REFILE-PRESS DIGEST-Canada-March 5

Tue Mar 5, 2013 5:05am EST

March 5 (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

* Canada's Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall each take to the road this week to woo American lawmakers and industry leaders as TransCanada Corp's proposed Keystone XL pipeline remains under the U.S. government consideration.

* The federal Liberals are weeding out duplicate names and mischief makers as they count the Canadians who are eligible to vote for their new leader, but party sources say the final number will approach 300,000, far more than the 128,000 members that the New Democrats had on their lists last year when Thomas Mulcair was elected to lead that party.

* British Columbia Premier Christy Clark offered up a second resignation on Monday for a plan to use public resources to prop up her Liberal Party's electoral fortunes, saying she will take responsibility for an ethnic voter strategy developed with input from key members of her staff.

Reports in the business section:

* Bell Media Inc has agreed to sell some of Canada's most popular specialty TV networks to smooth the way for a C$3 billion ($2.92 billion) acquisition of Astral Media Inc , including its share in six channels that Corus Entertainment Inc will buy to solidify its position as the dominant provider of children's TV.

* Canada's housing market may still be cooling, but there are fears in some quarters that "bubble fatigue" will pump it back up heading into the spring season. Home buyers are skeptical about whether the residential real estate market is heading for a sharp price and sales drop. At the same time, mortgage rates are declining, not rising.

* Toronto Star, Canada's largest newspaper, is cutting 55 jobs, or about 9 percent of its workforce, from its newsroom, outsourcing editing duties that are increasingly seen as too costly for cash-strapped dailies trying to cope with falling advertising revenue.

NATIONAL POST

* The Harper government is once again engaged in a war of words with a United Nations agency. Canada can't credibly preach human rights on the international stage when too many of its own citizens are going hungry, the UN's right-to-food envoy, Olivier De Schutter, told The Canadian Press in an interview.

* Bear spray wielding thieves stormed into a Vancouver Apple Inc store just before closing on Monday, and hit about 40 people with the caustic spray before making off with an unknown quantity of iPods, iPads and laptops.

FINANCIAL POST

* CIBC World Markets Inc said on Monday that the Canadian economy should pick up speed in the first three months of this year, with growth of 2 percent compared with 0.6 percent in the final quarter of 2012. That should be followed by 2.3 percent between April and June, before easing to 1.9 percent the following quarter and ending with another 2.3 percent spurt in the last three months.

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