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Friday, February 10, 2012

Saint Johners Brace For Winter Wallop

At this point, it looks like we'll be digging out from at least 20 centimetres of snow on Sunday morning.
Environment Canada Meterologist Claude Cote tells CHSJ News the weather will begin to deteriorate early tomorrow night.

He says periods of snow will spread to the Greater Saint John area with snow at times heavy overnight into Sunday with blowing snow in wind gusts to 60 kilometres an hour.

Cote says conditions will improve slowly Sunday morning and by the time it's all over we could get 25 centimetres of snow.

Bullying Not An Issue At Community Centres

While bullying issues have been at the forefront at schools lately, the issue has yet to crop up at community centres according to the city.

Chuck Edison is the Leisure Services Coordinator for the Carleton Community Center and he tells CHSJ News there has not been any major issues recently as kids know it's a privilege to use the facility

He says kids are encouraged to report bullying if it is happening at the centre or even at school.  He says children can be suspended from the community centres if problems persist and staff are willing to call police if things get out of hand.

New Home Construction Shows Increase

New home construction in the greater Saint John area is off to a good start this year -- Canada Mortgage and Housing reports there were 25-new units started last month -- ten more than January of last year.
C-M-H-C says multi-residential units helped to boost last month's figures compared to a year ago.
Meantime -- the federal housing agency says 85-new units -- mostly multiple residential -- were started in Moncton last month while Fredericton saw 20-new housing units under construction last month.

Defamation Lawsuit Against Former City Councillor Will Go Ahead

The defamation lawsuit filed by the city's pension board against former city councillor John Ferguson will go ahead.

Ferguson's lawyer Rod Gillis arguing yesterday the case should be thrown out because a pension board is not a person and therefore cannot be harmed by words.

But Justice William Grant ruling that the pension board does have a collective reputation that needs to be defended. Justice Grant also turned aside suggestions the lawsuit should have been filed within 3 months of the alleged defamatory comments.

Ferguson only had brief comments for the media when leaving the courtroom, saying it's for the best that the issue is going to trial.

The board launched a lawsuit against Ferguson in 2007 over his comments about the troubled pension fund and its management.

The case will go before a judge and jury on Monday and is expected to last 6 weeks.

At Risk Young People In City Get Helping Hand To Stay In School

The John Howard Society is partnering with School District 8 to keep young people in school who are at the highest risk of dropping out.

Susan O'Neill of the John Howard Society says of the 75 students who have been chosen, 50 have addictions, 17 are homeless, 32 have mental health issues and they all have something in common.........They don't feel accepted either at school or in the community at large.

O'Neill says, ironically, they actually like to be at school, place a high value on achievement but feel disengaged.
She describes the programme as a massive success with no one leaving school.

Home Support Workers Being Paid Accordingly

Spokesperson for provincial senior services Judy Cole says recent job advertisements for home support workers are not paying below a provincial mandate.

She tells CHSJ News while home support jobs have to pay a minimum of $11 dollars an hour, there is a 6 month probationary period that pays less.

Most jobs are advertised for $9.50 to $10.50 an hour.

She says the pay should jump to 11 dollars an hour after 6 months and workers should be paid retroactively to October 1st of 2011.

She says there have not been any recent cases of workers getting shortchanged.