October 25, 2011 / 10:03 AM / in 6 years

PRESS DIGEST - CANADA - Oct 25

Oct 25 (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:

-- Travelling to the United States by air or sea is about to get a bit more expensive, and Canada-U.S. relations have become a bit more strained, after Congress stripped Canada of its exemption from a tax on travellers entering the country.

A $5.50 customs user fee has long applied to anyone entering the United States by airplane or ship, but Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean have been exempt from the air charge since 1997, and have paid a reduced fee when arriving by ship.

-- The detection in B.C. sockeye of a virus that is lethal to Atlantic salmon has sent a shock wave through British Columbia’s fish farming industry, where annual sales of $250-million and some 3,000 jobs are at risk.

“It’s big, it’s scary - and we sure hope it’s not here,” said Grant Warkentin, a spokesman for Mainstream Canada, the second largest producer of farmed salmon on the West Coast.

Reports in Business Section:

-- Nebraska’s governor has ordered a special session of the state legislature to examine potential new oil pipeline rules, a reversal of course that opens the possibility of substantial delays to the controversial Keystone XL project.

Republican Governor Dave Heineman made a surprise announcement on Monday, calling the Nov. 1 sitting, which he said in a statement will “determine if sitting legislation can be crafted and passed for pipeline routing in Nebraska.”

-- Most Canadian workers will still see higher salaries next year, despite a rocky global economy - but pay hikes won’t return to the pre-recession heyday.

Employees will get average salary increases of 3.1 percent in 2012, the Conference Board of Canada said in its compensation outlook to be released Tuesday.

NATIONAL POST:

-- Pronouncements by the Roman Catholic Church are normally filled with enough nuance to set off great theological debates about what the words might actually mean.

But a statement released Monday with suggestions on how to repair the global “financial crisis” goes the other way. It abandons nuance in favour of concrete economic proposals that put the Church in the new territory of offering advice on creating new global institutions.

-- The Conservative government has found a new top spending watchdog, officially nominating Michael Ferguson on Monday as the federal auditor general and person who, during a time of fiscal restraint, will oversee the public purse.

The appointment, while rumoured for weeks, is a critical one for the Harper government and for Parliament, which launches a 10-year term where one individual ultimately is responsible for monitoring federal programs and expenditures.

Financial Post section:

-- Foreseeing a bleak future for Netflix Inc , investors are abandoning the online video juggernaut en masse.

Shares of the Los Gatos, California-based company fell as much as 27 percent to $87.24 in after-hours trading Monday after Netflix reported third quarter earnings. The stock has shed nearly two-thirds of its value since its record close of $298.73 July 13, the day after Netflix announced price increases for subscribers to both its mail-order and Web-based streaming services.

-- Any deal forcing banks to take bigger losses on Greek debt “would be tantamount to default” and impose a high cost on European taxpayers, the lead negotiator for the banks warned on Monday.

Banks and other private sector holders of Greek government bonds have been holding talks with EU officials to revise a plan agreed in July and take bigger losses on the debt, but Charles Dallara, managing director of the Institute of International Finance (IIF), warned against pushing too hard.

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