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Monday, November 15, 2010

Big Turnout Expected To See Four New Members Inducted Into New Brunswick Business Hall of Fame

(Former Premier Frank McKenna)
             (File Photo)

Former Premier Frank McKenna will be in town tomorrow night be honoured with induction into the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame.

The President and C-E-O of Junior Achievement in the province Connie Woodside tells CHSJ News even though McKenna, who's Deputy Chair of T-D Bank Financial Group and lives in Toronto, he still promotes New Brunswick as a place for businesses to set up shop saying he will never forget his roots.

The other inductees are Bill and Ed Barrett of Barrett Corporation in Woodstock with more than 400 employees. Woodside says they contribute alot to education in the town and Jean Claude Savoie of Group Savoie who, with more than 500 workers, employs one-quarter of the town of St. Quentin.

Westbound Lane on Harbour Bridge Re-opening Tonight

Traffic will be less congested on the Harbour Bridge beginning tonight.

General Manager Ken Anthony tells CHSJ News they are re-opening a westbound lane, which means an extra lane on the eastbound side.

The lane will be opening sometime tonight between 8pm and midnight.

The remaining westbound lane will re-open at the end of the month.

NBCC Expansion In Saint John Is On Track

The expansion at NBCC is on schedule.

Sherri Strickland of the Department of Supply and Services the new building will house the school's engineering programs.
She says it's being designed to achieve a Leeds silver ratings and the $25 million dollar project will result in a new teaching facility in energy efficient construction.

The new expansion is 80,000 square feet.
The project began last year and is on track to finish on time next fall.

Temperature Record Broken

The unseasonably warm weather this past Saturday has broken a temperature record.

The mercury climbed to 17.5 degrees, breaking the previous record of 16.4 degrees set back in 1982.

The warm weather won't last though.  Environment Canada is forecasting temperatures at the freezing mark for this coming weekend.

Mayor's Christmas Card Design Winners Announced

The Mayor's Christmas cards chosen from designs by students all over Saint John. They will be sent to addresses all over the world. The design winners were submitted from top to bottom by 5 year old Alex Burgess, 10 year old Sarah Gorman and 13 year old Jenna Moore.

(Photo by Brian McLain)

Pension Payment Not Made By City On Deadline

(Mayor Ivan Court)
   (File Photo)

It's now official.........The city did not meet the deadline for making a five million dollar payment into its pension plan as scheduled. Mayor Ivan Court says the city was not in a financial position to make the contribution.

The Mayor says without changes, the pension plan is not sustainable.

The city has been in touch with the Superintendent of Pensions to keep her in the loop and get some guidance on how to proceed. He believes she will be supportive if the changes to be brought forward by City Manager Pat Woods make the plan financially sustainable over the long term. Those changes are expected at next Monday's meeting of Common Council.

Court says city employees have been given additional time to review the options that are on the table and he's hoping they will choose what's best for the long term future of the plan.

Saint John YM-YWCA Working To Secure North End Building

Negotiations continue between the Saint John Y's board of directors and the owners of the old Zellers in the North end.

CEO and Executive Director Pat Davis tells CHSJ News once they secure ownership, the renovate/rebuild process will begin.

She says they are looking at between 65-70,000 square feet and some of the rooms will be built as multi-purpose spaces providing access for everyone.
Davis adds they have upcoming meetings with the federal and provincial government on funding and a captil campaign will be rolled out on the project.

Commerce Chamber wants more cooperation

The Atlantic Provinces Chambers of Commerce want more regional co-operation between the Atlantic provinces in order to progress the economy.

President and CEO Bill Denyar tells CHSJ News the original concept of the Atlantica Project extended far beyond trade and energy opportunities with the Northeastern United States.

He says governments must reduce barriers to trade and invest in infrastructure in order to promote economic cooperation.

MS Treatment With Positive Results

Some people call it M-S Liberation Treatment but Tim Donovan, a native Saint Johnner, steers clear of that as he presses the provincial government to make angioplasty available to treat M-S patients.
Donovan, himself, underwent the treatment last August and the improvement in the quality of his life has been incredible with no need for hospitalisation or drugs and he's much more mobile.
Donovan tells CHSJ News Premier David Alward appears to be on board but the big question is how fast can this be made to happen.
Donovan, who used to spend as much as 3 and a half months in hospital every year, claims health care costs would go down if this treatment were to be made available in the province.

Peel Plaza Moving Ahead

(Artists Shot Of Finished Product of Peel Plaza)

Construction of Peel Plaza won't take as long as the debate about whether or not to build it did if things continue to progress the way they are.

Project Manager Bill Edwards tells CHSJ News, crews are not surpised to find some contaminated soil in the area of the former gas station.
Edwards adds police officers are scheduled to move into their new headquarters in April of 2012 and the law courts are scheduled to be open in the summer of the same year.

Double Down Is Off The Menu

It came, it caused a lot of excitement and now, Double Down is gone.

As of today Canada is officially a Double Down free zone.

The facts are staggering as KFC Canada's bun-less sandwich was available between from October 18 to November 14,the company reports that it sold more than 1 million.

This makes the Double Down the most successful menu item in KFC Canada history.

It has 540 calories, 30 grams of total fat and 1740 milligrams of sodium.

Mayor Court On Pension Plan

The big question is whether the city will make a five million dollar payment to its pension plan by today's deadline.

As of last Friday, it appeared the deadline would pass without the payment being made. Mayor Ivan Court is quite candid about what the future holds saying the plan, in it's current form, is not sustainable.

Court says the city would have to pay 129 million dollars if the plan were shut down which is not an option.
Disagreement on what should be done prevented the issue from being talked about at last Monday's meeting of Common Council.
CHSJ News has been told the provincial government will not discuss specific cases.

Very Small Shake Over The Weekend

Another ground shaking experience over the weekend -- the Weston Observatory at Boston College confirms a magnitude 1.8 earthquake rumbled through the area yesterday afternoon just after one.

The quake was centered 62-kilometres northwest of the city -- and -- reports to our newsroom indicate some people especially on the Kingston Peninsula heard a bang and then felt the ground shaking at the time of the quake.

It's the third earthquake reported in our area since February.

District Six DEC Welcomes Building Inspections

Inspectors will check on the safety of about 18 School District 6 schools in the coming weeks as part of a provincial mandate.

Chair of the District 6 Education Council Roger Nesbeitt tells CHSJ News, it's a welcome process with schools like Norton Elementary which is 85 years old.
The provincial government has ordered a safety review of all 229 schools in the provinces built before 1980. Nesbitt says the inspections should be done within the next few weeks.

DEC CHairs Meet With Education Minister

    (District Eight DEC Chair Rob Fowler)
                  (File Photo)

A positive sit-down between the Coucil of DEC chairs and the new Education Minister.

The District Education Council chairs met with Jody Carr late last month and District 8 chair Rob Fowler tells CHSJ News, the Minister expects to have the results of the school review surveys back late this year or early next.
The structural review of all schools in the province was ordered after two schools in the Moncton area were forced to close due to safety concerns.

Latest Housing Stats Are In

New housing starts in the greater Saint John area remain slightly ahead of last year's numbers according to the latest from Canada Mortgage and Housing.

The federal agency says the number of new homes started up until the end of October is running five percent above last year's figures for the same period.

By comparison -- Moncton remains the hot spot in the province posting an almost 55-percent gain over last year's numbers while Fredericton is down almost five percent.

Holiday Feeling At City Hall

Ivan Court's Christmas card will be unveiled today. It's the wrap up of a contest for involving students from preschool to high school.

Things get started at noon in the Ludlow Room at City Hall.