Oct 2 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
* A witness before Quebec's corruption probe sketched
out an elaborate portrait of bribes and kickbacks reaching from
major Montreal construction firms to top city employees and into
the political party of Mayor Gérald Tremblay.
Former construction boss Lino Zambito testified before the
Superior Court that he paid 3 percent of city contracts' value
through a middleman to the coffers of Mayor Tremblay's Union
* The federal government has been billed more than
$3-million for its unsuccessful attempts to keep a high-stakes
battle over first nations child welfare out of the courts.
Invoices obtained through the Access to
* A second abortion-related motion proposed by a backbench
Conservative MP could trigger a new debate about the parameters
of a woman's right to choose in Canada.
A day before, MPs voted down a separate motion to study
whether a fetus should have rights before it is born. Pro-choice
activists staunchly opposed MP Stephen Woodworth's fetus-rights
motion, suggesting it could open a national debate on a woman's
right to access abortion - something Prime Minister Stephen
Harper promised not to do during the last federal election
Reports in the business section:
* Hedge fund Jana Partners unveiled a 41-page presentation
suggesting there's $50 a share in Agrium Inc's stock if
management agrees to carve up the company into a fertilizer
producer and a retail farm store chain, revamps how it allocates
capital, and cuts costs by closing stores and other measures.
As much as $20 would come from the split, $20 more from cost
reductions and the rest from using capital more efficiently.
* New revisions show Canada's economy was sturdier than
previously thought just before the last downturn - even as the
U.S. was sputtering - but when the fall came, it was more
painful than earlier data had indicated.
Though Canadian growth in the second and third quarters of
2008 has been revised upwards, the economy's slide in the next
half year is more stark than prior estimates.
* B.C. Premier Christy Clark met with her Alberta
counterpart at the historic McDougall Centre in downtown Calgary
on Monday, for the first time since Alison Redford stormed out
of an all-premiers' meeting in Halifax two months ago. But the
meeting did little to end the impasse over the Northern Gateway
* A situation that officials described as volatile and
dangerous began to ease late Monday as fire crews started to
knock back a massive blaze at a Winnipeg warehouse holding
highly explosive fuel used for car racing.
No one was hurt when fire and explosions rocked Speedway
International, a company that boasts on its website it is "North
America's No. 1 source for 99.99 percent racing methanol".
* The B.C. government has rejected plans for a copper and
gold mine in the province's northwest, saying the project could
endanger salmon in the Skeena River.
Pacific Booker Minerals Inc had proposed the mine at
Morrison Lake, a 15-kilometre-long lake surrounded by Crown land
near Smithers. The lake is at the headwaters of the Skeena
River, which produces the second-largest amount of sockeye
salmon in B.C.
* Ottawa is redefining and refocusing its immigration rules
- expected to be in place next year - that are meant to attract
workers between the ages of 18 to 35, a move the federal
government argues is an essential shift to fill the
tax-generating gap being left by the exodus of baby-boomers from
the labor market.
The government argues that despite high youth unemployment,
there are not enough skilled workers to fill the jobs that are