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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Legion Approves Name Change For Military

The Royal Canadian Legion is giving a thumbs up towards the name change for the Canadian Armed Forces.

The navy and air force will officially be known as the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Legion spokesperson Bob Butt tells CHSJ News it's a great move that honours our lineage to the monarchy.

He says the only concern the Legion had was if costs associated with the name change would impact operational or quality of life budgets.  He says they were assured that it would not happen.

New Ferry Still Down

The brand new Grand Manan ferry is still docked after both thrusters would not come on during it's morning run yesterday.

General Manager for Coastal Transport Murray Ryder tells CHSJ News staff and local electricians were not able to figure out the problem.

He says a representative from the company that attached the thrusters will be coming to Blacks Harbour today to evaluate the problem.
There is no estimate as to how long the ship will be out of service.

He adds they are currently running 2 ferries in order to meet their schedule and motorists should not expect any major delays.

Composting Can Save City Money

Councillor Chris Titus says composting can not only help out mother nature but city coffers as well.

Titus chairs the Fundy Region Solid Waste Commission and he tells CHSJ News hauling compost costs 28 dollars a tonne as opposed to 108 dollars a tonne for regular trash.

He says composting presents a unique opportunity for residents as it is one of the few things residents can do to directly save the city money.
The waste commission recently receiving provincial dollars to help promote composting in the city.

Upbeat Report On Peel Plaza Development

It's smooth sailing so far for the cost of infrastructure upgrades relating to the Peel Plaza project.

That, from Bill Edwards, the project manager who says the only unexpected cost crews have run into so far had to do with the disposal of contaminated material on Carleton Street.

Edwards says things are slightly behind schedule because of the complexity of the work with essentially the complete reconstruction of Union Street. He says much of it is being done by hand and crews have to watch out for live power lines that run right down the centre of the street.

Edwards says they're doing whatever they can to address the needs of the travelling public as well as the people who use the affected areas for business.

Anti-Poverty Group Says Don't Blame Minimum Wage Increases For Job Losses

The Common Front for Social Justice is trying to disspell what it calls misconceptions about the recent increases in the minimum wage. Co-chair Linda McCaustlin disputes whether those raises have triggered job losses.

She tells CHSJ News there are other more compelling explanations such as the flat economy brought about by the financial meltdown with people having less money to spend, the drop in tourism and jobs losses in forestry.

She also refutes the notion that most of the people earning minimum wage are students. McCaustlin argues the majority, 17 thousand in the province, are women.
McCaustlin points out small and medium sized businesses after lobbying are also getting alot of advantageous tax breaks from government.

Alward Government Told To Be Prudent On Insurance Changes

The Alward Government is being warned by the insurance industry about adopting what it calls not radical alternatives to the current cap on what people can receive for soft tissue injuries.

One suggestion has been to get rid of the cap altogether but Bill Adams of the Insurance Bureau of Canada tells CHSJ News that would be radical and bring back the bad old days of skyrocketing premiums and some drivers not being able to get insurance at all.

As for paying a deductable from any court award you might receive, Adams argues that has not worked well in other provinces.

He maintains the cap has accomplished what it was supposed to and had no adverse effect on the medical coverage injury victims received.

According to Adams, raising the cap from 25 hundred to 75 hundred dollars which is what they have in Nova Scotia, would result in higher premiums for consumers.

Mayor Says Announcement Coming Soon On Metal Shredder

Mayor Ivan Court says an announcement will be coming out in the next couple of days on what's happening with the American Iron and Metal Expansion.

After a meeting three weeks ago held in closed session, Court announced Common Council had found an option for powering the expansion of a metal shredder on the city's west side.

No details could be given until the costs of the option were worked out. Court tells CHSJ News he can't say anything more about where things stand until he talks with the people involved.

Airport Development Will Get Second Look By Plan SJ

Plan SJ will take a closer look at how airport land is designated under the new municipal plan.

Common Council is asking for the review after the airport expressed concerns about only being able to use land for development related to air travel which it considers too restrictive that might limit future revenues.

Councillor Peter McGuire says no one wants to stop the airport from growing, but it comes back to where people want to see their community grow and Saint Johnners have made clear they don't want to see sprawl. 

Mayor Ivan Court warns the city has to be flexible because if we put the airport out of business, we put ourselves out of business.

Mayor Responds To Criticism From Developers

There has been recent criticism from developers over residential developments being rejected by the upcoming new municipal plan and Mayor Ivan Court concedes the plan is undergoing growing pains.

He tells CHSJ News the criticism and controversy over recent development decisions is par for course.

He says a key initiative is to have Common Council sit down with city planners so that the new municipal plan can be properly interpreted.

At least two developers have said publicly they will never again try to do business in the city.

New Guidelines For Ice Time At City Rinks

For the first time this fall, the city will be using policy guidelines when it comes to designating ice time at it’s four rinks......the Hilton Belyea, the Charles Gorman, the Stu Hurley and the Peter Murray arenas.  

Kevin Watson with the city says the new guidelines give priority to Saint John programs and young people.  

Watson says the new guidelines also allot equal ice time to both men and women.  He says girls hockey has really picked up in the city and the ice time needs to be split equally between the two genders.

The new guidelines will not affect ice times at Harbour Station or the Lord Beaverbrook Rink, which are independently owned.