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GM to seek US court protection from ignition lawsuits

General Motors plans to ask a bankruptcy court to rule that it is protected from lawsuits potentially worth billions of dollars arising from faulty ignitions tied to 13 deaths and numerous crashes. In a federal court filing, GM said it plans to ask the New York court which oversaw its 2009 bankruptcy to determine whether it can be sued for liabilities arising from the company's operations pre-bankruptcy. The bankruptcy reorganization, which came after the US government rescued the largest US automaker the previous year, split the company into "Old GM" and "New GM."

Supermarket chain Metro reports Q2 profit of $96.9 million, sales rise 1.7%

MONTREAL - Supermarket chain Metro beat analyst expectations as it benefited during the second quarter from a "slight" increase in its prices for the first time in a year. The Montreal-based company earned $96.9 million in the period ended March 15, down from $362.7 million a year ago when Metro had a $266.4 million gain from the partial sale of its investment in convenience store chain Alimentation Couche-Tard (TSX:ATD.B).

Most actively traded companies on the TSX, TSX Venture Exchange

TORONTO - Some of the most active companies traded Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the TSX Venture Exchange: Toronto Stock Exchange (14,303.92 up 19.49 points): Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Aerospace. Down two cents, or 0.49 per cent, to $4.10 on 10.1 million shares. Osisko Mining Corp. (TSX:OSK). Miner. Down 20 cents, or 2.62 per cent, to $7.43 on 7.5 million shares. Twin Butte Energy Ltd. (TSX:TBE). Oil and gas. Down seven cents, or 2.81 per cent, to $2.42 on 4.8 million shares.

Oliver names investment banker, long-time Conservative as chief of staff

OTTAWA - Recently-appointed Finance Minister Joe Oliver has gone to Bay Street for his chief of staff. Dan Nowlan, a long-standing Conservative who until last November was the co-head of CIBC equity capital markets, was named the minister's chief of staff on Tuesday, making him the minister's top adviser. The two share similar private sector backgrounds with solid Bay Street credentials, Oliver having worked with Merrill Lynch and later as director of the Ontario Securities Commission.

Poloz expected to keep optimism on Canadian economy in check, dollar weak

OTTAWA - Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz has had a good run of it lately. In the central bank version of the children's boast "look ma, no hands," the first year governor has made the Canadian dollar disappear — 10 per cent of its value, at least — while keeping his hands firmly in pocket. Analysts anticipate more of the same Wednesday when the bank is expected to announce - for the 29th consecutive time dating back to September 2010 - that it is leaving its trendsetting overnight interest rate at one per cent.

Loonie lower ahead of rate announcement;greenback rises on China nervousness

TORONTO - The Canadian dollar closed lower Tuesday, a day ahead of the Bank of Canada's latest announcement on interest rates. The currency fell 0.2 of a cent to 91.1 cents US with no change expected in key rates. "We see no move in the bank's official bias (still firmly neutral) or in the overnight rate target (expected to remain pegged at one per cent as it has since September 2010) but a modestly less dovish tone," said Mark Chandler, head of Canadian FIC strategy at RBC Dominion Securities.

Morgentaler Clinic says abortion lawsuit against New Brunswick being dropped

FREDERICTON - Dr. Henry Morgentaler's 12-year court battle to force New Brunswick to pay for abortions at clinics may be over as the manager of one of his facilities said Tuesday the case is being dropped. Simone Leibovitch, manager of the Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton, said the lawyer handling the lawsuit has been instructed to discontinue it. Morgentaler launched the suit in 2002. But it was stalled by procedural motions and an appeal, and when he died last May, the case was in limbo.

Desmarais brothers' compensation surged 35 per cent to $7.7 million each in 2013

MONTREAL - Power Corp. is urging its shareholders to once again reject a proposal that would allowing them a say on the way its top executives are paid. The shareholder rights group MEDAC is urging the Montreal-based firm (TSX:POW) to conduct an advisory vote by shareholders, as scores of companies do including Canada's large banks. A similar proposal last year was rejected.

Oil falls below $104 ahead of talks on Ukraine crisis

The price of oil fell Tuesday ahead of talks in Switzerland that might help defuse tension between the West and Russia over Ukraine. Benchmark U.S. crude for May delivery was down 68 cents to US$103.39 at 0650 GMT in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 31 cents to close Monday at $104.05. Officials from the U.S., Russia, Ukraine and the European Union are set to meet in Geneva on Thursday for negotiations aimed at persuading Russia to back off in Ukraine following its annexation of Crimea.

Most actively traded companies on the TSX, TSX Venture Exchange

TORONTO - Some of the most active companies traded Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the TSX Venture Exchange: Toronto Stock Exchange (14,284.43 up 26.74 points): Twin Butte Energy Ltd. (TSX:TBE). Oil and gas. Up 11 cents, or 4.62 per cent, to $2.49 on 44.8 million shares. Osisko Mining Corp. (TSX:OSK). Miner. Up nine cents, or 1.19 per cent, to $7.63 on 9.4 million shares. Fortis Inc. (TSX:FTS.IR). Utilities. Up 20 cents, or 0.56 per cent, to $35.80 on 6.6 million shares.
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