Dec 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 cost of getting a Canadian passport is going up significantly in the new year. Without the fee increases, Passport Canada would not be able to maintain current operations, let alone offer security-enhanced travel documents, the agency says.
New regulations posted this week confirm the cost of a five-year passport will increase to C$120 ($120) from C$87. ()
* Tony Bernardo, a member of the Canadian advisory committee, says the elimination of the long-gun registry was a common sense move aimed at keeping legitimate gun owners from being targeted as criminals.
But gun control advocates say the registry’s demise is part of a broader set of policy changes that will make it easier for firearms to fall into the wrong hands. ()
Reports in the business section:
* Research in Motion Ltd, edging past low analyst expectations for its third quarter, says it has amassed enough cash to launch its make-or-break BlackBerry 10 phones next month.
But the company faces fresh worries about a key source of revenue. Service access fees that wireless operators pay to use RIM’s proprietary network have been falling, but now the company’s reduced market power has forced it to cut them further by offering tiered pricing plans. ()
* Oil-rich Alberta is dialling back its budget forecasts, saying that slumping commodity prices could mean belt-tightening, bigger deficits, broken election pledges and a slower national economic recovery.
The warning on Wednesday from Finance Minister Doug Horner is the latest signal that Canada’s economy will not turn around as swiftly as governments across the country had hoped. British Columbia, Saskatchewan and the federal government have pulled back on revenue projections in recent weeks because of sluggish growth and low commodity prices, particularly in oil and gas. ()
* Releasing a snakehead - the so-called “Frankenfish” capable of walking on land and eating small ducks - now carries a fine of C$250,000, according to new invasive species laws drawn up by the Province of B.C. ()
* Pan American Silver Corp is denying speculation that it plans to bail out of its flagship Navidad silver project in Argentina. However, the project’s future remains very much in question.
“Where we go in January depends on our sense of what the governor and the legislature’s urgency is to actually bring this forward as a debate item,” chief executive Geoff Burns said Thursday, after a Spanish-language report suggested the company could be planning to exit Argentina’s Chubut province. ()
* Richardson International Ltd said on Thursday it has received the OK from the Competition Bureau for its deal to buy a group of former Viterra grain handling assets from Glencore International.
The company said it was the final regulatory hurdle and it now expects to close the deal early next year. ()