May 31, 2013 / 9:54 AM / 4 years ago

PRESS DIGEST-Canada-May 31

May 31 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories from selected Canadian newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.


* Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, the embattled leader who has now seen five of his employees depart since he was accused of using crack cocaine, has vowed to remain at Toronto City Hall, guaranteeing his name will be on next year’s election ballot. Ford spoke with reporters about the two latest employee resignations on Thursday. He spent 90 seconds reading a prepared statement, then about 2 minutes fielding questions, five times swatting away inquiries about the drug scandal with the phrase: “Anything else?” ()

* The Harper government was forced to put further distance between itself and Senator Mike Duffy after an email surfaced suggesting the Prince Edward Island politician, under fire for illegitimate expense claims, had lobbied for a cabinet post and more compensation given his role as a fundraising star for the Tories. “Duffy has never held a cabinet position and has never been considered for cabinet,” Andrew MacDougall, director of communications for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, said in a bluntly worded statement on Thursday. ()

Reports in the business section:

* Chile President Sebastian Pinera says Barrick Gold Corp must follow 23 steps to comply with orders from his country’s environmental regulator, a message that underscores the tough road ahead for the company to get its crucial Pascua-Lama gold project back on track. Pinera, in Ottawa to discuss Canada-Chile economic relations, admonished Barrick for its handling of the $8.5 billion mine development so far. ()

* About 700 protesters, some on horseback, besieged a gold mine run by Canada-based miner Centerra Gold Inc in Kyrgyzstan, demanding its nationalization and more social benefits, officials said on Thursday. As part of the protest that has been going on for several days, the demonstrators earlier this week cut road access leading to the Kumtor mine operated by Centerra. ()


* The negotiations over the free trade deal between Canada and the European Union offer plenty of fresh evidence that Canada’s own worst enemy is its unwieldy constitutional structure. Ottawa is set to sign a free trade deal with the EU when Stephen Harper visits Europe for the G8 conference next month. But there are fears that Newfoundland and Labrador may walk away from any agreement that does not protect its fish processing industry. ()

* With serious accusations being hurled throughout the media and mass resignations hitting Rob Ford’s office, a senior Ford staffer said the mayor’s former chief of staff is out to “kill the mayor, politically and otherwise.” The source said Mark Towhey, who was fired by the mayor last week, has an “axe to grind” with the mayor’s office and accused him of leaking “revisionist history” in the Toronto Star. ()


* China is counting on “breakthroughs in energy trade” with Canada to help fuel economic growth in the world’s most populous country, one of the country’s top diplomats said on Thursday. Speaking to a Calgary business crowd, Zhang Junsai, China’s ambassador to Canada, said his country is prepared to “deepen” ties with Canada on infrastructure development to help move the country’s oil and natural gas to the West Coast for export. ()

* The lengthy battle by Bre-X investors to recover billions in Canada’s largest mining fraud appears to be over in what one of the original plaintiff lawyers in the case called a “sad day” for accountability in Canada. Under a settlement approved on Thursday by the Alberta Court of Queens Bench, the remaining class action suits were dismissed against the main defendants in the case, the estate of Bre-X’s late founder and chief executive, David Walsh, and Chief Geologist John Felderhof. ()

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