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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Minister Getting Full Marks For New Regulations

The federal environment minister is getting applause from the executive director of the Atlantic Coastal Action Program. Tim Vickers says the minister's commitment to strict enforcement of the new regulations is welcomed news -- he says a lot of people will be relieved to find out there is a watchdog making sure people are following the laws and doing what they're supposed to do.Meantime -- Mayor Ivan Court says he's is pleased to hear the minister indicate there will be some financial assistance to help municipalities upgrade treatment plants to meet the new guidelines.

Feds Rolling Out New Waste Water Treatment Standards

(Federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice speaking to reporters following Board of Trade speech - photo by Gary MacDonald)
The federal government is rolling out new national standards for waste water treatment. Federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice made the announcement during a noon hour speech to the Board of Trade -- and -- he says those regulations will be backed by enforcement.Prentice says the new regulations should be in place by some time next year -- and -- he says the federal government is also making low cost infrastructure loans available to cash strapped municipalities to help with upgrades to meet the new standards.

Update on H1-N1 Virus

[Dr. Eilish Cleary, and Heather MacLean with NB Power Giving H1N1 Update----Photo Courtesy of GNB]

It seems the amount of the so called swine flu cases in the province is starting to tailor off.Chief Medical officer of Health Dr. Eilish Cleary says there was an upsurge of cases over the past number of weeks, but this weeks the numbers are showing a decline.Dr. Cleary says like any influenza strain---once the virus is present in a community, people develop immunity to it.
Cleary says when a particular virus is circulating people become immune to it, which is why there are so many cases of a new virus, such as the H1-N1.So far only three people have been hospitalized in New Brunswick, and there have been no deaths.

Maple Leaf Weiners Recalled

The Department of Health is warning the public certain brands of Maple Leaf, Shopsy's and Hygrade wieners may be contaminated with the listeria bacteria.The company has voluntarily recalled the products, and people are advised to check their fridges and freezers for affected products.Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eilish Cleary says there have been no reported cases of listeriosis in the province as a result of these products, and the Department of Health will monitor for new cases.

For a list of recalled products check out the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's Website here.

Two Inmates Sent to Hospital After Fight

Two inmates from the Atlantic Institution are back from a visit to the hospital after a fight last night.Both inmates were taken to the nearest health care facility, but their injuries were not serious so they have returned to the institution.Staff at the facility in Renous are reviewing the incident to determine if corrective action needs to be taken.

More Praise For Maine Increasing Truck Weight Restrictions

First it was the Saint John Board of Trade, now members of Access Atlantica-The Northeast Trade Corridor are applauding the state of Maine for a possible one year pilot program increasing weight restrictions on cargo trucks.Spokesperson Nancy Thorne tells CHSJ News, having the weight restriction in Maine increase to 100 thousand pounds like it is here in New Brunswick would cut down on travel time for drivers.
She says right now drivers have to travel through Quebec, and down through Detroit to get to the Southern United States.

Thorne says not only from a financial standpoint, having trucks be able to travel through Maine with 100 thousand pounds of cargo would help decrease the environmental impact.

Look Out For Algal Blooms

The Health Department is warning people to be aware of the health risks posed by algal blooms in lakes and other water.Keep in mind if the water looks different than usual, it's best to avoid it.Swimmers are urged to avoid discoloured areas of water, as well as areas that appear to have a thick, blue or green plaint like scum.When present in the water, these blooms may cause skin, eye or throat irritation, and for more information, click here.

Provincial and Federal Government Helping out Water Projects

The provincial and federal governments are in a giving mood today handing over nearly $7 million dollars to New Brunswick water system projects.Edmundston is receiving $1.6 million dollars from each government for infrastructure relating to upgrading water and wastewater systems, and Clair is getting $2.3 million for the same.The projects are expecting to enhance the local facilities, as well as create jobs.
Meanwhile, three Madawaska communities are getting a $1.3 million dollar shot in the arm from the province and feds to upgrade drinking water and wastewater collection systems.

Province Sitting on Energy Gold Mine

Energy Minister Jack Keir is driving home the importance of diversifying energy generation in the province. He tells CHSJ News having tidal, nuclear, wind, and potentially natural gas generated electricity will create a huge advantage for not only Saint John--but--the entire province. Keir says New Brunswick is sitting next to the largest energy demanding market in North America--the New England States.

As for a second reactor at Point Lepreau, Keir says there would be a benefit for rate payers in the province. He says the province will only move on that project and sell the power to the Southeastern United States if it can get a strong rate of return.

Federal Government Announces One Million Dollars for Arts

The federal government has announced one million dollars in funding for 52 arts, culture, and heritage organizations in the province today. Just over $23,000 of which has been allocated to Saint John and St. George for the Saint John Theatre on the Edge Festival, Saltyjam Festival and Granite Town Festival.

Thirty-two hundred dollars has also been given to the Queens County Historical Society & Museum in Gagetown for Life at the Lakes 2009.

Gas Prices Inch Up

Gas prices are creeping up above the dollar mark this morning. The Energy and Utilities Board has set the maximum price schedule for the province this week and the total maximum price for regular self-serve gasoline is a dollar-two. Yesterday is was 99.1 cents a litre.

Diesel fuel is about the same at 98.8 cents a litre and propane hasn't moved an inch still coming in at 93.2 cents.

Medical Teams Prepare for AC/DC Concert

Anyone making the trek to Moncton this evening to see AC/DC shouldn't worry about medical services. Regional Health Authority B will be sending a team to take care of all medical needs.A primary emergency medical building, along with two tents will be positioned on the perimeter of the site, which will provide a spacious, less noisy, dry, well equipped space for medical treatment. Paramedics will also be patrolling the crowd at Magnetic Hill to help people with minor injuries or illness.

The Health Authority is also providing a list of tips for those about to rock:

Monitor the weather forecast closely and plan accordingly, but remember this is the Maritimes and the weather can change quickly and drastically.

Prepare for both hot and cooler temperatures, and rainy weather. Bring layers of clothing that provides good insulation and keeps moisture away from the skin.

Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Dehydration can occur quickly in hot and humid weather. Each concert goer can bring a 1 Litre of bottle of water into the concert but remember to bring fluids to drink while waiting for the gates to open.

Protect yourself from sun exposure by wearing a hat, sunglasses and applying sunscreen regularly. Wear light-coloured, breathable clothing and move into the shade when possible.

Wear comfortable shoes as concert goers will be walking and standing for long periods of time. Also consider the terrain you will be walking on at the site.

Use common sense, listen to your body and respond appropriately. Drink responsibly and prepare for a safe ride home.

Remember to assign a meeting spot with your group early on to ensure no one gets lost during or at the end of the concert. Remember to eat to avoid becoming weak. And most importantly have fun!