Linked Header

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Residents Tell City Officials Want They Want

Margaret Reid lives across the street from Queen Square West and says she's impressed the city is considering upgrading the park.
Reid tells CHSJ News, she'd love to see more lighting in the park for safety reasons, as well as more benches and possibly even a bandstand.
She says she hopes city officials realize the commitment Queen Square West needs, because if they do the upgrades and don't maintain it, they're wasting their time.

City Wants Ideas for Queen Square West

[Queen Square West Meeting---Photo By Dave Briggs]

Lower West Siders are putting in their ideas for what the future holds for Queen Square West.
Leisure Services Commissioner Bernie Morrison says the idea behind the public meeting was to get an idea of what residents want.
Morrison says people want security, lighting and improved walkways are all ideas expressed.
He says the next step is taking back the ideas and finding out how much the project will cost.
Morrison says the project will likely be in the operating budget in a year or two.

Workers Have Nothing to Say

The un-employed workers had nothing to say concerning the temporary injunction. Just hours after the document was signed in court, our news-room made several attempts to get a reaction from the group spokes-person. Our request was greeted with they haven't seen the paper-work so in their minds, it doesn't exsist.

The court document was then presented to the spokes-person outlining the judge's wording which was then greeted with until the paperwork is presented by an officer of the court....they group does not recognize it.

Protestors Told To Back Off.....For Now

A temporary injunction has been ordered against a group of un-employed provincial trades-workers to stop their demonstrations. For the past three days, they have set up shop in the parking lot of the Hotel Courtney Bay to protest the hiring of non-unionized workers from Alberta to finish the third storage tank at the LNG Facility. Owner of the Hotel Guy Barbara tells CHSJ News, this is the first step in finding a solution to his problem.

Justice Hugh McLellan has ordered the company that hired the workers, the demonstrators and hotel owner Guy Barabara all return to court tomorrow(this) afternoon so all sides of the story can be heard. The protests began on Monday and have taken place every day this week.

Some Are Upset About Show at the Station

There are some complaints and questions stemming from last night's Sean Kingston concert at Harbour Station. Some parents are upset the show didn't finish up until after eleven o'clock. Jack Livingston is owner of SRO Promotions that brought the show to Saint John and tells CHSJ News, a computer problem caused a delay and he was forced to make a decision.....cancel the show or fix the problem and not disappoint 4000 fans.

Livingston says he apologizes to all ticket holders for the delay in the show but the computer malfunction was beyond their control.

Graham Won't Wade Into Workers Dispute

(Premier Shawn Graham - file photo)
Don't look for the provincial government to step into the dispute between unionized workers and a company using non-union labour from Alberta.
The situation has sparked protests at a local hotel where the outside workers are staying -- but -- in response to a CHSJ News question -- Premier Graham says he understands their frustration -- but -- it's not provincial jurisdiction.
Graham says the dispute is between the workers and the contractor -- and -- they must come to some kind of agreement.
The local workers say many of them are now unemployed and it's not fair to have the non-union workers coming in from out of province to take their jobs.

Saint John Transit Commission Chooses One Percent for Art Project

Saint John Transit has chosen the artists for its One Percent For Public Art Commission. Monica Adair and Stephen Kopp, of the Saint John Acre Collective, will create the work entitled "in transit."

The art work consisting of 85 aluminum panels depicting traffic signs will be installed outside the new headquarters building along the concrete retaining wall. Ten of the panels will be sculpted into benches inspired by the simplicity of the bus seat. The art will add colour to the terminal's appearance from MacDonald Street and will also be visible from Loch Lomond Road.

RCMP Gather Marijuana on Grand Manan

It is harvest time for the farmers and it appears for RCMP on Grand Manan as well. Over the past sixty days, officers have found seven outdoor marijuana grow operations and seized over 110 plants. This is enough dope to roll 55,000 joints.

No word on any arrests or charges and RCMP say they uncovered the plants thanks to tips and their on-going surveillance.

City Hall Improving Access

City Hall is becoming accessible to everyone. Deputy Commissioner of Building Inspections Amy Poffenroth says automatic door openers will be installed at the front entrance of the building.

Poffenroth says the building owner says it will upgrade the staircase leading to the lobby by adding a ramp. Poffenroth adds the accessibility of the building is considered up to standard as it is because there are other entrances to the building that are accessible to everyone regardless of physical challenges.

Provincial Funding Coming for Canada Games Stadium--Says Mayor

Mayor Ivan Court says the province is on board with the upgrade of the Canada Games stadium. Court says Premier Graham told him on Monday that Provincial funding will be there.

The project is not expected to be completed by the time the city hosts the 2010 Acadian Games but Deputy City Manager Andrew Beckett says he has been assured by the UNB Saint John that the games will be held with minimal disruption.

City Councilor Asks Unpopular Question

Should city councillors being paid to be on other committees be considered lobbyists?That's the question from Councillor Bruce Court. He wants to know whether or not any councillor sitting on another commission being paid, other than their council fee, should be considered a paid lobbyist for the group? Councillor Chris Titus, who is chairman of the Saint John Transit and Saint John Energy committees says he doesn't like what Court is suggesting.

Court asked the city solicitor if a report could be done for the next council meeting, but the motion was voted down by council.

Rothesay Developer Hopes to build Condos

A developer hoping to build condos on Marr Road in Rothesay is promoting the development as being of benefit to seniors and young professionals--even though he admits apartments would be better. The developer is changing his application to construct 5 buildings with 32 apartments in each to four buildings with 40 condo units in each at 23 Marr Road.

The land must be rezoned from central commercial to mixed residential for the project to go forward. A public comment period will end on October 14th.

Rothesay Residents Want Answers About the Future of their Homes

A number of Rothesay residents want answers about the future of their homes. A decision regarding four apartment buildings on Scott Avenue, near the proposed site for the town's new fieldhouse, is still up in the air. Joy Clowater tells CHSJ news 48 homes could be lost if the buildings are torn down.

Nearly a dozen residents attended Monday night's Rothesay council meeting with hopes of discussing their concerns--but--council simply received and filed their letter. They now plan to request a presentation at the next town council meeting.

Irving Oil Pleased with PAC's Decision for Long Wharf Proposal

Irving Oil is hoping to begin construction this fall on its proposed office complex at Long Wharf. The city's planning advisory committee is recommending common council approve the company's application to have the wharf re-zoned for the development. Company spokesperson, Lesley MacLeod tells CHSJ News they're pleased with moving on to the next step.

Phase one of the office building-cruise ship terminal would take about two-and-a-half years to complete and would be followed by two more phases in the future to add greenspace and other development in the area.

Local Workers Continue Demonstrations

Local trades workers are already beginning to congregate outside the Courtney Bay Inn for another day of demonstrations against workers from Alberta. They claim the workers are coming in and taking jobs at the Canaport LNG Terminal while many of them are looking for work.

Protesters marched to the Delta yesterday were the New England Govenors and Eastern Canadian Premiers Conference was being held.

Irving Oil Office Complex Gets Planning Advisory Approval

Irving Oil has cleared another hurdle in developing the Long Wharf site in uptown Saint John. The city's Planning Advisory Committee has adopted staff recommendations that a waterfront district be established --and--that Irving Oil be allowed to place 3 acres of land within the new designation. The company wants to build a four-story office complex and cruise ship terminal. City planner Ken Forrest says this is an opportunity to implement the Inner Harbour Land Use Plan.

PAC Chair Stephen Horgan says he hopes common council will give extra consideration to the impact the project will have on local fishers-- and-- speed up Harbour Clean up to deal with raw sewerage that would come from the one thousand-employee office building.

ILA Disappointed with PAC Decision

Meanwhile, Pat Riley with the International Longshoremen's Association tells CHSJ news he's not surprised by the outcome. He had asked the PAC to table both decisions. He says the wharf's future potential will be stifled by the office complex.

A discovery hearing will continue today with regards to the ILA's court application against the port being leased to Irving Oil. The recommendations to designate a waterfront district from Fallview Park to the former Lantic Sugar Site--along with rezoning Long Wharf for the Irving Oil office proposal-- will go before common council September 28th.

Energy Minister Weighs in on Point Lepreau Refit

The refit at Point Lepreau continues to be a hot button issue. Premier Graham this week called out Atomic Energy Limited of Canada questioning the delays and wondering why they can't get an answer on when the project will be finished. Energy Minister Jack Keir tells CHSJ News, he has heard all the talk about the trades-people slowing down this project and that is not true.

Minister Keir is also calling out Saint John MP Rodney Weston to start making some noise in Ottawa on this issue. Premier Graham is scheduled to meet with NB Power boss David Hay this week to discuss the issue.