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Monday, January 16, 2012

Saint John Airport Says Smaller WestJet Planes Are Good For City

With WestJet's considering the launch of a short-haul regional airline next year, the President of the Saint John Airport says the city could look like an attractive location for them.

WestJet would use 40 smaller turboprop plans and Bernie LeBlanc tells CHSJ News those would fit the size of our market much better.

He believes the announcement is good for the city.

WestJet operated out of the Saint John Airport for 4 years.

LeBlanc did not indicate whether the announcement would actually mark the return of WestJet to the city.

Canadian Blood Service Embraces Advisory Committee

As Mayor Court continues to push for better blood services following Friday's decision to move our blood production to Dartmouth, the CEO of Canadian Blood Services tells CHSJ News they support the creation of an advisory committee as announced by the province.

The committee will act as a watchdog to ensure blood service in the province remains optimal.

Dr Graham Sher says CBS embraces the opportunity to work with the medical society, provincial representatives, and others to ensure New Brunswickers get the services they need.

CBS will be attending the mayor's symposium on enhancing blood services in the province, which will be held on January 24th at the Trade and Convention Center.

Fire Crews Contain North End Propane Leak

A brief scare in the North end today after a propane leak outside of the animal shelter.

City fire crews responding to the call just before 3pm after hissing was heard coming from a 4500 litre tank used by Saint John Animal Rescue League.

The tank was quickly contained and turned off and technicians are repairing the leak.

The Provincial Gas inspector from the Department of Public Safety was also at the scene on Taylor Avenue.

Red Cross Responds To Multiple Fires

A couple has lost everything after their home was destroyed by fire lastnight in Hunter’s Home, north of Sussex.

The Red Cross is providing assistance to the couple, who were not home at the time, by providing clothing and comfort items.

It was the fifth fire responded to by provincial Red Cross personnel since the weekend, including two fires in the Sussex area, another two in the Bathurst/Chaleur area and one in St. Stephen affecting more than a dozen people.

Propane Leak In The North End

City fire crews responding to a propane leak in the North end.

The call coming in a few minutes ago outside of the Animal Rescue League at 134 Taylor Avenue.

The cylinder was hissing but has since been turned off.

Lily Lake Opens For Skating

Saint Johners can now lace up their ice skates and take a spin around Lily Lake.

The City tells CHSJ News ice at the lake is nine inches thick and safe for public skating.

You are asked to pay attention to the warning signs posted on the ice.  The designated area is the only spot safe for skating because springs in the lake prevent strong ice from forming in some areas.

The City will continue to monitor ice conditions and may close the lake to skating if ice conditions change.
For more info, click here  or call 652-PLAY (7529).

EMO To Conduct Lepreau Test On Thursday

A test of the Point Lepreau emergency notification system is coming up on Thursday.
The test is being conducted by the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization in partnership with the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating System.

When residents receive the test message, they should listen to the message and then follow instructions to confirm they have received it. The results will allow the Provincial EMO to assess the efficiency of the system.

An emergency notification system has been in place since Point Lepreau opened and an improved system has been in place since 2009 where residents can get the alerts in their home, work or cell phone through e-mail, text message or fax.

If your contact info has changed or you moved, you are asked to contact the Provincial EMO.

 Emergency Measures Organization (1-800-561-4034) or the Musquash Fire Department (506-672-2702 or 506-659-2907).
For more info, click here

No Injuries In Sussex Area Fire

A fire over the weekend in Salt Springs, near Norton forcing a mom, dad, their three children and their grandfather out of their home. 

They, along with their pet dog managed to make it out safely. 

The home is insured and the family is temporarily staying with relatives. 

There's no word on damage to the house or the cause of the fire. The children were given some teddy bears courtesy of the Red Cross.

Saint Johnners Can Have Their Say On Provincial Budget Tonight

You have the chance tonight to get your two cents worth in on what the upcoming provincial budget should look like. 

Saint John has been chosen as the site for the first pre-budget consultation at the community college on Grandview Avenue and Provincial Finance Minister Blaine Higgs will be on hand to hear what you have to say. 

Mike Davidson of the Canadian Union of Public Employees tells CHSJ News while big businesses in the province have been getting tax breaks, the middle class is at the breaking point.

Davidson argues the provincial government doesn't have a spending problem......It's not generating enough revenue. The public consultation gets underway at 6:30.

New City Budget Coming Down Tonight

The city's 2012 budget will be unveiled tonight and the tax rate won't be rising.

Some Saint Johnners may argue there have already been cutbacks in city services with the reductions in bus service and there are rumblings about possible layoffs within the fire department.

Common Councillor Chris Titus, who chairs the Transit Commission, points out increasing the number of riders will only make the bus service more expensive because each rider has to be subsidised and that is the case not only in Saint John but also in London, England and Boston.
Despite some concern, City Manager Pat Woods is confident the city's debt will not consume too much of the budget. 

The 8 cities cities around the province spent an average of about 12% of their budgets on servicing their debts. The servicing of the debt in Saint John was the second lowest at 9.7% with Fredericton at 8.2 percent.

City's New Municpal Plan Up For Approval

Common Council will be asked tonight to give approval in principle to the new municipal plan that will guide development in the city for the next 25 years. 

Jacqueline Hamilton of Plan SJ calls it a bold and innovative plan saying the goal is to create what she calls complete neighbourhoods with more affordable housing choices and more people living in the city.

Growth will be encouraged in the urban and suburban neighbourhoods.

Hamilton says the message delivered to Plan SJ by Saint Johnners is the desire to protect the rural landscape inside the city.  


Pregnant Woman Sent To Hospital After Crash In Valley

Charges are likely after a three vehicle collision on the Gondola Point Arterial at Millenium Drive.

Rothesay Regional Police say drugs and/or alcohol may have been a factor in the crash.

A woman who is 7 months pregnant was taken to the hospital to be checked over after she complained of pain.

Taxi Cab Drivers Express Concerns Over Proposed Changes

About 70 taxi cab drivers turning out to talk about recommended changes to the city's Taxi By-Law which will have a big effect on how they do business.

Mayor Ivan Court and Councillor Donnie Snook were also on hand to hear what they had to say. 

he By-Law review committee has recommended several changes to the by-law, including meters, training, insurance, and a 7-year age limit for taxis.
Christine Saumure, who chairs of the Saint John Taxi Advisory Committee tells CHSJ News there is concern over the age limit on cabs and the drivers appear to be split on the issue of meters. 

She is recommending they form a viable taxi association.