PRESS DIGEST- Canada- Oct 15


Oct 15 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories fromselected Canadian newspapers. Reuters has not verified thesestories and does not vouch for their accuracy.


* The Harper Conservatives will hit the gas pedal this weekin the race toward the next election in 2015. But the oppositionparties are vowing to push down hard on the brakes in remindingCanadians about what they call the government's lapse in ethicsin the Senate. In a Throne Speech Wednesday, the Tories will bedriving ahead with their jobs and tough-on-crime agendas whilesteering slightly to the left to pick up passengers on thesocial and consumer issues track. ()

Reports in the business section:

* BlackBerry Ltd is reaching out to itsdwindling customer base with a global communications campaignthat seeks to assure them that the Waterloo, Ontario firm is farfrom dead, despite a calamitous slide in sales, heavy financiallosses and a conditional agreement to sell itself at a fractionof its former value. ()

* Contract talks between Canadian National Railway Co and the Teamsters have hit a rut, and the union isblaming an impasse over rail safety, the industry's hot-buttonissue after a series of high-profile rail disasters this year.The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference said on Monday that CN'sdecision last week not to extend a conciliation process couldlead to a strike or a lockout on Oct. 28. ()


* The Fraser Institute added its voice on Monday to what hasbecome a popular call for Ottawa to lift all restrictions onforeign ownership in the telecommunications sector. A reportfrom the right-leaning think tank said eliminating all limits onforeign investment in telecom could be one part of a plan tofoster "workable competition". But it could also create asituation where some, but not all, of Canada's large carrierscould realistically be sold. ()


* Rogers Communications Inc is launching a retailventure to market its own wireless plans and brands as well asthose of Telus Corp, Fido and Chatr, according toindustry sources. Sources say the venture aims to roll out 100kiosks in enclosed shopping malls across Canada during the next12 to 18 months, to take advantage of heavy consumer foottraffic and bolster the companies' distribution networks. ()

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