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Friday, March 23, 2012

Transit Cuts Protest Set For Saturday In Kings Square

If you have some free time tomorrow, your participation is welcome at a protest in King Square.
Organizers are upset of what they call the drastic impact of cuts to Saint John Transit.
Tammy Calvin tells CHSJ News the cuts are reaching a critical moment with a second round of cuts set to kick in April 1st.

She says these cuts are affecting people so she and Andrea Richards decided to do something because none of the non-profit groups and businesses were saying anything.

Calvin says everyone is invited including members of the transit workers union and management at Saint John Transit.  Over 2300 people have joined a Facebook group set up for the event and it gets underway at noon tomorrow at King Square.

Brief East Side Power Outage

On a beautiful sunny Friday, it would be easy to miss this.

Saint John Energy telling CHSJ news of an unplanned power outage earlier today impacting 318 customers in East Saint John.

The juice vanished at 4:03 impacting Grandview Avenue, Black River Road and part of Bayside Drive but it was back on by 5:05.

The cause was a piece of defective equipment.

Algonguin Officially Changes Hands

The Marriott will now look over the Bay of Fundy.

New Castle Hotels and Southwest Properties will now be the new parent of the Algonquin Resort in St. Andrews.

Tourism Minister Trevor Holder says as the minister responsible for heritage he is pretty excited to partner with a company that has a track record of protecting historic property.

Holder adds the province's goal was to make sure the Algonquin was preserved and the economy of St. Andrews was protected.

Electric Cars To Be Built In Saint John

Get ready for Bricklin deja vu - a Chinese manufacturer of electric cars plans on setting up shop here in the Port City. 

The Ningbo Jiuding Machinery Corp. plans to build a manufacturing plant at one of the city's industrial parks.

Speaking through a translator, CEO Jason Yuan says things are still in the early stages as the cars still need to be approved over here.

The plan is to have the cars sold in all over the world, including here in Saint John, and Yuan says our port makes the shipping process very ideal.

No word yet on when the plant will be built.

Allegiance Of Pension Board Trustees Under Fire

The role of the city's Pension Board trustees has become a focus of the defamation trial of former Common Councillor John Ferguson.

They have all testified their job was to look out for the best interests of the pension plan members even when the deficit was rising.

The Atlantic Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, Kevin Lacey questions where that leaves the taxpayer and who represents the public interest.

Ferguson's lawyer Rod Gillis is suggesting the pension board was reluctant to lower benefits despite the rising deficit because most of its members were either receiving or in line to receive city pensions.

Lanigan Seeks A Ward 2 Seat

A project manager is running for Common Council hoping to represent Ward 2.

Morgan Lanigan says Saint John is in a tough situation with tight budgets so now is the time to grab the reins and steer the City forward.

He tells CHSJ News politicians are famous for throwing money at problems but not understanding what the problem is.

He says council needs a team that is willing to think critically about why a problem is happening so it can be addressed so it doesn't happen again.

Lanigan advocates "road diets" for Saint John where streets are narrowed by 1 or 2 feet saving on construction costs leading to more green space and less maintainence leaving more money to fix potholes.

Arrest Made In Rothesay High B&E

Rothesay Regional Police making an arrest after a break and enter at Rothesay High.

Two young men were arrested yesterday and will be in court at a later date to face charges.