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Monday, April 4, 2011

Bridge Toll Plaza Should Be Removed By June

The province isn't wasting any time in making changes to the area around the Harbour Bridge toll plaza.

Transportation Minister Claude Williams tells CHSJ News planning is underway for the removal of the plaza and redesign of the traffic lanes in that area.

The Minister says tenders will be called shortly for the demolition of the toll plaza and that work should be completed by June.

Meantime -- Williams says a speed limit of 50-kmh will be strictly enforced by police in the area of the toll plaza.

Tolls were removed late Friday afternoon after legislation was passed giving the province ownership of the bridge.

Police Asking For Help In Locating Missing

City police is asking for your help in finding a missing person from the New Direction Special Care home on the city's west side.

Missing is 58 year old Lional Daigle.  He's described as 5'3", 137 pounds with a slim build, brown eyes, and salt and pepper hair.

He was last seen wearing a three-quarter length grey hooded winter jacket with blue jeans and sneakers.

Police say Daigle requires regular medication for reported mental health issues. 
If you have any information, contact city police at 648-3333.

A Perfect Storm For Housing Insurance Is Possible

"It's not a crisis yet" but the Province's consumer advocate for insurance says increasing weather issues may lead to a perfect storm for the rising cost of house insurance.
Ronald Godin tells CHSJ News premiums have being going up combining with the substantial flooding in recent years.

He says if this keeps up and the experts say it could get worse we are all going to have to pay for it and it will have an impact on availability and affordability.
Godin says the cost of auto insurance has improved tremendously since he opened the office back in 2005.

Coucil Gives City Approval To Pay Off Projects

Common Council giving the city approval to begin paying off some of the major infrastructure projects from 2010.  The projects range from road work and sewer improvements to work on the new police headquarters going up at Peel Plaza.

City Manager Patrick Woods tells CHSJ News the payment periods will vary depending on the project, such as 5 years for a major vehicle or 15 years for a road.

The city will be paying off $41 million dollars worth of projects.

Warning For Taxpayers About Point Lepreau

A warning from the Conservation Council of New Brunswick about how much Point Lepreau will wind up costing provincial taxpayers.

 The Conservation Council's Raphael Shay tells CHSJ News there's the 400 million dollar yearly payment to Atomic Energy of Canada but that's not all. The additional expenditures are being deferred and when the time comes to pay up, Shay is predicting power rates will have to go up.

A select committee on Point Lepreau has been formed by the Premier to review the financial side of things.

Premier Rejects Opposition Charges On Lepreau

The Opposition Liberals have been hammering away at Premier David Alward about the cost overruns at Point Lepreau and how his government should be doing more to persuade the Conservatives in Ottawa to pick up that tab, including possible court action.

The Premier is rejecting the suggestion the province is being too passive, saying an evaluation of the cost overruns is now being prepared which is something, he claims, was not done before but should have.

Lost Hikers Found

It didn't take long for City Police and the fire department to find two teen girls who got lost in Rockwood Park.

The search started around 7 last night after the the girls went on a hike in the afternoon entering the park from Sandy Point Road.

Police found them on a path shortly before 8:30 and tell us they were none the worse for wear.

Road Repairs In City Put Under Magnifying Glass

The mayor wants the city to look into the quality of asphalt it is using for road construction.

Ivan Court says the city use to do road repairs every 8 to 10 years but now it seems like the roads are being fixed every 1 to 2 years. He wants to know if everything is being done correctly so the taxpayer is getting good bang for his and her buck.

He admits there are many factors at play, including the weather but he wants to make sure the city is doing the best it can to create high quality roads.

City Warns Of Traffic Delays

If you're going to make City Road or Station Street part of your daily commute, you can expect some traffic delays for the next few months.

Work begins today on a lift station at Harbour Station, which is part of the Harbour Clean Up project.
The city is advising drivers attending events at Habour Station or the Uptown to allow for extra travel time.

Work will take place throughout the summer and fall.

We're told as well, the city will be starting the spring cleanup today with sidewalk and street sweeping and more asphalt paving.

More Beds Have To Open Up At Regional

If the new plans to increase the amount of operating room times at the Regional Hospital for doctors are to succeed, something will have to be done on making sure more beds are available for the patients who will undergo the surgeries.

Chief of Staff Dr. Brian Wheelock concedes that is going to be one tough nut to crack because there is no point in performing surgeries if there is no place to house the patients afterwards.

An ongoing problem at the Regional Hospital has been too many beds are being taken up by people who should be in nursing homes but there isn't the space available for them.

Chase Attacks Harper Government Record In City

The Liberal candidate in Saint John, Stephen Chase has opened his campaign office on Union Street and launched an attack on the record of the Harper Government in the city.

He tells CHSJ News while the federal government is contributing to Harbour Cleanup, there has been no commitment to help provide safe, clean drinking water. Chase maintains it was former Liberal M-P Paul Zed who did most of the leg work in securing the money for Harbour Cleanup while the Harper Government delivered the cheque.

He also complains the Harper government has not been forthcoming with funding for the port's deteroriating wharves on the lower west side, the airport or upgrading the Trade and Convention Centre whereas ports, airports and convention centres in other cities have received lots of federal money.

Adult Learners Being Celebrated

The Saint John Learning Exchange celebrating Adult Learner's Week with a potluck and other events to thank the learners for having courage to improve their future.

35-year-old learner Ann Adams-Clements tells CHSJ News she was struggling with big words and filling out documents in her previous jobs.

She says in her program she is working on essential skills like reading, math and spelling to improve on the things employers would want.
Adams-Clements says the learners run a community kitchen every week out of the Stone Church uptown. To learn more about the Saint John Learning Exchange click here