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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Q-Plex Planning Double Celebration For Canada Day

The Q-Plex in Quispamsis has a double celebration tomorrow with it's official opening and Canada Day activities.
Quispamsis Mayor Murray Driscoll tells CHSJ News since the complex has been open for a while, the feedback is very positive.
He says the Q-Plex is a great thing for the community with the ice surface, pool and walking track busy with activity.  The celebrations begin at 11am tomorrow and run until 4pm.
Events include a cake cutting, inflatables for the kids and lots of entertainment.  For more information on the events, click here

"Priority Neighbourhood" Not A Stigma

The term "priority neighbourhood" does not appear to have a negative connotation within the Saint John community -- that from the Human Development Council's Randy Hatfield.

He's responding to a recent comment by a Toronto councillor who said the term "priority neighbourhood" is stigmatizing.

Hatfield tells CHSJ News it was the residents who chose that term over the word "vulnerable" when asked to label the area.

He says the word has brought the challenges faced by those communities into focus.

Local Government Needs Overhaul

Municipal financing needs to drastically change -- that from the President of the Union of the Municipalities of New Brunswick.

David Hanson tells CHSJ News all property taxes, like the surcharges on secondary homes, should go back to the cities.

[CLIP]...the roles necessary (14 secs)

He adds local service districts should also have an elected representative in order to have a legal voice when dealing with other levels of government.

61 Drivers Caught Speeding Through Construction Zones

One driver in the Pennfield area given a $600 fine for driving at 160 kilometres an hour in an 80 kilometre an hour zone.
RCMP handing out 61 speeding tickets in just over three hours in a construction zone on Highway 1 in the Pennfield area.

Fines for speeding through a construction zone in the province are doubled.
Police enforcement in construction zones will continue throughout the construction season.

Smith Family In Shock As New Chief Coroner Gets The Case

A new coroner has been appointed to preside over the inquest into the death of a young woman in an Ontario prison.
Ashley Smith, a 19-year-old from Moncton choked herself to death in a Kitchener facility in 2007.   Lawyer Julian Falconer says Smith's family is in utter shock and disbelief to learn that Dr. John Carlisle has been assigned to take over from presiding coroner Dr. Bonita Porter.

He calls it an extraordinary development that means weeks of motions may be lost. He adds its shocking considering the size of this case that a chief coroner would ever been assigned who was not available after November.
The inquest started on May 16th and heard just three days of evidence before being adjourned until September. The Office of the Chief Coroner says Porter wouldn't have been able to complete the inquest when it resumes because of her pending retirement.

Gas Is A Bit Cheaper Heading Into The Long Weekend

It's like a little present for the long weekend--gas is cheaper.  Regular self-serve gas is down a bit going for 122.6 a litre at the weekly setting.  Self-serve diesel is down a couple of cents to 127.2 a litre.

At one city pump, regular and diesel are even cheaper, with regular gas going for an even 120 a litre and diesel for 124.6.
That BBQ won't cost any extra this weekend as the cost of propane remains the same at 114.2 a litre.

Duffers Raise Nearly $110K For Neo Natal Unit Program

Everyone is feeling pretty good about this...a great day of golf bringing in nearly $110, 000 for the Regional Hospital's Neo Natal Unit Intensive Care Unit.

Golfers raising the money at the Randy Jones Foundation annual Golf for Kids Sake tourney yesterday at Riverside Golf and Country Club.
The money will be used for the Breathe Easy program of the Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit.

Hundreds Form Giant 7 To Promote Bay Of Fundy

Over 500 people turning up at the Coast Guard site to form a giant human seven in support of the Bay of Fundy. The Bay is the last remaining Canadian entry in the New7Wonders of Nature Competition.

Terri McCulloch with Bay of Fundy Tourism tells CHSJ News she was delighted by the turnout, with people coming up from Hopewell and St. Andrews to take part. She says people are always amazed when they hear about the Bay of Fundy's tides, which are five to ten times higher than anywhere else.

The Bay of Fundy is one of 28 sites left in the competition, and is up against places like the Grand Canyon and the Dead Sea. To vote, go to or text FUNDY to 77077 ($0.25 per text vote).

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Body Of Missing Boater Found

The body of 81-year-old  Doctor John 'Jack' MacKay of Fredericton has been found. 

He was reported missing on June 23 after being reported that he fell overboard while fishing in the Porter Cover area. 

His body was found yesterday by a fisherman on the Main Southwest Miramichi River.

RCMP Asking For Help In Finding Murder Suspect

RCMP is asking for your help in locating a suspect in a home invasion and attempted murder.

Police are on the lookout for 19-year-old Tristan Harold Lyons in connection with a home invasion and attempted murder on Friday in Moncton.  Charges including attempted murder and break and enter.

Lyons has brown hair, blue eyes, 5 feet 11 inches tall, 170 lbs, medium build, and has four tattoos -- the most noticeable being the word 'Lyons' on the right side of his neck. 

Police are advising you to not approach him and to call police or crime-stoppers at 1 800 222 TIPS.

Sale of AECL Could Leave Province Footing The Bill On Lepreau

The provincial Liberals are worried about the possible repercussions from the federal government's imminent sale of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.

Energy Critic Brian Kenny says the sale will leave questions on who will be responsible for paying the cost overruns of the Point Lepreau refit.
The province claims the federal government should pay for the billion dollar bill as they are the owners of AECL, who were contracted by the Lord government to do the work.

Kenny adds that the Energy Minister has been quite vague as to how negotiations between the province and AECL are going.

Report On Minor Injury Cap Not Out Until September

It will likely be September before the group responsible for reviewing the 25 hundred dollar minor injury cap on auto insurance makes its recommendation to the province.  

Chair Michel Leger tells CHSJ News after visiting 6 locations across the province, it's clear there is a problem with the current system.

Leger says the one thing they won't be looking into is the possibility of a deductible.  He says their mandate is only to address the cap and it's definition.

Needles Found In West Side Garbage

Recently a garbage bag was thrown onto a truck on the west side and it split open revealing needles.

Kevin Rice of Munical Operations tells us under the solid waste by-law that bag is tagged with a non-collection notice and its left at the curb.
Rice tells CHSJ News it happened to one man who then got a call from the Fundy Solid Waste Commission on what to do next.

He says the man was a diabetic and he was told they should be taken to the hospital for disposal and he took care of it.

Rice adds city staff are very aware of the risk of sharps in the garbage and they wear special gloves to protect their hands especially when working at night. For more information, go to and click news.

Saint John Lands In Third For Commuter Challenge

Saint John making its mark on the 2011 Commuter Challenge.

The city coming in third for it's category -- two hundred and ten Saint Johners biked, walked, or carpooled to and from work.

Renee Estabrooks is with J.D. Irving, which won the local business category for 100 and more employees.  She tells CHSJ News the company really encourages employees to travel green so it was natural to take part.

Other businesses taking top honours within the challenge include the Saint John Community Loan Fund and Service New Brunswick's Assessment division.

RCMP Seize Two Kilos Of Coke Near Havelock

Two kilos of coke and a kilo of hash are off the street after a drug bust on Highway 2 in Havelock.

A 35-year-old Montreal man is in custody after the RCMP's Roving Traffic Unit and Drug Section found the drugs in a vehicle.

The seizure is the result of the RCMP’s efforts to disrupt and dismantle organized crime.

Bay Of Fundy Event Tonight Needs 777 People

Here's an activity for the high school or college student that doesn't have a summer job yet.  777 people are needed to form a giant human 7 at the Coast Guard site tonight.
The event being held to raise awareness as the Bay of Fundy compete in the New 7 Wonders of Nature content.

Terri McCulloch with Fundy Tourism says The Bay of Fundy is one of only 28 sites left in the competition and it's up against places like the Grand Canyon and the Dead Sea.
The event gets underway at 6pm tonight at the Coast Guard site.
To vote for the Bay of Fundy in the contest, click here

Hilyard Street Closure

Hilyard Street will be closed between Chesley Drive and Simonds Street all day (7am to 7pm) today for work on the Chesley Drive off-ramp.

Motorists headed west from Uptown are advised to use Main Street to access Chesley Drive. Motorists headed east on Chesley Drive will not be able to turn right onto Hilyard Street.

Tenants and customers of Place 400 will have access to the parking lot via Simonds Street and the parking lot behind the Lord Beaverbrook Rink. For more information, call 658-4455.

Victims Want To See Minor Injury Cap Removed

Accident victims calling for the complete removal of the 25 hundred dollar minor injury cap on auto insurance. Guy Daigle says he still has trouble moving his head and neck due to injuries he suffered in an accident four years ago.  He says the cap is based entirely on the profitability of the car insurance industry.

He says without the cap judges were able to award compensation that was fair and moderate to both parties. He says with the cap there seems to be a significant tilt towards the insurance companies.

Daigle says the definition of what constitutes a minor injury is so confusing, even doctors can't figure it out, and the insurance industry applies it to all cases except for the most catastrophic.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

RCMP Cracks Down On Off-Road Vehicle Offenses On Weekend

St. Stephen RCMP and the New Brunswick Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement unit recently cracking down on offenses relating to off-road vehicles.

Three people were charged over the weekend with offences under the Off-Road Vehicle Act.

Police were looking for impaired drivers, as well as valid vehicle registrations, insurance and trail permits. 

Social Assistance Cheques Need To Be Picked Up

The Department of Social Development wants to remind you that tomorrow is the the second day you can pick up your monthly social assistance cheque at designated distribution sites.

Cheques can be picked up from 9 am to 4 pm. For those in Saint John, you can go to the Exhibition Park Raceway on the city's east side. 

You will need to bring your health card and one other piece of identification.
For other locations, go to and click here.

New Dialysis Unit Opens In Charlotte Country

A new satellite dialysis unit is now open at the Charlotte County Hospital.

The new unit will be open for 12-hours a day, 3 days a week, and treat 10 patients.
MLA for Charlotte-Campobello Curtis Malloch says it's important to keep health care close to home in order to improve a patient's quality of life.

The province contributed 1.2 million dollars while the Charlotte Country Hospital Foundation kicked in 350-thousand dollars.

NB Powers Is Mum On AECL Deal

Many people are wondering how a deal that would see the sale of a part of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited to a Montreal-based engineering firm might impact the Point Lepreau refurbishment.
An NB Power spokesperson tells CHSJ News it's too soon to say anything where the deal is not yet finalized.

Energy Minister Craig Leonard told us last week that negotiations are going well to have AECL cover the cost overruns for the Lepreau refurbishment which is 3 years behind schedule and more than 1 billion dollars over budget.

Mayors Worry About Possible Reductions In Wood Harvesting

As the province mulls over possibly reducing the amount of Crown Wood that can be cut, mayors across the province are warning of the consequences of such a move.

They have put their signatures on an advertisement warning of job loss and loss revenue if the province goes ahead with a reduction.

Sussex mayor Ralph Carr tells CHSJ News municipalities are not anti-green but there is a balance that should be maintained.

He says the sawmill in Sussex employs over 30 people and worries about job security if there is a harvest reduction.

Man Ok After Car Flips Near Rowley

He might be counting his lucky stars...A 56-year-old man is ok after a rollover on Highway 111 last night.

Hampton RCMP responding to the scene in Rowley about 10pm after his car flipped. 

The man was taken to hospital to be checked out.

KV Skaters Invited To Give Input On New Park

Skateboarders in the Valley get a chance to have their say tonight on what they want to see included in the design of a new skateboarding and bike park in Quispamsis. Designer Jim Scott of Collab-plan tells CHSJ News the proposed location near the Arts and Culture park by the town hall is a good one to work with.

He says site will be very different from Saint John because the site slopes down over a hill.  Tonight's open house gets underway tonight in the town hall at 7:00.

One Arrest After Police Recover 10 Guns Uptown

One man is in jail after 10 guns were recovered at a Mecklenburg Street apartment last night.
Rothesay Regional Police making an arrest earlier in the day leading to information that the weapons would be found in Saint John.
The guns were stolen during a break and enter in Rothesay earlier this month.
Rothesay Regional Police working with Saint John Police in seizing the weapons last night.

Higgs Says The Province Will Monitor Internet Gambling

No final decision has been made yet but Provincial Finance Minister Blaine Higgs believes the Atlantic Lottery Corporation will be expanding into internet gambling. It's estimated more than 74 million dollars is spent each year on illegal internet gambling in Atlantic Canada. Higgs tells CHSJ News the Alward Government is concerned gambling addiction could worsen but it would, at the very least, be monitored and regulated.

Higgs says he knows it's a worldwide industry that they can't control but they can monitor it closely.

If the lottery corporation moves ahead with online gaming, a British company would be involved in getting it off the ground because Higgs says it has the expertise whereas A-L-C is still on a learning curve.

Saint John Gets A Turn To Talk Auto Insurance Caps

The province holding it's last two public consultations sessions this week on the 2,500 dollar minor injury cap on auto insurance. Saint John's goes tonight at 6:30 at the Hazen Hall Lecture Theatre at UNBSJ.

Michael Leger is the Chair of the Auto Insurance Working Group and says he's been impressed by information people have brought forward so far. He says this is the final opportunity for people to voice their opinions on the issue.

Community groups have called for the elimination of the injury cap or suggested a model like Newfoundland's where people pay a 75-hundred dollar deductible.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Groups Wants Youth Shelter For South End

With roughly 120 homeless youth in the city, a community group is trying to get a shelter set up in the South End specifically for young people.

Mark Leger with the Homelessness Steering Committee says there are programs available for youth in the city, but none that provide short term, emergency assistance.

Leger says the old St. James Church on Broad Street has already agreed to donate its old building for the project.

He says you have to be creative when it comes to funding things in today's economy, but the committee is confident they'll be able to secure a mix of federal and provincial government contributions along with help from the commercial sector.

A meeting to get the community's input on the project will be held tomorrow night at 7pm at the St. John the Baptist-King Edward School.

Construction To Begin Soon On Skateboarding Park In The K-V

Quispamsis is going to build a skateboarding park to be located on Landing Court near the Arts and Culture Park with construction to begin in the fall. The final design and what it will eventually cost isn't known yet. 

Robin Parks was a driving force behind building a skateboarding park and as for what it will look like, she says that will depend on what the skateboarders themselves want.  She tells CHSJ News the skateboarding park in Quispam will be different than what was built in Saint John.

Quispam Mayor Murray Driscoll says the town will contribute 100 thousand dollars for phase one with the province chipping in 50 thousand because this is what the townspeople identified as a recreational need.

There will be an open house Tuesday night 7:00 at the town hall to get feedback on its look and what should be included.

The Mayor says there's a natural slope to the land where the skateboarding and bike park will be built with room for expansion down the road.

Enterprise Agency Sets Example

With the province launching its own economic development arm this week, Enterprise Saint John is being held up as an example of how to do it right.

Minister Margaret-Ann Blaney is also a member of Saint John's economic task force, and says Invest NB will work strategically with regional agencies  by building on priorities the agencies identify.

Blaney says regional agencies will play a key role in helping Invest NB do it's job, because they're on the ground, they know the community and they know where the potential for growth is. 

She says Enterprise Saint John has been recognized as the model with the most depth and the best skill set.

Blaney Sings The Praises Of Enterprise Saint John

With the province's new economic development arm, Invest NB, ready to hit the ground running this Friday, Minister Margaret-Ann Blaney says it's looking to Enterprise Saint John as a prime example. Blaney is also a member of the city's economic task force, and says economic development agencies will play a key role in helping Invest NB do it's job.

She says the Enterprise Saint John network is being held up as an example of how to do it right.

Blaney says Invest NB is going to be very strategic in it's partnership with economic development agencies, allowing them to identify priorities and going from there.

RCMP Bust Grow Op In Wirral

RCMP in Grand Bay-Westfield getting some help from the Saint John drug section in dismantling a grow-op at a home in Wirral.

Police seizing about 175 marijuana plants in the search.

Grassroots Group Likes The Government's Shale Gas Rules

The Citizens for Responsible Resource Development agree with some the protective measures the Province is placing on shale gas exploration and development.

President Bethany Thorne-Dykstra tells CHSJ News they like the security bond in the case of water loss or contamination or any kind of accident then the industry is required to fix it.

She tells us they are very pleased that under these new rules the company has to reveal what chemicals are being used in the fracking process.

Joyce Set To Re-Open North End Garage

The old Ultramar gas station on Somerset Street will have a new use soon. Owner Danny Joyce tells CHSJ News he and his son will be opening it up again, but this time strictly as a repair shop. Joyce says he has been working on the property since December, and was painting this weekend to try and get it ready for the summer.

He is hoping to be open for business by the 2nd week of July and tells us after some delays they are making good progress now.
He says the building needed new drains, oil-water separators and electricity boxes, which has slowed the process down.

Quispam Accident Ties Up Traffic

A three car accident at the intersection of the Old Hampton Road and Campbell Drive tying up traffic in Quispamsis for half an hour yesterday.  Rothesay Regional Police say the call came in at 12:30 and two cars were heavily damaged in the crash.  One woman was taken to hospital.

Officer Hurt Breaking Up Valley Party

A member of the Rothesay Police Force sent to hospital after a breaking up a house party in Quispamsis.
Police responding to the residence at 12:30 Saturday night and ended up calling in the Saint John police for back up.  A woman officer was hurt after she fell down a flight of stairs and was hit in the face with a veer bottle.
Sgt. Peter Breen tells CHSJ News at least one woman was charged with assaulting a police officer and others could be charged after an investigation is completed.

Posties Are Going Back To Work

Now that back-to-work legislation has passed in the Senate, the President of the Saint John union Wally Moore says postal workers are just waiting to find out when they're expected back on the job. For people who have been missing their mail service, Moore asks them to remember the union tried to disrupt service as little as possible with rotating strikes.
He makes the point that Canada post locked out its workers and they never did go on strike country wide.
Moore says the way arbitration works, a P-C appointed arbitrator will look at a final offer from both sides, and pick one or the other.

More Derelict Buildings Are Coming Down

The city is looking forward to cleaning up the landscape of Saint John by demolishing the slew of vacant buildings around town that are literally falling down. There are an estimated 100 to 120 such buildings locally and Mayor Ivan Court says the danger comes when vagrants and young people bent on mischief making manage to get inside or even curious young children looking for a bit of adventure.

He says it's a danger to people who live next door to these building because the City can't guarantee their safety.

After 2 and a half years, the province passed all the changes being called for by Saint John and other municipalities to make the process of demolition a lot easier and less bureaucratic.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Province Will Do Homework On Shale Gas

Provincial Environment Minister Margaret-Ann Blaney says she expects to be on the hot seat as the province looks into shale gas development in the province.

In spite of the good words heaped upon the industry by Energy Minister Craig Leonard, Blaney tells CHSJ News nothing is written in stone yet.

Those opposing the industry say extracting the fuel can cause serious harm to land and water supplies.

But Blaney counters the province has just enacted tougher regulations and will be embarking on a public tour to educate people on what the possibilities could be for the New Brunswick.

Waiting Good For Liberals, Zed Says

Former Liberal MP Paul Zed weighing in on the party's decision to wait two years before electing a new leader. 

Zed tells CHSJ News he thinks it's a wise move, and will give the party a chance to go back to the drawing board and find it's grassroots.

Zed says the Liberals needs to get more young people and women involved, but as the New Democrats go to the left and the Conservatives go to the right, the Liberals will remain the progressive party in the centre.

Rothesay Waits On Price For Curbside Recycling

Rothesay still on the fence on whether to go the route of curbside recycling.

Mayor Bill Bishop tells CHSJ News adopting the program would take a lot of material out of the landfills and be good for the environment, but it's come up against a small snag.

Bishop says the town's previous garbage collector sold his business, and if the new collector is more expensive the town may not go the route of curbside recycling.

Province Wants Visitors To Stay

The provincial government unveiling two New Brunswick-themed smart cars that will be travelling the province this summer. The cars are part of a plan meant to encourage visitors to stay longer.

Tourism and Parks Minister Trevor Holder say close to 2.7 million people visit the province every year, and if every visitor stayed one extra day it would add 219 million dollars to the economy.

One of the cars features an image of the Hopewell Rocks and promotes the Bay of Fundy.

Canada Day Activities Ready To Go

Get your red and white ready because there's a jam-packed lineup of Canada activities set to go for next weekend.

Heather Peterson with the Hardman Group tells CHSJ News things get started at 7:30 in the morning on July 1st and don't stop until 11:30 that night. 

She says the parade and cake cutting goes at 11am, but the fun continues all day with fireworks at 10:15pm. 

Other activities include bounce rides, face painting and make your own ice cream, and everything is free of charge. 

On June 30th performances begin at 5pm on the Boardwalk including a concert by Bedouin Soundclash.

For a full schedule of events follow this link.

Cop In Hospital Following House Party Commotion

A member of the Rothesay Police Force is in hospital after breaking up a large house party in Quispamsis. 

Police responding to the residence around 12:30 last night. 

A spokesperson with the force tells CHSJ News 3 people have been charged with assaulting police officers and the injured officer is awaiting a cat-scan. 

The force extending a thank you to the Saint John Police who were called in to help out.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

EcoChallenge Shows Off Marsh Creek

The weather may not be ideal, but the first Marsh Creek EcoChallenge is still going ahead today. 

The event kicking off at eight this morning and will see 100 competitors canoe, hike, run and bike through a 27 km route. 

The goal is to raise awareness about critical watershed issues while demonstrating the area's potential for tourism. 

Teams have come from Maine and PEI to participate in the event.

Dogs Set Record In NHL Entry Draft

The Saint John Sea Dogs in high demand at Friday’s NHL Entry Draft.
Three players were selected in the first round, a record for any Quebec Major Junior team.

Forward Jonathan Huberdeau was selected third overall by the Florida Panthers, while defenceman Nathan Beaulieu went 17th overall to the Montreal Canadiens.  Finally, the Minnesota Wild picked up forward Zack Phillips at No. 28.

Rounds two through seven continue today with seven other Sea Dogs eligible including Saint John natives Ryan Tesink and Aiden Kelly.

Music Event Kicks Off For Summer

A new tradition at Victoria Square is making its debut today.

Music in the Square will have bands play every week and organizer Tammy Calvin tells CHSJ News there will be a lot to do.

Activities include photography, art, and story tents.

Calvin says the event will be a great way to get people out into the neighbourhood which also cuts down on possible trouble-making.

The event goes from 2pm to 5pm and will take place throughout the summer.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Car Hits House On The West Side

This could have been a whole lot worse after a car struck a house on the west side.

Emergency personnel responding to McCavour Drive West after a car hit a house off Manchester Avenue.

Two people in the car got out safely and the house has a broken lower floor window.

Ganong Gets Sweet Deal

The Ganong chocolate factory in St. Stephen is on the receiving end of a 5-million dollar investment from both the federal and provincial government.

Premier David Alward says the money will be used to expand their manufacturing facility and enhance productivity.

Up to 40-full time jobs will be created as a result of the investment.