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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Port Authority Reacts to Long Wharf News

(Port Authority Captain Al Soppitt Speaking to the Media)
                  (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

The Saint John Port Authority is expressing it's disappointment with news about the future of Long Wharf. Captain Al Soppitt says final site preperations for Long Wharf and the former lantic Sugar Refinery were underway between Fort Reliance and the City Officials.

Captain Soppitt adds Long Wharf is a vital tool for this and cruise ship seasons to come for the larger vessels coming in to service. As for clean-up of the pre-construction work on Long Wharf, Soppitt is confident Fort Reliance will live up to it's commitment of returning the site to it's original state.

Saint John Waterfront Development calls Long Wharf decision unfortunate

While they think today's announcement from Fort Reliance is unfortunate, it's business as usual for the Saint John Waterfront Development.
Chairman Charles Swanton says they will continue to facilitate, encourage and lead waterfront development in many areas.
Two weeks ago, they sponsored an open house on 12 projects including Reversing Rapids, Patridge Island and Long Wharf Slip.
Vice Chairman Bill MacMackin says several key waterfront projects being worked on in various stages of development.

Mayor Ivan Court calls Long Wharf decision disappointing

(file photo)

Mayor Ivan Court calls today's announcement from Fort Reliance that plans will not proceed on Long Wharf with a new headquarters kind of a shock and disappointing.
Court tells CHSJ news says he expects there will be future partnerships with Fort Reliance.
Court says it would have been more devastating news if they said they were pulling up stakes but, they are not doing that.
Court adds they are part of the economic engine that keeps this city going.

Long Wharf Deal is Dead

Just seven months after announcing it was shelving plans for a second refinery, the parent company of Irving Oil has dropped another bomb-shell. In a news release, Fort Reliance confirms days of speculation that it will not move ahead with it's plan to build a new headquarters on Long Wharf. Spokes-person Daniel Goodwin tells CHSJ News, this is disappointing not just for the community but the company as well.

As for any hope this project may be ""reborn"" some time down the road, Goodwin adds this project will not proceed but appreciates the communities support through the entire process.

Day in Court for 55-Year Old Man

Facing three charges, Adrienne Le-Page has pleaded guilty to two, armed robbery and abduction during a brief court appearance today. The 55-year old said not guilty to the third charge of attempted murder. It was back on November.30th that Le-Page walked into the Barnwood Pub in Quispamsis looking for cash and in the process of the robbery, also took the woman working at the bar with him when he left.
She was dropped off in Lepreau a few hours later. The next court appearance for Le-Page is April.8th.

The Fight Against Proposed Power Merger Rages On

(NB People First at a Recent Rally at the Legislature)
                 (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

Protesters plan to be on hand in St. Stephen late this afternoon when David Ganong, who chaired the six member panel who approved of the NB Power sale to Hydro Quebec, makes a public presentation. Bethany Thorne Dykstra of Put NB People First tells CHSJ News this deal is being made for the benefit of the large companies in the province.

Dykstra scoffs at the notion the panel was truly independent because the members will either profit from the agreement, were handpicked by the government or get their pay cheques from the province.

Who Wants to Pay for Repairs to the Harbour Bridge

                   (Mayor Ivan Court)
                    (File Photo) 

The issue of who is going to fund the repairs to the Harbour Bridge continues with Tourism Minister Stuart Jamieson writing a letter to the mayor. Mayor Ivan Court says in the letter it states the province is willing to open discussions over a loan to help with repairs to the bridge, but only if there is a guarantee from the federal government the tolls will not be removed.

Court says from the looks of it, the province is willing to get involved but only if the debt continues to be paid down by the tolls.

Grand Manan Names It's New Ferry

The name of the new, 82-car ferry to link Grand Manan with the mainland is the Adventure. The $65 million dollar contract to build the vessel was announced last spring and is being built by a shipyard in Florida. Construction continues and officials tell us the part of the ship that will hold the engines and generators is currently being worked on.

The new ferry will operate year-round and the MS Grand Manan V will become the summer ferry. The new ferry should be in the water by next spring.

The Fight Against Obesity

Childhood obesity in Saint John is no joke. That's one reason an effort is being made to set up a co-ed Atom football team in the south end for players 10 and 11 years of age. Barry Ogden chairs the city's recreation committee. He tells CHSJ News every dollar spent on recreation saves four dollars in health care costs.
Ogden says all of the equipment will be supplied and if you're interested, give him a call at 658-59-11.

Woman Thrown Out of a Window

It was like a scene out of a movie when a woman was thrown out of a window from a home on Church Avenue in Sussex yesterday. Sussex RCMP were called to the home just before seven last night to find the 48-year old woman and a 52 year old man had been assualted. Officers tells us a 53-year old man walked into the home, uninvited and assualted both who were taken to hospital and treated for cuts.

The man was found a short time later drunk and taken into custody. He does know both the man and woman that were assualted. He will appear before a judge today answering to a charge of assualt.

Peel Plaza Development Moves Ahead

(Peel Plaza Development)
(File Photo)

The province is officially on board with Peel Plaza. Common Council has approved a memorandum of understanding with the province that details cost sharing associated with Peel Plaza.
The provincial contribution is nearly 10 million dollars, and Mayor Ivan Court says this is the time to proceed with interest rates low. Councillor Chris Titus says the beauty of the MOU is that the city can opt out of it but the province can't. The project is expected to be completed by May 2012 with shovels going into the ground this spring.

Deputy Mayor Votes Against Peel Plaza Development

There was one nay when voting on whether to sign the M-O-U with the province relating to Peel Plaza.
Deputy Mayor Stephen Chase says since the province is committing to the parking facility and the justice complex, maybe the city should continue to seek out a better venue for the new police station.
Chase says he can't support signing the document because it's not even known how much Peel Plaza is going to cost the city.

New Housing Construction In The North End

You may soon notice some construction activity in empty lots along Churchill Boulevard in the North End. The provincial government is getting ready to replace public housing which was torn down almost two years ago. Social Development Minister Kelly Lamrock tells CHSJ News there is money in is department's capital budget for the project and construction should begin some time this year.

Price of Beer Could Be Rising Soon

Moosehead Breweries will apply for a 25 cent increase in the price for a case of beer this spring. That word comes a day after Prince Edward Island Jacked up the price of a case of beer by 50 cents. Joel Levesque is Vice-President of Communications and tells CHSJ News, they normally apply for any increases in the spring.
The last increase for the price of beer in this province happened last fall. Right now, depending on the brand and what kind of promotion is going on, the price for 12 beer varies between $18 and $21 dollars.