December 9, 2013 / 10:35 AM / in 4 years

PRESS DIGEST-Canada - Dec 9

Dec 9 (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 GLOBE AND MAIL

* Ontario’s Liberal government is leaning away from hiking the harmonized sales tax as a method of paying for transit expansion, reasoning that such a move would be too unpopular. ()

* Bahrain, Algeria and Iraq, countries with dubious human rights records or a history of violent internal conflict, have recently become new buyers of Canadian-made guns and ammunition, an analysis of federal government data shows. ()

* At least two more key Conservative MPs received gold-embossed business cards, contrary to long-standing government rules against fancy stationery. Tony Clement was given his gold cards shortly after being promoted to Treasury Board president in the May 2011 cabinet shuffle, following the election of a Conservative majority. ()

Reports in the business section:

* On its 4,000-km path across the country, TransCanada Corp’s Energy East’s pipeline would traverse the traditional territory of 180 different aboriginal communities, each of whom must be consulted and have their concerns accommodated as part of the company’s effort at winning project approval. ()

* Incoming Barrick Gold Corp Chairman John Thornton has friends in high places in China - including the country’s premier, central bank chief and anti-corruption czar, to name a few. Now Thornton’s job is to turn those connections into new business opportunities for the gold miner as it seeks to turn the corner on a string of costly setbacks. ()

* Winter has not been good to Transat AT Inc in recent years. Canada’s largest tour operator has lost money in the past four winter seasons. Among the reasons for the poor performance have been stiff competition from chief rival Sunwing Travel Group Inc, management’s overestimation of capacity requirements and failure to fully match appropriate fleet deployment to seasonal needs. ()

NATIONAL POST

* The quantum revolution Mike Lazaridis expects is grand enough. Inventing the mythical quantum computer, which the BlackBerry billionaire has set as the primary goal of his massive investment in the southern Ontario technology hub known as Quantum Valley, could create a trillion-dollar market that Canada stands to dominate. He says the question is when, not if. The scientists say years, not decades. ()

FINANCIAL POST

* Once again Canada’s big five banks have delivered a record performance, with total profit in the last fiscal year of $29.4-billion, up a healthy 5 percent from last year despite the weak economy, slower consumer lending and other headwinds. ()

* Despite predictions that the recent Black Friday sales push would be the most robust to date in this country, one post-mortem analysis found only 27 percent of Canadians partook of the deals on Nov. 29. ()

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