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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Salmon Hatchery Prepares For Audit

(Salmon sorting at Oak Bay hatchery - photo by Chuck Brown)

Workers at a fish hatchery near St Stephen are preparing for an audit - not the financial kind - but - one which looks at the hatchery's environmental footprint and quality of breeding stock and eggs.
Brian Donnelly is manager of the Cooke Aquaculture salmon hatchery -- and -- he says the market is beginning to demand it.
Donnelly says the food the salmon are fed is free of chemical growth enhancers although he says it does contain a synthetic colour enhancer which mirrors the salmon's natural agents.
An auditor representing European based Global Trust Certification will be at the hatchery next month to see if it will continue with its quality and eco certifications.

Swine Flu Info Line Busy with Calls

The Provincial Department of Health's Swine Flu info line is overwhelmed with callers.
Spokesperson Alissa Lee tell CHSJ news they are aware of the problem.
She says the calls increased when Ottawa granted regulatory approval of the H1N1 vaccine last week.
Lee says on Thursday additional H1N1 immunization clinics will be listed on the Department of Health Website. The website is

Robber Still on the Loose

(photo courtesy of Saint John Police)

The person who robbed a gas station on the West Side last Friday remains on the run. It was just before 9:30pm when a white man walked into the Shell Station on Main Street. He is described between 30-40 years old, about five foot eight, medium build, sandy brown moustache and goatee with shaggy hair.
 If you have seen this person or know something about the robbery, officers ask that you give them a call at 648-3333.

H1N1 Cases in the St. George Area

There are confirmed cases of H1N1 virus in Charlotte County.

District 10 acting superintendent Jenny McDougall has confirmed that three students in the St George area have been tested and they have the virus.
McDougall says letters will be sent home to let parents know there is a confirmed case of the virus and it will include a consent form for your child to have the H1N1 shot.

H1N1 Influenza Information Session Tonight

If you have questions about the H1N1 flu virus, here is your chance to ask them.
Public health is hosting an information session tonight at Saint John High School.
It gets underway at 7pm. The public is asked to use the Canterbury Street entrance.

Power Problems on the West Side

If you live on the West Side and woke up with your clock flashing, there is a good reason why. Saint John Energy tells us there was a failure to a power cable that crosses the throughway at Lancaster Avenue. 1000 homes and businesses along Duke and Prince Streets along with Havelock and Fundy Heights were with-out power. President Eric Marr tells CHSJ News, they were glad to have power re-stored before the height of the morning rush.

Marr says the first outage was reported just after one this morning and all power was re-stored just after six.

Deputy Mayor Takes Issue with Blue Community Concept

The Deputy Mayor is having trouble getting behind the Council of Canadians pitch to make Saint John a Blue Community. As a Blue Community the city would promote drinking city water, rather than selling bottled water in municipal buildings. Stephen Chase says the problem is, there isn't safe, clean drinking water throughout the entire city.

A spokesperson for the Council of Canadians says the group wants the city to promote drinking city water in areas where it is safe.

Harbour Clean Up Moves Ahead

The parking lot at Harbour station may be the new home to the Long Wharf Lift Station number 10. Commissioner of Municipal Operations Paul Groody says it's the best spot for the station if the city cannot construct it off of Smythe Street. He says the location has a reasonable cost, and will effectively divert wastewater flows to the Marsh Creek treatment facility. He says it's won't be an eye sore.

Constructing the lift station would cost $6.9 million dollars

Simms Corner Revamp Gets Support

Councillor Peter McGuire is optimistic about getting the reconfiguration work started at Simms Corner after a meeting with an MLA. McGuire says he and the mayor met with Saint John Lancaster MLA Abel LeBlanc, who said he would advocate the project to both Transportation Minister Denis Landry and Saint John East MLA Roley McIntryre.
The limitations of the configuration of the Fairville Boulevard--Simms Corner---Bridge Road corridor has were recognized in a 1999 Transportation Study done by the city.

Negative Reaction to City's New Snow Management Plan

At least one Saint John resident is opposed to the city's plan to ban overnight parking during the winter on most city streets. Common Council has unanimously accepted a new Winter Management Plan that will stop on-street parking from Midnight to 7 am from November to April. Russell Douthwright lives on Boyaner Crescent, where there is already a parking ban on one side of the street. He tells CHSJ news there would be no place to park for overnight guests.

Boyaner Crescent has been singled out by city staff as a problem area for snow clearing--where most homeowners have shared driveways and frequently park on the street. The only exceptions to the city's overnight on-street winter parking ban would be: Wright Street, South Central Peninsula, and parts of Lower West and Old North End

Saint John Boys and Girls Club Gets $40,000 Grant

The Saint John Boys and Girls Club has one of the best after-school programs in the country. At least, that's according to the RBC Foundation, which is giving the club a prestigious 40 thousand dollar After-School Grant.

The Club is one of only 90 after-school programs from across Canada to receive the RBC Grant this year, and one of only 16 first-time grant recipients.

Flooding Update--Roads Clear

(Flooding in Saint John from Heavy Rain Last Weekend--Photo taken Sunday by Sean Crowley)

Most roads in the Greater Saint John area are now back open after weekend flooding caused by heavy rain. There is still water on some streets in Glen Falls, but city police say they are passable. That means garbage collection will go ahead for the neighbourhood today.

Meanwhile, the following roads outside the city are closed until further notice: Milkish Creek, Oldfield, Venning, Scribner, and Bettle Farm Roads. Town Plot Road is open to one lane of traffic, along with Ravine Road--and--the Department of Transportation says it will deal with shoulder washouts in several locations in the coming weeks.

New Plan Approved for Dealing with Snow

It won't be long now before the snow begins to fly and Common Council has unanimously accepted a new Winter Managament Plan. Members are suggesting the Plan needs to be presented in a well advertised public forum to get information across to residents. Councillor Chris Titus says Titus says there may need to be ward meetings set up for residents.
Councillor Gary Sullivan says he agrees the presentation needs to be made to the public, but once a date is set, it needs to be heavily advertised.

New Winter Parking Rules

People living on Douglas Avenue will have to abide by new on-street parking rules this winter. Commissioner of Municipal Operations Paul Groody says Douglas Avenue has proven to always be a challenge during the winter time for snow removal--and--he wants alternate side parking.

Groody says snow is often pushed onto sidewalks and the road plow operators have to work on the street 3 or 4 times, which takes service away from other areas. He says there is more than enough room for off-street parking on Douglas Avenue if everyone clears out their lots.

New Collector Road Gets a Name

The new collector road in Grand-Bay Westfield connecting Highway 7 and River Valley Drive has been named Colonel Nase Boulevard. It is named after one of the town's first landowners and Mayor Grace Losier says they have applied for Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation financing for the residential development on the road.

Losier says they are locked in a 3.5 per cent.

River Valley Community Centre Budget on Target

The River Valley Community Centre is in the black. The Centre operates on a 15-year agreement with Grand-Bay Westfield and 2 local service districts funded by the property tax base. Treasurer John Webber says the Centre finished 2008 with a surplus of $4500.

Ice rental fees will increase slightly for 2010 but, will be in line with the rates at other regional arenas.

Retail Sales

If retail sales are any indication, New Brunswick has weathered the global recession much better than those in Canada. The latest report card by the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council shows retail sales, excluding gasoline, climbed 1.3 per cent in this province in the first half of 2009. Nationally, retail sales, fell 2.8 per cent in the same time period. Senior Economist, David Chaundy, tells CHSJ news the Atlantic region has seen fewer full-time job losses and stronger wage growth.

While some forecasters see national consumer spending picking up into 2010, Chaundy says growth will be modest by historical standards.