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Friday, October 16, 2009

Provincial Departments Keeping Tabs On Flaring Incident

(Heightened flaring can be seen just over container crane last Saturday afternoon - file photo)

The provincial Environment Department is waiting for a report from Canaport L-N-G on last weekend's flaring incident at the natural gas terminal.
A spokesperson tells CHSJ News the report will be reviewed by department officials to make sure all 63-terms and conditions of the facility's air quality permit were - and - are being met.
Meantime -- the Public Safety Department tells us it's not aware of any structural issues and none of the pressure vessels - piping - nor fire suppression systems were damaged.
A spokesperson tells us if any damage had occurred - the department's Technical Inspection Services would have become involved.

Money for the Huntsman Marine Science Centre

A nice chunk of cash from Ottawa and the Province for the Huntsman Marine Science Centre in St. Andrews. The centre is building a 20,000 square-foot Discovery Centre to replace its existing aquarium. Both the Province and the Federal Goverment announced 2.5 million dollars today to develop the Discovery Centre on the lower campus property of the Huntsman Marine Science Centre.

Poverty Rally in Kings Square

(Fern Bennett with Make Poverty History)
            Photo By Jim Hennessy

A sobering statistic from an anti-poverty rally today.......every three seconds, someone in the world dies from poverty. The group Make Poverty History staged the demonstration in Kings Square and spokes-person Fern Bennett tells CHSJ News, some strides have been made to help those living in poverty in Saint John but more needs to be done.

Bennett adds she is waiting with baited breath for the Provincial Government to hand down it's budget December.1st to see if any positive changes will be made to the current social set-up.

Saint John Area Nursing Home Workers Rally

It was a double-feature in Kings Square as nursing home workers rallied to bring attention to their plight as well. They have been with-out a contract for a year after reaching a tentative deal in March. That was dismissed by the Provincial Government who ordered public sector unions to implement a two year wage freeze to deal with the projected deficit. President of Cupe Local 1603 Tammy Nadeau tells CHSJ News, any chance of getting back to the bargaining table are slim.

As for any chance of strike action......Nadeau says their union has been off the job twice in forty years and they don't want to go down that road.

Graham Government Comments on Rally

A representative from the Graham Government was on hand for the rallies. Saint John East MLA Roly MacIntyre says the Graham Government has tried to maintain a good working relationship with the nursing home workers.

MacIntyre adds the nursing home workers pension fund was short and the Graham Government topped it off with $25 million dollars or it would have been bankrupt.

A Resolution in Walsh Case

Attorney General Mike Murphy has announced that civil action between Erin Michael Walsh, the Province and others has been resolved. Walsh was convicted of second-degree murder following the shooting death of Melvin "Chi Chi" Peters in 1975 and sentenced to life in prison with no parole for 10 years. The conviction was upheld on appeal in 1982.

The Province does acknowledge and agrees that a miscarriage of justice may have occurred respecting the 1975 conviction because of the timelines, processes and procedures of the day. Both the Province and City have agreed to pay compensation to Walsh and his wife. Details of the settlement are confidential.

New Homes for Quispamsis

(New Accessible and Seniors Apartments in Quispamsis)
                   Photo by Jim Hennessy

A project that started back in June is nearing completion along the Old Hampton Highway. The finishing touches are being put on 16 new accessible and seniors apartments in Quispamsis. Total cost is $1.8 million dollars and President of Ken-Val United Church Suites Clifty Long says this is filling a need for many in the Kennebecasis Valley.

Long expects the first tenants will move into their new homes on the first week of next month. Ottawa has put $480,000 dollars toward the project and the Province is on board for one million in rent supplements.

Another Hurdle for Residents at Ten Scott Avenue

Just days after residents on Scott Avenue were breathing a sigh of relief, a new problem is on the horizon. Rothesay Council on Tuesday pulled their application to purchase the four mixed income apartment buildings on the street off the table but CHSJ News has learned, one of the buildings is up for bids at a public auction on the 26th in Sussex. The assessed owner is listed as Kenneth and Helen Griffin and an apartment building and lot at 10 Scott Avenue is just one of several properties listed under their name.

Another interesting point is at the bottom of the listing, it says the Provincial Tax Commissioner was made aware of the properties sale on the 16th of last month. Griffin is quoted as saying he had no interest in selling the property to the town.

Rallies to be Held in King Square

There will be a few extra bodies in Kings Square today at noon. This is due to a pair of rallies including one for nursing home workers in Greater Saint John. They have been on the job for a year with-out a contract after signing a tentative deal back in March. That is when the Graham Government ordered public sector unions to implement a two year wage freeze to deal with the projected deficit. The union is asking if a deal can be reached with doctors....what about them.

Also, according to Face Book.....a take action against poverty group also plans to rally in the Square to bring attention to their cause. Things also get started at noon.

Marco Polo Update

Construction on the replica of the Marco Polo project is done for another season. With colder temperatures early in the evening and mornings, work crews are putting away their tools until the spring. Project spokes-person Barry Ogden tells CHSJ News, the vessel is over 90% complete.

The problem is.....they don't have a final resting place chosen for the replica just yet. Ogden says they would love to berth it anywhere between Water Street and Long Wharf but continue to consult with the Port Authority.