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Dec 18 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories from selected Canadian newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
* Manitoba is calling for a recount of its population, claiming Statistics Canada's estimate is too low and is ultimately shortchanging the province in transfer payments.
The province believes it has 18,000 more people than the 1,265,015 residents Statscan says it has, with the province arguing it will lose $100 million in federal transfers because of the discrepancy. ()
* Toronto city council met to discuss water rates and rules with the integrity commissioner on Tuesday, but instead, all eyes were on the controversial mayor, Rob Ford, as he stood twice to apologize, danced in the chamber, argued with a councillor and received a personal visit from Santa Claus in his office. ()
Reports in the business section:
* Two of Barrick Gold Corp's independent directors - Robert Franklin and Donald Carty - resigned suddenly on Tuesday, the company said in a surprise announcement that came less than two weeks after it overhauled its board and nominated four new independent board members. ()
* Imperial Oil Ltd has applied to build a $7-billion steam-driven Alberta oil sands project during a period in which industry-wide costs are expected to climb because numerous major developments will be under construction. ()
* The dozens of First Nations along the route of TransCanada Corp's Energy East pipeline should not expect offers for equity stakes in the $12-billion project as the company seeks approval, although a host of other economic benefits would accrue to the communities, TransCanada's chief executive said. ()
* Ontario's elite private schools have won a court battle to enforce their own discipline free from judicial oversight, following the controversial expulsion of a student caught smoking a bong on his last day of high school. ()
* Oil sands advocacy group Ethical Oil has filed a formal complaint against a judge who participated in a mock trial of well-known environmentalist David Suzuki. Held at Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum in November, the live theater performance put Suzuki on "trial" for seditious libel. ()
* The National Energy Board will release a verdict on Enbridge Inc's Northern Gateway pipeline on Thursday, setting the stage for a decision on the contentious pipeline by the federal cabinet next year. ()
* BlackBerry Ltd's interim Chief Executive John Chen has found the man he wants to lead the struggling company's enterprise services business.
Late Tuesday, BlackBerry officials announced John Sims, formerly the president of SAP AG's mobile service business, as the new president of the division. ()
* After receiving nearly 200 submissions from market players during months of consultations, Canadian regulators have decided to combine scrutiny of mutual fund compensation with a separate consideration of whether they need to overhaul the rules governing the relationship between financial advisers and retail clients. ()