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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Update on Fire in Rothesay

(2 Arena Lane in Rothesay After Fire Raced Through Building)
                     (Picture by Jim Hennessy)

Investigators are getting close but there are still plenty of questions to be answered surrounding a fire in Rothesay last week. Kennebecasis Chief Larry Greer tells CHSJ News, they now know the fire got started in a piece of furniture outside of the building but are ruling nothing out at this point. Test results have been sent for analysis and should be back in two weeks time. Rothesay Regional are also taking part in the investigation.

It was just after five in the morning last Thursday when flames were spotted at 2 Arena Lane. When crews got the fire under control, the top left hand side of the building was gutted and left several families with no place to call home and most of their belongings in ashes.

Opponents of NB Power Sale Hope to Persuade Liberal M-L-A's

Opponents to the sale of parts of NB Power to Hydro Quebec are hoping to persuade 6 Liberal M-L-A's to either vote against the agreement or abstain. Tom Mann of the Coalition to Stop the Sale tells CHSJ News that possibility is not as far fetched as you might think. He says the M-L-A's who want to be re-elected will have to ask themselves if they want to go over the cliff with the Premier in his determination to push the NB Power through.
Mann also says there are other M-L-A's who are retiring and don't want this bitter controversy to be their legacy of public service.

JD Irving Talks About NB Power/Hydro Quebec Proposal

They have been quiet through most of the process but J.D. Irving is now speaking about the NB Power/Hydro Quebec proposal and how it affects them. Spokes-person Mary Keith tells CHSJ News, the company is one of 15 out of 20 industries in the Province that exports and is energy intensive.

Keith adds this proposal not only solidifies good paying jobs in the forest industry but jobs for many industries right across the Province.

Elsie Wayne is Out of Hospital

(Former Mayor and MP Elsie Wayne)
              (File Photo)

After spending over three months in the hospital, a former Mayor and MP is home and continues her recovery. Elsie Wayne suffered a stroke back in November but was released from the Regional on Tuesday of last week. Her husband Richard tells CHSJ News, she is still in a wheel-chair but is making use of a walker.
Richard adds extramural staff have been coming to their home to help with rehabilitation and Elsie is feeling stronger every day.

Back to Business at Moosehead

No major damage to the facility following an ammonia leak at Moosehead Breweries yesterday. Crews are back on shift and beer is being bottled after the facility was evacuated yesterday afternoon. Vice-President of Communications Joel Levesque tells CHSJ News, the response by emergency crews was phenomenal.
Levesque adds the two men who were working in the area were taken to hospital and one has been released while the other is still in hospital for observation but appears to be fine.

Google Street Level Saint John is On-Line

If you remember last year seeing a vehicle travelling around Greater Saint John with a camera on top of it, you can now see what they were up to. Google spent a few weeks in the area taking pictures for it's street level technology and Saint John is now available.

It gives you an amazing look at any street in the area and even an up close look at your property. To check it out click here.

Public Forum on NB Power Deal Held At U-N-B-S-J Overwhelmingly Against

There was a good turnout last night at the University for a public forum on the deal to sell parts of NB Power to Hydro Quebec with lots of questions. The K-C Irving Chair in Sustainable Development at the University of Moncton, Yves Gagnon tells CHSJ News the provincial government is putting the horse before the cart because it should first develop an energy strategy before selling off any assets.
Gagnon told the forum when the Point Lepreau nuclear power plant starts to make money, its ownership will be transferred to Hydro Quebec and he quotes Quebec Premier Jean Charest as saying the second deal is even better for his province. Gagnon argues the 41 large industrial customers in New Brunswick are going to be subsidised to the tune of 245 dollars by each ratepayer in the province. He also warns there's a debate going on in Quebec right now about whether its power rates are too low.

Mayor of Grand Bay-Westfield Remains Optimistic Despite Setbacks

(Grand Bay-Westfield Mayor Grace Losier)
(File Photo)

The Mayor of Grand Bay-Westfield says Fort Reliance scrapping plans to build Irving Oil's world headquarters at Long Wharf is disapointing news. Grace Losier concedes having that presence on the waterfront would have been great.
Losier adds while she is disappointed, the decision not to proceed with a second oil refinery in Red Head had more of a negative impact and she remains optimistic there will be other opportunities for Grand Bay-Westfield and greater Saint John.

Rothesay Likes Some But Not All Of The Finn Report on Local Government

(Rothesay Mayor Bill Bishop)
(File Photo)

The Town of Rothesay can't fully endorse the Finn Report on Local Government, but does like some of the financial benefits contained in the report.
Mayor Bill Bishop says the town feels it isn't being treated fairly when it comes to the unconditional grants, and the Finn Report is looking to remove the grants.
Bishop says another change is the elimination of provincial property tax on rented properties and adds the town could begin collecting that money.
The town is expecting a net gain of $635 thousand dollars from the change. Despite all that, Bishop says the town cannot get completely behind the report because the regionalization aspects.