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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Border Fundraisers Claim A First



They're claiming a first in the border town of St Stephen -- the committee raising funds for the new Charlotte County Civic Center says it believes this is the first time a community of the size of St Stephen has raised 3.5-million dollars for a civic project.
That prompted the federal and provincial governments to kick in just over 12-million -- but -- fundraising co-chair Peter Heelis says they weren't in competition for government funds with other communities like Quispamsis.
He says his group was out of the gate early with the community support in pocket -- something required before government funding kicks in.
St Stephen town council has also committed just over two million dollars for the project.
Site preparation work for the 18-million dollar complex is expected to begin later this summer with completion set for 2011 -- meantime -- Quispamsis is going over its Q-Plex proposal trying to trim costs after the lowest tender came about 2.5-million over the 18.5-million dollar budget.

Brett Chevrolet Cadillac Dealership Avoids Chopping Block



Some good news for the Brett-Chevrolet-Cadillac dealership on Rothesay Avenue. Owner, Ian Brett tells CHSJ news they have avoided G-M's hit list and are in good shape for years to come. General Motors has delivered termination notices to about two-fifths of its Canadian dealers, effective when current agreements expire in October, 2010.

Brett says he's not sure what the future will hold for the company but business will continue as usual thanks to their Chevrolet and Cadillac brands, which remain strong.

Centennial-Pontiac Dealership Learns Its Fate



Saint John's Centennial-Pontiac Dealership has avoided the chopping block. About 40 per cent of G-M Canada's dealerships have been notified today they will be closing. General Manager of Centennial Pontiac, Dwight Daye tells CHSJ news he is relieved to learn they will be remaining open on Rothesay Avenue. The next step is preparing for the phase-out of the Pontiac line.

Daye says the G5 is their best selling car and they are hoping to get something in the Buick line that is similarly priced.


Coast Guard Patrols Called Off



The Canadian Coast Guard has called off patrols along Saint John's coast line after what they assume was a hoax or false alarm. Around 3pm this  afternoon someone from Canaport LNG reported hearing a mayday call from a small boat off of Bayshore Beach. Fire crews responded to the call, along with the Coast guard, but no boats were located. 

The District Fire Chief tells CHSJ news they mayday call was likely a hoax.

Coast Guard Called in After "May Day" Reported



The Canadian Coast Guard is patrolling Saint John's coast line after someone from Canaport LNG reported hearing a mayday call from a small boat off of Bayshore Beach. Fire crews responded to the call, along with the Coast guard, but no boats have been located. 

Patrols continue along beaches on the West Side but the District Fire Chief tells CHSJ news it's possible the mayday call was a hoax.

Anti-Sealing Demonstration Planned for Saint John



Members of the animal rights group PETA will be holding an anti-sealing demonstration in uptown Saint John tomorrow. Demonstrators will be holding signs and showing footage of Canada's annual seal hunt at an intersection near Market Square over the noon-hour. Spokesperson, Colleen Higgins tells CHSJ news, hundreds of thousands of harp seals are slaughtered on the ice floes off Newfoundland and Labrador every year.

PETA's anti-sealing campaign will continue across Canada until the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.

Education Minister Proposes Change to District Education Councils



The Graham government is proposing changes to the Education Act that would involve adding a student representative to the District Education Councils.  Education Minister Kelly Lamrock introduced the proposal today in the legislature as part of a series of initiatives to overhaul how youth are engaged in government decisions that affect them. A process for selecting student DEC members is currently being developed.

Other initiatives include replacing the New Brunswick Advisory Council on Youth with a more modern approach--and--establishing an online youth forum where young New Brunswickers can post submissions and respond to government proposals.

Saint John Hosting National Youth Conference



Young Canadians from across the country are gathering in Saint John over the next five days for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada’s National Youth Conference.  This is the first time the conference has been held in Atlantic Canada and is being hosted by the local Boys and Girls Club at UNB Saint John.

The conference will explore a range of important issues for youth today, including healthy living, bullying, environmental responsibility, and social activism. There will also be a keynote address on Friday by a twenty-year-old former child soldier who fled his home country of the Democratic Republic of Congo at age eleven and is now a Canadian.

New Driving Rules Not Sitting Well With Everyone



New rules that come into effect June.1st for drivers under the age of 21 is facing some opposition. Melissa O'Rourke of Quispamsis fronts a facebook group which has collected over six thousand signatures in this half of the Province who are upset. She tells CHSJ News, they don't disagree with all of them but a lack of consultation certainly didn't help the matter.

O'Rourke says province-wide, they have collected over ten thousand signatures and have several rallies, including one in Kings Square, planned for next Monday.

New Housing for the North End



A new look continues to take shape along Churchill Boulevard. Most of the housing development at the far end near Samuel Davis Drive is gone and plans continue to be discussed on what the new houses will look like. Saint John Portland Conservative MLA Trevor Holder tells CHSJ News, with a blue-print now on the board, construction could get started as earlier as this fall.

Holder says alot of the people who were re-located until the project is complete will have the option to come back if they choose.

Looking to Help Cancer Victims



Those suffering from colerectal cancer and trying to get the Provincial Liberals to pay for the drug Avastin have a voice taking up their cause. Rothesay Conservative MLA Margaret Ann Blaney is standing behind them to try and get the Province to put up three million dollars to cover the cost of the drug. Blaney tells CHSJ News, the priority list for Premier Graham and his party appears to be mis-guided.

The cost of the drug is close to $70,000 dollars a year and this Province is one of two left in the country that won't cover the cost of Avastin.

No More Money for Quispamsis



Ottawa won't be bringing any more cash to the table for the Town of Quispamsis. This as officials look for avenues to make up for a $2.7 million dollar short-fall in funding for the Q-Plex. Fundy Royal MP Rob Moore tells CHSJ News, this project is a winner and is sure it will get finished on time and budget.

Questions about who gets how much were raised after Ottawa gave St. Stephen six million for it's civic center last week. Moore says the needs for each municipality are different and is satisfied both are getting the financial help to make their projects a success. 

Water Rescue Unit called to Beach



A few tense moments along Bayshore Beach last night. The Fire Department's Water Rescue Unit was called to the area on reports of two people being in the water. When they arrived, they found two para-sailer's, one had already reached the shore and the second making his way there.

They offered medical attention to both but they declined.