March 11 (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 Parti Québécois government is bracing for a passionate debate on its proposed language policy as public hearings begin this week on a bill to reinforce the use of French in Quebec society.
* The contenders trailing Philippe Couillard in the race to replace Jean Charest as Quebec Liberal leader are grasping at the Ontario party’s recent example for hope their race is not over. With Couillard firmly in the lead and, according to some reports, holding the support of around half of committed delegates, his two opponents are evoking Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s come-from-behind victory as they try to rally their troops for next weekend’s leadership vote.
* As a number of transit systems move toward unstaffed trains, the Toronto Transit Commission is taking a half-step in that direction, laying the groundwork for largely hands-off operation on one of its two lines within a few years.
Reports in the business section:
* Mortgage brokers are pressing the federal government to make it easier for young people to buy their first homes, just as the spring sales season descends and Ottawa prepares its next budget.
* Canada Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has taken his battle against a housing bubble an extraordinary step further, issuing rare praise for the country’s banks for not matching Bank of Montreal’s cut-rate mortgages, which the lender rolled out a week ago in an attempt to drum up new business.
* One of Canada’s most productive auto assembly plants is getting a C$250 million ($243 million) boost that likely solidifies about 3,000 jobs well into the 2020s. General Motors Co will invest that amount at its Cami Automotive factory in Ingersoll, Ontario, to respond more quickly to changing consumer tastes by building vehicles off more than one platform or basic underbody.
* Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper will travel to Yellowknife on Monday to mark the end of talks granting province-like powers to the Northwest Territories. Harper’s office confirmed on Sunday that he will be present at the event, to be held at the territorial legislature.
* Toronto Mayor Rob Ford used his radio show on Sunday to hit back at a former election rival who accused him of inappropriate touching and lewd comments, telling his listeners the allegations were “not true” and questioning whether his accuser was “playing with a full deck.”
* Most Canadians are in favor of restrictions on the number of qualified immigrants accepted into the country each year, a new poll suggests.
* Canada’s see-sawing labor force swung back into job-creation mode in February, with a net 50,700 people finding work. Most of those new hires were aged 55 or older - continuing a trend from January.
* Americans living in Canada have already found themselves in the sights of the Internal Revenue Service, but a Canadian tax expert is warning that they should pay particular attention to their use of investment vehicles such as the Tax Free Savings Account.
* The recent surge in demand for air travel in Canada appears to be leaving Porter Airlines Inc behind, with traffic falling precipitously at the Toronto Island-based airline while its rivals consistently report record months of filling their planes.