Linked Header

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Trauma Line Is Up And Running

As promised, the 1-800 trauma care line as part of the new system unveiled by the Liberal Government is up and running.

An official with the Horizon Health Network tells CHSJ News, it was on-line at the end of last month and has had 24 calls since.

It is set-up in emergency departments around the Province so doctors and or nurses can get in touch with the trauma control physician if a question about a patient comes up on their condition or whether they should be transferred.

Dr. Martin is the trauma control physician but splits his time between Quebec and this Province.

Hospital Survey Released

Hospital Patient Care Experience is the focus of a survey being released by the New Brunswick Health Council.

It looked at hospital patients who stayed at least one night in an acute care setting during the months of November and December of last year and January.

Three out of four patients responded by giving the province’s facilities a thumbs-up in terms of overall rating which is comparable to other hospitals in North America.

As far as the Regional is concerned, it was rated in 13 categories and failed three.

Responsiveness of staff, preferred language of service and how well staff help patients manage pain.

The over-all rating of the facility is 76.6%. Over 10,000 questionnaires were mailed out with a response rate of nearly 50%.

Keir Reflects on Proposal Gone Wrong

(Energy Minister Jack Keir)
      (File Photo)

With some time and tempers now between the failed NB Power-Hydro Quebec proposal, the Energy Minister is reflecting on his government's actions through the process.

Jack Keir tells CHSJ News, being so close to the file for three years, he was pretty sure he understood the problem and didn't think it needed to be defined in detail as it should have been up front.

The NB Power Hydro Quebec proposal was taken off the table back in March.

Port Authority Spells Out Future Role

(Aerial Shot Of the Port of Saint John)
             (File Photo)

The Port Authority is committing an additional $9.3 million dollars toward a berth extensions project with the hope Ottawa and Fredericton aren't far behind.

Officials have outlined this project as one of it's top priorities to maintain and build business.

Port Authority Chair Stephen Campbell says talks with government officials are going well.

Campbell was speaking yesterday at a news conference to announce tender for $1.4 million dollars worth of work is set to get started on an upgrade for the Rodney Container Terminal.

Police Chief Concedes It Will Be Tough To Live With Budget Restraint

City Police broke even this year with its budget but whether they can do it again next year will be alot tougher. Common Council wants to limit both the police and fire departments to just one per cent increases in their budgets. Police Chief Bill Reid concedes it won't be easy to live within that.
The Chief points out an undercover drug investigaton like "Operation Portland", which resulted in 50 arrests, also cost 450 thousand dollars to carry out and something unexpected like the L-N-G disturbances over the use of workers from outside the province cost 67 thousand dollars..

Conservation Council Critical Of Areva Talks With Province

(David Thompson of the Conservation Council)
                        (File Photo)

All this talk about the possibility of a deal between French nuclear giant Areva and the provincial government leading to a second reactor at Point Lepreau is drawing condemnation from the Conservation Council's David Thompson. He calls it ridiculous. Thompson claims people in the province don't want more nuclear power but would rather see renewable forms of energy together with conservation. He is also dismissive by any suggestion of a clean energy park arguing you can't have any such thing with the radiactive spent fuel that comes with nuclear power.
Meantime, Premier Shawn Graham will be in town tomorrow for an announcement on energy.

No More Arrests Expected In Cemetery Vandalism

(Saint John Police Chief Bill Reid)
           (File Photo)

Just one person was involved in the large scale vandalism that took place in late April at St. Joseph's Cemetery on Westmorland Road. That word coming from Police Chief Bill Reid who says every lead was pursued even beyond the city. A 20 year old man from the east side will be in court later month on a charge of causing mischief of over 5 thousand dollars. His name will not be released until he is formally charged. More than 300 headstones were toppled over and some could not be repaired. Alot of people are expressing surprise at just one person being responsible but the Chief says it doesn't take a lot to push over the headstones.

Relief At Police Commission Over Budget Numbers

The City Police budget pretty much broke even for the year and the Police Commission was told there was adequate funding for the job to be done as it should. Salaries were 490 thousand dollars over budget but that was more than offset by 625 thousand dollars recovered through city police officers taking part in peacekeeping missions abroad and Point Lepreau pays 50 thousand dollars a year to have members of the Emergency Tactical Unit on call. Mayor Ivan Court tells CHSJ News the police department could get alot more revenue if it was paid for work that is really a federal responsibility. He estimates that could be as high as 2 million dollars a year or even more.
Common Councillor Peter McGuire, who is also a member of the Police Commission, says the current way the province funds the city is inadequate.

More Work Today On One Mile Interchange

You can expect to see some extra construction activity at the One Mile Interchange all day today. There's a concrete pour going on until midnight tonight. Andrew Holland with the Department of Transportation says traffic shouldn't be affected but adds commuters and people who live near by should expect some extra noise.

Common Councillor Wants Ottawa To Pay For Safer Drinking Water

(Saint John Common Councillor Bruce Court)
                      (File Photo)

Deputy Mayor Stephen Chase couldn't get to first base with his ideas on how to pay the estimated 260 million dollar cost to provide safe, clean drinking water in the city. His fellow Council members rejected even referring his suggestions to the City Solicitor. Councillor Bruce Court tells CHSJ News for him it was a non-starter saying Saint Johnners can't afford to pay higher taxes. Court says if the federal government wants new regulations then it should provide the extra money to pay for them and points out Ottawa could divert some of the money it is sending overseas down this way if it wants cleaner drinking water. Common Council will be hearing from the head of Municipal Operations, Paul Groody on this very issue later this month.

Liberals To Choose Candidate In Hampton-Kings

The Executive Director of Housing Alternatives will carry the Liberal banner in the riding of Hampton Kings for the fall vote. Kit Hickey will be acclaimed as the candidate for the riding tonight.
Premier Shawn Graham will speak at the event which gets started at seven o'clock at the Masonic Lodge. The riding is currently held by longtime M-L-A Bev Harrison, whose time in the Legislature dates back to fo the late Premier Richard Hatfield.

Energy Minister Denies Timing Of Areva Discussions Has Anything To Do With Provincial Election

(Provincial Energy Minister Jack Keir)
              (File Photo)

As we wait for a letter of intent to be signed between the Province and nuclear power house Areva, a question has surfaced about the potential deal. Would the Liberals be this open about what is going on if it were not an election year? Energy Minister Jack Keir tells CHSJ News, he will not apologize for the timing and says there's no rush to finalise a deal because everyone has to be comfortable with the final outcome. He adds Areva has no concerns with the delays of the refit at Point Lepreau.
Keir says discussions with Areva actually started back in the winter here in Saint John and finished up last weekend in Florida.