Linked Header

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Graham Reacts to Budget Announcement

Conspiracy is in the air and hovering over the Graham government. This after announcing on Wednesday a Provincial budget will be handed down in December and not the spring. The Conservative party believes this is a ploy to kep any bad news far away from voters with a fall election next year. Premier Graham tells CHSJ News, that is not true and their economic plan is working.

Graham adds his government is on track to meet the targets they set out in the current fiscal period and that is why they feel there is no need for a fiscal update.

Summer Toursim Numbers are Up

There is plenty for the Provincial Tourism Department to smile about. The summer season is winding down and visitors are up right across the board. Hotel and Motel stays are up 6%, campgrounds have seen a 7% increase and some of the attractions are up between 2 and 3%. Most of those visitors are from Quebec and Ontario and Tourism Minister Stuart Jamieson tells CHSJ News, he is keeping his fingers crossed for this good weather to hold as the fall can be a lucrative time for tourism as well.

Jamieson says the visitors from Quebec are up signifigantly and doesn't think it is by accident. A good protion of the tourism advertising campaign was spent in La Belle Province and Ontario.

Rainbow Park Gets Funding

Funding from Ottawa will give a South End park a nice makeover.

Saint John MP Rodney Weston announced $250, 000 for Rainbow Park to build a splash pad and install new playground equipment.

The park will also receive a total of 1.5 million dollars in funding from the city, 1 million dollars coming from the sale of the Former Lantic Sugar once the sale is complete.

Councillor Carl Killen thinks investing in recreation in the City's South End is essential. Preliminary work on the revitalization of Rainbow Park will begin this fall.

Kingston Fire Is Contained

A forest fire near Summerville over on the Kingston Pennisula is now contained.
The fire was burning out of control when it was first reported earlier this afternoon.

A caller to our 648-3000 news line who lives in the area and the Department of Natural Resources website both confirm the blaze is now contained.

Minister Leaves Door Open On Ferry Recommendations

(Belleisle Ferry will remain operating at least for now - file photo)

The Belleisle and Gagetown ferries will remain operating for awhile longer -- Transporation Minister Denis Landry says the ferries will remain on their runs while he mulls over recommendations in a report from a committee charged with finding ways to keep the services afloat. One of those recommendations is reducing the number of operators from two to one on cable ferries across the province and Landry tells CHSJ News it's an idea which intrigues him and he will be checking with Transport Canada to see if it can be done.Landry also says one of the two ferries will be pulled from the water to assess what it will take bring them up to Transport Canada standards -- the minister says he's hoping to have the information sooner rather than later but admits it will take some time. Meantime -- he tells us he will be going back to cabinet seeking more money to keep the ferries in operation until a final decision is made.

Forest Fire Burning On Peninsula

A wild fire is burning on the Kingston Peninsula in the Summerville area -- the fire is listed out of control and Natural Resources Department crews are now mustering to battle the flames. So far there's no word on whether the blaze is threatening any homes.

United Way Goal Unveiled

The chair of this year's United Way campaign is confident this year's goal of 1.22-million dollars will be achieved.The campaign was officially launched today during the annual beans and wieners kick off at the Trade and Convention Center -- it runs through February. Ron Marcolin tells CHSJ News the funds raised are meeting the needs of agencies spread around the greater Saint John area.Last year's campaign raised 1.23-million topping the 1.21-million dollar goal.

Brunswick House Brings Home the Hardware

Brunswick House is making room on it's trophy case. This after Saint John's first high rise received recognition for becoming the Province's first privately owned exsisting structure to go green. It has received the BOMA BEST Level 3 certification for environmental stewardship. Mark McGraw is project manager and tells CHSJ News, achieving this status is not as simple as turning off the air conditioner and car-pooling to the office.

McGraw adds they do have plans for additional properties this year but no word on where. Commercial Properties newest building Somerset Square in the North End, is also on track to receive LEED Gold status.

Atlantic Lobster Goes on Tour

Can a new partnership between the P.E.I. Seafood Processors Association, Ottawa, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency save the Atlantic Lobster? All of them hope so as the crustation is going on tour. Halifax chef Ray Bear along with reps from the food service industry will host sampling sessions in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto. This is to raise awareness of the crustation.

The lobster industry has taken a huge hit since the global recession took hold with export sales plummeting along with the price for fishermen here at home. The caravan will hit Calgary tomorrow and then next Wednesday in Toronto. The lobster industry exports one billion in products to 60 countries every year.

Brad Paisley in Saint John

The American Saturday Night Tour makes a stop in Saint John tonight. Brad Paisley is at Harbour Station for the second time in as many years and it would appear, Greater Saint John can't get enough of him. The show is sold out and will also feature Jimmy Wayne and Deirks Bentley for the opening entertainment.

The caravan of buses and trucks un-loaded at the Station earlier today and the final sound checks are underway. The show gets started at 7:30pm with the doors opening at 6:30pm.

Woman Dies After July Boat Crash

A Nova Scotia woman injured in a July boat crash has died from her injuries.

47-year-old Susan Taylor was involved in a crash between two pleasure boats on Silver Lake in Sackville, New Brunswick.

She died in hospital in Halifax yesterday.

Department of Health Prepares to Launch Pandemic Flu Vaccine

The provincial Department of Health expects to be able to roll out the pandemic flu vaccine by late November. Deputy chief medical officer of health, Dr. Paul Van Buynder says they are completing clinical trials to ensure it is safe before releasing it to the public. But Van Buynder says they have never tried to vaccinate an entire population in such a short time before.

Dr. Van Buynder says certain groups will be able to access the H1N1 vaccine first--such as medical professionals, children, and pregnant women. Meanwhile, the Seasonal flu vaccine is set to be rolled out in about three and a half weeks--but--the Department of Health warns when it's gone, it's gone.

Minister Says Support Workers At Sufficient Levels

Education Minister Roland Hache says enrolment across the province is down by just over two thousand students this year -- and -- he says there will be enough unionized support workers to meet the needs. Hache says only 45-workers have been laid off completely with 14 of them working on temporary assignments -- and -- he says the actual number of support workers has increased over the past three years.Hache says it translates to no changes in the number of support workers in District 6 while here in District 8 -- two people won't be rehired while one will be hired on a temporary basis -- but -- he does expect the majority without jobs now may well be rehired to fill vacancies throughout the school year.

North End Fire Considered Suspicious

A North End building has been damaged by what city police are calling a suspicious fire. The call came in around 3:30 this morning with reports of smoke coming from the roof of a two-storey abandoned building at 31 Douglas Avenue.

Fire Officials tell CHSJ news the blaze appears to have started in the kitchen area at the back of the building. Major Crime and fire investigators are sorting through the burnt building to determine the cause.

Gas Prices Hold Steady

For the third week in a row, there is no change in the price of gas in the province. The Energy and Utilities Board has released its weekly price schedule and the price for regular self serve gasoline has dropped percentage points to land at a maximum of 101.5 --from yesterday's 101.8. Most stations in greater Saint John are selling gas for just under a dollar a litre.

Diesel fuel has dropped a penny to land at 100.2 and propane has increased by half a cent to land at 97.1 cents a litre.