Linked Header

Monday, April 18, 2011

Alarm Bells Raised Over Rising Food Price In Province

Rising food prices are a big concern to the Common Front for Social Justice and that's why it's calling for the province to institute a food solidarity programme by providing each household on social assistance with 50 dollars a month. 

Common Front co-chair Jean-Claude Basque tells CHSJ News food costs have risen by 21 per cent over 4 years with another 5 to 7 per cent increase expected this year and this will affect everyone.

The Common Front estimates the programme would cost 15 million dollars. Basque says the use of food banks in the province went up by 14 per cent in 2009 after the financial meltdown and by another 4 per cent in 2010.

To top it all off, Basque also points out electricity rates have gone up by 29 per cent in just the past 2 and a half years.

NDP Leader Will Visit Saint John

NDP leader Jack Layton will be making a stop in Saint John as part of his campaign travels.

Members of the NDP party here in the province have confirmed to us Layton will be stopping by on Easter Monday, April 25th.

Details of his visit have not been released.

Saint John Energy Will Investigate Outage

President of Saint John Energy Eric Marr says the company will be taking a closer look into what lead into yesterday's power outage that left almost 1900 customers without power on the city's west side.

He tells CHSJ News despite the cause being winds knocking one set of power line into another, they're checking to see if their protective devices were working properly.

The power surge was so severe that 30 to 40 homes had their power meters blown off.

Duffy Blames Internal Divisions Among Liberals For Election

Conservative Senator Mike Duffy who has been a fixture on Parliament Hill for decades calls the current federal election campaign "unnecessary". 

Duffy, who stopped off in Saint John to campaign for Rodney Weston, blames the Liberals. According to Duffy, there are some Liberals who feel former Ontario Premier Bob Rae would make a better leader and are angry a leadership convention was not held when Micheal Ignatieff assumed the party leadership.

Duffy says even in the Senate which is supposed to be more laid back, those Senators appointed by Jean Chretien will not applaud their fellow Liberal Senators who were appointed by Paul Martin.

Sunken Ship Being Removed

Work is currently underway to remove a construction barge that sank at Pier 12 on the lower west side back in February.

According to the Saint John Port Authority, the operation is expected to take about 23 days. 

 The recovery team is currently two days ahead of schedule due to clear water conditions.

Salmon Farmers Looking For Federal Support

The Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association is calling on those running in the federal election to support the creation of a new Aquaculture Act.

Executive Director Pamela Parker tells CHSJ News salmon farmer currently operate under the Fisheries act, which is not appropriate for a food-producing sector.

She says an official Aquaculture Act would give clarity to farmers, attract investment, and support the modernization of the industry.

Senator Duffy Blames Election on Liberals

A lot of people are asking why we are having the federal election now when there is no burning issue and much apparent apathy.

Conservative Senator Mike Duffy, who was in town campaigning for Rodney Weston, blames the Liberals for what he calls this 300 million dollar unnecessary election.

Duffy says alot of Liberals are angry there wasn't a convention held when Micheal Ignatieff assumed the leadership with many believing former Ontario Premier Bob Rae would have been better.

Municipal Byelections Follow May 2nd Federal Vote

Voters in a number of New Brunswick municipalities won't be getting a rest after the May 2nd federal election.

By-elections are being held May 9th to fill vacancies on municipal councils around the province including three in our region.

In Quispamsis -- Libby O'Hara - Kirk Miller - Barry Farnsworth - and - Michael Cole have filed papers for a vacant council seat.

In Norton -- Lawrence Dykeman - Trevor Carson - and - Catherine Booth are vying for a seat on council.

And in the Campobello Rural community -- two people - Brittany Lank and Raymond Brown senior are seeking a council seat.

Meters Blown Off Homes On Lower West Side

A power surge yesterday afternoon causing major problems for at least 30 homeowners on the lower west side.

District Fire Chief Eric Garland says it all started with a report of wires being down at the intersection of Duke Street West and Lancaster Avenue.

The power surge was caused when a 12 thousand volt power line fell on top of a 4 thousand volt line and actually blew the meters off a number of homes.

Garland estimates at least 30 homeowners were affected and they have been advised to keep the main power off until their house can be checked over by an electrician.

The power was restored at 9:30 last night. The power surge was similar to what might happen during an electrical storm.

More Delays Along Highway One

Commuters coming into town from the Valley can expect delays for the next several weeks..........The westbound lanes on Highway One near the Crown Street ramps will narrow to one lane starting today for about seven weeks.

This traffic disruption is necessary to allow work by the Department of Transportation on the One Mile House Interchange project.

Drivers are reminded to be careful while these temporary measures are in place.

No Plans To Reinstate Cameras On Harbour Bridge

If you relied on the Harbour Bridge cameras to help you plan your commute -- you are out of luck -- the cameras went dark on April 1st when the province assumed ownership of the bridge and closed the toll plaza.

Saint John Harbour M-L-A Carl Killen tells CHSJ News the power was shut off to the plaza in preparation for demolition of the structure. He says it's an issue of balancing costs of maintaining the cameras with the necessity of having them -- he says that doesn't exist at the moment and he doesn't see them being reactivated any time soon.

Tenders for the demolition of the toll plaza are expected to be called shortly with the work completed by some time in June.

Deadline Looming For Taxes

The push is on for finding those receipts and getting those T4 slips in order as the deadline for filing your tax return is less than two weeks away.

Brenda Avery with BrenTax tells CHSJ News having your taxes done by a professional can save you money as they know the ins and outs of tax breaks. She says you can save tax dollars if you're taking care of aging parents.

She says there are also credits for disabled children or if you have a disability.

She finds those who are expecting to owe the government tend to file their taxes close to the deadline.