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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Artist Says Dragon's Den Stressful



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(Jackson with his latest painting of President Obama - file photo)

He says it was interesting -- but -- stressful -- local artist Norm Jackson has just finished taping an episode of the CBC Tv business show "Dragon's Den."
Jackson is bound by agreement not to reveal whether he was successful in convincing the money people to back his marketing plan for his paintings of moments in history -- but -- he tells CHSJ News the panel didn't go easy on him.
The episode will air some time in the fall.

Health Committee Supports New Provincial Wellness Strategy



The Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Committee will be working closely with other health organizations over the next four years with the release of the province's new Wellness Strategy. Live well, be well, New Brunswick's Wellness Strategy 2009-2013, focuses on improving mental fitness and resilience, increasing physical activity, healthy eating, and living tobacco-free. Committee Co-Chair Betty Hoyt tells CHSJ news there is a lot of work to do in this province.

The Wellness Strategy addresses 29 of the 49 recommendations in a final report by the Select Committee on Wellness.  Hoyt says in the long-term it will be important to have continued funding to ensure programs that work don't get cut.

Bay Ferries Would Like to Privately Run Ferry



Mark MacDonald with Bay Ferries says the Digby ferry saw a slight decline in private vehicle traffic last fiscal year, but an increase in commercial.
MacDonald says when the company took over operating the service they wanted it to be privately funded.

MacDonald says they would rather not be going to the taxpayers for money, but at the moment it's hard to see no government assistance needed to continue operations.

Mayor Will Continue Efforts to Keep Digby Ferry Running



The Digby Ferry will be running until January 2011, and already the Mayor is lobbying to have the service extended.
Ivan Court says private and commercial passengers want to be assured the ferry will continue running.

Court says passengers on the ferry generate about 5 million dollars a year for the city, and as long as he is mayor he will continue to fight to keep the service afloat.

PETA Demonstration Takes Place Uptown



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(Anti-Seal Demonstration in Uptown Saint John--Photo By Diane Henry)

A small handful of PETA members and supporters turned out for a noon-hour anti-sealing campaign near Market Square. Some people held signs saying "stop the bloody seal slaughter", while a two others lay on the sidewalks dressed as seals covered in fake blood. Spokesperson Colleen Higgins tells CHSJ news the seal hunt may not go on near Saint John, but that doesn't means it's not a New Brunswick issue. She says the entire Canadian economy and reputation will benefit from the end of the East Coast seal hunt.

Saint John resident Drenna Duplessie used her lunch break to join the demonstration. She says she wanted to support the cause.

The animal rights group plans to continue their demonstrations across Canada until the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.


Huge Investment for Key Industries



Ottawa and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency have teamed up to provide Key Industries with a $300,000 dollar investment. The announcement was made today by Saint John MP Rodney Weston to thunderous applause from clients and staff. Christine Evans is the President and CEO and tells CHSJ News, when she started with this group, she never envisioned it would get this big.

Some of the money will be spent on further renovations to the building including a new gymnasium, showers, wellness program and completing work to the kitchen area.  

Saint John Saleperson Banned



Barry Adams, an insurance salesperson and former mutual fund salesperson in Saint John has been banned from selling securities for 10 years and ordered to pay $20,000 in penalties for failing to comply with New Brunswick securities regulations. Adams was retained by Estate Financial Inc, to sell securities offered through Walton International Group Inc to accredited investors under an exemption in New Brunswick securities law.  

Eight of the 11 investors who purchased Walton securities after being referred by Adams were not accredited investors, a fact that Adams knew or should have at the time. Adams also made misrepresentations to NBSC staff during the investigation.

Rothesay Mayor Remains Cool To Q-Plex Partnership



Several politicians who represent the Kennebecasis Valley are on the same page -- Quispamsis and Rothesay should get together for construction of the Q-Plex.
Rothesay Mayor Bill Bishop how-ever isn't of the same belief telling CHSJ News how quick the other politicians forget Quispam turned its back on an opportunity to twin the K-V Arena a year or so ago.
Bishop adds they won't be making any recreation decision until their Master Plan is complete and a draft should be in their hands with-in two weeks.

Murphy Speaking With Federal Counterpart About Isotopes Shortage




(Health Minister Mike Murphy - file photo)

Health Minister Mike Murphy says he will be speaking with his federal counterpart tonight about the looming shortage of radioactive isotopes for medical use.
Atomic Energy of Canada announced Monday night its Chalk River reactor which produces the isotopes used for medical imaging was out of service after a leak of heavy water was detected -- it's expected to be off line for about a month.
Murphy was caught off guard Tuesday when questioned by reporters about the situation -- we asked again today and he tells us he will have more to say tomorrow after his conversation with the federal minister this evening.


Charlotte County Civic center Fundraiser




The St Stephen area is celebrating a successful fundraising effort for the new Charlotte County Civic Center.  The fundraising committee has hit its 3.5-million dollar goal prompting 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.

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.

Maine LNG Terminal Goes Under Microscope



The draft environment impact statement for the Downeast LNG terminal project will comprehensively be reviewed and assessed by the Provincial Government. The paper-work was issued last Friday by the United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The province has also announced they will take appropriate action as a formal intervener in the FERC proceeding. In a statement, Premier Graham says the release of this paperwork does not come as a surprise and as an intervenor, the Province was aware this step was imminent for the Downeast LNG project.

Graham adds safety, security, environmental and economic impacts of these facilities for people who live along Passamaquoddy Bay will not be dismissed.

Summer Like Temperatures Expected



In some area's of the Province today, it is going to feel like the middle of August. Environment Canada is reporting the outlying area's of Saint John could hit the low 30's before the day is done. That means the u.v. index will be in the high to very high range and sunscreen is a must if you are going to be outside for any prolonged time.

Doctors also advise you have plenty of water on hand to keep from getting de-hydrated. Also, if you are working outside to not over do it and take plenty of breaks. 

Gas prices Continue to Climb



As the price of crude continues to climb on the open markets, so in turn does the price here at home. The Energy and Utilities Board has released it's weekly price schedule which shows a litre of self-serve unleaded going for a maximum price of 94.9. That is up just under two cents from last week. Most stations are selling a litre for 95.1 cents.

The price of diesel is actually down to an even 87 cents which is a drop of just over penny. Furnace Oil comes in 69.8 which is down almost a penny as well. Propane is up percentage points at 82.08.