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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Federal Minister Gets First Hand Look At Flood Damage

MP Sees Flood Damage In St. Stephen

MP Keith Ashfield getting a close look at flood ravaged St. Stephen.

He took a tour with the mayor and other officials to see the damage first-hand.

Darren McCabe with Charlotte County EMO says there is still a lot of work ahead, with some inspection crews working through Christmas.

Ashfield says the federal government will be helping through the Disaster Relief Program, which will pay for repairs once the total exceeds about 750 thousand dollars.

He says damages are easily in the millions.

Water Rates In City To Rise By Over 19 Per Cent Over Next Two Years

Common Council on Monday night is expected to approve a 72 dollar a year increase in the flat rate for water next year to 936 dollars with another 104 dollar rise the following year which would bring it to over a thousand dollars. That translates into an 8.3 per cent increase next year and 11.1 per cent rise in 2012.

The metered rate would also go up by the same percentages from 97 and a half cents per cubic metre to almost $1.06 next year for the smallest usage.

Councillor Bruce Court wonders whether there is a limit to the increases. The Head of Municipal Operations Paul Groody says affordability is taken seriously but you can't get away with underfunding the water system because you then will experience more breakdowns.

Groody is also warning of traffic disruptions soon on the Reversing Falls Bridge because of a leak in the water transmission line which will cost half a million dollars to fix.

MP To See Flood Damage Firsthand

The Province's top man in Ottawa will get to see flood damage this morning.

MP Keith Ashfield will get a first hand look at the impact of severe flooding in a tour with Mayor Purcell and other officials.

Ashfield says the federal government will do all it can to help with disaster assistance in the wake of flooding.

Federal participation kicks in once damage exceeds 750-thousand dollars, but the province must still apply.

Premier David Alward touring the Bonney River/St. George area yesterday.

Red Cross Holding Assessment Meetings

Those affected by the recent flooding can meet with the Canadian Red Cross this weekend to assess their needs.

Volunteers will be on hand today and tomorrow from 11 to 5 at the Canadian Red Cross Office in Fredericton, The Triple C Recreation Centre in Coldstream, the St. Stephen Fire Hall, and the Family Worship Centre in St. George.

You can also send an email to if you have any questions.

Car On Fire; Snow Causes Driver To Break Pole

Fire crews responding to a car fully engulfed in flames at Golden Grove Road.

The call came in around 2 this morning.

No one was hurt but the police are investigating as the blaze is suspicious.

Also, a car knocking down a light pole on the westbound throughway near the Catherwood Street exit.

The incident occurred around 3 this morning.  The snow causing the driver to collide with the pole.  He was not hurt.

Anti-Bullying Day Observed as Activist Gets Appointed To Committee

Anti-bullying Day being observed by the provincial government as Premier David Alward and Education Minister Jody Carr commit to tackling the issue.

Alward promising to ensure positive learning environments for children and teachers.

The Department of Education is planning to make improvements to legislation to combat bullying and is forming a ministerial advisory committee on positive learning environments.  Anti-bullying activist Rob Frenette has been appointed to the committee.

The provincial government designating December 17th as Anti-Bullying Day back in 2009 after a campaign spearheaded by Frenette.

Department of Health Tables Budget

The Province will invest over 56 million in capital projects within the Department of Health.Health Minister Madeleine DubĂ© tabling the department’s 2011-12 capital budget.

The capital budget includes over 37 million for ongoing projects and more than 19 million for maintenance and equipment.

The big ticket item is over 23 million for the completion of the new power plant building at the Dumont Regional Hospital in Moncton.

A release says the Department of Health will be working with the regional health authorities to determine how the 19 million for maintenance and equipment will be spent.