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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Doucet Aims To Amend Emergency Measures Act

The Liberal MLA for Charlotte the Isles says we need to be better prepared for an emergency.

Rick Doucet says the problem under the current Emergency Measures Act is response plans are not required until a state of emergency is declared.

Doucet introducing a bill in the provincial legislature that would make it mandatory for areas with dams to have a plan before trouble comes.

He says this amendment is intended to help people have confidence in the steps that will be taken in an emergency by the operators of the dam.
The operators of the dam will be able to point to their plan to be sure they did their part to minimize any type of damage.

Doucet says he doesn't want people to think this amendment will end flood damage, but it will assure people that the dam operators will put their plans into effect at just the right time.

Two years ago this week, many communities in Charlotte County were submerged under 174 mm of rain.

Clarification On Port Traffic Numbers

The Saint John Port Authority says traffic through the port is down only four percent to the end of November compared to last year - but - port president Jim Quinn tells CHSJ News there is a silver lining.
Quinn says the number of container ships calling on the port is up 39-percent so far this year and so is the number of containers moving through the port.
A CHSJ News story earlier today referred to a recent report released by the Atlantic Pilotage Authority suggesting port traffic was down 10-percent to the end of September led by a significant decline in the number of oil tankers calling .
Quinn says those numbers could be skewed because some of the tanker captains making regular calls to the port are licensed pilots and don't have to call on the pilotage authority.
Quinn says even though crude oil is now coming in by rail from the west contributing to a slight decline in tanker traffic - the refined products are still being going out by ship through the Courtney Bay terminals.

No Insurance, No Problem?

New Brunswick's 150,000 people with no health insurance might have an easier time of it now that the provincial government is looking closely at how to provide coverage for everyone.

The recommendations in the report include subsidies for low income families, no barriers to access or waiting period, and coverage of approved drugs that are assessed through standard drug review processes.

Health Minister Ted Flemming says they've studied plans elsewhere and consulted with the public, and will work toward implementing an insurance plan as quickly as possible.

Rain for SJ & Snow for the KV

If you live in the KV, get ready for a late fall wallop.  
Snow and lots of it is on the way today and tonight.

Environment Canada meteorologist Claude Cote tells CHSJ News the Kennebecasis Valley is under a snowfall warning with the brunt of the storm coming late tonight and overnight.

He says conditions will improve by noon tomorrow or early afternoon but not before the KV receives up to 30 centimetres of snow.

Cote adds along the Fundy coast there is a rainfall warning in effect with about 12 millimeters tonight and it may be mixed with snow as the temperature reaches the freezing mark.   The Saint John area could see up to 10 centimetres of wet snow before it wraps up tomorrow.
He tells us we will get a break on Thursday but another system is moving in on Friday that will bring more rain.

NB Liquor Announces Holiday Hours

Want to make sure you get your holiday tipples on time? NB Liquor is announcing its hours through to the beginning of 2013.

Sunday, Dec. 23: Open noon to 5 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 24: Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 25: Closed
Wednesday, Dec. 26: Closed
Thursday, Dec. 27, to Sunday, Dec. 30: Regular operating hours
Monday, Dec. 31: Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013: Closed
Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013: Regular hours resume

The 73 agency stores may open all days except Dec. 25. Hours may vary by location. 

City Debates Filling Vacant Jobs

There's been some controversy around the council horseshoe over whether to fill 3 positions in the finance department at city hall that have been left vacant by retirements.

Common Councillor Bill Farren says there's no way city hall can think about filling those positions given the city's dire financial situation.

Commissioner of finance Greg Yeomans, on the other hand, says he's already working with a skeleton crew and the jobs are vital tothe continued smooth operation of the city.

Horse Rescue Program A Finalist In Aviva Competition

A unique community project that not only helps abused horses but troubled youth has a chance of truly growing and expanding it's reach.

Earth Spirit Horse Rescue's "Compassion Project" is a finalist in the Aviva Community Fund, a competition which gives away a million dollars to various Canadian projects that make a positive change in their community. After months of public voting, it's now up to judges to decide if the Compassion Project will receive up to $100,000.

The 3-year-old non-profit group rents a barn in Quispamsis that helps with abused horses and teaches troubled youth life skills. Executive director Christy Clark tells CHSJ news they completely depend on volunteers and donations, and winning the money would completely improve and expand their work. She says the money would go towards building a new stable of their own, which would include a quarantined stall for rescued horses to recover in and a loft as a classroom for youth programs. 

The youth don't learn how to ride, but how to care for horses which in turn teaches leadership skills, self confidence and even awareness of bullying. Clark says it also benefits the horses who are too old to be ridden. She says the results of the program are phenomenal, adding she's received calls from parents, teachers and councilors that the kids are changed forever. 

The winners will be announced January 29th.

To learn more about the Aviva Community Fund, click here.

To learn more about Earth Spirit Horse Rescue, click here.

Online Platform To Help Doctors Treating Diabetics

The Alward government is rolling out a new program that will help doctors and others work together online to improve care for diabetics.

Health Minister Ted Flemming says the new Diabetes NB CoPosis will improve the management of the disease by enhancing the information and level of collaboration available for doctors around the globe.

Doctors can enrol through the Department of Health's website with the online learning modules starting in January covering a range of topics including
effective management of renal disease and complications in diabetes.   

Doctors can post comments, articles in a secure virtual community.
The online platform, CoPosis, was developed by the University of Alberta Centre for Health Evidence.

For more info click here and here

Bay Of Fundy Ferry Crossings Cancelled

Bay Ferries letting us know all sailings today of the Princess of Acadia are cancelled because of the high winds.

Child Bitten By Dog

A toddler suffered a dog bite on the west side and there reportedly was alot of bleeding. It occurred on Duck Cove Lane. 

City Police describe it as unintentional but do say the city's bylaw enforcement officer will likely investigate the circumstances.

No Budget Yet

A few hills remain to be climbed in the city's 2013 budget process.

The vote on the budget has been bumped ahead until at least mid week, pending quotes from local firm Owens MacFadyen on the interim, or bridging numbers for long term-disability payments as well as how the payouts will work on a more permanent basis.

LTD isn't taken into account under the Shared Risk model currently being contemplated for the pension plan, and Mayor Mel Norton likens it to a series of dominoes in that council first requires the long term disability numbers, then ratify a Memorandum of Understanding, then finally approve the budget after that.

The ballpark figure being cited for the so-called bridge benefits is $75,000 and $100,000 monthly, but that's just until something more permanent is worked out. They're hoping to get the quotes within the next day or two and meet again on Wednesday; however, that doesn't mean the capital nudget will be done before early 2013.