May 29, 2013 / 10:05 AM / in 4 years

PRESS DIGEST-Canada-May 29

May 29 (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 Harper government is telling its European allies that arming rebels in Syria is a mistake, warning that the step will lead to “more death and more destruction.”

The European Union’s decision to end an embargo on sending arms to Syria has underlined that the Western world is divided over how to deal with the country’s violence. Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird insisted the differences won’t strain ties with some of Canada’s closest NATO allies, even as the United States expressed support for the EU’s position. ()

* Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is not answering questions about why two members of his staff talked to police about a video he has insisted does not exist. Ford, at City Hall on Tuesday for a day-long meeting of his executive, tried to turn the page on allegations he was caught on camera smoking crack cocaine, but failed to deflect a constant barrage of questions about how much he and his staff knew about the alleged video. ()

Reports in the business section:

* Oxford Properties Group’s latest foray into London, a joint venture with an ancient royal real estate concern, underscores how Canadian pension funds are gobbling up prime properties across the globe. Oxford, the real estate arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, announced on Tuesday it had struck a 50-50 partnership with Crown Estate, which traces its roots back almost 1,000 years and owns some of London’s most expensive real estate. ()


* Driven in part by the arrival of thousands of French-eschewing immigrants, Canadian rates of French-English bilingualism have dropped for the first time since the election of prime minister Pierre Trudeau, according to a Statistics Canada report released on Tuesday. Rather than illustrating any nationwide reticence to learn multiple tongues, however, the numbers may simply point to French losing ground to other languages such as Cantonese, Punjabi and even Cree and Inuktitut. ()

* Senate officials confirmed they have found a troubling pattern of Senator Mike Duffy improperly claiming living expenses, including several days in 2011 when he was campaigning across the country for the Conservatives. ()


* As the cost of wringing oil from Alberta’s bitumen deposits continues to edge up, companies are assessing whether to spend billions on new mining projects or pour money into steam-driven extraction. ()

* As of Tuesday, Mobilicity had secured both creditor and court approval of its plan to sell its business to Telus Corp , kicking the deal squarely into Industry Canada’s court and adding to its already large file on the C$19 billion ($18.29 billion) wireless industry. ()

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