PRESS DIGEST-Canada-March 7

March 7 Thu Mar 7, 2013 5:24am EST

March 7 (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

* Parliament is being asked to approve C$108 million ($105 million) for a new Canadian embassy building in central London that the Department of Foreign Affairs bought in November, a move that is raising questions over whether the Conservative government's plan to save millions abroad is going to pan out.

* Alberta Premier Alison Redford plans to overhaul her province's finances in her imminent budget by slowing spending growth, pouring money into infrastructure and starting a savings plan - all while backing away from election promises and sending her province back into debt.

* The Toronto District School Board eliminated hundreds of jobs on Wednesday night, including high school special education teachers, guidance counselors and vice-principals.

Reports in the business section:

* A darker trade outlook, softer housing market and a more dovish central bank have caught up to the Canadian dollar, as investors and currency speculators look elsewhere for greener pastures. The once high flying loonie has been losing ground to most major currencies since last autumn, but the gap has widened in recent weeks.

* After months of delays, the federal government is set to release the long awaited rules for a key auction of wireless spectrum. Industry Minister Christian Paradis will make an official announcement in Ottawa on Thursday morning that will outline the final regulations for the 700 megahertz auction that will be held later this year.

* Talisman Energy Inc is putting large swaths of its Canadian assets on the auction block in a bid to focus the company and fill its coffers. Talisman wants to pull in between $2 billion and $3 billion from land sales or joint ventures in the next 12 to 18 months.

NATIONAL POST

* Quebec Conservative Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu, already under scrutiny for his C$20,000 in housing expenses, is facing more controversy after it was revealed he had been in a romantic relationship with one of his Parliament Hill employees.

* Almost 300,000 members and supporters have signed up to choose the next leader of the federal Liberal party, which could be the highest number the party has ever seen. Party president Mike Crawley says 294,002 people are eligible to vote.

FINANCIAL POST

* Media mogul David Black said on Wednesday he's close to signing a memorandum for financing to build a new pipeline and oil refinery in Kitimat, British Columbia. Speaking to the BC Chamber of Commerce, Black said his new company Kitimat Clean Inc expects to sign a memorandum of understanding with Switzerland-based Oppenheimer Investments Group for a C$25 billion project.

* After months of staring down increasingly threatening economic data in Canada and abroad, the Bank of Canada appears to have blinked - ever so slightly. The central bank on Wednesday did what it has done for 2-1/2-years, leaving its near-rock-bottom interest rate unturned. But the wording behind the decision - keeping its trend-setting lending level at 1 percent - has been softened somewhat.

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