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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Senator Mike Duffy in Saint John for Atlantic Caucas

(Senator Mike Duffy)
(photo by Jim Hennessy)

Admitting the Conservatives should have done a better job explaining why Parliament was being shut down, Senator Mike Duffy spent some time speaking with our news-room on the topic. Duffy tells CHSJ News, despite what many believe, the Olympics were not the focus behind the decision:
Duffy says Parliment was prorogued because Liberal Senators refused to pass a drug trafficking bill which said if you have over five marijuana plants you are a trafficker and upped the amount to 200.

Caucus Meeting Hailed a Success

(Conservative Caucus Adresses Media Following Session)
                     (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

The Atlantic Conservative Caucus meeting held in Saint John is being hailed a success. Three presentations on energy, forestry and anti-poverty initiatives were made to the room full of MP's, Ministers and Senators. Saint John MP Rodney Weston tells CHSJ News, all issues discussed in the session are confidential but plenty of material was gathered for pre-budget consultations.

The foresty presentation said it appreciates the help recently from Ottawa to the industry but they still have issues including access to credit for small operators. Also included in the conversation was the Princess of Acadia service and the Atlantic Gateway.

Province to boost Awareness of Non-Profit Groups

The Graham Government wants you to know more about volunteering.
The Province will provide information, training and morefor community volunteers and non-profit organizations.
Brian Kenny, Minister for the Community Non-Profit Organizations Secretariat announced today their operating budget is $378-thousand dollars for 2010-2011.

Kenny adds their initiatives include finding training sessions to help non-profits develop capacity, establish a website, newsletter and database.  The government plans to makes courses available to help non-profits groups and their volunteers with leadership, communication and more.
Space is limited, to register, non-profit groups can call 1-888-295-4545.

Still No Cash for the Harbour Bridge

Time continues to tick away for the Harbour Bridge Authority and it's bid for cash to carry out repairs on the structure. Over $30 million dollars is needed and Authority General Manager Ken Anthony tells CHSJ News, at this point, they still need permission from Ottawa and City Hall to secure any funding.

Anthony is quick to point out the bridge is safe but notes that speed and weight restrictions might need to be put in place if repairs aren't carried out soon.

Last Chance to Make a Donation

(Haitian Child Receiving Treatment Following Earthquake)
                         (File Photo)

With Friday the deadline for matching federal funds on individuals donations for Haiti relief, the Red Cross is doing it's part. the Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton offices will remain open until 6:30pm if anyone is looking to help out at the last minute. Spokes-person Dan Bedell tells CHSJ News, with the exception of the Tsuanami, this is the organizations largest humanitarian relief effort.

To date, the Red Cross itself has received over $86 million dollars and two thirds of that is individual donations:

Atlantic Caucus Meeting in Saint John

         (Conservative Caucus Don Seadogs Jersey)
                  (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

For the first time, a meeting of the Atlantic Caucus is being held outside of Ottawa. Saint John will provide the back-drop for the meeting today, hosted by Saint John MP Rodney Weston. He tells CHSJ News, when presented with the opportunity, he jumped at it.

There are various presenters lined up to meet with the caucus throughout the day and time set aside for members to deliberate on a number of issues. Members of the Atlantic Caucus include MP's, Ministers and Senators from the Atlantic region.

Saint John Fundy MLA Talks About Decision

(Saint John Fundy MLA Stuart Jaimeson)
         (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

Saint John Fundy MLA Stuart Jaimeson is setting the record straight on why he was forced to resign his tourism minister's post a day after resigning from the Liberal caucus. He points out he did not break confidentiality as reported by the press but because he says the NB Power/Hydro Quebec proposal should be put to a vote. Jaimeson tells CHSJ News, he has faced some huge issues in his political career but this has been a huge burden.
Jaimeson says after serving since 1987, he will not re-offer in the fall provincial vote scheduled for September.27th.

Education Meetings Continue

If you have a child or children in a District Eight school, you might want to make note of this. The second in a series of five education town hall meetings is scheduled for tomorrow night. They are being hosted by District Eight and Education Chair Rob Fowler tells CHSJ News, they covered a wide variety of topics at the first meeting last month in Grand Bay Westfield.

Tomorrow night's meeting gets started at seven o'clock at Havelock School.

Seadogs have Some Company for the Memorial Cup

There is some company for the Saint John Seadogs and it's bid to host the 2012 Memorial Cup. The Halifax Mooseheads have officially entered the race as well and Dogs President Wayne Long tells CHSJ News, he isn't spending a lot of time thinking about who else is in the running.
Long adds not only is it a bonus for the team but huge spin-offs for Greater Saint John as well and feels the Seadogs bid is solid with a first class facility, upgrades to the scoreboard underway and some of the best junior talent from coast to coast. The Mooseheads hosted the Memorial Cup back in 2000.

New Stock Exchange in Saint John

This country's newest traders, the Canadian National Stock Exchange will make a presentation at the Trade and Convention Center today. It's being hosted by the New Brunswick Securities Commission and Executive Director Rick Hancox tells CHSJ News the newest stock exchange is geared towards emerging companies a;ong with those wanting to grow and are need of investment money to do so. The presentation gets started at nine o'clock in the Montagu Rooms.

Valentines for Vets in Grand Bay-Westfield

(Grand Bay-Westfield Mayor Grace Losier)
(File Photo)

It's a first for the Town of Grand-Bay Westfield as it pays tribute to Valentine's Day and their local Veterans. Residents are encouraged to sign a Valentine and Mayor Grace Losier says they will be distributed to as many local vets as possible.
The Valentines are available for signing at the Town office from 9am to 5pm until Friday. Local schools will also be taking part. Losier likes the idea of acknowledging veterans outside of Remembrance Day.

Saint John Fundy M-L-A Stuart Jamieson Leaves Liberal Caucus

(Saint John Fundy M-L-A Stuart Jamieson)
(File Photo)

Saint John Fundy M-L-A Stuart Jamieson who was forced out of the provincial cabinet for his position on N-B Power has decided to leave the Liberal caucus. Jamieson was tourism minister until he was asked by Premier Shawn Graham to resign last week after insisting the proposed sale of 10 power plants to Hydro-Quebec be put to a public referendum. Jamieson says he stands by his decision and fears the public will not support the deal unless they have a say in it. He will continue to sit as a Liberal in the legislature and remains in support of the proposed agreement. Meantime, members of the Saint John Liberal Caucus continue to weigh in with their thoughts on Jamieson.Saint John Harbour and Supply and Services Minister Ed Doherty tells CHSJ News he disagrees with Jamieson's stand on the issue and adds there is no crack in the caucus which, he claims, remains committed to the deal.

Future of Energy Hub And Second Reactor At Point Lepreau

The energy hub in Saint John is gone.........That word coming from University of Moncton Professor Yves Gagnon who's the K-C Irving Chair in Sustainable Development. He also tells CHSJ News you can pretty much forget about a second reactor at Lepreau ever being built because he sees nuclear power as transitional. On the other hand, Gagnon says the province has important renewable energy assets such as tidal power, biomass and could even become, in his words, the Saudi Arabia of wind power.