May 15 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories from selected Canadian newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
** Canada's federal spending on COVID-19 measures now stands at C$151.7 billion ($107.88 billion), according to the Finance Department's latest tally of government announcements. tgam.ca/2AwPM6j
** Brookfield Asset Management Inc says market turmoil in the first quarter cropped US$25 billion from the value of the assets it manages, but said its strong balance sheet is allowing it to plow ahead and buy what it sees as bargains. tgam.ca/2LrELW6
** Canada's telecom regulator has dismissed a request to assume much broader oversight of the industry's involvement in contact tracing, but says it will continue monitoring the issue as technological efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 evolve. tgam.ca/3fUdB87
** Equitable Group Inc is bracing for higher loan defaults this year, even with borrowers being allowed to defer mortgage payments because of COVID-19, its Chief Executive Officer Andrew Moor said on Thursday. bit.ly/3dNYKKF
** Canada's prime minister, Justin Trudeau, defended the government's liberal approach to handing out emergency benefits on Thursday, saying Ottawa would have "paralyzed" the system and deprived millions of jobless Canadians if it had rigorously checked every application it received. bit.ly/3fXkINp ($1 = 1.4062 Canadian dollars) (Compiled by Bengaluru newsroom)