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Thursday, December 12, 2013

New Drug Plan Coming Under Fire

A prescription and catastrophic drug plan sounds great--but what will happen when the plan is made mandatory in 2015 and everyone has to pay the premiums?

That's the question being asked by Liberal Health Critic Donald Arsenault, who's also wondering what actions will be taken against people who don't opt into the plan.

But Health Minister Ted Flemming is offering a kinder, gentler view--he says no one who is having financial struggles will be forced to pay premiums they can't afford, and that the government exists to help people.

Liberal MLA Bernard Leblanc says it's going to be a rude awakening for some New Brunswickers when they find out the drugs they need aren't covered under the so-called catastrophic plan.

Man Facing Robbery Charge In Senior Mugging

A 30 year old will be in court tomorrow on a charge of robbery after a purse snatching last weekend.

It happened on Leinster street last Saturday when a man grab a purse from a 74 year old woman in the early evening.

UPDATE: Car Crash Topples Telephone Pole In The KV

A car that crashed into a telephone pole being described as a write-off by police.

The crash happening in front of the fire station on Campbell Drive just after 8am and Sergeant Forret of the Rothesay Regional Police says they think it happened after another vehicle, which was coming in the opposite direction, did not yield the right of way.

The pole was knocked down onto the car, caving in the front, but no one was injured.

 Forrest says the situation tied up traffic for a while, with crews spending about an hour clearing the scene.

SJ Resident Cautiously Optimistic About New Drug Plan

Lots of patients have been waiting for the prescription and catastrophic drug plan unveiled earlier this week. 

One of them is Saint John resident Mark Brennan, who tells CHSJ News, he has a very serious kidney condition called PNH and the medication to treat it would cost 6 figures if he had to pay for it out of pocket.

"If it is covered under this new plan, it would certainly be a big load off of my mind. I know I don't just speak for myself in that regard, a lot of people have been waiting for this," he says. 

Brennan says he's cautiously optimistic that the plan will be a game-changer for him and others in his situation. 

Port Launches PALS Partnership At Centennial School

Kids in Saint John will learn about and see the inner workings of Port Saint John thanks to a new PALS partnership.

It's been in the works for two years now and started rolling out today at Centennial School.

Teacher Caitlyn Corkum tells CHSJ News the curriculum focuses on the three main activities at the port: cruise, cargo and dredging.

She says the kids will learn about the things that are happening every day including what is being shipped from Saint John all around the world.

Some students from Centennial will be touring the Port today and future field trips are planned as part of the new PALS partnership.

Local Housing Sales Expected To Rise Next Year

If you're thinking about putting your house up for sale, you might want to hold off until next year. 

The numbers in a report on the housing market by Remax forecasting a slight rise in sales after decreasing almost every year since 2008.  

The average price for a home went up this year and will continue to climb according to local realtor Gordon Breau who tells CHSJ News people appear to be buying pricier homes. He says there's not as much new construction going on in the city and people are buying and renovating because any land left in the city is hard to develop.

Nationally the housing sales and average price are approaching a five-year high.

Prosecution Argues Snook Should Spend More Time Locked Up

The Prosecution claims former Common Councillor Donnie Snook should spend more time in prison and is appealing the 18 year sentence he received on 46 charges of sexually abusing boys.

Prosecutor Karen Lee Lamrock argues Judge Alfred Brien erred by giving Snook too much credit for time he served in jail prior to sentencing. 

She also says the judge failed to consider a section of the Criminal Code that would require an offender to serve half their sentence or 10 years, whichever is less, before coming up for parole. Snook is eligible for parole after serving just over 6 years of his sentence.

At the trial, Lamrock told the court if Snook were sentenced on each individual charge, he would serve 75 years in prison.

Premier Alward Sings Praises Of New Drug Plan

The Premier says while we can always wish that the new prescription and catastrophic drug plan would have been rolled out sooner, he's more than thrilled it's happening now.

Liberal Leader Brian Gallant had asked the Health Minister if the plan is voluntary in the first phase...David Alward tells CHSJ News it is to begin with but by May of 2015 it will become mandatory for all New Brunswickers without a health care plan to have insurance. 

He says the plan will be set up based on a person's ability to pay, meaning, that means a person or family's income will determine the amount they contribute.

Alward says volunteers alone spent 6000 hours developing the plan, and that number speaks to the amount of work that has gone into the creation of the program. He says all of that work has produced a good end result for New Brunswickers.

Road Closed

Part of hhe Lorneville Road is closed to traffic in both directions until further notice because concerns over the structural integrity of a large underground pipe which has compromised the road itself.

Repair options are being examined.

Domestic Disturbance Lands One Man In Jail

Rothesay Regional Police arresting a 60 year old man after a domestic disturbance. 

This happened in Rothesay and charges of assault, assaulting a police officer and uttering threats are pending a court appearance today.

A Jump In Gas Prices

You will be paying more for self serve regular after the weekly setting. It rose in the city by 4 cents a litre to $1.28.9. 

Diesel is also more expensive at $1.44.4. 

The maximum price for heating oil is $1.27 a litre.