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Friday, December 28, 2012

Get Ready For More Snow

A weather statement from Environment Canada has Southern New Brunswick looking at strong winds and snow late tomorrow night or after midnight.

10 cm's is possible before Sunday morning with more snow during the day.

NDP Leader Says The Best Is Yet To Come

The best is yet to come, according to provincial NDP leader Dominic Cardy, citing the tanking economy and ongoing struggles with catastrophic drug coverage as the province's lowest lows of 2012. Cardy tells CHSJ News the Alward government has missed the boat when it comes to solving the problems of most concern to New Brunswickers.

He says we have seen the government throw money at corporations instead of taking action on the problems all New Brunswickers know are out there.
Cardy adds they also tried to evict seniors from social housing if they had pets.

Cardy says despite the difficulties he'd like to see New Brunswickers take a moment over the holidays to reflect on the great things we've accomplished as a province and the ways we can move forward in the future.

SPCA Board Prez Reflects On 2012

There was a point earlier this year when the SPCA Animal Rescue League put up it's hands and announced to Saint John it's funds were so low they were facing closure.

They've weathered that storm, and their President Melody McElman tells CHSJ they still struggle but are now more healthy financially.

She says they need a business plan adding they cannot depend on donations and fundraise themselves 365 days a year and find something that will bring in continuous revenue.

In 2013 McElman says they plan on starting a cat program with seniors, hope to have a future partnership with UPEI's vet school for neutering, and hope to sell their Taylor avenue property.

It's Time To Find Those Receipts

This may not be first and foremost at this time of the year but you would be well advised to start organising the paperwork for your 2012 income tax return. That word coming from Sue Crawford at H and R Block.

Crawford says the end of this month is the deadline for charitable donations and paying bills for medical or dental if you want to claim those for the 2012 taxation year. The only thing you can claim in the new year for 2012 is your R-R-S-P contributions.

Crawford says alot of people may not realise you can also claim the premiums you pay for your medical coverage and you can get that total from your provider.


Driscoll Doesn't See Funding Cuts Ending

Funding cuts from the province will be the norm over the next couple of years. That assessment from Quispamsis Mayor Murray Driscoll.

Quispamsis is reworking its budget in light of a 240 thousand dollar cut next year from the province but Driscoll vows the town will make this work and accomplish something in the process. 

He says the town wants new trails at Matthew's Cove with picnic tables and even talk of a duck pond along with completion of the Hampton Highway in 2013.

City Declares Overnight Snow Parking Ban

There will be an overnight snow parking ban for the South/Central Peninsula beginning at 11:00 tonight through to 7:00 tomorrow morning. 

That means no on-street parking and any vehicles on the streets after 11 will be towed.

 Brunswick Square and Market Square offer a 4 dollar overnight parking rate between 8 on the night of the parking ban until 8:00 the next morning.

You can also park at six lots in the area at the corner of Princess and Charlotte Streets, King Street East, Peters Street, Mecklenburg at Wentworth, the corner of Queen and Charlotte at Key Industries and on Carmarthen Street at the Vineyard Church.

For more info, click here

Clean Water Now The Focus For Common Council

The big priority for Common Council in the coming year, according to Mayor Mel Norton, will be to get a funding arrangement in place to build a water treatment plant which will require help from both the province and federal government. 

He tells CHSJ News the second coming of the True Growth strategy is part and parcel of rejuvenating the city. The Mayor points out it has been several years since the city has had an economic development plan and, without one, there is the danger of stagnation and decline.

Norton has compared resolving the pension problem to an anchor sinking to the bottom of the Bay of Fundy which will free up millions of dollars for other priorities such as roads and bus service.

North End Councillor Not Happy Over Pension Reform

Approval of long term disability at a special meeting of Common Council was the last step in resolving the pension problem for the city but not everyone is overjoyed. 

Common Councillor Susan Fullerton says there is still too much financial uncertainty about how this will play out over the long term. Fullerton is pessimistic whether the shared risk model is sustainable over the long term even though she concedes it will reduce costs in the short term .

The President of the Saint John Firefighters Association Paul Stackhouse concedes there was very little choice about what to do in the face of ever rising yearly pension payments.

Saint John Police Association President Jamie Hachey estimates, if nothing was done, the pension payments could have risen to 40 million dollars a year.

Filling Up Will Cost You More

Gas prices are up a bit after the weekly setting with self serve regular in the city at $1.22.3 a litre and diesel at $1.36.9. 

Heating oil also rose to a  maximum of $1.16.9 with propane also more expensive at 94.2 cents a litre.

Another Storm Could Be Headed Our Way

You might want to keep an eye out for the weather forecast on Sunday now that Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement. 

It warns of more snow and strong winds possible for our region Sunday because of an intensifying low pressure system south of Nova Scotia. 

We'll have to wait a while yet before there's a better idea of how much snow we might get.

Saint John, according to Environment Canada. got 12 centimeters of snow. That compares to 36 centimeters at Gagetown.....29 cm in Fredericton.......25 cm in Moncton and only 6 in St. Stephen.

Storm Hampers City Firefighters

Fire crews responding to a blaze on Dewer Street in Red Head got stuck in heavy snow and had to stretch their hoses by hand. 

Acting Platoon Chief Mark Carey says the fire began in a van and then spread to the nearby home.

The van was destroyed and taken away for further investigation while the siding on two sides of the home melted.

Thermal imaging cameras were used to determine how far the fire had spread.