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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Blaney reacts to budget

Election is the word the Conservative MLA for Rothesay uses to describe yesterday's Provincial Budget. Margaret Ann Blaney tells CHSJ News, bringing in a capital and operational budget four months ahead of the fiscal year should really set off alarm bells for everyone.

Blaney she now understands why the Graham Government wants to sell the assets of NB Power to Hydro try and offset some of the debt they continue to pile up.

Board of Trade on Provincial Budget

  (President of Saint John Board of Trade Imelda Gilman)
(Executive Director of the SJ Construction Ass. Pat Darrah)
                  (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

President of the Saint John Board of Trade gives the Provincial Budget a passing grade. Imelda Gilman tells CHSJ News, her major concern is the ballooning deficit. Pat Darrah is Executive Director of the Saint John Construction Association and tells CHSJ News, he is more worried about what Finance Minister Bryne didn't say in outlining how they plan to pay down this huge deficit.

Darrah adds construction was a big reason the southern half of the province wasn't hit hard by the recession with over 10,000 labourers on the job this year.

Provincial Budget Is Good News for the Port City

If you can get past the looming deficit in the Provincial Budget, here are some of the highlights for Greater Saint John. Over $30 million dollars has been set aside for the Saint John Community College including $19 million for the new center of excellence. There is also $11.5 million for the new Health Center upgrade at UNB Saint John. K-12 education gets a nice boost of 91% from last year, coming in at $95.7 million including $28.7 million in capital projects.

That includes a new K-5 school in the Kennebecasis Valley. On the transportation side.....a new ferry for Fundy Isles will cost $49 million, the Weslford Bypass is $24.2 million and the One Mile Interchange comes in at $30.5. $23 million is going to be spent on the new Justice Complex in the uptown and over ten million is being invested in public housing.

H1N1 Clinics Continue for the General Public

Public Health officials continue with their H1N1 vaccination clinics for general public in the Greater Saint John Area.
The following is a list of clinics between today and Friday:

Marco Polo Cruise Ship Terminal, 111 Water Street, Saint John, December 1 until 9pm

Royal Canadian Legion, 43 Queen St. West, St. Stephen, December 1, until 9pm

Royal Canadian Legion, 43 Queen St. West, St. Stephen, December 2, 9am - 5pm

Hampton Senior Resource Center, 31 Demille Ct., Hampton, December 2, 9am - 7pm

Westfield Elementary School, 147 Nerepis Road, GrandBay-Westfield, December 2, 4pm - 9pm
 (Please be aware public access to the school will not open until after school hours)

Side Court Right (gymnasium) George Forbes Elliot Athletic Centre UNBSJ, 100 Tucker Park Road, Saint John, December 2, 9am - 3pm ** for UNBSJ students and staff only**

Side Court Right (gymnasium) George Forbes Elliot Athletic Centre UNBSJ, 100 Tucker Park Road, Saint John, for the general public, December 2, 3pm - 9pm

NBCC St. Andrews, 99 Augustus Street, St. Andrews, December 3, 9am - 9pm

Rothesay Baptist Church, 30 Vincent Road, Quispamsis, Kennebecasis Valley, December 3, 9am - 9pm

St. George Community Center, 11 J.O. Spinney Dr., St. George, December 4, 9am - 5pm

Carleton Community Centre, 82 Market Place, Saint John (West), December 4, 9am - 9pm

Sussex Elementary School, 25 Duke Street, Sussex, December 4, 9am - 7pm

For more updated information on the clinics go to or call 1-800-580-0038.

Suspicious Death in the Border Town

(photo courtesy of Kim Hall)

St. Stephen RCMP are investigating a suspicious death in the town.
Police called to a home on Queen Street on Monday after family members had not heard from a woman for a few days.
Police discovered the body of a 59-year old woman in the house.
The death at this point is considered suspicious and the RCMP’s Major Crime Unit is investigating.
An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death.

The woman's identity has not been released.

Dead Monkeys at the Cherry Brook Zoo

The deaths of three infant Callimico Goeldi monkey's born at the Cherry Brook Zoo is being blamed on an incident that happened a year and a half ago. You might remember April, an infant Goeldi monkey was kidnapped and after a city-wide search, she was returned to the front door of the facility. Zoo Director Lynda Collrin tells CHSJ News, they have put back together the original breeding pair and are hoping to re-populate the species.

Collrin says April's brother Charlie became so over-protective after she was kidnapped, that he would hold on to each infant so tight and long, they became to weak from starvation to nurse.

LNG SuperTanker Arrives in Port

After travelling 22 days and 15,000 kilometers, the Q-Flex, one of the largest and most advanced LNG Vessels has arrived in the Port. It is the first LNG supertanker to to arrive on North America’s East Coast. No word on when it will berth at facility because at the moment, it is to windy.

The arrival of the Q-Flex marks the 10th ship to dock at Canaport LNG since it came on line back on June 22.

Update on Robbery in the Valley

A man will appear in court this afternoon in Hampton to be charged with the armed robbery and abduction of a woman yesterday afternoon from the Barnwood Pub. A woman working at the pub, who did not know the robber, was held up at gunpoint and taken to Lepreau before being released a couple of hours later.

Police say the man in his fifties, was nabbed without incident at a home in Rothesay.

H1N1 Clinic at Marco Polo Cruise Terminal

              (Jim Hennessy Getting H1N1 Shot)
                (Photo by Liane Jordan)

It's another day of H1N1 clinics in most parts of the Province as the general public lines up to get immunized. The Marco Polo Cruise Terminal is hosting one until nine o'clock tonight. Marilyn Rankin is one of those who showed up and tells CHSJ News, she is very impressed with how organized everything is.

The clinic is open until nine o'clock tonight and a complete list of the clinics scheduled for Greater Saint John over the next few days is here.

World Aids Day Being Marked

This is World Aids Day -- set aside to remember those who have passed away and those still suffering with the disease.
Julie Dingwell is with Aids Saint John and tells CHSJ News, better access to medication is helping to stabilize the number of people being diagnosed.
Dingwell is asking everyone to touch base with the offices of MP Dominic LeBlanc or Brian Murphy and show your support for bill C-93 which talks about access to medicine.
The bill will be voted on tomorrow in Ottawa.

Questions About Police Presence At Border Town Home

Yellow police crime scene tape surrounds a house on Queen Street in St Stephen at this hour.
So far - the Mounties are tight lipped about why they are at the home -- but -- neighbors say police have been at the scene since around three this morning.

Quispam Council Considers Active Transportation

Quispamsis Town Council will be taking an in depth look into expanding the possibilities of Active Transportation within the community at tonight's council meeting.
Michael Haines, director of Transactive Solutions, tells CHSJ News that there are many different ways for you to use active transportation like skateboarding or cycling.
Quispamsis is looking into the possibility of expanding the town to replicate Fredericton's success of bike paths, walking paths and general use of active transport. Town Council gets started at 7.

Concerns Linger About Winter Parking Ban

With the winter parking ban going into effect this weekend, Commissioner of Municipal Operations Paul Groody says some people are saying it's in inconvenience -- but -- many others are saying it's about time.

Groody says at the end of the day the decision is going to save the city and tax payers money, as well as increase snow removal services.
Mayor Ivan Court says there should be some flexibility -- Court says people have been telling him some people are in awkward situations where they have no where other than the street to park their cars.
He says something needs to be done to accommodate those citizens.

Flu Clinic Busy

There was a steady stream of traffic yesterday at the swine flu clinic for the general public which was held at Exhibition Park.
There will be another clinic today in the city from 9 this morning to 9 tonight at the Marco Polo cruise ship terminal on Water Street.
For an updated list of H-1-N-1 flu clinics - click here.

City Police Make Arrest In Hit And Run

One man is under arrest after a hit and run last night shortly after 6:00 on Hickey Road.
The collision itself was minor and city police stopped the vehicle that took off.
The driver is facing charges of impaired driving, possession of stolen goods and probation violation.

Robbery And Abduction In Ken Valley

Rothesay Regional Police are investigating an armed robbery and abduction which took place around noon hour yesterday at the Barnwood Pub.
A woman employee of the pub was taken to Lepreau and released a couple of hours later.
Police are looking for a suspect described as being white, in his fifties who's bald with grey hair on the sides and a grey handlebar moustache.
He was driving a late model dark blue Chevy van with a Montreal Canadiens logo on the passenger side window and a ribbon decal at the back of the van on the driver's side.
If you have any information about his whereabouts, you can call police at 847-6300 or crimestoppers at 1-800-222-tips. a two thousand dollar reward is on offer.