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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

More Information Could Be Released On Oland

The prosecution has withdrawn an application to prevent the release of search warrants in the investigation of the killing of businessman Richard Oland.

Instead, provincial court Judge Leslie Jackson has been asked to decide what, if any, of the information can be released.

Lawyers will be back in court Wednesday arguing what information can be released and what should still be kept under wraps.

Oland was found dead in his office on Canterbury Street last year.

The Crown had previously argued that releasing the documents could jeopardize the ongoing police investigation but a lawyer for media organizations has said the prosecution didn't produce any evidence to support its request to keep the documentation sealed.

Canada Wide Warrant For Missing Man

RCMP need your help in finding a man missing with an outstanding parole warrant.

21-year-old Brandon Anderson failed to return to a half-way house in the city, and now a Canada wide parole warrant for his arrest has been issued. There's belief he's heading to Halifax.
Anderson was on parole for manslaughter and investigators believe he poses a risk to the public. He is described as white, 6’ tall, 210 lbs., with green eyes and brown hair.

Anderson is considered dangerous and police advise you shouldn't approach him. Anyone with information is asked to contact Saint John City Police (648-3333) and Crime Stoppers (1-800-222-TIPS [8477]).

Locations & Jobs With New Air Service

More travel locations and jobs is what you can expect from the Saint John Airport this fall.

Quebec aviation company PASCAN will open up daily flights, five days a week from Saint John to Bonaventure, Quebec City, and Wabush in Newfoundland and Labrador. Saint John Airport President Bernie Leblanc tells us it's a targeted service that will benefit the province for business and leisure travel.

LeBlanc says the timing was great. He says it's booming in Labradors so they thought it's a great opportunity to launch it. He adds they'll have to make sure people will use the aircraft so the service keeps growing.

PASCAN President Serge Charron says the British C-FPSJ planes link small communities. They hold about 19 passengers and the company owns 13 of them. Charron estimates the service will create 6-7 direct and indirect jobs in Saint John.

Saint John Airport is the first in the province to work with PASCAN.

How Much Money Should Be Spent Consulting The Public

What is the price of public consultation and how far do you need to go? The new Common Council is grappling with that dilemma as it looks to save taxpayer dollars.
Ward 4 Common Councillor David Merrithew says if the city didn't hold public meetings as part of  budget consultations, it could save 50 thousand dollars. Merrithew is proposing the consultations be limited to online. 

Ward 2 Councillor Susan Fullerton says she did plenty of consulting while on the campaign trail and if you don't know what Saint Johnners want, you need a medical evaluation.
Besides that, Fullerton questions "why ask people how the city should spend money it doesn't have"? It sounds a bit ridiculous to her.

Ward 3 Councillor Donna Reardon argues the public still needs a voice at the table but if it can be accomplished online then that would be great.

Work Set To Resume On Welsford Bypass

There may be no construction activity at the moment - but - the provincial Transportation Department says that's about to change.
A department spokesperson tells CHSJ News a 3-million dollar contract for grading and paving of the Welsford Bypass will be awarded soon.
The contract involves grading and paving of 5-kms of new highway and four ramps in the Welsford area - and - we are told that work will start in about 3-weeks.
The 60-million dollar project is now scheduled for completion in the fall of next year - about a year later than originally planned.

Two Councillors Not Happy At Committee Proposal

Not everyone on Common Council is over the moon about what's being proposed for a committee form of local government. 

Councillor Donnie Snook points out Vision 2015 envisioned more direct participation by Saint Johnners.

Fellow Councillor Bill Farren thought one or two people on each committee would be members of the public. Farren wonders whether these committees will be viewed as just a rubber stamp and not pass what he calls the smell test.

Farren objects to the Mayors, whomever he or she is, appointing the chairs of each of these committees fearing that could lead to favourtism.
Common Council will be hearing directly from its counterparts in Fredericton about how it works there and why Bathurst decided it wasn't for them. The councillors may even attend council meetings in Fredericton and Sussex to see first hand how the committee system works.

Common Council hears Pros And Cons About Changing The Way City Is Run

Common Council hearing about the benefits, for the most part, of switching to a committee form of local government where the back and forth would take place before various committees, depending on the issue, with less debate before the full Common Council. 

Common Clerk Elizabeth Gormley says there could be separate committees for growth and development, the environment, transportation and water with a co-ordinating committee dealing with the city budget.
Gormley says each committee would meet once a month and the full Council would still meet every two weeks. 

She maintains this form of city governance would lead to better decisionmaking, greater public participation and transparency although there are pitfalls which could include buck passing. 

Common Council wants to hear directly from Fredericton Council on how the system works in that city but also from Bathurst where it was tried and then discarded before deciding.   

Common Council Undecided About Mixed Martial Arts

Common Council isn't ready just yet to allow mixed martial arts bouts to be staged in the city at the L-B-R. It wants to first hear from City Solicitor John Nugent on the legal ramifications, if any. 

Councillor Ray Strowbridge wants the city to move ahead, saying it will allow Saint John to compete on this level with Moncton and Halifax. He also argues mixed martial arts is one of the hottest sports around these days and staging bouts in the city would boost the local economy.
Council also wants to hear from the city's Leisure Services Committee before it decides whether or not to spend 3 and a half million dollars to turn the ice surface at the L-B-R into Olympic size which would benefit figure skaters in the area.