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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Exploring A Power Partnership

(Premier Shawn Graham and Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter)

NB Power and Nova Scotia Power are exploring the possibility of building a new transmission connection between this province and Colchester County, Nova Scotia.

The proposed connection would have a transmission capacity of up to 500 megawatts which would more than double the transmission capacity between the two provinces.

Talks will also focus on improving the agreement between NB Power and Emera's Bayside generating station including the potential to expand the facility. The expansion could result in new jobs for this region.

Twinning Of Highway One Is Underway

(From left to right: Eric Desbiens, Southwest M.P. Greg Thompson, Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet, Transportation Minister Denis Landry, Dexter Construction Co Ltd, Project Manager Harry Varjabedian and D.O.T. project manager Dan Deap)
The ceremonial turning of the sod has happened in St. George to mark the official start of one of the largest highway projects in the history of the province.

When work is complete, Highway One will be twinned all the way to St. Stephen.

Liberal cabinet minister Rick Doucette, who represents the area in the riding, tells CHSJ News he worked hand in hand with Former federal Conservative Minister Greg Thompson to see this done.

The project will take just over three years to finish.

Kayaker Flips Boat Near Reversing Falls

It's a happy end to a water rescue at Reversing Falls just before noon today after a kayaker flipped.
The Falls shuttle was able pull the kayaker from the water and get him to a nearby wharf.

District Fire Chief Peter Saab tells CHSJ News the Fire department's water rescue unit was sent out but wasn't needed.
Saab says the kayaker was probably a bit cold but, otherwise ok.

Development Along Sandy Point Road On Hold In Spite of City Services Being In Place

          (Entrance To Rockwood Park)
                       (File Photo)

Controversy continues over any suggestion of allowing development inside Rockwood Park on city owned lands but what about along Sandy Point Road adjacent to the park. Chief City Planner Ken Forrest says water and sewage services were extended along that road by a previous Common Council a few years ago for a reason......Development was contemplated. Right now there is a moratorium in place on any new development until Common Council decides what should be done after hearing from the public.
The city's legal department has concluded where Rockwood Park ends is undefined.

Conservation Council Circulating A Petition

(Conservation Council Member Dave Thompson)
                (File Photo)

If you have any concern about future development in Rockwood Park, you can add your name to a petition.
It is being circulated over the next two days in the City Market by the Saint John chapter of the Conservation Council.
Spokes-person David Thompson tells CHSJ News, anyone signing the document believes Rockwood Park should be kept in tact.
At last night's council meeting, the City Solicitor says there is no precise border to Rockwood Park and there are city owned lands within the park that have no restrictions on how they can be used.

Moncton Is A Safe City

Stats Canada's report on crime severity and out of the 33 census metropolitan areas in the country, Moncton is the 13th safest community.

The numbers show the severity of crime in the hub city is less serious than other Atlantic Canadian communities with a population over 100,000.

It’s a drop of three positions from the community’s ranking in 2008. Here at home, the violent crime severity index sits at 109.3 which is up from 102.9.

Over-all, Stats Canada says the number of crimes reported to police fell last year as did the seriousness of the incidents.

Don't Jump From The Green Bridge in Hampton

A warning today from Hampton RCMP about jumping off the green bridge in Hampton.
Officers tell us they have received several calls about children leaping into the water of the Kennebecasis River to get cooled down, but there is shifting sand dunes which makes this very dangerous.
Officers also point out jumping from the East Side of the bridge is dangerous for vehicles as well.

Trying To Get Power Re-Stored

Over 20 of Saint John Energy's transformers were affected during last night's thunder and lightning storm.

That knocked close to 500 of the utilities customers off the grid with crews still working in some area's to get power re-stored.
President Eric Marr tells CHSJ News, the storm didn't play favourites but the North End-Millidgeville area's certainly didn't feel the brunt of the storm.

Marr says crews hope to have everyone back on line by the end of the day and crews from NB Power have been brought in to help with the situation.

Home Sales Are Down in Greater Saint John

Home sales are down both in Saint John and around the Province according to the latest numbers from the Saint John Real Estate Board.

232 listings traded hands which is down one per cent from the same time last year.

Sales around the Province for last month are down as well.....eight per cent. President Jason Stephen tells CHSJ News, there is concern about the trend but no reason to panic.

The overall number of homes for sale on the market has stopped climbing after two consecutive years of increases with 1600 active residential listings.

The average price for a home sold last month is just over $175,000 dollars.

Action Plan On Water Approved By Common Council

(Municipal Works Commissioner Paul Groody)
                (Photo by Brian McLain)

Common Council has unanimously approved the action plan on safe, clean drinking water after hearing an impassioned presentation by the head of Municipal Operations, Paul Groody who says the way Saint John treats its water hasn't changed since the time of the Great Depression in the dirty 30's and the city can't guarantee Saint Johnners that their drinkinhg water is safe to consume on a day to day basis.
The big challenge, according to Groody, is finding the money to pay for it. Common Councillor Peter McGuire says M-P Rodney Weston will have a huge role to play for this to happen and he has to be brought on board. Groody also told Council, Saint Johnners use too much water and part of the plan, that was approved, is universal metering so Saint Johnners would pay for what they use.
The revised plan calls for just one water treatment plant to be built, instead of two, at a cost of between 90 and 130 million dollars and the preferred location is at the Little River Resevoir on the east side. The total cost of all the water improvements is estimated at 260 million dollars and if it's a three way split, the city would have to come up with 86 million dollars.

Emotions Running High On Rockwood Park

(Saint John Common Councillor Patty Higgins)
                    (File Photo)

Common Council has been told by the City Solicitor there is no precise border to Rockwood Park and there are city owned lands within the park that have no restrictions on how they can be used. Councillor Patty Higgins is charging there are plans in the works to sell one-quarter of the land traditionally known as Rockwood Park to ease the city's financial crunch that lies ahead. City Manaager Pat Woods says he doesn't know where that's coming from. He maintains no decisidons have been made and it will be up to Common Council to have the final say. A study is underway to determine what sort of development should be allowed along Sandy Point Road adjacent to the park.
Councillor Carl Killen says he doesn't think anyone on Council wants to decimate Rockwood Park .

Recreation Fees In The City Rising

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

Common Council has made a commitment to cap any spending increases in the overall city budget to 3 per cent over the next two years. In the meantime, recreation fees are going up by ten percent. Councillor Chris Titus has no problem with that. Councillor Bruce Court spoke out against the increase arguing there are too many obese kids in the city as is even though he doesn't object to raising the user fees for the so-called weekend warriors.
Council was told only about one-third of the cost is recovered through the user fees that are charged.

Saint John Economy To Get Financial Boost From Fastpitch Tournament

(Saint John Harbour M-L-A Ed Doherty)
                  (File Photo)

Providing a one million dollar boost to the local economy, Saint John is playing host to the Canadian Midget Girls Fastpitch Championship August.1st through the 8th. Barry Freeze is co-chair of the event and Memorial Softball Field is one of three venues that will be used along with St. Rose Field and Market-place for a total of eight games. There are 18 teams from across the country going for top spot.
Saint John Harbour MLA Ed Doherty will present a cheque for $25,000 dollars to the event on behalf of the province tomorrow. For more information about the tournament, you can go to

Official Start Of Highway One Twinning

Today marks the beginning of one of the most expensive highway projects in the Province.
A sod-turning ceremony will be held for the Route 1 Gateway project in St. George. The province says the project will deliver jobs and lasting infrstructure that supports economic growth in the region. The ceremonial shovel will go in the ground this morning at 9 in St. George.

"Go Riding" TV Show Is In Province

The "Go Riding" TV show and magazine are touring ATV trails in the Province starting today in Moncton.
The tour with the Province's A-T-V Federation also includes stop in Sussex this week and in Fredericton.
Jacques Poirier of the A-T-V Federation tells CHSJ News in 2005, a national survey found the A-T-V industry in the Province brings in 50 million dollars a year.