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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Delay In Full Re-Opening of Harbour Bridge

The full re-opening of the Harbour Bridge is going to take a few extra weeks.

General Manager Ken Anthony tells CHSJ News the final westbound lane was suppose to re-open tomorrow but instead they will do a gradual reopening beginning this Thursday.

He attributes the recent rain and snow as the cause of the delay.

The westbound lane will be begin to open up closest to the toll plaza.  The process is expected to take a few weeks.

The Y And The Q-Plex Will Team Up

The Y and the Q-Plex are teaming up.

The Saint John Y will have 500,000 square feet to operate in new recreational facility in Quispamisis.

Chief Operating Officer Shilo Boucher tells CHSJ News the programs they now offer at the Recreation Centre will move to the new building after they open.

She says they currently offer after-school, pre-school, playschool and zumba and it will allow them to offer more programs and it will also include a new playground.
Boucher says the children from their centre even had input on the playground equipment they like the best.  The Q-Plex is slated to open on January 1st.

Harvey Station Man Gets Canaport LNG Scholarship For Medical School

A 38 year old father of two from Harvey Station has been chosen for a scholarship to attend the Saint John medical school. Sheldon Wood has a Bachelor of Computer Science Degree from U-N-B and worked as an I-T consultant for 15 years.
He says he enjoyed his work but he was not getting the sense of fulfillment he was longing for.

Canaport L-N-G is creating the 4 year scholarship that will provide Wood with 35 thousand dollars a year for full tuition, books, equipment and living expenses. Adolpho Azcarraga is the General Manager at Canaport.

He says they are always looking for ways to be involved more in the community and they have been focusing on education and community with needs.

Wood tells CHSJ News he wants to remain in the province after graduation and is looking at becoming a family doctor.

Lacey Says A Tax Hike Is Not The Answer

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is concerned about what it's hearing at the economic summit in Moncton on the future of the province. The federation's Atlantic Director Kevin Lacey tells CHSJ News speaker after speaker is talking about the need to raise taxes.

He says this province doesn't have a tax problem it has a spending problem and in order to balance the budget the government should look at spending cuts first.

Lacey maintains families in the provnce can't afford higher taxes because average weekly earnings fell this year by .2 per cent while inflation rose by 1.8 per cent so they're falling behind even without taxes going up.

Coon Says Lepreau Delays Are A Neverending Story

The Executive Director of the Province's Conservation Council calls delays at Point Lepreau a neverending story with an endless cost.
David Coon tells CHSJ News this is exactly what the previous Lord government was warned about and he suggests the Alward government turn it into a decommissioning project.

He says that would employ quite a few people and it's partially down now because of the work to tear the reactor apart.
Coon adds NB Power has no guarantees from Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd that the reactor will even work up to expectations.

Common Council Gets Assurances Over Pension Threat

(City Manager Pat Woods)
         (File Photo)

City Manager Pat Woods is trying to reassure Common Councillors over a warning that city assets could be seized if the city doesn't make scheduled contributions to its pension plan.

Woods told Council if the city's request to have its payments deferred for a year is approved, the whole issue of city assets being seized becomes moot. He also told council members the city has met with the Superintendent of Pensions to keep her informed of what's going on. He describes the meeting as positive.

Deputy Mayor Stephen Chase, who chaired the meeting in the absence of Mayor Ivan Court, urged M-L-A's to pass the recommended changes passed by Council last week.

Speed Limit To Be Reduced Along Loch Lomand Road

(Saint John Common Councillor Joe Mott)
          (Photo by Brian McLain)

Common Council voting to reduce the speed limit along much of Loch Lomand Road by 10 kilometers an hour to 60 clicks and hour but not everyone is in favour.

Councillor Donnie Snook voted against saying there are no sidewalks for the most part and he doesn't see many people walking along the road.

Councillor Patty Higgins voted in favour says Loch Lomand Road has 2 per cent of the city's traffic but 4 per cent of the crashes that take place around town happen there.

Councillor Bruce Court is also in favour of the lowering the speed saying its dangerous to be going too fast near the entrance to the oil refinery when big tanker trucks are pulling out.

Another east side council member, Joe Mott predicts plenty of speeding tickets will be handed out once the change is made.

City Police Investigating Fire And Arrest Man Wielding Axe In North End

Arson is suspected after a minor fire at 7 Eadley Court which is now being investigated by city police and the fire department. The smell of petroleum prompted a call to the fire department which discovered the vinyl siding at the side of the bungalow had been burned. There wasn't much damage as it turned out.

City Police also nabbing a 20 year old man who was in the area of Main Street and Douglas Avenue brandishing an axe. Police believe he was upset after an argument with his girl friend but is now facing charges of disturbing the peace and possession of a weapon.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Saint John Doctor Found Dead

Rothesay Regional Police are investigating the death of a Saint John doctor.

Dr. Corrina Golding was found dead in her Rothesay home.  Police do not suspect foul play.

She lost her medical license after facing criminal charges including trafficking the prescription drug oxycontin.

She also faced charges of arson and uttering threats but the case fell apart when vital police evidence was destroyed.

She did get her medical license back and set up a family practice in the North end.

Province Answers Questions about Penobsquis Water Supply

The provincial government isn't expecting too many headaches regarding incoming legislation to protect the Penobsquis drinking water supply.

The province holding an open house today to inform the public and answer any questions.

Welfare Protection Officer Sherry McCoy tells CHSJ News the legislation mostly deals with the storage of various chemicals, like petroleum, pesticides and fertilizer, in order to protect the water.

She says about 55 property owners will have to comply with the legislation, which will go into effect late next year.

Youth Sentenced To Five Years For Armed Robbery

It's 5 years in the federal penitentiary for 19 year old Kurtis Alexander Kincade.

The youth found guilty of 2 armed robbery charges and 3 break-and-enters.

Judge William McCarroll told the youth to see prison as an opportunity to enter treatment programs and to turn his life around.  

He added the severity of the sentence had to reflect the seriousness of committing an armed robbery that resulted in injuries.

On October 3rd, two cab drivers were robbed at knife-point with one of them suffering cuts on their neck and arms.

Motorists With Transponders For The Harbour Bridge Have Questions

Big changes are coming to the Harbour Bridge in the new year with the removal of tolls by the end of March.
Many are wondering what will happen to all the drivers who paid for transponders.

Bob McDevitt chairs the Harbour Bridge Authority and says it's one of many issues that needs to be worked out.
He estimates 23, 000 people have them and that money will have to come back to them but, how that happens still need to be figured out.

Liberal MLA Worries About The Impact Of The Bridge Deal On Provincial Taxpayers

The Liberal Transportation critic thinks the Alward conservatives could have got a better deal on the Harbour Bridge.
Charlotte The Isles MLA Rick Doucet tells CHSJ News it's the same deal that the Graham government said no to.

He says removal of the tolls is a good idea but, he wishes the negotiation was open and transparent because no one knows the true cost of this deal for taxpayers in the province.
Doucet says some good jobs will be lost and while it's good to scrap the tolls, it will still cost 1 to 2 million dollars a year for annual maintainance on the bridge.

Old City Airport Receives Historic Designation

The site of the old City airport in Millidgeville is now part of our provincial aviation history.

Wellness, Culture and Sport Minister Trevor Holder on hand to unveil a plaque at M. Gerald Teed Memorial School which lies within boundary of the old airport.

The Saint John Municipal Airport was the prime landing field for the City from 1928 to 1951 and one of the first municipally owned airfields in the country.

RCMP Seek New Info On Woodstock Man's Disappearance

Woodstock Police and Crimsestoppers are hoping to find some new leads in the disappearance a 30-year-old man from the town.
Gregory David Wry was reported missing on February 24th, three days after he stayed at the Howard Johnson’s in Fredericton.

He was driving a sandy four door 2005 Chevy Malibu with the licence plate of GMS 732 which was found abandoned east of Woodstock.
Wry is 5 foot 8, about 140 pounds with brown hair and green eyes wearing a ball cap and a jacket with leather sleeves and brown patches, jeans and sneakers.

If you have any information, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS, or click here

We Need To Eat More Fruits And Veggies

(Registered Dietician Meaghan Sim)
             (File Photo)

Eating healthy is challenging every day and even more so during the holidays when eat more and not generally light foods.

Registered Dietician Meaghan Sim tells CHSJ News one tip is to snack before heading to a holiday gathering. She suggests munching on carrots with hummas which is a good healthy and filling snack.

Sim adds if you don't go hungry to these events, it's easier to make healthier choices.

She also says people in Atlantic Canada are not eating enough fruits and vegetables.

Medical Program At U-N-B Saint John To Result In Major Economic Spinoffs Down The Road

(U-N-B Saint John Campus At Tucker Park)
             (File Photo)

The Dalhousie Medicine Program on the campus of U-N-B Saint John will bring big things to the city -- that from Pat Darrah, chairman of the anglophone medical education committee that brought the program to UNBSJ.

Darrah tells CHSJ News the upcoming research component of the program will pay huge dividends to the city with the economic spinoffs coming in 2012.

The program allows students to earn their medical degrees here in Saint John.

The Saint John Board of Trade recognizes the potential and current contributions to the city -- the program picked up the Chair's Award at the Outstanding Business Achievement Awards.

Economic Summit Starting On Future Of The Province Amid Mounting Concern

(Former Premier Frank McKenna)
            (File Photo)

Debate on the future of New Brunswick begins today at an economic summit in Moncton co-chaired by David Ganong and former Premier Camille Theriault.

Ganong tells CHSJ News there is cause for concern starting with the provincial deficit combined with weak job creation and an over reliance on federal transfer payments which many observers expect to be reduced.

And what about Saint John where alot of big plans have failed to come to fruition? Former Premier Frank McKenna, for one, doesn't believe the city has lost its momentum.

Ganong is hoping the summit will produce innovative ideas to put the provincial economy on a sounder footing. He points out there are lots of well paying, high tech jobs available in the province but the people with the proper skills don't seem to be there. His own chocolate company in St. Stephen had to bring in workers from Romania.

Not As Much Money Will Be Spent On Roads In The Province

(Provincial Finance Minister Blaine Higgs On Election Night)
                        (File Photo)

Its time the provincial government stopped building more roads. So says Provincial Finance Minister Blaine Higgs.

He says the province's capital budget for roads this year is between 800 and 900 million dollars which is from 300 to 400 million dollars more than would have been spent in years gone by.

Higgs is giving every indication there will be changes to the planned 6 lane highway between the K-V and Saint John as part of what he calls rationalisation.
He has confirmed there have been meetings with the Transportation Department to examine traffic requirements including what needs to be done with the exit at Dolan Road.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Home Damaged By Fire on Rothesay Road

2 people displaced after a fire at 1602 Rothesay Road.

The blaze occurred at the 3-storey single family home around 7 o'clock last night and the house suffered heavy damage.

Fire officials say no one was home at the time and a passerby phoned the fire department.

The fire department indicates the fire was mostly likely caused by an electrical problem.

Saint John Kiwanis Club Receives Huge Honour

The Saint John Board of Trade giving the Saint John Kiwanis club huge recognition.

They have honoured the club with the Big Heart Award, which recognizes those who make the community a better place to live.

Club President Rick Northrup tells CHSJ News one of their major projects every year is to provide orthodontics for 6 to 8 youths.

The 30 member group also supports juvenile diabetes projects and does leadership training in high schools.

Canadian Cook Takes Healthy Approach

Canadian cookbook author Anne Lindsay has compiled her most popular recipes in new collection.Lighthearted At Home continues her long partnership with the Heart And Stroke Foundation.

She tells CHSJ News the world of food has changed a lot in the 25 years she has been doing this.

She adds when she started there was no such things as light sour cream or light mayonaise and there is a better selection of fresh fruit and vegetables.To make your family recipe healthier, go to

Harper Says SJ Businesspeople Want Focus on Economy

While announcing the removal of the tolls on the Harbour Bridge, Prime Minister Harper also took the opportunity to talk about his government's record on the economy.

Harper says Canada was affected the least by the financial meltdown and is emerging the strongest of any of the industrialized countries with the creation of more jobs than were lost during the recession.

He adds he heard loud and clear from Saint John businesspeople that the economy should remain his government's number one priority.

Tolls on Harbour Bridge Still Expected to Increase

Don't expect a break from the pending increase in tolls on the Harbour Bridge just because a deal has been reached that will see the tolls scrapped by the end of March.

Premier David Alward says the required legislation won't be changed before the toll increase:

 Alward doesn't expect everything to come together to remove the tolls before the March 31st target date.

Point LePreau is Premier's Top Priority

Premier Alward says his top priority is to ensure the upgrade at Point Lepreau is finished safely and as quickly as possible.Alward met privately with Prime Minister Harper late Friday afternoon here in the port city -- and -- the Premier says Atomic Energy Canada Limited is stepping up its efforts to complete the reactor overhaul:

The premier says Harper asked for an update on the project which is over budget and behind schedule -- meantime -- the Prime Minister says A-E-C-L will meet its contractual obligations on the project -- the province wants the federal government to cover the cost overruns.

Premier Alward Discusses Meeting With Prime Minister Harper

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sleepover Planned for King's Square

The issue of homelessness and the need for shelter in the winter months is being raised by some concerned citizens.

A group of people in connection with Making Poverty History and the Greater Saint John Homelessness Steering Committee will be staying the night in King's Square beginning at 8 o'clock in order to raise awareness on the issue.

They are also looking to drum up support for the possibility of opening up a temporary shelter on the city's coldest nights.

The awareness event is part of National Housing Week.

Two Parades Today

A busy Saturday with day and night Christmas parades.

The 6th annual Lancaster Santa Claus parade starts at 1pm on the West side.
The route begins at Barnhill school on Manawagonish Road to Main Street West to Ready Street onto Fairville Boulevard finishing at the Sobey's plaza.

A free shuttle bus will be leaving the Sobey's parking lot starting at 10:30 and running every 15 minutes until 12:45.

The 12th Annual Santa Claus parade put on by the towns of Quispamsis and Rothesay is coming up tonight in the K.V.

It leaves KV High at 6pm travelling along the Hampton Road to Clark Road ending at the intersection of the Clark and Marr Roads.

Don't forget your letter for Santa and a non-perishable food item for the KV Food Basket.

Weston Looks Ahead To Water Treatment

Saint John M-P Rodney Weston says he's feeling a sense of satisfaction with the agreement to remove the Harbour Bridge tolls.

Weston says both levels of government will be working with the Harbour Bridge Authority to ease the impact on employees.

He adds he will continue to work with the city and the province on funding for a new water treatment plant.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Weston Says Harbour Bridge Agreement Honours Commitment

Finance Minister Sees Bridge Deal Heralding New Era Of Cooperation

Finance Minister Blaine Higgs tells CHSJ News finalizing the deal to remove the bridge tolls is the forerunner of a new era of cooperation with the federal government.
He says we needed to clear the air on this issue because it's been an irritant in many ways at the federal - provincial level.
The minister says he's encouraged this is another move forward for us to make things happen in this province.
And Higgs says the money is in place for the provincial commitment to the deal despite an ongoing effort to cut one percent from the spending of all departments.

Tolls To Be Removed From Harbour Bridge By Spring


     (Saint John Harbour Bridge At Night)
(Photo Courtesy Of Provincial Government)

Prime Minister Harper announcing the Harbour Bridge will be toll free by the end of March. He says the tolls serve no purpose because they have not reduced the debt while impeding business.

The Prime Minister did not directly mention the previous Liberal Government which rejected essentially the same deal but did say you have a choice in government to either fight or work together to do something.

Harper also says his government is cancelling the debt on the bridge which exceeds 20 milion dollars and will split the 35 million dollar cost of upgrades now being done.

Jim Irving of J-D Irving welcomes removal of tolls which he says will save his company 150 thousand dollars a year.

Wellness, Culture and Tourism Minister Trevor Holder calls this the dawn of a new era claiming the people of Saint John have been treated unfairly for 40 years.

There Will Be Job Losses With Removal Of Tolls

(Bob McDevitt Who Chairs Harbour Bridge Authority)
               (Photo by Brian McLain)

Removal of the tolls on the Harbour Bridge is being described as a proud day for Saint John but there is a downside as well. Bob McDevitt of the Harbour Bridge Authority says 8 fulltime employees will find themselves out of work. One employee has been with them 30 years.

McDevitt goes on to say alot of issues still have to be worked out and the fate of the employees is one of them. There will also have to be engineering work done to remove the toll plaza.

McDevitt fully expects to see the Harbour Bridge Authority itself to be dissolved.

Hospital Home Lottery Nearly Sold Out

Time is quickly evaporating for you to be a part of the hospital home lottery.
There is less than a week left to get your tickets for a chance at winning the grand prize show home in Cedar Point Anchorage.
Tim Cameron of the Saint John Regional Hospital foundation tells CHSJ News they have better odds that many other lotteries.

Cameron says there is a 1 in 20 chance of winning some kind of prizes with over 24,000 prizes available.
The lottery is more than 90 per cent sold out with the deadline to buy tickets next Thursday, December 2nd at midnight.
To find the link to buy a ticket, click here

Harper Announcing Harbour Bridge Tolls Will Be Scrapped

Prime Minister Harper has made it official - tolls will be removed from the Harbour Bridge no later than March 31st of next year.

As reported - the federal government will forgive the bridge's 23 million dollar debt and will split the cost of the 35 million dollar upgrade currently underway with the provincial government.

The province will assume ownership of the bridge and scrap the tolls.  Harper made the announcement a short time ago during a news conference at the Marco Polo cruise terminal.

203 People Waiting For Nursing Home Beds

(file photo)

The strain on nursing homes will only get worse as a growing number of people in the province age. That word from the C-E-O at Loch Lomand Villa, Cindy Donovan. She told the Horizon Health Network nursing home residents are older and sicker than they were years ago.

She says it's definitely evident that the demographics are moving with a bigger elderly population and things are going to get worse.

She adds there are 203 people on the waiting list between Sussex and St. Stephen.

Donovan says the provincial government is looking now at the level of care nursing homes require.

PM Meets With Local Small Business Owners

(ACOA Minister Keith Ashfield, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, MP Rodney Weston and Encore Interactive Inc.'s John Swan)
A group of small business owners giving their input to the Prime Minister on how Ottawa can help them grow internationally.
The roundtable discussion held to find new ideas for the next round of the government's economic action plan.
John Swan of Encore Interactive says international travel is essential to their growth.

He says in their case investment means going to California, New York and doing good business with software companies that will take a Saint John company global.
Swan adds provincial and federal government support is essential to a small companies success and they are happy to provide input whenever they ask for it.

Slippery Streets In The City

City police responding to series of accidents around town due to slippery conditions.

Streets in greater Saint John and the highways are reported to be greasy so drivers are reminded to take their time, reduce their speed and adjust to the conditions.

The snow is supposed to change to rain early this afternoon.

Fiscal Update Reveals Higher Provincial Deficit

More bad financial news from the Alward government.
Finance Minister Blaine Higgs releasing an update today predicting the deficit will swell to more than 820 million dollars this year.

He says the debt could hit 9.6 billion.
Higgs says the deepening sea of red ink is not sustainable and the province is looking at all ways of getting things under control.

Hiring Freeze In Healthcare Imposed By New Provincial Government

(Horizon Health Vice-President Vicki Squires)
      (Photo Courtesy of Horizon Health)

The Horizon Health Network, which runs hospitals around the province, has been told by the Alward government to freeze hiring in healthcare. That revelation emerging from a meeting Horizon held in the city last night.

The hiring freeze does not apply to doctors. Horizon's Vice-President of Organisation Development, Vicki Squires tells CHSJ News each job opening will be evaluated with patient care in mind and so it may not impact nurses.

At the same time, the meeting also heard there are longer wait times for some medical procedures including mammography and ultrasounds because of staffing shortages.

Big Announcement Coming On Harbour Bridge

(Saint John Harbour Bridge)
          (File Photo)

It's good news for thousands of commuters using the Harbour Bridge. Our sources in Ottawa confirm Prime Minister Harper will announce a deal to remove the tolls from the bridge during a news conference this afternoon.

Harper will be joined by Saint John M-P Rodney Weston and Premier David Alward for the news conference being held at the Marco Polo cruise terminal.

The deal will see the 23-million dollar debt on the bridge eliminated with Ottawa paying for half of the 35-million dollar repair job underway - the province will assume ownership of the bridge and scrap the tolls.

Norton Bank Held Up By Armed Robber

The RCMP are looking for your help in nabbing an armed robber who, just before noonhour yesterday, held up the National Bank on Route 124 in Norton.

The suspect, armed with a handgun, is described as being from 5'10" to 6 feet tall. He was wearing, at the time, a black hat and mask, long black coat and black wind pants. He left the bank with an undisclosed amount of cash and then stole a black Lincoln Navigator from a person who happened to be in the bank at the time.

The Lincoln was found a short time later in a parking lot on Route 124 across from an Irving Station.

Anyone who was in a vehicle or saw the Lincoln coming or going from the public parking lot between 11:00 yesterday morning and 12:30 in the afternoon is being asked to get in touch with the RCMP at 433-7700 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

Chance Harbour Fire May Have Been Set Deliberately

(Musquash Firefighters Battle Blaze In Chance Harbour)
     (Photo Courtesy Of Captain Andrew Sanojca)

The RCMP are investigating a suspicious fire in the Musquash area. A house under construction on Route 790 at Chance Harbour went up in flames last night. A nearby volunteer firefighter noticed the blaze shortly after 9:30 but the structure was fully engulfed in flames and a pile of debris was found burning behind the unfinished home.

Saint John "Y" Awards Peace Medal For 2010

A tireless worker for the City's poor and a giving student receiving awards from the Saint John Y.

Juanita Black will receive the 2010 Peace Medal Award for 35 years volunteering and fighting for those living in poverty.

Black tells CHSJ News she thinks the Alward government will continue the work began by the Liberals on this issue because more has to be done to help the poor.

Black and this year's Youth Peacemaker Award winner, St. Malachy's student Heather Atcheson, get their awards this morning at the Lily Lake Pavillion.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Quispamsis Announces Court Date Over Dogs Case

The Town of Quispamis is going to court next year over the case of two dogs they have impounded.

In a news release the town says since June 2010, they have received six separate complaints about these dogs and two involved biting.
They say the facts and information that support their decision to bring this forward to the courts will come out at the trial.

In the meantime, the dogs are being boarded at a reputable facility and they are living indoors in a safe and healthy environment.

They maintain the dogs are being well cared for receiving proper attention, exercise, food and water and veterinarian care as needed.
The dogs will remain there until a ruling on their fate comes from the Provincial Court.

The trial is set for January 12th.

Enbridge Says Their Customer Numbers Are Going Up

The large industrial customers are complaining one reason for Enbridge Gas applying to increase its delivery charges for natural gas in the province is the company's failure to sufficiently grow the number of customers. Enbridge General Manager Dave Charleson tells CHSJ News the number of people in the province using natural gas has been going up year by year.

He says it's increasing between 8 and 10 per cent a year and they would like to see more and he says it's reasonable pace of growth.
Charleson says the biggest challenge is the number of people living in homes with electric baseboard heating which costs many thousands of dollars to switch.

CAA Approves Of Proposed Legislation To Curb Driver Dristraction

The Canadian Automobile Association is applauding the introduction of provincial legislation aimed at reducing accidents caused by driver distraction. The legislation would prohibit drivers from using texting devices, portable entertainment devices and hand-held cellphones. The C-A-A's Gary Howard says it's welcome news.

He says they believe it goes further than dealing with the issues of distracted driving and enforcement will be the next step and the final and most component they think is public education are the dangers of distracted driving.

Howard points to research showing 25 per cent of all traffic collisions are caused by distracted drivers and most of these can be traced to the use of mobile devices.

ACAP Saint John Also Vying For Aviva Contest Funding

ACAP Saint John also has an entry in the Aviva Community Fund contest.

Executive Director Tim Vickers tells CHSJ News their project centres on the Marsh Creek Eco Challenge.

He says it would put people into the Marsh creek watershed and see what it has to offer and it would also include a bio blitz where students and biologists and students would identify to fish, birds, reptiles and mammals.

He adds it will also include the Eco Challage that may involve mountain biking, canoeing or kayaking.
This round of the voting ends tomorrow but, Vickers feels with their entry in third place now they will make into the top ten.

Saint John has two other entries, one from the Saint John Community Loan Fund and a memorial playground at Seawood school.

To vote for the ACAP project click here

Two People Trapped After Truck Leaves Road

City firefighters responding to a pickup truck leaving the Old Westfield Road last night between the Co-Op and Sobeys shortly after 7:30 . District Fire Chief Eric Garland says the truck rolled over and wound up in a ditch on its side. A man and woman were trapped inside. They were eventually lifted out and taken to hospital.

Unions Are Divided Over Planned City Pension Changes

The city's outside workers union has accepted the proposed changes to its pension plan but Jim Stanley of the Canadian Union of Public Employees tells CHSJ News the members aren't happy about it but recognised the economic realities.

He says they were confronted with the possibility of the city tax rate rising by 17 cents. Despite that, the inside workers at City Hall have voted against the planned changes but Stanley says discussions are continuing and that could change. The Firefighters Union has not spoken publicly about what it thinks.

According to the Saint John Police Association, police department management was not kept in the loop about the changes that were passed by Common Council. The police union is urging M-L-A's to reject the proposed changes claiming there are other options that have not been examined.

Stanley maintains 30 or 40 options were looked at but there was no agreement on what the final package would be.

Child Poverty Rate Down But Future Outlook Doesn't Look Good

17,000 children live in poverty in this province but the child poverty rate is down 5 per cent.

The Human Development Council has released its report card on child poverty with statistics from 2008 that do not reflect the economic realties brought on by the recession.
Researcher Kathryn Asher says they expect things to get worse before they get better with increases in the social assistance caseloads and in the usage of food banks.

Asher adds while the child poverty rate is down, the proportion of children living in working poor famillies is on the rise.

Saint John Board Of Trade Honours Outstanding Businesses

(One Of The Awards Handed Out By Saint John Board Of Trade)
                      (Photo by Nelson Hum)

The Saint John Board of Trade hosting the 26th annual Outstanding Business Achievement Awards.The event recognizes companies or individuals in the community that aid business development and increase economic progress in the city.

Kelson and Kelson Limited picked up the Entrepreneurial Achievement Award with its President Terry Kelson telling CHSJ News things look promising for New Brunswick as a place to do business.

Other recipients include Dillion Consulting for Business Excellence, Clinic Server in the Emerging Enterprise Category, Kiera Fraser of Ju Suis Prest Boutique for the Young Entrepreneur Award and the Saint John Kiwanis Club takes home the Big Heart Award for community work.

Price of Diesel Drops After Weekly Setting

Very little change in the price of self serve regular after the weekly setting. It's selling for $105.5 around town. Diesel has dropped a couple of cents and it listed at $109.7 in the city. Heating oil is at 95.3 cents a litre and propane stands at $107.4.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Survey Plane Causes Some Concerns

A plane during a survey along the natural gas pipeline in the Musquash area causing some concern this afternoon -- a motorist saw a plane go below the tree tops in the Five Fathom Hole area.

RCMP tell us checked with Halifax search and rescue along with some airports but failed to turn up any reports of a missing plane -- but -- a helicopter was dispatched from Greenwood to help do a quick check of the area just in case.
It was finally traced back to the plane flying at a low level checking out the pipeline right of way.

Saint John Police Association Accusing City Of Steamrolling Pension Changes Through

(Labour Analyst For Saint John Police Association Bob Davidson)
                   (Photo by Brian McLain)

The Saint John Police Association is accusing the city of not examining all the options with the financially beleaguered municipal pension plan and is appealing to the M-L-A's not to approve the changes.

Retired CUPE Rep Bob Davidson is acting as a labour analyst for the police union. He says Common Council refused to listen to an option that was put together by an actuary commissed by the Police Association. Davidson says that option was presented to the M-L-A's in the Saint John caucus and, in his view, was enthusiastically received.

Peter Haslett of the Police Association accuses City Manager Pat Woods of flying by the seat of his pants with these changes and what they will mean for the bottom line because he doesn't know what the financial ramifications will be.

Davidson says there are several Common Councillors who are on the provincial pension plan which was not cut and he accuses them of being hypocritical in wanting to slice and dice city pensions.

He also warns it will be more difficult to retain and attract new police officers because of the elimination of the disability pension and the fact they will have to work longer to retirement than they do in other cities such as Fredericton.

Councilor Wants Derelict Buildings By-Law Moved Forward

Councillor Peter McGuire wants things sped up when it comes to legislation on dealing with derelict buildings.

According to the latest update from the province, the Department of Local Government plans to hold workshops with municipalities, including one in Saint John, to explore legislation on derelict buildings in early 2011.

McGuire says he wants a more specific and quicker timeline.

He says he will speak with the province in hopes of speeding things up and adds the city built the By-law so all they need is approval from the province.