Linked Header

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

More NB Power Employees Contact Anti-Bullying Group

More concerns are being raised about alleged case of bullying at NB Power -- that from the Executive Director of Bullying Canada.

In a letter to NB Power CEO Gaetan Thomas, Rob Frenette says several more employees have come forward with concerns about dealing with workplace bullying.

Frenette says the employees should contact the Human Rights Commission to file a complaint if they feel their issues are not being addressed.

Frenette says he is still open to having a workshop for NB Power staff about bullying.

The anti-bullying group initially approached NB Power about the issue after fifteen employees contacted them and claimed they were being bullied at work by their supervisor.

All Lanes Open On Harbour Bridge

All lanes on the Saint John Harbour Bridge are now fully open to traffic according to Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claude Williams.

There are traffic measures in place intended to slow traffic to 50 kilometres per hour where the toll plaza use to be. They include a raised curb between the two lanes heading west to east, a concrete barrier and speed measurement signs that show motorists how fast they are going.

Work under the bridge will continue throughout the winter in preparation for the final phases of work on the bridge.

The eastbound lanes will close down in the spring for refurbishment.

However, the walking trail under the bridge will re-open on December 16th.

Saint John Transit Hoping For Property Tax Relief

Saint John Transit recently meeting with Local Government Minister Bruce Fitch to see if it can get relief from its property taxes.

General Manager Frank McCarey tells CHSJ News the province is reviewing the Property Tax Act and operations that meet certain criteria, such as servicing youth and elderly, could be exempt from paying 60 to 100 percent of its property taxes.

McCarey believes they fit the criteria and the minister told him he will consider the request.

McCarey says if the request is approved, the savings would not kick in until at least next year.  That means the impending cuts coming to transit on Boxing Day are still moving forward.

Transit had a property tax bill of about 378-thousand dollars this year.

Social Media Being Used To Help Find Missing Rothesay Man

Friends and family of a missing Rothesay man are using social media to help bring him home.

Scott Taylor has not been seen since the morning of Dec. 2.

On Facebook, a group called Bring Scotty Home boasts almost 4-thousand members and according to the page, a donation account has been opened to collect reward money for information on his whereabouts.  An ad on Kijiji linking to the site says the reward money is up to 6-thousand dollars.

Police say they are concerned for Taylor's safety and have been asking the public for help.

Taylor was acquitted in 2008 of second degree murder after a botched robbery attempt at his apartment.

Occupy SJ Gone From King's Square

The Occupy movement in Saint John has moved on.

The last of the tents that have taken up residence in King's Square over the past few months are gone.

Local businessman and movement supporter Habib Kilisli tells CHSJ News the remaining protester packed their bags because of the cold weather and after the city refused them power and bathroom services.

However, he says the city was always respectful to the occupiers

Kilisli believes the movement will still continue despite the recent closures of other Occupy camps throughout Canada and the world.

Liberals Are Behind The Times When It Comes To Elections

Liberal firebrand Sheila Copps, who served as Deputy Prime Minister, making a stop in Saint John to meet with the party faithful and drum up support as she runs for the party Presidency. 

Copps says the party has to get better organised and modernise for upcoming federal elections with foot soldiers in every riding. 

She says the voters in the last federal election sent a clear message to the party after the Conservatives spent millions of dollars branding former leader Micheal Ignatieff negatively while the Liberals silently watched.

Copps says the Party can't depend anymore on a new leader to come sweeping in like a knight in shining armour to save the day.

Heavy Water Spill At Lepreau Plant

There was a spill of radioactive water at the Point Lepreau nuclear power plant in the reactor building which was evacuated for the first time.
Kathleen Duguay of NB Power says a small amount spilled when the reactor's moderator system was being filled with heavy water as part of the plan to restart the generating station. 

The plant has been shut down for what has turned out to be a lengthy and costly refurbishment which is behind schedule and over budget.    

Duguay say workers were wearing protective gear and the spill was cleaned up quickly.

Mayor Doesn't See Problem In Getting Pension Plan Changes Approved

Mayor Ivan Court says the special sitting of the legislature Common Council is asking for to get reforms to the city's pension plan approved should be a mere formality and he's under the impression the changes being sought by the city would be approved. 

Court also points out the provincial pension plan is not in great financial shape either and three other municipalities are waiting to see what happens to Saint John before moving ahead with their own pension plan changes.
The Mayor expects the city budget to be ready by the middle of next month at the latest.

Department Of Public Safety Has No Report On Jail Conditions

The Department of Public Safety says a report on the conditions at the regional jail in not the hands of Public Safety Minister Robert Trevors.

Spokesperson Sheila Lagacé tells CHSJ News the only report the department is dealing with at the moment is a personnel dispute at the jail.
She says it's possible the report, if it exists,  might be in another department but the personnel issue is the only one on the department's radar.

Canadian Blood Services To Be At Blood Symposium

Even though the reception could be hostile, there's no hesitation on the part of Canadian Blood Services to take part in the blood symposium scheduled in the city next month. 

Amanda Cullen of the blood agency tells CHSJ News they're more than willing to defend shifting the blood production centre from Millidgeville to Dartmouth.

As for the contention that New Brunswick could go it alone, Cullen says depending on just 15 thousand blood donors for your supply would be risky.

She adds part of the mandate of Canadian Blood Services is to avoid duplication where possible.