Nov 23 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories from selected Canadian newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
* Retailers are feeling the pinch as Canadians surge to the United States armed with a strong dollar and higher duty-free limits, with the Black Friday shopping frenzy south of the border threatening to further squeeze sales in this country.
Sales among Canadian retailers were nearly flat in September, according to the latest measure released on Thursday, weaker than expected and evidence of the pressure among merchants to push aggressive U.S.-style promotions to stanch the loss of customers to the United States. ()
* A day before the deadline, a seventh would-be leader has entered the race for the Ontario Liberal leadership. Harinder Takhar resigned as government services minister on Thursday and announced his intention to join the race to replace Premier Dalton McGuinty.
The other leadership hopefuls so far are Kathleen Wynne, Glenn Murray, Charles Sousa, Eric Hoskins, Sandra Pupatello and Gerard Kennedy. ()
Reports in the business section:
* A dispute about a plan by Chrysler Canada Inc to open a new dealership in Calgary has thrown into question a key rule that has governed relations between auto dealers and manufacturers for more than a decade.
The dispute has led to an Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench injunction that puts Chrysler’s plans for an eighth dealership in Calgary on hold and has cast doubt on the so called eight kilometre rule, which prevents auto makers from setting up new dealerships within eight kilometres of an existing store of their own brand. ()
* Investors are taking a second look at Research In Motion Ltd. The company’s battered stock is surging on new found optimism about its upcoming BlackBerry 10 smartphones, which are central to the company’s hopes of reversing more than a year of catastrophic losses in market share.
RIM executives are now parading the touchscreen devices in front of wireless operators and financial analysts as they prepare for a global launch event on Jan. 30, 2013. And so far, the market likes what it sees. ()
* Thomas Mulcair says Canada’s municipalities are heading for an “infrastructure cliff” unless the federal government commits to long term, stable funding to repair crumbling roads, water and sewer systems.
And the NDP leader says that commitment must be made in the next budget in 2013 since the current Building Canada Fund is set to expire the following year. The fund, launched in 2007, has pumped some C$33 billion ($33.06 billion) into municipal infrastructure projects. ()
* Alberta, burned in its effort to export oil through the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline in British Columbia, is now turning to Quebec as an outlet for its valuable crude.
Whether it will meet a willing partner or another enemy really depends on which side of the two-faced Parti Quebecois wins out: The one that snubbed Alberta on Nov.14 and accused the province of “wanting to transport its oil on our territory without our consent”; or the one that’s hinted it understands the potential economic bene. ()
* Royal Bank of Canada says the cost of home ownership became more affordable in the most recent quarter due to a modest decline in home prices and gains in Canadian household incomes. RBC’s affordability index for a detached bungalow stood at 42 percent of income nationally in the second quarter.
An owner would need to spend 42 percent of pre-tax annual income to pay for mortgage payments, utilities and property taxes -- 1 percentage point lower than in the third quarter of 2011. ()