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Friday, July 31, 2009

Natural Gas Line Leaking

There have been three minor leaks along the Brunswick Pipeline in the Red Head area since July 11th. The company says several threaded fittings are leaking small amounts of the odorized gas--but--spokesperson Susan Harris says it's not uncommon to have minor mechanical issues during the start-up of a new facility.

Crews will be working to repair the leaks throughout the day tomorrow by letting out natural gas from a portion of the meter station piping; burning the majority of the gas using a short flare stack, and replacing the threaded fittings. Harris says residents may smell a “rotten egg” odour near the Canaport LNG Terminal while work is carried out, but there will be no danger for nearby residents.

Province's First Casino on Target

Construction is well underway on the province's first casino near Magnetic Hill in Moncton. The presidents of Suncor Gaming New Brunswick says they are on budget and on target for completion by next spring. And Mike Novac tells CHSJ news, neighbours in a nearby residential area have been very patient during the construction phase.

The 89 million dollar project is expected to create a boon for the hub city when four hundred more workers are hired in the coming weeks.

Fredericton Man Sentenced for Drug Trafficking

A Fredericton man has been sentenced to 11 years in jail following a two year joint investigation by Fredericton Police and the Saint John Drug Unit. 39 year old, Timothy Clayton Price was sentenced on charges including trafficking in cocaine and marijuana, production of marijuana, and weapons possession. He plead guilty to all charges last month.

Price is not allowed to own a gun for 10 years following his jail release, and was ordered to provide a DNA sample. He has also been ordered to forfeit all firearms and ammunition seized during the investigation, along with 125 thousand dollars.

Province Unveils New License Plates

The provincial government has rolled out a series of new license plates today, including one with the slogan " this place". Business New Brunswick Minister Victor Boudreau says the new slogan seeks to inspire New Brunswickers to recognize and pursue the natural advantages of this province.

The newly designed plates will be available on August 4th for $25. New conservation plates with three new designs will be available for $32. Also new, owners of seasonal or antique vehicles will now have a single licence plate for their vehicles. Getting a new license plate is optional.

RCMP Beeing Up Patrols on Long Weekend

Another Long Weekend is upon us and that means RCMP are beefing up patrols. Officers will keep an eye out for all violations but in particular drinking and driving and getting behind the wheel if you are high. Staff Sargent Stephane Caron admits to CHSJ News, it can be tougher to find those who have been smoking a joint or taking some pills compared to those who have had to many drinks.

So far this year, 20% of serious collisions RCMP have responded to have involved an impaired driver.

Doctors Continue Their Court Battle

The legal battle between the Province and its doctors isn't over. The New Brunswick Medical Society says it will pursue its legal action against the province over a controversial wage freeze. The new court date has been set for September.16th. Health Critic and Rothesay Conservative MLA Margaret Ann Blaney tells CHSJ News, the doctors feel very strongly they have a solid case.

Doctors say they are trying to force the government to implement a contract that was negotiated in good faith. The government announced last week that it was implementing legislation that would declare that agreement void.

Motorcycles Stolen in East Saint John

A day after reminding Red Head residents to lock up their vehicles after several thefts, Major Crime has been called in after several motorcycles were stolen yesterday.

Officers arrived at a storage trailer behind the Community College early in the morning to find three bikes, being used by the New Brunswick Safety Council had been stolen.
Each is worth $5200 dollars.

Town of Rothesay Awards

The Town of Rothesay has announced this years recipients for their New Brunswick Day Merit Awards. They are Barry Ogden, Elizabeth Reid, Phil Broderson, former councilor and Deputy Mayor Bill Artiss, the Big Rothesay Read event that took place earlier this year and Rothesay Netherwood School.

The awards recognize deserving citizens for their service, support and dedication to the community and making it a better place to live. They will be handed out at the next council meeting on Monday August.10th at eight o'clock.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Weston Says Ottawa Waiting To Sign On Dotted Line

Despite efforts by the Longshoremen's Union to scuttle the Long Wharf - Irving Oil deal through court action -- Saint John M-P Rodney Weston says the federal government is still willing to give its approval to the land required land transactions. He tells CHSJ News it's just a matter of Irving - the Port Authority - and - the city finalizing the agreements.Weston was hoping that paperwork would be finalized by the first of August -- but -- he admits that doesn't look realistic. Irving and the Port Authority are involved in a land swap which will clear the way for the company's 30-million dollar office complex on Long Wharf.

City Councilor Never Liked Second Refinery Proposal

At least one city councilor is not too disappointed with news a second refinery won't be built in Saint John. Patty Higgins has told CHSJ News it would be just another major polluter offering a short-term economic boost.

Higgins says the city should be promoting cleaner, leading edge technology.

City Police Warn of More Car Thefts

City Police are issuing a warning to residents in Saint John--and particularly in the Red Head area--to remove valuables from their cars and keep the doors locked. Police have received several complaints today from Red Head residents whose items have been stolen from their vehicles.

The recent thefts follow a similar cluster that happened around July 17th when a car was actually stolen.

Tourism Numbers Up Despite Soggy Weather

Neither the economic recession, nor the terrible damp weather is hindering tourism numbers so far this summer in Saint John. A supervisor with Tourism Saint John says Canadian, American, and other international tourist traffic is up this year. Sean Payne tells CHSJ news that's due in large part to the cruise ship industry.

Payne also says staycationing is becoming big and a lot of this year's tourists are from other parts of New Brunswick. He says Saint John has been the leader in tourism over the past few years in Atlantic Canada.

Research Continues into Tidal Energy Potential

Research continues into the potential of developing tidal energy from the Bay of Fundy.Energy Minister Jack Kier tells CHSJ news it will happen eventually. Irving Oil and the Huntsman Marine Science Centre are currently trying to determine what type of equipment would work best in the rough ocean waters.

Researchers are collecting and analyzing data from 11 sites along the Bay of Fundy to determine what equipment should be used, what type of electricity they could generate--and--if it's sustainable in the long-term.

Public Health Official - Start Planning

Public health officials are advising businesses and agencies to begin planning for the onslaught this winter of the H-1-N-1 virus commonly known as the "swine flu." Deputy chief medical health officer - Dr Paul Van Buynder - says if the pandemic outbreak gains a foothold in the province - absenteeism rates could be as high as 25-percent -- and -- he says the provincial government is reviewing its contingency plans in all departments.The number of cases confirmed in the province has now hit 94 from 61 last week -- most of the increase coming as the result of an outbreak of the flu at a cadet camp in Base Gagetown. Van Buynder also says the province to make the flu vaccine available to all New Brunswickers -- the supply should be available by early December.

Irving Oil Responds to Allegations

A day after allegations from the International Longershoremans Association surfaced, Irving Oil is responding. An application has been filed in federal court for what the I-L-A says is an agreement between the port and Irving Oil that doesn't comply with federal legislation. Spokes-person Leslie McLeod tells CHSJ News, the company is not part of the application.

McLeod says Irving Oil is concerned about any delay in the project and is exploring all options. ILA spokes-person Pat Riley argues construction materials were off-loaded by rail and cranes were ordered to begin construction before federal approval has been granted.

Thunder and Lightning Storms

The weather is what most people will be talking about today. Thunder and Lightning storms began rolling through the Grand Bay-Westfield area last night at six o'clock and carried through til early this morning. At the height of the storm, NB Power was reporting over 11,000 of it's customers off the grid. Crews have been out all night trying to rectify the problem.

No word on when the utility hopes to have all of it's customers re-connected.

Another Armed Robbery in Greater Saint John

A West Side business the latest target by a thief last night. City Police tell us a man walked into AJ's Lounge on the Manawagonish Road just after eleven o'clock and demanded cash from the bartender. He complied and the thief took off. No word on whether this man fits the description of several other robberies and attempted robberies in the past month.

This brings the total of successful robberies to seven and five attempted in the past month.

Price of Gasoline Up Again

If you had travel plans for the up-coming Long is going to cost you more to get around. The Energy and Utilities Board has released it's weekly price schedule which shows the maximum retail for a litre of gasoline is 96.2 which is up just over two cents from seven days ago. Most stations in Greater Saint John are advertising gas for 96.5 today.

Diesel is up almost three cents coming in 95.4, furnace oil takes a jump of almost four cents to 77.1 and propane is only up percentage points at 81.8.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Opposition Calls for Committee to Oversee Refurbishment

The provincial Opposition Leader wants to see a committee set up to to oversee the refurbishment of Point Lepreau. David Alward says continuous delays are costing New Brunswickers more and more. The extra cost of the refurbishment was originally estimated to be about 150 million dollars when the project was five and a half months behind schedule. It is now seven months behind schedule, and said to be completed in early 2010. The project was originally pegged at a cost of 1.4 billion dollars.

Alward has been calling for a non-partisan committee to oversee the work for months. He says such a move will promote transparency and accountability.

Survey on Quality of Life Launched

The Greater Saint John Community Foundation is looking for public feedback on their quality of life in the Port City. An online survey has been released to measure the vitality of our community, identify significant trends, and grade 10 key areas that determine quality of life.

Between July 30th and August 7th, participants will be asked to grade data related to the Gap between Rich and Poor, Safety, Health, and Learning among others.

The Greater Saint John Community Foundation will release its fourth annual report card--Vital Signs 2009--in October. The survey can be found at

School District 6 Supports Education Minister's Transportation Decision

School District Six is breathing a sigh of relief following the Education Minister's decision regarding recommendations from the Coroner's Inquest into the deaths of 7 basketball players and a teacher. Roland Haché announced the recommendation to use Class 2B drivers and school buses for extra-curricular trips will not be enforced. Learning Specialist Paul Smith tells CHSJ news this is good for the district because the restrictions would have made it too expensive and difficult to continue many activities.

Smith says money has not been put ahead of safety and that no school vans will be used to transport students--but--parents will be allowed to help shuttle students to and from nearby activities.

Lotto Ticket Still Unclaimed

One lucky New Brunswicker may not even know he's lucky!! The Atlantic Lottery Corporation says a secondary prize has still not been claimed from the largest advertised jackpot in 6-49's history. The prize is worth 220 thousand dollars and the deadline to claim it is August 8th.

The second prize winning ticket was sold in Westmorland County for the August 8, 2008 6-49 draw that had an advertised 43 million dollar top prize. The jackpot was split two ways with top prize wins in Ontario and Quebec.

Fencing Repairs Completed

You may have noticed some damage to a section of the new wildlife fencing along Route 7 near the Petersville hill -- the fencing was damaged as the result of a single car rollover earlier this month.
A caller to our 648-3000 News line expressed concern the damage could eventually allow moose onto the highway -- we checked with the Transportation Department where a spokesman tells us repairs have been made to the damaged fence and other sections of the fencing damaged by heavy snow and fallen trees over the winter.
And CHSJ News has learned the Department is now developing a policy on maintenance of the fence to outline how often it should be checked and how repairs will be funded.

Update on Charges City Hall is Facing

We have a few more details today as to why City Hall is being charged with a violation of the Water Quality Regulation of the Clean Environment Act. Officials say it is related to a delay in notification by Saint John Water, a condition of its approval to operate, to the Department of Health back on June 29 of last year.

The court date is scheduled for the 13th of next month and the charge was made public yesterday.

Mayor Court Comments on Changes at Paper

No stranger to controversy with the local news-paper, Mayor Ivan Court is commenting today on the dismisal of Jamie Irving and Shawna Richer. Court tells CHSJ News, hopefully the T.J. will turn a page as they provide a valuable service with excellent reporters.

Court and the administration at City Hall have been under heavy scrutiny almost on a daily basis by the paper since taking office last year.

Changes Confirmed At Local Paper

A spokesperson for Brunswick News confirms Jamie Irving is out as publisher of the Telegraph Journal - she also confirms Shawna Richer is no longer editor of the provincial daily.
The vacancies come as the paper published a front page retraction of a story about Prime Minister Harper pocketing a communion wafer during the state funeral for former Governor General Romeo LeBlanc earlier this month -- the story gained national and international attention and Harper called it a low point in journalism.
The paper apologized to Harper and the reporters involved in the story for what it termed unfounded statements being added during the editorial process.
There's no word on replacements for Irving or Richer.

Moosehead Has a Hit on It's Hands

It appears Moosehead Breweries has a hit on it's hands. Moosehead Light Lime is the companies most successful launch of a brand in the past 25 years with 1.2 million bottles sold since June.27th. It was only available here and over on the Island for the first month but cases are being delivered to Nova Scotia this week.

President Andrew Oland says the product has exceeded their expectations and they are thrilled with the response. Production at the brewery has had to increase to meet the demand which means extra shifts for staff. Light Lime is the breweries second new product this year.......Cracked Canoe hit NB Liquor store shelves back in the spring.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Owners say She Supports Association, Not The Levy

Colour Centre owner Dorothy Shepard says she doesn't disapprove of helping move the West Side Business Association forward, she has a problem with the way they are going about it.Shepard says she cannot support something as unstable as a tax or a levy.
Shepard first began voicing her concerns over the proposed levy at the beginning of the month, and has since started circulating a petition to west side businesses asking them to express their approval or opposition.Shepard says rather than shelving the issue if one third of west side business owners oppose the tax, it should only move forward if two thirds support it.

West Side Business Association Continues Pursuit to Pass B-I-A

The West Side Business Association is going to continue to try and have the Business Improvement Area and Levy accepted at common council.At last night's meeting it was put to a vote whether or not the B-I-A is a viable option to pursue--without a single objection.Spokesperson Blaine Harris says a number of the people opposing the proposal were fed wrong information.
Harris says the B-I-A will give west side business owners a voice at the municipal level, and will help the association employ a part time administrator to fight for the west side.

Damaged Wildlife Fencing Fixed

You may have noticed some damage to a section of the new wildlife fencing along Route 7 near the Petersville hill -- the fencing was damaged as the result of a single car rollover earlier this month. A caller to our 648-3000 News line expressed concern the damage could eventually allow moose onto the highway -- we checked with the Transporation Department where a spokesman tells us repairs have been made to the damaged fencing and other sections of the fencing damaged by heavy snow and fallen trees over the winter. And CHSJ News has learned the Department is now developing a policy on maintenance of the fence to outline how often it should be checked and how repairs will be funded.

ILA to take Port Authority to Court

The International Longshoremen's Association have filed a Federal Court Application against the proposed construction of Irving Oil's Headquarters on Long Wharf. Spokesperson, Pat Riley is accusing the Port Authority of giving Irving Oil permission to begin construction on the facility in July. Riley tells CHSJ news he contacted Transport Canada and the construction efforts stopped and that's when he immediately filed court documents opposing the plans.

Riley says the agreement between the Saint John Port Authority and Irving Oil does not comply with federal legislation.

Saint John Port Authority Defends Actions

The Chair of the Saint John Port Authority is refusing to comment on whether or not construction of the Irving Oil Headquarters was really intended to begin in July. Stephen Campbell tells CHSJ news he won't get into specifics while they are before the courts--but--does say he believes they have done everything correctly to get the Long Wharf facility.

Campbell says they will oppose the application in federal court but it may delay progress. The development still needs the blessing of the federal government to allow a land swap between the Port Authority and Irving Oil clearing the way for the complex.

Saint John Man Sentenced For Drug Trafficking

A Saint John man has been sentenced to six years in jail on 10 drug-related charges stemming from an investigation by the RCMP and the Saint John and Rothesay Regional Police. 39-year old Allan Albert was sentenced in court yesterday for charges that include trafficking in cocaine, possession for the purpose of trafficking, and conspiracy to traffic in cocaine and marijuana.

Eight other people were also arrested as part of Operation Junebug and are scheduled to appear in court in August.

Opposition Leader Turns to Premier for Saint John Energy Plan

The Provincial Opposition Leader is calling on the Premier to come out with a plan for the future of Saint John as a major energy player in eastern North America. Irving Oil announced last week it was scrapping plans to build a second refinery in the Port City. David Alward says the Eider Rock project was the cornerstone to the Premier's self sufficiency agenda.

He says its now up to Shawn Graham to bring together all three levels of government with the business and community leaders to determine where we go from here.

A Shake Up at the Local Newspaper After Apology Issued?

Rumours are circulating about some changes at the senior level of the local daily newspaper. While nothing has been confirmed, this morning's edition is missing reference to Jamie Irving as Publisher and Shawna Richer as Editor of the Telegraph Journal -- CHSJ News placed a call to the paper and we have been referred to a Brunswick News spokesman in Moncton who was not immediately available for comment.

This comes after the Telegraph-Journal apologized to Prime Minister Harper for reporting that he slipped a communion wafer in his jacket pocket at a state funeral. The front-page apology published in today's paper says the story on July 8th was "inaccurate and should not have been published.'' Harper has always insisted he ate the wafer at the funeral for former Governor General Romeo LeBlanc.

Associate Journalism Professor Weighs in on Newspaper Apology

Meanwhile, an Associate Journalism Professor at the University of Kings College says the newspaper apology will help vindicate the reporters who wrote the original story. Kelly Toughill tells CHSJ news it's hard to imagine how the inaccurate changes happened without their knowledge.

Toughill also says the apology still leaves a number of questions unanswered--such as how the changes to the original story came about during the editorial process--and--why the reporters weren't notified before the story was published.

Fish Health Lab Opens in St. George

The provincial Fish Health Laboratory in St. George has officially opened today. It is a joint initiative of the province and the Atlantic Veterinary College to prevent disease and improve the health management of aquatic animals. The lab will also be used to support research and train graduate students.

The laboratory on Mount Pleasant Road includes space for fish testing; virus processing; preparation and storage; and data entry.

HomeLess report card is Released

The first report card on homlessness in the Province has been released and the numbers may shock you. 2300 people have no place to call home and last year, more than 1,100 people stayed in a shelter around the Province. The numbers were added up by the Greater Saint John Homelessness Steering Committee and is the final in a series of report cards released by other communities in the province this year.

The first Homelessness Report Card is a collaborative effort of five homeless networks set up around the Province.

City of Saint John Facing Charges Against Province

Officials in Saint John are scheduled to make their first appearance in provincial court on Aug. 13 to respond to a charge that it violated the Water Quality Regulation of The Clean Environment Act. The Department of Environment alleges that between June 29 and June 30 of last year, the city failed to comply with a term or condition of an Approval to Operate drinking water distribution and treatment facilities.

The province will not give us any further details into the charge saying it is a confidential matter until the charge is read in court next month.

All Milk Cartons Can Now Be Recycled

After working out a deal with the New Brunswick Milk Dealers Association, cardboard milk cartons can now be recycled. This is all part of a new intiative being launched by the Fundy Region Solid waste Commission during the first two weeks of next month. It will see a new five to three bin sorting facility and Public Education Officer Brenda MacCallum tells CHSJ News, trucks will be able to pick-up more product.

The plastic jugs and bags were always recycable. There are close to 1.9 million cardboard milk cartons sold in this region.

Another Bear is on the Loose

Officials with the Department of Natural Resources are keeping an eye out for a bear in the Geary area just outside of Oromocto. Several home-owners have called our news-room to report the animal roaming in their back-yards. DNR tells us they have also received a few calls about the animal and there is a trap set up in the area.

The amount of calls they have received is normal for this time of the year and the bear is spotted when garbage and compost days come around. The bear that was keeping home-owners on the West Side on alert had to be shot.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Interchange Work Will Continue Despite Refinery Decision

Irving Oil's decision to shelve its proposed second refinery in Red Head won't have any impact on plans to complete the One Mile Interchange.
The 58-million dollar project will connect the throughway with Bayside Drive eliminating a lot of heavy truck traffic from city streets.
A Transportation Department spokesman says the work on the interchange was never directly linked to the refinery proposal -- and -- a second round of contracts for relocation of utilities and bridge substructure work should be awarded soon.
The interchange is scheduled for completion in 2012 -- around the same time as the Welsford Bypass portion of Route 7 now under construction.

West Side Business Group Holding Emergency Session

Tuesday night's emergency meeting of the Saint John West Business Association may prove to be lively -- the group called the meeting after common council tabled a decision on creating a Business Improvement Area and levy -- some councilors appear to be against the efforts.
Association spokesman Blaine Harris tells CHSJ News there will be copies of the B-I-A's proposed budget available.
Harris says the executive is looking for direction from business owners and the community about how to proceed given the apparent friction around the council table.
The open meeting is being held in the Community Room at Sobey's West beginning at seven.

More Security Needed At Rockwood Park

The Chair of the Rockwood Park Board of Directors says parking, more programs from Leisure Services, and increased security are the top priorities for Rockwood Park.Robert Capson says the public sees the park as unsafe because of incidents that occurred several years ago, and says city police need to have their presence known.Capson says the perception of criminal activity in the park is overblown, and it will be hard to eliminate crime in the park.
Capson says he can remember the days when an officer would travel around the park on horseback, which the tourists loved, and he would like to see happen again.He says he understands the cost of an officer on horseback would be high, and suggests maybe having officers on motorcycles or bicycles patrolling the park.

Rockwood Park Looking To Start Phase II of Development

$3.4 million dollars is the price tag for the second phase of development at Rockwood Park.The city has contributed $1 million dollars to the park in this years budget, and the Saint John Horticultural Association is handing over the $1.2 million dollars allotted to them.The Directors of the park would like to stress that so far the project has $2.2 million dollars without any debt, and has raised the issue of funding with Tourism Minister Stuart Jameison and Saint John M-P Rodney Weston.At a Committee of the Whole meeting last night, Rockwood Park officials were asking common council to either come up with some funding, or help them take their case to the federal and provincial government.

Pride Festival Week No Longer Cancelled for 2009

This year's Pride Week Celebrations have been revived. Earlier this month The Board of Directors decided to pull the plug on the festival because many events were not yet confirmed. An independent group representing the gay community, in conjunction with Element Dance Bar, has taken the festival under its wings and will hold the celebrations August 9th until August 16th.

Several events are scheduled during the week-long festival, including the Flag Raising Ceremony at City Hall and the Pride Parade. A link to the list of planned events can be online at

Economist Says Second Refinery A Good Idea in the Future

A prominent economist with the University of Alberta says now is not the time to add capacity to refining operations and Irving Oil made the right decision to halt plans for its proposed second refinery. Andre Plourde tells CHSJ News more people are buying smaller, fuel efficient and hybrid vehicles--but--adds, that doesn't mean a second refinery won't be a good idea in the future. He says for the most part those actions are short-term.

Plourde says the drop in demand for refined petroleum is cyclical in nature and in the long term there will be a return in increased demand as the economy rebounds from the recession.

Environmental Damage Being Assessed After Fuel Leak

The Department of Environment is investigating a diesel fuel leak into a waterway off Grandview Avenue near Hickey Road. The city's hazmat team was called in to clean up the spill earlier this afternoon. A dump truck overturned after colliding with a car around two o'clock spilling 200 litres of fuel---about 75 litres of which leaked into the ditch.

District Fire Chief William Johnstone tells CHSJ news crews damned the water around the spill so soil samples could be taken for analysis by the Environment Department. Both drivers were taken to hospital with unknown injuries.

Man Dies in ATV Crash

A 46 year old man is dead after an All Terrain Vehicle collision near Route 134 near Belldune. RCMP say the man from Charlo died at the scene as a result of his injuries. He lost control of the ATV while driving on a dirt road.

Hazmat Team Called to Dump Truck Crash

The city's Hazardous Materials team is on the scene of a fuel leak on Latimore Lake Road. A dump truck overturned after colliding with a car around two o'clock this afternoon and about 200 litres of fuel has already poured into a nearby waterway.

Officials with the provincial Works Department and the Department of Transportation were both called in to help stop the leak and clean it up. So far, no word on the environmental impact of the spill and if there were any injuries.

Police Seek Public Help in Locating Robber

City police are turning to the public for help finding a man they believe is responsible for at least two attempted robberies. A man described as being Caucasian, in his early to mid twenties, five-foot eight, weighing 150 pounds with a black scruffy beard tried to rob Fundy Heights Convenience Store last Friday night.

Sgt. Pat Bonner tells CHSJ news they believe the same man also tried to rob Sandy Point Grocery that night. The would-be robber was last seen wearing a brown zippered hoodie. Anyone with information is asked to contact Saint John Police. Just the night before on Thursday July 23rd, there was an attempted robbery at the Dooly's in Martinon and a robbery at the Park Plaza Motel. No word on whether they are believed to be connected.

Premier Optimistic About Energy Hub Future

Premier Shawn Graham says there are plenty of other energy-related projects going on in the province to off-set the loss of the proposed second Irving Oil refinery. Graham says the province has worked very hard to position itself as the energy hub of the Eastern Seaboard.

Graham notes successes with the natural gas plant, wind power projects, and plans for a second nuclear reactor. The private sector is currently looking for partners in the permitting process.

The premier was speaking by phone from the Southeastern United States–Canadian Provinces Alliance conference in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Graham says memorandum of understanding was signed today that should lead to greater opportunities in the aerospace industry. This evening, the premier will be at the Fox Harb'r Resort in Nova Scotia for a dinner and networking session hosted by former New Brunswick premier and ambassador Frank McKenna. Former U.S. president George W. Bush is said to be attending today's event.

Romero House Funding Drive Continues

Details on a plan of action for Romero House continue to be finalized. We should find out the details this week on what will be going on to raise funds for the facility now and in the future. Committee Chair Paul Zed tells CHSJ News, the amount of support they have already received is out-standing.

Zed says they are getting cheques from as far away as Moncton to ensure the facility remains open. Last week, the Graham Government kick-started the fund-raising effort with a ten thousand dollar cheque.

More Talk About Youth Home in Quispamsis

The Chief of Police with the Rothesay Regional Force has no concerns about a youth home for at risk teens opening in Quispamsis. That goes against how many home-owners in the neighbourhood feel who are concerned about their children and plummeting property values. Chief MacIntyre tells CHSJ News, the operators of the home did not have to consult with them before making their application.

Chief MacIntyre says he will treat the Youth Home just like every other home-owner that falls in their jurisdiction. The home for at risk teens is scheduled to open this fall.

Rothesay Also Reacts to Irving Oil News

Reaction continues to roll in three days after Irving Oil announced it was putting on hold it's plan for a second refinery. Rothesay Mayor Bill Bishop tells CHSJ News, it would have been nice but the Town did not hitch it's wagon to this star.

Bishop adds it important the Greater Saint John Community remain optimistic with several announcements to be rolled out soon.

Grand Bay Westfield on Irving Announcment

Reaction to the news in Grand Bay-Westfield is as you would expect.......disappointment. Mayor Grace Losier tells CHSJ News, she isn't putting a lot of stock into the fact this proposal has been put on the back burner and not moth-balled.

Losier says the Town did not hitch all of their future fortune on this proposal but she is very hopeful that a second reactor at Point Lepreau can fill up space in their new sub-division.

Fire at Junkyard Last Night

Major Crime has been called after six or seven vehicles were set on fire last night. Officers and the fire department arrived at Wrecks Unlimited at 3 Cottage Road just before eleven o'clock last night. They found several vehicles lighting up the night sky and some small explosions due to the intense heat of the flames.

Nobody was hurt and police are calling the fires suspicious.

Council Also Meets at City Hall

City councilors return to city hall shortly after the presenations at the Lily Lake Pavillion. Ersnt and Young will be presenting the city's audited financial statements for last year. Up for review are the city's general fund, water and sewerage fund and the reserve and trust funds.

Deputy Mayor Stephen Chase is asking the amounts be approved by council following the presentation.

Council Meets at Rockwood Park

City councilors are changing the scenary for tonight's Committee of the Whole Meeting. At 5:30, they will gather at the Lily Lake Pavilion to receive a presentation about Rockwood Park. Chair Robert Capson will ask to consider increasing the amount of programs from Leisure Services to be held at the park. Capson will also ask for increased security at the park--due to some people thinking the trails of Rockwood are unsafe to walk or bike because of incidents such as after hours drinking, sexual misconduct and a murder two years ago.

Council will also be hear from the Saint John Horticultural Association with a few suggestions on improving Rockwood Park.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Manning Remains Upbeat About Economic Future

(Enterprise Saint John chair Bob Manning - file photo)
Enterprise Saint John chair Bob Manning is remaining upbeat despite last week's word Irving Oil would not proceed with its eight billion dollar refinery in the Red Head area.
He tells CHSJ News our energy hub has made a mark on the international stage -- and -- the world knows we're investment friendly.
Manning calls last week's announcement an injection of reality -- but -- he says it's also a chance to focus on secondary opportunities presented by the availability of natural gas such as advanced manufacturing companies.

Research Shows Little Correlation Between Deer and the Spread of Lyme Disease

Research shows there is no correlation between decreasing the deer population in the area and the potential risk of Lyme disease. Dr. Scott Giffin says there have been studies conducted about the relationship between lyme disease and deer and some but not all show reducing the amount of deer does not have an impact.

Dr. Giffin says black legged ticks are famously known to be carried on deers, but they also move around on the white footed mouse---generally found in the brush of wooded areas.

M-L-A Says Deer Need to Be Studied

Saint John Portland M-L-A Trevor Holder wants the department of health and natural resources to find out if deer populations are connected to the spread of lyme disease. Holder says he's not saying to take action to reduce the amount of deer in Millidgeville---he just wants some research to be done.
Holder says he lives in Millidgeville and knows there are a lot of deer in the area. He says since there are confirmed ticks with the lyme disease bacteria in the area, research needs to be done.

No More Idlying in Quispamsis

After discussing it over the past few months.....the Town of Quispamsis has implemented a new anti-idlying bylaw for it's fleet of vehicles. Deputy Mayor Emil Olsen tells CHSJ News, this is a good policy for the town and it's residents.
Some of the new rules include no warming up a vehicle for more than ten minutes in the winter and no longer than a minute in sring, summer and fall. Vehicles are also encouraged to avoid drive-thrus.

Police Incident

City police keeping tight lipped about an incident in the uptown area early this morning.Around 3 o'clock police picked up a man who had a weapon.No confirmation of what type of weapon, or what happened as Major Crimes investigates.
No word on whether or not the arrest is in relation to the six robberies, and five attempted robberies over the last three weeks.

City Talking To Port About West Side Soccer Pitch

City staff will be meeting with the Port Authority in an attempt to obtain an agreement for some land needed for a new soccer pitch.
The city wants to upgrade the field next to the Carleton Community Center on the west side -- but -- the Port owns a piece of the land needed for the project.
Acting city manager Pat Woods says work can't begin until the city gets ownership of that piece of property or has an agreement in place with the Port for long term access to it.
Total cost of the new soccer field is estimated to be in the eight to ten thousand dollar range.

Concrete In - Granite Out On Princess Street

(New curbing already in place on Princess Street - photo by Gary MacDonald)
Work on the Princess Street upgrade won't be coming to a halt over proposed installation of granite curbing.
Common council has accepted a recommendation to reject a bid by the Heritage Board and Uptown Saint John to have granite curbing reinstalled along the street.
A report by city staff says that would cause delays and add more than 300-thousand dollars to the cost the of project.
But the city will sit down with reps from both groups and try to review the curbing standard for future street upgrades in the Trinity Royal area.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Thief Continues to make the Rounds in the Metro

City Police continue to get frustrated and business owners nervous after two more attempted robberies in the city last night. Officers were called to Fundy Heights Convenience just before 9:30pm. The clerk told them a man with a slim build and wearing a brown hoodie walked in and demanded cash. She refused and he left.

Less than a half hour later, a man fitting the same description walked into Sandys Convenience on the Sandy Point Road and also demanded cash. The clerk also turned him down and he ran off into the night. There have been six robberies and five attempted robberies in the metro over the last three weeks.

Water Pipe Breaks at 300 Union Street

There is quite a mess to clean up at 300 Union Street today after one of the building's main water pipes burst last night. City Fire Crews were called to the building last night at 9:30pm to find water pouring onto the ground floor of the building. This was affecting the mechanical rooms and power to most of the building had to be shut down.

The City Water department had to be called in to shut down the broken pipe. Fire Crews spent four and half hours trying to get the water out of the building. No word on what caused the pipe to burst.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Board Of Trade Chair Say Decision No Surprise

The chair of the Board of Trade says it's time for the community to pull together in the wake of the disappointing news on Irving's proposed second refinery.
Kathy Craig tells CHSJ News the decision shouldn't have come as a real surprise because a lot has changed in the global marketplace since the refinery proposal was first announced.
Craig is taking some heart from the fact the company will continue with the permitting process for the refinery proposal.

Weston Upbeat Despite Refinery Announcement

Saint John M-P Rodney Weston remains optimistic Irving Oil's proposed second refinery in Red Head will eventually become a reality as the U-S economy begins to rebound from the recession.
And Weston says discussions between Irving and government officials about potential funding have been positive -- but -- no commitments have been made at this point.
Irving announced yesterday it was shelving plans for the 300-thousand barrel a day refinery because of market conditions -- the company is continuing with the permitting process and will revisit the project as market conditions improve.

Grand Manan Ferry Service Returns To Normal

(Grand Manan V - photo courtesy Department of Transportation)
Good news for residents and tourists heading for Grand Manan -- Coastal Transport is reporting both ferries are now operating.
The Grand Manan Five had been tied up since earlier this week due to mechanical problems resulting in long line ups and delays.
Fisheries Minister Rick Doucette actually helped to ferry people back and forth at the height of the problem.
The Graham government is working to get a new 65-million dollar replacement vessel built.

Atlantica Center Head Remains Positive

The president of the Atlantica Center for Energy says the announcement isn't the end of our energy hub.
Tim Curry says Irving will continue to invest in its existing refinery as well as a new waterfront office complex -- and -- he says we have Canada's first liquefied natural gas terminal and we have substantial electricity production with the potential for more to come on line.
Curry also says having "B-P" partner with Irving has helped to attract more international exposure for this region's energy hub.

Mayor Court On Eider Rock

[Mayor Ivan Court------File Photo]

Mayor Ivan Court says he can see why Irving Oil decided to not proceed with the Eider Rock project because of the economy.Court says there will still be jobs for people in this city even without the second refinery. He says Peel Plaza, and waterfront development will create many jobs.Court says the city did have one concern about the proposed Irving project.
Court says a concern the city had for the project was infrastructure cost. He says the city doesn't have the capital to invest, and would have had to rely on the provincial and federal government.He says the city wouldn't get any tax revenue from the project until the infrastructure was already up.
Court says since the E.I.A has just gone through, this project may resurface when the economy is in better shape.

Energy Minister Says "It's Not the End of the World"

[Elected Officials at the Irving Oil Newser------Photo by Jim Hennessy]

Energy Minister Jack Keir says he's disappointed about the news today, but says it's not the end of the world.Keir says the energy hub is alive and real in this city, and the refinery is not the only part of it.
Keir says while the refinery would have been a big part of Saint John being an energy hub, there are still other opportunities.

Enterprise Saint John Chair Reassures City

Enterprise Saint John Chair Bob Manning is assuring the city that Irving Oil not going forward with the Eider Rock Project does not mean the sky is falling.Manning says this city has been isolated from the economic downturn seen throughout the world, with strong performances in all priority growth sectors, such as work at the Tucker Park campus, the new cruise terminal, and the Peel Plaza project.Manning says this announcement cannot damper the city's relationship with Irving Oil, and like all relationships, we must take the good with the bad.
Manning says Irving is our home team, and we will continue to support them, as they continue to support us.

Irving Oil and BP Will Not Proceed With Second Refinery

Irving Oil and British Petroleum are not moving forward with the proposed second refinery.Irving spokesperson Kevin Scott says due to the economic downturn, and a decrease in demand for petroleum, the project cannot move forward.
Scott says in the current petroleum marketplace, an 8 billion dollar project is not viable.
Scott says Irving will continue the environmental permitting processes relating to the Eider Rock project to preserve future options if the market were to return to previous levels.

Irving Oil Set To Announce Decision On Second Refinery

An announcement on Irving Oil's proposed second refinery will be made this morning during a hastily called news conference.
The company is billing it as "word regarding an investment decision" for the proposed Eider Rock refinery project.
Speculation on the street in the past 12-hours is pointing to the project's star fading -- and -- that could have a significant impact on the development of the energy hub.
The news conference is set for 11 at the Delta.

Wet and Wild Start to the Weekend

If you get a few minutes today, it might not be a bad idea to stack your patio furniture and tuck it to the side of your home. Environment Canada has posted a warning for some wild weather this weekend. They are tracking a system developing over the Atlantic south of New York. It will lie over Maine today and expected to make the shift into our area today and tonight.

Rain at times is expected to be heavy and howling winds approaching gale force near the coast. Forecaster's tell us with this kind of combination, there could be flooding in some low lying area's. The full forecast is coming up shortly.

Another Busy Night for City Police

Thieves continue to target businesses in Greater Saint John. There was an attempted robbery and robbery last night. The first call for City Police was to Dooly's in Martinon just before 9:30pm on a report a man walked into the pool hall and demanded cash from the clerk. Some of the people playing pool tried to tackle the guy but he got away. Just over two hours later, officers were called to the Park Plaza Motel. A man walked in to the front desk area, demanded cash from the clerk, grabbed a handful and took off.

The clerk wasn't hurt and no word yet on whether these incidents are connected. There have been six robberies and four attempted robberies of businesses in Greater Saint John over the past three weeks.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Province Blocks Medical Society Legal Action

The provincial government is responding to the legal application filed by the New Brunswick Medical Society by blocking it.New legislation prohibits the taking of legal action, as well as making the tentative agreement from December of last year to be null and void, as well as any other alleged agreements.Acting Health Minister Jack Keir says it's important to note provisions do not include the two year wage freeze to physicians, and that the door is open for negotiations with the New Brunswick Medical Society.Keir says the province is hopeful a solution might be reached with the physicians.

Environment Minister Steps Down

Environment Minister T.J. Burke is stepping down from his position to return to practicing law.Burke will continue to serve as the M-L-A for the Fredericton-Nashwaaksis riding.Burke's resignation goes into effect immediately, and Fredericton-Silverwood M-L-A Rick Miles will be sworn in as the new Environment Minister tomorrow.

Westside Business Group Holding Special Meeting

A special meeting has been called of the Saint John West Business Association to deal with the proposed Business Improvement Area and levy.
Common council has tabled a proposed business improvement levy pending verification of the number of businesses by the Common Clerk -- but -- not before some councilors tried to defeat it.
Spokesman Blaine Harris tells CHSJ News there appears to be friction between his group and city hall and he's not sure why.
The Association is holding the special meeting Tuesday night in the Community Room at Sobey's beginning at seven -- Harris says copies of the proposed business plan will be available.

Police Tracking Wayward Cow

A heads up from city police -- if you're driving along Grandview Avenue out east -- be on the lookout for a cow on the loose.
Police are hunting the bolting bovine and are hoping to nab the cow and avoid chaos on the traffic front.

M-L-A Reacts to Lyme DiseasePilot Project

[Saint John Portland M-L-A Trevor Holder-----File Photo Courtesy of CNB]

Saint John Portland M-L-A Trevor Holder says he's been voicing his concern about the potential of lyme disease in the Millidgeville area for over a year.
Holder says he said a year ago lyme disease was a freight train heading to this region, and wants to acknowledge this is the first time the Department of Health has taken this issue seriously.
Holder says the pilot program to study the link between climate change and the spread of black legged ticks is a step in the right direction, but may not be enough just yet.He says climate change is not the only issue that needs to be looked at, so does whether or not deer populations are helping spread the potential risk of lyme disease.

Saint John Gains Attention As Potential Target

(Senators Michael Meighen and Joe Day speak to reporters following a review of port security measures - photo by Gary MacDonald)

Members of a senate committee on national security say progress has been made in beefing up port security in the past three years.
The committee members made a stop in the city to tour the new cruise terminal and look at Canada Border Services Agency equipment.
Senator Joe Day says the local port is a growing target with the increased port activity and the liquefied natural gas terminal -- there is an increased need for vigilance.
The committee members also met with senior city police officials -- and -- toured the St Stephen border crossings.

Lyme Disease Pilot Project Launched in City

[Dr. Jaqueline Badcock displaying black legged tick sample-----Photo by Dave Briggs]

With the discovery of black legged ticks infected with lyme disease in the Millidgeville area, Saint John is getting involved with a pilot research project to examine the link between climate change and the spread of the disease.Dr. Jacqueline Badcock says many areas in New Brunswick have found ticks, but not infected ones.

Dr. Badcock says black legged ticks generally prefer wooded areas, so the population should not be found in city areas.A public information session is being held tonight at the Millidgeville North School at 7 o'clock.

Belleise National Anthem Verdict

The decision is made on the charges relating to the controversy over banning the national anthem at Belleisle Elementary School earlier this year.
Bradley Howland has been found guilty of threatening principal Erik Millett.
Howland was accused of saying that if the secretary wasn't there, he'd take him outside and beat some sense into him.
Howland says it was a man to man talk in an effort to learn when the anthem would be played again.
Judge Henrik Tonning ruled Howland intended to intimidate and instil fear in Millett.
Sentencing is scheduled for August 28th.

More Swine Flu Cases Confirmed In Province

Public health officials say more cases of the H-1-N-1 flu are now showing up in children and people under 20 in this province.
The deputy chief medical health officer - Dr Paul Van Buynder - says this is typical of what has been happening across the country.
He says there are now 61-confirmed cases in the province - up by twenty from this time last week -- but -- he says there is a decline in serious cases across the country.
Van Buynder says we are currently in a lull period -- but -- health officials across the country are expecting the flu to pick up steam going into the fall.

Open House to Discuss Youth Home

A raw nerve that had been exposed weeks ago was aggrivated at a public meeting at the Civic Center in Quispamsis last night. Over 60 home-owners turned out to voice their dis-pleasure with a Youth Home for At Risk Teens setting up at 186 Vincent Road. The proposal was approved by the Planning Advisory Committee last month who felt there was no need for public input. Dave Nickerson has a daughter with special needs who attends the Little Acorns Daycare two homes down from the facility and questioned Chair of the Planning Advisory Committee Bob McLaughlin as to why he and the rest of the committee would think not speakign to the neighbourhood was a good thing.

McLaughlin explained to the crowd that when the proposal arrived on their desk, they didn't feel there was any need to consult with the community or those living in the neightbourhood. McLaughlin admits that he and the PAC made a mistake and given the opportunity to do it again, public input would be included.

New Look for Mckay Highway

The plan for the Route One Gateway Project was unveiled in Rothesay last night and the Province is getting it's first six lane highway along the McKay. A third lane will be added both east and westbound with a study continuing to look at the increased traffic flow in and out of the Kennebecasis Valley and what can and can't be done with the Route 111 Interchange. Project Manager Margaret Grant McGivney tells CHSJ News, results from the study should be in by the end of next month.

Construction on the Gateway Project including they third lanes for the McKay Highway should get started next spring.

Moncton Youth Residences on Meeting

Executive Director of Moncton Youth Residences Mel Kennah was on hand for the meeting which lasted close to three hours. Not suprised by the anger and frustration of his new neighbours, Kennah tells CHSJ News, they are not going anywhere. Kennah says he isn't familar with how an appeals process works but if someone chooses to pursue that action, they will be accountable for the facility.

Home-owners were told they can file letters of petition about the developer's agreement at the Town Hall and were urged to do so right away as the proces has already started.

A Plan to Deal with Lyme Disease

With fears that the problem is growing, the Graham Government is taking the lead on trying to combat Lyme Disease. A news conference has been called for this afternoon, one o'clock, at the Mercantile Center. Health officials will be on hand to announce a pilot project.

Several of the ticks that carry the disease have been found in several areas including Millidgeville.

Gas Prices are Back Up

After a month of steady decline, gas prices are back on the upward swing. The Energy and Utilities Board has released it's weekly price schedule which shows the maximum price for a litre of self-serve going for 93.4 which is up just under two cents from a week ago. Most stations have a posted price of 93.6.

Diesel is up almost two cents at well with a maximum price tag of 92.5, furnace oil is up almost three cents at 73.8 and propane comes in at 81.5 which is actually down almost two cents.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Kids Being Asked For Recreation Ideas

(Leisure Services Commissioner Bernie Morrison - photo by Gary MacDonald)

It's a unique opportunity for kids in the city -- a chance to let planners know what recreation programs they would like to have available.
Leisure Services Commissioner Bernie Morrison says they will be picking the youngsters' brains during sessions at the Rockwood Park interpretive center tomorrow.
The kids are ranging in age between six and twelve and are taking part in the summer playground program.
Morrison says the information gathered will be worked into the recreation portion of the Municipal Plan which is undergoing a major overhaul in the coming year.

New Brunswick Merit Award Winners Announced

The New Brunswick Day Merit Awards for the city are being handed out Friday afternoon.Mayor Ivan Court and Supply and Services Minister Ed Doherty will be awarding six Saint John residents with the hardware.The ceremony takes place on Friday at 1 o'clock at the New Brunswick Museum.

Here is the complete list of winners:

ARTS & CULTURE – Greg Hemmings. Established Hemmings House Pictures three years ago in his basement and has become a recognized and successful young entrepreneur in the film industry. .
BUSINESS – Les Dewar. Owner of the Dairy Queen in Saint John. Mr. Dewar has provided, over the years, much support and assistance to many youth sport teams in the greater Saint John area.
COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP – Margaret (Peggy) Brittain. For her commitment and hard work with MindCare New Brunswick Foundation and organizing the annual Skate-to-Care fundraiser to benefit mental health in our province.
ENVIRONMENT – Rev. Canon Ernest Lloyd Lake. For his dedication towards saving the trees along Manawagonish Road and providing awareness programs for school children in the area.
SPORT, RECREATION & ACTIVE LIVING – David McPherson. For over 25 years of coaching sports and particularly for his work with the Saint John Trojans Rugby Team.
VOLUNTEER SERVICE – Esther Shanks. A founder and long-time serving volunteer with the Community Food Basket of Saint John Inc.

NB Health Coalition Supports Premier Stopping Talks With Private Health Care Providers

The New Brunswick Health Coalition is congratulating Premier Graham on stopping talks with private diagnostic clinics.Co-Chair Debbie Lacelle tells CHSJ News, it's been her groups goal for the past several years to stop the province from allowing private health care providers from setting up shop.Lacelle says everyone in this country deserves the same type of health care.
Lacelle says introducing privatized health clinics would create competition, and would prevent some people from seeing a doctor due to cost.She says if private clinics were introduced the end result would be a transfer of our tax dollars into private hands leaving our public system less able to provide services.

Scam Warning

The RCMP are warning everyone about another email scam making the rounds.The Mounties are currently investigating complaints of someone impersonating Bell Mobility through email requesting social insurance numbers and other personal information.Bell states that for no reason would they request this type of information from their clients through email.The RCMP would like to remind everyone to be cautious of providing credit card, and social insurance information over the phone or the Internet.

Musquash Estuary Gets Donation

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is boosting the amount of estuary habitat and upland forest in Musquash.The NCC received 680 acres of property donated in part by Mabel Fitz-Randolph who is a long time resident of the area.The land donated by the 95 year old Fitz-Randolph contains ecologically important areas such as salt marsh, bog, forest and tidal flats.The Musquash Estuary is the last undeveloped estuary along the Bay of Fundy.

Vandalism to Parking Meters

In their on-going search for quick money, thieves have been targetting stand up parking meters. City Police tell us since April, 96 meters have had the tops pried off but with them being emptied daily, there probuably isn't much if any coins in the machines.
The latest incident last night saw the entire meter ripped right out of the concrete. Total cost for repairs has been $32,000 dollars and City Police ask if you see anyone doing damage to the meters to give them a call.

Union Concerned About Centralization of Jobs

Ottawa is being accused of an attack on small towns and rural communities across the Maritimes by the union representing Service Canada employees. They says services and employee's are all being centralized in Moncton which is putting a drain on that office and taking many good paying jobs out of communities that need them. Deborah Gray is the Vice President for the union in the Maritimes and tells CHSJ News, it just doesn't seem fair.
Gray says at one time....there were 40-plus people working here in Saint John.....that number has been whittled down between 12 and 14. Letters from the union have been sent to all MP's in Atlantic Canada to see if anything can be done.

Minister Goes Above and Beyond

To accommodate some of the people caught in the long line-ups with the ferry down, Fisheries Minister Rick Doucette has been acting as a shuttle service. Using his own vehicle, he has been transporting local residents and tourists to where they need to go. Doucette tells CHSJ News, people seem to really appreciate it.
A new ferry with a capacity for 82 vehicles is under construction and will be ready by 2011.

Grand Manan Five Ferry Down

Those who use the Grand Manan Five Ferry on a daily basis have had their schedule interrupted this week. The vessel has broken down twice and remains dry-docked until a replacement part arrives from Europe. Coastal Transport spokes-person Murray Ryder tells CHSJ News, the first break down happened on Sunday and then the final blow on Monday.
Ryder says some of the parts should be here today with the rest arriving by tomorrow morning. If everything stays on schedule, the 55-vehicle vessel should be back cutting through the water Friday Morning.

Meeting Tonight in Quispamsis

Quispamsis residents with concerns about a youth home for at risk teenagers get the opportunity to meet with Moncton Youth Residences and town officials tonight. Executive Director Mel Kennah tells CHSJ News, generally he would go door to door to speak with neighbours but with the amount of controversy surrounding the home at 186 Vincent Road, he thought this was the better avenue to take.
Kennah says supervision, safety concerns, property assessments and a general outline of what the program consists of will all be up for discussion. The meeting gets underway at 7 o'clock at the Civic Centre in Quispamsis.

Opponents of Youth Home Show Up at Council

They had plenty of questions but found no answers. Residents opposed to the Youth Home for At Risk Teenagers setting up shop at 186 Vincent Road made an appearance before Mayor and Councilors in Quispamsis last night. Two home-owners took the podium and gave their elected representatives plenty to think about on how the process played out with the Planning Advisory Committee awarding the re-zoning of the property. Ken Higgins tells CHSJ News, he wasn't suprised that Mayor and Councilors were silent.

Higgins says he points the finger of blame squarley at the PAC for what he and the residents feel was a back door deal. As for whether the group will appeal the decision, he won't commit 100% but says it is an option they are looking at.

Mayor Driscoll on Youth Home

Before each home-owner spoke, Mayor Murray Driscoll adressed the crowd on hand. He was quick to point out that council could and would not respond to any of their questions or concerns because they decision by PAC had already been handed down. Driscoll adds if the group is planning to appeal the decision, any comments by him or a councilor could jeopardize that.

He points out there may be a small role council can play when the developer's agreement is pursued by the applicant and staff. An open house meeting will be held with the operators of the Youth Home and a member of the PAC at the Civic Center tonight starting at seven o'clock.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Graham Government Helping Local Soup Kitchen

The Graham government is coming to the aid of the financially strapped Romero House soup kitchen -- Premier Graham made a stop at the soup kitchen this afternoon along with Social Development Minister Kelly Lamrock and Saint John area M-L-A's to present a ten thousand dollar cheque. Romero House executive director Carolyn McNulty says the donation will help to provide a financial buffer.
Premier Graham says he's hoping the provincial contribution will help to provide an incentive to Saint Johners to rally around the soup kitchen. Meantime -- a finance committee has been formed and is meeting Thursday to draw up a fund raising plan.

Paul Zed Applaudes Liberal Donation to Romero House

Former Saint John M-P Paul Zed tells CHSJ News, the liberals have stepped up to the plate donating $10 thousand dollars to Romero House.
Zed is the chair of the committee fighting to replenish the bank account at the soup kitchen.Romero House is expected to lay off all of it's full time staff August the 7th due to a $20 thousand dollar short fall.Zed says the goal is to raise $30 thousand, and is optimistic the amount can be met.He says this is an important project for a facility that serves 400 meals a day, and says a meeting is scheduled for Thursday with community activists to figure out how to keep the lights on at Romero House.

Attempted Robber To Appear In Court Again

After a day in court the man arrested for attempting to rob Duck Food Mini Mart will be facing a judge next week.City police tell us he will be in court again on July 27th after a five day psychiatric exam.The man entered the store at the corner of Duke and Charlotte just before nine o'clock and demanded money. The people working refused and chased the man out of the store and caught up with him in Queens Square. Still no word on if there is any connection to the sudden rash of armed robbery's occurring in the city.

District 8 Getting Close to $300K From the Province

District 8 can't confirm the exact number of dollars they are getting from the province for support staff, but say it's in the $300 thousand dollar ballpark.Superintendent Susan Tipper tells CHSJ News, it's wonderful news for the district because they will be able to reinstate many programs.
Tipper says the money will help the district reinstate positive learning environments, and if need be hire more behaviour experts, and teacher assistants.Education Minister Roland Hache announced previously that money will be taken from the Innovative Learning Fund to help reverse many of the proposed cuts to school districts.

Rogers Gets Nod For City's Wireless Services

The city is switching carriers for its vast array of Blackberries - cell phones - pagers - and - data cards.
Common council has approved a new contract with Rogers Communications which staff indicates will save about 100-thousand dollars a year compared to the existing seven year old contract with the former Aliant Mobility.
Rogers - Bell Mobility - and - Telus all submitted bids with Rogers and Bell shortlisted.

New Standard Adopted For City Streets

(Hillcrest Drive listed as serious under new standard - photo courtesy City of Saint John)

We should see an improvement in the condition of city streets over the next four years.
Common council has approved a new pavement policy which will see up to 15-million dollars being spent over the next four years to upgrade streets to a newly adopted pavement condition index.
Council is also being asked to increase its street maintenance budget in the coming year -- something Municipal Operations Commissioner Paul Groody admits is a significant financial investment -- but -- it is an investment in assets.A survey of streets based on the newly adopted standard shows almost 20-percent of them are either in very poor or poor condition.
The standard is based on new software developed by the U-S Army Corps of Engineers.

Wage Gap Action Plan Scholarships Awarded

Fifty three students are getting their first year of tuition at the New Brunwick Community College paid for by the provincial government.As apart of the Wage Gap Action Plan Scholarship nine students heading to the Saint John campus will be getting $26 hundred dollars to put towards their first year of school.The scholarship aims to encourage men and women to examine careers where the other gender is the majority, such as women studying welding, or carpentry.

Brunswicker About To Get New Lease On Life

The historical old Brunswicker building is in line for a make over -- Ocean Capital Investments has purchased the building on the lower end of Sydney Street and wants to convert it to office space.
The company has applied to have the property rezoned from park area to general business -- common council will deal with the rezoning next month.
The building currently houses the Atlantica Center for the Arts which will be moving to a new location.
Written objections to the rezoning will be received by the Common Clerk's office in City Hall until August 19th.

Attempted Robbery in the Uptown

One man is locked up and being questioned after an attempted robbery in the uptown last night. A man walked into the Duck Food Mini-Mart at the corner of Duke and Charlotte just before nine o'clock and demanded money. The people working refused and chased the man out of the store and caught up with hime in Queens Square.

Police arrived a short time later and took him to City Hall for questioning. No word if this man is related to four other armed and two attempted robberies in East Saint John and the West Side over the past three weeks.

Council Wants Westgate Flooding Fixed

Westgate Park residents plagued by flooding problems may be getting some relief -- common council has tabled a zoning request to clear the way for development of four townhouses on Downsview Drive until the city and developer can find a solution to the flooding issue.
Councilor Peter McGuire says it's a quality of life issue and residents must be protected.
Ellerdale Investments wants to use the townhouses as a sales office for its Water Street condo development for a year -- the company says it needs to move the current sales office off the Water Street site so construction can get started.
Planning Commissioner Ken Forrest says the land is currently zoned for commercial development -- so -- the developer could nix the townhouse proposal and proceed with a commercial complex without additional approval but Councilor Chris Titus says no building permits should be issued in the subdivision until the flooding has been resolved.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Council Backs Away From Improvement Area Decision

A decision on moving ahead with a West Side Business Improvement Area has been tabled by common council.
Councilors want to wait until the Common Clerk has an opportunity to verify the number of businesses -- she also says 35-percent of those contacted so far object to the B-I-A proposal and resulting levy -- leaving supporter Blaine Harris frustrated because his group doesn't have access to the objections so it can't address those concerns.
Some of those objecting say they don't have enough information the organization's plans for the funds collected through the Business Improvement levy.

Council Side Steps Stompin' Tom Way

(Rendition of Stompin' Tom Way - photo courtesy Jason MacLean)

He has captured the hearts of fans across the country -- but -- Saint John native Tom Conners has failed to stir common council into action.
Councilors have received and filed a request from Jason MacLean to rename the Chipman Hill pedway "Stompin' Tom Way" in time for his Harbour Station concert August 8th.
The proposal also included non-permanent pictures and posters of Stompin' Tom on the exterior and the interior of the pedway.

Public Process Underway For Long Wharf Development

The ball is now rolling to deal with a municipal plan amendment which will clear the way for the construction of the Irving Oil headquarters on Long Wharf.
Planning Commissioner Ken Forrest gave official notice of the proposed amendment during tonight's common council meeting.
The process allows anyone with objections to the change to submit those objections in writing to the Common Clerk at city hall no later than August 19th.
Irving is proposing a 30-million dollar complex which will include a second cruise terminal for the port.
The proposal also involves a land swap between Irving and the Port Authority which is awaiting federal approval.

V-O-N Flu Shot Clinics

It's the time of year the Victorian Order of Nurses begins its annual Workplace Flu Immunization campaign.Spokesperson Suzanne D'Entremont tells CHSJ News, so far it's not known if the sudden influx of H1N1 cases will increase the response for seasonal flu shots.
V-O-N has sent out a letter informing businesses about its flu shot clinics, and D'Entremont says public sessions will be held as well.She says research shows people who receive annual flu shots generally perform better in the workforce, because they are not missing as much time.

Conference For Improving Methods of Teaching High School Students

Teachers from around the province are attending a conference to discuss methods of teaching high school students.From the city, Simonds High School is participating in the project, which is a part of the 21st Century Learning initiative.The initiative is trying to introduce methods of teaching where students need to use math, science, or literacy skills in real life situations.The goal of the project is to have an assignment relating to the community, using knowledge learned in school outside of the classroom setting.

Health Minister Says Billing Number Restrictions Not An Issue

[Health Minister Mary Schryer----File Photo]

Contrary to doctors at the Saint John Medical Society Meeting last week, Health Minister Mary Schryer tells CHSJ News, billing number restrictions are not the biggest problem.
Schryer says billing numbers are not the issue, and is a tool to help bring doctors to rural parts of the province. She says it's hard to get doctors to accept positions in Grand Manan or Shippigan.
Late last week President of the Saint John Medical Society Dr. Mary Jarratt said along with non-competitive pay scale nationally and regionally, billing number restrictions hurts the province recruit and retain doctors.

Second LNG Tanker Has Arrived

Unlike the first vessel which was delayed several times due to the weather, the second massive LNG Tanker arrived at the Canaport Terminal today under blue skies and sunshine. This is the second in as many months and should take less than 24 hours to off-load it's cargo.

The first shipment of gas started flowing through the Brunswick Pipeline last week to it's destination. Canaport officials report everything is working the way it should.

Seniors Concerned About Aging Population

With the population in the Province getting older, the President of the New Brunswick Seniors Federation says a greater demand for medical services is going to present itself. Ralph Smith says in a few years, there will be a high percentage of seniors making up the population.

Smith says his group will do anything it can to help the Saint John Medical Society try and recruit more doctors adding seniors use medical services more than any other group of people.

Chief of Geriatrics Knows the Concerns

Doctor shortages and restrictions on billing numbers are not the only major concerns facing the provinces medical is the aging population. Chief of Geriatrics at the Regional Hospital Dr. Pam Jarratt says right now there are over a hundred people waiting for a long term care facility spot.

Dr. Jarratt adds she generally deals with patients over the age of 85, which is a vulnerable age group because they require the most care.

Open House in Rothesay Wednesday Night

An open house will be held at the Town Hall in Rothesay on Wednesday between four and eight with officials from the Department of Transportation. They will have a preliminary plan on display to upgrade Route One and the Route Seven Interchange and Mackay Highway. A developer or contrator will construct 55 km of new, four-lane highway between Murray Road near Waweig and Lepreau.

The Province is also looking for someone to be responsible for the operation, maintenance and rehabilitation of 235 km's of Route 1 from St. Stephen to River Glade for a 30-year period, starting June 2011.

Green Party Predicts Federal Vote

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says voter's don't want to hear it but the chances are real good that a Federal Election is coming in the fall. The House of Commons Fall sitting gets started September.21st and the first chance for a confidence vote is a week later. There is also plenty of speculation about a Provincial Election possibly this fall. May tells CHSJ News, the Green Party in New Brunswick is making strides.

May says given the current statements about taking down the Harper Government from Ignatieff, Layton and Duceppe.....there is very little wiggle room.

Seadog Front Office Gearing up for Season

The front office of the Saint John Seadogs wants to lock up 2300 season tickets before the puck drops. Already at 70% renewal that number appears to be attainable and there is plenty of optimism it wll be. President Wayne Long tells CHSJ News, there are still a few pieces of the puzzle to try and put in place but they like where they are on and off the ice.

Long admits alot of people may still be on the fence about the team with so many new faces but is confident, fans will like the product on the ice.

Province Set to Unveil New License Plates

Appropriately, a newly designed provincial licence plate will be unveiled on New Brunswick Day. Conservation plates with three new designs will be available for $32 and regular plates with the new design will be $25.

Also new, owners of seasonal or antique vehicles will now have a single licence plate for their vehicles. The new plates will be available starting on the 4th of next month but getting one is optional.

Plenty for City Council to Discuss

A new soccer field, new homes for the West-Side and putting a name on the pedway. Just a few of the items on the agenda at Common Council tonight. Councilor Carl Killen thinks it would be a great idea to convert a vacant field near the Carelton Community Center on the Lower West Side into a soccer field. Just up the hill, Councilor Peter McGuire wants to talk about future construction on the former DVA Site on Lancaster Avenue.

Also on the agenda......there is a letter to council to name the pedway Stompin Tom Way. The artist of course was born in the North End before moving to Prince Edward Island when he was just a young boy. All these items and plenty more will be up for debate starting at six in the council chamber.