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Monday, September 21, 2009

Schryer Satisfied With Vaccine Plans

(Health Minister Mary Schryer - file photo)

Provincial Health Minister Mary Schryer says she has faith in plans for rolling out the H-1-N-1 flu vaccine later this year.
Some health professionals in Ontario are urging officials to make sure a proper system of checks and balances are in place before speeding up the start of the vaccination program -- but -- Schryer says she's comfortable with the plans she has heard so far.
Meantime -- the Minister wants to make sure people realize they won't have to pay for the vaccine -- she says it will be available to all New Brunswickers free of charge on a voluntary basis.

New Justice Building Still Months Away

(Supply and Services Minister Ed Doherty - file photo)

While construction of the Regional Hospital expansion is moving along -- we are still months away from a start on the new provincial Justice Building which will be part of the Peel Plaza development.
In response to a CHSJ News question -- Supply and Services Minister Ed Doherty says they're still working out details of various agreements with the city on things like the detention cells -- tunnel between the justice complex and new police station -- and -- the outside plaza.
The province is still working with a short list of potential partners for the Justice building -- a final decision on the successful bidder is expected in December with construction to begin as soon as possible after the selection of the partner.

Supply & Services Minister Ed Doherty Speaks With Reporters

The Minister responds to questions about the expansion at the Regional Hospital and the status of the new Justice Building at Peel Plaza.

No Changes Planned

The Department of Transportation has the final say about changes to any wild-life fencing around the province and their answer appears to be clear. There will be no changes to the fencing along Highway Seven. DOT Spokes-person Andrew Holland tells CHSJ News, they spoke with the ATV Federation last week.

Holland says the department is very clear about this....there will be no cutting of wild-life fencing on Highway Seven or any of the other 300 kilometers of fencing around the Province.

Advocate Pusing to Keep Fences As Is

As you can imagine, word of putting gates along the moose fencing is disturbing to Cathy McCullom. She is the woman from Welsford who took on they then Lord Government to have the fencing put in place. This after her daughter's vehicle struck a moose along a section of Highway Seven near her home. McCullom tells CHSJ News, she has been busy on the phone to Fredericton since Friday.

McCullom has also spoken to Saint John West MLA Able Leblanc who is looking into the matter.

ATV Federation Wants Changes

[New Brunswick All Terrain Vehicle Association Logo----File Photo]

All options are being explored by the Department of Transportation after an application from the Provincial All Terrain Vehicle Association landed on it's desk. It wants permission to install a gate at certain locations along the moose fencing on Highway Seven so vehicles can have access to all of the trail system. General Manager Jacques Poirier tells CHSJ News, there is also new technology they are looking into.
Poirier says another option is to use an underground tunnel system or accessing an over-pass.

Video Tour Of Regional Hospital Expansion

District 8 Superintendent on Removing Exemption System

[District 8 Superintendent Susan Tipper-----File Photo]

A tough decision and not one that was made with-out medical consultation. That from the superintendent of District Eight concerning the new rule for exemptions for the first semester. Susan Tipper tells CHSJ News, they will review the situation in February at the beginning of the second semester:

Tipper adds if the H1N1 Pandemic hits as hard as it is supposed to, they want to make sure all the proper steps are being taken.

District 6 Suspending Exemption Program

[District 6 Superindendent Zoe Watson-----File Photo]

Trying to prevent the spread of the H1N1 virus in schools is causing high school students to lose their opportunity to waive a final exam.

District 6 Superintendent Zoe Watson tells CHSJ News, the exam exemption system has been put on hold for this school year as a preventative measure towards H1N1.
Watson says in the past students who are serious about getting an exemption will still come to school even if they are feeling under the weather.
She says this temporary change is to ensure the safety of all students in the districts high school.

A Few Changes Within the Provincial Government

A few changes within the provincial government today.

Bill Levesque is the new deputy minister of Business New Brunswick, taking the role from Phil LePage, who is becoming the deputy minister of Natural Resources.
Taking Levesque's previous position as president of the Regional Development Corporation is Denis Caron----who was the vice president of the corporation.
The last change is the retirement of Natural Resources Deputy Minister Tom Reid after 38 years of public service.
The changes go into effect on October 5th.

Head Of Blood Agency Coming For Meeting Next Month

(Canadian Blood Services on University Avenue - file photo)

Health Minister Mary Schryer is remaining optimistic in the battle to keep the Canadian Blood Services distribution center here in the city.
Schryer says she went to the annual meeting of the agency last week to register her objection to the proposed move to Halifax -- and -- now the chair of the agency is coming for another meeting next month.
Top officials from Canadian Blood Services met with a legislature committee over the summer and indicated nothing had changed their minds as far as the consolidation of distribution services is concerned.

Hospital Expansion On Time

(Steel work nearing completion for Emergency Department expansion at Regional Hospitl - photo by Gary MacDonald)

It's on time -- and -- appears to be on budget -- that's the word from Supply and Services Minister Ed Doherty on the status of the 50-million dollar expansion of the Regional's emergency department and a new cancer treatment wing.
Doherty says the new cancer wing will be completed in the spring of next year while the emergency department will have its official opening a year from now.
The new emergency department will include a six truck ambulance bay -- it's also being built to handle the future expansion of a second floor on the new addition.

Rothesay MLA Speaking Out for Families

[Rothesay MLA Margaret Ann Blaney---File Photo]

The MLA for Rothesay is speaking out as the debate for several Scott Avenue residents continues about the future of their homes. A master plan has been presented to the Town of Rothesay by ADI Architecture for a recreation campus and it includes purchasing and knocking down the buildings to make room for the proposal. Margaret Ann Blaney tells CHSJ News, town officials don't appear to be rattled by the news.

Blaney admits the Town needs recreational facilities but not at the cost of throwing 48 families to the curb.

Rothesay Mayor on Scott Avenue

[Rothesay Mayor Bill Bishop-----File Photo]

Scott Avenue is the ideal location for their proposal but nothing is set in stone. That from Rothesay Mayor Bill Bishop responding to the growing controversy about where to build the Town's recreation campus. Bishop tells CHSJ News, he realizes the ramifications for 48 families if the building's are purchased by the Town.

As for Conservative MLA Margaret Ann Blaney's comments about the Town and Mayor, Bishop says she is entitled to her comments but is quick to point out, those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

Land Cleared on Millenium Drive

An un-developed portion of Millenium Drive has been cleared out recently near Hazelton Drive and that has a lot of people wondering what might be going in there? The property is listed with Realtor Dave O'Brien who tells CHSJ News, there are no offers for the land and it has been cleared to make it more attractive to any perspective buyer.

The stretch of property still un-developed along Millenium Drive which falls into the Town of Rothesay's jurisdiction, was earmarked for both a Walmart and the Shannex Corporation Development but turned down following public pressure from home-owners in the area. The Shannex Development is now under construction at the far end of Millenium in the jurisdiction of Quispamsis.

Three Charged with Weapons and Drug Offences

Three men in their 20s have been arrested and charged with drug posession and weapons offences. They were picked up by police around 12:40am this morning with drugs and several weapons--such as bats, hatchets and knives-- in their vehicle.

Department of Health Comments on Confirmed H1N1 Case in Local School

The provincial Department of Health says is is fully aware of the confirmed case of H1N1 at Rothesay Netherwood School. Lab tests confirmed the pandemic flu over the weekend. Spokesperson Nicole Bowman says the department does not announce the location of individual cases, but she can understand why RNS would want to make it public. King's Edgehill School in Nova Scotia received intense public scrutiny following a major outbreak of H1N1 earlier this year.

School officials at Rothesay Netherwood say they followed protocol when the student began feeling ill and that person was isolated and treated--and--has since returned to class. Head of School, Paul Kitchen, says no other students at RNS are showing the symptoms of H1N1.

Dairy Town Armed Robbery

RCMP are on the look out for a man in his twenties following an armed robbery at the Sussex Ultramar on Main Street. The robbery took place place this morning around 2:30am when the armed man made off with money and other items. The employee was not hurt.
Police describe the man as being about five-foot-ten to six-feet tall, thin and between 21 and 30 years of age. He was wearing light jeans and dark boots. Anyone with information is asked to contact Sussex RCMP or Crimestoppers.

H1N1 Confirmed at Rothesay School

The first case of the school year has been confirmed for the H1N1 virus at Rothesay Netherwood School. Lab tests confirmed the pandemic flu over the weekend. School officials say they followed protocol when the student began feeling ill and was isolated and treated--and--has since returned to class. The student is now actively involved in daily school life.

Head of School, Paul Kitchen, says no other students at RNS are showing the symptoms of H1N1.

Students Oppose Changes to School Exam Exemptions

The idea of being able to waive an exam based on a good attendance and passing grades is something some students in District 6 and 8 have grown to depend on come exam season. But District Council has decided to scrap the exemption program this year due to fear of H1N1. Kristie Lynn Smith, a grade 12 student at Simonds High School, founded a facebook group hoping to see the districts re-consider the decision. Smith says there are a many people fighting the decision.

The facebook group currently has just under 600 members and continues to grow. It's goal is to start a petition in each school and gather signatures to present to district council.

Biotechnology Week

The provincial government has created "Biotechnology Week in New Brunswick". The week runs from September 18th until the 25th. Premier Shawn Graham says science-based industries are critical to achieving goals in our province. The Graham government will be co-hosting a Bioscience Day in Fredericton tomorrow featuring local companies linked to the industry. More than 2,000 highly qualified New Brunswickers work in the Biotechnology sector, generating more than $110 million for the provincial economy.