August 15, 2013 / 10:30 AM / 4 years ago

PRESS DIGEST-Canada-Aug 15

Aug 15 (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

* Two Canadian Conservative MPs who hosted fundraising events featuring Senator Pamela Wallin say they didn't know she had billed taxpayers for travel costs. Wallin attended events for Harold Albrecht and Kellie Leitch that were flagged by auditors in a report released this week. All told, the report found Wallin claimed C$121,000 ($117,200) in improper expenses, some of it for partisan work. ()

* Canada has so weakened its environmental laws that it is "in violation" of its obligations under the North American free trade agreement, the West Coast Environmental Law association says. The non-profit legal foundation asked the Commission for Environmental Cooperation to take a hard look at Canada's actions, saying the government has exposed the environment to undue risk to give Canadian industry an edge over the U.S. and Mexico. ()

Reports in the business section:

* Verizon Communications Inc is putting off the potential acquisition of two small wireless companies, Wind Mobile SA and Mobilicity, a shift that may signal the U.S. carrier is cooling on the idea of entering Canada despite moves by Ottawa to entice foreign players into the market. ()

* The deadly oil-by-rail disaster in Quebec has done little to quell plans to move more crude on trains in Canada, with the third announcement of a new loading terminal unveiled in as many weeks. Proposals to ratchet up capacity to move oil to market on rails, the latest being a C$100 million terminal planned for Saskatchewan, are coming as major pipeline projects, including TransCanada Corp's Keystone XL conduit to Texas refineries from Alberta. ()

NATIONAL POST

* Ongoing hostilities are likely to flare up as new defense minister Rob Nicholson is forced to make some unpalatable decisions on resource allocation, including the possibility of reducing the size of Canada's 68,000 regular forces by chopping one or more of its nine infantry battalions. ()

* Concerns are rising about several government proposals for flood recovery, chief among them, a plan to brand homes that take disaster recovery program money from the government. Homeowners who take the cash and fail to adhere to the government's pricey flood mitigation standards will have it noted on their property titles. Those properties will never again be allowed to access disaster recovery funds. The regulatory changes could affect hundreds of Calgary homes on flood fringes. ()

FINANCIAL POST

* Canadian home prices rose in July from June to an all-time high, but the modest monthly gain suggests the robust housing market may be cooling again, according to data from the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index on Wednesday. The report echoes data on both sales activity and prices that suggest Canada's housing market has recovered well after the government tightened mortgage rules in July 2012, causing a sharp slowdown in demand in the second half of 2012. ()

* Toronto's thunderstorm last month set a record for the most expensive natural disaster in Ontario's history, with insured property damage estimated at more than C$850 million, in what has been one of the worst summers for insurers in recent memory, according to the Insurance Bureau of Ontario. ()

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