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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

DOT Begins Negotiations For Ferry Deal

(Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet)
(File Photo)

The Department of Transportation has begun negotiations with Coastal Transport Ltd. of Saint John to finalize a deal under the Fundy Islands Ferry Services Project.

The department is looking for a company to take over the operation and maintenance of the Grand Manan, White Head, and Deer Island vessels and associated wharves for the next 16 years.

Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet tells CHSJ News the transition should be smooth. 

He says he hopes when an agreement is made it satisfies the people living on the islands and the taxpayers.

The current contract with Coastal as operator of the Grand Manan and White Head services, expires in March.

Saint John I.T. Company Developing New Technology

(Encore Interactive Chairman John Swan)
        (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

A Saint John based I.T. company on the receiving end of some federal cash today.

Encore Interactive has received $247,000 to help bring it's IPTV software to homes and businesses around Atlantic Canada and the world.
Chairman John Swan says this cash will help their project move to the next stage of development.
Swan adds the new technology is so simple and easy, everyone can use it.
Encore Interactive has been in Saint John since 2007.

Energy Minister Still Looking For Cheque

(Energy Minister Jack Keir At Recent News Conference)
               (Photo By JIm Hennessy)

The Energy Minister isn't ready to celebrate just yet with a report stating Ottawa will pick up cost over-runs for the Point Lepreau refit.
The contract states any cost over-runs associated with the refurbishment doesn't specifically mention anything about replacement power.
Jack Keir says the beans in the jar changed when the head of Atomic of Energy of Canada came to the Province and said the original schedule had no chance for success.
Keir admits there has been movement on the file but he has yet to see a cheque to cover replacement costs from Ottawa.

Saint John MP Not Clear On Status

(Saint John MP Rodney Weston)
            (File Photo)

Whether there is or isn't a deal in place for Ottawa to cover cost over-runs for the refit at Point Lepreau, the MP for Saint John isn't confirming or denying it.
Rodney Weston tells CHSJ News, in his opinion, getting the reactor back on-line is the biggest hurdle left to clear.
Weston like everyone else, knows that Premier Graham and Prime Minister Harper met last week in Moncton but says anything the two spoke about is confidential.

Former Uptown Theater Getting Some Work

(Former Paramount Theater Being Worked On)
          (Photo By Jim Hennessy)

If you've taken a walk or drive by the old Paramount Theater, don't worry it is not coming down.

A construction crew is removing some of the old facade which includes the glass from the front of the building for safety reasons.

The building has been in the spotlight of late as the drive is on to find a buyer and make use of the former movie theaters.
Peter Asimaskos is the General Manager of Uptown Saint John and tells CHSJ News, the building is structurally in good shape and his group will have an annoucement next week on the search for a buyer and new use for the building.

New Technology From Saint John Company

(Shift Energy's Energy Management Dashboard)
            (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

The timing for this couldn't be better with all the talk of electricity rates.

Shift Energy in Saint John has unveiled it's Energy Management Dashboard.

It's an efficiency tool that among other things, will measure energy consumption and provide recommendations to commercial customers on how to efficiently consume energy.

President and CEO is Richard Jones who tells CHSJ News, they currently have six clients under contract with more in the coming weeks.

Saint John MP Rodney Weston presented Shift Energy with a cheque for just over $285,000 dollars to go toward develop and further promote it's Energy Management Dashboard.

City Police Warn Drivers

City Police are warning drivers to obey the signs you see while making your way about town. A truck plunged nose down into a large hole early morning along the Dever Road which is closed to allow for construction of a pipeline.

A charge will be laid against the driver under the Motor Vehicle Act. Police say there are signs posted alerting drivers about the road closure.

 There were no injuries.

Man Saved From Drowning

Already this summer more people have died on the province's waterways than in motorcycle fatalities, but in this case someone got lucky. Randy Salvages tells CHSJ News he pulled a man from the Saint John River this weekend after he got caught by the current and was being carried down the river.

Randy camps in Long Reach and says he was out on his boat when he thought he saw a dead head in the water.

Salvage says he asked the man if he needed a lift and helped him into the boat. He says he's seen people out that far before but normally they're with a boat.

Communities In Bloom Judges Are In Town

Saint John is in the spotlight today as the Communities in Bloom judging gets started. Saint John is in the category of National Edition Circle of Excellence.

The winners will be announced at the National Awards Ceremonies in Halifax between October 27th and 30th.