February 20, 2013 / 8:51 AM / in 5 years

PRESS DIGEST-Canada-Feb 20

Feb 20 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories from selected Canadian newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.


* Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Chief Executive Gerry McCaughey said Canada should reform its pension plan to allow people to make voluntary contributions that are beyond what they already pay through their salaries.

The move could give many Canadians something they do not have with Registered Retirement Savings Plans and other investment vehicles tied to the markets: a predictable payout when they retire.

* Alberta’s projected deficit is on track to be four times larger than its original forecast, and the government argues it could not have predicted how quickly oil markets would swing against the province.

The Progressive Conservatives, led by Alison Redford, expect to run a deficit of between C$3.50 billion ($3.47 billion) and C$4 billion in the fiscal year, up C$1 billion from the forecast they reiterated in December.

Reports in the business section:

* The British Columbia government will take another year to finalize details of its proposed tax on exports of liquefied natural gas, casting uncertainty over the fledgling industry just as it contemplates major new investments.

The B.C. Liberal government last week announced plans to introduce the new LNG tax, but didn’t provide details about how it would work or how much it will cost companies.

* Great-West Lifeco Inc is buying Ireland’s biggest life insurer for $1.75 billion, a bet that the end of the European economic crisis - which killed the same deal more than a year ago - is in sight. The Winnipeg-based insurer first eyed Irish Life Group Ltd in 2011, but walked away as waves of downgrades, bailouts and government spending cuts swept across Europe.


* Presenting the B.C. government’s new budget and three-year fiscal plan on Tuesday, provincial finance minister Mike de Jong said he plans to win over skeptics and “fill the gap” between billion-dollar deficits and a $197-million surplus he projects for fiscal 2013-2014. Under his plan, the surplus would more than double by 2015 to $460 million.

* Montreal’s city hall has been locked down and is being swept by police in one of numerous raids being conducted across the city. These latest raids in Quebec are part of a two-year-old investigation related to fraud, breach of trust, and falsified documents. A number of arrests have already been made in connection with construction corruption, which is also the subject of an ongoing public inquiry. ())


* Up to C$35 million in grants will be made available over five years through Alberta’s climate fund “to produce multiple technologies that will provide significant net reductions in greenhouse gas emissions,” according to a news release.

* Royal Bank of Canada is shutting down the consumer accounts of Ally Financial and integrating its operations, after acquiring the Canadian auto finance and deposit business earlier this month. The bank said customers will no longer be able to open new accounts with Ally, effective immediately. It also plans to close down the high-interest savings accounts operated by Ally on April 30.

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