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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fire Crews Battle Main Street Blaze

Premier Stands Behind Proposed NB Power Deal

[Premier Shawn Graham----File Photo]

The Premier is confident the proposed deal between NB Power and Hydro-Quebec is going to help push this province into self suffiency over the next 20 years.
Shawn Graham says residents will see significant savings through the deal, and future generations will be relieved of the debt burden.
Supply and Services Minister Ed Doherty says it's his responsibility to pay the energy bills for provincial buildings and the deal would save approximately $30 million dollars.
Graham says the province wants to hear from residents with any concerns or more information.
You can call 1-800-533-3086 or visit to get more information and then leave a message on how you feel about the situation.

Construction Starting at UNBSJ

[Shot from UNBSJ Construction Announcement---Photo by Dave Briggs]
The shovels are in the ground for the construction of the health care training facilities at the University of New Brunswick Saint John.

Work has begun on the nearly 2 million dollars of construction associated with the projects, something Supply and Services Minister Ed Doherty says should employ nearly 200 workers.
President of UNBSJ Eddy Campbell says over the next 18 months the campus will be transformed.
The construction being done on campus is the nearly 500 thousand dollar NBCC Saint John Allied health building.

Health Minister Says Children Should Be Attending Classes

[Health Minister Mary Schryer---File Photo]
The Health Minister says news on when more H1N1 vaccine will be in the province should be known later today.
Mary Schryer says she can emphasize with parents not sending their children to school, since she herself is a mother, but says it's important not to pull kids out of class.
Schryer says parents need to continue to stress to children the importance of washing their hands, and plenty of rest if they are not feeling well.
She says if a child is sick do not send them to school, but if they are not it's important they attend class.

Veterans Luncheon

Latest Swine Flu Numbers from Province Are In

As panic and fear continue to grip many around the Province, Public Health is trying to keep everyone calm. So far, 120,000 people have been vaccinated against the H1N1 virus but many continue to wait and wonder when will it be their turn. Chief Medical Health Officer Dr Eilish Cleary says they continue to put foward their best effort to get the shot to everyone as soon as possible.

The clinics to this point continue to be for priority groups including pregnant women. Dr. Cleary adds since April, only 23 people have required a stay in hospital due to the virus but expect over two thousand have contracted the illness so far.

Lunch With the Veterans in Rothesay

             (Veterans Enjoying Sobeys Meal)
                 (Photo by Jim Hennessy) 

Sobeys in Rothesay rolled out the red carpet to veterans today. This is for their annual lunch with the veterans which celebrates the sacrifices made by those who bravely served this country. The idea was born by store manager Don Gass and veteran John Ricketts. His wife Evaleen tells CHSJ News, it started out as just a small luncheon but quickly great into the celebration that it is today.
John Ricketts served in the Second World War and lost his leg in a mine explosion. Evaleen Ricketts adds if her husband was alive and could see how big his dream has become, it would bring him to tears.

New Clinics Scheduled

The regional health authority has scheduled two H-1-N-1 flu shot clinics in Saint John and Sussex for those in the priority groups:

• Sussex, November 5, 9am-9pm, Royal Canadian Legion, 66 Magnolia Ave

• Saint John, November 6, 8:30am-9pm, Barrack Green Armoury, 60 Broadview Ave

Priority Groups are defined as:

• Children 6 months to 18 years

• Pregnant women 20 weeks plus

• Pregnant women less than 20 weeks with underlying medical conditions

• Parents of children under 6 months

• First Nations (on reservation only)

City Police Step Up Traffic Patrols

City Police have been stepping up their efforts to deal with traffic hot spots and construction zone speeding. Sgt. Jeff LaFrance says the number of tickets for violations rose from about 25 hundred in 2007 to more than 38 hundred in 2008--and--they expect to top that number this year.

Sgt. LaFrance says they have been concentrating on Highway One where construction is taking place by the Rockwood Park Off-ramp. He says workers have been very appreciative because of safety concerns posed by speeders. Chief Bill Reid says fines have doubled for speeding in construction and school zones, but they cannot enforce that until signs have been posted--something he wants done within one year.

Victoria Square Renovations Being Shown Off

The Victoria Square park in the North End officially re-opens today after the city spent 330 thousand dollars to improve its appearance. Renovations added a plaza, improved lighting and signage, chess tables, seating and a gazebo. City councilor Peter McGuire tells CHSJ news the park is a corner stone of that neighbourhood.

McGuire says the lower West Side and Crescent Valley are next on his priority list for improved green space.

Tourism Awards Announced

The recipients of the 2009 National Awards for Tourism Excellence have been announced. My Trip Planner by T4G Ltd in Saint John--in partnership with New Brunswick Tourism and Parks --have been awarded the Online Innovation Award. Other local winners from Fredericton include edVentures for Innovator of the Year, L’eau chaude - c’est juste le d├ębut by Tourism & Parks for marketing campaign of the year, and Karl Doetsch of Delta Fredericton for group employee of the year. The Cape Jourimain Nature Centre in Bayfield also took home the Parks Canada sustainable tourism award.

The Tourism Industry Association of Canada held a gala ceremony at the Delta Brunswick last night to hand out the honours.

City Police Prepare for H1N1

The Saint John Police Force has a plan in place to deal with the H1N1 flu pandemic. Chief Bill Reid tells CHSJ news they are expecting the pandemic flu vaccine to be made available to officers in about two weeks. In the meantime, they have cleaning products for police cruisers and officers have been provided with masks, gloves and sanitizers.

Chief Reid says the police department normally offers the seasonal flu shot in-house and once the pandemic vaccine is available, they will do the same thing.

Peel Plaza Takes Next Step Forward

Peel Plaza is closer to reality after the City's Planning Advisory Committee granted a variance on the future Provincial Courthouse. P.A.C. approved a reduction in on-site parking from 230 stalls to 28 with the remaining 202 stalls to be provided by a new parking structure built on Carleton Street.

One of the Project Architect's Gregory Murdock says Peel Plaza is a "Triple P"-a public private partnership. If work on the parking structure begins after the justice complex, the province would have to come back to P.A.C. to ensure that parking is provided somewhere.

Quispamsis Daycare Put on Hold

The process started back in May and it's still going to be a few more weeks until Jane Stewart knows if her property on Sugarmaple Lane is being rezoned. Stewart wants to establish a daycare facility at the residential site in Quispamsis, something which has received opposition from residents. Stewart says she expected a bit of opposition, but not to this extent.

The location would offer child care services to about 30 children, and Stewart has hired an engineer to examine drainage issues, as well as doing major renovations to the building.

Quispamsis council has voted to table the proposal until further information is gathered. Mayor Murray Driscoll tells CHSJ News the council is anxious to move through the process. Council hopes to see the information they need by the next meeting.

Youth Meet to Discuss Poverty Among Peers

15 per cent of young adults in Saint John do not have a high school diploma according to the Business Community Anti-Poverty Initiative. Co-chair of the employment working group Kelly Duplisea tells CHSJ News, the fact there are so many young people in the city who have not graduated high school is making it harder for them to escape poverty, and to even find a job. Duplisea says this problem is not Saint John specific, she says nationally it is hard for someone without a university diploma to find work.

Duplisea says this city has 35 per cent higher poverty rate than the rest of the province, and it is time to get initiatives in motion to help decrease those numbers. She says the challenge in trying to get at-risk youths to finish high school is that every child has specific issues that need to be dealt with.