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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

United Way Ends 50th Anniversary Campaign Over The Top

Peninsula Liquor Store Closer to Reality

One person has come forward showing interest in setting up an NB Liquor agency store on the Kingston Peninsula now that the deadline has passed.

Spokes-person Nora Lacey tells CHSJ News, the one application will be evaluated and then reviewed by the board of directors next month.

If the application is approved, a site evaluation of where the store is to be located is then carried out.

Lacey says best case scenario, a new liquor outlet for the Peninsula could be open by the Long Weekend in May.

Construction of Law Courts Building Underway

(Premier Graham Announces New Law Courts)
           (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

Phase one of construction of the $50 million dollar Law Courts on the former YM-YWCA site on Hazen Avenue is underway.

The contract has been awarded to Bird Construction for just over $6.3 million dollars. Premier Shawn Graham says he is very excited about this project.

Graham adds 450 jobs will be created during the construction of the new law courts. The building is scheduled to be open by 2012.

What About New Police Station

(Artists Conception of Peel Plaza)
              (File Photo)

With construction of the new Law Courts building moving ahead, what about a new police station?

Mayor Ivan Court tells CHSJ News, he expects an announcement concerning the new headquarters in about two weeks.

Court adds a new garage with over 200 parking spaces will also be constructed on the site.

Design of the New Law Courts Building

(Artists Design of New Law Courts Building)
           (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

Murdoch and Boyd Architects designed the new Law Courts building and Greg Murdoch tells CHSJ News, he is very happy with the final design which they have been working on for the past four years, 150,000 square feet and six stories high.

The building will also feature among other things, 13 court-rooms, a barristers lounge and sheriff services.

Annual Spring Burn at Gagetown

April.1st is when officials at Base Gagetown will get started with it's annual Spring Grass Burning Program.

 It is carried out every year to reduce the accumulation of dead grass on various ranges and impact areas in the training area.

It's also hoped the burn will reduce the risk of fires happening later in the season when it is more likely to happen.

The area's to be burned are in the north central, southeast and western portions of the training area.
Burning will happen during normal working hours when the weather co-operates and there may be some burning done on the weekend as well. The burn is scheduled to finish up May.15th.

Liberal House Leader Comments on Future of Jamieson

The final decision on whether the MLA for Saint John Fundy will return to caucus appears to be squarely on the shoulders of Premier Graham.
The Liberal party has approached Stuart Jamieson about returning to caucus but he says he won't return unless he is returned to his former cabinet post of Tourism and Parks.

House Leader Greg Byrne tells CHSJ News, the Premier is the only one who can make that happen.

Byrne adds the bottom line is the decision is Jamieson's to make alone.

New Literacy Program at Community College

(Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour
             Minister Donald Arsenault)
              (Photo by Jim Hennessy) 

Community College in East Saint John has a new center of excellence to help improve adult literacy and promote continued learning in the workplace.

It is called Workplace Essential Skills and post-secondary education, training and labour minister Donald Arsenault says his department continues to make literacy a top priority.

The first center opened last year in Bathurst and now includes 35 initiatives around the Province.

Some of the businesses taking part in the program include Fundy Drywall and Ganong Bros in St. Stephen.

Mayor Defends City's Record On Energy Conservation

(Mayor Ivan Court)
      (File Photo)

Mayor Ivan Court says he's sick and tired of the city being accused of missing an opportunity this past weekend to conserve energy during earth hour. Court says the city has implemented energy conservation measures that have saved taxpayers more than a million dollars a year.
The Mayor calls Saint John one of the greenest cities in North America and it isn't because of what industry has done.

Saint John Fundy M-L-A Wants Back In Provincial Cabinet

Stuart Jamieson could have his old job back if the Premier goes along with his conditions. The Saint John Fundy MLA and former Tourism Minister says he was approached about returning to the caucus by Government house leader Greg Byrne after the NB Power deal fell apart last week.
Jamieson tells CHSJ News that he won't go back unless he is restored to his cabinet post. Jamieson tells us from what he is hearing, he will not be invited back to cabinet.
He was forced to resign in February because he didn't think the NB Power deal was good for the province.

Mayor Warned By Truckers About Harbour Bridge Repairs

As the to and fro continues over how those repairs to the Harbour Bridge should be paid for, Mayor Ivan Court says he has heard from the Atlantic Trucking Association and it could be devastating for the city. The truckers considering moving all of their traffic, which accounts for 60% of the revenue for the Harbour Bridge, through Houlton, Maine. The Mayor estimates that would amount to something like 400 thousand trucks bypassing the bridge and he's calling on the federal and provincial governments to sit down immediately and work something out.

Transforming Reversing Falls Won't Come Cheap

The ball is now in the city's court...Common Council has been told it will cost more than 35 million dollars to reinvigorate Reversing Falls and turn it into a 21st century tourist attraction. The GM of Waterfront Development, Kent MacIntyre says they expect to receive a boost later this year when they believe they will receive the UNESCO geopark designation. Waterfront Development is also applying to be designated as a charitable organisation which would make it easier to secure corporate donations. MacIntyre warns without the city on board, they won't be taken seriously. Council has been told Reversing Falls has been in decline for sometime and has now been delisted by the provincial tourism department.

Not All Roadwork Approved By Common Council Was Done

Deputy Mayor Stephen Chase is blaming the escalating costs for a new police headquarters and parking garage at Peel Plaza for the city not spending all the money allocated by Common Council on much needed roadwork. Chase says the estimated cost is now up to 55 or 60 million dollars and that's why he isn't giving his support despite the need for a new police station. Deputy City Manager Andrew Beckett says some projects were deferred because matching funds from the other two levels of government were not made available, a contract bid, in one case was far too high, or the design work and planning took longer than anticipated. Beckett also reminded Council it was warned last year that the Capital budget it approved was too large.

City Staff Say They Felt Threatened At Recent Public Meeting

Guidelines on how the city should conduct public meetings will be drawn up after city staff said they felt threatened at a recent meeting at the Lily Lake Pavilion on what sort of development should be permitted along Sandy Point Road adjacent to Rockwood Park. Also included will be how members of the pubic should conduct themselves. Councillor Patty Higgins says people got upset when no one in authority seemed to know where the boundary to Rockwood Park and this is overkill but fellow Councillor Peter McGuire says staff must be protected.