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PRESS DIGEST- Canada- Jan 3

Jan 3 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories from selected Canadian newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.


* Toronto's Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly says he is "exploring" whether to call in the army, with the city facing a lengthy and costly cleanup after an ice storm that knocked out power to 300,000 homes and other buildings. ()

* Hundreds of Albertans are lining up to get flu shots as the number of confirmed cases of H1N1 climbs in the province, with residents saying they are getting vaccinated out of concern for little children. ()

* Employers convicted of human trafficking, sexually assaulting or causing the death of an employee will be allowed to access the Temporary Foreign Worker program after Ottawa decided to back away from a proposed ban. Ottawa had released draft regulations in June that proposed to ban employers from using the program if they have at least one conviction from a list of criminal offences. But the final version of the regulations, which took effect on Dec. 31, removed that provision. ()

* The prospect of liquefied natural gas plants being built in northwestern British Columbia has sent assessed values for residential properties soaring in the region. ()

Reports in the business section:

* BlackBerry Ltd has snuffed out its partnership with the Girl on Fire. The Waterloo, Ontario company said Thursday it is parting ways with singer and celebrity Alicia Keys on Jan. 30, one year after she took on the role of "global creative director" to accompany the launch of the BlackBerry 10 smartphone. ()

* The province of Quebec formally linked its cap-and-trade system with California's market on Thursday, as the two jurisdictions plow ahead with ambitious plans to put an escalating price on carbon in order to reduce emissions. ()

* Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd has agreed to sell the western end of its Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern railway in the United States for about $210 million. The buyer is Genesee & Wyoming Inc, which operates short-line and regional freight railways in the United States, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and Belgium. ()

* Calgary based TransCanada Corp said Thursday it has bought Mississippi Mills in eastern Ontario from Canadian Solar Solutions Inc as part of the ongoing expansion of its presence in the renewable energy sector.()


* Canada's auditor general has notified senators that a sweeping probe of their spending may include visits to their homes, and that they could be interviewed under oath in "exceptional circumstances." The details are laid out in documents auditor general Michael Ferguson's office provided to senators in November about the comprehensive audit of Senate expenses. ()

* The Opposition says Alberta's governing Progressive Conservative party should be forced to repay more than C$1 million ($939,900) in taxpayer money spent on signs touting building projects in the province. The Wildrose party says the signs, in hues similar to Tory colors and featuring Premier Alison Redford's name, are nothing more than partisan political advertising. ()


* The Canada Revenue Agency is planning to cut auditors at the same time it acknowledges difficulty in tracking and collecting billions of dollars in unreported income from domestic and international tax evasion. ()

* Simmering disputes over the oil sands between Alberta aboriginals and the provincial and federal governments will break into the open in 2014 as virtually every one of the many recent changes in oversight of the controversial industry comes under legal and political attack. ()