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Monday, February 28, 2011

A Messy Drive Home Tonight

Environment Canada calling for up to 17 centimetres of snow for Greater Saint John.There are delays and cancellations at the Saint John airport.
Meterologist Claude Cote tells CHSJ News the temperature remained below freezing so we are getting more snow than initially expected.
He says they have issued a snowfall warning for Saint John but inland areas like Rothesay and Quispamsis could get up to 20 centimetres.  Cote says by about 8 tonight, the snow will change over to rain.  
It may be best to call ahead to check on the status of your flight.
For more info, click here

Blaney Gets An Earful About Government's Wetlands Policy

The Environment Minister hosting the first meeting in her listening tour in Saint John on the government's wetlands conservation policy and she got an earful.

It was standing room only with developers, farmers and landowners from Musquash to Belleisle Creek and Sussex telling Margaret Ann Blaney how the government wetland mapping system is hurting them and will in turn hurt the province.
Landowner Scott Robinson is tired of hearing how it's supposed to help buyers, sellers and planners.

Environment Minister Margaret Ann Blaney will not commit to rescinding their Wetland mapping system if it proves that's what everyone wants to see happen.
She says she is not prejudging the process with 9 stops on the tour and she will report back by mid-March.
One speaker called the government's policy an insult to rural New Brunswick while another says the mapping has rendered four of his lots unsellable--a potential loss of $50,000.

Rothesay Residents Will Be Asked To Help Fundy St. Andrews Aquarium

A transformation is taking place in St. Andrews with the folks at the Huntsman Aquarium into the home stretch of creating the Fundy Discovery Aquarium.

Spokesperson Muriel Jarvis tells CHSJ News the new aquarium will be almost 20 thousand square feet and three times larger than what it's replacing and there will be more than just marine life on display. Visitors will be able to see a thirty foot display showing how the Bay of Fundy tides work.

7.5 million of the project's 8 million dollar cost has been raised so far. People in St. Stephen, St. Andrews and Rothesay will be contacted to see if they're willing to make individual contributions.

It's hoped the new facility will open up in time for the long weekend in July.

Black History Society Wants the Black Experience In New Brunswick To Be Taught

As Black History Month draws to a close, the New Brunswick Black History Society is looking for a grant to research and publish a blook on the black experience in the Province.

The Society's David Peters tells CHSJ News blacks may have come to the province as free Loyalists but that doesn't mean they had an easy time of it.

Peters says they faced alot of discrimination starting with being denounced in the 1785 charter. He argues that story should be taught in schools around the province.

Over the next year, the Black History Society will be reaching out to people, families and institutions for diaries, documentation, photos and stories about the black experience.

Moore Focusing On Recovery Not Election

Fundy Royal MP Rob Moore says he's unconcerned with the rumblings of a possible federal election on the horizon.
Moore tells CHSJ News he interested in doing the work of the federal government to promote economic recovery.
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff says an election will a battle over the middle class - but - Moore says the middle class is more interested in getting our economy back on track than going to the polls.

Deputy Mayor Wants To Prevent Legal Fight Between City And Rothesay

As the city prepares a lawsuit against the town of Rothesay over a water dispute, Deputy Mayor Stephen Chase wants some dialogue to forestall legal action from going ahead.

Chase will be making a resolution at tonight's council meeting for members of the Saint John Water Utility Committee to meet with representatives from Rothesay before a lawsuit becomes official.

The city plans to sue Rothesay for disconnecting a water pipe that ran from Rothesay Road into Kennebecasis Park and Hastings Cove because of concerns over the quality and the number of boil water orders that have been issued.

The city is warning that 90 Saint John businesses and homeowners in the Rothesay Road area may have to boil their water indefinitely.

Common Council Told City Is Making Great Strides On Treating Sewage

There's light at the end of the tunnel..........That's the message to be given to Common Council tonight from the head of Municipal Operations as the city strives to eventually see all wastewater that's collected being treated.

Paul Groody says people will, nevertheless, have to be careful about what they're dumping down the sewers.

Construction of the eastern wastewater treatment facility is 85 per cent complete and should be done by this July.

Groody considers this to be the centrepiece of harbour cleanup and he maintains Saint John is ahead of Moncton and Halifax when it comes to wastewater treatment.

Environment Minister To Hear Concerns Over Wetlands Beginning Today

Environment Minister Margaret Ann Blaney calls it her listening tour about government policy on wetlands and it will get underway this morning at the Lily Lake Pavilion.

Blaney has been hearing concerns from developers, mayors, planning commissions, farmers and land owners about future restrictions on development. 

She does say there seems to be alot of misunderstanding over that part of the mapping analysis about where wetlands may or may not be. She tells CHSJ News wetlands, which prevent flooding, have to be protected for the sake of the developers.

Blaney says government policy stipulates there be 4 per cent of the province made up of wetlands but the controversy has arisen over the mapping analysis of where wetlands may or may not be.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Inmate Dies In Dorchester

The RCMP's Major Crime Unit are investigating the death of 63-year-old Roch Thériault, an inmate at the Dorchester Penitentiary.  Thériault was involved in an altercation yesterday and died as the result of his injuries.

Thériault's death has been deemed a homicide, and a 59-year-old man, who is also an inmate at the penitentiary, has been arrested in connection with the incident.

Fire Crews Kept Busy In North End

A pair of incidents in the north end keeping emergency crews busy.

Around 3am, crews responding to a rolled-over vehicle on Douglas Avenue near Alexander Street.  2 people in the vehicle but no serious injuries.  Police are investing the cause.

At 3:30am, fire crews finding a vehicle on fire at Metcalf Street. Police believe the car was stolen.  No one was hurt.

KV Fire Chief Celebrates 1 year anniversary

It's almost a year since KV Fire Chief Bill Ireland got the job and he says it's been a whirlwind.Bill Ireland tells CHSJ news the challenges are different in part because the Valley doesn't have a strong industrial component like Saint John.

Their biggest challenge is having enough people on scene when there is an emergency

Chief Ireland wishes Saint John Chief Rob Simonds the best of luck in Hamilton, saying he is a greator mentor to the entire New Brunswick fire service.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Wear That Seatbelt Or Face A Fine Or Worse

Buckle Up or face the consequences....
City police will be conducting spot check programs next month.

In a release, the Saint John police force claims between 40 and 50 per cent of fatalities in car accidents result from crashes where drivers and passengers are not wearing seat belts properly.
The fine for not drivers and passengers not wearing their seat belts properly is $172.50

The City police remind everyone that wearing a secured seat belt can save their life.

Few Accidents In Last Night's Weather

It seems a lot of people decided to stay home and avoid the weather.
Both Saint John and Rothesay Regional Police reporting very few accidents last night and yesterday due to the storm.

City police did close the Highway at Spruce Lake for four hours due to white out conditions.  It re-opened about 4:30 this morning.

Saint John Gets Off Easy After Major Storm

We got off easy with 13 centimetres of snow for Saint John recorded at the airport.  St. Stephen was a little worse off than us with 16 centimetres of snow yesterday and Moncton residents are digging out from 27 centimetres.
Environment Canada meterologist Jean Marc Couturier tells CHSJ News says the snow continued for most of the night and is just tapering off in Sussex.
He says there is still blowing snow and drifting because of gusty winds to 70 kilometres an hour which may result in reduced visibility.

Couturier says the system is pulling away meaning conditions will starts to improve.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Last Call For Simonds

A poignant moment today when the Communications Centre in Saint John announcing the last fire call for outgoing city Fire Chief Rob Simonds.
The alarm heard by fire crews, ambulance personnel and the city police service.
In the announcement, the dispatcher thanking Simonds for his many years of service and wishing him best in his new post as Fire Chief in Hamilton, Ontario.

Buses Are Coming Off The Roads

City transit buses are running anywhere from 10 to 40 minutes behind schedule on most routes. The buses are coming off the roads around 6:30 tonight

To see our list of cancellations: click delays under the local news tab.

Storm Update

If you are inland, you may be see a lot more snow for our lastest winter blast.
Meterologist Claude Cote says in Saint John we should see 15-25 centimetres of snow at times mixed with rain.

He says the brunt of the storm is impacting the Sussex area with 35 centimetres for the Moncton area.  Gusty winds pick up tonight with conditions improving overnight with it all over by daybreak with a sunny Saturday in store.

Cote says by tomorrow morning there should be 35 centimetres of snow on the ground at Poley Mountain.

Kitchen Fire Displaces Mom and Son

The tenants of a Millidgeville apartment building had to evacuate their homes after a grease fire this morning.
The stove top fire has left a woman and her six-year-old son temporarily homeless.
They are staying with relatives for now and the Red Cross is helping them get emergency clothing.

The fire at 133 Woodhaven Drive was contained to one apartment but adjacent units had smoke or water damage and required cleaning and an electrical check before tenants could return home.

Bishops Think McKay Highway Needs Improvements

There's alot of speculation about the fate of the planned expansion of the McKay Highway between Saint John and the Valley now that some owners have been told their land won't be expropriated because it's not needed.

That doesn't come as any surprise to Rothesay Mayor Bill Bishop. He tells CHSJ News the traffic congestion could be alleviated somewhat by improvements to the on and off ramps to and from the highway.
He thinks it would because so much traffic enters the highway near the fire station on Campbell Drive.  Bishop believes it should be widened. A spokesperson for the Transportation Department says the highway expansion is still be evaluated and no final decision has been made.

The Port City Is Not A Seller's Market

Saint John is not a seller's market these days when it comes to unloading a home. That word from Jason Stephen who's President of the Saint John Real Estate Board.
Stephen says the days on market averages are increasing and the market is unlike 2007 and2008 when there were more sales and more product moving quickly.

Housing sales in January were down 16 per cent from January of 2010 with the average price of almost 172 thousand dollars which is an increase of 2 per cent year to year.

Federal Law And Order Minister In North End Praising O.N.E. Change

The Federal Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews in Saint John yesterday to see what O.N.E Change Youth Inclusion Program in the north end is all about.

Toews says by seeing the success of the program firsthand, it will be easier to provide future funding.
The Federal Government funds the program through it's National Crime Prevention Strategy.

The Youth Inclusion Program addresses risk factors for young people, including substance abuse and lack of recreational activities to keep them from getting ensnarled in the criminal justice system.

Toews praised School District 8 for what it's doing at Lorne School. The O.N.E Change program has received more 914 thousand over 4 years.

Saint John To Get Hammered Again By More Nasty Weather

Another big weather maker will be passing through the Saint John Region with the worst of the storm expected tonight. That word coming from Steve Fougere of Environment Canada.

He says the snow will begin this afternoon but the worst of the storm is expected from early this evening until midnight.

Saint John is expected to receive 20 to 30 centimeters with up to 40 inland.

Fougere warns the snow will be heavy at time and expects 20 centimeters of snow to fall over a 6 hour period with the really strong winds developing around midnight.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fundy Civic Centre Project Gets Financial Boost

Both the federal and provincial government opening the cheque book for Sussex as ach is committing an additonal 1 million dollars towards the construction of the Fundy Civic Centre.

The facility is currently under construction and when finished, will offer community meeting and spectator space, an indoor aquatic facility and a fitness centre.

Airport Doesn't Feel Left Out During Recent Funding Announcements

Despite both the federal and provincial governments giving money to the Fredericton and Moncton airports for improvements, the Saint John Airport doesn't feel left out in the cold.

President Bernie LeBlanc tells CHSJ News they're always working on getting money from the government and it's just a matter of timing.

He says the money being used at the other facilities are for runway maintenance and expansion, something the Saint John airport doesn't have to worry about until 2018.

Tourism Minister Pleased With Port Expansion

With the berthing capacity being expanded at the port, Tourism Minister Trevor Holder is excited for what that holds for the cruise industry.

Holders says it will allow more people to experience the great city of Saint John and he's confident that if a visitor is in the city for one day, they will want to return for the full maritime experience.

Weston Has Looksee At U-N-B Saint John Expansion

Saint John M-P Rodney Weston getting a first hand look at the expansion taking place on the campus of U-N-B Saint John.

Weston tells CHSJ News the federal government allocated 8 million dollars towards the construction of the Commons Building as part of the infrastructure programme in the aftermath of the financial meltdown in 2008 but it was well worth it.

He predicts it will become the focal point of the campus and describes it as U-N-B Saint John's coming of age. The building is expected to be finished in June.

Saint Johnners Avoiding Big Price Increases When Filling Up

Price shock is being seen with gas in several major cities across the country but not in Saint John.

Self serve regular has gone up by a cent and a half a litre to $1.11.9 but that pales in comparison to an increase of 3.6 cents a litre seen elsewhere.

Diesel in the city has also risen but by the slightest of margins to $1.22.5 and heating oil remains listed at $1.08.1.

Fire Crews At North End Nursing Home

It's always a scary situation when fire crews are called to a nursing home and that's what happened at Rocmaura in the north end.

 District Chief Joe Armstrong says a transformer shorted out and there was smoke coming from the basement.

The basement was ventilated and the residents who were evacuated returned to their rooms on the first floor.
The fire department is investigating why the transformer malfunctioned in the first place.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Medical Program Hopes to Attract More Rural Doctors

The effort to boost the number of rural doctors in the province is getting a shot in the arm with the introduction of a new medical program.

The 3-year integrated family medicine program looks to increase the amount rural docs by offering training in family medicine, emergency, and acute care with an 8 to 16 week training period in a rural part of the province.

Medical Education Director for Saint John Dr. Todd Lambert tells CHSJ News exposing med students to rural settings make them more likely to return and practice in those areas.

The Federal Government funding the program to the tune of 2.8 million dollars over 4 years for a total of 6 residency positions.

City Police Seek Help In Solving Death From Last Summer

City police are looking for help from the public that may solve the death of man last summer.
53-year-old Mark Stephen Fryer was found unconscious at Haymarket Square near the Courtney Bay Inn in the early morning hours of August 15th.    The Major Crime Unit is seeking any information the public may have on Fryer's death.

If you have any info, call Major Crime at 648-3211 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Ganong Says Tax Increases And Cuts Are Necessary In The Provincial Budget

The chair of the New Brunswick Business Council says the Finance Minister will have increase taxes and implement more severe cuts than we have heard of so far to start getting the province's financial house in order. David Ganong says Blaine Higgs has some tough decisions to make in the short term and tells us he would not want his job.

He adds in the medium to longer term we needs to find more people to pay taxes not the same people paying more taxes.
Ganong says he can't see the Finance Minister solving his problems without tax increases.

Dragon's Den Auditions Coming Up Next Month

Auditions for the TV show "Dragon's Den" will be held March 3rd in the city. That word from Christine Comeau at Enterprise Saint John. She tells CHSJ News they expect 35 people or so to show up and they should remember it's TV.

Comeau adds the more concise presentation the better and she says producers are looking for great business ideas and someone who is going to be great on camera.

You have to keep your presentation to 5 minutes. Two producers from the show will be doing the judging in the Business Resource Centre at King and Germain.

Federal Money Will Improve St. Martin's Community Centre

The gymnasium at the St. Martin's Christian Education Community Centre getting some government cash.

The feds giving 26 thousand dollars while the province is cutting a 50-thousand cheque for renovations including new lighting and electrical system.

Centre Spokesperson Bruce Huttges tells CHSJ News it will turn things around.
He says it will change the whole facility, he says in the past it wasn't useable because it was cold and now they will be able to put it to use.

Work has already begun and Huttges says it will be completed by the end of March.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Brunswick Can't Rely Soley on Government To Save Economy

A business audience in Saint John learning from one of its leaders on what is necessary to move the province forward.New Brunswick Business Council chair David Ganong sharing with the Board of Trade members the ideas that came from last fall's Future NB Summit.
In response to a CHSJ News question, Ganong tells us he got involved because he cares about this province. 

Ganong says major problems facing New Brunswick include the deficit and the economy but you cannot rely soley on the government to solve these issues.

Innovatia CEO Roxanne Fairweather tells CHSJ News she agrees there are challenges facing the province but she is still hopeful about the future.

The organizers of the Future NB Summit want to see a non-governmental organization operating a provincial business plan--a strategy that is working well in Oregon.

No Layoffs Coming To City Transit

There will be no layoffs even though City Transit is cutting back on various routes beginning in March to save money.

Transit Union President Tom McGraw tells CHSJ News four cuts were on deck but the union made the numbers work, primarily because two senior drivers decided to take early retirement.

However, McGraw warns the union will be facing cuts again at the end of the year as council has mandated only a 1 percent increase to city transit's budget.

Don't Look For Federal Money Coming To SJ Airport Anytime Soon

The Saint John Airport is not getting any federal money despite both the Fredericton and Moncton airports getting dollars from Ottawa for infrastructure improvements.

Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Keith Ashfield tells CHSJ News this isn't a slight to the Saint John Airport but the growing success of the port and the cruise industry made it a priority for funding.

Ashfield not giving out any timelines on possible future funding.

However, the Saint John Airport Authority did meet with common council Monday night in closed session.

2011 Heritage Award Winners Announced

Heritage is good business both for the property owners and the city. So Says Mayor Ivan Court as the city hands out its 2011 Heritage Awards.

Court says the property owners invested 25 dollars for every dollar in grant money handed out by the city. The 200 thousand dollars in grant money from the city generated more than 5 million dollars in heritage development as well as making the downtown a more attractive place for people to live.

The winners are John Irving of Commercial Properties for the Ordnance Building by the Barrack Green Armoury.......Coastal Realty owner Peter Asimakos for rehabilitating the building at 87 Canterbury........Barb Kliffer for the work she did to preserve a home at 80 Sydney Street........Bridget McGale for preserving the facade at 73 Duke Street........Brad Richard and Mike Verner for the Bourbon Quarter and Magnolia Cafe commercial signs.......Jonathon Northrup and Micheal Cummings are being recognised for restoring the facade at 176 King Street East .......The Saint John Theatre Company for rehabilitating its building on Princess Street and the New Brunswick Museum for raising heritage awareness.

Alward Ruling Out Having Nuclear Waste Dump In Province

Having New Brunswick become the home of a nuclear waste dump is not something he is pursuing. That word coming directly from Premier David Alward.
A federal document suggests Saskatchewan and New Brunswick appear to be the most receptive sites for such a facility.

Alward tells CHSJ News the previous government some work on the file but it's not something he's interested in.

He says public safety would be the number one issue and it's of greater importance than economic gain.

According to the federal document, there are some municipalities anxious to have the nuclear waste dump in their communities.

New Growth Strategy Coming For City

Common Council is being urged to set targets for future residential growth of 50 per cent in the urban core and 40 per cent in suburban areas. Craig Benning of Hemson Consulting says rural growth should be limited because of dollars and cents.......Providing city services to the more remote areas where fewer people live doesn't make good financial sense.

Benning does warn the financial benefits from this change won't start to be realised until after 2017 and will gradually increase to 2031.

Saint John's population by 2017 is projected to be 66 thousand. For the past couple of decades only 15 per cent of residential development has been taking place in the urban core.

New Contract Agreement For Saint John Longshoremen

International Longshoremen's Association Local 273 and the Port of Saint John Employers Association have agreed to a new 4 year contract agreement which will last until the end of 2014.

The agreement is said to provide cost savings for employers and a wage increase of 6.1 % for employees over the term of the agreement as well as an 8 % increase toward pension and welfare contributions.

Monday, February 21, 2011

KV Fire Department Makes Changes To Volunteer Division

The KV fire department is restructuring is volunteer firefighting divison to fit the needs of people who don't want to run into burning buildings.

Fire chief Bill Ireland tells CHSJ News they now have a two tier fitness tests with the first one being a qualifying physical.

He says to advance to the actual running into the burning building role, it's a much more complex process with a much higher level of fitness required.

To learn more, you can attend an information session hosted by the KV Fire department on Wednesday night at 7pm. The session will be held at Fire station 1 at 7 Campbell Drive in Rothesay.   To pre-register call 848-6610 or click here

Port Gets Millions For Expansion

The Port of Saint John getting a huge funding boost from the federal government and the province.

The Feds investing 4.5 million dollars into expanding the berthing capacity of the port.  The total project costs 14 million dollars and the remainder will be split evenly between the province and the port.

Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Keith Ashfield says it's a sound investment as cruise ships are getting bigger and are carrying more passengers.

The funding is part of two other infrastructure announcements by the federal government: 5.2 million for the Fredericton Airport and 4 million for the Moncton Airport.

Saint John Port Authority Eager To Get Expansion Started

Meanwhile, the Chair of the Saint John Port Authority Stephen Campbell is excited to get to work on the berthing expansion.

He tells CHSJ News construction will begin soon and it should not interfere too badly with this year's cruise season as the cruise lines have been made aware of the project.

He says the expansion should be completed in time for the 2012 cruise season.

Moosehead Management Is Willing To Talk

Moosehead's Joel Levesque says the dispute relates specifically to post-retirement benefits.

He tells CHSJ news they have a program in place that provides 100 per cent coverage to their retired employees they have been providing for many years which is rare in any company.

Levesque adds it's a benefit whose cost has spiraled out of control and they want to continue to offer it so they have asked to share the cost and that is where the talks broke down.
He says the company is willing to talk and adds this work stoppage will not impact the availability of Moosehead products for consumers here or anywhere else.

Holder Says We Should Not Focus On What Other Cities Are Doing

If Saint John wants to host a CFL game then it should go for it but not just because Moncton is doing it. So says Saint John Portland M-L-A Trevor Holder who's also a member of the provincial cabinet.

He says we shouldn't be looking over our shoulder at what Fredericton, Moncton, Halifax or even Boston are doing but, focusing on what we can do here in Saint John.

Holder would like Saint John to go after its own unique events and is urging everyone to get behind the effort to land the 2012 Memorial Cup Tournament.

Moosehead Workers Locked Out

172 production workers for Moosehead Breweries are locked out after failed contract negotiations.
Union President Jeff Stoddard tells CHSJ News the main issue was cuts to their prescription drug plan for retirees.

He says it's very unfortunate because the one thing that people can be united on is the fact that they get sick and there is a source to help them out and they would like to have it.

Stoddard says it's an unfortunate situation that not only affects 172 families but the rest of the Moosehead family as well.   He says the workers will be picketing 24 hours a day but are open to discussion if the company wants to talk.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Saint John MLA Says The Port City Is A Proven Event Host

The MLA for Saint John-Portland does not see the need for us to duplicate what others are doing such as Moncton hosting a CFL exhibition game.
Trevor Holder tells CHSJ News there is no reason why Saint Johners can get together and lobby for all kinds of different events.

He says right now we are in an aggressive bid for the Memorial Cup but he believes we have the fans and facilities to support them.
The Minister of Wellness, Culture and Sports also supports the idea of putting artificial turf at the three Millidgeville playing fields and he pledges to work with the community on it.

Province Told To Butt Out When It Comes To Energy Rates

Former Public Utilities Board Chairman David Nicholson says some major changes need to happen for the province to get a proper energy plan in place.

Nicholson tells CHSJ News need government needs to give teeth back to the utility boards when it comes to rulings on rate hikes.

He says the Lord government cost NB Power hundreds of millions of dollars years ago by capping rates and ignoring what the Public Utilities Board had to say.

The Premier's Energy Commission has wrapped up its public consultations as the province develops a long term energy plan.

Nicholson warns the direction of energy in the province needs to be shaped outside of politics. He says most other provinces only speak to policy and do not get involved in the day to day running of utilities.

Proponent Of Shale Gas Exploration In Province Warns Of Misinformation

As the Premier's Energy Commission gets down to drafting a long term policy, there's alot of talk about the potential of shale gas.

David Plante, who speaks for manufacturers and exporters in the province, tells CHSJ News the environmental concerns are not being downplayed but there is, in his view, alot of misinformation being circulated.

Plante claims, for the most part, water is used to fracture the rock. One of the major concerns is what effect this will have on the existing supplies of water.

Plante see shale gas as being, in his words, "a real game changer" for the provincial economy.

Tardiness Of Common Council Disrupts TV Coverage

Last week, there was no TV coverage of Common Council because the public meeting was one hour late in getting started.

The Regional Manager for Rogers TV, Scott Jackson tells CHSJ News city staff have been told if the meeting is more than 15 minutes late in getting started, TV coverage will be pulled.

Jackson says a number of viewers have called to complain but there has been no response from the politicians themselves. 

He says the long delays, which have become more frequent, are a disservice to viewers.

The Council meetings, at one time, were shown on a tape delayed basis but, ironically, it was Council, itself, who pressed for live coverage to return.

Confidence Expressed About Reducing Saint John Poverty Rate Despite Tight Government Budgets

The goal at Vibrant Communities is to reduce the poverty rate in the city to the national average of 15 per cent by 2015.

Dr. Regena Farnsworth, who chairs Vibrant Communities, tells CHSJ News alot of progress has been made since 2004 when the poverty rate was 28 per cent.

One disturbing trend is an increase in the teen pregnancy rate. In addition to that, more than 10 thousand Saint Johnners over the age of 25 have not completed high school. Existing programmes for housing are described as underfunded and oversubscribed with waiting lists.

 According to a report prepared by Vibrant Communities, reducing poverty cannot be achieved without significant changes to current systems.

Car Flips On Highway 1

A car flipping over into a ditch on Highway 1 going westbound in Musquash.
One adult and 3 children involved in the accident yesterday but no one seriously hurt. 

No word yet on a cause.

Fire Crews Busy Around the Province

A few people are homeless after 2 seperate house fires.

A St. Stephen couple are homeless after a fire in their apartment inside a two-storey home. Fire crews able to keep the fire contained, saving the other part of the home.  There were no injuries and no word yet on a cause.

Also, a woman in Narsh Creek losing her home after a housefire at 56 Lapointe Road on Friday.  She was not hurt and no word yet on a cause.

Blood Lab Needed For New Cancer Treatments

While the Saint John Regional Hospital is raising funds for equipment used in cutting edge cancer treatment, one doctor is worried about the affect Canadian Blood Services' impending move will have on that treatment.

Director of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program Dr. Terrence Comeau tells CHSJ News losing the blood production lab complicates things in the many departments, including oncology.

He says having a blood production lab is critical if Saint John wants to become the epicentre of advanced treatment.

The blood production lab is moving to Dartmouth later this year.

Students Say No to Bus Pass

Students at UNBSJ saying no to a proposal for an unlimited bus pass with City Transit during the school year.

The idea being voted down by a 2 to 1 margin.

Assisant General Manager of Saint John Transit Brian Thorne tells CHSJ News many students balked at the 200-dollar price tag and already have their own vehicles.

Thorne says Saint John Transit is leaving the door open if the idea wants to be raised again down the road.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

House Destroyed in Lower Norton

The Hampton Fire Department on the scene of a two-story house fire in lower Norton on Ketchum Road.

Captain Mike Raeburn tells CHSJ News the call came in around 9am.  Only one person home at the time of the fire. 

There are no injuries but the house is destroyed.