Oct 17 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories from selected Canadian newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
** Former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien is defending Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau's controversial decision to oppose Canada's air combat mission in Iraq, saying the fighter planes the Harper government is deploying are a "very marginal" response to the crisis caused by Islamic State militants. (bit.ly/1yJhfbD)
** Two employees at the Toronto hospital where Rob Ford is undergoing cancer treatment inappropriately accessed the mayor's confidential medical records, a breach that led the hospital to mete out unspecified "action" against the staff members. (bit.ly/1sYX4V1)
** Thirty minutes into the 45th debate of Toronto's race for mayor, front-runner John Tory squared off against rival Doug Ford, who until the most recent opinion poll had been nipping at his heels since he stepped into the race as a last-minute substitute for his brother Rob Ford. (bit.ly/Zxbwqc)
** A new report by HSBC Global Research argues Canada's oil and gas boom remains on course. The 20-page report, authored by HSBC Bank Canada chief economist David Watt, says the unprecedented boom in capital spending in Canada's natural resources sector is here to stay, with major projects currently under way or planned in the next decade worth C$675-billion ($600.11 billion). (bit.ly/1qGZIJi)
** One year out from a scheduled October 2015 federal elections in Canada, none of the main federal parties has nominated even half of its candidates, although the opposition says it is preparing for the possibility of a snap spring campaign. (bit.ly/1waniCB)
** A Canadian survivor of the Nepal avalanche that killed at least 27 people has described a harrowing tale of being buried waist-high in thick, heavy snow on a "nightmare" of a day. Quebecer Sonia Leveque said she thought she was going to die and that she and her fellow trekkers are fortunate to be alive. (bit.ly/1sPkV8n) (1 US dollar = 1.1248 Canadian dollar) (Compiled by Shivam Srivastava in Bangalore)