April 24 (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 Conservative government insists this week's budget numbers will hold up in spite of a sudden spike in demand for employment insurance benefits, a development that could ultimately hamper Ottawa's promise of a razor-thin budget surplus. (bit.ly/1Ey5NE7)
** Cenovus Energy Inc has hired bankers to explore the possible sale or initial public offering of its royalty lands in Western Canada. The decision to monetize the properties comes after the dramatic drop in oil prices affected Cenovus's business. (bit.ly/1Ok65Da)
** Sears Canada Inc has picked up two fashion lines that Target Corp had exclusive rights to carry in Canada, Cherokee apparel and shoes and Liz Lange maternity clothing. Both were among troubled Target's stronger brands and are still in its American stores. (bit.ly/1I3pZxc)
** The sale of prized chromite assets in Northern Ontario's "Ring of Fire" mineral belt has descended into chaos, according to sources and court filings, with multiple bidders and dissenters and no certainty about the endgame. The whole mess should be sorted out on Friday, when the Quebec Superior Court will listen to arguments and determine how the contested bidding process should proceed. (bit.ly/1DXsAG2)
** Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce's shareholders had their say on executive pay at the bank's annual meeting and they let it be known they weren't happy, voting down the bank's resolution on its compensation plan. (bit.ly/1Eydk5J) (Compiled by Zara Mascarenhas in Bengaluru)