Feb 4 (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 head of Canada's foreign-intelligence electronic-eavesdropping agency, John Forster, has for the first time defended the government's secret surveillance programs that collect telecommunications "metadata," calling it fundamental for the Canadian government to pick out foreign terrorists and other targets. (link.reuters.com/fyx56v)
* Health authorities have stepped up a fight against a drug-resistant family of bacteria that has spread among a small number of patients in one unit at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster. The Fraser Health Authority officially declared an outbreak on Monday, isolating patients in the ward and requiring medical staff to be gowned and gloved. (link.reuters.com/gyx56v)
Reports in the business section:
* A new study by the University of Toronto's environmental chemistry research group has suggested that the environmental health risks of oilsands operations in Alberta's Athabasca region have probably been underestimated. (link.reuters.com/jyx56v)
* Gary Giroux, the lead detective investigating allegations of criminal activity involving Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, says the case is still "very active." Giroux said he has been commanded to "take the investigation any direction it goes involving criminality in the mayor or the mayor's office." (link.reuters.com/nyx56v)
* Canadian home prices are overvalued by 10 percent according to two new reports issued by Toronto-Dominion Bank and the International Monetary Fund on Monday. (link.reuters.com/ryx56v) (Compiled by Shubhankar Chakravorty in Bangalore)