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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Modern Police Tips



Saint John Police are trying to get a younger generation of people to report crimes with a new method of giving tips.
A email tip hotline has been implemented--allowing people to report suspected crimes by simply sending an email.
Sgt. Jim Flemming says in this modern time, it is more likely someone will send off an email before calling the department.

Flemming says email tips have provided police the whereabouts of drug houses, as well as sexual predators.
The confidential email address is

Blue Community Campaign



The Council of Canadians is fighting to try and make it so clean, safe drinking water becomes a human right.
Kick starting a national campaign to make communities become a Blue Community---the council wants municipalities to stop the sale of bottled water in public spaces, and to resist privatization.
Spokesperson Meer Karunananthan tells CHSJ News, there are 41 bottled water bans across the country, and not drinking bottled water is a simple step residents can do to make their community more blue.

Karunananthan says residents need to fight to keep their drinking water out of the hands of privatized companies, and one way to do so is to encourage city council to refuse public private partnerships, and to ban the sale of bottled water in schools, hospitals, and other public spaces.

Fighter Jets on Training Over Gagetown



It may be a bit noisy above CFB Gagetown over the next few days. CF-18 fighter jets from 3 Wing Bagotville will be flying throughout the day and night for training may 6, 8, 11 and 13.

Officials at the base say the fighter jets will be flying at various altitudes but should not be a significant disturbance to Oromocto and the surrounding communities.

City Expects Land Sale of Former Lantic Sugar Site to be Complete Soon



The city manager is optimistic the sale of the former Lantic Sugar Site along Water Street to Irving Oil will be finalized this summer. Terry Totton says they are down to the final clause of the purchase and sale agreement, and are still dealing with the federal government regarding the title of the land.

Totton says Irving Oil has plans to begin test drilling on the site this summer in order to determine the environmental degradation of the site. He also says there is every indication that Irving's proposed Headquarters project for Long Wharf will meet final approval, sealing the deal for the land sale.  Under the agreement, the company will then trade the former Lantic Sugar site with the Saint John Port Authority for the Long Wharf site.


Minister Offers Little Comment on LNG Work Protest



Supply and Services Minister Ed Doherty says the dispute over immigrant workers taking shifts from local union members at the Canaport LNG Terminal is between the employees and employer. Doherty was at today's Multicultural and Newcomer Resource Centre official opening but would not comment on the impact the LNG terminal situation might have on immigration in the city.

To hear the complete scrum with Doherty click "wild audio" on the news website.

Multicultural and Newcomer Resource Centre Officially Opens



Saint John now has a Multicultural and Newcomer Resource Centre thanks to about 258 thousand dollars from the provincial government. Supply and Services Minister Ed Doherty made the announcement today at the new centre, on the 4th floor of the city market.

Project Coordinator, Luisa Montoya will oversee the day to day operations of the centre which will offer employment counseling, resume writing, interview skills, and other needs for new immigrants. The multicultural and newcomer resource centre will be overseen by 13 directors and 2 full time staff. Montoya says they will not duplicate existing services by the province.

Health Care Coalition Not Giving Up On Murphy



They're not giving up -- experts brought in by the N-B Health Coalition say they're willing to come back next month to meet with Health Minister Mike Murphy.
Murphy bowed out of a meeting in Fredericton today due to scheduling changes -- but -- offered a 15-minute session tomorrow and that's not sitting well with Toronto based expert Dr Mike Richlis.
He's calling it a cameo appearance and wouldn't allow enough time to lay out the facts against privatizing some health care services -- a move he says would cost more in the long run.
The group did meet with the deputy minister and is calling the session productive.

L-N-G Site Now Peaceful And Productive



Labour peace has returned to the Canaport L-N-G construction site -- things got testy this morning after some workers tried to block a bus load of Polish workers from entering the site.
The Canadian workers say the Polish insulators are taking their jobs -- but -- we are told the general contractor warned of a potential shortage of skilled workers almost four years ago -- and -- just last year the union couldn't recruit enough workers from across the country.
A Canaport L-N-G spokesperson tells us the majority of Canadian insulators and all Polish workers are now working at the site -- she says the issue is really between the contractor and the union.

Province Buys Traffic Marking Equipment to Meet Environmental Goals



The province has purchased a $330,000 vehicle to apply environmentally friendly water-based traffic marking paint to provincial highways --rather than the polluting oil-based type. The provincial government says it is taking steps to meet upcoming federal regulations on volatile organic compounds--which are present in oil based paint.

Transportation Minister Denis Landry says about 40 per cent of the traffic marking paint applied in the province last year was water-based but with the new vehicle, this year they expect to exceed 90 per cent.

Change to Traffic Speed on City Street



The next step in a traffic calming plan has been taken for a stretch of road known for speeding in East Saint John. Common council has passed the first and second reading of a by-law amendment to keep the speed limit on HeatherWay at 50 km/hour.

Signs posting the reduced speed from 60km per hour were put up late last year after an elderly woman was killed by a speeding vehicle in September. The city also has plans to eventually place speed humps on Heather Way to prevent cars from traveling faster than 50km/hour.

The Search for ER Doctors Continues



The search for new doctors to work at the Emergency Room at the Regional Hospital is coming along. Efforts have been ramped up after the Region "B" Health Authority closed the Sussex ER last month on a weekend so the doctor could be transferred to Saint John. Conservative Health Critic Margaret Ann Blaney tells CHSJ News, a conversation today with the acting head of the ER at the Regional, Dr. John Doirnon brings hope that help is on the way.

Dr. Doirnon is quick to stress a package has to be in place and the Department of Health remain focused on working with them. Last month, Health Minister Murphy told us funding for additional positions is in place.


Tim Hortons Case Update



City Police may have their first break in the recent rash of robberies at Tim Hortons stores in Greater Saint John. A 20-year old man was arrested this morning at three o'clock at the Horton's on Hilyard Street. He will appear before a judge later today to answer to a charge of break and enter.

Over the past two weeks, several Tim Hortons restaurants, all that close at eleven o'clock have been robbed including the Lowest West Side, Russell Street and Westfield Road locations. 

Protest at the LNG Facility



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(Canaport L-N-G terminal - file photo)

Double time days took the spotlight at the LNG facility today as protestors blocked a bus-load of immigrant workers from making their way onto the site. Workers from other countries are  brought in while Canadian workers are told to stay home. Rick Perron is a member of the Painters and Allied Trades Union and tells CHSJ News, this is becoming an issue for every union from coast to coast.

On-site security and City Police were called in to make sure cooler heads prevailed. This is the second protest by LNG Workers in as many weeks. A spokesperson for Canaport L-N-G says the dispute over shifting is between the contractor and the Insulators union. Carolyn Vanderveen tells CHSJ News, the dispute should be resolved quickly.


Search for a Body is Underway



Still not alot of details but the search for a missing person in the Saint John River got started last night. The City Fire Department say they were called by RCMP in Grand Bay Westfield last night at 7:30pm to Public Landing. They dispatched their zodiac to the area as did the Coast Guard but after searching for close to three hours, nothing turned up.

We have placed a call to the RCMP for more details but are still waiting to hear back. The search is expected to resume this morning.