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Thursday, February 6, 2014

UNB Teachers Vote To Accept New Deal

UNB teachers across the province voting to accept the tentative collective agreement signed with administration on January 30th.

90% of those who cast a ballot voted for acceptance.  The next step in the process is ratification by the Board of Governors.

Union president Miriam Jones says they owe a huge debt of gratitude to their bargaining team adding they did difficult work for more than a year.

Jones says the strike was difficult for everyone but she says their members have come out of it reinvigorated and ready to work to reclaim their university.

Booze Sales Suffer From Ice Storm Fallout

NB Liquor releasing its third quarter results and total sales were more than $100 million unchanged from the same time in 2012.

VP of Finance Chris Evans says power outages combined with extreme winter weather contributed to a decline in customer visits on key selling dates.

Wine sales are up 3.9 per cent, beer sales slipped 2.4 per cent and sales of other beverages increased 4.5 per cent.

The third quarter ended on December 29th.

Cardy Lays Out Plan To Save Province Money

The NDP leader for New Brunswick suggesting trimming the fat in the government's senior management sector as one of many ways the province can save money. 

Dominic Cardy laying out a plan to save more than $213-million as a way to help balance the budget. Cardy says he would cut the size of the cabinet down to 10 from 17, the number of deputy ministers to 14 from 27 and the number of senior managers to 50 from over 100.

He also estimates taxpayers would save around $2-million if MLAs used spare offices in government buildings instead of paying rent for office space. Another more than $74-million could be saved by delivering on the promise of the last Liberal government to centralize common government services, according to Cardy.

Cardy coming out with the plan just after the release of the Alward Government's budget.

Irving Oil Unveils New Fire Truck And Training Partnership

A brand new ladder truck being unveiled at the Irving Oil Emergency Services building on Grandview Avenue.

In addition, the City and Irving Oil announcing a partnership on creating a training facility for firefighters that both companies can use and third parties.

Fire Chief Kevin Clifford says he's been concerned about their firefighters not having a place to train and soon they will.

He says they are not at elevated positions every day so having a training facility is incredibly important for a community like this and the response profile they have.

The training facility for the Saint John Fire Department will open in May.

Mental Health Fundraiser Coming Up This Weekend

Sharpen those ice skates because this year's Investors Group Skate to Care event is coming up this weekend. 

Director of Development with the Regional Hospital Foundation & Mindcare Victoria Clarke says this year they're focusing on mental health first aid. She describes it as the mental health equivalent of being a first responder, training people to recognize signs of stress, anxiety and depression in children. 

Clarke says we still have a ways to go when it comes to increasing awareness of mental illness and erasing the stigma, but seeing the community rallying around an event like this tells her the groundswell is coming.

The event is happening at Harbour Station on Saturday from 10am-2pm. Click here for more information on the event, including how to join or support a team.

College Students Feel Let Down

University students are disappointed the provincial budget did not contain measures to ease their financial burden.

Pat Joyce of the New Brunswick Student Alliance tells CHSJ News the province had saved money with a lower interest rate on what it had borrowed to provide financial aid to students. They were hoping that money would be used to help them out but such was not the case. 

Joyce points the cost of higher education is getting more onerous with the rising costs of tuition, textbooks and housing. He worries post secondary education is becoming less accessible for many young people and argues helping students out financially is really investing in the provincial economy as more and more jobs require higher skills.

Traffic Disruption On West Side

Because of the stormy weather yesterday there has been a delay in a traffic disruption on the west side.

Traffic will be reduced this afternoon on Bridge Road by Simms Corner because of the demolition of the Simms Brush factory between 3 and 4. 

Drivers are being urged to use the Harbour Bridge if they don't want to be delayed.

WATCH: Police Nab 22-Year Old In Stolen Vehicle

City police involved in a brief pursuit trying to stop a man in a stolen vehicle.

Sgt. Jay Henderson says Sussex RCMP let City police know the vehicle had been taken from their area a few days earlier. As the officer attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver took off. The officer pursued the vehicle but given the road conditions and the potential for others being hurt it was called off. 

A short time later another officer found the driver and vehicle on Gladstone Avenue which is a dead end street. He fled into the woods and was caught a short time later. 

A 22 year old man is several charges of theft of a motor vehicle, dangerous driving and failing to stop for police. He's in jail until a court appearance.

If you know anything about any crime, you can contact City police at 648-3333 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. You can watch today's SJPD Crime Report by clicking here.

Price Changes For Gas After Weekly Setting

There has been a slight rise in the price of self serve regular and a bit of a drop in what you'll pay for diesel. 

Self serve regular is selling in the city for $1.30 a litre with diesel at $1.50. 

The maximum price for heating oil is up by half a cent a litre to $1.33.6 and propane countinues to rise with a a maximum price of $1.51 a litre.

Energy East Pipeline Would Add Greenhouse Gas Emissions

A new environmental report is claiming the Energy East pipeline that would bring oilsands bitumen to the Irving Oil refinery will increase greenhouse gas emissions enough to wipe out all the gains caused by the elimination of coal-fired power plants in Ontario and be the equivalent of adding 7 million new cars on the roads.

Clare Demerse of the Pembina Institute, who wrote the report, says regulators should consider the proposed pipeline’s effect on climate change when hearings are held on the project.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and the National Energy Board have said the expected tripling of output from the oilsands over the next 16 years depends heavily on new pipelines being built.