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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Alberta Building Owners Facing Huge Fine For Not Fixing Up Properties

The court handing an Alberta company a fine of more than $11,000 for violations relating to the City's minimum property standards by-law.
The fines issued to the company that owns several buildings in the City as a result of a charge of non-compliance of a court order.

The company did not carry out court-ordered repair work to a building in the City's north end. It is the second time the numbered company is facing a fine for non-compliance. The owner have until the end of the month to repair and secure the building's interior and exterior.
In a separate ruling, the same company receiving a fine of more than $3000 for failing to make repairs to a building in the South end.

Mike Duffy Campaigns In City For Weston

Conservative Senator Mike Duffy stopping off in Saint John to speak to seniors at Hillcrest Village on the west side and campaign for incumbant Rodney Weston.

Duffy tells CHSJ News he has no doubt Prime Minister Harper will win a majority government because Canadians are tired of all this craziness.

Duffy goes on to say the leaders' debate the other night showed Harper as calm, competent and who looks like a Prime Minister and he only has to win 12 more seats than he did the last election to gain a majority.

Duffy told the seniors at Hillcrest it was Weston's personal intervention with the Prime Minister that finally got the tolls taken off the Harbour Bridge.

No Flexibility In Timing Of Good Friday Advance Polls

Advanced voting for the May 2nd federal election begins next Friday -- and -- in case you haven't noticed -- that's Good Friday.

Pastor Edward Powell of the Grand Bay United Baptist Church isn't surprised given we have Sunday shopping and a lot of people not really observing other religious holidays.

Powell says it comes down to those who want to honour God on Good Friday will do so while those who want to vote will do that as well.

Elections Canada says it has no say in how the advance voting falls for the May 2nd federal election.

Spokesperson Karen Janigan says the law states the advanced voting must be held so many days prior to the actual election day -- but -- she tells CHSJ News there are other options available for those who aren't comfortable voting over the Easter weekend including a special ballot that can be cast at your local returning office.

More information on voting can be found here.

Guilty Plea In 2010 St. Stephen Bank Robbery

46-year-old Toni Earl McFarlane appearing in St. Stephen court today pleading guilty to robbery and disguise with intent to commit a robbery.
He was arrested yesterday in Pennfield in connection with a robbery at the Charlotte County Credit Union in St. Stephen in February of last year.
McFarlane will remain in custody and is due in court on the 26th for sentencing.

Saint John NDP Candidate Talking Health Care

The Saint John NDP Candidate for the May 2nd vote is talking health care and taking a shot at the current Federal representative. Rob Moir tells CHSJ News health care is not a priority for Rodney Weston and the conservative party is treating it as a wedge issue by offering incentives for doctors to work in the outskirts. He says this is an urban riding with the Regional also serving people from the outlying communities. He wonders how we will get doctors to come here if we are sending them to the outreaches when both areas need more physicians.

Moir says he doesn't see the of idea of pitting the rural areas against the urban areas as a solution but, part of the problem.

More Alarm Raised Over Shale Gas Exploration

Premier David Alward is giving every indication he wants to move ahead with shale gas exploration in the province while, at the same, time vowing to protect the concerns of property owners.

Raphael Shay is the climate and energy co-ordinator at the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. He tells CHSJ News two new studies which suggest shale gas development causes high levels of greenhouse gas emissions ought to slow things down a bit for a closer examination.

Shay also points out there have been significant methane leaks at fracking sites and methane is an extremely potent greenhouse gas with the province vulnerable to climate change judging by the severity of flooding last December.
He adds one of the studies done by Cornell University professor Robert Howarth has found compared to coal, the carbon footprint of shale gas is at least 20 per cent greater.

No End To Rising Gas Prices

The weekly setting sees another increase in gas prices........Self serve regular is now being sold around town for $1.28.9 a litre with diesel going for $1.33.2.

 Home heating oil is listed at $1.18.3 and as we enter the barbeque season, propane is at $1.08.4 a litre.

Saint John Leads Way With Teen Pregnancies

School District 8 hearing an alarming list of statistics about teen pregnancy in Saint John.

In 2008, 44 out of every 1000 girls became pregnant nearly double the national rate and provincially,the stat falls to 24.3 per thousand.

Public Health Nurse Penny Higdon tells CHSJ News it's hard to determine why our numbers remain high yet the rates in Moncton and Fredericton have gone down.

The Teen Pregnancy Committee hosting a strategic planning session in December and identifying four priorities which include creating awareness and improving access to contraception.

Some Teens In City Set Out To Get Pregnant

District 8 chair Rob Fowler says he is surprised by how high the teen pregnancy stats are in the city and finds it a little scary that, in some cases, the teen girls want to get pregnant and it's not happening accidentally.

Student representative Chris Harper, who thought the District Education Council should hear about the high teen pregnancy rate in the city, likes the idea of youth teaching young people about teen pregnancy by using the tools they use on a daily media.

He is surprised, though, to hear the sexual education that begins middle school doesn't carry over into high school.

Bridge Cams On Harbour Bridge Switched Off

If you have been wondering what happened to the link on our web page to the Harbour Bridge cameras -- the answer is related to the removal of the tolls from the Bridge at the beginning of the month.

The Department of Transportation says those cameras were part of the toll booth monitoring system and were turned off when the toll plaza was closed April 1st.

A department spokesperson tells CHSJ News there are no plans to reactivate them at the moment.

The camera link proved extremely popular especially during last summer's major construction project on the bridge -- we contacted Saint John Harbour Conservative M-L-A Carl Killen who is looking into the situation.