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Dec 6 (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 Parliamentary Budget Office says a large part of Ottawa's planned surplus is based on keeping Employment Insurance premiums at higher rates than necessary. ()
* Suggestions by police that Mayor Rob Ford tried to buy a video that shows him smoking crack cocaine are "potential hearsay" and an "outright lie," Ford and his lawyer said on Thursday - even as Toronto Police launched a media blitz to defend its handling of the investigation. ()
* Ontario and the federal government have begun to resolve their differences over the Ring of Fire, after a tête-à-tête between Premier Kathleen Wynne and Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The pair met on Parliament Hill on Thursday afternoon to discuss issues including ambitious plans to develop Northern Ontario resources. ()
Reports in the business section:
* Tiff Macklem, the Bank of Canada's No. 2 official, is leaving the central bank seven months after losing out to Stephen Poloz in the race to succeed Mark Carney as governor. ()
* After 13 years at the top, Royal Bank of Canada chief executive officer Gord Nixon will retire next summer. Dave McKay, currently the head of personal and commercial banking, has been named the new CEO. ()
* Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa, died on Thursday at the age of 95. He was a champion of freedom, who spent one-third of his life in a prison cell; a revolutionary who espoused armed conflict against the state, yet became a global icon of peace and moral virtue. ()
* As Quebec's euthanasia law inched closer to adoption in the National Assembly, legislators this week raised the possibility that the province would become a destination for people in other provinces seeking an end to their suffering. ()
* John Thornton admits it - building relationships with Barrick Gold Corp's shareholders did not go as smoothly as he planned this year. ()
* With the release Thursday of Douglas Eyford's roadmap to address aboriginal concerns over energy projects in Alberta and British Columbia, First Nations have come to a fork in the road.