PRESS DIGEST- Canada-Sept 20
Sept 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 Palestinian Authority, which had bitter words for Ottawa just a year ago, is now offering praise, and the Harper government - known for its staunch pro-Israel views - is opening the purse strings to send new aid. The rapprochement does not entail a shift in the Conservatives' support for Israel, but it is clear that the government is looking to strike a gentler, friendlier tone with the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. ()
* An overflow crowd sparred over the future of Toronto's island airport during an occasionally heated public meeting Thursday evening. At issue is a proposal to extend the runway by up to 200 meters at each end to accommodate jet aircraft at the facility, which is known properly as Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. ()
* Ontario has condemned Quebec's proposed secular charter, passing a resolution promising that religious symbols will always be welcome in the province's public places. While politicians across the country have lined up against the Parti Québécois's attempts to keep religion out of the public realm, Ontario legislators went a step further on Thursday. ()
Reports in the business section:
* Already planning a huge round of layoffs in a bid to bring costs in line with its sales, BlackBerry Ltd must confront another painful reality of its business: a big overhang of unsold devices. Released this year, the company's new BlackBerry 10 smartphones were well received by critics but have sold poorly in many of BlackBerry's key markets - most notably, the United States. As a result, many devices the company has shipped to retail channels remain unsold. ()
* The federal government announced a plan to create a national securities watchdog by signing on Ontario and British Columbia, a significant advance in a decades-long power struggle between Ottawa and provincial authorities over who should police the country's capital markets. ()
* A project eight years in the making, Canada's newest refining facility will be marked with an official ceremony on Friday celebrating the ground-breaking just north of Edmonton in Alberta's industrial heartland. North America has not seen the construction of a major new refinery for almost three decades, and the C$5.7 billion (about $5.6 billion) Sturgeon project brought forward by North West Upgrading Inc is a rare example of new refining capacity on the continent. ()
* When the Harper government unveils its new "consumers first" agenda in next month's Throne Speech, it will undoubtedly trumpet the establishment of a common securities regulator as the dawn of a new era in investor protection. Canada's finance minister, Jim Flaherty, signed an agreement with his colleagues from Ontario and British Columbia on Thursday to set up a new body to regulate securities in the two provinces. ()
* The real estate is estimated to be worth billions of dollars, but Canada's largest telcos turned down investment bankers trying to get them to turn their cell towers into cash, according to a top Bay Street asset manager. As recently as six months ago the telcos were wooed by financial executives hoping to get them to spin off their cell phone towers and leases into a real estate investment trust. ()
* Chevron Corp and other liquefied natural gas developers in Canada are facing renewed calls from Asian buyers for cheaper exports of the super-cooled fuel. The decades-old practice of linking LNG sales to the price of oil is "unreasonable" in a world flush with gas, Kunio Nohata, a senior general manager of gas resources with Tokyo Gas Co Ltd, Japan's second-biggest LNG importer, said at a Calgary forum on Thursday. ()
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