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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Local Craft Fair at Lily Lake Pavillion

A Saint John teenager is looking to raise some cash to help build a school in Sri Lanka.

17 year old Zoe Caddell and Anna Duncan have organized a local arts and craft fair at the Lily Lake Pavillion on behalf of Free the Children.
Caddell tells CHSJ news, the goal is to raise money to build a school, but to also get people thinking about buying local.
Things get underway today at noon at the Lily Lake Pavillion.

Cruise Symposium Coming to the Port City

For the first time since 1998, Saint John will host the Canada New England Cruise Symposium.
Over 225 participants will be in the city to hear industry experts talk about trends in the industry.
Betty MacMillan of Saint John Port Authority tells CHSJ news they expect the new cruise ship season to bring in about 30 million dollars with more passengers than last year.
The first call of the new cruise ship season is in late May with the symposium coming up in June at the Trade and Convention Centre.

Kids Guide at New Brunswick Museum

The New Brunswick Museum at Market Square got some help from grade 4 and 5 students at Prince Charles School in puting together a kids guide to the Museum. Wendy Martindale is head of community services at the museum. She tells CHSJ News the perspective of children differs from that of adults.
Martindale says it's hoped the kids guide will result in more young people becoming interested in what's going on at the museum.

Home Renovation Tax Credit Ends Tonight

[M-P Rodney Weston---File Photo]
A popular program aiming to put money back into the economy by giving citizens money for home renovations is coming to an end tonight.
Saint John M-P Rodney Weston tells CHSJ News, he's not sure if there are any discussions to extend the Home Renovations Tax Credit, but he's heard a lot of positive feedback about it.
Weston says the program did exactly what it set out to do.
Weston says since he's not privy to discussions between Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Prime Minister Harper, he's not sure what the status of extending the program is.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Radio Renovations Week Four

Skate to Care

It's not just officials at the Regional Hospital Foundation getting geared up for this years Investors Group Skate to Care. Angela Morris is getting Musquash ready to stage it's own event. This is the fourth year they have done it, the second where they registered. Morris tells CHSJ News, it's plenty of fun for the entire community:

Morris says last year theye raised $2400 dollars and hope to get close to $3000 next month.

Provincial Leaders Recognize Senate Appointment

[M-L-A Rose-May Poirer----File Photo]

The Premier is extending his congratulations to recent senate appointee New Brunswick MLA Rose-May Poirer.
Shawn Graham says although the two have disagreed on public policy matters in the past, he has always held Poirer in high regard for her work on behalf of the province.
Poirer will be one of the newest members of the senate as of February 28th.
Provincial Tory Leader David Alward is also congratulating Poirer on the recent appointment.

New Brunswick Student Alliance Responds to State of the Province Address

The New Brunswick Student Alliance is pleased with the Premiers commitment to make post secondary education more affordable.
During the State of the Province Address, Premier Graham said twice his government will be working to further expand programs on students loans, and will make post secondary education more affordable for students.
President Duncan Gallant says it's necessary the Graham Government follow through on the commitments because right now many students do not qualify for the student debt cap, or the timely completion benefit.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Energy Minister Jack Keir at Harbour Station

Senator Pleased With New Appointments

Senator John Wallace says it's good the Senate is finally at par with the House of Commons in terms of Tory representatives.

Wallace tells CHSJ News, the new appointments will allow government legislation through the Senate, because the Liberal Government no longer has more seats than the Tories.
Wallace says the new Senators will allow more justice related legislation to pass.
He says a a bill will be moved soon to cap a Senators run at 8 years, and also to make a Senate seat a vote based position.

Upgrades to Video System at Harbour Station

[Energy Minister Jack Keir----Photo by Dave Briggs]

The Energy Minister was in town for what he calls a pleasure to announce.
All three level of governments are kicking in over $350 thousand dollars to upgrade the video system at Harbour Station.
Jack Keir says when the call went out for funding, he and colleague M-L-A Roly McIntryre took it to the Premier and said it's an important project for the city, but for Harbour Station and the Seadogs.
The updated scoreboard will feature HD technology, and Mayor Ivan Court says now the scoreboard will reflect the same quality off the ice as there is on the ice.
The project is estimated to be completed before March 31st, 2011.

Harbour Bridge Discussions Continue

[Saint John M-P Rodney Weston----Photo by Dave Briggs]

Saint John M-P Rodney Weston says discussions are still on going with the province and the Harbour Bridge Authority about the funding issue.

Weston tells CHSJ News, the end isn't here, but hopefully close.
Weston says the Harbour Bridge has been the topic of most of the conversations he has been having lately, specifically with Minister Keith Ashfield, who is responsible for the Atlantic Gateway.

No Complaints About Closing Schools

District 8 isn't receiving any phone calls about why school was closed today.

This comes after receiving several complaints from parents on Monday, when the expected bad weather never showed up.
A spokesperson for the district tells CHSJ News, everyone seems to be in agreement that closing schools today was the right decision.
This is the second day this week schools in District 8 and 6 were closed due to weather, and only the second snow day of the year.

Highway One Disruption of Traffic

Construction of the One Mile Interchange will be disrupting traffic along Highway One in the vicinity of Crown Street this afternoon. Andrew Holland of the Provincial Transportation Department tells CHSJ News traffic will be closed both ways along the highway around 2:00 to allow for blasting and the subsequent cleanup. Holland doesn't expect the highway in that area to be blocked for anymore than 20 minutes.

Weathermaker Surprises Saint John

(File Photo)

Saint John is expected to wind up with 10 to 15 centimeters of snow with higher totals in the K-V and Sussex from the latest weathermaker. Jeremy March of Environment Canada tells CHSJ News the storm system turned out to be more intense than was originally forecast. March warns it will turn windy and alot colder this afternoon as well. All schools are closed today in Districts 6 and 8. Just the mainland schools will be closed today in District 10 and exams scheduled for today will be held on Monday. Samuel de Champlain in District 1 will also be shut down for the day.

Sergeant Mark Gallagher's Funeral in Woodstock

(Sergeant Mark Gallagher)
(File Photo)

Friends, family and hundreds of police officers from across the country have remembered a Mountie from this province who was killed in the devastating earthquake in Haiti. About 700 police officers marched in a procession to St. Gertrude's Roman Catholic Church in Woodstock before the R-C-M-P regimental funeral for Sergeant Mark Gallagher. His friend, Reverend Karl Ingersoll, spoke of a man who dedicated his life to serving others. His wife Lisa spoke of a man with a generous heart who was conflicted about his service in Haiti and spoke of the overwhelming poverty he saw there. Some 350 people packed the small brick church for the service, while an overflow of mourners watched the funeral on television at a local civic centre in Woodstock and at the Moncton Wesleyan Church.

Energy Minister Apologizes

(Provincial Energy Minister Jack Keir)
(File Photo)

Provincial Energy Minister Jack Keir has apologized to the legislature after earlier claiming N-B Power president David Hay voted in favour of a 3.2-(b)-billion-dollar electricity deal with Hydro-Quebec. Keir says he was given the wrong information in a staff briefing and later found out Hay had actually abstained from the vote. Opposition Energy critic Paul Robichaud is suggesting the reason Hay abstained is that he doesn't support the NB Power deal. Hay is saying one way or the other.

Premier's State of the Province Address

(Premier Shawn Graham)
(File Photo)

Premier Shawn Graham says his government has been pressing ahead with reforms and should have done a better job communicating. Graham says his state of the province speech last night was an effort to better explain the changes his government has made, and connect the dots to the goal of creating self-sufficiency. The Premier also says communities in New Brunswick will be able to generate their own electricity and sell it to N-B Power. Only brief details of the plan last night as part of his state of the province address. Graham says it will mean more renewable energy generated within the province and help meet objectives of his government's climate action plan. Further details will be announced in a few weeks.
About 150 opponents to the deal to sell assets of N-B Power to Hydro-Quebec protested outside prior to the speech.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Economic Growth Report Results

A report conducted by CIBC on the state of provincial economys shows the Maritimes will unlikely repeat the success of 2009.

The report states economic growth in the Maritimes will not like outperform other provinces like it did weathering the economic downturn, and any gains will likely be insignificant.
CIBC is predicting New Brunswick will appear more attractive to industry due to lower power rates, and tax cuts, but sectors like forestry and business services will suffer do to some capital investments being put off.
Saskatchewan will lead in economic growth with a 3 per cent gain. New Brunswick is looking at a 2.2 per cent gain, and the slowest expansion comes from PEI at 1.8 per cent.

Oromocto RCMP Searching for Assault Suspect

[Lonnie Dellas Carr---Photo Courtesy of the RCMP]
A follow up to a story we first told you about Saturday----The RCMP are on the lookout for a 45 year old man from Fredericton Junction in relation to aggravated assault, evading police, and discharging a firearm.

Lonnie Dellas Carr was charged following an incident on Saturday where the RCMP responded to a complaint involving a handgun.
The suspect used a handgun to get into a home of an acquaintance and assaulted the person causing serious injury.
RCMP are asking if anyone sees Carr to call them or Crime Stoppers immediately and not to approach him.

A Group to "Save Our Horses"

The decision to close the Rockwood Park Horse Barn has riled a few Saint Johnners, some of whom are now wearing sweaters with "Save Our Horses" stickers on them. Brian Stone of Citizens for Fair Taxation tells CHSJ News if the move is being made to save a few dollars, it's ill conceived.

Stone also says it appears some members of Common Council are in the dark believing that negotiations are still going on.

Reaction to NB Power CEO Resignation

All was not well in the camp of NB Power's Board of Directors over the proposed sale of some of the assets to Hydro Quebec. That's the take of Tom Mann of the Coalition opposing the sale and points to David Hay's announced departure this week as President and C-E-O. He says those who are opposed to the deal have very different reasons for doing so.

Mann says a third group believes the province would be giving up control of its energy future with the sale.

NB Power Court Challenge

A monkey wrench has been thrown in the works as far as the legal challenge to the NB Power sale is concerned. The Provincial Government is sticking with the legal provision that 2 months notice is required in writing which would delay matters until the time when the revised agreement is supposed to be approved. The court challenge is being filed in the name of Auguste Gallant who worked many years for the province.

Gallant says even if the deal is signed, sealed and delivered, a judge can still rule it's illegal and declare it null and void.

Rally to Oppose Sale of NB Power Assets

Saint Johners opposed to the sale of NB Power are invited to a rally today at the intersection of St. Patrick and Union Street at 4:30.

The demonstration is in collaboration with the No To the Sale of NB Power rally being held at the University of New Brunswick Student Union Building in Fredericton tonight where the Premier will be delivering his State of the Province address.

Four New ER Doctors at the Regional

The Regional Hospital is welcoming four new emergency department physicians.

Dr. Paul Atkinson, Dr. Matthew Grabove, Dr. Peter Ross, and Dr. Glenn Verheul will all be joining the department for both clinical and academic work.
Head of Emergency Medicine at the hospital Dr. Michael Howlett says the recruitment of these four doctors is a major step towards ensuring long term stability of the department.
All four doctors are also a part of the Dalhousie University Emergency Medicine Faculty.

Hampton RCMP Looking for Vehicle Thief

The RCMP in Hampton are looking for the person responsible for nabbing a pick up truck from a driveway last night.

A 33 year old Kingston man reported his 2005 Dodge Ram truck stolen from his yard just after midnight.
The vehicle is described as white, with the license plate number CNT-727, and had a snowmobile in the back.

Price of Milk To Rise Next Week

Milk will cost you a bit more starting Monday. It has been announced by the Farm Products Commission that the price will be rising by one cent a litre as of February 1st. The Farm Commission terms the increase modest saying operating costs were kept down because of lower fuel prices. School milk prices will remain the same for another year. The Commission says processors and operators subsidise that programme at a cost of 1.3 million dollars a year.

Saint John Improves Position in Monopoly Voting

Uptown restaurant owners, Saint John's Mayor and MP and the President of the Board of Trade are encouraging everyone to vote and get the Port City on a new version of the board game Monopoly. You can vote once a day at Saint John is ahead of Fredericton in the voting and currently sits at 55th out of 65 cities. 20 cities will be chosen for the game.

Gas Prices Are Down Again

Gas prices are continuing to go down following the weekly setting. The maximum price for self serve regular is almost a cent a litre cheaper at 101.3. It's being sold in the city for 98.7. The maximum that can be charged for diesel is 105.3 which is a tad lower and is being sold in Saint John for 102.6. Furnace oil is at 88.7 and propane, 115.5. In Grand Bay-Westfield this morning, the price for self serve regular is 97.7 a litre and diesel is being sold for 101.6.

Atlantic Coastal Action Program on New Municipal Plan

The Atlantic Coastal Action Program is hoping the Municipal Plan will include lots of green ideas. Executive Director Tim Vickers tells CHSJ News, the plan is a way to change some not-so environmentally friendly ways. Vickers says people need to get involved, because the more people who come forward the better the process works. He adds the opportunity to conserve some environmental areas is paramount to the future of this city.

City Looking For Input Into Municipal Plan

(Plan SJ Headquarters in Brunswick Square)
(File Photo)

The city is officially launching PlanSJ and is looking for your ideas for the new Municipal Plan which will be used to shape the city for the next 25 years. Deputy Commissioner of Planning Jaqueline Hamilton tells CHSJ news, the city is welcoming every resident to pop into the Plan SJ headquarters in Brunswick Square.
The headquarters will be open for the next two years and the Municipal Plan is expected to be released late 2011.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The light are back for some in Quispamsis

Power has been restored to several hundred people in Quispamis but, over 200 are still in the dark.

NB Power spokesperson Marianne Limpert says the power outtage was caused by a broken pole.
She says that is usually caused by high winds or a vehicle accident.
She expects that power will be restored to everyone between 8:30pm and 9:30pm this evening.

Limpert says the lights went out just after 3:30 this afternoon.

NB Power's Board of Directors not pressured to support deal

NB Power has a bright future under the revised agreement with Hydro Quebec.
That word from Ed Barrett, a member of NB Power's Board of Directors. He tells CHSJ News there was no goverment pressure on the board to come out in support of the deal and it would be unfair to blame outgoing C-E-O David Hay for NB Power's massive multi-billion dollar debt.
Barret credits Hay with the settlement he helped achieve on the Orimulsion deal.
Barrett says the settlement was beneficial to the province. He also tells us a permanent replacement for Hay will not be made until after the proposed agreement with Hydro Quebec is approved.

Coaliton opposed NB Power Sale gets independent panel to review the deal

The Coalition formed to Save NB Power from being sold to Hydro Quebec has released what it calls an independent evaluation of the proposed agreement. Greg Cook of the Coalition tells CHSJ News many of those who collaborated on this report have helped to build NB Power's assets and they have reached a conclusion that this is a great deal for Hydro Quebec.
Cook says what NB Power should be doing is charging Hydro Quebec for use of the transmission lines within this province.

Soldiers start training in 8 regional municipalities today

8 communities in the region will be buzzing with activity as soldiers from CFB Gagetown conduct driver training over the next 4 weeks.

If you live in Maugerville, McGowan's Corner, Sheffield or Mactaquac Dam expect to see military vehicles.
The training will also be happening in Welsford, Lincoln, Tracy and in Fredericton.
The driver training starts today and continues until February 26.

Mischief charges pending

Hampton RCMP spent several hours on Monday morning at what turned out to be a wild goose chase.
Charges of public mischief are pending after police went looking for an injured man who was trapped in a vehicle that left the road.
They never found him and the information leading to the complaint was proven wrong.

More Security for Premier's State of the Province Address

(Premier Shawn Graham)
(File Photo)

There will be more police on hand than usual for Premier Shawn Graham's state of the province address tomorrow night in Fredericton. Organizers made the decision after hearing someone opposed to the NB Power sale may try to interrupt the Premier's speech. The president of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, Lee Winchester confirms more police have been hired for the event at the Aitken University Centre. Protests are planned outside the venue but one of the organizers, Dennis Atchison maintains the demonstration will be a sombre one to reflect the lack of input he feels people in the province have had in the process.

K-V Fire Department Budget Controversy

(Quispamsis Mayor Murray Driscoll)
(File Photo)

The Mayor of Quispamsis is looking to set the record straight about needing to hire an arbitrator to settle the Kennebacasis Fire Department budget. Murray Driscoll tells CHSJ News, hiring a third party to settle the issue doesn't mean there is a feud with the town of Rothesay, it's just part of the process. Driscoll says the station in Quispamsis needs a fourth firefighter. The request for arbitration stems from the KV Fire Department needing to cut 100 thousand dollars from it's budget, and Rothesay doesn't want a new firefighter hired.

Revised NB Power Gets Examination

The Atlantic Institute for Market Studies had an energy expert in Maine examine the new Memorandum of Understanding to sell NB Power's assets to Hydro Quebec. Gordon Weil of Standard Energy says the deal has improvements over the original proposal. A.I.M.S. President Charles Cirtwell tells CHSJ News the fact is the Liberal goverment has a majority and if it wants it passed it will be done. Without staking out a position on whether or not the proposed agreemwent should be approved, Cirtwell says Weil is still concerned over an inevitable price hike for consumers in year six of this deal after the rate freeze comes to an end.

Armed Robbery at Saint John Hotel

City Police reporting an armed holdup early this morning at the Colonial Inn on City Road. They tell CHSJ News one person entered the hotel and demanded cash but was arrested a short time later. The 17 year old suspect is expected in court this morning to be charged.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Keir reacts to NB Power CEO stepping down

Energy Minister Jack Keir doesn't think there is anything suspicious about the timing of David Hay's resignation as CEO of NB Power.
Keir tells CHSJ news that the NB Power Board of Directors has taken a neutral approach to the sale of NB Power's assets to Hydro Quebec.
Keir says he has a great working relationship with Hay over the last 3 years.
David Hay has been honoured three times as one of Atlantic Canada's Top 50 CEOs.

N-B Power C-E-O Out

N-B Power is minus it's CEO -- David Hay has stepped down from the post -- the former top man at the utility hasn't had much to say since the provincial government first announced plans to sell N-B Power to Hydro Quebec last fall.
We are told Hay is remaining quiet on the proposed deal including the changes announced last week.
A formal statement from the utility's board of directors is expected shortly.

Over $10,000 for Haitian earthquake relief raised at local schools

Over 400 Millidgeville North students and staff will gather tomorrow to celebrate raising over $5000 for Haitian relief.

Middle school teacher Chris Graham who has been growing his hair for Locks of Love will get his hair cut to be donated for Cancer survivor wigs.
The school sold raffle tickets and the winner gets to be the first person to cut his hair.
The school's brave principal and vice-principal will let lucky student winners squish pie in their faces.

Students at the New Brunswick Community College in Saint John also raising over $5000 for Haitian earthquake relief.
The money came from the “Hearts for Haiti” benefit concert held this morning at the local NBCC campus. The concert featured Chris Cummings and 2008 Saint John Idol winner Cory Roberts and other musical guests.
All proceeds will be donated to the organization “One By One”.

President of Saint John Reacts to Rebate

Saint John Energy is going to be able to provide the same energy rates to it's customers as NB Power if the proposed sale to Hydro Quebec goes through.

President Eric Marr says in the Memorendum of Understanding it stated all rates would be frozen for residential and commercial customers, and Saint John Energy wanted to do the same.
Marr says the rebate on their utility taxes will help them provide the same rates as NB Power.
As for year six, Marr says he's still not sure what effects it will have on the municipal utility.

Doctor says New Equipment Will Reduce Wait Times

[Dr. John Whalen-----Photo by Dave Briggs]

The Clinical Department Head for Diagnostic Imaging at the Regional Hospital says the new equipment will make the department much more efficient.
Dr. John Whalen says there will still be a waitlist for patients needing the MRI but the new equipment will be able to process about 30 per cent more people.
Dr. Whalen says the current MRI machine was purchased in 2000-2001 and says like computer software it needs to be updated as technology changes.

New Equipment For The Regional and St. Joseph's Hospital

[Health Minister Mary Schryer---Photo by Dave Briggs]

The provincial government is announcing 4 major investments in new diagnostic imaging equipment across the province.
Health Minister Mary Schryer says $13 million dollars has been earmarked for new MRI machines for hospitals in Saint John, Moncton, Edmundston and Bathurst.
Schryer says it's a joint announcement so it can all go into the same Request for Proposal.
Schryer says the province is also fronting the operational costs for new cat scan equipment for St. Josephs Hospital. Schryer says the St. Josephs Foundation raised the money to purchase the machinery, and to alleviate costs it will go on the same R-F-P as the MRI machines.

Saint John Energy to Receive Tax Rebate

[Energy Minister Jack Keir----Photo by Dave Briggs]
Saint John Energy and other municipal utilities will receive a million dollar a year rebate each year on their utility taxes to help them cope with a five year rate freeze as part of the deal to sell parts of NB Power to Hydro Quebec. Provincial Energy Minister Jack Keir says this answers their big concern.

Mayor Ivan Court, who has been silent on the proposed agreement, is now voicing his support saying it will be good for the city.

East Saint John Bar Broken Into

One person is behind bars awaiting a court appearance after a break and enter early this morning at Chuckle's Lounge in Parkway Mall. A window was broken shortly after midnight when the lounge was closed but an employee had not gone home yet. The suspect was arrested at the scene.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Wife and Family Welcome Home Fallen Officer

(Sargeant Mark Gallagher)
(File Photo From RCMP)

Plenty of emotions were on display in Moncton this afternoon as the body of Sgt. Mark Gallagher was brought home. His wife Lisa read a statement to reporters thanking the hundreds of people who have signed condolence books either in person or online. She admits It may be a little while before we are able to read them but we look forward to the day that we can sit down as a family and read all the wonderful things people remember about Mark.

She thanked everyone for their kind words and thoguths and closed with "Mark, our hero, is back home. A Regimental Funeral will be held on Thursday in Woodstock.

Federal Government Looking for Input

[Fundy Royal M-P Rob Moore----File Photo]
The Federal Government is putting out the call to residents to help shape the upcoming budget.
Small Business and Tourism Minister Rob Moore met with business and community leaders in Sussex to hear their views of developing and implementing Canada's Economic Action Plan.
Moore says goal is to attract investment and create jobs once the plan is put in place.
To submit any ideas for the federal budget check out this link.
The budget is scheduled be to tabled on March 4th.

NB Power is on Stand By

NB Power is also on on stand-by for what-ever this weather system might bring. Spokes-person Heather McLean tells CHSJ News, freezing rain gives the public utility plenty of grief in many ways:

McLean adds knock on wood, the winter hasn't been all that bad but it is still January and winter is far from over.

Saint John Energy Ready for Bad Weather

Saint John Energy crews are on stand-by with rain, freezing rain and high winds in the forecast for the next 24 hours. President Eric Marr tells CHSJ News, with gusts expected to reach up to 90km/hour, crews are told to use best discretion if any climbing is necessary:
Marr adds so far this winter, Saint John Energy has been lucky with no major power outages because of storms.

City Works Crews Ready for Winter Blast Today

With 30mm's of rain in the forecast and plenty of snow left-over from last weeks storm, the concern for many home-owners is flooding. City Works Crews have been out all weekend breaking down piles and making sure strom drains are clear. Deputy Commissioner of Municipal Operations Kevin Rice tells CHSJ News, so far, this winter compared with the previous two, hasn't been that bad:

Rice says the City has several area's of concern when it comes to flooding and drainage including Glen Falls, Millidgeville and the West Side.

District 6 Superintendent Stands Behind School Closure Decision

[Superintendent Zoe Watson----File Photo]
Officials in District Six say the threat of ice pellets early this morning was their reasoning for shutting down schools for the day. Superintendent Zoe Watson tells CHSJ News, it's not perfect but they do the best they can with what they have:

This is the first storm day of the 2009-2010 school year for District Six and Watson says thats much better than last year when they had eight or nine.

District 8 Receives Feedback on School Closure

[Superintendent Susan Tipper---File Photo]

Officials in District Eight are taking some heat from parents who are asking..."Why was school cancelled?" With freezing rain in the forecast for the early morning run, officials felt it was the right call as there were a pair of accidents involving school buses during last weeks snow storm. Superintendent Susan Tipper tells CHSJ News, they made a mistake last week.
Tipper adds high school exams were scheduled to get started today so that made the decision twice as tough. This is the first storm day cancellation of this school year for the district.

Charlotte County Hospital Gets Provincial Funding

[Premier Shawn Graham----File Photo]

Premier Graham showed up in St. Stephen today with a cheque for close to $1.4 million dollars to set up a satellite dialysis unit at the Charlotte County Hospital. The money will allow a new dialysis unit with five hemodialysis stations operating three days a week, 12 hours per day, with a capacity to serve 10 patients.

It should be up and running by early next year.

RCMP Raid in Sussex

The RCMP in Sussex have arrested a 52 year old man after searching a home on Manitoba Road In Searsville. They seized three weapons that were not secured properly and a quantity of marijuana. The person arrested will make a court appearance later.

They're also investigating the theft of 6 winter jackets and parkas from a store on Main Street in Sussex. The coats were valued at more than 14 hundred dollars.

Fire in Sussex

A vehicle and garage were destroyed by fire yesterday in Knightville. Sussex RCMP along with the Petitcodiac and the Havelock Fire Departments were called to a home on the Knightville Road yesterday afternoon just after two o'clock. A 72-year old man was working on his Cavalier when it caught fire. No charges will be laid.

Sussex RCMP are still looking into a crash on Saturday involving two snow-mobiles. It was just after three in the afternoon when they were called to an area near Tennants Cove to find a 43-year old man from Rothesay hit a 40-year old man from Quispamsis on the Saint John River. Both were treated at the hospital but officers think one or both of the drivers may have been drinking.

Break and Enters Around the City

The major Crime Unit is on the case after several break and enters were reported over the weekend and this morning. In all cases, the front doors were smashed open at Vivaldi's and Stirling Apples on Rothesay Avenue, J-F Taylor on Bayside Drive, I-C-S Courier Services on Industrial Drive and Maritime Industrial Machines. Police suspect those responsible were looking for cold cash because nothing was taken.

NB Power Board of Directors Supports New Deal

The NB Power Power board of directors fully support the sale of it's assets to Hydro Quebec.

The board received a full briefing on the revised deal on Friday, and say under the proposed arrangement power rates for residents will be lower than the utility could set them.
In supporting the deal, the board recognizes the change and corporate re-organization raises concerns for customers and employees, and it's the board and managements responsibility to work closely with employees when facing these challenges.

Nursing Home Workers Ratify New Contract

About 4 thousand nursing home workers in the province have a new deal with big raises. Under the four-year contract just ratified, some workers will receive more than a 30 per cent increase. The average wage hike over the life of the contract is 22 per cent. The contract also includes better job security. The New Brunswick Council of Nursing Home Unions says the deal achieves wage parity with hospital workers who provide similar services in the province.

Premier In St. Stephen Talking Health and Senior Care

Premier Shaun Graham kicks off the new work week with a stop in St. Stephen. He will deliver a speech at Lincourt Manor to discuss the impact of the recently delivered budget on health and senior care around the Province. This includes new details about infrastructure, program investments, and labour issues. Things gets started at ten o'clock. Before arriving in St. Stephen, the Premier will make a quick stop in St. Andrews to present a New Brunswick flag to a family who has recently moved back to the Province. That gets started at nine.

New Grand Manan Ferry

A news conference is scheduled for this afternoon that will give us an update on the new Grand Manan ferry. $65 million dollars was set aside for the new vessel back in the spring of last year by a boat building firm in Florida. The new ferry will have a capacity for 82 vehicles and will replace the current 25 vehicle ferry.
The 60 vehicle vessel will remain on the water with the new ferry to be finished by next year. Today's news conference gets started at one o'clock at Grand Manan School with Premier Graham and Fisheris Minister Rick Doucet taking part.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sargeant Gallagher makes His Final Trip Home

Sgt. Mark Gallagher makes his final trip home tomorrow (Monday, Jan.25th/2010.) After being killed in the Haiti earthquake, his body will arrive at the Moncton Airport tomorrow afternoon at 2:15pm. The ramp ceremony is closed to the public but media is permited on the tarmac.

Gallagher's body will then be escorted to Woodstock where his funeral will be held. First Responders including RCMP, municipal police and other emergency personnell will set-up a “Highway of Heroes” along the Trans Canada Highway to pay their respects at various locations. An RCMP Regimental Funeral will be held on Thursday in Woodstock.

Protest in Uptown Saint John

                 (Protestors in Front of City Market)
                        (Photo by Dave Briggs)

Close to 60 people braved the cold to take part in a rally yesterday in front of the City Market. They carried signs and chanted against Prime Minister Harper's decision to shut down Parliment until March. Joan Pearce is the organizer and tells CHSJ News, the Harper Conservatives have become quite arrogrant.

Pearce adds she really wants to work on changing how we vote and see if more young people will start to come out and cast a ballot. Other demonstrations were held across Atlantic Canada including Moncton, Fredericton, Charloteetown and Halifax.

Small Building Fire in Uptown Saint John

Nobody hurt and damage was minimal after City Fire Crews were called to a building in the uptown this morning. It was just after 4:30am when they arrived at 149 MeckLenburg Street to find a hallway full of smoke. A few of the tenants had the small fire under control and the building was evacuated to air it out.

City Police did take one person away in handcuffs but no word at this point whether charges will be laid.

Supply and Services Releases It's Budget

(Supply and Services Minister Ed Doherty)
               (File Photo)

The provincial government is deciding how to spend it's $386 million dollars worth of design and construction projects for this year. Supply and Services Minister Ed Doherty says most of the spending will be towards the Education, Health and Traning and Labour portfolios in an effort to stimulate the economy and create jobs.

New investments include $3.8 million to upgrade the province's network of radio towers, which support the communications system for emergency first responders and $4.75 million for various improvements to Supply and Services buildings. The departments regular account budget is up 2.5 per cent this year compared to last.

Emergency Measures Releases Survey

The results of a baseline survey on Emergency Preparedness in Saint John were released this week. Murielle Provost of EMO tells CHSJ News, the survey found most people turn to the radio first in a crisis.

The survey also found 95 per cent of Saint Johners think the city has a responsibility to prepare for emergencies.

Green Party Continues It's Search for Candidates

(Green Party Leader Jack McDougall)
                (File Photo)

The Green Party continues the fight against the sale of NB Power to Hydro Quebec. It released it's energy platform earlier this week and Leader Jack McDougall tells CHSJ News, the focus right now isn't getting wrapped up in winning seats but having enough candidates.

McDougall says one thing he isn't doing is counting out Premier Graham who is very resilient.

Mayor Court Puts Out the Call for Saint Johner's to Vote

(Saint John Mayor Ivan Court)
         (File Photo)

Mayor Court is asking everyone to vote repeatedly to get Saint John on the new Canadian city edition of Monopoly. Ivan Court says as the countries first incorporated city, we should be the best property on the board and that is Boardwalk.

The Mayor is suggesting everyone log onto the Hasbro website and vote often, and repeatedly. The game is scheduled to be released this summer. To cast a vote check out our website for the link

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Possible Gunfire in Fredericton Junction

Little is known about an incident this morning in Fredericton Junction allegedly involving gunfire.

A tip to our newsroom tells us that around 7:30 this morning there were shots fired in a residential neighbourhood.
So far RCMP have not confirmed an incident, but a resident tells CHSJ New the area has been buzzing with RCMP presence.
No word on any injuries.

Protesting Parliament Proroguing

If you don't think Parliment should be shut down, your invited to a rally this afternoon and make your voice heard. What started out as a Facebook Group has grown into a day of protest from coast to coast. The event in Saint John is being organized by Joan Pearce who tells CHSJ News, it's easy to sign your name on-line but another to get out and make your voice heard: The rally gets started at one o'clock at the Germain Street entrance of the City Market.

Work Continues for Saint John M-P

[Saint John M-P Rodney Weston---File Photo]
The MP for Saint John is looking at the glass as half full with the Federal Conservatives still taking heat about Parliment being shut down. Rodney Weston tells CHSJ News, you don't have to be in Ottawa to get work done for your constituents:

Weston adds an example of still getting work done even with Parliment shut down is how quickly this country responded with aid to the crisis in Haiti.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Victim of Sackville gas explosion identified

RCMP have confirmed the identity of a man killed in a vehicle collision in Sackville
on Tuesday.
23-year-old Alexander Burden died of injuries he sustained when his vehicle collided with a gas reservoir at the Sackville Public Works building.
Foul play has been ruled out.

Saint John store collects shoes for earthquake survivors

Anyone with extra shoes in Saint John that wants to help out the people of Haiti, can drop them off tomorrow.
The Soft Moc location in McAllister Place is accepting shoe donations tomorrow.
The footwear will sent on the earthquake survivors in Haiti.

Alward Puts Forward Motion

(Conservative Leader David Alward)
               (File Photo)

A motion for full dis-closure of the latest Memorandum of Understanding involving NB Power and Hydro Quebec has been brought forward in the Legislature. Conservative leader David Alward is looking for the Graham Government to commit to releasing the details of the latest MOU at least 30 days prior to it being signed. Alward tells CHSJ News, the focus of his party remains getting this proposal scrapped.

Alward adds the contract will be signed March 31st but the Graham government says they will not make public the full contract until after it is signed.

Update for Grand Manan Ferry Coming Monday

An update on the new Grand Manan Ferry will be announced at a news conference Monday. $65 million dollars was set aside for the new vessel back in the spring of last year by a boat building firm in Florida. The new ferry will have a capacity for 82 vehicles and will replace the current 25 vehicle ferry.

The 60 vehicle vessel will remain on the water with the new ferry to be finished by next year. Monday's news conference gets started at one o'clock at Grand Manan School with Premier Graham and Fisheris Minister Rick Doucet taking part.

Another Big Year for the Saint John Airport

(Airport President Bernie Leblanc)
            (File Photo)

It was another big year at the Saint John Airport. Year-end traffic figures came in at 222,310 – up 12% from 1999 when the Airport was privatized but down from a high of 245,102 in 2008. President Bernie Leblanc tells CHSJ News, they are very pleased with the bottom line.

Leblanc says there are several reasons for the growing numbers including the start up of WestJet and Sunwing service, additional summer flights offered by Air Canada and the growing local economy.

Irving Oil Jet Makes Trips to Haiti

(The First Dartmouth Medical Team to Leave for Haiti)
               (Photo Courtesy of Irving Oil)

Irving Oil is donating more than just cash to the relief efforts in Haiti. The companies corporate jet has made two flights to the country this week delivering $125,000 dollars in medical supplies and trauma care teams. Dale Hackett is the Chief Pilot who organized both trips and tells CHSJ News, both teams were anxious to get to work.

Hackett adds they weren't able to land in Port au Prince and had to be diverted to Santo Damingo. Irving Oil has already donated $50,000 dollars to the relief efforts and will match all fund-raising currently underway by company employee's.

  (The Second Medical Team Leaving New Hampshire)
                 (Photo Courtesy of Irving Oil)

Military Training

Soldiers from CFB Gagetown will be taking part in driver training in a few different localities starting today. If you live in Gagetown, Blissville, Welsford and Petersville, you can expect to see military personnel and vehicles. The Military doesn't expect the movement and activity of the soldiers and their vehicles to be too disruptive. The training begins today and continues until the 29th.

High Number of Vehicles Towed in City

There might be some confusion over the city's new bylaw as it applies to a no parking ban after a storm. Without having an exact number, City Police tell CHSJ News alot of vehicles have been towed since the ban went into effect at 11 last night. Police do say 69 vehicles were ticketed city wide. According to the bylaw, no parking on the street extends to most of the city, not just the south central peninsula.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Group Opposed to NB Power Deal Wants Referendum

Put NB People First are continuing their efforts to get a referendum vote for the proposed sale of NB Power to Hydro Quebec.
Spokesperson Bethany Thorne Dykstra says by holding a referendum it will give members of the liberal cabinet who oppose the sale a way out.
Dykstra says anyone who says the new deal is better, such as Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams, they are looking after their own vested interests.
She says under the new deal Quebec has exclusive rights to the transmission line heading into New England. She says it sounds better, but doesn't believe it's changed.
So far the Put NB People First petition has over 3000 thousand signatures.

Put NB People First Spokesperson Bethany Thorne Dykstra Discussing New Deal

Students at Saint John High Helping Out

     (A Haitian Child Being Given Medical Attention)
                          (File Photo)

It is not just businesses in Greater Saint John looking to help those suffering in Haiti. A group at Saint John High, Club Hope, is selling pizza and pop during the lunch hour with all of the moey raised going to doctors with-out borders. Maggie Higgins is part of the group and tells CHSJ News, their student advisor, Lynn Kristofferson came up with the idea.

Higgins adds today was the first day of the sale and they will continue it for a few more.

Award Winners are Announced

(Leah Richardson and Saint John East MLA Roly MacIntyre)
                   (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

Saint John East MLA Roly MacIntyre and UNB Saint John student Leah Richardson are being honored by the YM-YWCA. MacIntyre is the recipient of this years Red Triangle Award winner and Richardson is the Leader to Watch winner. Richardson tells CHSJ News, this is a great honor. MacIntyre tells CHSJ News, this is nice recognition with nine months left to go in his political career.

Both awards will be handed out April.22nd at the Trade and Convention Center and you can get tickets by calling 634-4937.

Old Downey Ford Building has a New Tenant

You may have noticed there is some activity in the former Downey Ford building on Crown Street, well so did we and here is what we can tell you. Murray O'Conner is the General Manager of the dealership and tells CHSJ News, the company still owns the property on Crown Street and a new tenant is ready to set up shop.

At this point how-ever, O'Conner says they aren't ready to tell everyone who they are and when they will be open for business. The property was vacated for the new dealership on Consumers Drive five years ago.

RCMP Officers Return Home

 (Sargeant Mark Gallagher)
(Photo Supplied by RCMP)

It will be a sad day for the RCMP tomorrow as the bodies of two of their fallen colleagues are brought home. Superintendent Doug Coates and Sergeant Mark Gallagher will arrive on a flight in Trenton tomorrow afternoon at three o'clock after being killed in last weeks earthquake in Haiti.

The family of Sgt. Gallagher has requested a RCMP Regimental Funeral to take place in Woodstock but a date and time are still being finalized.

Parking Ban for South Central Peninsula

City Works crews are going to be working overnight to get rid of some of the snow from the latest storm. That means there is a parking ban for the South Central Peninsula tonight. Anyone with a vehicle is reminded to get it off the street before eleven o'clock until seven tomorrow morning. If it is not moved, it will be towed at your expense.

Five lots are available to park your vehicle at the corner of Princess and Charlotte Streets, King Street East, Peters Street, Carmarthen Street and the corner or Mecklenburg and Wentworth streets. To get a look at the parking lots available, go to our web-site at and click news.

Storm Roundup

Yesterday's storm which hit the Saint John region turned out to be more intense than predicted with centimeters being reported at the airport but the totals outside the city were higher than that. 23 centimeters was reported at Point Lepreau and 26 in Grand Manan. The treacherous driving conditions played havoc with traffic yesterday afternoon especially during the commute home. City Police tell CHSJ News there were 27 accidents yesterday through last night and early this morning. One of the more serious mishaps occurred late in the afternoon when a car and school bus collided at King Street East and Pitt Street. There were 21 young people on board the schoolbus at the time but none was injured. The airbags deployed in the car and one person was taken to hospital for treatment of a cut.

Revamped NB Power Deal Gets Support

Not everyone outside the confines of the Provincial Government is opposed to selling at least parts of NB Power to Hudro Quebec. An energy consultant, based in Fredericton, likes the revamped deal because it retains ownership. William Marshall of W-M-K Energy Consultants admits he had problems with the original proposal but the revised deal leaves room for regional energy co-operation which has been something he has been calling for. He tells CHSJ News NB Power's debt is really staggering, much more serious than most people in the province realise. Marshall says the revised proposed agreement better increases the province's ability to control rates and set future energy policy.

Gas Prices Are Lower

There's good news this morning for those drivers who have to fill up today. The price of gas is down after the weekly setting by more than 2 cents a litre. The maximum price for self serve regular has been set at 102.1 a litre. It's being sold in the city, however, for 99.4 this morning. The maximum for diesel is 106.5 but is 103.8 a litre at most gas stations around town. If you're in Grand Bay-Westfield the prices are even lower. A caller to our 648-3000 newsline tells us self serve is 98.4 with diesel at 100.2 a litre. Heating oil, meantime, is four cents less expensive this week at 89.9 and propane is listed at 116.7.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Several accidents in the Saint John area

Accidents continue to pile up around the metro area as the drive home is underway. Earlier there was an accident involving a school bus and another vehicle at the intersection of King Street East and Pitt Street. All the children in the bus are fine.

Also, a three vehicle accident has been reported at the corner of Union and Patrick Street involving another school bus. No reports of injuries.

A tractor-trailer is stuck in the on-ramp to the viaduct across from Harbour Station.
Traffic is being re-routed to Market Square.

The roads are very greasy so slow down, give yourself plenty of time to hit the brakes and don't be in a hurry.

The Seadogs gain the top spot in the country

After weeks in the number two position.....the cream has risen to the top. The latest rankings for junior hockey teams across the country has the Saint John Seadogs in the number one spot with a record of 38-7-1-0. President Wayne Long tells CHSJ News, it's a great honor not just for the team but for the city and it's fans as well:

Windsor, which held the number one spot for several weeks has fallen to third with the Barrie Colts now in second place. Victoriaville and Drummondville are the only other Q-League teams to show up in the top ten. This is the first time the Seadogs have been ranked the number one team from coast to coast.

Daytime Robbery at Uptown Restaurant

City Police are looking for two men after an uptown business was robbed during the lunch hour. Sargeant Pat Bonner tells CHSJ News, two men walked into the Ming Market at 78 Prince William Street just after twelve o'clock. One had a weapon and told the clerk to empty the register. She did and both men took off into the snow.

The man holding the weapon was wearing a skeleton mask, is between 20-30 years old and is six feet tall. The second man is very skinny, about six foot four and had a yellow scarf covering his face. No one was hurt.

Driving conditions are slippery on regional highways

(King Street)
(photo by Tamara Steele)

Callers to our 648-3000 newsline letting us know the driving is tricky in parts of the region.
Highway 1 between Hampton and Saint John in both directions is slippery and snowpacked. On Route 102, heavy snow is causing reduced visibility near Brown's Flat and in Grand Bay-Westfield.
Greater Saint John could get up to 15 centimetres of snow before it wraps up overnight.

Future of Canadian Blood Services Still Muddy

(Blood Distribution Center in Saint John)
               (File Photo)

The long awaited meeting between doctors and Canadian Blood Services over the planned closure of the blood lab and production centre in Saint John has taken place but it doesn't appear much, if anything, has changed. That was the impression of Dr. Andrea Garland, President of the Medical Staff Association for the Saint John Region from Sussex all the way to St. Stephen.

Dr. Garland tells CHSJ News the blood centre in Saint John should be enhanced and not closed with the operation being transferred to Dartmouth.

Plenty of Cash for Provincial Schools

There is plenty of cash to go around for schools in the Province with this years capital budget for the Department of Education coming in at $95.7 million. It includes confirmation of a new building to be constructed to replace the aging Kennebecasis Park K-5 School in Rothesay. No word on when construction will get started but officials say it will be finished in time for the start of the school year in 2012.

In District Eight......$1.7 million has been set aside for completion of a multi-year project at Bayside Middle. It's the final phase which includes upgrades to electrical and sprinkler systems and improved drainage ar4ound the building.

Premier Graham Re-Works the Proposal

(Premier Shawn Graham)
      (File Photo)

Details of the new look deal between NB Power and Hydro Quebec has been presented in Fredericton and instead of selling all of NB Power, pieces of the public utility will be sold. Hydro-Quebec will purchase all of the hydro-electric facilities and Point Lepreau for $3.2 billion. The Province retains ownership and control of the utility including transmission and distribution functions. Premier Graham says the Government has listened and acted.

Graham adds the ""do-nothing"" approach by the Conservatives and other political opponents involves far greater risk for everyone in the Province.