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Thursday, August 27, 2009

EIA Process for Second Refinery a Go

It's full steam ahead for Irving Oil's Environmental Impact Assessment for it's proposed second refinery. This despite word from the company just weeks ago the proposal is in a holding pattern. Pierre Doucette is with the Environment Department and tells CHSJ News, this makes alot of sense from the company and their point of view because if the proposal gets a second life, this is a huge part of the process they don't have to start from scratch.

Doucette says there have been other smaller cases where this has happened but no proposal of this size before. The Environment Department's Open House is scheduled for o'clock at the Simonds Lions Auditorium. Irving Oil has also announced the date for it's open house which is September. 9th between two and nine o'clock at the Community College.

Maintenance Work Coming to the Refinery

If you noticed some industrial cranes hovering in the shadow of the Irving Oil refinery, so did we and here is why they are there. They are in place as preliminary work get started for their planned Fall Maintenance Project. Full details of what they are going to be doing won't be released for two more weeks.

Spokes-person Leslie McLeod tells CHSJ News, letters have been sent to their neighbours around the facility to tell them there might be some higher than normal flaring, noise or odour coming from the facility. This planned work will not affect the refinerys output to it's customers.

Street Party for Romero House

Plenty of sunshine and smiles were on display for Romero House's street party today. This was the organizations way to show their thanks for all of the funds raised for the soup kitchen over the past two months. Over $60,000 dollars is in their account after announcing they might lose their full-time staff due to a shortage of cash. Director Carolyn McNulty tells CHSJ News, she is not retiring but will be stepping back some due to her health.

McNulty has been serving Greater Saint John for almost thirty years when she began helping people out of her own home.

Blood Donors are Staying Home

A shocking discovery from Canadian Blood Services today. Spokes-person Amanda Cullen tells us she has spoken to people who are boycotting giving the gift of life. This is due to the news the production lab on University Avenue might re-locate to Halifax. Cullen tells CHSJ News, it's important to point out that nothing is set in stone at this point.

Cullen points out if the production lab does re-locate, there will still be donation labs set up in Saint John and Moncton.

Report on Energy in Atlantic Canada Released

The energy sector has become the most important group of industries in Atlantic Canada, according to the latest report by the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council. APEC Senior Economist David Chaundy, tells CHSJ news the push for clean energy could open up considerable potential for new growth.

Chaundy says the most important challenge has been the drop in demand for energy products amidst the recession --and-- the need to consider the emphasis of energy export to the suffering New England Market.

Keeping an Eye on Tropical Storm Danny

The Canadian Hurricane Centre is tracking Tropical Storm Danny which is headed our way this weekend. Environment Canada Meteorologist, Claude Cote, tells CHSJ news it's too soon to predict the exact path of the storm--but--says the Maritimes will be hit Saturday night.

Cote says New Brunswick will likely get the most rain--around 50 mms---but the system is expected to be a post-tropical storm by the time it reaches us.

Strong Summer for Moosehead

Plenty of smiles at Moosehead Breweries despite the soggy summer. With all the rain in June and July, there were concerns it could be a tough year for sales but bring on Cracked Canoe and Moosehead Light Lime. They have vaulted strong summer numbers with Light Lime becoming the companies third best selling brand. Vice-President of Communications Joel Levesque tells CHSJ News, lime is on it's way to other provinces as we speak.

Levesque adds sales are not only up here at home but around the Maritimes as well.

Update on Peel Plaza

The long drawn out process for Peel Plaza and the new home of the Police Headquarters and Justice Complex is coming to an end. That according to Mayor Ivan Court who says despite the lack of ""shovels in the ground"" the proposal is not in a holding pattern and they continue to put in place the final plan. Court tells CHSJ News, once the Police Department is out of City Hall, the opportunity for extra revenue with a new tenant is there.

Court adds all this recent talk of finding a new location for the new Police Headquarters and Justice Complex would do nothing but jack up the over-all cost of the project. Construction is expected to get started this fall.

Gas Prices Holding Steady

Gas prices in the province haven't budged an inch overnight. The Energy and Utilities Board is posting a maximum price for regular self serve at a dollar-one-point-8 cents a litre with most gas stations in the metro area still selling a fuel for 99.1 cents a litre.

Diesel fuel is up nearly a penny to land at 98.5 cents a litre before the possible 2 cent delivery charge--and--propane is up half a cent from yesterday at 96.5 cents a litre.

Fourth Starbucks on the Way for Saint John

The coffee market in Saint John is getting a little more competition. A new Starbucks is under construction in Brunswick Square. Paullette Hicks is the General Manager of the mall and tells CHSJ News, they have been working on this deal for quite some time.

With a Tim Hortons just around the corner from the new Starbucks, Hicks says there are no hard feelings and both companies realize competition and having a choice is healthy.

Heather Way Gets Speed Humps to Slow Traffic

City Works crews didn't waste any time in getting a project done. After announcing on Monday they were installing speed humps along the southbound lanes of Heather Way they are in place. Several calls to our news-room tell us they hit them and got quite a surprise. The decision to install the humps was made after months of consultation when a 79-year old woman was struck and killed by a speeding vehicle in October of last year.

A 16-year old boy was charged with dangerous driving causing death back in June and handed a two year suspended sentence. City Hall tells us they do have a plan for the North-bound lanes but no word yet on what they are.

Mayor Optimistic Provincial Share of Funding is Coming for a Key Project

A week after Ottawa handed over just a million dollars for refurbishment work at the Canada games Stadium, Mayor Ivan Court sounds optimistic a cheque from the Province isn't far behind. Court tells CHSJ News, Saint John MLA's have told them they are on-board with this proposal.

Court says the important thing is to get started on the majority of the work at the stadium right away.

Election: Talking in Circles

If there is a Fall federal Election looming, the Conservative Party doesn't appear to be worried about it. Heritage and Official Languages Minister James Moore tells CHSJ News, he hasn't met anyone recently that wants an election now or anytime soon.

Moore says Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff is about as in-decisive as you can get telling everyone he wants an election and then two days later backing off the statement.

City's New Methadone Clinic Has Lengthy Wait List

The new Methadone clinic at St. Joseph's Hospital opened just over 2 weeks and the doctor in charge says things are going well. Dr. Duncan Webster says they have over 100 people on the waiting list but, those numbers change daily.

Dr. Webster says before methadone is prescribed, patients get a physical exam and they determine if the patient has a substance abuse problem.