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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Musquash Motorcycle Accident

One man taken to the Regional after he lost control of his motorcycle in Musquash.
The Musquash Fire Department along with the Ambulance NB and RCMP responded just before 4 this afternoon.
The collision occurred on Route 790 near the Wetmore Creek Road.

$11 Million Dollar Contract For Welsford Bypass

Saint Isador construction has been awarded a contract worth over eleven million dollars. It is for grading and paevment work to be carried out on the new bypass between Welsford and Nerepis. 
Fundy River Valley MLA and Energy Minister Jack Keir tells CHSJ News, safety and stimulating the economy are two big factors in this project.
Keir says the bypass is needed for safety reasons.
A DOT spokes-person tells our news-room most of the phase one work is ahead or on schedule and work on the road should be finished by 2012.

Goodyear Tours NBCC Saint John

(NBCC Saint John construction site - file photo)

The new expansion at NBCC is getting the seal of approval from the Minister of State, Science and Technology. Gary Goodyear did a tour of the energy building under construction on GrandView Avenue and says this is a key component of the national science and technology strategy.

Ottawa contributed $2.5 million toward the project and the Province cut a cheque for $21 million dollars. The new building will have a capacity for 600 students but no word on when it will be finished.

Minister Keir Responds to Parrot's criticism

(Energy Minister Jack Keir - file photo)

It didn't take Energy Minister Keir long to respond to the accusation that he lied to the entire Province. Keir tells CHSJ News, he has a hard time believing that Jim Parrot called him a liar:
Keir says he understands the budgeted number of $70 million dollars is a lot of money but the figure people are forgetting about is the five billion dollar debt the public utility is carrying.

Dr. Parrot calls out Minister Keir over NB Power

Jack Keir's feet are being held to the fire by the Conservative candidate in the riding of Fundy River Valley.

Dr. Jim Parrot says the energy minister should be ashamed of statements he made about NB Power when the Liberal Government was trying to sell it's assets to Hydro Quebec. Parrot says both Keir and the Premier said the sale had to be completed by April 1st to avoid a rate increase.

He tells CHSJ News he thinks Keir was playing fast and loose to avoid news of NB Power's profits getting out.

Parrot says Minister Keir lied to the entire Province on this matter and that faith has been lost in the Liberal Government.

NB Power Under the Gun Before Energy and Utilities Board

Officials from NB Power are being interrogated before the Energy and Utilities Board about its request to raise electricity rates by 3 per cent. The utility's Lori Clark concedes NB Power is a long way from being self sufficient.
Intervenor Kurt Peacock, representing small consumers, tells CHSJ News NB Power also has a long way to go to cut costs and questions why the utility gave out salary increases last February. David Plante, representing manufacturers and exporters in the province, maintains NB Power should do more cutting before asking consumers to pay more.
Another NB Power official, Darren Murphy says you can't compare the utility to private business because it doesn't have the luxury of discontinuing service if it hurts the bottom line.

Debate on Drinking Water Delayed

(Common Councillor Bill Farren)
              (File Photo)

Common Council may see clean, safe drinking water as the number one issue facing the city but it wasn't able to find the time last night to debate how it will be paid for. Common Councillor Peter McGuire complained there was too much grandstanding being done for the cameras which upset fellow west side Councillor Bill Farren, who called McGuire's comment harassment and intimidation. Farren did apologise to Enterprise Saint John for his previous criticism considering how many volunteers work for the organisation. The Council meeting was also one hour late in getting started. July 5th is the new date for the debate on water. In the meantime, the city will apply for a public-private partnership on water without being bound by that. The estimated price tag has risen to 259 million dollars.

Q-Plex Names "The Wave Pool"

(Murray Driscoll and David Boone shake hands on the Q-Plex partnership)
(Photo by Sherry Aske)

It may not have any waves, but the Wave Pool is going to be the place to be next summer.

Country94 and the Wave are the official radio stations of the new Q-Plex pool and walking track for the next ten years.

Mayor Murray Driscoll says it's a great partnership and he couldn't be more pleased.

The "Wave Pool" will be able to hold 370 people and has two water slides as well as a tots pool.


(Quispamsis Mayor Murray Driscoll, CHSJ News Reporter Sherry Aske and
 97.3 The Wave/Country 94 General Manager Dave Boone)
(photo by Gary MacDonald)

NB Power To Be Grilled On Proposed Rate Hike

There will be many voices speaking against NB Power getting a 3 per cent rate increase for electricity at a hearing beginning this morning before the Energy and Utilities Board, more so since the utility made a 70 million dollar profit acrroding to Conservative Leader David Alward.

Bethany Thorne Dykstra of Voice of Real Poverty will be one of them. She's baffled as to why NB Power needs and increase and points out, if granted, such a rise will make life even more difficult for the 15 per cent of the population in the province who live at or below the poverty line.

She goes on to say all groups who would have to pay more for electricity are not equal economically so there should be a mechanism in place to offset the cost for the less affluent.

Prom Night Hijinks

City Police were called to an area behind the Community College on Grandview Avenue early this morning. They found a bonfire and about 200 high school students celebrating prom night. The students were all sent on their way and no arrests were made.

City Gets Out Of Tourism Business

(Common Councillor Peter McGuire)
                (File Photo)

The city of Saint John is getting out of the tourist business. Instead, an industry led group called Saint John Destination Marketing will be leading efforts to promote the city for tourism and will have more money to do that. The city is putting up a million dollars and the hotels are adding 470 thousand. Common Councillor Peter McGuire says there will be regular progress reports on what sort of job is being done and he wants it kept simple with no fluffy language abut branding and the like. Council members were told tourism generates 255 million dollars in economic benefits for Saint John annually but also creates civic pride when the locals know people from away want to visit the city..

Chief Promises Action On Graffitti Tagging

(Police Chief Bill Reid)
     (File Photo)

Despite an apparent increase in graffitti, Police Chief Bill Reid doesn't believe Saint John has a problem with it. He's vowing the police department will get on top of it and find who's responsible. The Chief went on to say police have a good idea who's responsible for the tagging where initials are spray painted.
Graffiti has been sprayed of late on the back of the Imperial Theatre, Hayward and Warwick and at the Duke Street construction site. Chief Reid says police are getting more co-operation these days from the public and told Councillors the number of breakins last year were down by 29 per cent and stolen autos were reduced by 19 per cent.

Council Member Misses Meeting Due To Tragic Death Of Her Cousin

Councillor Patty Higgins did not attend last night's meeting of Common Council after the death of her cousin, Caroline Higgins who was struck and killed by a motorcycle Sunday night on the sidewalk near the Reversing Falls. The 46 year old Higgins was a partner in the law firm, Gorman Nason. A burial mass will be held Thursday afternoon.