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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Fewer Surveys, More Service?

Do Saint Johners want fewer surveys, and more service? That's the debate at common council, where sparks recently flew over whether to spend $22,000 canvassing the public on their priorities for local government.

 Councillor Susan Fullerton says they already from citizens while on the campaign trail---and using tax dollars for surveys is a waste.

But others disagreed, saying the opinion of the taxpayers is the most important thing. A booklet and surveys will be mailed out ensuring those without computer access can take part.

Cardy Urges Government To Help Dying Man

The plight of a Saint John man who will die unless he receives a $10,000 per month cancer drug called Avastin--but is not covered by Medicare or his private insurance--is drawing ire from provincial NDP leader Dominic Cardy. 

Cardy tells CHSJ News Mr Jean Phillipe's case proves a broader point: things need to change to bring New Brunswick's health plan up to speed with the rest of Canada. Currently, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island are the only provinces without catastrophic drug coverage.

Cardy says the Health Ministry has not answered calls from his party and has told journalists they won't respond to NDP-issued news releases.

Emera CEO Speaks On Hydroelectric Projects

The President and CEO of Emera visiting Saint John to talk about the future potential of the Lower Churchill Hydroelectric Project for the Maritimes and beyond.
Chris Huskilson briefing the media on the Muskrat Falls and Churchill Falls components.
He tells CHSJ News there are two key benefits including more energy moving through the province.

He says it creates a new market source of clean energy and that will provide more competition and long term cost relief from electricity prices.

Huskilson says one of the challenges for Emera and other companies is the federal mandate to reduce CO2 emissions by 25 per cent in 2020, 50 per cent by 2030 and nearly 100 per cent by 2050.

VIDEO: A Look Inside The Oland Investigation Documents

A total of 5 documents were released: 2 search warrants and supporting documents. The above video shows just how much is being withheld to protect the ongoing police investigation.

Sculptors Still Rocking Out At Symposium

The old Coast Guard site has been filled with the sounds of sawing, hammering, and chipping stone...and according to organizers and sculptors alike, Sculpture Saint John is turning out to be a smash hit. 

Sculptor Jim Boyd tells CHSJ News the interns from Saint John are hard at work and learning a lot.

A number of international artists are sculpting giant pieces of granite over six weeks. Admission to the site is free and everyone is welcome.

Queen Square Farmer's Market Returns

It's almost time for the summer's third farmer's market in Queen Square. Farmers, crafters, musicians and artists will be gathering to share their wares and enjoy a little-used green space in the South End. 

Organizer Jody Kliffer tells CHSJ News it's been a smash hit and this market will offer a lot of the same goodies as previous events, including fresh produce, prepared foods, a fortune teller, and performances by local theatre groups.

The Market runs in Queen Square on Sunday from 8:30-2pm.

Oland Documents Released, Heavily Censored

Little new information despite 2 search warrants and supporting documentation being released in the Richard Oland murder investigation....the heavily censored documents containing mostly public knowledge on the murder of the prominent businessman, who was found in his Canterbury Street office on July 7, 2011.

The warrants did indicate papers, books, and documents related to genealogy were seized from 58 Gondola Point Road. 57 items were seized in total. Police also requested cell phone and bank records, in addition to searching a 25-foot sailboat, "Loki" docked at the Kennebecaisis Yacht Club.

More search warrants are expected to be released later this (Thursday) afternoon.

Major Midget Vito's Move To The qplex

What the Sea Dogs are for Harbour Station, the Major Midget Vitos will be for the qplex.   

The local major midget triple A hockey club is moving to the new arena in Quispamsis and most of their home games will be Friday nights at 8pm.
Vito's coach Ken Dobson tells CHSJ News their players are high school students from Sussex to St. Stephen.

He says it's the top tier of minor hockey for 15, 16 and 17 year olds and a prepatory league for junior and major junior.

Dobson says the advantage of being at the qplex is being able to get three practices in a week in a facility with year round ice and a showcase game on Friday nights. 

He says tryouts and training camp start on September 1st and their first game is coming up at September 21 against Miramichi.

Vito's alumni include NHL defenceman Randy Jones.

"It's Time We Brought The Trades Back Into The Schools"

The new Anglophone South School District holding its first public meeting since the merger of Districts 6,8 and 10. 

Rob Fowler, who chaired the District 8 Education Council has been elected to chair the new school district and says it's time we brought the trades back into the schools.

Fowler says a meeting was held recently with Deputy Mayor Shelley Rinehart to see where schools fit into Saint John's true growth strategy.

The former chair of the District 6 Education Council, Roger Nesbitt was elected as vice-chair of the new school district which was told students will begin returning to schools on the Wednesday after Labour Day but for many it will be a staggered start depending on what grade you're in.

Saint John's Loss Is Fredericton's Gain

Saint John is losing its Chief Planner to Fredericton.

Ken Forrest is returning there in the new year to be its Director of Growth and Community Services overseeing that city’s Growth and Community Services Department. That includes Community Planning, Tourism, Economic Development, Culture, Parks and Building Inspection.
Forrest was a driving force behind the development of Plan SJ which is being hailed as the new direction for future development in our city for the next couple of decades. 

Gas Prices Continuing Their Upward Swing

Diesel continues to rise after the weekly setting.........This time the maximum price has gone up by almost 3 cents a litre. 

The max that can be charged for self serve also is up by a cent a litre. 

Propane has decreased slightly with the listed maximum price being 93.9 cents a litre and heating oil, like diesel, is more expensive by almost 3 cents to a maximum price of 115.2.