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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Province Proposes Reducing School Districts

The Alward government is looking at reorganizing school districts, increasing parent involvement on district education councils and paying those councils.

Education Minister Jody Carr says the proposed changes are based on a lot of consultation and will improve education.

The changes would include reducing the number of school districts to seven from 14, a step expected to save $5 million a year in administration costs.

Under the changes, the anglophone sector would comprise four districts and the francophone sector would comprise three districts.

The boundaries would be used during the district education council elections in May with the new councils starting July 1st.

For more information on the changes, click here

Deputy Mayor Says A TV In The Lobby Of City Hall Is Useless

The idea of setting up a TV screen in the lobby of City Hall to show people how much money is being saved with lower energy consumption at the Saint John Transit building doesn't sit well with Deputy Mayor Stephen Chase.

He calls it a waste of taxpayer money because it will attract little attention when what riders want to know is when their next bus will be coming.

Councillor Gary Sullivan has no problem with it, saying the city should be shouting about what it does right and letting people know.

Councillor Chris Titus, who chairs the Transit Commission, says the energy savings amount to a quarter of a million dollars a year.
Mayor Ivan Court would like to know if that money is going back into the bus service.

Union Says Jail Guards In Saint John Laid Off For Complaining

The issue of conditions at the regional jail on the Old Black River Road has gotten ugly with word of three guards who complained being laid off.

 Mike Davidson of the Canadian Union of Public Employees tells CHSJ News there's no legitimate reason why they should have been given their walking papers. He says the government wanted to send a message to others to keep quiet.

Davidson goes on to say the matter of the layoffs is now in the Premier's office while conditions at the jail, itself, have not gotten any better.
Complaints about what's happening at the jail came to light after an inmate from Fredericton was badly beaten up a few weeks ago by a fellow prisoner.

Mayor Says Commuter Tax Not Likely To Happen

The Mayor says those who are upset with the possibility of a commuter tax have nothing to worry about.

Ivan Court tells CHSJ News it's one of many ideas being considered as a way to generate revenue.  He doesn't believe the tax will ever be implemented.

Court adds the city couldn't put the tax in place even if it wanted to as it would be under provincial jurisdiction.

Valley residents are opposed to the tax and Rothesay Mayor Bill Bishop has called it a "joke."

City's Business Community Takes Initiative In Landing New Airline

The Saint John Board of Trade making a big push to land Porter Airlines. 

Board of Trade President Imelda Gilman tells CHSJ News there's a good reason why.........The more options for flying there are, there better it is for businesspeople also also with more options, you might also see better pricing.

A social media campaign has been launched with Saint Johnners encouraged to sign up and demonstrate to the airline the level of interest at

The Board of Trade is also trying to get the fifty top employers in the city to write to the airline. 

Enterprise Saint John and Destination Saint John are also involved in the campaign. 

New Ambulance Quarters Taking Shape

Lots of construction activity on City Road across from the Colonial Inn -- work is progressing on the new Ambulance N-B regional headquarters building.
The new location will contain paramedic quarters - a regional office - and - 4-bays for ambulances -- but -- a spokesperson for Ambulance N-B tells us there won't be any change in the way its trucks are deployed around the city.
The agency will lease the building from F-I-C Holdings and it expects to take occupancy some time in May.
Approximately 40-people will be working out of the City Road location.