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PRESS DIGEST-Canada-Oct 5

Oct 5 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories from selected Canadian newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

* XL Foods, the Alberta beef packer at the center of a massive recall, is taking full responsibility for the tainted product as questions mount over why Canadian officials let the company's plant operate for two weeks after the U.S. deemed the meat unfit to cross the border.

The company acknowledged its food-safety practices were "not enough" and said it would work with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to strengthen them.

* Quebec's ever-expanding corruption scandal has reached into the home and headquarters of a mayor long considered untouchable.

About 70 investigators from the province's anti-corruption squad descended on Laval City Hall and the home of Mayor Gilles Vaillancourt on Thursday, seizing documents and databases related to contracts handed out by Quebec's fastest-growing big city.

Reports in the business section:

* The federal New Democratic Party formally disapproved of CNOOC Ltd's U.S. $15.1 billion offer to acquire Calgary's Nexen Inc , aiming to widen opposition to China's plan to secure a major foothold in the oil sands.

* Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce , the country's fifth-largest bank by assets, has unveiled an ambitious plan to expand its banking hours by doubling the number of locations open on Sunday, to 107. That will put CIBC squarely in second place, after Toronto-Dominion Bank , which has made weekend banking hours a key part of its strategy.

The strategy for the banks is to lure customers from competitors who aren't open every day, betting that Canadians are too time pressed to do their banking during the week.

NATIONAL POST

* Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz has faced intense criticism from opposition parties about the extensive recall of beef products sparked by an E. coli scare at an XL Foods plant in Alberta, but Thursday was the first day this week he faced his critics inside the House of Commons.

NDP leader Thomas Mulcair demanded he resign over the largest beef recall in Canadian history.

* Canada is poised to claim ownership of a vast new expanse of undersea territory beyond its Atlantic and Arctic coasts that's greater in size than Quebec and equal to about 20 percent of the country's surface area.

The huge seabed land grab has been in the works since 1994, when federal scientists first conducted a "desktop study" of Canada's potential territorial expansion under a new UN treaty allowing nations to extend their offshore jurisdictions well past the current 200-nautical-mile limit of so-called "Exclusive Economic Zones" in coastal waters.

FINANCIAL POST

* SNC-Lavalin received renewed signs of confidence in its operations Thursday after being selected as the preferred bidder for a $1.4 billion B.C. transit project and winning a potash feasibility project in New Mexico.

A consortium headed by the Montreal-based engineering and construction giant has been tabbed by the B.C. government to design and build the Evergreen Line Rapid Transit project.

* Junior miner Sulliden Gold Corp has backed off plans to introduce a "milestone bonus" program, that would pay insiders for achieving expected goals on the way to developing its Shahuindo project in Peru. The plan, ended after a shareholder revolt, meant that they could receive large amounts of money well before reaching production.

(Compiled by Bangalore Newsroom +91 80 4135 5800; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780)

Keywords: PRESS DIGEST CANADA/

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