty said he is happy that the rapid increase in the country's home prices is over. In fact, he would be pleased if the housing market softens further.

"I don't mind prices coming down a bit too," he said in an interview after the latest data showed that home sales fell sharply in December compared with a year earlier. ()

* Canadian international cooperation minister Julian Fantino's office is scrambling to explain why two strongly partisan attacks against opposition parties were posted on the federal government's website in recent days, a move the ruling Conservatives are blaming on Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) bureaucrats. ()

Reports in the business section:

* A streamlined Catalyst Paper Corp is keen to expand its exports to Latin America adding to its sizeable presence in Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Brazil and Mexico, Chief Executive Kevin Clarke said in an interview. ()

* The four year court battle spawned by Nortel Networks Corp's insolvency has left thousands of its pensioners and former disabled employees with drastically slashed benefits but the lawyers involved have done just fine.

The company has paid out $630 million in fees to its professional advisers, including lawyers, accountants and investment bankers in the United States and Canada since it first filed for protection from its creditors in 2009, according to court filings compiled by Diane Urquhart, a financial consultant working with a group of disabled former employees. ()

NATIONAL POST

* People from Quebec afflicted with a terminal illness may soon be able to seek the help of a doctor in ending their life.

A panel of legal experts has recommended the provincial government allow what it is calling "medical assistance to die" in rare cases where a patient is close to death and unable to endure pain. ()

* A young Quebec man who lived a playboy lifestyle, with a professional model girlfriend, an elite $2 million sports car and lavish parties, has been accused by prosecutors of masterminding a nearly $1 billion marijuana smuggling operation that supplied much of the eastern seaboard of the United States. ()

FINANCIAL POST

* Federal industry minister Christian Paradis said that Ottawa remained committed to courting new auto assembly work, despite concerns that more needs to be done.

"We have to make sure that we can create a good environment to attract investment from the companies," Paradis said on the sidelines of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. ()

* David Berry, the superstar trader of Bank of Nova Scotia , who once made almost double the pay of the bank's chief executive, has been cleared of the allegations which precipitated his firing seven years ago.

In a ruling on Tuesday, a panel of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) said the self regulatory body "has failed to make out its case against the respondent, and the charges, are, therefore dismissed." ()

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