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Monday, December 13, 2010

Byelections Decided With Low Voter Turnouts

Voter turnout for the Ward 3 byelection was low at under 16 and a half per cent which mean't lawyer Mel Norton was able to win the byelection with 516 votes.

He takes over the seat left vacant with Carl Killen's election as the M-L-A for Saint John Harbour. Norton tells CHSJ News he was told time and time again by people that they feel decisions made by Council did not reflect what their individual needs were and writing cheques that couldn't be cashed.

Mark Leger came in second with 392 votes followed by Anne Marie Mullen with 333, Jay Chang at 248, John Campbell with 241 and Dan Robichaud at 211.

In Grand Bay-Westfield, Mike Likely won Councillor-at-Large capturing 562 votes with Stephen Evans at 227 and Allen Titus with 132 votes. Voter turnout in the town exceeded 25 per cent.

Likely Wins In Grand Bay-Westfield

In Grand Bay-Westfield - Mike Likely has been declared elected to fill a vacant seat on town council.
The latest results from Elections NB shows Likely with 562 votes topping rivals Stephen Evans with 227 and Allen Titus who garnered 132 votes in today's municipal by-election.

Tight Race In City Council By-election

The latest results from today's election shows Mel Norton leading with 386 votes followed closely by Mark Leger with 349 votes.
Anne-Marie Mullin is third with 272 votes while hopefuls Jay Chang - John Campbell - and - Danny Robichaud are well behind the front runners.
In Grand Bay-Westfield - Mike Likely is out in front with 562 votes while Stephen Evans has polled 227 votes and Allen Titus has 132.

State Of Emergency Declared In St Stephen

A state of local emergency is now in effect in St Stephen as the heavy rainfall continues to cause flooding problems.
Severe flooding is reported along King Street North near the entrance to the Charlotte Mall and traffic circle.
In addition - town officials are worried about a section of Milltown Boulevard and the Queensway where flooding has compromised the roadbed - there have also been reports of washouts and flooding outside of the town.
The state of emergency will remain in effect until 8am tomorrow and motorists and onlookers are being advised to stay away from the affected areas for their own safety and to protect property in the area from additional damage.

Poor Voter Turnout In City Byelection So Far

It's a poor turnout for the Ward 3 byelection with less than two hours to go.
The vote is necessary to fill a vacancy left when Carl Killen was elected provincially.

Returning officer Mary McAuliffe tells CHSJ News as of 6pm tonight 1647 votes have been cast.  That figure includes nearly 700 votes cast in advance polls.
Six candidates are running for the seat on Common council.

In Grand Bay-Westfield, over 600 votes have been cast in their byelection to fill the Councillor At Large position.   Returning Officer Richard Mackie tells us voter turnout is good considering the weather.      Three candidates are running for the job.
The polls close at 8pm tonight.

St Stephen Traffic Circle Under Water

Video courtesy of our St Stephen station - 98.1 the Tide.

Heavy Rain Causing Flooding Problems In Border Town

Like many communities, St Stephen is water logged today.
A combination of mild temperatures, melting snow and heavy rainfall resulting in severe flooding.

Town manager John Ferguson tells us at the traffic circle at the end of King Street near route 170 is closed.

He says they are worried about the water level and they have built as temporary dyke to protest the area businesses as much as possible.

Ferguson adds parts of Milltown Boulevard near Queensway and Hill Street is closed off after a partial washout and significant property damage to nearby homes.

Wind And Rain Causing Problems In The Region

The heavy rain and high winds causing problems in the Bordertown and around the region.
We are receiving reports of severe flooding in St. Stephen.

Due to the high winds, the 4 o'clock crossing of the Princess of Acadia from Digby to Saint John is cancelled.
Tomorrow's 9am sailing from Saint John to Digby is also cancelled.

Chicken Noodle Club Saved From Closing Its Hot Lunch Programme

Irving Oil coming forward with a 35 thousand dollar lifeline to the Chicken Noodle Club to keep it's three locations from closing. Gary Bischoff of Irving Oil tells CHSJ News the company has been a supporter since 2002 because studies have shown children have difficulty learning when their stomachs are empty.

The Chicken Noodle Club is operated by the Inner City Youth Ministry. Its Director Donnie Snook tells CHSJ News this donation comes just in the nick of time.

Snook says this funding could lead to a fourth Chicken Noodle Club being set up. There are more than 400 children registered with over 30 thousand meals served each year.

Harbour Station Will Add Smoke-Free Zone In The New Year

The new year will see a tougher non-smoking policy put in place at Harbour Station.
As of January 1st, smoking will be prohibited with ten metres (about 33 feet) of the building.  Dr. Barbara MacKinnon of the New Brunswick Lung Association tells CHSJ News when you walk by 10 to 20 smokers gathering in a doorway you are experiencing second-hand smoke.
She adds many people do not want to be exposed to the smoke for health reasons and they find it unpleasant.
Harbour Station General Manager Mike Caddell says there have been many requests to address the smoking issue and offering a smoke-free zone is becoming the norm at most major arenas in North America.

Coast Guard Deal Near?

The city is preparing for a final deal which will see Ottawa sell the Coast Guard site on Water Street to clear the way for more waterfront development.
Just over 900-thousand dollars have been earmarked in next year's proposed capital budget for the purchase and to begin survey work and environmental assessments.
The five year capital budget projection also includes 2.8-million for repairs to the sea wall on the harbour side - and - another 400-thousand for a pedway from Market Square to the site.
The Hardman Group wants to develop more retail space - a hotel - and - condos in that area.

Taxpayers Who Are Not Earning Their Pensions Are Subsidizing Those Who Are

Common Council is beginning its budget deliberations with an 8.3 million dollar shortfall. It will find itself behind the 8th ball financially if the provincial government doesn't go along and approve regulatory relief when it comes to contributing to the city's pension plan. The Atlantic Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation Kevin Lacey tells CHSJ News there's a risk other taxpayers will get angry.
He says what ends up happening is the taxpayers who are not earning their pensions are subsidizing those who are and he adds it's not an equitable or sustainable way of dealing with these pension programs.
Lacey says it's unrealistic to expect the provincial government to keep topping up its pension plan to the tune of 300 million dollars yearly.

Common Council Gets Ready For Belt Tightening As Budget Deliberations Begin

Common Council gets down to budget deliberations in earnest tonight after learning its unconditional grant from the province will be cut next year by 200 thousand dollars. That, along with a freeze on property assessments, is going to make it challenging to say the least, according to Mayor Ivan Court.

The Mayor estimates the city spends something like 800 thousand dollars on community events and that could be in jeopardy. City Police and the Fire Department have been told to limit their budget increases next year to an even 1 per cent.

Court says Council will have to distinguish between wants and needs with the needs coming first and the wants getting any money that may be left over.

The budget is not expected to be ready until sometime in January.

City Told To Work With Developers On New Direction

Some developers don't appear to be happy at what appears will be a change with future development in the city with less building outward and more upward closer to the urban core.

Urban designer Mark Reid tells CHSJ News the city will have to work with developers, asking them what they need to make this work along with sprucing up what have become known as the priority neighbourhoods and putting its money where its mouth is with incentives.

Plan SJ is looking at a growth boundary being established in the outskirts of the city to put a halt to urban sprawl. Suburban growth would be concentrated on Gault Road, Forest Hills, Lakewood and Millidgeville.

It's Byelection Day In Saint John And Grand Bay-Westfield

There's a byelection in the city today with voters in Ward 3 being asked to go to the polls are select someone to fill the seat on Common Council which became vacant with Carl Killen's election as the M-L-A for Saint John Harbour.

There are six candidates on the ballot....... Jay Chang, John Campbell, Anne Marie Mullen, Mark Leger, Dan Robichaud and Mel Norton.

The town councillor at large position will be filled with the byelection in Grand Bay-Westfield. There are three candidates to choose from........Stephen Evans, Mike Likely and Allen Titus.

The polls open at 10 this morning and close at 8 tonight.

Literacy Is About More Than Just Reading And Writing

Your level of literacy can mean the difference between moving up at work or staying still.

The Saint John Learning Exchange is partnering with local employers to offer skills training and it many cases it leads to a full-time job.

Executive Director Christina Fowler tells CHSJ News literacy is about more than reading and writing.

Fowler says literacy really means that you can get a job but, you do not have the skills to move to the next.

The Saint John Learning Exchange relies on government for about 70 per cent of their funding, the rest is through donations and fundraising.

For more information go to