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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Waterfront Union At Odds On How Money Should Be Spent




(Port reported in line for government funding for upgrades - photo courtesy Saint John Port Authority)

The waterfront union is applauding the prospects of over 40-million dollars in federal and provincial funding for port improvements.
But International Longshoremen's Association rep Pat Riley tells CHSJ News the money is earmarked for the wrong place -- it should be used to repair and upgrade some deteriorating piers on the west side.
Riley says the condition of some of the west side piers is a safety issue and may eventually cost the port business.
Both the federal and provincial governments are close to cutting cheques for a 42-million dollar upgrade to expand docking facilities beyond Pugsley Terminal to handle more - and - larger cruise ships.

Opposition Critic Fumes Over Social Assistance Rates



Saint John Portland Conservative MLA Trevor Holder says the provincial governments has broken a contract with the public. The premier recently announced he won't bring social assistance rates up to the Atlantic average as promised in the Charter for Change. Shawn Graham says they have new information since taking office. But Holder says an election promise is still a promise.

Social Development Minister Mary Schryer says they would rather have a made in New Brunswick solution. Holder says that doesn't hold much water.

Maine Mayor Pushes for Greater Cooperation with New Brunswick



The mayor of Calais, Maine says his state and New Brunswick need to work together to realize their energy and industrial goals. Vinton Cassidy tells us he is strongly in favour of the proposed LNG terminal in Maine which would bring tanker traffic through Passamaquoddy Bay. The provincial and federal governments have said they won't allow the development to take place--but-- Cassidy says if we scratch their backs, they'll scratch ours.

The provincial government recently announced an energy corridor going through Maine carrying power transmission and natural gas lines to New England markets.

RCMP Seize Illegal Cigarettes



Provincial RCMP have made another advancement in the war on illegal tobacco trafficking. A traffic stop in the northwestern part of the province yesterday (Wednesday) has led to the seizure of 240 thousand contraband cigarettes.  Mounties arrested two men near Saint-Basile and they are scheduled to appear in court on June 17th. The tobacco seized is worth about 27 thousand dollars and RCMP believe it was destined for Nova Scotia.

Just last week RCMP seized nearly one million cigarettes in Northeastern New Brunswick.

Canaport LNG Continues Environmental Studies of Marsh Creek



Canaport LNG has gained early access to a couple of city owned sites in order to complete engineering and design work for improvements to Marsh Creek. The company is determining the viability of its plans to develop functioning wetlands and greater flood retention in the Coldbook area, near Glen Falls Elementary School, and along Marsh Line, near Strescon.

The project would be part of the company's requirement for wetlands compensation, to make up for wetlands destroyed during the construction of Canaport LNG. Deputy City Manager Andrew Beckett tells CHSJ news they are hoping to include a public viewing area in Coldbrook and the initial stages of walking trails along the Marsh Line. The company is expected to report back to council in the fall on the viability of the project.

Harbour Station to Get All New Lighting



Harbour Station is getting a lighting face lift. The city is upgrading all interior lighting with energy efficient light bulbs--a move that will save 16 thousand dollars annually in energy costs. City staff say the replacement wasn't in this years budget but it's in the city's interest--and add, the existing lights were installed in the early 1990's and are due for replacement.

The total cost for installation is about 110 thousand dollars with a 6.7 year payback--and--the city will get 12 thousand dollars in grants under the ecoEnergy Retrofit Incentive Program. The estimated annual reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the lighting upgrade is 200 tons of carbon dioxide.

Port Funding Not A Done Deal



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(Cruise ship docked at Water Street terminal - file photo)

It's not a done deal -- that's the word from Saint John Conservative M-P Rodney Weston in response to media reports Ottawa and the province will be cutting cheques for a 42-million dollar expansion of docking facilities at the local port.
He says it's one of a number of files being worked on at the moment -- a project he says he supports.
Meantime -- provincial government sources confirm the proposal is in "the discussion stage" at the moment.
The port authority says it needs more docking facilities to handle more and larger cruise ships.

Cardboard Cat Causes Chaos



It takes all kinds -- and -- in Hampton last night -- it took a twisted mind to come up with this one.
Hampton R-C-M-P called after a woman almost went off the road while swerving to avoid a cat in the middle of the road -- turns out it was a cardboard cat!
Police say someone had taken the time to cut out the cat and then place it on the road -- an officer responded and removed the cardboard kitty.

Gas Prices Are Back Down



The month of April closes out on a high note on the gas front. The Energy and Utilities Board has released it's weekly price schedule which shows a litre of self-serve is down just over a penny to 86.3. Most stations in Greater Saint John are selling a litre of self-serve for 86.5.

Diesel is down just over two cents at 86.2, furnace oil, like gasoline is down over a penny at 68.2 and propane tops off at 82.1 which is down percentage points. At this time last year, a litre of self-serve gasoline was selling for over $1.20.

Tax Deadline Day is Here



The clock is ticking down to tonight's deadline for filing your 2008 personal income tax return. You have until midnight tonight to mail or email your return -- but -- Roger Haineault of Help For Taxes tells CHSJ News there are some people who have a little longer to file.

Haineault says if you have a refund coming and are late filing -- the government won't give you a hard time -- but -- if you owe money and don't file by midnight tonight -- you will be hit with an immediate five percent late filing penalty and one percent per month there after.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Waterfront Union To Receive International Honour



Local longshoremen are being honoured for their help in getting eleven trade unionists released from prison in Argentina thirty years ago.
The waterfront union refused to load a cargo of heavy water worth 120-million dollars bound Argentina's first nuclear reactor on July 3rd, 1979.
The event has been described as the "the single most dramatic example of Canadian trade union solidarity with workers in the third world."
The Longshoremen's union will be presented with the Order of the Liberator San Martin which is Argentina's highest honour for citizens of other countries in the near future.

Water Levels Easing



Water levels are expected to begin dropping along the rivers in the greater Saint John area.
Provincial emergency measures organization officials say water levels are near flood stage locally -- but -- should drop off between now and Friday.
So far there are no reports of any flooding problems in the Saint John area.

Saint John Energy says LED Street Lamp Bulbs Too Expensive



Saint John Energy says going green may cost a little too much. President Eric Marr tells CHSJ news by tomorrow night the city should have three L-E-D test lights in street lamps on Sheerbroke Street on the West Side. Marr says L-E-D's are the way of the future but they are currently too expensive to peak Saint John Energy's interest in making the full switch. 

L-E-D street lamp bulbs cost about 425 dollars more than the current incandescents but last 11 years---which is about the same length as the payback period.  Marr says that's still not enough incentive to incorporate the environmentally-friendly bulbs.

One Man Taken to Hospital After West Side Industrial Accident



One man in his thirties has been taken to hospital after an industrial accident on King William Road in the Spruce Lake Industrial Park before 2PM this afternoon. WorkSafeNB is on site investigating after the worker got his finger caught in a dump truck. Police say they are not sure at this point if the finger can be saved.

Common Front For Social Justice Calls for Raised Social Assistance



The Common Front for Social Justice is accusing the provincial government of abandoning people living in poverty. The group says it very concerned by Premier Shawn Graham’s decision to break his promise to raise social assistance rates to the Atlantic average. Spokesperson, Sister Aurea Cormier tells CHSJ news New Brunswick has the lowest social assistance rates in the Atlantic Provinces, while we still maintain the lowest minimum wage in the country.

The group says raising the social assistance rates to the Atlantic average, as was promised in the Charter for Change, would cost about 30 million dollars.

Still Swine Flu Free



New Brunswick continues to be free of any confirmed cases of swine flu -- but -- the province's chief medical health officer -- Dr Eilish Cleary says there has been an increase in the number of people showing up at doctors' offices and clinics.
Cleary says they are being processed in a normal manner at this point -- and -- she says she wouldn't be surprised if we eventually do have a confirmed case.


Prisoner Patted Down For Patches



There may be some wired inmates at the Dorchester Penitentiary -- Corrections Canada says its officers intercepted 60-Nicoderm patches at the pen Monday.
The patches were found during a routine search of a prisoner and are valued in the three thousand dollar range.

MADD Welcomes New Driver Regulations



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It's a welcome move -- Mothers Against Drunk Driving local president Lora Skead is reacting to new regulations for drivers under 21.
The province has announced those young drivers or new drivers must maintain a zero alcohol blood level while behind the wheel beginning June 1st.
The regulations will apply to residents and visitors operating motor vehicles - motorcycles - or - commercial vehicles.
Skead says the next step will be to get the legal blood alcohol limit lowered from point-zero-eight to point-zero-five under the Criminal Code.

Record Temperatures Around the Province



It was an un-believable day for many area's in this Province and Nova Scotia as temperatures hit heights we normally don't see until July. Many records were set including at the Fredericton Airport which hit 29.6. The Moncton Airport topped off 28.2. St. Leonard came in at 22.8, Charlo 22.5 and Bas Caraquet was 21.4.

Here in Saint John.....18.3 was the high but not a record. St. Stephen posted a high of 31.7 and Gagetown came roaring in at 29.8.


New Rules for Drivers Coming in June



As of June.1st.....there are new rules for young and new drivers around the Province. Anyone under the age of 21 will be required to maintain a zero per cent blood alcohol level when driving. This includes drivers of cars, motorcycle and commercial vehicles. This new rule applies to residents and visitors, those who have just received their license, and anyone who has been driving for two or three years.

The new rules also include several improvements to the graduated driver's license program. They can be found at the Public Safety

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Local Rivers Remain At Flood Stage



The flood watch continues in the greater Saint John area -- the latest readings show river levels at - or - near flood levels.
And provincial Emergency Measures Organization officials are predicting they will remain near the flood stage through Thursday.
The city's emergency management group is monitoring the situation and expects some flooding in low lying areas near the rivers.

Minister Pooh-Poohs Opposition Over Ferry Flap




(Transportation Minister Denis Landry - photo courtesy CNB)

Transportation Minister Denis Landry is lobbing a direct hit at the Conservatives over the hiring of former Liberal M-L-A Eric Allaby to broker a deal between residents and private contractors to keep the Belleisle and Gagetown ferries afloat.
The Opposition is crying political pork barrelling -- but -- Landry tells CHSJ News they set the precedent by hiring Allaby for a similar job while they were in office.
And he denies Conservative claims his government has a loose plan to eventually privatize all ferries in the province -- Landry tells us there are no plans like that "at this time."
He says the Tories are just sour because a solution was found to keep the Gagetown and Belleisle ferries operating on a seasonal basis.

City Considers Hiring Experts to Help with Website



The city manager has been tasked with finding a professional company to assess the city's website and help improve it. The move comes only days after the city held public meetings to get feedback from residents on ways they think the website can be improved. Councilor Patty Higgins says staff should be given an opportunity to wade through the public recommendations before paying for a company to offer suggestions. She calls it an unnecessary waste of money.

The city manager has been asked to return to council in one month with information on engaging a company.

Tories Cry Foul Over Ferry Consulting Fee



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(Hampton Kings M-L-A Bev Harrison - file photo)

The Graham government will pay former Liberal M-L-A Eric Allaby one dollars an hour to help Belleisle and Gagetown residents find operators for their river ferries.
And that has Hampton Kings M-L-A Bev Harrison seeing red -- he tells CHSJ News there are qualified people working within the Transpiration Department and it's nothing more than political pork barrelling.
Harrison is also convinced the Liberals would eventually privatize all river ferries  while the Conservatives are committed to maintaining the ferries as part of the provincial transportation system.


Back to the Drawing Board for Quispamsis Q-Plex



The town of Quispamsis is sending a tender to build the Q-Plex back to the architect to explore options for trimming costs. Mayor Murray Driscoll tells CHSJ news they had budgeted 18.5 million dollars for construction of the facility but their lowest tender from Marco Construction has come in about 2.5 million dollars over budget.

The overall budget for the entire project is 21.7 million dollars. Driscoll says they expect to hear back from the architect in a couple of weeks.


Peel Plaza Moves Forward Despite Opposition from Some City Councilors



The city is moving forward with plans for the Peel Plaza project. Council has approved hiring Deloitte & Touche to prepare a Request for proposals from three national companies interested in constructing the new police headquarters, parking garage and central plaza.  The city will pay Deloitte and Touch more than 80 thousand dollars for their services--and--this has Deputy mayor Stephen Chase sounding the alarms. He says the cost of the project is getting out of hand.

Chase says Peel Plaza will cost in excess of 5 million dollars a year beginning in 2011---equaling to an extra 10 cents on the tax rate. Both Chase and councilor Patty Higgins voted against the contract.

Organizers of a South End Housing Project Say They Did Not Shun Local Residents



A spokesperson for the Tannery Court housing project says they did not shun residents of the South End Sustainable Community group during a recent meeting with Vibrant Communities ad BCAPI. Romeo Cormier tells CHSJ News the meeting was put on by BCAPI and they had nothing to do with not inviting the residents who oppose the project.

Meanwhile, construction of the 50 low income apartments in the south end will begin mid-June.

More Patient Files Go Missing



The Regional Health Authority B has notified six patients that their private medical files had been misplaced.  Public Health discovered three missing files from the Fredericton/Upper River Valley area late last year. A Spokesperson says an extensive search was conducted over the past several months before they were located.  She says the files had personal but limited health information because detailed patient information is stored electronically.

In a separate incident, three more patient files went missing when a lap top was stolen from an employee at Cook Medical. Three patients’ names and birth dates were in the laptop but officials say the computer featured extensive security making it extremely unlikely the content could be accessed. The patients were notified of the incident yesterday.

City Hands Out Thousands in Grant Money



Common council has approved thousands of dollars in grants for community groups and projects. 150 thousand dollars is being handed out to nine projects including the Crescent Valley Resource Centre, ONE Change, the West side PACT and the South End group PULSE.

The grant funding comes through the Neighbourhood Development Stimulation Grant.


Mexican Fruits And Vegetables Safe




(Dr Eilish Cleary - file photo)

Provincial health officials continue to watch for any suspected cases of the swine flu -- so far -- there haven't been any confirmed cases.
Meantime -- the chief medical health officer -- Dr Eilish Cleary says it's highly unlikely the virus can be transmitted by fruits and vegetables from Mexico because it doesn't typically exist outside a mammal host.
Cleary is also stopping short of calling a Moncton microbiologist irresponsible for his comments about the province not being ready to deal with a full blown pandemic because of what he says a lack of planning and resources -- she says she's been trying to contact Dr Richard Garceau over the past couple of days without any luck.

Premier Not Closing Door On Some Privatization In Health Care




(Premier Shawn Graham - photo courtesty CNB)

The Saint John Labour Council is using today's "Day of Mourning" to get the message out about the possible privatization of the Worker's Rehab Center in Grand Bay-Westfield.
Meanwhile, Premier Shawn Graham tells CHSJ News, because of the growing costs of healthcare in the Province, its time for new ideas to be explored.
Graham says the provincial government is still committed to a publicly funded healthcare system but there are opportunities for the private healthcare system to deliver services paid for publicly.

Community Ogranizer Says Success In Numbers



The louder you yell, the more you get--- that from Linda Watson of the Save Our Ferries group which is celebrating a recent victory after staring down the provincial government to maintain ferry service in Gagetown and Belleisle.
Watson tells CHSJ News, it seems like in this province, everyone has to get into an uproar to keep the things they want.
Watson says the fortunate thing is the community seems to always pull together and people work together to accomplish their goals.

Building Bylaw Being Beefed Up



Some big changes to the way Saint John handles boarded up buildings could be on the way -- common council has given city staff the go ahead to begin discussions with the province for a new Derelict Buildings By-law.
Deputy Commissioner of Building Inspections Amy Poffenroth tells CHSJ News, it will help get rid of abandoned buildings, some which have been boarded up for two years.
Under the current by-law, city officials can't take action against several boarded up or shoddy buildings because they aren't considered dangerous or unsightly.
Poffenroth says the by-law will go before the legislature and will be in place by this fall at the earliest.

Tannery Court Opponents Say They Were Left Out In The Cold



The South End Sustainable Community Group is being shunned by the developer of Tannery Court. Avide held a meeting with Vibrant Communities Housing group and when residents asked to be a part of the meeting, they were denied.
Spokes-person Bob McVicor tells CHSJ News, his group has opposed the low income housing complex since the beginning and was rejected from voicing its concerns.
McVicor says by putting the 50 affordable apartments in an already poor neighbourhood will do nothing but consolidate the city's poorest residents into one area.

Special Meeting in Quispamsis



A special meeting of Quispamsis council is scheduled for this afternoon. Councilors will try and hash out the numbers as the search for a contractor to build the Q-Plex continues. It was the municipalities hope to award the contract for the tender to construct the Q-Plex facility last but Mayor Murray Driscoll says there is a reason for the delay.

Driscoll says this delay will not throw the construction schedule off with back-hoes ready to go in the ground next month with the plan to be finished by late next summer. The meeting is expected to go into closed session as officials try and figure out which bid is the best as they all have come in over their $21.7 million dollar budget.


NB Power Employees are Honoured



Bravery medals have been handed out to five employee's of NB Power. A ceremony with Lt. Governor Hermelle Chiasson and Governor General Michaelle Jean was held in Fredericton yesterday to hand out the hardware at government house. Luc Bujold, Daniel Doiron, Rene Doucette, Rod Trenholm and Glen Worrall were all on hand to receive the high Honor.

It was back on November 10th of last year the employee's were driving between Bathurst and Eel River when they came upon a two vehicle accident. A van had rolled onto it's roof and caught fire. The five men grabbed extinguishers to knock down the flames and freed the driver. 

Dope Found in Raid



A year long investigation has netted RCMP a huge haul of marijuana. 600 plants and 20 pounds of dried bud were seized from a home on the Salmon Creek Road over the weekend. The dope was on it's way to Montreal and a man from La Belle Province and his girlfriend have been arrested.

55-year old Milan Beneda will remain locked up until a bail hearing in Sussex on Thursday. 45-year old Barbara Meres has been released with conditions. Both are facing charges of cultivation of marijuana as well as possession for the purpose of trafficking marijuana. City Police and assisted in the raid.

Q-Plex Meeting in Quispamis This Afternoon



Years of planning will come full circle this afternoon at the Town Hall in Quispamsis. That's when councilors will award the tender for the contract to build the Q-Plex. Construction of the $21.7 million dollar facility is set to get started next month and if everything stays on schedule, should be open by late next summer. Mayor Murray Driscoll tells CHSJ News, they wanted to award the contract last week but a short delay is not a big deal.

The meeting is expected to go into closed session as officials try and figure out which bid is the best as they all have come in over their $21.7 million dollar budget. Today's meeting gets started at noon.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The City is Pushing Ahead with Changes to the Civic Pension Plan



City employees are back to the drawing board after efforts were thwarted to have common council rescind a previous motion to make serious changes to the pension plan.  The four unions had hoped council would strike a working committee to hash out some solutions to the troubled plan before going to the legislature. Council has instead referred the request to its actuarial firm Morneau Sobeco. Councilor Chris Titus says his first responsibility is to tax payers.

Canadian Union of Public Employees national rep, James Stanley says council won't succeed in getting changes at the legislature without their support. The proposed pension changes could save $70 million.

Workers Killed And Injured On Job To Be Remembered



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A noon time gathering on the waterfront tomorrow will mark the annual "Day of Mourning" to remember workers injured and killed on the job.
The latest stats show 11-people were killed on the job in this province last year while just over 12-thousand were injured -- and -- Saint John District Labour Council President Ron Oldfield tells CHSJ News that's unacceptable.
He says more education is needed for both employers and employees.
The ceremony is scheduled to begin at noon in Pugsley Park on Water Street.

Conservative M-L-A Warns Of More Ferry Cuts




(Saint John Portland M-L-A Trevor Holder - photo courtesy of CNB)

Saint John Portland Conservative M-L-A Trevor Holder is suggesting it's a hollow victory -- Holder is referring to the agreement reached with residents in Belleisle and Gagetown to keep those ferries plying the river waters on a seasonal basis.
The deal will see the residents form an ownership group which will contract private operators -- and -- Holder tells CHSJ News it appears the Premier isn't closing the door on more of the same in the next budget by refusing to deny the possibility exists.
But -- Holder says the ferries are part of the provincial transportation system -- and -- his party remains committed to returning the ferries to provincial ownership if it assumes power after the next election.

Partnerships Formed to Promote Local Lobster



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[From Left to Right: President of Moosehead Breweries Andrew Oland, Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet, and Regional Vice President of Operations for the Superstore Mike Doucette]

The marriage between two Maritime favourites is becoming official.
Fisheries Minister Rick Doucett announced today in Dipper Harbour that Atlantic Superstore and Moosehead Breweries joined a partnership for a lobster promotion for the province. Rick Doucett tells tide news this is the first step to boost the lobster industry.

Doucett says starting May 1st until the end of July if you purchase a specially marked 12 packed of Mooseheads Clancy 's Amber Ale you will receive a coupon for 5$ dollars off the price of live or cooked lobster from Atlantic Superstores.

Moosehead on Promotion



Joel Levesque with Moosehead tells CHSJ News, the fishing community has always supported Moosehead, and when the Department of Fisheries asked about the promotion they couldn't say no.
Levesque says lobster is an important revenue generator in Atlantic Canada, and in this economy anything they can do to help sell more lobster they will do.

The promotion begins on Friday, and will be running until the end of July in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and PEI.

Construction at the Regional Hospital



Construction work will prevent people from being dropped off or picked up at the Emergency Room doors at the Regional Hospital starting tomorrow.
Excavation work tomorrow until the end of the week will have the roadway in front of the ER closed to everyone except emergency vehicles.
Regional Health Authority B says the ER will still be open 24 hours a day, and no services will be disrupted.

Drugs Destined to Montreal Seized



Several hundred pounds of marijuana destined for Montreal is now in the possession of the RCMP after executing a warrant on Friday in Salmon Creek.
RCMP seized nearly 600 plants, and 20 pounds of dried marijuana at a residence at arrested two adults from Montreal.
55 year Milan Beneda will be in custody in Sussex until his bail hearing Thursday, and his 45 year old girlfriend Barbara Meres was released on strict conditions.
They are both looking at cultivation of marijuana, and possession for the purpose of trafficking charges.

Assault at Dorchester



An incident at Dorchester Penitentiary is the cause of one inmate remaining in the hospital.
Around 3 pm yesterday afternoon an inmate was assaulted and transferred to a nearby health care facility.
Correctional Service Canada is looking into the assault to help prevent future incidents, and says employee and public safety are it's top priority.

Some Interest In Operating Ferries




(Belleisle Bay ferry - file photo)

There are at least three contractors showing an interest in operating the Belleisle and Gagetown ferries.
The provincial government plans to hand over the two ferry services to community led groups in both areas once all they have all legal documentation in place.
Transportation Minister Denis Landry says former M-L-A Eric Allaby will quarterback the transition process.
Meantime -- Landry says the province will continue to operate the ferries until the transition is complete -- but -- both services will only operate between 6 in the morning and 11 in the evening beginning Friday.

Port Pushing For Federal And Provincial Funds



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(Cruise ship dockside in the harbour - photo courtesy SJ Port Authority)

The port authority is calling on the provincial and federal governments to come through with funding to help with expansion of docking facilities to handle larger cruise ships.
Port chair Stephen Campbell says the precedent has already been set with the St Lawrence Seaway area getting over 150-million dollars in combined federal and provincial funding last year -- and -- their passenger volume is about half of our head count.
The port authority is also looking for federal money to help upgrade west side piers -- and -- it thinks Ottawa should assume harbour dredging costs -- right now dredging represents a large chunk of the port's expenses and a user fee will be implemented to recover those costs.

Funeral Planned for Unknown Infant



A funeral is planned for the unknown baby boy found in a snowbank earlier this month in Salisbury.
The RCMP continue it's search for any information about the boy, and have received several tips but none have led officers any closer to finding out the identity of the infant found on the Taylor Road on April 4th.
The public service will be held in the chapel at the Chartersville Funeral Home in Dieppe on Friday at 11am.
The service will be non-denominational, and the funeral home is covering all costs. Any funds donated by the public will be going toward the cost of a tombstone.

Marijuana Growers Face A Judge



Two people are facing a bail hearing in Hampton this morning after the RCMP broke up a major marijuana grow operation in Salmon Creek Friday.
RCMP say the operation was very sophisticated, and the two accused are from Montreal.
More details are expected to be known later in the day.

What Does the Future Hold for the Paramount Theater



Lots of talk is being generated through a Face Book Group about a landmark building in the uptown. The Paramount Theater has been vacant for close to five years now and Michael McDonald has started asking questions about what could be done with the facility. The answer from most is to transform it into a multi-purpose arts facility. Paul Daeres is owner of the building and tells CHSJ News, the building is still in good shape.

Daeres says he knows nothing about the theater business and anyone interested in buying or leasing the building for any type of project should give him a call.


Broadcaster and Politician is Gone



A former broadcaster and politician is being remembered fondly today. Art Gould passed away over the weekend at the age of 95. Gould was first elected to council in Saint John in 1964 and was appointed to the mayors chair in 1966. Gould was instrumental in making the amalgamation of Lancaster and Simonds happen and in 1967 became Mayor of the newly formed Saint John.

Gould's political life spanned 22 years and he is also best remembered for his weather reports on CHSJ Television that began back in 1957 and ran until 1974. Visiting is at Brennans on Paradise Row with the funeral set to go on Wednesday at 1:30pm. 


Record Setting Day in Saint John



Whether you were gardening, out for a walk or just sitting soaking up some of the sun did it in record fashion. Environment Canada reports we set a new record for the day-time high temperature which settled in at 19.4 Celsius.

That breaks the previous mark of 18.7 set back in 1985.

Conference is Deemed a Success



It's was a very productive weekend according to Grand Bay-Westfield Mayor Grace Losier. She was part of a weekend brainstorming session where they generated ideas for regional cooperation in Greater Saint John. Losier tells CHSJ News, we will hopefully see some of the ideas brought up this weekend put into action.

Losier says she is thrilled to see such a large turnout and the participation of so many was their largest success seeing the economic, environmental and social communities represented.

Mayor Court Says Education is the Key



Mayor Ivan Court says there are jobs available for graduating students and tells CHSJ News, students with an arts degree in hand will be in demand.

Mayor Court adds an arts degree is a step to something else and not what it was 20 years ago when it could stand alone.

Premier Says the Job Market is Good



It's that time of year when university students prepare to dawn caps and gowns and look at their job prospects but for the class of 2009, the grim economic situation is becoming a factor in their job hunt. Premier Shawn Graham tells CHSJ News, we're certainly feeling the woes caused by economic fallout in the U-S.

Graham says he believes the economic situation south of the border has not yet hit rock bottom.

Man Falls and Vehicle Destroyed



A 38-year old man is nursing two broken wrists after a fall from some scaffolding in East Saint John last night. The call for help came in just before eight o'clock at 885 Bayside Drive. He was taken to the Regional and then sent home to rest. Still no word on how the man fell and Worksafe NB will be on the site later today to try and piece together what happened.

Also, officers found a stolen vehicle moments after it was reported gone. It was just after eleven o'clock that a 93 Ford Tempo was lighting up the night sky at the corner of Sydney and Mecklenburg. The vehicle has been destroyed by the flames and Major Crime has been called in.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

River Residents Score Victory In Bid To Keep Ferries In Service




(Liberal M-L-A Eugene McGinley - photo courtesy CNB)

Residents in the Belleisle and Gagetown areas have been successful in reversing a government decision to tie up their ferries on a permanent basis in a cost cutting measure.
Grand Lake-Gagetown Liberal M-L-A Eugene McGinley tells CHSJ News an agreement has been reached between the province and residents to keep the ferries floating beyond an April 30th deadline.
More details on the agreement including tolls will be announced within a day or two -- but -- McGinley says it will involve setting up a non-profit group to operate the ferries.
However -- the government M-L-A says the seasonal Hampstead ferry won't be plying the river waters as previously announced.

Save Our Ferries Member Says Service Will Continue



The Save Our Ferries Initiative appears to have arrived at a success--- that is the word of one man involved with the group who says the Gagetown and Belleisle ferry services will be kept afloat. Billy Carter of Save Our Ferries tells CHSJ News the recent news isn't what they wanted but does meet their goal of keeping the vessels in the water---  

Carter says they want the ferries to remain a free service, but he assumes if they are run by a private company brought in by the provincial government then a toll will be put on the ferry usage. A formal announcement is expected to be made by the provincial government as early as tomorrow.

Pets to Swarm City Hall Today



The pet population in the uptown will grow dramatically this afternoon. A rally is being held on the steps of City Hall to bring attention to animal cruelty. Sarah Herring is the spokes-person and tells CHSJ News, they also hope to continue collecting signatures for their petition which currently stands at 2000:

Herring says the current legislation is full of loop-holes and needs to be updated to protect the rights of animals. Similar rallies have already been held in Moncton and Fredericton and today's at City Hall will conicide with 10 other's across the country. The rally gets started in front of City Hall at 2:30pm.  

Immunization Week From Coast to Coast



No time like the present to get to a doctor and catch up on your vaccinations.
This week Regional Health Authority B is promoting National Immunization Awareness Week and is suggesting families get their shots.
For more information on vaccinations contact your family doctor, or the Public Health Office at 658-3109.

Quispamsis' New Look



If you have been to the Town Hall in Quispamsis recently or know someone who works for the town, no doubt you have noticed their sporting a new look. Magnetic pins are being worn which read everywhere. Mayor Murray Driscoll tells CHSJ News, this is a wonderful quote which says alot about the arena project:

Some of the new green technology for the project will take heat off the ice and warm the pool and bleachers. A special meeting of council on Tuesday at the Town Hall will announce the tender for the contract to build the facility.

Imagine The Possibilities Conference Wraps Up With Enthusiastic Aims



There are lots of ideas down on paper following a weekend conference in the Port City--- The Imagine the Possibilities conference gathering over 125 participants together to come up with plans for regional cooperation in the Greater Saint John area. Facilitator of the conference Jamie Golding tells CHSJ News
having so many people from all areas putting their minds together is critical---

Golding says this is just one step of a long journey and they must now go through all the information gathered during the day long event yesterday.

Dodge Ram Suspected in North End Crash Which Split Hydro Pole In Half



Be on the lookout for a black and white Dodge Ram--- it's the vehicle suspected to have caused serious damage in the North End Friday night before fleeing the scene. The truck allegedly slammed into a hydro pole, splitting it in half and leaving wires to dangle dangerously close to nearby buildings. The City's fire department and hydro officials were on the scene along Adelaide Street for many hours following the crash, forunately it appears no one was hurt.

Local Flood Watch Continues



news-fredericton flooding.jpg (Flooding in Fredericton area - photo courtesy CNB)

Residents living along river banks in the greater Saint John area continue to keep a close eye on water levels.
Provincial emergency measures officials are predicting water levels in our area will peak at or near flood levels by tomorrow -- but -- no significant flooding is expected.
In the Fredericton area -- the Saint John River has spilled over its banks but no major flooding is reported and the water level is expected to begin dropping by tomorrow.

Provincial Health Officials Monitoring Progress Of Swine Flu



As the number of confirmed cases of swine flu grow in Mexico and the southwest U-S -- public health officials say there haven't been any confirmed cases of the virus here in the province.
But -- they are asking anyone who is sick enough to see their doctor and have just returned from those areas - to let the doctor know of their travel history so it can be determined if you need to be tested.
At the same time -- public health says if you have just returned and are not sick - do not go to the hospital or clinic just because you have been travelling.
And as always -- washing your hands frequently - covering your face when coughing or sneezing - and - staying home when ill will help reduce the spread of most viruses including the swine flu.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

New Station



 There will soon be a new radio voice in the Nova Scotia town of Bridgewater -- our parent company - Acadia Broadcasting - has been granted approval by the Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission for a new country music station.
 It's Acadia's second station in the town -- and company Vice President Jim MacMullin says the new station should be on the air by early next year.
 Acadia owns Country 94 and the Wave as well as a station in St Stephen and three in northwestern Ontario.
 The company has also applied for a new station in Halifax.

Graham on Ferries



Some provincial ferry services slated to be shut down in just under a week unless viable options are presented to keep the service afloat without government cash--- The Gagetown, Hampstead, and Belleisle ferries fate remains unknown as we await news from Premier Shawn Graham next week. Graham tells CHSJ News he believes potential solutions will continue to come forward, but the province can no longer keep the service afloat.

Graham also tells us an announcement will be made in the coming week.

Imagine the Possibilities



Sometimes it seems a little imagination is all thats needed to change everything--- and that seems to be the message at Samuel de Champlain this morning. The school is hosting the Imagine the Possibilities conference where over 125 participants are gathered brainstorming about regional cooperation in the Greater Saint John Area--- Keynote speaker Doug Keeley kicking off the conference with a story about one of the most successful Canadian start ups in history, preaching that success of something even as large as Cirque de Soleil comes from just an idea.

The conference is expected to conclude at around 3:30 this afternoon with another story presented by Keeley.

Police looking for Calls About Car Robberies



City police have a person in custody in relation to series of automobile break ins.
A number of cars were broken into last night in the Champlain Heights area, with a variety of items being stolen.
Police are asking anyone who notices something missing from their vehicle to give them a call.

Barbeque Safety



The plenty of sunshine and temperatures in the upper teens and even mid-twenties in some area's this weekend, many will be firing up the barbeque for the first time this year. Grand Bay-Westfield Fire Chief Dan McCoy tells CHSJ News, safety must always been on your mind.

McCoy adds it never hurts to do the soap and water test as well where you apply the mixture to the hoses, and if you see bubbles, that means there is a leak and you should replace the part or the unit. 

GPS In Quispamsis



As Saint John debates the pros and cons of G.P.S. units on it's fleet of vehicles, Quispamsis is singing the praises of the technology. Director of Engineering Gary Losier tells CHSJ News, the town has had the boxes hooked up to it's fleet of snow-plows for the past five years.

Losier says in the first two years they were in service, they saved enough money in spreading salt to purchase a new salt dome. As for the fear that Big Brother is keeping an eye on slackers.....Losier says they made it clear to all employee's, this was not the case.    

Friday, April 24, 2009

Weston Fails To Get Positive Response From Minister




(Saint John M-P Rodney Weston - file photo)

He didn't get the answer he was looking for -- but -- Saint John M-P Rodney Weston has the loss of the Canadian Blood Services distribution center in front of the federal Health Minister.
Weston raised the issue during Question Period in the House of Commons today -- but -- the Minister says her department can't interfere in the business decisions of the agency -- she says it's an "at arms length" agency when it comes to corporate and operational decisions.
The agency plans to close its University Avenue center and move it to a new facility in Halifax within the next two years.

One Mile Interchange Moves Along Smoothly



It's full steam ahead for work on the One Mile Interchange. Energy Minister Jack Keir tells CHSJ news a contract has already been awarded for ramps on the highway side and the next contract will be handed out in July. The project is designed to give truck traffic going to the industrial parks in East Saint John direct access to Bayside Drive instead of traveling through the city and around the Lower Cove Loop.

The 45 million dollar One Mile Interchange project is expected to be finished by the fall of 2011.


The Seadogs Have Found A New Head Coach



The Saint John Seadogs are welcoming their new head coach for next season.
Former Columbus Blue Jackets coach Gerard Gallant will be taking the helm and has signed on for the next three years.
Gallant says hockey fans in the city can expect an exciting physical team next year.

Also being named to the coaching staff of the Seadogs is former CIS Coach of the Year Mike Kelly, and the teams longtime Head Scout Norm Gosselin has been promoted to Director of Player Personnel.

Two Inmates Assaulted at Prison



Two inmates at the maximum-security Atlantic Institution in Renous have returned to their cells after being assaulted last night. The injured prisoners were both taken to the nearest health care facility to be treated after the attack took place around 8:30pm.

Correctional Service Canada is currently reviewing the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Rivers Levels Edge Near Flood Stage



River levels are expected to touch just below the flood point in the Greater Saint John area by Sunday. The provincial Emergency Measures Organization is warning people living or working in low-lying areas near open-water to move property away from water edges or out of their basements. 

Officials with the City of Fredericton say they expect some minor flooding along the St. John River this weekend, but don't expect it to affect any of the main roads.

Government Awards $17.6 Million Contract in St. Andrews



The federal government has chosen Maricon Construction Management for a contract worth 17.6 million dollars to build a new wet lab at the St. Andrews Biological Station. The project will consolidate existing buildings into one state of the art wet lab facility. The building will house the majority of marine life and research operations.

Modernization of the St. Andrews Biological Station will also see the construction of a new 4,500 square metre science building with offices, laboratories, a computer centre, and a large library. Construction of the new wet lab is expected to begin this month and take about 65 weeks. All phases of the modernization project should be finished by June 2012.

Province Approves River and Mountain Name Changes



A branch of the Kennebecasis River which is now recognized as Little South Branch Kennebecasis River. The provincial government has officially changed twelve geographical names in the province. Many rivers and mountains in Gloucester County have had their names converted to French names.

The Wellness, Culture and Sport Minister has approved the changes based on the recommendations from a steering committee.  The decisions will be forwarded to the Geographical Names Board of Canada for final approval.

Unions Warn Of More Suffering And Higher Costs



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Organized labour is painting a bleak picture for the future of injured workers and employers in the province if the Workers Rehab Center in Grand Bay-Westfield is privatized.
In the latest round of the battle -- Canadian Union of Public Employees national rep Mike Davidson says services to injured workers will be cut while employers will pay 15-percent more -- and -- he says it's time for a full debate in the Legislature because the corporate board of Worksafe N-B is out of control and unaccountable.
Davidson says the Worksafe N-B board has been working on the deal behind closed doors with consulting those involved -- he says it's time for an open and transparent process.

Locals Play Major Role In Provincial Benefits Blueprint



Saint Johners are playing a leadership role in the provincial Benefits Blueprint initiative.
The team will be led by former Enterprise Saint John chair Dale Knox -- other local members include Enterprise Saint John chair Bob Manning - Enterprise Saint John CEO
Steve Carson - Rothesay Town Manager John Jarvie - the Human Development Council's Randy Hatfield - Andy Carson from Irving Oil - Ross Jefferson - Shelley Rinehart - and - Deputy City Manager Pat Woods.
The group will look at ways to take advantage of the impact of economic growth and development in the province.

Plenty of Support for New program



Support today from Harvard University for the Chair of the City's Recreation Committee. For years, Barry Ogden has been saying an active body will produce an active mind and new research is backing that up. The study shows 45 minutes of sustained physical activity, every day, will have a positive affect on the brain and learning. Barry Ogden tells CHSJ News, students in Chicago and Saskatchewan have already been tested.

Ogden says along with the benefits this study preaches, physical activity everyday will help lower health care costs and start knocking down the obesity rate which in this Province, is the highest in the country.

New Look for District Eight



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(Millidgeville North getting more students in the fall - photo courtesy School District 8)

There is a new look coming to a pair of schools in District Eight this fall. Grades three through five at M. Gerald Teed will move down the road to Millidgeville North making M. Gerald Teed a kindergarten through grade two school. Lorne school will maintain it's status as a middle school and an english middle school program will be put into effect at Millidgeville North. Superintendent Susan Tipper tells CHSJ News,

Also in the fall of 2010...... the early immersion entry point will happen in Grade Three at Millidgeville North. The District Eight Education Council fully supports this re-organization which was presented to parents during a re-registration process a few weeks ago.


Sexual Assualt Charged Laid in Hampton



Not alot of details about an incident at the high school in Hampton yesterday. RCMP were called to the building yesterday for a complaint.

A teenager has been arrested and charged with sexual assault for in-appropriate touching.


Saint John Woman on Board Hijacked Flight



A Saint John woman is still catching her breath after a harrowing experience earlier this week. The manager of Sears Travel, Terri O'Donnell was one of the passengers hijacked on board the Canjet Airliner in Montego Bay on Monday. O'Donnell tells CHSJ News, she gives full marks to the flight crew who handled the situation in a professional manner.

O'Donnell says the flight crew convinced the gun man to let the passengers go in exchange for money. They were then huddled into the terminal for a head count and she made her way home the following day. O'Donnell adds this has not thrown her off from flying. 


Blood Task Force Continues Work



A case continues to be built by the Blood Services Task Force to have the distribution center in Saint John stay where it is. Members of the medical community were asked for their input and it was earlier this week, Saint John MP Rodney Weston told us after his meeting with officials from CBS, there was no consultation with the medical community before making this decision.

Member of the Task Force, Rothesay Conservative MLA Margaret Ann Blaney tells CHSJ News, they continue to build their case and will meet members of the business community in the coming days. No word on when they will present their case or have a face to face meeting with Canadian Blood Services.

Mayors Two Day Meeting Starts Tonight



Representatives from all three levels of government along with invited guests will meet in Saint John over the next two days. The five regional mayors have organized a meeting titled....""Imagine the Possibilities"" with the help of Enterprise Saint John. Rothesay Mayor Bill Bishop tells CHSJ News, it's a great opportunity to find out what everyone else is trying to get done.

There are several special guests including Premier Shawn Graham, Veterans Affairs Minister Greg Thompson. Dr. Shelly Reinhart and Dave Hardy. The two day meeting will wrap up tomorrow at Samuel De Champlain.  

Robbery and Fire in Saint John



For the second time in as many nights, a business in the city has been hit by thieves. It was just before eight o'clock when officer's were called to a convenience store at 201 Charlotte Street and were told by the clerk he was robbed. A man walked into the building, flashed a weapon, demanded money and ran from the store with a handful. Nobody was hurt.

City Fire and Police were then called to the North End at two this morning on reports of a vehicle fire. When they arrived on Main Street, they found a van fully engulfed in flames. Two vehicles parked next to the van suffered some minor heat damage......the van was destroyed. City Police say the fire was set.

Another Canadian Soldier is Dead



(Compliments of the Canadian Press)

Another Canadian soldier is dead in Afghanistan. The military says that 30-year old Maj. Michelle Mendes based in Ottawa, was found dead in her room at the Kandahar Airfield yesterday afternoon. The statement says the incident is under investigation, although enemy action has been ruled out as a cause of death. No further details are available.

The latest death brings to 118 the total number of Canadian soldiers who have died during the Afghan mission since it began in 2002.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mayors And Community Leaders Ponder Future Growth



There will be a lot of navel gazing over the weekend -- the regional mayors are holding what's being billed "Imagine the Possibilities" to look at what the region could become in the future with a coordinated approach to setting priorities and planning.
It kicks off tomorrow night at the Trade and Convention Center with remarks from Premier Graham and Veterans Affairs Minister Greg Thompson.
Saturday will see a number of panel discussions and presentations along with a presentation by consultant Dave Hardy on the potential to directly influence our growth at the Samuel Champlain Center in Millidgeville.
The event is being underwritten by Enterprise Saint John on what's described as a "cheap and cheerful" budget.

Man Who Helped Set Up a Co-op in His Hometown Optimistic About South End Idea



Saint John resident Frank Collins is well acquainted with the concept of a co-op grocery store. The former Newfoundlander helped open a co-op in his hometown back in the 60's. He tells CHSJ news the South End has a good chance of starting one of their own.

Residents are hoping to get a grocery store in the lower South End neighbourhood that will sell fresh produce and meat at a reasonable price. Collins says his son lives in the area and is always talking about the need for a grocery store closer to people without vehicles.


Police Chase Ends with One Man Arrested



City police have arrested a man in his twenties after a car chase off the highway this afternoon. Officers followed the man to the Rockland Road and Sommerset Street area where he bailed from his car on a dead-end road. Police tells CHSJ news the man was pursued on foot and arrested a short time later.

No word on why the man ran from police or why he was pulled over, but charges are expected. There was a woman passenger in the vehicle.

King Street's Green Box Soon To Be A Thing Of The Past



news-street boil.jpg

(Temporary transformer at head of King Street - photo by Gary MacDonald)

The green monster at the head of King Street will soon be disappearing -- you may remember the temporary transformer unit was installed in February after a water leak in the Royal Bank building caused its transformer to blow taking out about 500-customers in the city center.
A replacement transformer arrived earlier this week and crews are busy installing the unit -- once it's hooked up -- the temporary green box on the sidewalk will be removed.

Stock Promoters Fined for Investment Violations



The New Brunswick Securities Commission has fined two Fredericton-based stock promoters 150 thousand dollars for lying to provincial investors. Michael Cody and Donald Nason are the last remaining New Brunswick respondents for Locate Technologies and Tubtron Controls--which have been banned from capital markets in this province and Alberta.

Cody and Nason were involved in soliciting and selling shares while in violation of the Securities Act. They also admitted to misleading officials during an investigation of Locate Technologies and Tubtron Controls. The two men have been permanently barred from trading in securities on behalf of the public, or from becoming an officer or director of any issuer. Cody has been ordered to pay a penalty of 50 thousand dollars and Nason, a penalty of 100 thousand dollars.  They must also jointly pay 2 thousand dollars in costs for the hearing.

Police Prowling North End Neighborhood



You may notice a lot of police activity in and around the Mount Pleasant area.
City police are looking for a man in his twenties who apparently took off as police tried to pull him over in the Summer Street area a short time ago.
He pulled over and bailed a short time later in the Rockland Road and Somerset Street area -- and -- a foot chase is underway.
So far no word on why police were attempting to pull over the vehicle -- a woman passenger is being held by police.

City Considering GPS in Municipal Cars



The city is looking into the possibility of using GPS tracking technology to monitor the use of municipal vehicles during deliveries. Councilor Gary Sullivan says it will allow management to supervise the fleet during snow removal and garbage pick-up. City manager Terry Totton says they are already being used on city transit buses to determine the length of a run and if a second bus is necessary.

Totton is expected to table a report on the topic at Monday's council meeting.



Gas Prices Are Up



As we get closer to the warmer weather, as expected, gas prices continue to climb. The Energy and Utilities Board has released it's latest price schedule which shows an increase of just under two cents with the maximum retail coming in at 87.3 cents. Most stations are selling a litre of self-serve for 87.5.

Diesel is actually down over two cents to land at 88.7, furnace oil drops to 69.9 which is down a penny and propane is down percentage points. coming in at 82.8.

Thieves Hit West-Side Business



The search is on by City Police for thieves that hit a West-Side Business. Officers were called to the King Street West Tim Horton's just after two o'clock to find someone got into the store and got away with alot of cash.

Major Crime has been called in to look for clues. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Residents Support South End Grocery Store Proposal



grocery store meet.jpg

Residents at St John the Baptist-King Edward School for Grocery Co-Op Meeting.

Photo Taken By: Diane Henry

The South End community is showing keen interest in having a grocery store in the neighbourhood. The gymnasium at St John the Baptist-King Edward school was packed for Wednesday night's public meeting on Co-Op Atlantic's proposal. Resident Veronica Campbell tells CHSJ News with new condos being built on the waterfront and major industrial and energy projects planned for Saint John--a grocery store will help the neighbourhood grow.

Director of Retail Relations with Co-op Atlantic, Norma Babineau, tells CHSJ News now that they know the community is interested they will set up a steering committee and begin a viability study. They will later determine the size and location of the store. There hasn't been a grocery store in the South End since the Save Easy closed in the 90's.

City Councilors Support Grocery Store Idea



Ward councilors for the South End, Karl Killen and Donnie Snook, both agree a grocery store would be best placed in the deep South End. Killen tells CHSJ news he considers it a viable business opportunity.

There are about five thousand people living in the South End of Saint John. Snook says there is a great deal of momentum for the project and is hopeful it becomes reality.


Artist To Pitch His Paintings



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(Jackson with his Obama painting - file photo)

Saint John artist Norm Jackson has made the cut -- he's off to Toronto next month to be part of the CBC tv program Dragons' Den where budding entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to potential investors.
Jackson tells CHSJ News he was a last minute entry for local auditions held in the city earlier this year.
He's hoping to market his paintings of historical events like the Obama inauguration -- and -- the moon landing.
Jackson says he thinks they lend themselves to things like calendars and commerative plates -- he leaves for Toronto next month.

Saint John MP Meets with Canadian Blood Services



Saint John MP Rodney Weston has met with officials at Canadian Blood Services to discuss the planned closure of Saint John's distribution centre. Weston says there were no consultations with medical professionals in the area before the decision was made--and-- he will not back away from having that decision reversed.

Chief Operating Officer with Canadian Blood Services, Ian Mumford, says a decision in 2002 to close the centre was not reversed. Weston says Mumford told him they simply decided not to proceed with the closure at that time.

Murphy Says He Will Ensure Safety Of Residents




(Health Minister Mike Murphy - file photo)

Health Minister Mike Murphy is drawing a line in the sand -- he won't tolerate the Emergency Room at the Regional Hospital being shut down because doctors are refusing to work overtime.
Murphy tells CHSJ News he wants the Region "B" Health Authority to resolve some outstanding internal issues with the ER doctors -- he says funding is in place for increased overtime rates and additional doctors.
The Minister says he expects the chair of the Health Authority to report back to him within ten days.
The Health Authority closed the Sussex Emergency Room on short notice Friday night so the doctor could be transferred to the Regional Hospital to cover the emergency room -- Murphy says doctors here refused to work overtime hours to keep the facility open and he says there are legislative options available to ensure the safety of residents.

Blaney Reaction to Minister Murphys Ultimatum



Health Critic Margaret Ann Blaney tells CHSJ News, she's not quite sure how the lack of doctors in the ER at the Regional Hospital caught Health Minister Mike Murphy by surprise.
Blaney says Murphy has known about the shortage of doctors for over a year, and there is still not a plan in place to hire more qualified doctors.

Blaney says the heavy recruitment Regional Health Authority B is claiming cannot be successful until a plan is in place to entice doctors.

Mayor Slams Wafflers On Council




(Mayor Ivan Court - file photo)

Mayor Ivan Court isn't worried about the growth numbers in the 2006 Census -- he says that was a snapshot three years ago before economic development really got started.
CHSJ News asked the mayor if he's worried about recent waffling by council on the Peel Plaza justice complex would hurt the city's ability to catch up to Moncton -- and -- he's not pulling any punches -- he says some councilors are doing us harm and costing taxpayers additional money every time they flip flop.
But -- Court says despite the waffling of some councilors the mayor and city are open for business.

Head Count Snapshot Shows City Lagging In Growth



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(Population comparison chart - courtesy of Statistics Canada)

The city was one of only two metropolitan areas to experience a population loss during the 2006 Census.
That's one of the many facts Stats Canada has found from number crunching the figures -- and -- Stats-Canada's Marc Melanson says that's not the case with the other two large cities in the province with Moncton leading the country in growth while Fredericton also posted significant growth.
Melanson says the average age of Saint Johners is just over 40 slightly younger than the province as a whole while the average annual income in the city is just under 71-thousand dollars which is almost 13-percent higher than the provincial average.

Doctor Says Minister Murphys Ultimatum a Misunderstanding



Doctor Edouard Hendriks with Regional Health Authority B says the ultimatum from Health Minister Mike Murphy is a misunderstanding.

He says the letter from Murphy demanding problems in the Emergency Department at the Regional Hospital be fixed in 10 days says the Minister wants an update by that time.

Hendriks tells CHSJ News, there are 8 or 9 doctors staffed in the emergency department, and they also have doctors come down from Moncton and Fredericton to cover shifts.
He says the Regional is currently recruiting more doctors to help fill positions, but it will take a lot more than 10 days to fill any vacancies.
Hendriks says he would like to reassure everyone steps are being taken to ensure everyone who comes into the hospital will receive the care that they require.

New Rules for Daycares



Town Council in Quispamsis has enacted an amendment to it's utility bylaw following an inlfux of daycares popping up in the Town. When the original sewer utility bylaw was put in place, there were no daycares in the Municipality so there was no way to charge them for usage. Town Administrator Mike Brennan tells CHSJ News, this is just a house-keeping issue.

Brennan says they haven't heard from any of the daycare facilities about whether they are pleased or dis-pleased with the new set-up. The breakdown of how the numbers are added up can be found on the Town's website at  



Keeping an Eye on the Rivers



The Town of Quispamsis, like many municipalities around the Province are watching the weather today. With heavy rain in the forecast, there is a strong possibility for flooding along the Saint John and Kennebecasis Rivers. After last years heavy flooding, town officials they used G.P.S units to track where the high water marks are, so they know when damage might occur. Director of Engineering Gary Losier tells CHSJ News, this will help them keep home-owners up to date with the latest information.

Losier says the latest information shows the water levels shouldn't crest anywhere of concern.


A New Grocery Store for the South End



Representatives from Co-Op Atlantic will be in the South End tonight to discuss the possibility of setting up a grocery store in the South End. This has been a dream of many residents since a Save Easy store moved out of the area back in the 90's.  Jennifer Edison helped organize the meeting and tells CHSJ News, things are different and store officials know that.

Edison says this proposal came about when several of the community groups starting discussing the idea. Tonight's meeting gets under way at seven o'clock at the South End Community Center.


Sussex Mayor Has Questions



The Mayor of Sussex is not happy. The Region "B" Health Authority yanked the doctor out of the Sussex Emergency Department to cover off the shift last weekend at the Regional. This after a physician couldn't be found for here in Saint John. Ralph Carr tells CHSJ News, the teenage boy being hit by a train points out how vital their E.R. is.

Carr says he will be placing a call to the Region "B" Health Authority to voice his concern. We have also placed a call to the Authority looking for someone to speak on this issue.