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Monday, September 20, 2010

Conservative Leader David Alward On Jobs And Property Tax Freeze

NDP Candidate Studies Saint John Portland Riding

Over 50 per cent of the people who live in the riding of Saint John Portland are not doing well economically and haven't been for the last two decades. That analysis has been released by Jeremy Higgins who's running for the N-D-P in the riding. He tells CHSJ News the lack of pay equity in the private sector is holding alot of families in Crescent Valley back.

Higgins says most of the famillies are single-parent and without a living wage building housing that is subsidized may not be a long term solution.
He argues if you don't do anything about educating the young people in the riding and raising literacy levels, nothing much will be accomplished.

People's Alliance Release Education Plank

The People's Alliance Party unveiling their education platform while meeting with students Charlotte county today.
 Leader Kris Austin tells CHSJ news his party will push for a settlement for teacher assistant's in the province.
He says the teacher's assistants are working 36 hours a week but are only paid for 28 hours when MLA's two years ago voted to increase their pensions, salaries and severance.

Austin says their platform also includes an effort to re-introduce trades at the high school level.

Green Party Candidate Says Health Care Can Be Fixed

The former head of a health authority in the Province says there is hope the system can be fixed.  Fredericton Green party candidate Jim Wolstenholme says techniques can be used to make health care in the province more effective and efficient.

He tells CHSJ News the last two governments have not got senior care right with 28 per cent of beds occupied in provincial hospitals by seniors.

Wolstenholme says the $320,000 price tag for a consultant's study of Task Force recommendations on the future of Canadian Blood Services in Saint John wouldn't come up in a non-election year.

Alward Refuses To Play Numbers Game

Conservative leader David Alward is refusing to get caught up in a numbers game on job creation plans.
Liberal leader Shawn Graham has challenged Alward to put a number on his plan to create more jobs -- but -- in response to a CHSJ News question -- Alward says Graham has failed on the job creation front.
He says Graham committed to creating 25-thousand jobs in his first state of the province address and he has fallen miserably short over his current mandate.
Alward says people are tired of politicians making those kinds of commitments -- he says his party has a number of plans in its platform to promote new business growth in the province.

Graham Dismisses Crticism About Provincial Finances

Liberal leader Shawn Graham is turning aside suggestions the two main line parties are ignoring the state of provincial finances.
In response to a CHSJ News question -- Graham says his campaign promises are part of a greater plan to get back to a balanced budget position by 2014.
The Liberal leader says his party's plan matches the time frame set out by the federal Conservative government to return to balanced budgets.
And Graham is challenging Conservative leader David Alward to put a number to his job creation plan -- he says the lack of a hard goal indicates the Conservatives don't really have a job creation plan.

Fire Chiefs Meeting In Saint John

Saint John is providing the back-drop for the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs annual conference.

Bruce Burrell is the out-going President of the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs and tells CHSJ News, the association has found some much needed stability after being on the brink of bankruptcy almost ten years ago.
Burrell says after two years, he proudly is handing over the association's title of President to Saint John Fire Chief Rob Simonds during a ceremony on Wednesday.

Don't Feed The Ducks Campaign Is Underway

(New "Dont Feed The Ducks" Sign Is Up)
         (Photo By Jim Hennessy)

Signs are up and City Officials are trying to spread the word of don't feed the ducksat the pond in Rockwood Park.

The animals are suffering from over-crowding and malnutrition because they stay all winter instead of heading south for warmth.

Park Manager Ray Walsh says there is a chance several of the animals may not leave to go south and if you do feed them over the winter, there are alternatives to bread like cut grapes, grains, birdseed or duck feed.

Walsh adds the over-crowding of ducks is also causing disease to spread among the animals and into both Lily and Fisher Lakes which leads to swimmer's itch.

If you still want to feed the animals during winter, spring or summer, officials ask you to use cut grapes, grains, birdseed or duck feed.

Enterprise Saint John Disputes Any Suggestion Of The Energy Hub Being Dead

(Provincial Conservative Leader David Alward)
                      (File Photo)

Conservative Party Leader David Alward will be in town today to speak to the Saint John Board of Trade. During one of the televised debates, he suggested the energy hub in Saint John was another of the Premier's unfulfilled promises.

The new chair of Enterprise Saint John, Tony Goguen maintains the energy hub is still alive and well even though a second refinery is off the table. He has divulged a potential investor came to the city recently to look at Saint John as a place for a wind energy project.

Goguen adds even though forestry is in the doldrums at the moment, it's still worth 100 million dollars a year to the Saint John economy.

Liberal leader Shawn Graham will also be campaigning in the Saint John area today talking about energy at the Coleson Cove generating station this afternoon after making a stop this morning in St. Martins.

N-D-P Proposing To Increase Tax On Cigarettes

(Provincial N-D-P Leader Roger Duguay)

New Democrats are calling for a tobacco control startegy that includes raising taxes on cigarettes.

NDP Leader Roger Duguay says smoking is the No. 1 preventable cause of death in in the province which has the second lowest cigarette tax rate in Canada.

An NDP government, he says, would raise cigarette taxes by 2.5 cents per year over four years, bringing the tax rate in line with Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

Duguay estimates the tax could raise about $55 million annually in revenue.

Practical, Responsible Change. That is the title of the NDP platform which will be unveiled in Moncton today. A party release says the document will actually reduce the deficit instead of adding millions to it like the Liberals and Conservatives.

Duguay says his party wants to protect health care from the cuts  he is warning will come under the Conservatives or Liberals.