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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

MRI Advisory Group Established

The provincial health minister announcing members of its newly established MRI advisory group.

The group will oversee the development of an MRI management model, future acquisition and deployment of MRI technology, funding, and criteria for MRI technology in the province.

The advisory group includes Fredericton lawyer Gordon Petrie as chair, as well as a representative from the Department of Health and senior imaging directors from both of the regional health authorities.

A radiologist based out of Toronto will also serve as an external advisor.

The group will have a report ready for government by October 31st.

Bill Farren Weighs in on Ferguson Trial

Common Councillor Bill Farren speaking out against the pension board now that the defamation lawsuit against his friend and colleague, John Ferguson, has been dismissed. Farren's name was continually brought up during the proceedings due to his close ties with Ferguson.

 He tells CHSJ News he thinks the lawsuit raised awareness of some important issues for taxpayers, including problems with the way the board is managed.

Farren telling us he didn't mind being associated with Ferguson because all they were trying to do was get to the bottom of the pension issue.

Event Lets You Try Every Restaurant in Town

Good food for a great cause...that's the message behind the Fundy Food Festival, which is bringing together over 30 local restaurants to raise money for the Boys and Girls Club. One could say it's the perfect event for people who love food but hate commitment. The Festival features a range of cuisines from Italian to Thai and Japanese. Mini-samples from each restaurant will be provided, as well as tastings of beer and wine.

Executive director Debbie Cooper of the Boys & Girl's club tells CHSJ News the event has something for everyone. Everyone receives a book of tasting tickets then makes their way around the stations. If there's one you don't wish to try, you can visit the trading post and trade it it for one you do like.

Cooper says the $75 ticket price is an excellent value for what you get and it's also a great cause. Volunteers from the Boy's & Girl's club will be staffing the event. 

Fore more information on the Fundy Food Festival, including how to get tickets,click here

New Board Of Trade Chair Has 3 Goals For City

The new chair for the Saint John Board of Trade has 3 broad goals in mind in order to make Saint John the best place to do business in the country.

Larry Hachey tells CHSJ News the city has a great story and we need the city to be properly branded and marketed.

He says in order for the city to attract more businesses, we need to focus on our strong sectors like healthcare, ICT, and energy.

He says there also needs to be an end to the bickering within our community and our neighbours.

"Speed Dating" for Local Politicians Tomorrow Night

A speed-dating style event giving voters a limited-time-only chance to chat with the mayoral and council candidates. 

The event, hosted by Fusion SJ, the Board of Trade, and UNBSJ, will give groups of 3 people 2 minutes to hear a condensed version of their platform--an "elevator pitch," if you will.
The event happens tomorrow from 5:30 to 8pm in the Market Square Atrium. Appetizers from the Alehouse and the Hilton will be provided. You're asked to come in a timely fashion. 

Please visit Fusion SJ's event site here for more details. 

Pension Board Not Backing Down

The Pension Board has reacted to the jury's verdict that found former Common Councillor John Ferguson not liable for defamation because of qualified privilege as a member of Common Council at the time.

In a statement, the Board points out Ferguson made false statements about the pension trustees at a meeting of Common Council on July 17th of 2006 but, as a Council member at the time, was entitled to do so because he had qualified privilege.

It will be up to Mr. Justice William Grant to assess costs arising the lawsuit which began in 2007.

Ferguson's lawyer Rod Gillis estimates the legal costs for each side are pushing two and a half million dollars each.

Despite that, the Pension Board maintains the trustees look forward to the resolution of this matter over the next few weeks.

Ferguson Wants To Get Back To St. Stephen

Case dismissed..........Former Common Councillor John Ferguson being found not liable for defaming the city's Pension Board at the close of his 12-week jury trial and 8 hours of deliberation.

Only one of Ferguson's statements from July 17, 2006 was found defamatory because it implied deceit but qualified privilege, as a member of Common Council at the time, shielded Ferguson from liability. The case was dismissed.

Ferguson tells us the whole thing has been a waste of time. His lawyer Rod Gillis calls it a waste of money with only the lawyers benefiting.

Pension board lawyer Barry Morrison refused to comment on the decision.

Gillis tells us the legal costs for each side of the case is pushing 2.5 million dollars and the pension board will have to pay. It will be up to Mr. Justice William Grant to assess how much the costs should be.

Deputy Mayor "Disgusted" With Pension Board

An outrage--that from Deputy Mayor Stephen Chase raking the pension board over the coals for its failed defamation lawsuit against former common councillor John Ferguson. Chase tells CHSJ News he's disgusted by the whole proceedings, and pushed from the outset for the case to be dropped.

The Deputy Mayor called Ferguson's victory a triumph for all leaders who wish to speak out on behalf of the taxpayers without and interference from bureaucrats. 

Chase predicts a strong turnout at the polls for the May 14th election in response to the pension plan debacle, which he says has taxpayers up in arms.

Lobsterman Dies After Falling Overboard

An autopsy will be conducted after a Grand Manan lobster fisherman died while out in the water. 

The RCMP on Grand Manan say the 51-year-old fisherman fell overboard after reaching for a trap buoy.  Another fisherman, working on the same boat, jumped into the water to rescue the man as a nearby lobster boat arrived to offer help. 

The man was conscious when pulled from the water but the he became unresponsive.  C-P-R was administered as the boat was heading back to the Seal Cove wharf but the man was pronounced dead at hospital. 

The Coroner's office is also investigating what happened.