October 26, 2011 / 10:08 AM / in 6 years

PRESS DIGEST - CANADA - Oct 26

Oct 26 (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:

-- Wildcat strikes hit more than 110 construction sites throughout Quebec again on Tuesday, but there are signs that the labour disruptions are causing friction between unions and some of their members, who are taking the brunt of public outrage over the work stoppages.

In the face of mounting pressure from the public and politicians, some labour organizations signalled they were backing down amid charges from some workers that the unions were using intimidation tactics.

-- Saskatchewan’s political leaders sparred over potash resource revenues in an election debate Tuesday night that saw a few good jabs, but no knock-out punches.

Opposition NDP Leader Dwain Lingenfelter argued during the one-hour televised debate that Saskatchewan residents deserve a bigger share of the potash pie.

Reports in Business Section:

-- Real estate information that was once almost impossible to get without the help of an agent is now available online, in yet another sign that the business of selling homes is rapidly changing.

Carefully guarded data on home appraisal values -- once the private preserve of real-estate industry insiders -- has been posted by a listings website backed by Rogers Communications Inc RCIb.TO, which has tapped private databases to give people an instant estimate of a property’s value.

-- The gaping difference between North American and international crude prices is spurring a boom for Canada’s railways as energy companies look to shuttle more of their output to the continent’s coasts, where they have been able to fetch substantial premiums.

NATIONAL POST:

-- They have muddied parks, overtaken public squares and clashed with police. But while Canada’s Occupy protesters may be wearing out their welcome, nobody has figured out how to get rid of them.

Although the encampments are violating bylaws, damaging public land, and in some cases, prompting public health concerns, confrontation-shy municipalities are finding themselves increasingly powerless, or at least unwilling, to remove them.

-- Mayor Rob Ford’s administration is considering an initial public offering to sell a slice of Toronto Hydro and use the cash to offset a mounting debt load.

In addition to unloading up to 10 percent of the utility’s shares, finance officials recommend the city sell its stake in the heating and cooling company Enwave along with various real estate holdings in order to raise a potential $600 million. Staff suggest the proceeds go into a capital financing reserve fund, that would be tapped to offset future debt requirements. The recommendations are contained in a report to be considered by the executive committee next week.

Financial Post section:

-- In meetings with oil and gas executives and the media in Calgary last week, British Columbia Premier Christy Clark spoke about how energy development in her province fits well with her family-focused agenda.

The typical oil pitch -- whether from a politician or an industry executive -- tends to boast about the benefits to Canada of being an energy superpower, expands on the efforts to shrink the environmental footprint, warns about the need to diversify markets. It is loaded with jargon such as “environmental stewardship,” “supply mix” and “portfolio of opportunities.”

-- Investors and advisors alike are constantly striving to build the best portfolio. There are different schools of thought as to what is best. There is no shortage of books, blogs and brokers claiming to have identified the path to investing salvation, but who is right?

The Canada Pension Plan is run by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, a federal Crown corporation managing $153.2-billion. It is the eighth-largest pension plan in the world, according to a recent study by Towers Watson and Pensions & Investments. It was just ranked fifth in the Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index for adequacy, sustainability and integrity. As such, maybe the CPP isn’t a bad place to start.

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