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Thursday, October 22, 2009

New Look for Nurses Union

It was a unanimous vote earlier this week as the New Brunswick Nurses Union is affiliating with the N.B. Federation of Labour. The vote took place at the nurses 35th annual meeting this week in Fredericton.

In a release, the federation says it is pleased to add nurses' voices to labour and look forward to being active participants working with the Federation on issues that public and private sector employees are facing around the Province.

Sussex Crash and Fire

RCMP in Sussex are investigating a single-vehicle rollover this morning on Highway 1 near Exit 192. Officers tell us because the vehicle's headlights were still on, they were able to find wherethe vehicle landed in a patch of trees. Police add the 24-year old man from Moncton is lucky to be alive

Inattention and fatigue ma be reasons for the crash. Fire Crews and RCMP in the Dairytown were also called to a fire this morning at a law office on Elm Street. The building suffered heavy damage from the flames, smoke and water.The cause doesn't appear to be suspicous.

Concern by Canada Post

Concern is being voiced by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers Union about Bill C-44. If approved, the bill would partially de-regulate Canada Post by removing international letters from the corporation's exclusive privledge to handle letters. Grievance Officer Al Arsenault tells CHSJ News, revenue lost to the corporation of this bill passes is between 80-100 million dollars.

Arsenault adds this will also affect jobs from this city to Victoria. The union will hit the streets over the next few weeks gathering signatures to try and stop passage of the bill.

Drugs and Weapons Seized by City Police

                  (Photo By Jim Hennessy)

A six figure, six month under-cover investigation involving 15 police officers from different forces around the Province has concluded. ""Operation Portland"" netted City Police $29,000 dollars in drugs, $5,000 cash and $5,000 dollars worth of weapons including several rifles, a shot-gun and stun guns. Deputy Chief Darrell Scribner says this is all about making the quality of life for several home-owners much better.

The charges also include liquor offences at three bars along Union Street. 48 people have been arrested, 33 have or will appear in court or are locked up. Sargeant John Wilcox, head of the Street Crime Unit says those we didn't get this time, we will next.

H1N1 Flu Shot Program Begins Today

Vaccinations against the H1N1 flu will begin right away for key health care staff in this province, with the full immunization program to be rolled out on Monday. Deputy chief medical officer of health, Dr. Paul Van Buynder, says the province now has 83 thousand doses of H1N1 vaccine --and-- they will begin offering shots to key target groups first. They include first nations communities, all health care staff and young children. The rest of the population should be able to get a pandemic flu shot in about 3 weeks.

Dr. Van Buynder says the un-adjuvented vaccine for pregnant women will be available the second week of November. The provincial health website and Telecare information line will have a list of all H1N1 clinics in the province by tomorrow.

Horizon Health Network Puts a Hold on Some Services

There will be a temporary delay in many of the services being offered by the Horizon Health Network---formerly the Atlantic Health Sciences Corporation. This is to implement the province's H1N1 vaccination program.

Among those being temporarily postponed are the three-and-a-half year preschool screening clinics, health promotion activities, Healthy Learners program, anonymous HIV testing and sexual health services. Horizon Health says priority services for at risk people, pediatric immunization clinics and tracking of communicable diseases will continue--and---all services will return to normal when the H1N1 flu shot program ends.

Groups Ask Province to Release Poverty Report

The Common Front for Social Justice says the provincial government is stifling democracy when it comes to the Poverty Reduction Initiative. Twenty-four organizations have signed an open letter asking Premier Shawn Graham to release the Options Report on dealing with poverty. It was drafted during roundtable discussions involving 30 people. Provincial coordinator, Jean-Claude Basque, tells CHSJ news the issue of poverty needs to be discussed openly.

A decision will be made on the options in the report following a premier's forum in November.

Fire Leaves Five Homeless

Five people have been forced from their homes after an overnight blaze at 9 Prospect Street. Fire crews arrived on the scene after midnight to find heavy smoke and fire in the first floor living room. 17 fire fighters worked to knock down the bulk of the flames, but the fire moved through the walls to the second floor living room. The fire was extinguished after about two hours, but officials say the living rooms are badly damaged, and there is smoke, heat and water damage throughout the building.
The five people who were living there are staying with friends and family.

Price of Gas Takes a Leap

The price of gas has jumped five cents a litre today as the Energy and Utilities Board releases its maximum price schedule. Regular self serve gas can now sell for up to 100.4.

Diesel fuel also costs five cents more, selling for up to 104 cents per litre. Furnace oil is up to 88.3 cents per litre and propane is about the same as yesterday at 98.2.

Search for Missing Boaters Continues

The search continues by the Canadian and American Coast Guard looking for 3 boaters from Lebuc, Maine. One body has been recovered so far with the men reported missing on Tuesday night. A U.S. Coast Guard spokesperson says the initial search resulted in a peice of debris with the boat's name on it and three life jackets floating in the water. The Americans asked for some Canadian assistance because the search zone is close to the border. The boat's name is the Bottom Basher.

ILA Continues Fight to Halt Irving Headquarters on Long Wharf

If it is contaminated, someone is responsible for cleaning it. That from Pat Riley, spokes-person with the International Longshoreman's Association referring to the former Lantic Sugar Site. Talks continue between Irving Oil and the Port Authority to swap that property for Long Wharf. The company has already completed 25% of pre-construction work along the water front. Riley tells CHSJ News, the port authority recently hired a consultant which has determined what all the contaminants on the site are.

Riley says if among the contaminants there are carcinagens, they want them identified so they don't run into a situation similar to that of the Sydney Tar Ponds where no one took responsibility for what was left on that site.

City Councilor Opposes Selling Saint John Energy

The latest word out of City Hall is Mayor and Councilors are giving some thought to selling Saint John Energy. One councilor how-ever says this is a bad idea. Bill Farren tells CHSJ News, it's an asset that benefits every citizen.

Farren adds it's ridiculous to think City Hall would take a public assett such as Saint John Energy and put it into the private hands of corporations for profit.