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Monday, January 10, 2011

Nothing Concrete With Porter Airlines Coming To Saint John

With WestJet flying to coop from the Saint John airport, rumours are swirling that Porter Airlines will be swooping in.

Spokesperson Brad Cicero tells CHSJ News they have spoken with the Saint John Airport and are exploring their options.

He says if service was to come to Saint John, it could happen as early as the spring.

Porter Airlines began offering flights out of Moncton this past summer.

City Has No Jurisdiction on Wage and Benefit Cuts Says Police Association

The rift between the Saint John Police Association and the city over pension reforms continues. 

The association claims the city has no authority to cut wages or slash benefits as that authority lies with the Saint John Board of Police Commissioners.

Association President Jamie Hachey tells CHSJ News they're willing to take legal action over this issue.

Hachey says the association accepts with a heavy heart other changes to the pension recommended by the city, such as changing the retirement age of new hires to sixty and using the best five consecutive years of service to calculate pension payments instead of three.

Group Argues Lepreau License Hearing Should Be Here

A hearing on extending the operating license for Point Lepreau is being held in Ottawa and not in the province where it operates. That move is raising the ire of the Province's Conservation Council who argue the hearing is not routine but serious given the on-going refurbishment.

Matt Abbott tells CHSJ News it seems the deck is stacked against the groups who wants these concerns about Lepreau to be aired in a public setting.
He says the people of the province need good information and a place to express their views in order to be a part of a positive energy future in the province.

Police Still Looking For Suspect In 2009 Robbery

Crime Stoppers and Sussex RCMP are looking for the person who committed an armed robbery in the fall of 2009.
About 2:30am on September 21st 2009, a masked man entered the Ultramar corner store on Main street armed with a hammer.

He pointed it at the clerk and demanded money from the till along cigarettes and lottery tickets.
The man is described as in his mid-20's, about 6 feet tall speaking english with a deep voice.
He has a thin build, dark complexion and brown eyes.

His face was covered by what may be a child's sweater and he took off on foot heading east on Main street.  If you have any information, click here to reach Crimestoppers or call 1-800-222-TIPS.

Mayor Meets With Westjet To Hear Why Airline Is Leaving

The reason Westjet decided to leave Saint John was because it was losing money due to the fact it didn't have aircraft small enough to make the run financially viable.

So says Mayor Ivan Court who met with the airline before the announcement was made. Porter Airlines has been mentioned as a possibility to move in and the Mayor doesn't disagree.

He says Porter is flying into Toronto with very cheap flights and he says you see advertisements where they are taking up the areas where service is slack.

Court says he suggested Westjet combine Saint John and Fredericton on its flight to Toronto but he was told the rising cost of fuel ruled that option out.

Small Business Owners In Saint John Less Confident These Days

Uncertainty about the provincial finances and a strong Canadian dollar are two factors in the slipping confidence of small business owners in New Brunswick.

It's down to 64.4 per cent last month compared to 69.3 per cent across the country according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.
Saint John Board Of Trade President Imelda Gilman tells CHSJ News it comes down to the local level too.

She says it's the time of the year where municipalities are doing their budgets and we are still waiting to find what happen with the City of Saint John's tax rate.

Gilman adds this province is export-driven and a strong Canadian dollar may play a role in how small business owners are feeling right now.

City Budget Being Finalized

Finalizing the city budget is a few weeks away -- that from Mayor Ivan Court.

He tells CHSJ News council still needs to hear from a few groups about how they'll work with their new budgets before they sign off on the city's finances.

He says they will be focusing on the priorities, what they have to do now and what can they delay to make sure they can have a balanced budget.

Court says the tax line will be held and says council managed to drop the tax rate by 1 cent in their first two years.

He says safe drinking water is still council's number one priority.