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Monday, June 29, 2009

Environment Critic Calls for Action Against Vehicle-Dependency

The Green Party of Canada's environment critic is encouraging Saint John decision makers to continue the move towards green technology. Lisa Fox tells CHSJ news reducing pollution will make the city more healthy, attractive, and wealthy.

Fox says Canada should be investing in reversing the trend of car dependency. She says plans for a second oil refinery in Saint John don't do that because it supports the dying fossil fuel era.

North End Fire

One woman received oxygen after being checked over by paramedics this afternoon when her apartment building at 31 Davenport Avenue filled with smoke. Fire crews were called the to North End residence after reports of smoke coming from the building around four o'clock. Fire fighters found no flames, just a pot that had been left on the stove.

A woman who had been sleeping at the time was treated for smoke inhalation.

New Brunswickers to Pay Lower Taxes July 1

New Brunswickers will see a bigger pay cheque after July first. That's when provincial residents will begin to benefit from The Plan for Lower Taxes, released as part of the 2009-10 budget. The plan includes more than 380 million dollars in annual tax savings by 2012-13. Personal income tax savings this year will be about 124 million dollars.

For example: A single individual making 25,000 dollars per year will save 202 dollars this year and 473 dollars annually by 2012. New Brunswickers can learn more about The Plan for Lower Taxes and calculate their own tax savings online.

Good News for Charlotte County Civic Centre

A new engineering report will help move the Charlotte County Civic Centre on to the next phase. Chair of the Board of Directors for the Civic Centre project, Richard Fulton, says an independent assessment from engineering firm Jacques Whitford shows the preferred Budd Avenue site is suitable for construction.

The consultant's report concludes the Budd Avenue site has traces of environmental contamination but falls within the environmental guidelines for commercial construction. Fulton says once the town of St. Stephen has reviewed the report, a copy will be sent to the Municipal Capital Borrowing Board. Before fully accepting this site, the Town has committed to holding a public information session on July 9th at the St. Stephen Legion. The multi-million dollar project has received funding from all three levels of government.

Schryer Says Meetings Are Being Planned

Health Minister Mary Schryer says meetings with medical officials are being scheduled, but nothing is concrete yet.Schryer says shortly after finding out she was taking over the portfolio she contacted stakeholders to introduce herself.She says with conflicting schedules, it's been tough to set up a meeting.
Schryer says when she introduced herself as the new Health Minister to medical officials, they were quite surprised. She says she looks forward to trying to advance her new portfolio.

Construction Begins at the Q-Plex

[Health Minister Mary Schryer, Mayor Murray Driscoll, and Fundy Royal M-P Rob Moore at the Q-Plex Site-----Photo By Dave Briggs]
The shovels are in the ground at the long awaited Q-Plex site.Quispamsis Mayor Murray Driscoll says the doors should be open at the complex by the summer of 2010.Driscoll says now that construction has begun, the excitement continues to grow.
Driscoll says this will be a regional facility, that everyone can enjoy.Saint John Mayor Ivan Court says the Q-Plex will take some of the stress off of city rinks, which will keep them in better shape longer.

New Look for Rothesay Superstore

The Province's second express style liquor store is now open at the Super-store in Rothesay. With a selection of 12 brands of beer, 263 wines and 53 spirits.....spokes-person Nora Lacey tells CHSJ News, this set-up is meant for convenience.

Lacey adds it is a bit of a test as well and what the feed-back is from the community. This is the corporations 48th store in the Province.

No Records Set for Rainfall

Despite all of the rain this month, no records have been set. So far, June has produced 114 millimeters of water with the normal amount for the month coming at just over 100. Claude Cote with Environment Canada tells CHSJ News, so far, we have had nine days of rain this month and the normal is thirteen. Cote says it feels like more than that but alot of days with no sunshine can make it feel wetter than it really is.

The record for rainfall in the month of June was set back in 1985 with 269 millimeters.

Turbines are Staying Put

If you were hoping to get a look at one of the two huge turbines destined for Point Lepreau today, it's not going to happen. The original plan to load one of the refitted turbines onto a barge and then to Point Lepreau has been delayed due to the rain and wind. They arrived back from the UK two weeks ago after a refit when they were dropped into the Harbor last fall.

Spokes-person Heather McLean tells CHSJ News, they hope to get the piece of machinery loaded onto the barge tomorrow and the second turbine before the week is over.

Ground Breaking for Q-Plex Today

Quipamsis Mayor Murray Driscoll will lead the parade of politicians for a ground-breaking ceremony later this morning. The golden shovel will go in the ground to mark the start of the construction phase for the Q-Plex. Marco Maritimes Limited will carry out the work at a total cost of over $20 million dollars. That is $235,000 less than the original tender but still over budget by $2.2 million.

The facility will be located on over 80 acres of land with construction set to finish up by next summer. Today's ceremony gets started at ten o'clock.

Court on Funding for Canada Games Stadium

The Acadian Games Flag is resting at City Hall as Saint John prepares to host the games next year. Mayor Court travelled to Petite Roche yesterday to take part in a ceremony to close this years festivities. One of the big questions still lingering over the city is will Ottawa and Fredericton come on board with funding for the refurbishment of the Canada Games Stadium. Court tells CHSJ News, he is confident both will be on board.

City Hall, UNB and the private sector has comitted funds to the work which is estimated to be in the range of six million dollars. Next year also marks Saint John's 225th birthday.

Saint John Transit Moving Into New Home

With only two days left to vacate their West-Side office, the move for Saint John Transit began over the weekend. Most of the forty foot limos' have found their new home in East Saint John with two weeks of work to left on most of the office space. General Manager Frank McCarey tells CHSJ News, he is very pleased with the new building.

McCarey says some of their office staff will set up shop at City Hall until the construction phase is finished. Total cost of the project is $23 and a half million but no word at this point if there were any cost over-runs.

Turbines on their Way to Point Lepreau

Eight months after they were dropped into the Harbor, a pair of turbines for the refit at Point Lepreau are expected to make their final journey this week. The first of the two will be loaded onto a barge today and sent up river while the second is expected to go tomorrow. NB Power spokes-person Heather McLean tells CHSJ News, the reason for the wait is not to interfere with the lobster fishing season.

McLean says the move for both turbines is weather dependant and if conditions are not ideal, the schedule will be changed.

Energy Minister Happy with Energy Hub Progress

The first piece of the energy hub puzzle arrived over the weekend with the first LNG Tanker and many are now asking........what is next? Energy Minister Jack Keir tells CHSJ News, word on a proposed second refinery would be a welcome treat.

Keir says he hasn't heard any time line on when an announcement might be made but they have told Irving Oil, the Province will do what it can to make sure the business case works.

Emergency Plan for LNG Terminal

Mayor Ivan Court is assuring Red Head residents emergency response and evacuation plans are in place in case of an incident at the new Canaport Liquefied Natural Gas terminal. The mayor gave the assurances in a letter hand delivered to the residents Friday prior to the arrival of the first tanker load of liquefied natural gas -- but -- resident Dave Morrell tells CHSJ News he doesn't remember any meetings where the plans were laid out for residents.

Another resident says she was also surprised by the references to the emergency plans which she doesn't recall hearing about either. Court's letter says the plans were approved by Fire Chief Rob Simonds and provincial emergency measure officials after a couple of revisions.