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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Legislature Supports Movember

More than 281-thousand dollars has been raised in New Brunswick by the Movember event in support of prostate health and awareness.  Members of the New Brunswick legislature posed for a picture today with many sporting moustaches of their own.

Tax Assessment Dollars From The Province Should Go To Saving Transit Service

The president of the union for city transit workers believes the influx of an additional 5 million dollars from the provincial tax assessment should be used to save transit service.

Ten employees will be laid off, five workers will see their hours reduced, and 20-thousand hours of service will be cut on Boxing Day due to tightening budgets.

Tom McGraw tells CHSJ News the union is trying to get the message out to Common Council and transit needs only 900-thousand dollars to maintain the current level of service.

He says 21 million dollars in gas tax funding could also be used to boost transit but it been earmarked for water projects.

The Commute Will Be Easier Tonight

The trek across the Harbour Bridge will be even easier this afternoon.
The eastbound Chesley Drive on-ramp is open to traffic once again.

Work continues on the area of the former toll plaza and is scheduled to be completed in the next few weeks.

Earlier this month,  the west bound lanes of the Harbour Bridge re-opened after being closed since the spring for a major overhaul.

At the time, Transportation Minister Claude Williams told CHSJ News the bridge project is on budget and he remains confident the east bound lanes will be completed during the construction season next year.

Overnight Parking Restrictions Begin Tomorrow

Here's a reminder that winter is coming  -- overnight parking restrictions will be in effect tomorrow and ending March 31st.

For most of the City, there is absolutely no on-street parking between midnight and 7 a.m.

City spokesperson Leah Fitzgerald tells CHSJ News there are exceptions, like in the lower west side, north end, and the Mount Pleasent area.
The South Central Peninsula works on a year-round alternate side parking arrangement outside of a snow ban.

The Saint John Parking Commission is also offering a new online parking space matching service.

The site will match residents with property owners with available off-street parking spots.  It will launch in the coming days.

For more information on parking restrictions, click here.

For information on the matching service, click here.

Anti-Nuclear Groups Gear Up For Lepreau Hearing

NB Power wants the operating licence for the Point Lepreau nuclear power plant to be extended by five years. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission will be in town for two days of hearings into the application  beginning tomorrow morning at the Delta

Larry Lack of the Lepreau Decommissioning Coalition says the relationship between the regulator and the nuclear industry is too cosy and they're turning a blind eye to any concerns.

The Conservation Council is also warning the next significant earthquake in the province is expected to be in the area of Passamaquoddy Bay. The anti-nuclear groups are calling for a rigorous environmental assessment along with a Royal Commission into the future of the nuclear industry.

Michel Duguay has a Ph.D in nuclear physics and used to be an advocate of nuclear power but now says a much better bet would be to invest taxpayer dollars in wind energy because that's where alot of private investment is headed.

He maintains wind power from the Gulf of St. Lawrence has the same potential to generate as much energy as Saudi Arabia does with oil.

Dr. Gordon Edwards is President of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility and warns an industrial accident at Lepreau would devastate the provincial economy. He also brands the refurbishment of Point Lepreau with the delays and cost overruns "incompetent.

A public forum on nuclear power is being held tonight at the Fort Howe Hotel starting at 7:30.

More Layoffs In City

The Saint John economy will be taking another hit over the next several months with 78 layoffs at Irving Oil.

The company says the workers are losing their jobs because the finance and I-T departments are being consolidated into one division. 

Irving Oil President Mike Ashar recently told CHSJ News the refining business was going through a down cycle.

These job losses follow the recent announcement at Moosehead about 27 administrative jobs being eliminated.

West Side Fire May Have Been Deliberately Set

The cause of a fire at a building owned by Saint John Non-Profit Housing on the lower west side is believed to be suspicious. 

Fire Crews were called to 182 Rodney Street West shortly after 7 last night.

District Chief Peter Saab says there was heavy fire coming from the rear of the building which then spread to the roof. 

Firefighters spent three hours at the scene to make sure all the hot spots on the roof were extinguished.

10 people have been forced out of their apartments because of the damage.