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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chemical Spill in the Uptown

         (Haz-Mat Unit at Red Rose Tea Building)
                 (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

A few tense moments for people working at the Red Rose Tea building. It had to be evacuated just before one o'clock after a pressure vessel ruptured on the third floor computer room. Deputy Chief Mark Gillan tells CHSJ News, the vessel contains a fire extinguishing product that is an asphyxiant but the quantity of the product didn't concern them that it would start moving through the building and make people drop to the floor.

Crews are still on scene (as of 3pm) ventilating the building and nobody was hurt.

Lamrock comments on NB Power deal

Provincial Social Development Minister Kelly Lamrock concedes it will be a huge job.
He's talking about a wholesale revamping of the social assistance system which will mean getting rid of the rules that don't make sense while ensuring the system won't be abused. Lamrock, who expressed reservations about the original Hydro Quebec deal for NB Power, says he hasn't had a lot of time to think about the opposition's motion to hold a referendum on the sale.
Lamrock says he hopes some people still care about poverty and literacy
and not contributing to the NB Power drama.
The issue of a referendum is expected to be debated today in the Legislature.

Local Pioneer may get National Recognition

A Saint John woman could be recognised as a person of historical significance by the federal government thanks, in large part, to the work done by a home schooled student in the city. Mariah Russell tells CHSJ News she researched the life of Mabel Peters who is considered the pioneer of playgrounds but has been largely forgotten.

Russell says Peters was concerned that young people had no safe places to play even though she did not have any children of her own. There has been talk of erecting some sort of monument, perhaps along the waterfront.

Fire Crews respond to chemical spill at Red Rose Tea building

The Saint John Fire Department are at the scene of a chemical spill at the Red Rose Tea Building.
Deputy Fire Chief Mark Gillen tells CHSJ news the source of the spill was a ruptured container on the third floor.
About 20 litres of the product that displaces oxygen was released into the building.
Gillen adds they are putting together a plan to ventilate the building and they should know in about an hour if the occupants can back in today.
City police have traffic blocked at Union and St. Patrick Streets,
St. Patrick and Smythe Streets and at Smythe Street and Station Street.

Maintenace Project at the Refinery

Don't be suprised if you find a letter from Irving Oil in your mail in the coming days if you live in East Saint John. It's concerning a maintenance project that will be carried out for the next six weeks at it's refinery. A good portion of the work will take place in the gasoline treating units and the heavy oil conversion unit. This project means 100 contract workers have steady work for the next month and a half.

The work is not weather dependant so officials at the refinery expect the work will finish up in the six week time frame.

Highway Work Project Announced

(Section of Highway One Where Work Will Happen)
                (Photo Courtesy of D.O.T)

More cash has been awarded by the Province for highway work. Eleven companies have been hired to clear land for a new highway corridor. The work will prepare for the construction of a four-lane highway between Waweig and Lepreau. Total cost of the project is $900,000 dollars and Charlotte the Iles and Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet tells CHSJ News, there will also be over 100km's of moose fencing put in place.

Minister Doucet adds this project is also great economic development for the trade corridor.

Smal and Medium Business on Power Deal

A new report has been released by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business concerning the NB Power/Hydro Quebec deal. It surveyed small and medium size businesses to get their feelings on the proposal, what it means now and in the future. Spokes-person Judith Andrew tells CHSJ News, there are still a lot of questions that have been left un-answered.

Andrew adds one aspect of electricity pricing CFIB members continue to find unacceptable is cross-subsidization in the rates, with small businesses partially footing the bills of others. Members feel all customers should pay the true cost of their electricity use.

Elderly Couple Going to Jail

For trafficking drugs, an elderly couple is going to prison. 68-year old Anita Esliger will be locked up for four months followed by 18 months probation. Her 72-year old husband Durbin is going to prison for three years and can't own a weapon for ten years.

The two were arrested by RCMP back in 2007 during an under-cover operation which went after street level drug traffickers.

Update on Amonia Leak at Moosehead

         (Moosehead Breweries on the West Side)
                            (File Photo)

An amonia leak at Moosehead Breweries last week continues to be put under the spotlight by Worksafe NB and internal investigators looking for answers into what happened. The facility had to be evacuated and shut down last Monday afternoon when a pipe that was being worked on began to leak.
At this point we can tell you that all safety and proper procedures were followed to the letter. Two workers had to be sent to the Regional to be checked out but both are going to be fine.

Gas Prices Decline Again

Another drop in gas prices following the weekly setting. The maximum price that can be charged for self serve regular is 99.7 a litre but it's being sold in the city for 97.1. The maximum for diesel is 104.1 and it's being sold in Saint John for 101.4. In Grand Bay-Westfield, self serve is at 96.1 and diesel is a dollar point 4. Heating oil is at 87.2 and propane has increased to 117.2 a litre.

19 People Evacuate North End Apartment Building After Fire Breaks Out

(Fire Crews On Scene of Boyd Street Fire)

No one was hurt after a fire in an apartment building at Rockwood Court in the North End. The cause is under investigation.
Fire crews responded to the building at 8 Boyd Street just before 5 o'clock.
The fire was confined to one apartment and a storage area. There were 19 people living in one wing of the building who had to be evacuated and were displaced for the night. Most will be returning to their apartments once the mess is cleared up as early as today.

New French Immersion Program To Start In Saint John Schools

(District 8 School Superintendent Susan Tipper)
(File Photo)

The next school year marks the beginning of a Grade 3 French Immersion program, and the Superintendent of District 8 is urging parents to attend information sessions.
Susan Tipper tells CHSJ News, there are 5 schools currently being considered for the program, but it all depends on the enrollment numbers.
The information sessions will be held on February 22nd at Barnhill and Prince Elizabeth schools, and on March 11th at River Valley and Bayside schools and Tipper suggests parents attend the meetings to make an informed choice.

Saint John Company To Be Honoured

(Saint John M-P Rodney Weston)
(File Photo)

Saint John MP Rodney Weston will present a Canadian Innovation Leader Certificate to Kinek Technologies.
Kinek Technologies provides the “Kinek Alternative Delivery Solution” ensuring safe, convenient parcel delivery and receipt, and a “Wellness Record” software providing secure health and wellness program management.
The certificate is being handed out this afternoon at the Kinek offices on Canterbury Street.

Potential Job Growth in Quispamsis

With the continued residential and commerical growth in Quispamsis, Enterprise Saint John thinks it has unlimited potential for employment opportunities. CEO Steve Carson tells CHSJ News, the focus for the group now is finding people in the town without jobs.
Carson says the typical work available in the town comes from small businesses and an untapped resource would be contact centres adding spouses who generally look after the children and do not work because of travel restrictions, would benefit greatly from that type of industry.