PRESS DIGEST- Canada- Oct 2


Oct 2 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories fromselected Canadian newspapers. Reuters has not verified thesestories and does not vouch for their accuracy.


* Canada's recreational firearms lobby is telling the Harpergovernment to avoid signing a landmark United Nations arms tradetreaty, arguing it could lead to an insidious return of thefederal long-gun registry. ()

* The provinces are gearing up to battle Ottawa this fallover the federal government's signature skills-training program,with British Columbia's Christy Clark and Ontario's KathleenWynne hunkering down to plan strategy for the coming fight. ()

Reports in the business section:

* BlackBerry Ltd is looking at options to quicklyunlock value from its substantial real estate portfolio in itshometown of Waterloo, Ontario as the company works to finalize a$4.7 billion takeover plan. The smartphone maker owns more than20 buildings in the Waterloo area, a collection built up duringits rapid expansion over the past 10 years. ()

* Rogers Communications Inc is looking to strikeit big in the oil patch, with a C$700 million ($677.93million)investment that will see its cellphone network extendedto the far reaches of Alberta. Albertans spend more on voice anddata plans than subscribers in any other part of the country,making the province a key battleground as Canada's establishedcellphone companies try to find new customers in a highlycompetitive market. ()


* Canada's economy is being overshadowed by its bigneighbour. Despite data on Monday showing a strong rebound ingrowth in Canada, it's the funding crisis in the United Statesthat dominates the spotlight. ()

* Former Ontario speaker and cabinet minister ChrisStockwell is on the verge of a political comeback after winningthe endorsement of Etobicoke York Community Council to fill theward seat left vacant by Doug Holyday. A majority of councillorsagreed, after three ballots, that city council should appointStockwell to represent Ward 3 at a meeting later this month. ()


* The head of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce's retail banking operation says he is "comfortable" with thebank's business mix despite continuing rapid growth of theconsumer mortgage portfolio. All the big banks have beenaggressively pursuing the consumer loan business, especiallymortgages. Canada's fifth biggest bank by assets is confidentthe issue won't come back to haunt it as CIBC has worked hard tocut its exposure to potential losses. ()

* After promising bold action to remake Encana Corp into a winner, newly appointed CEO Doug Suttles cleared much ofthe remaining old guard from the natural gas producer'sexecutive team Tuesday and appointed a smaller, next-generationgroup. ()

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