July 26, 2013 / 10:01 AM / in 4 years

PRESS DIGEST-Canada-July 26

July 26 (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 Royal Canadian Mounted Police are investigating Senator Mac Harb for alleged breach of trust over travel and expense claims he submitted for nearly 10 years between 2003 and 2013. ()

* Justin Trudeau’s enthusiastic embrace of the legalization of marijuana has fired up the debate over Canadian drug laws and exposed stark differences among major political parties on the way to treat the country’s numerous pot smokers. The stand places the Liberal Party on a collision course on the road to the 2015 elections with the Conservative government. ()

* Federal justice minister Peter MacKay says the Conservative government is considering changes to impaired driving legislation in the Criminal Code. MacKay said he wanted to meet with more victims of impaired driving before announcing the changes the government is contemplating. ()

Reports in the business section:

* BCE Inc’s George Cope is the latest chief executive of a major wireless carrier to argue in recent days that Ottawa has taken a wrong turn in its attempts to ensure there is a fourth wireless player in every regional market.

Cope said he had received assurances from the federal government a year ago that deep-pocketed foreign telecoms such as Verizon Communications Inc would not use “loopholes” in Ottawa’s wireless policy to enter the Canadian market. ()

* Crop nutrients producer Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc cut its earnings outlook for the year as it struggles with tough market conditions and low prices. ()

* The average Canadian household net worth broke C$400,000 at the end of 2012, beating its American neighbors once again. But the gap has narrowed to C$19,000, half of what it was last year. ()

* Goldcorp Inc says it is looking to improve efficiency and reduce costs at its Penasquito mine in Mexico, after falling gold prices forced the company to write down the project’s value and led to a $1.93 billion net loss in the second quarter. ()


* At a time when corruption scandals have given Quebec mayors a bad name, Colette Roy-Laroche is providing a welcome boost to the image of municipal leaders, receiving praise for her efforts to unite the town of Lac-Megantic after the devastating rail disaster. ()

* As sex abuse lawsuits mount, the full story of Vancouver Olympics Chief Executive John Furlong has yet to be told. Former students of his from Burns Lake have sued Furlong alleging sexual molestation. ()

* Bulgarian authorities have named a Canadian man, Hassan El Hajj Hassan, 25, as a wanted fugitive and suspected Hezbollah operative involved in last year’s bombing of a tourist bus at an airport on Bulgaria’s coast that killed five Israelis and their local driver. ()

* Senator Mac Harb allegedly claimed a Senate housing allowance on a home that was “uninhabitable” for three years and in which he only had a 0.01 per cent stake for another four years, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police allege in a court document. ()


* Calgary-based Expander Energy is trying to convert greenhouse gases generated by oil sands processing from an environmental liability into big profits. ()

* Writedowns, plummeting profits and a vast range of realized prices have been key themes in the second-quarter gold earnings reports. Most importantly, the miners are unveiling the cost and capital spending reductions they merely hinted at for most of the year. ()

* Loblaw Cos Ltd is being overly optimistic in projecting $300 million of synergies in three years after the purchase of Shoppers Drug Mart Ltd, according to Perry Caicco, a retail analyst at CIBC Capital Markets. ()

* The downturn in the mining industry is beginning to ripple through brokerage firms and investment banks in Canada, as firms cut jobs, consolidate or close. ()

* A release of methane from thawing permafrost under the East Siberian Sea in the Arctic could speed the melting of sea ice and climate change, with a cost to the global economy of up to $60 trillion over coming decades, according to a paper published in the journal Nature. ()

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