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Thursday, August 11, 2011

New Aquarium Receives Dedication

The new Fundy Discovery Aquarium in St. Andrews receiving an official dedication.
The 20,000 square-foot facility features a range of Bay of Fundy marine life, a conference and lecture centre with live video-conference capabilities, a lab and gift shop.
Ottawa and the Province giving $2.5 million each, while the Huntsman Marine Science Centre contributed $3 million toward the $8 million project.

Exploration Into Shale Gas Industry Will Not Be Deterred By Opponents

Premier David Alward says his government will continue to explore the viability of the shale gas industry despite more bold moves from opponents to the industry.

Protesters formed a blockade on Tuesday in Stanely which prevented trucks carrying seismic equipment from going to another site.

Alward says he believes in the responsible development of the industry but it is a long way off.

He says it will take years before it can be determined if a gas industry is possible here.

Alward adds he doesn't mind a difference of opinion but can't condone any illegal acts to prove a point.

Protesters Want Liquor Store To Stay Open

A small group gathering outside the dock of the Grand Manan Adventure's maiden voyage with protest signs.

They weren't there to protest the ship but rather the Alward government's recent decision to close down the Grand Manan liquor store.

Martha Thompson is with the CUPE chapter that represents liquor store employees. 

She tells CHSJ News 5 people will be out of work, which would be the equivalent of 100 lost jobs in a big city.

The store is set to close this fall and will be replaced with an agency outlet this winter.

She says good government jobs are hard to come by on a small island.

The store is set to close this fall and will be replaced with an agency outlet this winter.

New Ferry Sets Sail

The maiden voyage of the Grand Manan Adventure is now in the history books.

The 82-car, 68 million dollar ferry taking the Premier and other dignitaries to Grand Manan earlier today.

Liberal MLA for Charlotte-The Isle Rick Doucet tells CHSJ News the ship will be a huge asset to the community as it will grow economy and the tourism sector.

He says it's great to see something he worked on in the Graham government's finally become a reality.

Saint John's Francophone History On Display In New Production

A new show depicting the true story of Francoise-Marie Jaquelin debuts later this month in Saint John.  Jaquelin is described as the intrepid defender of Fort La Tour.

ARC-F is putting on the show three times a day on Water street. Executive Director Michel Cote tells CHSJ News he thinks this story will resonate with Saint Johners and American tourists.
Cote says since 1640 the Fort Latour story has been an interesting peice of the francophone history of Saint John.
The 45-minute show begins August 23rd and runs at 10 and 11:30am and 1pm daily on days when cruise ships are in port. It will run until late October.
For more info, click here

The NDP Says Two Provincial Parties Both Got Money From Shale Gas Companies

The Province's NDP party says both the Liberals and Conservatives have accepted political donations from two shale gas companies working in New Brunswick.

The Province's NDP Leader Dominic Cardy tells CHSJ News he doesn't have a problem with the donations but, the party does support only accepting private donations.

Cardy says there is nothing illegal about it but it raises questions at a time when people are having trouble getting answers about the shale gas industry.  He says it's another reason why we need more transparent government.
Cardy wonders what these companies might want in return for their donations.

Fish Farms Are Diversifying With Several Species

Salmon farmers are reaping the benefits of multi-trophic farming which farming different species together to create a natural biofilter and more diverse ecosystem.

At the Charlie Cove fish farm near St. Andrews, salmon are being farmed alongside shellfish and kelp. Biology expert Dr. Thierry Chopin tells CHSJ News it creates a natural environment for the fish to live in.

Chopin says he would like to farm sea urchins and sea cucumbers along with the salmon, and has applied for the funding to be able to start next year. Fish farmers say the problem with sea lice this year is low.

Historic Former Church In City Under Threat

The former Centenary-Queen Square United Church, now the Gothic Arches, has been up for sale for a couple of years now but thus far no takers.

There are fears it will eventually have to be torn down with the city losing a bit of its heritage.

Architect Bob Boyce concedes it would be more expensive to convert the old church to another use such as apartments and condos but it's not out of the realm of possibility and the church building itself is not in bad shape.

He speculates information technology companies might want to call it home because of its quirky atmosphere although parking would be limited.

Gas Prices Down Significantly

Drivers around town getting a big price break if you have to fill up.

Self serve regular is at $1.22.1, a decline of more than 5 cents a litre.

Diesel is being sold for $1.26.2, representing a drop of almost 4 cents a litre.

No change with propane. It's still listed at 112.8 but heating oil is more than 3 cents a litre cheaper at 110.6.

Arson In South End And Robbery On West Side

A case of arson at Rainbow Park early last night.........District Fire Chief Peter Saab says an attempt was made to set the bathrooms on fire. Fire crews found heavy smoke billowing from a cinder block building.

One bathroom sustained heavy smoke and minor water damage while the other washroom, where the fire didn't take, had minor smoke damage. Both Police and the fire department have launched investigations.

Meantime, Major Crime is investigating a robbery last night shortly after 9 at West Side Variety. One person getting away with some cash. The clerk wasn't injured.

Not Guilty Pleas in North End Robbery

Three men ranging in age from 18 to 22 are facing charges after a North end robbery on Sunday night.

Stephen Tompkins and Jared Higgins both appearing in court and pleading not guilty. Tompkins is facing a charge of robbery while Higgins is looking at charges of unlawful confinement and robbery. Both remain in custody and will be back before a judge this morning for bail hearings.

A third person, 18-year-old Stephane Boudreau, pleaded not guilty to charges of robbery and unlawful confinement. He has a bail hearing on Friday.

City police tell CHSJ News the victim was not hurt.