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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Stalemate Over Agent Orange Inquiry

The deadline has come and gone -- and -- members of the Agent Orange Association of Canada are still waiting for a response from Veterans Affairs Minister Greg Thompson.
The group marched on Thompson's office last month demanding a public inquiry by June 15th -- Art Connolly of Agent Orange Alert tells CHSJ News the limited 20-thousand dollar compensation package which expired this year didn't go far enough.
Meantime -- when we last spoke with Veterans Affairs Minister Greg Thompson -- he wasn't budging -- he says his government's 20-thousand dollar compensation package was more than fair even though a report by Dr Dennis Furlong found no grounds for it.
Agent Orange Association co-president Gary Goode tells us plans are being made for a protest march on Parliament Hill.

Man Down at Canaport LNG

One man has been taken to hospital after an incident at the Canaport LNG this afternoon. Fire crews and ambulance were called to the facility just before five o'clock with reports of a man receiving CPR near tank 3. Initial reports indicate the man may have suffered a heart attack.

WorkSafe NB has been called in to investigate. No word on the man's condition.

Boy Killed in ATV Crash

A nine year old boy has been killed in an all-terrain vehicle crash in Sainte-Anne-de-Madawaska. The boy died in hospital as a result of his injuries after the ATV flipped over on Monday.

His name is being withheld out of respect for the family.

Addiction Treatment Centre to be Set Up In Province

A group of people are hoping to establish a new non-profit residential drug and alcohol treatment centre in the province. President of ReAdd, Janet Bordage says this will be the first 12 step based program in New Brunswick.

Bordage says 75% of crime in Saint John is directly linked to drugs and addiction treatment has been proven to work. In the short term, the centre hopes to split up treatment for men and women and create a family wellness centre. Long term goals include building renewal retreat facilities and transitional residential housing. Bordage says they are currently looking for grants, loans and donations to pay for their start up costs.

City Hall Prepares for Possible Smaller Budget in 2010

Councilor Gary Sullivan says changes to the way property taxes will be doled by the province may mean far less money next year than the city was expecting. As a precaution council is asking city administration, and all agencies, boards and commissions to prepare next year's budget based on a 2.5 per cent increase, rather than 4.5 per cent as previously stated.

Sullivan says it's easier to add to the budget if there is extra money than it is to make cuts after the fact.

Acting City Manager Gets Pay Increase

Acting City Manager Pat Woods is getting a pay raise--at least temporarily. While filling the void left by former City Manager Terry Totten, Woods will receive a salary for top level management. He will also be given a city leased vehicle for business and personal use, complete with maintenance and free gas. The only exception being that fuel for personal use outside the city be paid for at his expense.

Once a new City Manager is hired, Woods will return to his old position as Deputy City Manager.

NB and Quebec Increase Cooperation on Energy

The Premiers of New Brunswick and Quebec are hoping develop partnerships in the energy sector. Premier Shawn Graham and Quebec Premier Jean Charest have directed their energy officials, as well as NB Power and Hydro-Qu├ębec, to explore opportunities for co-operation.

Graham says it's necessary to increase collaboration with Quebec with regard to clean and renewable energy supplies at a competitive cost.The two provinces are placing an emphasis on accessibility, supply, transmission, market opportunities, and greenhouse-gas reduction.

Fourth Confirmed Case of the Swine Flu

[Dr. Eilish Cleary----File Photo]

The Department of Health is confirming another Moncton area woman has contracted the swine flu.Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eilish Cleary says with the fourth confirmed case of the H1N1 virus in the province, residents need to continue to use preventative measures to reduce the spread of the flu.This news comes shortly after the third case was confirmed on Friday.Back in May, Dr. Cleary warned that additional cases could be expected this summer and even more in the fall. Of the four cases confirmed in New Brunswick, none have required hospitalization.

The Province Is Looking For A Partner

The province continues it's search to find a developer to continue the Route One Gateway Project. This is part of the province's commitment to complete Route One as a four-lane highway. It includes 55km's of highway between Murray Road, near Waweig and Lepreau. A number of selected upgrades will also be made to Route 1, with construction to be completed no later than July 31, 2013.
The developer will also assume responsibilities for the operation, maintenance and rehabilitation of 235 km of Route 1 between St. Stephen and River Glade beginning in June 2011 and continuing for 30 years. This will be Province's third public-private partnership for a section of it's highway. A final agreement is expected by February of next year.

Quispamsis Mayor Reacts to Rothesay Report

[Mayor Murray Driscoll----File Photo]

The proposed Master Recreation Report for Rothesay appears to be sitting well with neighbouring Quispamsis. It says a field house, improvement and the building of more walking trails and renovations or the construction of a new arena should be the priorities in that order. Mayor Murray Driscoll tells CHSJ News, any previous talk about additional user fees for facilities is just
Rothesay Mayor Bill Bishop echoed the same statement last night. Driscoll adds he is pleased Rothesay continues to move ahead with their recreation plan.

Hampton Police Round Up

A criminal investigation is underway by Hampton RCMP at a campground on the Kingston Penninsula. Officers aren't saying much except it is based on information they received a few days ago into some activity at the Hidden Valley Campground. They began their investigation over the weekend and hope to have more details in the coming days. We placed a call to the campground and the owner John Weaver tells us RCMP and an excavator are on site but officers haven't told him what they are looking for.
Also, a 19-year man from Quispamsis has a court appearance scheduled today. This after someone walked into the Willow Grove Convenience store on Monday of last week with a knife and demanded cash. They got away with an un-disclosed amount and nobody was hurt. The charges included armed robbery while masked.

Local Girl Wins Prize From Bay Ferries and the New Brunswick Museum

A local girl is the winner of a contest put on by Bay Ferries and the New Brunswick Museum. The Special Whale Watcher Award was created on the strength of a treasure map created by Aliyah Washington from Glen Falls Elementary. Washington and her family will get a daylong Sea Cruise on the Princess of Acadia, as well as free admission to the Hall of the Great Whales at the museum.
Carrie May Lafford of Riverside and Shanay Bent from Nova Scotia are the winners of the Captain for a Day prize where the students will visit the wheelhouse of the ship later this summer.

Looking to Rescind Motion

The city solicitor will look into common council's request to rescind a motion made in 2002 that gives city managers a two-percent pension top-up. Councilor Bill Farren put forward the motion during last night's council meeting. Former City Manager Terry Totton will get an additional 16 thousand dollars annually as a result of the 2002 resolution, now that he has retired.

A motion by Farren to have the city solicitor approach the provincial government for an amendment to the Municipalities Act has also been referred. Farren says council should have the option of hiring senior staff either permanently or on contract. The act currently prohibits hiring senior staff for term employment.

Moving to Service Based Budget

The city is changing the way it prepares its budget and will begin reporting how money is being spent on city services. Common council has approved a staff recommendation to move to a service-based budget over the next five years. Acting City Manager Pat Woods says this will show the relationship between funding levels and the results on service.

The service-based budget is part of the city's move towards becoming more accountable.

No New TownHouses in the Park

Common council has placed a moratorium on development near Rockwood Park until a community plan is designed for how the area should be zoned. The move came last night during discussion of a municipal plan amendment for 1671 Sandy Point Road. That's where North Star Holdings wants to build townhouses on 4 hectares of land near Harrigan Lake. Councilor Patty Higgins put forward the motion.

But Councilor Peter McGuire says the city has just thrown away potential property tax revenue from the proposed development. The city deemed the land surplus for development but controversy remains over whether it was meant to be kept as part of the park when the city bought it in 1967.

Rothesay Recreation Master Plan

If you've been following the fight for more ice time in the Kennebecasis Valley, this may shock you. The Town of Rothesay unveiled it's Master Recrreation Plan last night and renovations or a plan to build a new arena comes in last on the priority list. ADL Architecture says according to their data, citizens want to see a multi-purpose field house and improvement or the building of more walking trails. Mayor Bill Bishop says the field house design is not just a school gymnasium

Total cost of the field house, with-out the purchase of a piece of property at this point is seven million. Comments can made on the proposed plan until July.6th with a final report expected by the end of next month.