PRESS DIGEST- Canada - Aug 21

Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:38am EDT

Aug 21 (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

* Community centers in the Metro Vancouver area are opening up registration for day camps and other child-care programs for the fall, signaling expectations for a continued teachers' strike come September. Parents are anxiously awaiting news as the expected start of school draws closer, but neither the British Columbia Teachers' Federation nor the education ministry will comment on negotiations, citing a media blackout. The government maintains that it has no plans to legislate teachers back to work. (bit.ly/1moHavn)

* The new leader of the Canadian Medical Association, Chris Simpson, is calling out the government of Stephen Harper for its inaction on healthcare, saying the medicare system is floundering and Canadians are "tired of excuses as to why the federal government can't take action." Simpson said given the challenges posed by the aging baby-boomer demographic, the starting point for healthcare reform needs to be creating a comprehensive seniors' strategy. (bit.ly/1kX7DVo)

Reports in the business section:

* Robert Hogue, an economist at Canada's biggest bank Royal Bank of Canada, says home prices could start falling in 2016 if interest rates return to more normal levels. And he warned that, in the meantime, what goes up will likely come down if salaries and incomes don't keep pace. (bit.ly/1oTW6at)

NATIONAL POST

* New Democratic Party Member of Parliament Sana Hassainia has quit the caucus over what she felt was an excessively pro-Israel stance on the current conflict in Gaza and demeaning party demands to toe the line. Hassainia, who represents the Montreal-area riding of Vercheres-Les Patriotes, alleged that she was "punished" for supporting Mulcair rival Brian Topp for the party leadership, including losing her position on the Commons committee on the status of women. (bit.ly/1pfnrTG)

* Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said he had "no problem" submitting to drug and alcohol tests if all other mayoral candidates do as well, but then went on to suggest it should extend to all political candidates and possibly civil servants. (bit.ly/1moK2Zn)

FINANCIAL POST

* Fitch Ratings has affirmed Canada's AAA credit rating and says the outlook is stable. The New York-based global ratings agency, in a report issued on Tuesday, said its assessment was based, among other factors, on Canada's political stability and track record of prudent fiscal management. (bit.ly/1ofXoH5)

* Target Corp Canada executives are under the gun to make improvements to the money-losing retailer by Christmas after unwrapping a not-so-pretty set of second-quarter results on Wednesday. Target Corp Chief Executive Brian Cornell is making the mass merchant's troubled start in Canada a top priority after the fledgling unit reported an 11.4 percent slide in second-quarter sales at established stores and a growing operating loss. (bit.ly/1to38E0) (Compiled by Rishika Sadam in Bangalore)

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