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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Board of Trade Suggests Reforms

In a letter to Common Council, the Board of Trade putting forward a number of recommendations to alleviate pressure on the city's core services--without raising taxes. The Board of Trade voicing concerns about the impact the current pension deficit will have on the city. According to president Imelda Gilman, it could stand in the way of Saint John's growth.

The Board of Trade recommendations included that Council reconfirm its priorities, cooperate with other regions, and make the pension plan more sustainable. The letter also emphasized the importance of transparency within the city's government.

Presently, Saint John has the highest tax rate in the province, which puts businesses at a competitive disadvantage.

Water Pressure Back to Normal

The City of Saint John, New Brunswick says water pressure is returning to normal after a water main break affected residents east of the Reversing Falls Bridge.

The 60-centimeter pipe ruptured in the Champlain Heights area.

The city issued a statement late Saturday saying the pipe had been isolated from the city's drinking water system. However, Saint John Water is asking residents to conserve water until the repairs are complete.

Revised Pension Plan Will Go To Vote On Monday

City Council will be swimming in numbers Monday night -- they will be presented with the latest reform package intended to save the battered pension plan.

Key additions to the revised plan include suspensions to cost-of-living increases to both current and retired employees.  They would be on hold until the plan becomes more profitable.

Another key change is overtime will no longer be pensionable.

The city's first reform package was turned down by the province and this one will also need provincial approval.

If reforms are not made, the tax rate could jump by as much as 12 to 15 cents.

The city is facing a 131 million dollar deficit that could balloon to as high as 163 million by the end of the year.

Council will meet in chambers at six o'clock.

Study Finds We Would Sleep With An Extra Hour

Canadians need to make time in their busy lives for their human needs.
That's one of the facts coming from a survey by Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada on what you might with an extra hour.
President Bruce MacDonald says they did the survey for two reasons.

He says it was an interesting way to chat with Canadians to see what they are thinking and to tell them about their in-school mentoring program at elementary schools.

He says the survey founds most Atlantic Canadians most sleep or spend time with family and friends before we would go to work.

To learn more about the Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada "Value Of An Hour" contest click here