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PRESS DIGEST- Canada - Nov 19

Nov 19 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories from selected Canadian newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.


* Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's office is wading into the Rob Ford saga, avoiding specifics but calling the recent "allegations" against the Toronto mayor "troubling." ()

* Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi will not back down in the face of a $6 million defamation suit. On Monday, Nenshi responded to a suit filed by developer Cal Wenzel who was secretly recorded last year discussing a plan to defeat members of city council in the recent October election. ()

Reports in the business section:

* Kevin Crull, president of Bell Media, acknowledged that big TV bundles have become a "hot-button issue" for consumers, but warns there could be "unintended consequences" if Ottawa forces TV distributors to make dramatic changes to their business models. ()

* The consortium of multinationals that controls Ontario's beer retailing has published a study that suggests they are not making windfall profits because of prices that are sharply higher than in Quebec. ()


* Toronto council took unprecedented steps to neuter Rob Ford's mayoralty during another astonishing meeting that saw him get into a screaming match with residents. ()

* Canada's budget watchdog is asking MPs to get to the bottom of why the Harper government is spending billions less than it budgets for, or Parliament authorizes. ()


* With just a few moves, Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd has turned up the fire under Canada's tepid casual dining market. Fairfax's purchase of a 51 percent stake in Keg Restaurants Ltd on Monday comes just weeks after the Toronto investment firm bought a minority interest in Swiss Chalet owner Cara to spur a merger with its own Prime Restaurants. ()

* The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan took a big bite of one of the United Kingdom's major biscuit makers on Monday, buying the iconic Burton's Biscuit Company which produces the brands Wagon Wheels, Jammie Dodgers, and Cadbury Fingers under licence.