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Friday, December 30, 2011

Province Told To Turn Off The Tap

The provincial government has been on an unprecendented spending binge over the last four years........That charge being levelled by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation which says the time has come to cut spending. 

The Federation's Atlantic Director Kevin Lacey tells CHSJ News the government can also do something else to reduce the ocean of red ink and that is sell some assets such as NB Liquor. 

Lacey says in just the past four years, the number of provincial government employees earning 100 thousand dollars a year or more has doubled and spending has increased by 1.7 billion dollars.

Police Warn Against Making False Emergency Calls

An extensive search in Mispec was prompted by a hoax and a teenager who claimed to be wounded at a camp is facing a charge of making a false 9-1-1 call.  

The RCMP say the youth called 9-1-1 and sounded very agitated when he claimed to have injured himself while cutting wood and was not able to give clear directions to where he was. 
Various emergency personnel began a search including Emergency Medical Technicians, City Police, Saint John Fire and the Department of Public Safety's Off Road Vehicle Enforcement Unit .
The teenager was eventually located safe and sound in a camp off West Beach Road, in Mispec through the use of G-P-S coordinates and satellite imaging. 

Police quickly determined the boy was not actually injured at all.

Chimney Fire Extinguished

There was an early morning chimney fire on Route 820, Baxter’s Corner.  

When crews from the Simonds Fire Department responded around 6:00, they found there were hot embers coming from the chimney.  

Fire crews quickly extinguished the fire.  The home had to be ventilated. No one was injured.

Homeowners are being advised not to burn their Christmas wrapping paper in the fireplace because it can can chimney fires.

Hitch Hiker Charged With Attempted Robbery

A 20 year old man from St. Stephen, Bradley James Johnson has been charged after being arrested by the RCMP in St. George after an attempted robbery on Highway 1 near Seeley's Cove Road in Pennfield Wednesday afternoon.

Police say a man picked up a hitch hiker and then had a weapon pulled on him and was ordered to hand over his money. A struggle reportedly ensued but the driver was eventually able to pull off the road and managed to push the hitch hiker out of his vehicle.

No one was seriously injured.

Saint John MP Says We Can Keep Control in P3 Deals

Saint John MP Rodney Weston says the city does not need to fear losing control of it's water in a public-private partnership.

The city is currently exploring P3 deals in order to pay for costly upgrades to our drinking water infrastructure.

Weston tells CHSJ News the city is in the driver's seat as far as how much control it can give to the private sector.

He says we can build our own model and there are private partners out there willing to play by our rules.

He adds there is a stigma attached to P3 deals but discussions with various city councillors seem to indicate they are coming around on the issue.

Joshua Group Founder Will Press On To Find Home

The search continues for the Joshua Group as it looks for a place to call home.

Founder Bobby Hayes was hoping to get his hands on an old provincial building on Paradise Row but the province has sold the building.

Hayes tells CHSJ News he wasn't surprised that the building was sold but he is still disappointed.

He says the group does not need a large or extravagant building and he will press on to find a place for the children.

The Joshua Group provides activities and support for underprivileged children.

MLA Margaret Ann-Blaney has worked with Hayes on the project  but she says the building on Paradise Row would have required costly upgrades in order to be a suitable place.

Former Liberal Cabinet Minister Launching Leadership Campaign

Former Liberal Health Minister Mike Murphy will be officially launching his campaign for leadership of the provincial Liberal party.

The launch will take place Thursday, January 5th, 2012, at 11:00 a.m., at the Christ-Roi Golden Age Club in Moncton.

Murphy served under the Graham Government in 2006 but resigned from cabinet in 2010.

Belledune mayor and dairy farmer Nick Duivenvoorden is the only other declared candidate in the Liberal leadership race.

Year End Interview With Premier David Alward

Premier Dismisses Criticism Over Industrial Energy Policies

Premier Alward is deflecting criticism of his government's new energy pricing and policies for heavy industrial users.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling the new energy pricing and surplus power purchase plans nothing short of corporate welfare at the expense of average New Brunswickers.
But -- in a year end interview with CHSJ News -- the Premier says it will help keep large companies competitive avoiding the loss of heavy industrial customers for N-B Power -- and -- that will help to keep power rates stable for New Brunswickers.
Alward also says his government is changing policies for business investment to make the process more open and accountable.