November 14, 2012 / 10:23 AM / in 5 years

PRESS DIGEST-Canada-Nov 14

Nov 14 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories from selected Canadian newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.


* McGill University is suing a former star of the Canadian medical establishment for C$317,154 ($316,800), saying he has reneged on a loan and collected salary he should have never been paid.

The university filed the suit against Arthur Porter -- who left the country and his job as CEO of the McGill University Health Centre under a cloud -- alleging that he failed to repay C$287,000 of a C$500,000 low-interest loan the university provided him in 2008 to help pay for real estate. ()

* As free trade talks with the European Union reach the endgame, Ottawa is signalling it is prepared to give the Europeans at least part of what they asked for on drug patents - a move that could cost Canadians up to C$900 million a year.

With negotiations at the bureaucratic level nearing closure, International Trade Minister Ed Fast will meet his European counterpart in Brussels next week, taking the discussions to the next level. ()

Reports in the business section:

* Canada’s largest newspaper chain, Sun Media Corp , is slashing 500 jobs, shutting down two printing presses and erecting more paywalls as it tries to cut costs by more than C$45 million to deal with declining advertising revenue for its printed papers. ()

* BHP Billiton Ltd is out of the diamond business, fed up with prolonged dull prices for gemstones and few opportunities to improve profit margins.

The world’s largest diversified miner said on Tuesday it sold its controlling stake in Ekati, Canada’s first ever diamond mine, to diamond retailer Harry Winston Diamond Corp for $500 million, well below what analysts expected. Billiton’s diamond marketing operations are also included in the sale. ()


* Speaking in Fredericton on Tuesday, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty gave an update on the state of the federal government’s books. Economic growth is coming in slower than had been expected, he reported.

That means that the deficit is going to come in C$5 billion higher than thought this year, and will continue to be higher in years to come, as the economy grows - but grows slowly. The end result: Ottawa won’t be getting its books back to balance until 2016/17, a year later than expected. ()

* The Department of Citizenship and Immigration spent almost C$750,000 monitoring ethnic media over the past three years, including assessments of election campaign events and “perceptions” of minister Jason Kenney.

A series of contracts from March 2009 through May 2012 cost taxpayers C$745,050, according to documents obtained by The Canadian Press under access to information law. ()


* Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says U.S. politicians need to get to work quickly on putting together a fiscal compromise that will avoid an economic crisis.

Flaherty says failure to reach a fiscal deal before Jan. 1 will plunge the United States into a recession quickly, with Canada to follow shortly afterward. ()

* Canadian airlines joined their international counterparts Tuesday in lauding the decision by the European Commission to “stop the clock” temporarily on the industry’s inclusion in the emission trading scheme for the 27 member states.

The European Union said the decision was made to give the international community time to come up with an alternative, global strategy for combating carbon dioxide emissions. ()

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