Jan 26 (Reuters) - The following are top stories from selected Canadian newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
- With the Commons shuttered, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives and Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals are taking their political pitches directly to voters in what’s shaping up to be a battle of jobs versus restraint.
- Nations calling themselves the Friends of Haiti have made a 10-year commitment to help the devastated island country recover from the earthquake and pull itself out of the depths of poverty.
- More than a year after it delayed a decision on a major new oil sands expansion, Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) (RDSb.L) is backing further away from Canada’s richest crude resource. Shell will dramatically slow its future growth in the Fort McMurray area, according to CEO Peter Voser, who said that high costs in the oil sands are the reason the company is steering exploration dollars to other parts of the world.
- The death-care business in Ontario and British Columbia is gearing up for a marketing push to persuade consumers to prepay their funerals so they won’t be hit with the new harmonized sales tax.
- More Canadians are running out of jobless benefits without finding work, a national report said, suggesting many will have to turn to savings, loans, family members or welfare for financial help.
- Profits at Canadian companies advanced last quarter for the first time since the start of the recession, but strong expectations for the year ahead will be tough to match, CIBC World Markets said in a report.
- Prime Minister Stephen Harper leads a Canadian contingent to Switzerland on Tuesday for the influential World Economic Forum where he is expected to more clearly define Canada’s agenda and priorities for the global economic recovery, fighting climate change and helping to rebuild Haiti.