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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Former City Councillor Says Procrastination Hurts Everyone

A former Common Councillor has a little advice for the current administration at City hall:  procrastination doesn't win you any favours.
Ken Gould remembers in the 80's when they ran late with the budget once but they found a way to get it done.
Gould tells CHSJ News he doesn't have an issue with closed session because it's the decisions that are important and not the chit chat. 
Gould says he thinks things were a little more stable in his day and this council needs to learn to compromise.

West Side Call Centre Closing Down

142 Saint Johners will be out of work on May 16th as the Atelka call centre on Manawagonish Road will be shutting down.

Spokesperson Karine Vachon tells CHSJ News notification was given to employees today.

Vachon says the closure is a way to improve the company's operational efficiency.

The contact centres in Fredericton and PEI will remain open.

NDP Leadership Candidate Thomas Mulcair Stumping In Saint John

Federal New Democratic Party leadership candidate Thomas Mulcair making a stop in the city today to drum up support for his bid to lead the N-D-P.

Mulcair tells CHSJ News the federal government needs to work more closely with municipalities as cities have major responsibilities, such as transit, affordable housing, and drinking water.

He says on a federal level, the NDP needs to hold onto its Quebec seats while growing in Atlantic Canada, which is beyond its traditional base.

Alward Government Criticised By Former Cabinet Minister Who's Also Conservative

A former Conservative provincial cabinet minister is speaking out against shale gas development and fracking.
Tony Huntjens likens Premier David Alward's stance on this issue to the attempted sale of NB Power by then Premier Shawn Graham which is considered a big reason why the Liberals were defeated in the last provincial election.
Huntjens tells CHSJ News the Alward Government isn't giving people a voice on this issue that will have long term ramifications and, in his view, will endanger groundwater because of all the chemicals that won't come back to the surface after fracturing.
He also says it's wrong to brand the opposition to shale gas development as extremists.

Huntjens also points out when the Premier was in opposition he said in the Legislature there were dangerous elements with fracking.

Last week, another former provincial conservative cabinet minister, Bud Bird was critical of the Alward Government for arbitrarily changing natural gas regulations that govern Enbridge Gas.

Historic Donations In Millidgeville

Two longtime donors celebrating a huge accomplishment at Canadian Blood Services.

Don Shaw and Ken Gould are the first donors in the province to donate plasma 700 times. 
Shaw, who gave blood for the first time in 1965, tells CHSJ News he has a family connection to blood and plasma donation.

He tells us his daughter needed a complete blood transfusion when she was 2 years old as a RH negative child and he figures if someone could help his daughter 45 years ago then maybe his donations can save someone today.

Shaw says he never thought he'd make 700 donations because he never thought he'd make it to the age of 75.

Special Open Meeting Of Common Council Scheduled

A special meeting of Common Council will be held tomorrow afternoon to again talk about the city budget.

Deputy Mayor Stephen Chase tells CHSJ News it's time to break the deadlock and he's optimistic consensus can be reached.

Chase says he and three other Council members took the rare step of petitioning the Common Clerk to schedule the public meeting.

He admits there is still division on Council between those who are confident the changes to the city's pension plan will be approved and those, like himself, who want to see this year's budget reflect 9 million dollars in savings that would have to be found if the province rejects the pension reforms.

Chase says it's imperative to get the budget done because the tax bills have to go out and the city can't operate if it has no money.

Connors Brothers Donate Island To Nature Trust

The Nature Trust of New Brunswick has a new island to protect in the Bay of Fundy.
Connors Brothers donated Southern Wolf Island which is located about an hour between Blacks Harbour and Grand Manan.

Renata Woodward tells CHSJ News the Nature Trust has been active in Charlotte Country through the Campaign for Coastal Lands.

She says Connors Brothers is doing reconstruction on their company and they wanted to make sure some of the lands they are divesting are protected.

Woodward says Southern Wolf Island has at-risk species and a high ecological value so, it will not be promoted for tourism but likely used for research.

Arrests Made As Drivers Try To Elude Police

A 22-year-old man and a 17-year-old youth appeared in Sussex Provincial Court to face charges of attempting to avoid police during traffic stops.

The RCMP stopped a vehicle on Church Street in Sussex. While the officer was attempting to arrest the driver, the vehicle sped away.

22-year-old Jeremy Harding of Apohaqui was later arrested and charged with operating a motor vehicle while being pursued by police, dangerous driving, resisting a police officer and public mischief.

A bit later also on Church Street, another driver refused to stop for police going through a parking lot before colliding with another police car.

A 17-year-old youth from Smith's Creek. was arrested and is charged with operating a motor vehicle while being pursued by police and dangerous driving.

Council Fails To Pass Budget And Tax Rate

The stalemate over the city budget continues -- Common Council ultimately voting down the discussion of various budget scenarios in open session.

But council also not approving the tax rate, which could cost the city 60 to 70 thousand dollars because the province would have to send separate property tax bills due to the delay.

Councillor Chris Titus says council should approve the tax rate ahead of the budget because the budget will be 144 million dollars no matter which version gets passed.

But Councillors Higgins, Snook, Farren, and Norton felt that approving a tax rate before finalizing the budget was not the proper way to do things.

New Municipal Plan Officially Adopted

At least one thing is certain after last night's chaotic council meeting -- Plan SJ has become a reality after two years.

Planning Commissioner Ken Forrest tells CHSJ News putting the new municipal plan into action will be an ongoing process, in which Saint Johners will play a big role.

He says it will be a living document and residents will expect the city to implement the plan and monitor it over time.

PlanSJ means major changes for land use, infrastructure, and smarter development in the city--and Forrest says that whatever budget is passed, it has to reflect those priorities.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Social Media Awards Looking For Nominations

The Oscars are not the only awards up for grabs in February -- nominations are now being accepted for the 2nd annual Salty Awards, which celebrates Saint John's social media community.

Categories include Twitter Person of the Year, Best Facebook Page, Coolest Blog, Hottest YouTube, and Best Use of Social Media in a Campaign.

Nominations close on February 6th with the awards being handed out on February 16th.

For more information, click here.

Freedom Tours Calms Fears About Mexican Travel

If you're scared to go to Mexico after hearing about the beating of a Canadian tourist in a resort there, perhaps you shouldn't be.

That according to Freedom Tours owner Ellen Tucker. She tells CHSJ news Mexico isn't as dangerous as you might think--and that as far as international ranking are concerned, it's actually pretty high on the list of safer places to to travel.

The 37 year old woman, Sheila Nabb, was vacationing at a 5-star hotel in Mazatlan. A 28-year-old named Jose Ramon Acosta Quintero has been charged with attempted murder in the case.

Profits Are Up But Booze Sales Still Slide In N.B.

NB Liquor's third quarter profits are up yet fewer people were buying booze over the holidays.

The crown corporation releasing figures show they made more than 44 million dollars from October 3rd to January 1st but sales from spirits, wine and beer are down.

NB Liquor President Daniel Allain says the holiday season traffic was lower than expected and picked up a week before Christmas.

He adds economic uncertainty continued to account for weak volumes in the quarter which were responsible for an overall decline in sales.
Sales for spirits were down 3.2 per cent and wine declined 1.8 per cent while beer sales were down 9.8 per cent.

For more info, click here

Local Campaign Almost Brings In Almost A Million Dollars

The total says it absolutely is possible.  

A "Heart of the Possible" capital campaign for the Boys and Girls Club bringing in 943 thousand dollars exceeding their goal.  
The campaign's goal was 750,000 dollars.

Last September,  The Premier came to town with a big cheque for $150, 000 to help the campaign reach it's goal.

The money is being used to to refurbish the gym, pave their driveway, create a mural on the building and update their learning room.  Additional funds will be used to build a new playground structure and for other projects.

Sentencing On Drug Pleas Delayed

More drug charges have been laid against a Charlotte Street man who earlier pleaded guilty to a pair of charges of possessing cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. 

Trevor Garland pleaded not guilty to additional charges of possessing cocaine for the purpose of trafficking along with possession of dilaudid and marijuana.

A presentence report was ordered back in November but is still incomplete. That prompted the judge to remand Garland to jail until February 16th. 

The prosecution is asking for a prison term of at least 2 years on the two guilty pleas. 

Garland was arrested as part of a police crackdown on street level dealing.

Regulated Gas Prices In Province Blasted

Gas regulation in the province is broken.......That declaration from independent gas retailer Chris Scholten of Scholtens who was pressing the provincial government to have a legislated minimum price for gas in light of what's been happening in Fredericton when Costco drastically reduced gas prices for its members.
Scholten warns more independent retailers will be driven out of business and that means less tax will be collected by the province. 

Provincial Finance Minister Blaine Higgs seemed open to the idea of a legislated minimum price for gas which they have in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island but was rejected by Energy Minister Craig Leonard and the Premier.

Tax Rate Is Expected To Be Approved Tonight

Common Council is still finalising its 2012 budget after a heated meeting over the weekend. 

It's expected the budget with 9 million dollars worth of cuts will be unveiled and then Saint John taxpayers will have a chance to have their say about the cuts before a vote is held. 

Councillor Bruce Court tells CHSJ News it's likely the tax rate will be approved tonight and he concedes there will be staff cuts. 

Council has come under criticism for conducting its budget deliberations largely behind closed doors.

Rescue In River Off K-Park

A father who was skating in front of Kennebecasis Park had to be rescued by his son yesterday afternoon. 

The man fell through the ice near the shore where it doesn't freeze that well. His son used a hockey stick to help get his dad out of the river who was then taken to hospital to be examined. 

They had managed to make it to shore by the time emergency crews arrived.

Losier Won't Lose Sleep Over Davidson's Comments

Grace Losier is unfazed by criticism by Bob Davidson who says the taxpayers of Saint John, Quispamsis and Rothesay subsidize the policing of Grand Bay-Westfield.

The town's mayor says in 1997 when the town was determining policing both the City police and Rothesay Regional Police were invited to participate.

She tells CHSJ News she doesn't lose any sleep over Davidson's comments adding

the deal is offered nationally and the town availed itself of it.

She says at the time maybe those other communities should have answered the call for expressions of interest for policing.

Losier says the RCMP are her town's policing of choice and they have been great for the community.

Court Says Blood Symposium Wasn't Grandstanding

Some people accused the Mayor of grandstanding for the upcoming election when he decided to push ahead with his symposium on blood, despite Canadian Blood Services saying that the decision to move the blood production lab from Millidgeville to Dartmouth is a definite thing.

Court tells CHSJ News that his decision to hold the symposium anyway wasn't a bid for votes, but a response to the problem of shoddy medical care. That's something that has effected him deeply: he lost his 18 year old son because of medical incompetence.

Court says that it's unrealistic to call Dartmouth when it needs blood--and lives will be at risk. CBS says that they're moving anyway, and will work with the province to keep the blood supply safe.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Multiple Car Crashes on Redhead Road

A bottle--that's how police and fire crews are describing the icy stretch of Red HeadRoad that was the site of three separate accidents this afternoon.

Police getting the call around 11:30am stating that a car had gone off the road and was flipped over in the ditch. Three people were injured, although no one seriously. One was transported to the hospital.

A fire truck responding to that accident was heading down the hill when it, too, slid off the road. The windshield of the truck was smashed and there was some light damage to the the fire apparatus, but the crew made it out fine.

A third vehicle crashed into the same ditch as the first vehicle shortly afterward.

If you're driving that way, you're advised that area of road is now blocked off to past the entrance to Canaport LNG. Sand trucks are on the scene and are working on making the area safer.

Chase Breaks Silence on Budget

It's time to stop the secrecy and give the public a chance to weigh in on the budget--that from Deputy Mayor Stephen Chase. After unprecedented delays and disagreements, the city being met with tremendous pressure from the province to get it together.

It's expected the 2012 city budget will be voted on February 6th but there will be a budget released tonight at Common Council, according to Chase, and Saint Johnners will have a week to weigh in on the cuts. He warns everyone is going to be cut with the possible exception of the Imperial Theatre.

Chase says that he's frustrated with the idea that the tough issues should be kept under wraps, getting up in protest and refusing to deliberate any further behind closed doors.
Saturday's council meeting was planned for closed session but was quietly declared open after Chase's refusal to participate. He called it illegal and stormed out.

Fire Service Will Remain Top Notch Despite Budget Cuts

Deputy Mayor Stephen Chase says even with a budget cut hitting the fire department, we will still meet national fire safety standards.

The Fire Fighters Association says the loss of a truck and up to 24 staff will put Saint Johners at risk.

But Chase tells CHSJ News there is nothing to worry about because the same amount of trucks and fire fighters will still respond to a fire call and our service will still be superior to that of our neighbouring communities.

He says the funding reduction to the fire department will remain the same no matter what form the final budget takes.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Storm Conditions Cause Car Accidents

After a messy day of snow and freezing rain, police said they responded to a number of minor car crashes throughout the city.

Last night, a single car accident at 675 Golden Grove Road sent one person to the hospital.

The crash occurred shortly after 11pm when conditions on the roads were icy. The person's injuries weren't life threatening.

There were also some scrape-ups in the Rothesay area; however, no one was injured.

Man Facing A Charge After Knife Incident

A fun night out ending on a scary note for some at the 3 Mile last night.

A 22 year old man is accused of pulling out a knife after he started fighting with another man but no one was hurt.

Police getting the call shortly after 1am.
Workers at the bar detained the man until police arrived.

Acting Staff Sergeant Dan Ford tells CHSJ News the man faces one charge relating to the incident.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Liberals Wants Update On Invest NB

Opposition Finance Critic Donald Arseneault wants to know what Invest NB has done for the province since it was unveiled a year ago.

Arseneault tells CHSJ News the state of the province address would have been a great time to update New Brunswickers on what exactly Invest NB has accomplished.

He says Invest NB is taking credit for recently creating 500 jobs but those companies were already in New Brunswick and Invest NB is suppose to draw in outside investors.

Arseneault says there has not been any.

Car Crashes Into Display At Dealership Today

                                   Single Vehicle Crash on Rothesay Avenue Today

Border Guards Bust Trucker With Pills

Canada Border Services in Woodstock discovering an American truck driver with 69 pills they believe to be methamphetamine.

Armando Ramirez was coming over with a load of furniture earlier this month.

After a second search by Border Services Officers,the pills were found with the driver.  The pills were unmarked and the driver did not have a prescription.

Ramirez was arrested and handed over to the RCMP who charged him in Woodstock Provincial Court.  He's due back in to court in July.

Snow Changing To Freezing Rain and Rain

Our morphing storm continues to keep drivers and walkers on their toes.

We got about 3 centimetres of snow and Environment Canada's Tracey Talbot tells CHSJ at the airport right now it's a mix of ice pellets and freezing rain.

She says the precipitation is in the process of changing over to freezing rain and in the next couple of hours it will change to rain as the temperature continues to rise.

Talbot says the storm has progressed as the way they expected with less snow that predicted.

Transportation Minister Warns Drivers To Slow Down

The Transportation Minister advising motorists across the province to take extreme caution if they must travel today.

Claude Williams says while DOT crews will be out, it's important to remember that our crews also face the same driving challenges – very slippery roads and freezing rain.

He's asking motorists to reduce their speed in storm conditions.

Around Greater Saint John, a few collisions have been reported including a fender bender on King Street on the lunch hour.

We are told the road conditions are slippery in Pennfield and St. George.

To see our list of cancellations, click here

New Boat Named After Former Port Authority CEO

The Atlantic Pilotage Authority honouring the former CEO of the Saint John Port Authority.

A new pilot boat will be named after Captain Al Soppitt and he tells CHSJ News he had no idea it was coming but is completely honoured by the gesture.  

He says he never had a vessel named after him before

Soppitt was the CEO of the Saint John Port Authority for 15 years.

The Atlantic Pilotage Authority also celebrating its revamped office at Reed's Point on Water Street.

Snow Will Change To Ice Pellets Or Freezing Rain Late Today

Snow, ice pellets and rain are all part of the weather mix through tonight. Tracy Talbot of Environment Canada tells CHSJ News the snow will be with us for some time yet.

She says it will snow for a while before changing to freezing rain and ice pellets and she expects the rain should begin around the supper hour.

Environment Canada is calling for 5 to 10 centimeters of snow and ice pellets and the closer you are to the coast doesn't necessarily mean you'll get less.

Grand Manan Fishermen Say Their Livlihoods Are Under Threat

Fishermen on Grand Manan are worried their way of life may be disappearing.

The Grand Manan Fishermen's Association is voicing concern over lobster licenses being sold to fishermen in Nova Scotia. A company in Yarmouth has bought one.

 Liberal M-L-A Rick Doucet tells CHSJ News there had been in a freeze in place on Interprovincial license transfers but that's no longer in place.

 Both Doucet and the fishermen are calling for another freeze to be put in place on the interprovincial transfer of lobster licenses.

Doucette warns once the licenses are gone, they don't come back and the economy of Grand Manan is heavily dependent on the lobster fishery.

Another Budget Meeting Behind Closed Doors

Another Saturday........Another budget meeting behind closed doors at City Hall.

The city is under pressure to finalise its 2012 budget so now a vote in open session is expected Monday.

Mayor Ivan Court tells CHSJ News there has been disagreement on which budget should be unveiled and how to spend 143 million dollars.

 Two different versions have been put on the table, one of them having 9 million dollars in cuts but Court says there could even be a third emerging because of a lack of consensus on the first two.

Court expects tomorrow's meeting to be a long one.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Talk Of Drug Testing Social Assistance Recipients Creates A Stir

The Facebook universe mostly singing from the same hymn sheet when it comes to drug testing those receiving social assistance before they can get a cheque.

Angela says it should be mandatory and she agrees 100% adding a lot of employers require drug testing.
Meaghan agrees with Angela saying she doesn't like paying for someone to sit around doing drugs while many can barely afford their bills who are working.

Terri agrees with not giving out cash adding then maybe some of these kids would eat a little better and dress a lot better as well.

Nancy-Leigh is nearly alone in her disagreement.
She defends those on social assistance saying not everyone  is on drugs or drinks.

Join the conversation on our Facebook page by clicking here

Liberal Finance Critic Says Premier Is Lying About Costs

Liberal Finance Critic Donald Arseneault says the Premier and Finance Minister Blaine Higgs are at odds over the cost of campaign promises and only one side can be telling the truth.

He tells CHSJ News the Premier said the Tory platform would cost taxpayers 141 million dollars but Higgs recently stated that the plan to freeze seniors' property taxes would have cost 173 million alone.

He says somebody is lying but he's siding with the Minister because Higgs knows the numbers.

Arseneault adds Higgs is the only member of government being upfront with New Brunswickers and David Alward promised everything to everyone in order to gain power.

Skating Surface Closed At Rainbow Park

The skating surface at Rainbow Park is temporarily closed down.

An electrical transformer at the park was damaged, leaving the freezing plant without power.

Leisure Services is asking you to stay off the ice until the surface is officially re-opened as the ice will be affected by outside temperatures.

No word yet on when it will re-open.

Greater SJ Prepares For Another Friday Storm

The snowmobilers and skiers are psyched but the shovelers, walkers and drivers...not so much.

Environment Canada predicting 10 centimetres of snow and ice pellets before it changes to rain tomorrow night.

Meterologist Tracey Talbot tells CHSJ News the folks up north will get a lot more snow.

She says the Acadian Peninsula is under a snowfall warning and they could receive up to 30 centimetres of snow.

The fun begins early tomorrow morning and the City's Municipal Operations will be working to keep streets and sidewalks clear of snow and ice.

Mayor Defends Council's Choice To Leave After Closed Session

Just when the city budget will be passed is anyone's guess. It had been expected last Monday after the city released an agenda with the budget scheduled to be released that night after an earlier closed door meeting. 

Mayor Ivan Court tells CHSJ News it didn't happen because there's still too much disagreement on what it should look like.

He says when Council gets consensus they can go downstairs and discuss openly they may get something passed and that may happen on Monday night.

Common Council is to get together Saturday morning for another budget meeting behind closed doors.

Fire Department Says It Is Subject To Unfair Scrutiny

Paul Stackhouse of the Fire Fighters Association says he doesn't understand why Common Council is constantly looking at the performance and budget of the fire department.

Stackhouse tells CHSJ News the department has been subjected to review after review.

He says public feedback has been clear that fire protection is a top priority for citizens.

The fire department is expected to lose a truck and 8 to 24 fire fighters after budget cuts in the 2012 budget.

He says fire departments in other cities have been growing over the past few years while ours have been getting more responsibility along with shrinking budgets.

Province Will Not Be Drug Testing Social Assistance Recipients

Speculation has been making the rounds on the internet and social media sites that the province will begin drug testing social assistance recipients before handing out cheques.

Spokesperson for the Department of Social Development Mark Barbour tells CHSJ News there is no truth to it and the department is not even discussing the idea.

Florida recently passed legislation that requires drug testing before receiving social assistance.

Drug Dealers In City Nabbed

21 people face more than 50 charges in the aftermath of a Police investigation called 'Operation Crackdown' on street level crimes involving drug distribution, illegal weapons, court order violations and nuisance. 

The investigation, which began in November, focused on dealers of cocaine, prescription drugs and marijuana. 
There were undercover buys during the course of the investigation with three search warrants on the West Side, City Center and East Side.
Police also seizing almost $10,500 worth of cocaine; $6,900.00 worth of marihuana; $900 worth of crack cocaine and other drugs with a street value of approximately $900 along with more than 5 thousand dollars worth of cash.

Gallant Aims To Be The Next Party Leader and Premier

A former Premier, a former MP and two former Provincial cabinet minister just a few of the notable Liberals on hand to hear Brian Gallant speak.

The 29-year-old Moncton lawyer officially throwing his hat in the ring to be leader of the Provincial Liberal party.
Gallant tells CHSJ News he knows rebuilding won't be easy.

He believes the Liberal party in New Brunswick is healthy and the recent challenges make people wonder how its going to function
and that's why you see so many young people in the province jumping on board.

Gallant says hard work is needed to put the Liberal party in a position to form government in 2014.    The Liberal leadership convention is coming up in October.

Slight Change With Gas Prices

A mixed bag with the price of gas after the weekly setting. 

Self serve regular is a bit more expensive being sold around town for $1.25.8 a litre. Diesel is slightly less expensive at $1.37.3. 

Heating oil has also dropped to $1.19.6 a litre while the listed price of propane is $1.07.1, just a tad lower than it was.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bell Aliant Offering Facebook App For TV Customers

Bell Aliant customers with FibreOp TV and Internet service will have a new way to access the ever popular Facebook website.

The social networking site can now be accessed on your TV screen while still letting you watch shows at the same time.

Bell Aliant spokesperson Andre LeBlanc tells CHSJ News it's a natural pairing as three-quarters of internet users are watching TV while doing something on the internet at the same time.

He says many people like to talk about a show on social media while it is being broadcast.

Deer Skeleton Stuck In Lake

You may get a bit of a nasty surprise when you're walking around the trails at Lily Lake and Fisher Lakes.

According to city personnel, the skeletal remains of a deer are currently laying on the ice at the popular city park. They says the animal fell through before the ice was solid, and now it's too risky to send someone to remove it.

Folks who are sensitive to that kind of thing may want to look the other way while using the trails.

Heavy Equipment Stolen In Three Areas

After a spree of heavy-equipment thefts in the tri-city region, police looking for tips from the public.

From December 29th to January 22, several trailers and mini-excavators have been stolen from locked compounds and work sites in Hanwell, Moncton, and Saint John.

All together, the thefts total more that $250-thousand. Anyone with any information is asked to contact city police or Crimestoppers at 1 800 222 TIPS.

Ashely Smith's Mother To Tell Her Story

500 women in Moncton will gather next month to hear the heartwrenching tale of Ashley Smith as told by her mother.
Coralee Smith will describe her daughter's ordeal and death in on Ontario prison in 2007.
Women & Wellness Event chair Audrey Vaughn tells CHSJ News even though she is considered to be mentally ill she was never diagnosed.

Vaughn says she was identified as having behavioural issues but never properly diagnosed for having mental health issues.

Smith's troubles began with her receiving probation for throwing crabapples at a letter carrier which led to a breach of probation and 100 additional charges.    Before her death, she was transferred 17 times between different facilities in five different provinces.
The Canadian Mental Health Association event is coming up February 4th at Bernice MacNaughton High School.

Minister Of State For Seniors Holds Pre-Budget Talks

The Minister of State for Seniors Alice Wong meeting with locals MP's and senior advocate groups today in Quispamsis as part of federal pre-budget consultations.

Wong says the province has some unique challenges when it comes to caring for seniors, which includes young New Brunswickers leaving the province to find work elsewhere.
She says the federal government has a a role to play in preventing this by providing a strong economy and creating jobs.

She says suggestions made by the senior interest groups include preventative health care for seniors and more practical research.

Premier Welcomes the Blunt Talk From His Finance Minister

Provincial Finance Minister Blaine Higgs has not been holding back in his blunt talk about election promises costing too much money, politicians interfering at NB Power and healthcare dollars being spent poorly.

Premier David Alward is not put off by his candor saying Higgs is provoking dialogue and getting people to think which is a good thing and what you see is what you get.

The Premier is also defending the cost of his campaign promises and the government's decision to stick with Canadian Blood Services in the face of criticism that going along with moving blood production to Nova Scotia is a broken campaign promise.