October 24, 2011 / 10:43 AM / 6 years ago

PRESS DIGEST - CANADA - Oct 24

Oct 24 (Reuters) - The following are top stories from selected Canadian newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL:

-- Quebec Premier Jean Charest is guaranteeing that the probe into corruption in the construction industry will be fully independent.

But there is a caveat: He wants the inquiry to co-operate with police to make sure that alleged criminals don’t receive immunity that would protect them against prosecution.

-- When Toronto’s city councillors debate whether to ban the sale of shark-fin soup this week, they will be echoing an emerging generational divide within the Chinese community, with Chinese-Canadian newlyweds on one side and their immigrant parents and grandparents on the other.

The soup, which is often served at Chinese weddings but has been blamed for declining shark numbers around the world, has traditionally been a “must” for lavish, elaborate Chinese banquet-hall dinners. But there are signs of a shift, said Carmen Luk, a Toronto area wedding planner whose clients are primarily of Chinese decent.

Reports in Business Section:

-- Air Canada ACa.TO is trying to overturn an arbitrator’s decision that backs a union plan to create a novel pension system for new sales and service agents.

The Canadian Auto Workers union, which represents 3,800 employees stationed at airport counters and call-in centres, said it is “astonished” by Air Canada’s notice that it will appeal the arbitrator’s pension ruling made last month. The fight over pension reform led to a three-day strike in June, but the two sides had agreed to let arbitrator Kevin Burkett resolve the impasse.

-- Miners are benefiting from record prices for gold, but many have suffered setbacks that threaten to harm the case for investing in producers over physical gold.

Rising production and capital costs will be one of the biggest drains on profits for major miners such as Barrick Gold Corp , Goldcorp Inc and Newmont Mining Corp when they report earnings this week for the July-September period, a quarter in which gold hit a record high of more than $1,900 an ounce.

NATIONAL POST:

-- In a reflection of differing tastes or perhaps a desire to cut costs, the Conservative government has sharply reduced the number of rented works of art hanging on the walls of federal offices.

Since the Conservatives came to power in 2006, federal departments have removed hundreds of works of art and returned them to the Art Bank run by the Canada Council for the Arts.

-- French President Nicolas Sarkozy backed down on Sunday in the face of implacable German opposition to demands to use unlimited European Central Bank funds to fight the euro zone’s deepening sovereign debt crisis.

European Union leaders wrangled for hours over procedure and made little apparent progress in forging a strategy to overcome the crisis, despite pressure from international partners and financial markets for decisive action.

Financial Post section:

--Any lingering doubts over whether the Bank of Canada will keep its hand off the lever when it announces its latest interest rates decision on Tuesday likely evaporated when inflation reared its ugly head once again on Friday, but economists do not expect any tightening either as trouble in Europe and the United States remain front-of-mind.

-- The United States will likely suffer the loss of its triple-A credit rating from another major rating agency by the end of this year due to concerns over the deficit, Bank of America Merrill Lynch forecasts.

The trigger would be a likely failure by Congress to agree on a credible long-term plan to cut the U.S. deficit, the bank said in a research note published on Friday.

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