Linked Header

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

UNBSJ to Launch Major Immigrant Study



UNB Saint John will launch a major study on the immigrant experience in Saint John tomorrow night. UNBSJ has partnered with Enterprise Saint John and the Atlantic Metropolis Project to undertake the year-long study to be lead by Dr. Greg Marquis.  UNBSJ's urban researcher, Kurt Peacock, says the study is meant to examine how recent immigrants to Saint John can be fully welcomed.

A reception will be held at the University’s Grand Hall on Charlotte Street at five o'clock tomorrow to help build cultural awareness in the city and introduce the study to the community.  Cultural entertainment from a variety of different groups will also be part of the evening’s celebration.

WorkSafeNB Faces Massive Deficit



WorkSafeNB has reported a 185 million dollar deficit for last year-- which it claims is the result of the global economic situation. The Organization has released its 2008 Annual Report which presents both positive outcomes and financial challenges. The turmoil in capital markets resulted in funding levels falling to 87.7%.

On the up side, assessment rates have decreased for the fourth consecutive year--from $2.10 in 2007, to $2.05 in 2008. That's the lowest in the Atlantic region.


Weston Wants More Info On Blood Services Move



news-blood services.jpg

(Blood Services Center on University Avenue - photo courtesy C-B-S)

Saint John MP Rodney Weston says he is very disappointed the province has allowed the Saint John Canadian Blood Services Center be moved to Nova Scotia.
He tells CHSJ News the plan has been in place since last March but there was no effort to explore other options.
Weston has put in a request to the Vice President of the organization to get more information.
He says he also wants to know what the province's input has been into this decision.

A Distraction We Don't Need




(Mayor Ivan Court - photo courtesy City of Saint John)

Mayor Ivan Court is calling it a distraction we don't need -- he's referrng to the Canadian Blood Services decision to close the provincial distribution center here in the city.
Court tells CHSJ News it doesn't make sense with the largest number of blood donations coming from the greater Saint John area and the fact it's basically across the street from the Regional Hospital and the new medical school.
Mayor Court is calling on all businesses and agencies in the Saint John region to speak up against the move -- he's also calling on the federal and provincial governments to step up in support of reversing the decision.

Lottery Scam Making The Rounds



Another scam warning -- this one involving a Spanish lottery where you receive a letter advising you have won the lottery.
It involves a Spanish lottery -- you receive a letter notifying of you of your win and asking you to send a sum of cash to receive the prize.
The catch is you have to send a sum of money in order to receive your prize -- officials say you would never have to send money to receive a cash prize.

Scam Targets Army Cadet Supporters



There's another scam making the rounds -- this one involves people contacting Kingston Peninsula area residents seeking donations on behalf of the 140 Peninsula Army Cadet Corps.
The Commanding Officer says her corps isn't - and - won't be soliciting funds by phone.
Meanwhile -- the R-C-M-P have been alerted to the scam.

Blood Distribution Facility to Close in Saint John



Canadian Blood Services is moving its production and distribution facility to Nova Scotia from Saint John, Health critic Margaret Ann Blaney says Health Minister Mike Murphy did nothing to stop the move.  She tells CHSJ news blood is currently available within minutes--but--the changes will mean blood will have to come all the way from the Darmouth, Nova Scotia.

Blaney says the minister could have garnered legions of support to keep the blood centre in Saint John, but instead decided to tell no one, even though he knew for a year it would be moved. It will result in 17 job losses in the city by 2012.

Simonds High Evacuated After Smoke Bomb Released



A few students have been treated for smoke inhalation earlier this afternoon after Simonds High School was evacuated around one o'clock. Fire crews arrived on the scene to find the school filled with smoke, found no fire. It appears someone threw a smoke bomb into the elevator. Students were returned to class about an hour later.

New Partnership to Help Non-Profits with Insurance



The province is hoping a new partnership will help non-profit organizations get the most appropriate insurance coverage at the most competitive rates available. The Community Non-Profit Organizations Secretariat is collaborating with the Insurance Brokers' Association of New Brunswick and the Insurance Bureau of Canada. Minister Brian Kenny says Insurance can be an expensive necessity for many non-profit groups in the province.

The secretariat has also been working on multi-year funding agreements for non-profits; reducing red tape in the funding application process; and developing a resource website.

Directory of Businesses Using Non-Timber Forest Products to be Launched



The INFOR company is launching a free directory of all businesses in Atlantic Canada and Maine that make products from natural woodland resources. The From Our Atlantic Woods non-timber forest product directory will include everything from blueberry wine and fiddle heads, to bird-watching tours and birdseye wood sculptures.  There are currently more than 260 listings.

The directory will be available online and in print as of April 4th. People can pick up a copy of the printed directory at Sobey's stores in the region.

Community Groups Applaud Schools Staying Open



north end community.jpg

[Members of North End Community Groups Listening to Mayor Ivan Court Announce Community Schools Are Staying Open]

The North End community group One Change is applauding Education Minister Kelly Lamrock for his decision to keep Hazen White- St Francis, and Lorne Middle School open for the next school year.
Scott Crawford tells CHSJ News, it's important for politicians to get behind residents who are normally not listened to.

Crawford says everyone has been sitting on the edge of their seats waiting to hear this decision, and says he believes Lamrock made the right decision because community schools are the glue that keeps neighbourhoods together.

Mother Glad Schools Are Staying Open



Keeping the community schools open is a win in parent Nancy Savoie's eyes.
Savoie has two boys who attend Hazen White St. Francis, and says Minister Lamrock listened to the protests from parents, and made the right decision.

Savoie feared her children would lose their identity in a big school like Millidgeville North, and says when she gave her boys the news this morning they gave her a big high five.

New Look for the Regional Hospital



The newly renovated chemotherapy treatment room at the Regional was officially opened today. It provides chemical therapy to treat cancer as patients can spend between an hour and a full day in the treatment chairs depending on the treatment protocol. The room has been enlarged to ten treatment chairs from six and a satellite pharmacy was created so that treatment drugs can be directly dispensed on-site.

The project cost was more than $250,000.


Half a Million for Harbor Passage




(McKenna Makes Funding Announcment)

Photo by Jim Hennessy:

Half a million dollars has been donated to the Waterfront Development Corporation by TD Bank Financial Group. The money will go towards the construction of environmental hubs along Harbor Passage. The goal is to raise environmental awareness and will feature themes including water supply, habitiat preservation and clean air. Former Premier Frank McKenna is deputy chair of the financial group and says this is a great way to lead by example.

McKenna says along with creating a first class attraction, it is the companies hope these eco-hubs will get people talking about what they can do to protect the environment. 

Water Levels Along the River Holding Steady



Unlike last year at this time, nerves are alot calmer along the St. John River. Emergency measures has issued it's latest river watch report which shows levels are holding steady along the river north of Mactaquac. This after all of the rain and snow the area received over the past two days, there were concerns the level could rise.

EMO says the river level should remain steady over the next two days and will issue another report on Friday afternoon.

Update on Refurbishment at Point Lepreau



More time has been lost on the refurbishment project at Point Lepreau. The latest update report has been released by the utility with no exact word on how much time but the last report indicated work was close to six months behind schedule. Crews are currently in the process of removing all 380 feeder tubes from the reactor but no word on when that will be finished.

The plant did receive one of the low pressure turbine rotors over the weekend which has been stored at the Saint John Port since September. The other two low pressure turbine rotors that were dropped into the Harbor last fall are due to be delivered this summer. The billion dollar refurbishment is scheduled to be finished by September.

District Eight Reacts to Decision



School District 8 Superintendent Susan Tipper tells CHSJ News, although the minister's decision was not what they hoped for, they have not been caught off guard. Tipper says it will be challenge balancing their budget while maintaining two old schools with fewer students each year but says they will make it work.

As for whether they will bring the recommendation to close the schools back before the Minister in the future, Tipper says she can't be sure.

North End Schools will Remain Open



Residents in the North End will be pleased to know the Education Minister has decided to keep Hazen White-St. Francis and Lorne Middle School open for the coming school year. This means Princess Elizabeth will not become an elementary school. School District 8 had submitted the recommendation to the minister based on declining enrollment figures and the potential to save money.

Kelly Lamrock says new research suggests the communities surrounding these schools will undergo a period of population growth as a result of new low income housing developments. In a written statement he also says the closure of these two community schools sends a dis-empowering message to those across the province who have modelled their partnerships on progress made at Hazen-White and Lorne.