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PRESS DIGEST- Canada - Oct 3

Oct 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.


* Vehicle production in Canada is poised to slump by as much as 25 percent by 2020, as global automakers invest heavily in rival auto centers such as Mexico, the United States and other growing markets. ()

* Women's groups are reporting a spike in verbal and physical assaults against veiled Muslim women in Quebec since the introduction of the province's Charter of Values, evidence that the Parti Quebecois's bid to curb religious symbols in some workplaces is inflaming social tensions. ()

Reports in the business section:

* Interest among possible buyers of troubled smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd is heating up, despite revelations by the company that its business is in even worse shape than it disclosed last week. ()

* A majority of affluent Canadians say they are better off now than they were in pre-recession days, according to the results of a new survey. Fifty-four percent of high net worth individuals in a poll conducted for BMO Harris Private Banking said they felt more financially secure than they did before the 2008 downturn. ()


* Manitoba's aboriginal affairs minister rejected an initial draft apology for comments he made referring to ignorant white people, documents show. The documents, released under the province's freedom-of-information law, shed new light on the government's response to a controversy that erupted after Eric Robinson criticized a burlesque show fundraiser at the Osborne House women's shelter in Winnipeg. ()


* The Caisse de depot says it has boosted its leading stake in SNC-Lavalin Group Inc, a couple days after the engineering company announced plans to sell a portion of its AltaLink electricity transmission company. The Quebec pension fund manager says it holds nearly 15.5 million shares, or 10.2 percent stake, of SNC after adding 445,000 shares at an average price of C$44.44 ($42.98) per share. ()