Nov 21 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories from selected Canadian newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
* Alberta is overhauling parts of its election financing laws, boosting fines for illegal donations and removing a gag order on its chief electoral officer -- but doing little to rein in the influence of major donors.
Bill 7, tabled Tuesday, doesn’t change the limit on donations to political parties, continues to allow corporate and union donations, doesn’t cap party spending and doesn’t clarify the law on donation splitting, where one person’s cheque is apportioned into donations from several people. ()
* Israel’s ambassador says Canada is backing her country’s right to defend itself without pressuring the country to end its strikes in Gaza quickly.
Ambassador Miriam Ziv said Ottawa has given Israel a clear message of support since Israel began airstrikes in the Gaza strip a week ago. The Harper government has been unequivocal in backing Israel’s right to defend itself in the face of rocket attacks from Hamas and other groups in Gaza, she said. ()
Reports in the business section:
* The World Trade Organization has ruled that a critical component of Ontario’s green energy program breaches international trade law, according to sources.
A source familiar with the ruling said it is not favourable to the domestic content requirements contained in Ontario’s so-called feed-in tariff program, the centrepiece of the green energy program that provides solar, wind and other renewable energy companies with long-term guaranteed revenue contracts. ()
* Airfares to many smaller Canadian communities could be cut by a half in a year’s time, if WestJet Airlines Ltd’s chief executive has his way.
Gregg Saretsky, who prefers terms such as “rational pricing” rather than price wars, says that he foresees WestJet’s new regional carrier WestJet Encore offering fares up to 50 per cent lower for shorter flights once the subsidiary launches in the second half of next year. These would be for flights travelling on average 300 miles (483 kilometres), as opposed to average distances of 1000 miles for WestJet’s main network. ()
* The good news for Pauline Marois’ two-month-old Parti Quebecois minority government is that it is unlikely to fall on its first budget, tabled Tuesday in the National Assembly. The bad news is that the days when the PQ prided itself on visionary projects are a distant memory.
Finance Minister Nicolas Marceau began his speech to the legislature by invoking the legacy of his party’s previous governments stretching back to 1976 and Rene Levesque’s first election. ()
* The Quebec government, desperate to see companies put to work the cash they have hoarded since the last recession, is reviving a series of tax measures in a bid to accelerate private investment in the economy and create jobs in strategic sectors.
The measures, tabled in Tuesday’s budget by Quebec Finance Minister Nicolas Marceau, are part of a wider effort by the separatist Parti Quebecois to shed its image as heavy-handed business haters and build some credibility in corporate boardrooms. ()
* Lululemon Athletica Inc says it has settled a patent infringement case against PVH Corp’s Calvin Klein and G-III Apparel Group Ltd, a manufacturer and supplier for Calvin Klein.
Lululemon had claimed the companies infringed on three different patents covering a specific overlapping style of waistband. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Lululemon said the lawsuit will be dismissed as a result. ()