March 28, 2013 / 9:54 AM / 4 years ago

PRESS DIGEST-Canada-March 28

March 28 (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 GLOBE AND MAIL

* The Harper government is pulling out of a United Nations convention that fights droughts in Africa and elsewhere, which would make Canada the only country in the world outside the agreement. ()

* A man who killed a Toronto police officer while driving a stolen snowplow has been found not criminally responsible for his actions, further politicizing a debate about how mentally ill offenders are treated in Canada’s criminal justice system. ()

Reports in the business section:

* A leak at a Suncor Energy Inc oil sands site poured an estimated 350,000 litres of industrial waste water into the Athabasca River over a 10-hour period, causing “a short term, negligible impact on the river” earlier this week, the company said late on Wednesday. ()

* The federal regulator has frozen the tolls TransCanada Corp can charge on its troubled Mainline gas pipeline for five years, saying the company cannot continue to raise costs to producers and consumers on a critical piece of the country’s energy infrastructure. ()

FINANCIAL POST

* The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has struck an agreement to purchase 70 percent of three Australian telecommunications companies.

Sydney-based Leighton Holdings Ltd will retain the remaining 30 percent stake in Nextgen Networks, Metronode and Infoplex, which have a total value of A$885 million ($923.45 million). ()

* Putting clothes on your back and shoes on your feet has been getting cheaper year after year as retailers - including U.S.-based outlets such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Target Corp - battle for customers in a near-stagnant market.

In February, prices for clothing and footwear declined 0.5 percent from the same month a year earlier, and almost 9 percent since 2000, according to Statistics Canada’s consumer price index, released on Wednesday. ()

* Another financial institution entered the lucrative mobile payment fray on Wednesday as Canada’s largest bank Royal Bank of Canada teamed up with Interac to demonstrate touch-free debit transactions for smartphones. ()

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