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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Top City Engineer Retires

A long-time city employee has gone into the sunset.

The city's Commissioner of Municipal Operations and Chief City Engineer Paul Groody has retired.

It was effective December 30th of last year.

Groody began his career with the city in 1980 and held numerous positions including Commissioner of Human Resources.

He has played key roles in Harbour Clean-Up and improving the city's drinking water.

Bitter Cold And Snow Coming To Greater SJ

Pull out the Hudson bay blanket and throw another log or two on the wood stove...the deep freeze is returning to Greater Saint John.
Environment Canada Meterologist Claude Cote tells CHSJ News says the winds will be shifting to the northwest with temperatures dropping to minus 17 which will feel like minus 25 in the wind.

As for Thursday's snowfall, Cote says it's too early to predict how many centimetres we might get.

Workforce Needs More Training

With economic growth in Canada pegged at only 2 percent and slightly less than that for the province, the Chairman of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce says training the workforce for new jobs and to replace retirees will be a key goal.

Robert Youden tells CHSJ News educators, the province, and employers need to be on the same page on what skills potential employees need.

He says the Chamber of Commerce is looking to take a more active role in facilitating those kinds of conversations.

He adds despite a high unemployment rate, many small and medium-sized businesses are having a hard time finding qualified employees.

He believes immigration will also be an important way to beef up the workforce.

Forestry Sector Has Room For Growth

The President of J.D. Irving Limited says the forestry industry is in a transition period.

Jim Irving tells CHSJ News while aspects of the industry are in hard times, like lumber, other portions have the potential for growth like the tissue and packaging business.

He says the industry is ready to turn the corner because of a great workforce and modern mills.

He believes a key component is to know how much timber will be made available from the provincial government.

Video Highlights From The Day After A West Side Inn Fire

Dire Prediction About Tuition Fees In Province

A warning from the New Brunswick Student Alliance about tuition fees rising maybe by as much as 8 to 10 per cent. 

Student Alliance President Joey O'Kane tells CHSJ News his pessimism is based on a meeting with Post Secondary Education Minister Martine Coulombe who indicated she would be lying if she said tuition fees would not be rising in over the next academic year. 

O'Kane points out over the last 30 years, the cost of post secondary education has risen by 650 per cent while the inflation rate has gone up by 220 per cent. 

He warns a university education is becoming less affordable with some students having to work two jobs, take out a loan and a line of credit just to keep financially afloat.

Nuclear Critic Predicts More Shutdowns Even After Point Lepreau Returns To Service

The long delayed refurbishment of the Point Lepreau nuclear power plant is scheduled to be finished by September but will that be the end of the shutdowns? 

David Coon of the Conservation Council doesn't think so. He predicts there will be another shutdown within a year or so of returning to service. 

Coon bases his prediction on the mix of new and old equipment which he maintains will translate into mechanical problems.
He argues the plant was never designed to last fifty years and he predicts periodic shutdowns will be the norm.

Pre-Budget Consultations Hit Saint John Monday

Provincial Finance Minister Blaine Higgs will host a series of pre-budget consultations beginning with Saint John next Monday.

On its website, the government says the intent behind the meetings is to ensure the 2012-2013 budget reflects the input of New Brunswickers.

Higgs says last year's budget put the province in a new direction toward fiscal responsibility and accountability and he says the province wants the people to work with them to build on that early progress.

To give your feedback:
   Minister of Finance,
    P.O. Box 6000,
    Fredericton, N.B.
    E3B 5H1

By fax:

Organizations may register for meetings by contacting Marie-Ève Grégoire at the Department of Finance at 506-453-2565 or emailing

For the list of meetings, click here

Inn Guest Sad To Hear Of Fire

The City Fire department is still looking into the cause of Sunday's devastating fire at the Inn on the Cove.

The older part of the historic building was gutted by flames after a nearly 9 hour blaze.

Jim Quigley came in from the Kingston Peninsula twice a year to stay there and says he thought it was a great building .

He says it's an old building and it's a shame it had to burn down but, he expects the fire department will figure out the cause of the blaze.

Quigley and his wife spent Friday night at the Inn in an early celebration of his birthday which was on Sunday, the day of the fire.

Mayor Says Budget Should Be Out Within Two Weeks

Mayor Ivan Court says the 2012 city budget should land in about two weeks.

When asked whether the budget will be the one with the approved pension reforms or the one with drastic service cuts, Court says he is confident the budget with the reforms will be the one presented.

He says the city has been working diligently with the province for over a year and a half on the pension issue and he expects the reforms will be approved.

The pension approvals requires a special sitting of the legislature which so far has not been scheduled.