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By Evan Duggan

VANCOUVER Cheap Sime Vrsaljko Jersey , Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- Voters in Vancouver who turned out in strong numbers Saturday have handed the Canadian west coast city's incumbent mayor Gregor Robertson a third straight term in office.

The 50-year-old mayor, running under the Vision Vancouver banner, defeated first-time candidate and former media manager Kirk LaPointe by more than 10,000 votes to secure another four years for his green agenda that has brought on several eco- friendly changes in the city.

Robertson, well known across Canada for his good looks and passion for the environment, called the victory a "humbling and exciting" experience at his downtown Vancouver victory celebration late Saturday night.

Observers had predicted a tighter race as complaints had been mounting in recent years that Robertson had forgone public consultation on high-density residential developments in what have been traditionally single-family neighborhoods around the city.

The criticism that Robertson and his Vision team had become too cozy with wealthy developers appears to have done little to slow his political momentum.

"Six years ago we took up the challenge of leading our city in an new direction Cheap Saul Niguez Jersey ," Robertson told his cheering supporters. "We took on the most important issues of our time -- homelessness, climate change, affordability. We committed to lead, not follow."

The mayor highlighted his green agenda and his goal to shift Vancouver's economy away from its reliance on natural resources toward more high-tech industries. "We have become one of the world 's greenest cities and are working our way to the top," he said. " Vancouver today is more fun, more vibrant and more creative than ever before."

An estimated 44 percent of voters turned out for the election Cheap Nicolas Gaitan Jersey , which also included the selection of the city's 10-member city council. Early indications after the polls closed was a voter turnout of 43.6 percent, a major upswing from the 2011 election which saw a meager 34.6 percent of voters cast ballots. The city's all-time high turnout came in 1934 when 55 percent of eligible residents took part in the city's election.

The poll result signals that Vancouver has become a bastion of liberal and social values that is at odds with the conservative ideology that has taken hold at the provincial and federal levels in British Columbia and Canada, said Maxwell Cameron, a professor of Political Science at the University of British Columbia.

"There is a very strong basis of pro-environmentalism and progressive voters in Vancouver," Cameron told Xinhua. "There are people here who are just not happy with the direction the country has gone in, and are not prepared to abandon their mayor at this point."

"It very much feels that what is going on in this civic election is the dry run for the next federal election Cheap Miguel Angel Moya Jersey ," he said.

Since 2008, Robertson has been seen as a politician with a fairly progressive agenda and has attempted to address housing affordability and homelessness, while also trying to build a more diverse economy, recruiting high-tech industries, rather than the "traditional staples of the Canadian economy," Cameron said.

Big-city elections in Canada often signal major political winds Cheap Luciano Vietto Jersey , but the actual power of a Canadian mayor is somewhat limited, Cameron said. "The mayor is the first among equals on city council, " he said, adding "Mayors don't really have a lot of authority beyond what a councilor has."

SYDNEY, April 25 (Xinhua) -- A controversial scheme that Australia's Victorian politicians rorted to take taxpayer funds they were not entitled to has been closed.

Daniel Andrews, the premier of Victoria Cheap Lucas Hernandez Jersey , announced the "sweeping" changes, under which the Members of Parliament (MPs) who had wrongly take the money would be forced to repay the money.

The government came under fire in March when it was revealed that House Speaker Telmo Languiller and his deputy Don Nardella had incorrectly used the second residence allowance intended for MPs who represent electorates in rural areas.

Under the reforms, approved by Andrews' Cabinet on Tuesday, the second residence allowance would be made available exclusively to country MPs while travel allowances would also be tightened.

An independent tribunal will be established to set MPs salaries and rule on what allowances each MP is entitled to.

Languiller has since repaid the money he wrongly took but Nardella, who resigned from the Labor Party but remains in parliament as an independent, has repeatedly refused the opportunity to repay the 130 Cheap Koke Jersey ,000 U.S. dollars he claimed.

Andrews said parliament would vote to recover the money if Nardella did not pay him back himself.

"If he does not pay that money back before these bills come into the Parliament in just a couple of months' time, I think all of us on across the Parliament will take that out of Mr Nardella's hands and we will recover that money," Andrews told reporters on Tuesday.

Matthew Guy, leader of the Opposition Liberal Party, said he supported the changes but believed Andrews was too soft on Nardella.

"Daniel Andrews has today given Don Nardella a leave pass, he has allowed him to keep drawing a salary Cheap Kevin Gameiro Jersey , he's allowing him to remain a Member of Parliament," Guy said.

"Not only should Don Nardella pay the money back, he shouldn't be in Parliament."

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