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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Conservative Leader Promises Power Rate Freeze

Marr On Rate Freeze

Eric Marr is the President of Saint John Energy and says customers will likely be a happy if there's a three year rate freeze.

He says that's one less bill that doesn't increase on you, however, NB Power is always faced with increased costs the freeze has to be feasible. 

Marr says rates will have to rise at some point to get the revenue stream that NB Power needs to keep their debt in control.

Minister Keir Questions Move

     (Jack Keir Speaks at Recent News Conference)
                         (File Photo)

The Energy Minister has several questions about a move to freeze utility rates.

Jack Keir wants to know if the Conservatives consulted with anyone from NB Power about this promise with the exception of retired utility employee's like Darryl Bishop who Keir wonders why never brought forward these points about how profitable the utility could be when he worked for it.

Keir also wonders if David Alward factored in the deferral account set up for replacement electricity during the refit at Point Lepreau.
When the plant goes back on line, $400 million dollars has to be paid back as part of the contract.

Conservatives Promise To Freeze Rates

(Conservative Leader David Alward Speaks To The Media)
                  (Photo By Gary MacDonald)

A huge promise from the Conservative Government today. If elected to power next month, the party will issue a three year rate freeze for NB Power customers.
David Alward was peppered with questions about how the numbers will balance out but said all will be explained when the party's energy policy is rolled out tomorrow morning.

Alward adds NB Power every year continues to pay down it's debt and will be profitable for all three years during the rate freeze.

Highlights From Premier's Speech On Challenges Of Aging Population

Keir Explains Landfill Gas Utilization Project

Switch Flicked On Green Energy Project

Green energy is now flowing from a landfill to homes for the first time in the Province.

The Crane Mountain Landfill is using methane gas to fuel a generator that creates enough power for up to 800 homes. 

Marc MacLeod is the General Manager for the Fundy Region Solid Waste Commission and says projects like this have been growing in popularity over last four or five years. 

He says this is the facility of it's kind on a live landfill in Atlantic Canada.

MacLeod says they're probably one of the largest green house gas reduction facilities in North America because of the project and their work with recycling.

The project will get rid of 61 thousand tonnes of greenhouse gas annually, which is the same as removing 11,000 cars from the road.

Insurance Industry Spokesperson Says More Money Is Available

Only 45 per cent of people in this province know that their auto insurance policy pays more than $2500 for minor accidents.

Bill Adams of the The Insurance Board of Canada told CHSJ News earlier this month victims have access to accident benefits that can pay up to $50,000 dollars for medical treatment and more.

Adams says since the cap was introduced premiums in the province have decreased by 35 per cent.

Group Calling On The Province To Scrap The Cap

(Frances McConnachie of Consumers For Insurance Fairness)
(photo by Tamara Steele )

Traffic on the Consumers for Insurance Fairness website increasing 400 per cent since their public campaign began earlier this month.
They want to province to scrap the $2500 cap on insurance payouts for minor injuries.

Spokesperson Frances McConnachie tells CHSJ News the claim of the Insurance Bureau of Canada that victims of minor accidents are eligible for additional $50,000 in benefits is subjective.
She says that is individual to each case and she was not elligible for that money after her injury.
Conservative Justice Critic Jody Carr says no one in their right mind would consider epilepsy and broken bones a minor injury.

Expansion For The Loch Lomond Villa

With the tender issued to clear the land, forward progress is being made for the expansion plan of the Loch Lomond Villa Nursing Home.
If everything stays on schedule, 100 residents will be able to move into their new home in February of 2012.

Chief Executive Officer Cindy Donovan tells CHSJ News, these new beds are much needed with 300 people on a waiting list between Sussex and St. Stephen.
The $75 million dollar project will feature a cafe, movie theater, spa and outdoor courtyard.

Premier Graham Speaks Of Health Care Costs and Solution

(Premier Graham and Candidates At Loch Lomond Villa)
                (Photo By Jim Hennessy)

The issue of health care and it's future needs is not lost on Premier Graham.

With days before the writ is dropped on the Provincial Election, Shawn Graham was in the city speaking about the future needs of our health care system and what can be done for a solution.

Graham says the Liberal Party hopes to create 20,000 jobs over the next four years that pay at least $70,000 dollars.

The Province currently brings in revenue from 1000 people working for $20,000 a year and the same amount can be generated from 125 people earning $70,000.

Three In Custody After Truck Is Stolen

Three people are in custody after a pickup was stolen from the Westfield road about 4:30 this morning.
Officers nabbed the suspects on foot near Ocean Westway after they abandoned the vehicle.

The three will be held in custody before a court appearance sometime today.
Earlier this morning, the group led police on a short chase and the truck reached a top speed of 170 kilometres an hour.

Province Offers Program For Moms And Babies

Mothers and their newborn babies are getting a care program from the province to improve their health. The goal of the program is to provide them with quality care, education, information and consultation.

Dr. Chris Losier is President of the New Brunswick Medical Society and says many other provinces already have similar programs. He says this will also give health care workers the opportunity to sit down together on a regular basis and share the best practices.

City Police Investigate Stolen Pick-Up

City police investigating after someone took off in a truck from the Westfield Road.
Officers involved in a short pursuit where the person driving the pick-up reached a speed of 170-kilometres an hour.

Police stopped pursuing the truck for safety reasons.

North End Deck Fire

City Fire crews responding to a small blaze in the North End.
District Chief Peter Sabb tells CHSJ News the call came in for a home on Spring Street just after 5pm.

When crews arrived they found a deck on the second story on fire and it was quickly exstinguished.
One woman was treated at the scene and the cause of the fire is under investigation.