Linked Header

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Province Announces New Nursing Home Plan

The Province announcing a $329 million dollar plan to add 354 nursing home beds in the province. Social Development Minister Sue Stultz says the new plan saves 110 million dollars from the original plan announced by the previous Liberal government in 2009.

Interim Liberal Leader Victor Boudreau says the government is cutting the quality of nursing homes.
He says the government is trying to cut corners by building nursing homes cheaper all on the back of our seniors.

The government says 704 specialized care beds will be created by the private sector for the care of people with Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Liberal MLA Weighs In On Ambulance NB Policy

A Liberal MLA is throwing his support behind McAdam Mayor Frank Carroll in hopes of changing an Ambulance NB policy.

The policy states ambulances can only take patients to hospitals, not clinics.  Four people in the village including a baby recently hurt in a fire had to wait  over an hour for ambulances, while just 700 feet away from the McAdam Health Care Centre.

Charlotte the Isles MLA Rick Doucet tells CHSJ News the situation at hand makes it clear we can't put a round peg in a square hole.
He says if someone is on board the ambulance in very serious condition and there is a doctor on call at the Health centre that can stabilize that situation we should take advantage of it.

Doucet says there should definately be exceptions to the policy in rural areas, like McAdam, Blacks Harbour, or the Isles where a health clinic is all they have.

Former Mayor Takes The Stand In Defamation Trial

Former city mayor Norm McFarlane taking the stand in the defamation trial against former city councillor John Ferguson.

McFarlane, who was the chair of the pension board, says it had a solid reputation and handled issues with integrity.

He says when the city manager, finance commissioner, and solicitor brought up a possible conflict of interest issue, he says Ferguson never spoke up when a vote was taken by council to keep taking advice from them.

He says Ferguson's agenda was never to help fix the pension plan but to become mayor of the city.

He says both Councillor Christ Titus and Glen Tait offered to step down so Ferguson could join the board but he never did.

Current State And Future of UNB Saint John To Be Dicussed

Faculty, students, and staff will be having a roundtable discussion on the current state and future of UNB Saint John.

UNB Saint John professor Bob Whitney tells CHSJ News it will give everyone the chance to air out possible issues and allow the school to move forward.
He says major topics will include cut backs to programs, study space, and working conditions.

He adds an open discussion is paramount because no one should be taking the university for granted.

The meeting gets underway tonight at the Whitebone Lounge at 5 o'clock.

Legislation Needed To Protect Residents From Possible Potash Issues

Residents in the Millstream area want their water and land protected if a potash mine opens in the area.

Resident Stephanie Coburn has been spearheading community meetings on the topic and she tells CHSJ News legislation is desperately needed in order to protect the water and land of residents.

She says residents are well aware of the issues currently facing Penobsquis and legislation would go a long way to alleviate those feasr.

She adds the community has written a contract dealing with water and land protection and it wants the mining company to honour it.

She has been told they are taking it under advisement.

Men Are More Proactive Post Heart Attack

A new survey finds there is a big difference between the way men and women approach treatment after having a heart attack. Men surpass women by 10 per cent when it comes to things like visiting their doctor and getting their blood pressure tested.

Saint John cardiologist Dr. David Bewick tells CHSJ News he finds most men are shocked when they have a heart attack thinking it could never happen to them.

He says men have heart attacks in their 40's and 50's where women because of hormones like progesterone and estrogen tend to have them later in their 50's and 60's.

Dr. Bewick adds men tend to take doctor's advice seriously after a heart attack when it comes to diet, exercise and medication.

Common Councillors Shy Away From Joining Pension Board

Pension Board trustee Bill Buckley says there has been a vacant spot on the board which is supposed to be filled by a member of Common Council but no one appears anxious to step into the breach.

Councillor Bruce Court is a Pension Board member and can understand why complaining he gets yelled at when he's at the mall and at a Sea Dogs game, a retired police officer started cursing him with the accusation thaht he, somehow, lost the pension money.

Buckley also points out it costs virtually the same to fly from Saint John to St. John's or Vancouver as it does to San Diego.
He was responding to Common Council's vote the other night to restrict the travel of Pension Board trustees to within Canada.

Defamation Trial Told City Doesn't Have "Cadillac" Pension Plan

The defamation lawsuit against former Common Councillor John Ferguson is not about money......It's about knowing we're not crooks. That testimony delivered by Pension Board trustee Bill Buckley of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

Under cross examination, Buckley admitted most of the union members consider the lawsuit against Ferguson to be a waste of money. It was also revealed the Pension Board's legal fees from 2006 to the end of 2010 exceeded 1.8 million dollars.
Buckley telling the jury the pension plan has a 191 million dollar deficit today because the actuary keeps changing the numbers assuming city retirees will be living longer when actually they're dying younger. He pointed out the plan recorded an 18 million dollar surplus at the end of 2006 before the actuarial assumptions were changed.
Buckley admitted there was some confusion over disability pensions but it's not the job of Pension Board members to take away benefits and no one on the Board suggested reducing benefits in light of the deficit.

The Originals Arts Gala Returns May 31st

Finalists for The Originals arts awards being announced ahead of the Gala awards ceremony on May 31st at the Imperial.

The event was launched two years ago as part of the Saint John 225 events.

The nominees include Babette Hayward, Jared Peters and Philip Savage for the emerging artist award.

Cliff Turner, Carol Taylor and Herzl Kashetsky are up for the Visual Arts Award.

In the Film and New Media Arts category, Steven Doiron and Nathan Savage are the finalists.

Brian Goodwin and Gerry Taylor are in the running for the Arts Support Award.
To see the complete list of finalists, click here

Schools In Saint John Area Are Open

Schools in District 8 are open today despite the snow.

Schools in District 6 are open but the buses are operating on a one hour delay. 

District 17 schools are also open today but the buses are running on a two hour delay.

Gas Prices Up A Bit

You'll have to pay a bit more for gas after the weekly setting if you have to fill up over the next few days. 

Self serve regular is being sold for $1.32.5 a litre in the city, a rise of just over a cent. 

Diesel has gone up by 1 and a half cents to $1.39.5 a litre around town.

Heating oil is also more expensive at $1.23.1 and propane is listed at $1.03.2 a litre.