PRESS DIGEST-Canada-March 8

March 8 Fri Mar 8, 2013 5:11am EST

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March 8 (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

* Alberta Premier Alison Redford has rolled out an austerity budget that halts spending growth, abandons many of her election promises and will return the province to a level of debt not seen for two decades.

* The Parti Quebecois government is cancelling an intensive English-language program in French elementary schools, fuelling the debate over the importance English should have in Quebec society.

* The Northwest Territories is about to take control of its own land, resources and water for the first time in its history, but former Premier Stephen Kakfwi says the transfer of power from Ottawa to Yellowknife could come at a cost to the environment and preservation of the land.

Reports in the business section:

* Bombardier Inc is taking a step toward a full-blown battle with aircraft giants Airbus SAS and Boeing Co, introducing a version of its new C Series plane that increases the number of seats to 160.

* The federal government issued new rules designed to help smaller players compete in the C$19 billion wireless telecom market, but the measures may not be enough to allow them to make substantial inroads against the industry's incumbents.

* Canadian Natural Resources Ltd is putting a quarter of its Montney natural gas assets up for sale or partnership, adding another big parcel of property in the British Columbia-Alberta region to the auction block.

NATIONAL POST

* Opposition MPs who sit on a key House of Commons committee are poised to ask the government to turn over key financial documents in the run-up to the federal budget.

* Ottawa's plan to bolster the navy's fleet nudged toward the drawing board on Thursday after it signed a contract to design the next generation of Arctic offshore patrol ships.

* The federal government has quietly conceded that it made a "drafting error" in its oft-criticized refugee legislation passed last June and it appears a new law may be the only way to fix it. A "note" posted on Citizenship and Immigration's website just above an explanation about Canada's new Refugee Appeal Division suggests the new provision, which allows certain failed asylum claimants to seek a second opinion, came into force four months before it was supposed to.

FINANCIAL POST

* While Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry said it plans less expensive devices for emerging markets like India, the company has no plans to get into the $50 to $60 price range to compete with lower-cost Asian rivals.

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