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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Weston Says Ottawa Waiting To Sign On Dotted Line

Despite efforts by the Longshoremen's Union to scuttle the Long Wharf - Irving Oil deal through court action -- Saint John M-P Rodney Weston says the federal government is still willing to give its approval to the land required land transactions. He tells CHSJ News it's just a matter of Irving - the Port Authority - and - the city finalizing the agreements.Weston was hoping that paperwork would be finalized by the first of August -- but -- he admits that doesn't look realistic. Irving and the Port Authority are involved in a land swap which will clear the way for the company's 30-million dollar office complex on Long Wharf.

City Councilor Never Liked Second Refinery Proposal

At least one city councilor is not too disappointed with news a second refinery won't be built in Saint John. Patty Higgins has told CHSJ News it would be just another major polluter offering a short-term economic boost.

Higgins says the city should be promoting cleaner, leading edge technology.

City Police Warn of More Car Thefts

City Police are issuing a warning to residents in Saint John--and particularly in the Red Head area--to remove valuables from their cars and keep the doors locked. Police have received several complaints today from Red Head residents whose items have been stolen from their vehicles.

The recent thefts follow a similar cluster that happened around July 17th when a car was actually stolen.

Tourism Numbers Up Despite Soggy Weather

Neither the economic recession, nor the terrible damp weather is hindering tourism numbers so far this summer in Saint John. A supervisor with Tourism Saint John says Canadian, American, and other international tourist traffic is up this year. Sean Payne tells CHSJ news that's due in large part to the cruise ship industry.

Payne also says staycationing is becoming big and a lot of this year's tourists are from other parts of New Brunswick. He says Saint John has been the leader in tourism over the past few years in Atlantic Canada.

Research Continues into Tidal Energy Potential

Research continues into the potential of developing tidal energy from the Bay of Fundy.Energy Minister Jack Kier tells CHSJ news it will happen eventually. Irving Oil and the Huntsman Marine Science Centre are currently trying to determine what type of equipment would work best in the rough ocean waters.

Researchers are collecting and analyzing data from 11 sites along the Bay of Fundy to determine what equipment should be used, what type of electricity they could generate--and--if it's sustainable in the long-term.

Public Health Official - Start Planning

Public health officials are advising businesses and agencies to begin planning for the onslaught this winter of the H-1-N-1 virus commonly known as the "swine flu." Deputy chief medical health officer - Dr Paul Van Buynder - says if the pandemic outbreak gains a foothold in the province - absenteeism rates could be as high as 25-percent -- and -- he says the provincial government is reviewing its contingency plans in all departments.The number of cases confirmed in the province has now hit 94 from 61 last week -- most of the increase coming as the result of an outbreak of the flu at a cadet camp in Base Gagetown. Van Buynder also says the province to make the flu vaccine available to all New Brunswickers -- the supply should be available by early December.

Irving Oil Responds to Allegations

A day after allegations from the International Longershoremans Association surfaced, Irving Oil is responding. An application has been filed in federal court for what the I-L-A says is an agreement between the port and Irving Oil that doesn't comply with federal legislation. Spokes-person Leslie McLeod tells CHSJ News, the company is not part of the application.

McLeod says Irving Oil is concerned about any delay in the project and is exploring all options. ILA spokes-person Pat Riley argues construction materials were off-loaded by rail and cranes were ordered to begin construction before federal approval has been granted.

Thunder and Lightning Storms

The weather is what most people will be talking about today. Thunder and Lightning storms began rolling through the Grand Bay-Westfield area last night at six o'clock and carried through til early this morning. At the height of the storm, NB Power was reporting over 11,000 of it's customers off the grid. Crews have been out all night trying to rectify the problem.

No word on when the utility hopes to have all of it's customers re-connected.

Another Armed Robbery in Greater Saint John

A West Side business the latest target by a thief last night. City Police tell us a man walked into AJ's Lounge on the Manawagonish Road just after eleven o'clock and demanded cash from the bartender. He complied and the thief took off. No word on whether this man fits the description of several other robberies and attempted robberies in the past month.

This brings the total of successful robberies to seven and five attempted in the past month.

Price of Gasoline Up Again

If you had travel plans for the up-coming Long is going to cost you more to get around. The Energy and Utilities Board has released it's weekly price schedule which shows the maximum retail for a litre of gasoline is 96.2 which is up just over two cents from seven days ago. Most stations in Greater Saint John are advertising gas for 96.5 today.

Diesel is up almost three cents coming in 95.4, furnace oil takes a jump of almost four cents to 77.1 and propane is only up percentage points at 81.8.