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Friday, March 2, 2012

Stephen Says Robocall Scandal Did Not Impact Weston's Campaign

Saint John MP Rodney Weston's campaign manager is not aware any robocall or automated calls during the campaign last year.

Jason Stephen tells CHSJ News it's suspicious that someone is claiming Elections Canada had called them adding there has never been a situation in the past where they actually call people.

He says there is no reason for Elections Canada to call a voter adding they wouldn't have anybody's phone number.

When asked if he thought the robocall scandal has undermined the legitimacy of hte Harper government's majority, he tells CHSJ News we all have a fundamental belief in the democratic process.

Pension Board Trustee Says Even Friends Do Not Believe Him

Pension board trustee Fred Slipp detailing the fallout he has been dealing with thanks to the accusations and innuendo levelled against the pension board by former city councillor John Ferguson.

The board is suing Ferguson for defamation.

Slipp says he would hear snide remarks when speaking to his co-workers.  One time he was buying gas at Canadian Tire and a co-worker remarked that he had a really nice car.

He testified that even a close friend has told him they believe John Ferguson and something is amiss with the pension board.

Slipp says he doesn't know how to fight the allegations but if the board wins the lawsuit, at least the board will be vindicated in the public record.

Slipp will be cross-examined on Monday.

City Police Looking For Missing Girl

The City police's Major Crime Unit looking for the public's help in finding a missing 20 year old girl.

Cassie Lloyd was was last seen about 11am on Monday February 20 at her home in the city's south end.

She's described as being 5'0" tall, weighing about 100 lbs with a slim build, hazel eyes and shoulder length blonde hair.
When last seen, she was wearing a 3/4 length red jacket, blue jeans and knee high black boots.

If you have seen her call police at 648-3333 or 648-3211.

Cardy Is Not Impressed With The Alward Shuffle

Provincial NDP leader Dominic Cardy isn't impressed with Premier David Alward's mini cabinet shuffle.

He tells CHSJ News he doesn't think we can expect much more from Rothesay MLA Margaret Ann Blaney as Energy Minister adding she completely mishandled the wetlands file while in Environment.

He says putting Margaret Ann Blaney in as Energy Minister gives a complete green light to fracking.

Cardy dismissively says Craig Leonard has been demoted from Energy Minister to the Minister in charge of stationary.

Totten Says Common Council Would Not Okay Radical Change To Pension Plan

Former City Manager Terry Totten finishing up his cross examination at the defamation trial of former Common Councillor John Ferguson.

Totten concedes questions posed by Ferguson in 2005 about the city's pension plan were appropriate but isn't sure when they were responded to.

Totten testified he's not an expert on pensions which prompted Ferguson's lawye Rod Gillisr to question whether it would not have been better to hire a pension expert rather than spend money sending pension board trustees to Vegas, California, Hawaii and Florida. 

Totten told the jury by 2007, he didn't know what to do about the rising pension plan deficit.  

Gillis tried to pin Totten down on if he ever specifically recommended the city move from defined benefits to defined contributions. Totten maintains he recommended Common Council investigate that but couldn't get approval to which Gillis replied so it's Council's fault.

Merrithew To Run In Ward 4

A Saint John investment advisor is looking to represent East Saint John at Common Council.
David Merrithew is running in Ward 4.

He tells CHSJ News despite his famous uncle, Gerry, he has never pursued public office before now.

He says he likes to get involved in his own city adding he's a passionate volunteer and this just seemed natural.

Merrithew says everyone is concerned about the pension fund deficit adding it's almost one-fifth of a billion dollars.

Council Candidate Speaks Out On SPCA Issues

A fallout between the SPCA Rescue League and the city has Ward 4 candidate Ray Strowbridge taking notice.

The SPCA will no longer be handling animal control in the city after a budget dispute.

Strowbridge tells CHSJ News it's an important issue that needs to be sorted out as animal control cannot be taken for granted.

He says controlling stray animals prevents possible injuries to people but furry citizens need protection as well.

He says the city also turned down reasonable requests from the SPCA, such as receiving snow plow service instead of money, and use of a city vehicle.
The city's bylaw enforcement office is currently handling animal control.

City School Mourns Former Student

Staff and students at Simonds High are in shock to hear of the passing of former student Mathieu Leclair.

He was attending Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario and he is identified as the cadet pulled from Lake Ontario this week.
Principal Gary Keating tells CHSJ News that Mathieu was highly respected and loved by the teachers and students at Simonds.

He says Mathieu had great leadership qualities who thoroughly enjoyed Simonds high and was the 2009 grad class president.

Keating says Leclair was also an athlete playing basketball and he won a huge scholarship to attend Royal Military College.