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No immediate end to truckers strike despite proposal from port, governments

VANCOUVER - Vancouver's container terminals continue to operate at reduced capacity due to a strike by port truckers, despite a proposal aimed at ending the dispute. The federal and B.C. governments and Port Metro Vancouver have announced a 14-point proposal designed to bring the strike to an end by making changes in a number of areas, including how truckers are paid. But there has so far been no formal response from either Unifor, which represents unionized truckers, or the United Truckers Association of B.C., a group representing non-unionized workers.

Vancouver home sales in February up from year ago, real estate board says

VANCOUVER - Home sales in Vancouver picked up in February compared with both January and the same month a year ago, coming in 2,530, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says. Sales through the board's Multiple Listing Service were up more than 40 per cent from 1,797 a year ago and from 1,760 in January this year. "Homebuyer demand picked up in February, which is consistent with typical seasonal patterns in our housing market," said Sandra Wyant, president of the Vancouver board. February sales were in line with the city's 10-year average for the month of 2,547.

Vancouver, three Canadian cities ranked top in North America for quality of life

MONTREAL - Canadian cities, led by Vancouver, dominate North America's Top Five list for quality of life, according to a survey issued by global business consultant Mercer. Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal took the next three spots, followed by San Francisco, according to the 2014 Mercer Quality of Living rankings. The only weakness in ranking Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal compared with Vancouver was their harsher winters, said Luc Lalonde, a principal at Mercer Canada.

Vancouver, three Canadian cities ranked top in North America for quality of life

MONTREAL - A new survey shows that four Canadian cities - led by Vancouver - are the the highest ranking in North America for quality of life. Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal take the next three places respectively in the 2014 Mercer Quality of Living rankings. San Francisco was fifth. Vancouver's mild climate is credited at moving it to the top of the list in North America, and fifth spot overall in the world. The study also looks at such factors as political stability, crime statistics, public services, recreation and climate.

Alleged rioter denies beating Good Samaritan during Vancouver's Stanley Cup riot

VANCOUVER - An alleged rioter has denied in court any involvement in the beating of a man who tried to protect a downtown Vancouver department store during the Stanley Cup riot. Carlos Barahona Villeda says during cross-examination that Robert MacKay came towards him and others with a pole outside the Bay, and people in the crowd starting beating MacKay. Barahona Villeda says one of his friends punched MacKay, but he insists that he himself never touched the man.

Olympics: Bleak house for Vancouver village people

Kyle Parker and his wife Yumi Imano were among the first to move into a new condo in Vancouver's Olympic Village after 2,100 athletes vacated the neighborhood specially-built for the 2010 Winter Games. For years, they counted few neighbors as many of the 600 units in the ocean-front community on the edge of downtown and a stone's throw from the city's Olympic Stadium remained unsold and vacant. "It was really quiet, like a ghost town," Kyle told AFP.

Vancouver home sales up 30.3% in January from last year; prices 3.2% higher

VANCOUVER - Home sales in the Vancouver region for January were up 30.3 per cent compared with the same month a year ago, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. The board says sales through its multiple listing service totalled 1,760 for the month, up from 1,351 in January 2013. However, sales were down 9.9 per cent from 1,953 in December 2013. The board noted that January sales were 7.2 per cent above the 10-year average for the month.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford reportedly ticketed for jaywalking in Vancouver

VANCOUVER - Rob Ford has travelled to Vancouver but controversy has followed the embattled Toronto mayor. Media reports say Ford was ticketed for jaywalking Friday night. The Toronto Sun quoted Ford as saying he was walking across the street near his hotel when an officer told him he had crossed on a red light and had jaywalked and was being ticketed for $109. RCMP would not immediately comment to The Canadian Press about the reports, but Global News quoted a witness who said he saw the mayor ticketed. A spokesman for Ford could not immediately be reached for comment.

Mexico "angry" with in-custody death of citizen, says consul general

VANCOUVER - The Mexican government is "quite angry" after one of its citizens died last month while in the custody of the Canada Border Services Agency, the country's consul general in Vancouver said Friday. Claudia Franco said her government is also calling for a thorough investigation into the tragedy. Lucia Vega Jimenez, 42, was found hanging in a shower stall in a holding cell at Vancouver's airport on Dec. 20, and died in hospital a week later.

Toronto home sales in December up from year ago, real estate board says

TORONTO - December home sales in Toronto were up almost 14 per cent compared with a year earlier, the Toronto Real Estate Board said Monday. The board said sales through its multiple listings service totalled 4,078 for the month, up from 3,582 in December 2012. Sales for all of 2013 totalled 87,111, up about two per cent compared with 85,496 in 2012. "After a slow start to the year, sales growth accelerated to a brisk pace in the second half of 2013," Toronto Real Estate Board president Dianne Usher said.
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