PRESS DIGEST- Canada-Jan 31

Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:45am EST

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Jan 31 (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

* Ontario will hike its minimum wage for the first time in four years on June 1, opening a growing gap with other provinces and territories amid an uncertain economy. Premier Kathleen Wynne will raise the wage to C$11 from C$10.25, tying Ontario with Nunavut for the highest in the country. ()

* Canada's electronic eavesdropping agency, Communications Security Establishment Canada, reportedly tracked the wireless devices of thousands of travellers by using information gleaned from free Internet service at a major Canadian airport. The revelation is contained in a top secret document retrieved by U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden. ()

Reports in the business section:

* Ontario is demanding the federal government do more to protect automakers in a new free-trade agreement with South Korea, arguing the deal as it currently stands would "negatively impact" the industry in the province. Economic Development Minister Eric Hoskins says he wants Ottawa to secure protections similar to ones the United States received in its own deal with South Korea in 2011. ()

* Electronics retail giant Best Buy Canada is cutting 950 jobs at its namesake and Future Shop stores as it streamlines its business to take on tougher competition. ()

NATIONAL POST

* Toronto city council's final budget session played out much like the rest of this tumultuous term, with insults hurled across the chamber floor. In the end, Mayor Rob Ford managed to squeeze C$726,000 in immediate savings in a C$9.6-billion budget that passed 35 to 9 Thursday night, and which he ridiculed as "the worst budget that has ever been presented." ()

FINANCIAL POST

* Some of Toronto's biggest Bay Street law firms are now actively recruiting clients of Heenan Blaikie LLP as word spreads that the firm may soon take drastic action to deal with financial challenges. ()

* As anticipation builds over the imminent release of two major reports that could seal the fate of Keystone XL pipeline, Gary Doer, Canada's ambassador to the United States, remains confident the long-delayed project is primed for presidential approval. ()

FILED UNDER:
A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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