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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Save Our Ferries Protest Goes To The Legislature




(Belleisle ferry is one of three on chopping block - file photo)

They've gained a 30-day extension -- but -- residents between the Belleisle and Gagetown are planning to march on the Legislature Thursday.
The residents are protesting the pending loss of river ferries in the Belleisle - Hampstead - and - Gagetown as part of the Graham government's cost cutting measures.
The services were scheduled to be shut down at the end of the month -- but -- today in the Legislature -- the government announced it was delaying the shut down by a month to give residents time to come up with some options.

EMO is Predicting No River Flooding this Spring



The provincial Emergency Measures Organization is cautiously optimistic there will be no flooding along the St. John River this year. Hundreds of homes faced water damage last spring when the river's banks overflowed during the thaw and melt. EMO Spokesperson Carl Wilmot tells CHSJ news the risk is much lower this time around because the mass of snow in the upper region of the province is down from last year.

Mayor Still Not Convinced About Merits Of Tax Deal



The mayor remains convinced the controversial tax concession granted for the Canaport L-N-G terminal four years ago was - and - remains a bad deal despite spin off developments being proposed.
Ivan Court says residents deserve something in return for having their quality of life disrupted by energy projects -- and -- that's what he's looking for with any new proposals.
Court does give credit to companies like Irving Oil and Emera for giving back to the community -- he says that's setting a good example for others.

Environmentalist Gives Energy Announcement Mixed Reviews



He's giving some good grades to Irving Oil's announcement of a proposed wind and natural gas fired power power plant -- but -- Gordon Dalzell of the Clean Air Coalition isn't fully enthralled with the fact a large portion of the plant is still relying on fossil based fuel.
Dalzell tells CHSJ News he is happy with the plan to have an energy corridor for transmission lines which will lessen the environmental impact of the lines and pipes.
He says sending more green based energy to the northeastern U-S will lead to a reduction in emissions drifting our way from south of the border.

City To Host Premiers And Governors Conference



Some high profile guests will be in the city later this year -- we will be hosting the annual conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers.
Premier Graham made the announcement during the energy news conference this morning.
The conference will be held in September.

Getting Women into Skilled Labour



The New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women says women are a largely untapped labour pool when it comes to meeting the workforce needs for major energy projects. Executive Director, Rosella Melanson tells CHSJ news there will be massive construction projects in Saint John that will require thousands of skilled labourers.

According to the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council women account for nearly half of employment in the Atlantic region--but--men still dominate the manufacturing sector. Melanson says the province should be doing more to prepare those workplaces for women--and--encourage women to consider skilled labour.

Small Business Optimism Up



Small and medium-sized business optimism remains well above the national average in this province, according to the latest survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. Provincial spokesperson, Andreea Bourgeois tells CHSJ news New Brunswick is the second most optimistic in the country despite the economic uncertainty--but--businesses are still leery about the future.

Bourgeois says this province's advantage is greater market stability--with fewer extreme highs and lows.

Atlantica Center For Energy Head Sees Growing Potential



Tim Currie of the Atlantica Center for Energy says the potential for private investment in the corridor and related energy projects speaks volumes.
Currie says the projected demand for energy even with the current economic state will continue to out pace the supply -- so -- there should be no end to potential markets for the Irving projects and additional reactors at Point Lepreau.

Irving Oil Proposes Wind - Natural Gas Power Plant



Irving Oil is exploring the possibility of building a wind and natural gas co-generation power plant.
The plant would be capable of generating between 12 and 15-hundred megawatts of power -- and -- Irving's Jeff Matthews says it would be built in phases.
The plant's capacity is more than double that of the Point Lepreau nuclear generating station -- the company is currently doing technical and commercial feasibility studies.
Matthews says the natural gas fired power plant would be located as close as possible to the Canaport L-N-G terminal.

Green Energy Corridor Being Promoted On Both Sides Of Border



It's being heralded as the next major step in the growth of our area as an energy hub -- our province is working with neighboring Maine to develop an energy corridor which will also promote more so called green energy projects.
The announcement was made with much fanfare this morning at the Delta -- Premier Graham says it will cover all forms of energy.
Maine Governor John Baldacci says it's the most environmentally friendly way of moving energy to markets by keeping transmission lines in the same footprint.

RCMP Warn of Deer on Highway 1



The warmer weather is drawing out an abundance of deer near roads and highways. Charlotte County RCMP are warning drivers to slow down and be watchful particularly along Highway 1 from St. Stephen to Saint John. A collision with a deer can cause serious damage and injury.

The Department of Transportation had posted numerous deer warning signs along Highway 1 but Mounties say several have gone missing mainly in the Pocologan area.

Accident Involving School Bus



No serious injuries after an accident between a school bus and vehicle in Sussex Corner this morning. RCMP tell us they were called to the Post Road just after eight o'clock to find the bus had hit the vehicle trying to back out of a driveway when the driver was blinded by the sun.

The bus tried to swerve but failed. The driver of the vehicle was taken to hospital to be looked over.

Conservative leader in the Valley Tonight



A speech tonight by Provincial Conservative Leader David Alward will focus on last weeks budget. The Conservatives contest the governing Liberals have a spending problem which has put this province millions of dollars in debt. Leader David Alward tells CHSJ News, his party continues to gear up for when the writ is dropped in about a year and a half.

Tonight's dinner at Riverside Country Club gets started at seven o'clock.  

Jobs Lost at MooseHead Breweries



Moosehead Breweries has let go of 13 of it's employee's due to economic troubles. Five of the affected worker were here at the West-Side plant with the other scattered between Nova Scotia, Ontario and the United States. Mike Lee is with Human Resources and tells CHSJ News, this move was made to position the company so it can weather this economic storm. Another five positions that will be vacant in the coming months due to retirement, resignations and transfers will not be filled. 

Lee says all of the employee's that have been let go will receive a severance package and this was not an easy decision for the company.


Energy News Conference at the Delta



Energy will be the focus of a news conference later this morning at the Delta. Taking part will be Premier Shawn Graham, Energy Minister Jack Keir and Main Governor John Baldacci.

Also taking part will be Jeff Matthews of Irving Oil. Things get started at Nine O'clock.