North Shore residents left in lurch after townhome complex sold

Finding a rental home that fits four growing boys isn’t easy.

That’s why Jenn Ohlhauser is glad her family is living in a large unit at the Emery Village townhouse complex in Lynn Valley.

“The thing about older units is that they’re larger and so having that larger space is good for families to grow up in,” she said.

She is not sure how much longer she will be in her spacious home now that the 65-unit complex has been bought up by a developer.

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READ MORE: B.C. real estate firm faces licence conditions

“My neighbours and I, we probably won’t be market housing material, so where will we go?” she asked.

The district’s rental vacancy rate is about 0.7 per cent and tenants say three and four-bedroom units are nearly impossible to find.

“A three-bedroom unit in the future is likely going to be significantly different than a three-bedroom townhouse with two levels that was built 50 years ago,” District of North Vancouver Mayor Richard Walton said.

READ MORE: ‘I’ve never seen anything like it’: House price gains in Fraser Valley now rival Vancouver

Mosaic, the Vancouver-based company that bought Emery Village, said there are no immediate plans to develop the lands.

“We will continue to get to know our Emery Village residents, ensuring they are well communicated with,” Mosaic’s Geoff Duyker said in a statement. “We are committed to assisting residents through any future changes at Emery Village.”

Walton said Emery Village residents will have options if they have to move.

“There are places being built,” he said.

Ohlhauser is skeptical.

“I don’t know where everybody will go with such a low vacancy rate,” she said.

– With files from John Hua

Most voters unenthusiastic about the presidential field

WASHINGTON – Most American voters are enthusiastic at best about the 2016 field of presidential candidates in both parties.

That’s according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll, which shows that a majority of Americans believe none of the remaining candidates for president represents their opinions at least somewhat well.

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At least half of Americans say they would be disappointed or even angry if either of the front-runners — Donald Trump for the Republicans or Hillary Clinton for the Democrats — are nominated, the survey shows. And a quarter said they would be disappointed or angry if both win nominations. Still another quarter would feel at best neutral if both are nominated.

Among all registered voters, 63 per cent say they wouldn’t consider voting for Trump and half say the same about Clinton.

READ MORE: Ted Cruz mocks Trump’s complaints on GOP, Democratic nominating process

About one-fifth of those surveyed say they’d either probably or definitely vote for a third-party candidate if Trump and Clinton are the nominees.

Roland Bauer, 64, a retiree from Winter Springs, Florida, doesn’t plan to vote if Clinton and Trump are nominated. “I don’t trust politicians,” he says. “Everybody is on the take.”

Bruce Bertsch, a libertarian and retired human resources director from San Diego, says the public’s lukewarm reaction to the major-party hopefuls doesn’t come from disinterest or apathy — quite the opposite. Here’s how his friends and family see the candidates:

“Hillary Clinton is a liar. Donald Trump is an idiot. And Bernie (Sanders)? He’s an old fool,” Bertsch, 78, said by telephone Monday. To Bertsch, the Republican and Democratic competitors look like this: “The Democrats want to spend my money. The Republicans want to tell me how to live my life — and then spend my money.”

READ MORE: Cruz ready for contested New York primary despite trailing Trump by double-digits

The AP-GfK poll suggests the general election, after the parties name nominees, will be less about emotional appeals and inspiration and more about getting actual voters to cast votes before the end of Election Day. It’s what insiders call the “ground game.” And much of it is played over the airwaves at enormous expense.

“In the general election, it’s an air war,” said former Republican strategist Rich Galen, author of a political blog. “The goal is to get not only your people out to vote, but to get these people who are maybe sitting on the sidelines excited enough to come out and join the game.”

Even within their own parties, neither Trump nor Clinton generates much enthusiasm. Only 26 per cent of Democratic voters say they’d be excited about Clinton being their nominee, and 27 per cent say they’d be satisfied. Another 23 per cent would feel neutral, 19 per cent would be disappointed and 5 per cent would be angry, the poll found.

Trump fares even worse among Republican voters, with 19 per cent saying they’d be enthusiastic, 19 per cent satisfied, 20 per cent neutral, 25 per cent disappointed and 16 per cent angry.

READ MORE: New York proving to be a critical battleground state for both parties

Less than half of Americans say any of the remaining candidates, including Vermont Sen. Sanders, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz or Ohio Gov. John Kasich, comes close to representing their opinions on the issues.

And in a year dominated by Trump-generated theatrics and the billionaire businessman’s so-far scant policy details, substance matters, most voters say. Nearly 9 in 10 Americans call a candidate’s positions on the issues extremely or very important to them.

Among all the remaining candidates, only Sanders, Clinton’s Democratic rival, generates significantly more positive than negative ratings from Americans, with 48 per cent saying they have a favourable opinion of him and 39 per centunfavourable. He’s also the only candidate described by a majority of Americans as at least somewhat likable, civil, honest and compassionate.

Nearly 7 in 10 Americans have an unfavourable view of Trump, nearly 6-in-10 have an unfavourable view of Cruz and a majority — 55 per cent — have an unfavourable view of Clinton, according to the poll.

Americans are fairly evenly divided on Kasich, with 34 per cent expressing a favourable view and 31 per cent an unfavourable one. Another 34 per cent still don’t know enough about him to say.

The AP-GfK Poll of 1,076 adults used a sample drawn from GfK’s probability-based KnowledgePanel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.

Respondents were first selected randomly using telephone or mail survey methods and later interviewed online. People selected for KnowledgePanel who didn’t otherwise have access to the Internet were provided access at no cost to them.

Former home of Alvin and Kathryn Liknes demolished

A home in southwest Calgary, formerly occupied by a couple who police say were murdered along with their grandson, has now been demolished.

The house that once belonged to Alvin and Kathryn Liknes, became a crime scene after they disappeared along with their five-year-old grandson, Nathan O’Brien, in June of 2014.

The couple had been having their grandson over for a sleepover but when O’Brien’s mother came to pick him up the next day, the trio had vanished.

The case shocked people across Canada and around the world and an Amber Alert was issued that lasted for weeks.

READ MORE: Timeline: Missing Calgary family Nathan O’Brien, Alvin and Kathryn Liknes

The home was located in the 100 block of 38A Avenue S.W.

A southwest Calgary home that became a crime scene following the 2014 disappearance of Alvin and Kathryn Liknes and their grandson, has been demolished.

A southwest Calgary home that became a crime scene following the 2014 disappearance of Alvin and Kathryn Liknes and their grandson, has been demolished.

Loren Andreae/ Global News

A southwest Calgary home that became a crime scene following the 2014 disappearance of Alvin and Kathryn Liknes and their grandson, has been demolished

Loren Andreae/ Global News

A southwest Calgary home that became a crime scene following the 2014 disappearance of Alvin and Kathryn Liknes and their grandson, has been demolished

Loren Andreae/ Global News

A southwest Calgary home that became a crime scene following the 2014 disappearance of Alvin and Kathryn Liknes and their grandson, has been demolished

Loren Andreae/ Global News

A southwest Calgary home that became a crime scene following the 2014 disappearance of Alvin and Kathryn Liknes and their grandson, has been demolished.

Loren Andreae/ Global News

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    Douglas Garland appears in court, friends of Liknes family launch trust fund

    Following an investigation, police confirmed a ‘violent incident’ had taken place in the Liknes home.

    READ MORE: Accused triple murderer Douglas Garland’s trial to begin in 2017

    Douglas Garland has been ordered to stand trial for three counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of the Liknes couple and O’Brien.

    Garland’s trial is set to begin in January 2017.

    READ MORE: Police believed Liknes couple, Nathan O’Brien ‘likely murdered’ within 1st hours of investigation

    The bodies were never found.

    The home was sold before the trio disappeared. Family confirmed the buyers had always planned the demolition for a future infill.

    The demolition began on Friday and crews are still working away on the concrete foundation.

Feds to crack down on tax dodgers, looking to recoup $2.6 billion

OTTAWA – The Canada Revenue Agency is boosting its efforts to hunt down tax dodgers – including those who shelter cash offshore – under an expanded plan expected to recoup $2.6 billion in unpaid taxes over the next five years.

The agency shared some specifics Monday on how it will improve detection, auditing and prosecution of tax cheaters with help from a five-year, $444-million government commitment – an investment nearly one-sixth of the anticipated return.

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“We really want to put the axe into everything that touches tax evasion,” Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier told a news conference in Ottawa.

“There are people today, I imagine, who must be nervous.”

Details of the agency’s plan follow media reports on the so-called Panama Papers, some 11.5 million records leaked from a Panamanian law firm that shed light on the use of offshore tax havens around the world.

The extra government funding to fight tax evaders was announced in last month’s budget.

Under the plan, Ottawa will intensify its detection work abroad by examining all international funds transfers over $10,000 to and from Canada. So far, the agency said it has already collected information on all such exchanges since January 2015.

WATCH: NDP wonders what steps Trudeau government will take to crack down on overseas tax evasion following ‘Panama Papers’ release

The agency will also zero in on four selected international jurisdictions this year for deeper scrutiny.

The first place on the list is the Isle of Man, which saw $860 million worth of electronic transfers with Canada over a 12-month period. The agency said it has assessed the risk for all 3000 transactions involving about 350 individual taxpayers and 400 companies.

Lebouthillier declined to release the names of the other three jurisdictions that will go under the microscope. She said she didn’t want to tip off tax dodgers and give them the opportunity to transfer their offshore assets to avoid being caught.

READ MORE: Following leaked Panama Papers, Ottawa to study ‘tax gap’

The agency will also launch a special program aimed at stopping groups that create and promote tax evasion and tax avoidance schemes for the wealthy. It said it will be able to increase its investigations of such schemes 12-fold.

The government investment will allow the agency to hire more auditors and specialists, who will focus on “high-risk” individuals and multinational corporations.

“It’s unthinkable and it’s also intolerable that people can pay specialists to allow them to evade taxes,” Lebouthillier said.

“There are people who defraud the government, who do not pay their part.”

Her agency also reiterated that it will begin its work to estimate the so-called “tax gap,” the difference between what is owed in taxes and what is actually collected.

Lebouthillier has indicated Canada will work with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, which uses the tax gap measure to help develop policies that target tax evaders.

She said she will attend an OECD meeting this week in Paris that will address the issue of tax shelters. Ottawa plans to collaborate with international partners on the matter.

Lebouthillier also announced that a new advisory committee has been created to explore the issue of offshore tax evasion and aggressive tax planning.

The committee will be made up of seven experts and chaired by Western University law professor Colin Campbell. The vice-chair will be Dalhousie University professor Kimberly Brooks.

Investigators visit Panama Papers law firm’s office

PANAMA CITY – Panamanian prosecutors visited the offices of the Mossack Fonseca law firm Monday to look into its allegations that a computer hacker was behind the leak of a trove of financial documents about tax havens the firm set up to benefit influential people around the globe.

Public ministry spokeswoman Sandra Sotillo said the visit to the offices of Mossack Fonseca was made by investigators from the intellectual property prosecutor’s office.

WATCH: NDP wonders what steps Trudeau government will take to crack down on overseas tax evasion following ‘Panama Papers’ release

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The firm filed a complaint charging the security breach shortly before media reports appeared last week using the documents to detail how politicians, celebrities and companies around the globe were hiding assets in offshore bank accounts and anonymous shell companies.

“Finally the real criminals are being investigated,” firm co-founder Ramon Fonseca said in a message to The Associated Press.

Fonseca has maintained that the only crime which can be taken from the leak was the computer hack itself. He has said he suspects the hack originated outside Panama, possibly in Europe, but has not given any details.

Panama’s government has said it will co-operate with any judicial investigation arising from the documents.

READ MORE: Panama Papers: Law firm regularly used name of Red Cross to hide money

Some critics of the government have called for a rapid investigation of the law firm, which is one of the most important in the world for creating overseas front companies.

Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela has defended the country’s financial sector, which is considered of strategic importance for the economy. But Varela has also promised the international community that he is willing to make reforms to make the sector more transparent.

Saving the Famine Irish exhibit comes to Montreal

MONTREAL – It is a story of survival and compassion.

“Saving the Famine Irish: The Grey Nuns and the Great Hunger,” hosted by the Montreal Irish Monument Park Foundation, is playing at the Centaur Theatre from April 11 until April 17.

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    The exhibit comes from Connecticut’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University, which hosted the exhibition from March 17, 2015 until March 17, 2016.

    The exhibit tells the story of the Grey Nuns, who helped sick Irish immigrants landing in Quebec after they fled the famine during the summer of 1847.

    “The story of the Grey Nuns and of the other religious orders who helped the dying Irish immigrants is one of kindness, compassion and true charity,” said Christine Kinealy, founding director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac.

    Kinealy is also one of the curators of the exhibit.

    “Nonetheless, almost 6,000 Irish immigrants perished in the fever sheds of Montreal,” she said.

    “They had fled from famine in Ireland only to die of fever in Canada. This is a remarkable story that deserves to be better known.”

    READ MORE: Montreal’s Irish community remembers Black ’47

    The foundation hopes the exhibit will help highlight the Black Rock monument – an engraved boulder that sits under Montreal’s Victoria Bridge in commemoration of the Irish famine victims.

    The foundation would like to  see the monument become a green space and cultural park to honour those who perished, as well as the people who helped them during the trying times.

Family of Oakridge home invasion victim speaks out as questions surround person of interest

Five days after a brutal attack, police continue to watch the Hayer family home in Vancouver’s Oakridge neighbourhood.

Inside, Jasbinder Hayer recovers from an attempted home invasion.

“She’s suffering, she’s 86 years old. But we’re lucky she survived,” son Gurpreet Hayer told Global News.

Police say Jason Anthony White is a person of interest in the assault that left the elderly woman with a broken hand.

White has 34 convictions to his name and spent eight years in jail for violently sexually assaulting a 74-year-old woman.

WATCH: Convicted sex offender arrested near UBC

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The courts recognized he was at high risk of committing more offences, but he was released anyway.

“It’s this incredible hypocrisy in the system,” Angela Marie MacDougall of Battered Women’s Support Services said. “On one hand the system recognizes how dangerous this man is. On the other hand, we’ll let him go and it’ll be an experiment — truly gambling with the lives of girls and women.”

White was designated a dangerous offender, a status that could have kept him in jail for life. But he appealed and won because — despite his lengthy criminal history — there was no evidence proving White couldn’t be controlled in the community.

“They just had to put some evidence before the court for the court to consider,” lawyer Paul Doroshenko said. “The court might have rejected that evidence or accepted that evidence, but it was a failure to put that evidence before the court that led to the court of appeal overturning the original decision for dangerous offender status.”

White was arrested on UBC’s Point Grey campus over the weekend after he breached a condition of his release. The Hayer family said he never should have been let out of jail. They have high praise for police, but feel the justice system let them down.

“This kind of guy, they should be keeping him inside somewhere,” said Gurpreet Hayer. “The system is soft. The judge should keep an eye on this guy.”

Experts say it will take another serious crime before White can be considered a dangerous offender again.

– With files from Tanya Beja

Real or fake? Snowboarder says she captured video of bear chase without knowing

Kelly Murphy’s snowboarding video is unbelievable. The YouTube user — reportedly a 19-year-old student from Sydney, Australia — posted footage of a bear chasing her down a slope in at the Hakuba 47 ski resort in Japan.

Murphy claims she captured the shocking chase without even knowing.

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“OMG! I was going through my snowboarding videos and I found a bear chasing me!!! I nearly got eaten!!!,” she said in the description of the video posted online Apr. 10. “Be careful people!!!”

WATCH: Playful gray whale entertains beach-goers in California surf

The video begins with Murphy on her own at the top of a hill, strapping on her snowboard. Her friends were taking a lesson, she told the Telegraph, so she hit the slope by herself.

“I’ve been snowboarding since I was a kid so I felt safe,” she said.

The footage, apparently recorded with a small camera attached to the end of a selfie stick, shows Murphy wearing headphones and mumbling the words to Rihanna’s song Work — which is presumably why she can’t hear the ferocious grunts of a large bear charging towards her.

The bear is seen chasing Murphy down the hill. As she weaves back-and-forth, her apparent hunter moves in-and-out of the camera’s frame. Fortunately, the beast never catches up with her and the 77-second video ends with Murphy blissfully unaware that she might have been attacked lunch.

Within hours of its posting, Murphy’s video was capturing international headlines and attention.

But it wasn’t long before social media sleuths started crying “fake.”

One 老域名怎么购买 user pointed out that, in one frame of the video, the bear’s back appears to split in half, as though part of the image is missing.

Others suggested that it looked more like a brown bear, which inhabit Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, some 800 kilometres north of Hakuba. Asiatic black bears, however, are known to frequent the village of Hakuba in in the summer and they can be aggressive.

In the absence of firm evidence, an online debate raged over the video’s authenticity.

Global News asked some experts to weigh-in.

David McKay spent six years with the RCMP and now runs a video forensic analysis firm in Vancouver. He said, without the original raw video, it’s impossible to know whether the video is authentic.

“[But] where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” he said. “Our eyes are pretty complex. And if we can visually look at something, and something just doesn’t feel right or just doesn’t seem right, that’s probably the case.”

He said the video’s resolution, contrast and even the audio are questionable.

“Where that animal was compared to the camera, I don’t think you could pick up that type of sound,” he said, referring to the bear’s audible grunts. “It seemed very crisp and clear, and you probably wouldn’t have that audio resolution on a video like that.”

WATCH: Police pursue Chihuahua in low-speed chase on San Francisco Bay Bridge

“It would be entirely possible to create this (video) in your bedroom, relatively easily,” says Vancouver-based visual effects artist Conrad Olson. “The low contrast, fast movements and snow surface make it easier to get the interaction with the ground correct.”

Olson explained there are websites where you can buy pre-made 3-D animal models. “So it’s pretty easy to create that, especially at that distance.”

McKay said the snowboarding video reminds him of another — a 2012 video of an eagle swooping down and snatching a toddler from a Montreal park. That viral video horrified millions, before being revealed as a hoax by three Canadian animation students.

Whether this latest video proves to be another prank, social media can’t bear to wait.

Prior to the bear chase video, Murphy had only posted two other videos on her YouTube page — both videos of her snowboarding, uploaded five days earlier.

Follow @JeffSempleGN

Former Sask. Huskie Donovan Dale ready to prove he belongs in the CFL

SASKATOON – Donovan Dale is sick of being told that he isn’t good enough. When he went undrafted at the 2015 CFL Draft, he used the snub as motivation and went on to have his best season in the CIS. Dale was a monster on the defensive line for the Saskatchewan Huskies in 2015, registering eight sacks in eight games.

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    “Luckily because I’ve been busting my butt, I’ve been able to put forward some really good seasons which have turned some heads and got teams interested,” said Dale

    The Ottawa Redblacks certainly took notice, as they signed the three time Canada West All-Star to his first CFL contract in late March.

    “I feel very vindicated now, getting that next shot,” said Dale. “I believe that hard work always pays off.”

    READ MORE: Saskatchewan SWAT excited for debut in top junior division

    Dale’s a busy man these days. In the morning, he’s in the gym pushing his body to the limit in preparation for his first CFL season. During the day, he’s at the University of Saskatchewan, working towards obtaining his Masters in Kinesiology. At night, he’s back at the gym for four to five hours, coaching high performance athletes.

    His favourite part of these long and exhausting days, is coming home to see his wife Charissa and their newborn baby girl Evie.

    “I think my wife would agree with me that I’m definitely better at the snuggling and getting the baby to sleep,” says Dale as he turns to Charissa and smiles. “I take great pride in that for sure.”

    By signing a deal with the Redblacks, Dale is close to achieving his lifelong goal of playing pro football. The next step is actually making the team. In order to accomplish that feat, Donovan will be spending more time in the gym, and less time with his family. It’s not not an ideal situation, but Donovan says that his wife, Charissa has been tremendous throughout this whole process.

    “She’s definitely my rock.” said Dale. “She’s been 100 per cent supportive of me the entire time.”

    Dale has excelled at every level in his football career. He was a stand out player with the CJFL’s Saskatoon Hilltops, and a three time Canada West All-Star while playing CIS football. This summer, Donovan is out to prove that he has what it takes to thrive in the CFL.

Survey says 1,267 UFOs sighted in Canada in 2015, Quebec leads way

WINNIPEG – The 2015 Canadian UFO Survey says Quebec leads the country when it comes to sightings of unidentified flying objects.

The annual survey by Winnipeg-based Ufology Research was released Monday and says last year had the second-largest number of sightings in the last three decades, with 1,267.

The year with the most UFO reports — a whopping 1,981 — was 2012, which was also supposed to be the year the world ended, according to the Mayan calendar.

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READ MORE: Argentines gather for international intergalactic alien festival

Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland reported more UFO sightings last year than the year before, but Quebec alone is responsible for about 35 per cent of all reports in 2015.

That’s way up from previous years, when Quebec’s percentage was between five and 15 per cent.

READ MORE: Man uses selfie stick to record space debris crossing daytime sky in Thailand

There were 97 reports in Montreal alone, followed by 78 in Toronto and 69 in Vancouver; Edmonton was a distant fourth with just 36 sightings.

The study said the typical sighting lasts about 16 minutes and more than half of the reports were of simple lights in the sky.

WATCH: A UFO in Lumby? Unusual lights captured on video

The study noted the number of reported UFO sightings remains high and suggested several reasons why, including more secret military flights, better access to reporting sightings, or “even that the downturn in the economy is leading to an increased desire by some people to look skyward for assistance.”

The study also acknowledged “there is no incontrovertible evidence that some UFO cases involve extraterrestrial contact. The continued reporting of UFOs by the public and the yearly increase in numbers of UFO reports suggests a need for further examination of the phenomenon by social, medical and/or physical scientists.”