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Friday, November 13, 2009

Province Reports Two Deaths From H1N1

The province has its first deaths related to the H1N1 virus, they are two men-one in his early sixties and the other in his seventies.

The Department of Health says testing has confirmed that both men had the H1N1 virus. Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eilish Cleary says both men had an underlying condition that increased their risk of complications from the flu.
Health Minister Mary Schryer offered sympathies to the men's famillies for their loss.
Schryer said the deaths highlight how important it is for everyone to be vigilant and to protect ourselves and others.
For the lastest list of H1N1 clinics, go to or call 1-800-580-0038.

St. Joe's Flu Assessment Centre Closing Up Shop

Due to a lack of patients, the Flu Assessment Centre at St. Joe’s will close at 6pm tonight. The Horizon Health Network will evaluate the need to reopen the centre in the coming weeks.
They want to remind the public that anyone with flu symptoms should stay home and minimize contact with their family members.
More information may be found online ( or by calling the 24-hour information line, 1-800-580-0038.

Opposition Leader and Premier At Poverty Forum

Poverty Forum Wraps Up

[Representatives at the Poverty Forum----Photo by Dave Briggs]
The final forum on poverty is wrapped up and the plan's objective is to reduce income poverty by 25 per cent, and deep income poverty by 50 per cent by 2015.

Social Development Minister Kelly Lamrock says there is going to be major reform to the social assistance program.
Under the reform, those on social assistance can have roommates, and the rate for two is now being doubled.
Lamrock also says there is also going to be an affordable universal prescription drug plan introduced in the province.

(MP Rodney Weston at Loan News Conference)
            (Photo by Jim Hennessy) 

Two Infrastructure loans have been approved for Saint John. It totals $1.4 million dollars for the re-construction of three streets......Braemar and Brunswick Drives along with Paul Harris Street. Mayor Ivan Court says these type of projects may not be sexy but they are necessary and provide proper piping into the communities where the work was completed.

Work on Paul Harris and Brunswick Drive finished up over a month ago and Municipal Operations is checking for us as to whether or not work has started or finished on Braemar Drive.

Tax Base Numbers Are Released

Next years property tax base rates have been released to municipalities by the Province. The rates have been calculated for all cities, towns and villages in the province and are determined by a formula that uses the tax base of communities from the previous year. It also takes into account new construction and a market value increase of up-to-inflation, using the consumer price index.

Tax base information for 2010 as well as the property tax base rates as calculated by the property tax accountability mechanism can be found online at

Senior Hurt in ATV Crash

Close call for a 70-year old man from Wards Creek yesterday. RCMP tell us he escaped serious injury in an ATV accident on the Quirk Road. He lost control of the machine, it flipped, caught fire and was destroyed.

His injuries are not serious and he didn't need any medical treatment.

Budget Process Underway at City Hall

The Finance Committee is getting an early look at the year end budget, and it's looking like it will be in the red. The budget is about half a million dollars over, but that's not too bad considering the total budget is over $125 million dollars. Commissioner of Finance Greg Yeomans says the weather last year pushed up costs.

Yeomans says the projected numbers are likely to stay the same if the weather continues to cooperate and the final numbers will be known by late February and then be presented to council.

Two News Conferences Close Out the Week

The results of the final forum on poverty will be released to the public this afternoon. Premier Graham and Social Development Minister Kelly Lamrock will unveil the results of the forum that's be going on in the city since yesterday at 12:30pm. The forum is set up to initiate a plan for the province to reduce the amount and get people out of the cycle that is poverty.

Then at 1 o'clock at city hall, M-P Rodney Weston will announce infrastructure funding for the city.

Gas Prices Are Back Down

The yo-yo that is gas prices continues it's up and down motion. The Energy and Utilities Board has released it's weekly price schedule which shows the price of gasoline down by close to two cents. Most stations in Greater Saint John are selling a litre of self-serve for 98.7 cents.

Diesel comes in at $102.6, Furnace Oil is down close to two cents as well at an even 84 cents and propane is at 92.6 cents a litre.

Canada-Mexico Meetings in Saint John This Weekend

The Congress of the Union of the United Mexican States will meet outside of Ottawa for the first time since it's inception back in 1975. The two day conference gets started today in Saint John and MP Rodney Weston tells CHSJ News, this is a wonderful opportunity to showcase what the city has to offer.

Both delegations will be made up of 35 members and will wrap up tomorrow afternoon at 5:30pm.

Debbie Cooper is Thrilled with Opportunity

Debbie Cooper of the Boys and Girls Club is the Olympic Torch Bearer for Saint John. It's a secret she's been keeping since July and tells CHSJ News, she would love to see a huge crowd of people for the event on the 24th. The festivities begin at 5pm at the Marco Polo Cruise Terminal with a children's carnival.

Cooper will carry the flame down Water Street at 7 O'clock to light the cauldron outside the cruise ship terminal with a fireworks display to follow at eight o'clock.