December 3, 2013 / 10:24 AM / in 4 years

PRESS DIGEST- Canada - Dec 3

Dec 3 (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 price of electricity is set to rise steadily in Ontario over the next two decades, with the most dramatic increases in the next five years. The province’s long-term energy plan, released Monday, projects a 42-percent jump in home power bills by 2018, climbing to 68 percent by 2032. The cost for industrial enterprises will also rise, by 33 per cent in the next five years and 55 per cent in the next 20. ()

* A Canadian businessman in the West Bank said the Palestinian Authority wrongly detained his father for nine hours because he had criticized Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. ()

Reports in the business section:

* BlackBerry Ltd’s new leader made a forceful plea to its largest customers to stick with the company, despite growing evidence that competitors are eating away at what was once the smartphone maker’s most dominant market position.

“Our ‘for sale’ sign has been taken down and we are here to stay,” John Chen, the company’s new executive chairman and interim chief executive, said in the letter to customers Monday. ()

* The food fight in the grocery sector is expected to remain fierce in 2014, as low inflation keeps a firm lid on prices. A University of Guelph report to be released on Tuesday predicts food prices will rise between 0.3 percent and 2.6 percent in 2014. The low level of inflation, or even deflation in some cases, may be a boon to consumers, but it leaves retailers struggling to boost their sales. ()


* As his brother took on the voice of business in the city, Mayor Rob Ford vowed to find $50-million in budget cuts and took a shot at a meeting between the deputy mayor and the premier, suggesting it should take place with him, “the elected Mayor of Toronto.” ()


* In the months before the nasty public relations battle waged between Canada’s biggest cellphone companies and Ottawa last summer, the federal government was crafting a strategy designed to avoid earlier “failures” to create competition in the wireless industry.

That strategy centered around keeping cellular airwaves specifically earmarked for new players in the sector indefinitely out of the hands of the dominant three providers - Rogers Communications Inc, BCE Inc and Telus Corp - partly in hopes of pushing the upstarts into each others arms. ()

* Is it time for the Bank of Canada to start “talking down” the dollar? True, inflation is weak - and could get weaker - and that has helped push the dollar lower, but probably not enough to significantly benefit Canadian sales of products abroad and ease the burden of economic growth on consumers. ()

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