Feb 23 (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's push to deliver a balanced budget despite the burden of low oil prices has attracted fresh attention to a potential stockpile of federal cash: a multi-billion-dollar taxpayer stake in the auto business. The government's remaining 73.4 million shares in General Motors are now worth more than $3.40 billion in total, thanks to the combined effect of a solid stock price and a weakened Canadian dollar. (bit.ly/18fGjgk)
** The federal government is rejecting calls for more independent oversight of Canada's national security agencies even as it speeds passage of legislation that would give sweeping new powers to spies and police in the name of fighting terrorism. Parliament will vote Monday night on the Anti-Terrorism Act after the Conservatives limited second-reading debate for the legislation to three days. The bill will be sent to a Parliamentary committee for scrutiny. The Tories want the controversial legislation to become law before the summer begins. (bit.ly/1DJttUL)
** Health officials say a 19th case of measles has been confirmed in Quebec. Public health officials at a news conference on Saturday would not confirm whether the new case is a child or an adult, nor whether it is linked to Quebec's previous 18 cases. The source of the outbreak for the first 18 cases has been traced to Disneyland, California. (bit.ly/1za9l6z)
** Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc is back in major deal-making mode with the all-cash $10.4 billion agreement to acquire gastrointestinal disorders specialist Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (bit.ly/1EHJK9y)
** Nova Scotia's largest newspaper has locked out its unionized printing plant employees after contract negotiations failed to reach an agreement. Thirteen press operators and mechanics at the Halifax Chronicle Herald were locked out Saturday, the company said in a news release. It said the employees had turned down a proposal from management. (bit.ly/1DN6ab3)
** The federal government has sweetened the deal for would-be natural gas exporters with new tax measures, but the industry is still fretting about feasibility of West Coast projects amid a deteriorating LNG price environment. (bit.ly/1ABbaNF) (Compiled by Rama Venkat Raman in Bengaluru)