PRESS DIGEST-Canada-Oct 12

Oct 12 (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 days of France's leaders leaning publicly toward Canadian unity appear to be gone. The country's new government says its approach will be non-interference in Quebec's affairs, and gave no sign it will laud unity.

The former French president Nicolas Sarkozy had broken with tradition by taking sides in the Canadian national unity debate, suggesting that Quebec sovereigntists are an insular movement that is sowing division. But the new government of François Hollande appears to be reverting to the cagey neutrality of the past.

* Canada's financial sector fought a losing battle to stop the national banking regulator from restricting the amount that homeowners can borrow on a home equity line of credit, documents obtained by The Globe and Mail show.

Several members of the industry argued not only that borrowers with good credit would be hurt by the new rules, but also that the regulator's crackdown could prompt banks to issue riskier kinds of loans - such as unsecured lines of credit - to keep their customers.

Reports in the business section:

* The Canadian Broadcasting Corp will lose millions of dollars a year on its free music service for the foreseeable future, as the high cost of content surpasses the advertising revenue the service earns.

CBC Music was launched in February just as the broadcaster was bracing for deep budget cuts that would lead to the loss of 650 jobs and prompt the CBC to request permission to sell advertising on its Radio 2 service.

* Canada's western energy powerhouses are feeling the chill from sluggish natural gas markets.

Sales activity at British Columbia's auction for exploration rights nearly ground to a halt in September, while Alberta and Saskatchewan are being pinched as energy companies scale back their budgets for targeting new natural gas prospects.


* Quebec's opposition is accusing the new Parti Québécois government of planning to turn the province's schools into political assembly lines for churning out supporters.

It reacted angrily to news Thursday that the PQ will decrease English instruction on its list of priorities and increase teaching the history of Quebec's sovereignty movement.

* For six days last week, Calgary mom Jessica Stilwell staged a quiet anti-housework strike in her home - the place devolving into domestic chaos as she simply stopped picking up after her three daughters, whom she jokingly called her "basement trolls" on the blog she kept of her progress called "Crazy Working Mom".

Now, Stilwell is getting international attention for her cheeky experiment, as a hero for doing what many parents dream they could and also reviled for not making her children do their chores much earlier.


* Claude Mongeau, Canadian National Railway Co chief executive, reached out to his largest customers this week in a letter attempting to enlist their help in the railroad's ongoing fight to prevent new regulations on the industry. In it, he argues that while the new regulations are aimed at improving service, they may in fact do the opposite.

His message was met, however, with skepticism from shippers, who deemed it simply a last-ditch effort to stave off the new regulations Ottawa has promised in the coming months.

* CNOOC Ltd executives crafted their $15.1-billion takeover bid for Nexen Inc to pass Canada's net benefit test for foreign acquisitions.

Yet no matter what they offered, the guidelines remain vaguely defined and open to broad interpretation. It makes the deal subject to any number of biases and political motivations.

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