April 2 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories from selected Canadian newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
* As clean-up crews scraped up the gooey Alberta heavy crude that fouled a small Arkansas town after a pipeline rupture, anti-Keystone XL groups said the spill underscores the dangers posed by the controversial project to get Canadian oil to refineries on the Texas coast. ()
* Ottawa’s plan to clamp down on mortgage securitization will make it harder for smaller lenders to compete with big banks, increasing their costs - and potentially raising mortgage rates, players in the sector say.()
Reports in the business section:
* Price discounts on western Canada’s heavy oil have narrowed dramatically, as producers move record amounts of crude by rail in order to sidestep pipeline bottlenecks and reach thirsty U.S. refineries. ()
* The Canada Revenue Agency has been given controversial new powers to go after Canadians who participate in tax shelters that involve donations to charity.
The CRA has been cracking down on these types of shelters in recent years, disallowing more than C$5 billion ($4.92 billion)in donations, penalizing more than 160,000 taxpayers and revoking the charitable status of dozens of organizations. ()
* Canada’s largest provincial labor federation is facing a pension fund deficit, and accounting and solvency experts suggest the Ontario Federation of Labour may need to lay off workers or even trim employees’ benefits if the situation doesn’t improve. ()
* A public “dirty war” of competing corruption allegations involving the Palestinian Authority has reached Canada with a request from Ramallah for Ottawa’s help in seizing assets here of a whistleblower convicted of embezzlement there but currently a fugitive.
Muhammad Rashid was a key financial and economic adviser to Yasser Arafat and former head of the Palestinian Investment Fund, but since the long-time Palestinian leader’s death, he has been on the wrong side of the authority’s leadership. ()
* The shutdown of an ExxonMobil Corp pipeline carrying Alberta crude from Illinois to the U.S. Gulf Coast has widened West Texas intermediate oil’s discount to London’s Brent, while raising the prospect of more delays in getting growing oil sands production to refineries in Texas and Louisiana. ()