PRESS DIGEST-Canada-March 20

March 20 Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:02am EDT

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March 20 (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

* The last time childhood friends Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin decided to work together, they ended up inventing the BlackBerry, creating the modern smartphone industry and turning Research In Motion into what was briefly Canada's most valuable company.

Now, after revolutionizing the wireless industry and cementing their home base of Waterloo, Ontario, as a tech hotspot, the two men have reunited in a business venture that, albeit different, is no less bold.

In an interview Wednesday, Lazaridis detailed a brand-new, $100-million venture capital fund that he will run with Fregin. Called Quantum Valley Investments, it is an initiative that pools some of the two wealthy men's money behind a vision to make Waterloo the centre of entirely new industries focused on the immense but largely untapped power of quantum computing.()

* With Keystone XL and other pipeline projects hanging in the balance, Alberta Premier Alison Redford says questions from opposition parties about the province's environmental record are "not good for Canada." ()

Reports in the business section:

* Canada's Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty, has pressed Manulife Bank into reversing a mortgage rate cut, underscoring the government's determination to prevent lenders from stoking the housing market at a time of soaring consumer debt. ()

NATIONAL POST

* Former Alberta premier Ralph Klein is seriously ill in the Calgary seniors' facility that has been his home since 2011. Klein, who led Alberta from 1992 to 2006, has been suffering from frontal lobe dementia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder. ()

FINANCIAL POST

* Alamos Gold Inc has abandoned its hostile bid for Aurizon Mines Ltd after a provincial regulator refused to strike down a controversial break fee from a rival offer.

The move frees up Hecla Mining Co to complete a friendly C$796 million takeover of Aurizon, combining two companies focused on precious metals in North America. ()

* In what appears to be a divide-and-conquer strategy, Prime Minister Stephen Harper named a special representative Tuesday to investigate first hand why First Nations in British Columbia are so opposed to energy infrastructure projects, including the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline. ()

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