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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Summer Tradition Starts Soon

It's an exciting thought...the return of Volleyball on the Boardwalk.

The 21st season begins May 26th and runs for 10 weeks.

Registration is underway with several divisions including co-ed competitive, co-ed intermediate and co-ed recreational. 

There is only space left in the women's 4's, men's 2's and the co-ed intermediate divisions.

To register a team,  the registration form must be completed and full payment received at the Y of Greater Saint John’s Prince Edward Square location.

The registration fee for teams of four is $275 and teams of two cost $165.

For more info, call the Y at 693-YMCA.

St Martins Teens Charged

Two St Martins teens have been arrested in connection with a string of thefts in that area.

A 17-year-old, who cannot be named,pleaded not guilty to charges of stealing from a vehicle, which was later found destroyed.

18 year old Koby Loughery pleaded guilty to stealing from a vehicle and also a breaking and enter on Main Street in Saint Martins.  Both will appear in court later this spring.

The RCMP are also investigating a third person.

Author Farley Mowat Has Died

Famed Canadian writer Farley Mowat has died.

Originally from Belleville, Ontario, Mowat was best-known for works like Owls in the Family,
The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be, and Never Cry Wolf.

His career spanned 50 years and he received numerous awards, including the Governor General’s Award for literature, the Order of Canada and a number of honorary university degrees.

Mowat was 92 years old.

Alward Meets With American Ambassador

Jobs and the energy future of New Brunswick were big topics of conversation between Premier David Alward and Bruce Heyman.

The US ambassador to Canada. Both Alward and Heyman were speakers at the Canadian Building Trades Conference in Gatineau, Quebec. Alward tells CHSJ News they had a good working relationship with the last ambassador, and they hope to continue that with Heyman, who was just appointed by Barrack Obama.

Alward said he also emphasized the importance of open borders between the US and Canada, since 86% of what is manufactured in this province is exported to the US.

More Money For Medicare

Provincial Health Minister Ted Flemming has announced the province's new medicare deal with the New Brunswick Medical Society has been given the thumbs up by doctors.

He says the agreement with the province focuses on improving the healthcare system and increasing its sustainability--and further, the NB Medical Society voted overwhelmingly in favour of the agreement.

There will be an increase in the medicare budget--but Liberal MLA Donald Arsenault says it wasn't so long ago that Flemming was fighting tooth and nail with the doctors. He says Flemming is only increasing the Medicare budget because there's an election coming up.

Arsenault predicts despite the increase, voters will be showing the Conservatives the door in September.

Big Industry, Quality of Life Not Mutually Exclusive

Big industry and quality of life aren't mutually exclusive.

That's according to Mayor Mel Norton after CHSJ News asked his thoughts on the new scientific report on shale gas development suggesting more research is needed into the long-term effects. 

He tell us they know the environment is important and can't be compromised, pointing to Canaport LNG and Mispec Beach as an example of industry co-existing with the environment.
Norton says economic development is not political, and they have an obligation as representatives of the city to do everything they can to drive economic development. He suggests the big question is, are we ready to embrace economic prosperity?

City Council endorsing shale gas development late last year.

Energy Minister Dismisses Risk Of Shale Gas To Groundwater In Province

Debate over the safety of shale gas continuing in the Legislature fuelled by last week's report by a panel of 14 scientists. 

Provincial Liberal leader Brian Gallant says the drilling will be taking place closer to where people live in New Brunswick as opposed to what's happening out west and that makes it riskier.

Provincial Energy Minister Craig Leonard is rejecting Gallant's call for a moratorium, saying the government is doing what the scientists are recommending and that's a slow and safe approach to shale gas,

Leonard says the government has been told by geologists that because of the rock formation in the province, the risk to groundwater is non-existent.

New Look, New Territory For Board Of Trade

The Saint John Board of Trade has officially announced its new, regional incarnation.

The board will now incorporate Grand Bay Westfield, Rothesay, and Quispamsis in its territory as it promotes this region as a good place to do business.

The Board of Trade reported disappointing revenues in 2013, with membership revenues failing to meet expectations. They've since launched an extensive review of their operations, including a new name and logo. It's now known
as The Saint Region Chamber of Commerce.

They've also appointed a new Chairperson, lawyer Andy Lodge.

9 People Wanted On Outstanding Warrants

The Kennebecasis Regional Police are looking for some people wanted on warrants....and they want your help. They're offering rewards of $500 for any information that leads to the arrest of individuals wanted on Criminal Warrants of Arrest.

The ages of the 9 wanted parties range from 20 to 49, and while some are traffic offences, they also include thefts, break and enters, and probation violations. For a full list of name and offenses click here

If anyone has any information they are asked to contact the KRPF at 847-6300 or NB Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

2013 Was A Good Year For The Airport

Saint John Airport had a 9 per cent increase in passenger traffic last year with more than 235 thousand, the highest number since 2008. 

Airport President and C-E-O David Allen tells CHSJ News the decision by Air Canada to harmonise pricing has levelled the playing field between the airports in Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton. 

Sunwing added a third destination and its passenger numbers increased by 59 per cent.

The airport also reports a 5 per cent increase in revenue and a surplus for 2013 of just more than 387 thousand dollars. 

Passenger traffic for the the first quarter of this year, despite the bad weather we had, was up by five per cent. 

Allen adds the airport is looking at staging an air show in 2015 or 2016. He says it takes a year of planning to bring it about.

The airport also estimates it will cost 50 million dollars over the next twenty years to maintain its aging infrastructure and do upgrades.

Council Asked To Contribute To Playground Project

Quispamsis council being asked to pull out the town checkbook to help fund a playground for the new French Elementary School in the Kennebecasis Valley. 

Construction is underway on the school at the end of Pettinghill Road with plans to open the doors in the fall, and in the meantime students have been going to school at the Pettinghill Strip Mall Plaza. 

Principal Anik Duplessis tells CHSJ News the kids have been dreaming about a playground for the last three years. She says it would be the best gift they could give the students other than a great education. Duplessis adding that the playground would be for the community, and would not just be exclusive to French families.

They are looking at around $200,000 for phase one of the project and have received $80,000 from the province but they are currently short about $60,000. Quispamsis council being asked to contribute and they decided to refer it to finance for the 2015 budget.

Clash At Police Commission Between Mayor And Commission Chair

There appears to be mounting friction among members of the Saint John Police Commission.

At the most recent meeting of the commission, Mayor Mel Norton and Councillor Greg Norton both voted against Commission Chair Jonathan Franklin representing Saint John at The Canadian Association of Police Governance. The CAPG is Canada's only national organization dedicated to excellence in police governance.

The Mayor tells us the lack of support for Franklin isn't personal--rather, he'd prefer to see a focus on what's happening here at home, rather than being distracted by broader, national concerns.

Yet Jonathan Franklin believes the mayor's decision was actually based on a grudge. Franklin tells CHSJ News he believes the mayor was responding to the goings-on at a prior meeting, in which he says Norton started "yelling" and "bullying" him until Franklin threatened to have the Mayor removed.

Tensions have run high at police commission over proposed cuts that could effect the force. Ultimately, Franklin's nomination was passed with only the Mayor and Councillor Norton voting against.