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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Court Hears Gruesome Details On East Side Assault

Two men in their early 20s and one teenager are charged in the continuing investigation in a savage attack by a group of young men in Glen Falls. The victim remains in hospital in critical condition.

John Alexander Adams, Robert Hachey and a teen who cannot be named are charged with aggravated assault and stealing a quantity of cigarettes from the victim on February 26th.   Adams pleaded guilty to only the first charge, while Hachey pleaded not guilty to both.

The court heard police received several calls from the Glen Falls area from a driver and homeowners about a young man wandering around the neighborhood bleeding and confused.   According to testimony from the accused, the victim was beaten with a baseball bat for allegedly selling pills to another man who became addicted.

The accused parties will reappear in court on March 5.

McKenna Says NB Must Demand Fair Revenue From Feds

It's estimated that New Brunswick has 82 trillion cubit feet of shale gas and if only 10 per cent of the shale gas is exploitable it would result in 150,000 person years of work.

In a recent speech, Former Premier Frank McKenna said shale gas has the potential to bring in 7 billion dollars in royalty and tax revenues.

McKenna says the potential of a shale gas industry also has spinoffs in the knowledge sector where at the University of Alberta over 1000 university students are working in research.

He says they are engaged with corporate partners to develop new technologies for extracting these resources in the most environmentally sensitive way possible. 

He adds this province must demand equal treatment from the Feds for these revenues in the same way the offshore revenues are assessed in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.

While laying out the potential of a shale gas industry, McKenna did qualify the statements in his speech saying his has no vested interest in the success of energy projects in this province.

No Real Change In Saint John Housing Market Expected

Saint John will remain a buyer's market for the next couple of years when it comes to housing. That, according to Jason Beaton of Canada Mortgage and Housing who delivered a seminar to realtors in the city about how things look this year and next.

Beaton says the housing market in Saint John has been trending down since 2008 and he expects a further softening in the sale of existing homes this year.

Beaton tells CHSJ News it takes an average of 110 days to sell a home in Saint John and the average price is around 167 thousand dollars.

Local Farmers Unite To Swap Seeds, Tips

As we face yet another winter storm warning, the warmer days of picking your own lettuce, tomatoes or carrots might seem far off.

But spring is slowly but surely approaching--- and an event for local farmers and gardeners can help you get the most out of your plot. 

Seedy Saturday is an all-day seed swap, forum, and documentary screening open to members of the public. Organizer Greg Daggett tells CHSJ News it's a great way to encourage diversity in your garden and meet some like-minded individuals.

In addition to the seed swap, there will be a free book table and workshops by Master Gardener Phil Savage, Amy Baker from Wellwood Farms, and potentially others TBA. It's happening Saturday at the City Market Senior's Great Room on the 2nd floor from 10am to 4pm.

Admission is free.

City Police Arrest 3 In Glen Falls Assault

City police arresting 3 men in connection with a serious assault in Glen Falls on Tuesday night.

Officers found the victim on Broadway Avenue with serious injuries and he was taken to hospital.
He remains in serious condition at the Regional hospital.

One 17 year old and two 18 year olds faces charges of Robbery with Violence and Aggravated Assault.

All 3 men are due before a judge this afternoon in Provincial court.

Nervousness Over What Cuts Will Take Place At Horizon Health

Workers at the Horizon Health Network are on edge these days with all the talk about impending cuts especially after the 6 per cent cut in jobs announced by Vitalite, which runs the francophone health network.

The Regional Director of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Gordon Black says if the same percentage of cuts is implemented at Horizon, as many as 700 or 800 jobs will be lost. Black tells CHSJ News Horizon has too many managers but he's almost certain that's not where the cuts will be happening.

Black says health administration has increased several fold ever since regionalisation of healthcare in the early 90's under then Premier Frank McKenna and remains top heavy.

Controversial Meeting Over Future Of Your Water

Common Council met this morning on the possibility of a P3, or public private partnership for water treatment.

John McBride of P3 Canada explaining the funding model isn't the same as privatizing water; rather, since private companies are already doing most of the work it makes sense to put their money on the line, and make them responsible for its entire life cycle. He referred to P3s as a "tool" which are more or less applicable depending on the situation--but for a $200 million-plus project like the one Saint John is looking at, it makes sense.

Mayor Mel Norton says he wants to make it clear we'll still own the water--because there's never been a situation where a Canadian municipality lost control of its water supply as a result of adopting a P3.

Members of various community organizations object to the idea saying the federal government is shirking its responsibility to fund essential services like water, and forcing the city to rely on private corporations

Another Storm To Hammer Saint John

You can expect stormy weather right through tonight into tomorrow as we have a winter storm warning for the Saint John region. 

Darin Borgel of Environment Canada tells CHSJ News we will receive mostly snow with the risk of some freezing rain along the coast. 

Borgel says you can expect anywhere from 15 up to 30 centimeters of snow depending where you are in the region with the heaviest amounts falling late this afternoon and tonight.

He says this is a slow moving system with lighter snow continuing intermittently tomorrow.

In the Anglophone South School District.........Schools are closed in St. Stephen, Saint John, Hampton, the K-V and Belle Isle. Schools in Sussex, Norton and Apohaqui are open.

Samuel de Champlain is closed for the day as is the Sussex Christian school.

Drivers Getting A Bit Of A Price Break

Gas prices go down a bit after the weekly setting. 

The price of self serve regular in the city is down to an even $1.34 a litre, a decline of half a cent. 

Diesel dropped by more than 2 and a half cents to $1.43.1 and heating oil also taking a dip to $1.23.1 a litre.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Man On The Run After Woman Stabbed Near Sussex

Sussex RCMP are looking for a 49-year old man in connection with a stabbing that occurred earlier this morning in Plumweseep, near Sussex.

Shortly before 8 a.m Sussex RCMP received a 911 call from a woman who had suffered stab wounds during an altercation in a Plumweseep home. The woman was taken to hospital in Saint John. The seriousness of her injuries is unknown.

The 49-year-old man was last seen driving a 2009 grey Honda Ridgeline truck with N.B. license plate CPM 926. The man is described as being 5'11'' tall with brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing glasses, a black coat, blue jeans and black boots.

Police are treating this as an isolated incident as the victim and suspect know each other.

If anyone has information on the location of this person or the truck, do not approach him, and contact police immediately or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Copper Thieves Wreck House

Some thieves did a real number on a house in Saint Andrews over the weekend....

An undisclosed quantity of copper piping was ripped out of the walls over the weekend at a home on Mowat Drive. No word on how much pipe was taken but RCMP are describing the damage as significant.

If anyone has information contact police immediately or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Board Of Trade Is On Board With Proposed Fertilizer Plant

The interim president of the Saint John Board of Trade calls the proposed fertilizer production plant in McAllister Industrial Park exactly what Saint John needs. 

Dick Daigle of the BOT tells CHSJ News the timing came as something of a surprise--albeit a pleasant one, and it is certainly in line with the True Growth 2.0 strategy the city has been looking to embrace.

Daigle says the next thing they'd like to see the city move on is shale gas. The plant is expected to cost $350 million, creating over 1,200 jobs during construction.

Social Media Award Winners Celebrate At Saltys

Most of us are familiar with Facebook and Twitter: but some Saint Johners are really taking it to to the next level. 

The 2013 Salty Awards honour those who make major contributions to our online lives--including Best Facebook, Instagram, and use of social media in a campaign. 

Cultural Affairs Minister Bernard Cormier won for Best Twitter. He tells CHSJ News the secret is delivering local content with a bit of humour. The complete list of winners is as follows.

Twitter Person of the Year - Bernard Cormier - Link
Best Facebook Page- Je Suis Prest - Link
Awesome Instagram – Mark Hemmings - Link
Hottest YouTube – From Sussex and I Know It - Link
Coolest Blog – barbbarbbarb – Barb Crawford - Link
Best Use of Social Media in a Campaign – Pay It Forward Saint John - Link

Savoie Says More Fundy Trail $ Is Close

According to one Saint John area MLA, we can expect a funding announcement soon to complete the next phase of the Fundy Trail.

Saint John Fundy MLA Glen Savoie tells CHSJ News he's been working with Tourism, Culture and Healthy Living Minister Trevor Holder.

He says they have been working with their federal counterparts and the province to get the deal in place and at this stage they are crossing the T's and dotting the I's.

Savoie says to complete the trail another whole section has to be done and this funding will allow work to begin on that section.

75 Acts of Kindness from Bayview Credit Union

Bayview Credit Union is giving back. To celebrate 75 years in business, Bayview's Carolyn MacPherson says they will commit 75 acts of kindness this year.

It launches at the Sea Dogs game tonight, where staff will collect Canadian Tire money for P.R.O. Kids. Other charitable causes they'll support this year include Habitat for Humanity, Relay for Life and Hestia House.

Glen Falls Assault

City police are looking for two men after an assault in Glen Falls.   

Police were called to Brown Street about 10:25 last night to find a man had been assaulted.    Police were led to a crime scene on Glen Road.

A man in his 20's was sent to hospital with serious injuries.

Police believe a weapon was used but it's unclear what it was.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Major Crime at 648-3333.

More Moose Says Aerial Survey

Scientists looking at the moose population in and around Funday National Park have noticed a huge upswing in the number this year. Dr. Daniel Mazerolle, an ecologist at Fundy National Park, saying the survey hopes to shed some light on both how many there are and where they're located.

The air tracking study spotted 49 moose this year, a huge increase from the last two years.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Rockwood Park Attacker Sentenced

A 27 year old Saint John man  has been sentenced to 4 years and 1 month in federal jail for an attack on a jogger in Rockwood Park.

Nathan Dean was described by the defense as a shy man with a small social circle--and admitted in court he himself isn't sure why, on  October 3, he jumped out of the bushes into the path of a female jogger carrying a knife, his face masked with pantyhose.

Judge Andrew LeMeasure said the sentence needs to reflect the level of fear the attack put into the community as well as the harm to the individual victim. In a statement read to the court the unnamed woman said she's now more fearful and was traumatized by the event. The 4 year, 1 month sentence subtracts the 5 months Dean has already served.

Repsol Closes Sale - Canaport Not Included

Repsol won't be selling it's stake in the Canaport L-N-G terminal - at least not for the time being - the Spanish based company says it's completed a 6.7-billion dollar deal with Shell to buy a number of its Liquefied Natural Gas holdings.
But - it says the low natural gas prices in the U-S thanks to a glut of American produced shale gas makes it difficult to put a long term value on the facility.
Instead Shell has signed a ten year deal with Repsol to supply liquefied natural gas to the terminal.
Repsol owns a 75-percent share of the Canaport terminal while Irving Oil has a 25-percent stake in the facility.

Trudeau Campaigns In Rothesay & Milford

Liberal leadership candidate Justin Trudeau making a couple quick stops in Greater Saint John today.
Trudeau tells CHSJ News he was touched so many longtime Lliberals and business leaders came out to the fundraising breakfast in Rothesay.

He says they wanted to talk about their concerns including the cost overruns of the Point Lepreau refurbishment.

Trudeau supports the idea of a West-East pipeline adding he has always said we have to be better at transforming our own resources within our own borders.

Trudeau also gave a speech to a crowd at the Dennis Morris Community Center which included Former Mayor Ivan Court, MP Dominic Leblanc and Provincial Liberal Leader Brian Gallant.

Big Saint John Event For International Women's Day

Women in the Port City will have a singular chance to network, re-energize and take part in some inspiring conversations on International Women's Day.

Rhoda Welshman is organizing Pathways to Empowerment at the Delta on March 8th that will feature a wide range of inspirational women. 

Best-selling author, entrepreneur and Honourary Colonel Barabara Stegmann will deliver the keynote address. Stegmann appeared on Dragon's Den where she received $75,000 in venture capital for her brand, 7 Virtues. 

Registration is $75 which includes the discussion panel, lunch, keynote speech and other bonuses. 200 women are signed up so far. For more information, click here

Quispamsis Businessman Fined

A local businessman pleading guilty on charges of failing to file his taxes.

Gregory Paul Watson from Quispamsis fined $10,500 dollars in Saint John Provincial Court. He's been charged with failing to file personal income tax returns from 2008-2010 and four GST/HST returns for 2009-2010.

He's been given one year to pay up, and a compliance order was issued for outstanding returns.

Trudeau In Town

Local Grits get a boost today with Federal leadership candidate Justin Trudeau in town.

Trudeau will take part in two events in the Greater Saint John area today.

A fundraising breakfast in Rothesay and a meet and greet on the West si

Atlantic Potash Plans To Build Plant In Saint John

Atlantic Potash Corporation plans to build a proposed specialty fertilizer production facility in Saint John.

The proposed facility would be developed on approximately 100 acres of land in McAllister Industrial Park and is expected to cost $350 million, creating over 1,200 jobs during construction.

Once operational, the facility would generate over 1,300 jobs, more than $40 million in wages and salaries, approximately $344 million in expenditures and $4 million in municipal taxes annually.

Keith Attoe, co-project lead for Atlantic Potash, says global demand for fertilizer is growing quickly and their plan with this new facility is to produce and export 380,000 tons annually of fertilizers from Saint John to buyers in markets including Europe and South America.

The facility would produce three potash-based specialty fertilizers, which include urea, potassium nitrate and ammonium chloride. 

Over the next two years, Atlantic Potash will be undertaking the mandatory approval processes including the completion of an environmental impact assessment.      Construction would start two years after the EIA process is approved.   Operations at the fertilizer production facility are anticipated to start in 2017.

Kennebecasis Drive Fire

 17 firefighters spending 4 hours battling a blaze at 944 Kennebecasis Drive.

Platoon Chief Eric Garland tells CHSJ News when crews arrived they found the fire which started in a chimney had spread.

It spread to the roof and crews were able to knock it down.

One person was in the house at the time but was not hurt.

Investigators are looking into the cause but it's believed to be accidental.

Common Causes Hosts Meeting On Problems With P3s

H20 is a boiling-hot topic in the port city.

Common Causes, which calls itself "an assembly of social movements committed to defending democracy, the environment and human rights", hosted a town hall meeting on Monday night to talk about the public-private-partnership funding model the city is looking at to pay for an upgraded water system, and the problems it would present.

The forum's moderator was Andrew Graham, a member of the group. He tells CHSJ news that the meeting at the Saint John Arts Centre accomplished two things. It educated the public about the risks of P3 funding, and gave local people a platform to ask about the issue and to give their own input.

Their words might very well transform into action; there was talk of submitting a letter to common council this week, congregating at the meeting next Monday, and regrouping the day after.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Gallant To Seek Graham's Seat In By-Election

Liberal leader Brian Gallant is announcing he will run in the by-election for the riding of Kent recently vacated by former premier Shawn Graham.

Last week, NB's conflict of interest commissioner determined Graham was in a conflict when he assisted in an agreement to provide financial help to a subsidary of now-defunct Atcon, which had ties to his father.

Gallant said he looks forward to the opportunity to represent the riding of Kent as a member of the Legislative Assemply and he'd like to zero in on changes to EI and twinning Route 11 in addition to ministering to the province's flagging economy. He also pointed to the potential for shale gas development in the province as a concern.

Gallant said he hopes Premier Alward will call a by-election as soon as possible.  He was elected leader of the provincial Liberals on October 27, 2012 defeating two other candidates. He is a lawyer by profession.

Closure Of Laundry Facilities In Nursing Homes Causes Backlash

The New Brunswick Council of Nursing Homes lashing out at the provincial government for its decision to close laundry facilities in 16 nursing homes across the province...which they believe will lead to the loss of 60 jobs despite the government's claims the workers will merely be transferred to other departments. Nursing Home Union President Wayne Brown doesn't buy the assurances.

For its part, the government claims the job-sharing plan will save nearly $600,000 annually; however, the union representatives say if the government had wanted to find efficiencies it should have consulted with them. Locally, employees at Passamaquoddy Lodge, Kennebec Manor, Kings Way Centre and Rocmaura Nursing Home will be affected.

No Clear Solution For Simm's Corner

Some reactions from listeners in the Saint John area on the decision not to install a roundabout at one of the city's most notorious intersections: Simm's Corner.

Nancy-Leigh says "I think to many transports go through there for a roundabout. Maybe reconfigure it into a proper intersection and put in lights."

Paul says:  "Yes for roundabout."

Victoria "We shouldn't have a roundabout there. How it would work without everyone getting cut off?"

Natasha agrees saying Simms Corner is too small, logistically, to put in a traffic circle. "It is easy to get through if you follow the flow of traffic and the signs... I go through it daily ( a few times) and I never have an issue."
What do you think about Simm's Corner? Have your say on Facebook or Twitter.

Albert County Residents Want Health Status Assessment

Hillsborough residents are concerned about oil and gas drilling and production being approved without the provincial government making an assessment of the community's baseline health status.

 An assessment was reccomended by the chief medical officer for the province, Dr Eilish Cleary, in a report last year.

A new well in Edgett's Landing is less than 2km from both village water wells and .5km from residential areas according to a local citizen group, Water and Environmental Protection for Albert County, who are concerned about potential adverse effects.

Hillsborough Village Council and citizens groups have sent a letter with over 100 signatures to the Minister of Health asking that province establish baseline health and socio-economic status and water/air quality, before more developments are approved.

The "B" Factor Offers Help In The KV

For those seeking out new ways to cope with bullying have another option in the K.V.

"The B Factor" is a  support group and information resource for victims of bullying and for the parents and guardians of those who have been bullied.

Constable Krystal Daley of the Rothesay Regional Police tells CHSJ News they meet every month in the KV Superstore community room.

She says they started last fall and they have either a guest speaker or a presentation by someone in the community relating to bullying and what is being done in the schools.

Daley says they've been meeting every month in the community room of the KV Superstore and they will again tonight at 7.

Tonight's presentation is about internet safety and anyone who is interested can just show up.

3 Slightly Injured In Redhead Blaze

Saint John firefighters responding to a fire last night in Redhead.

The call came in about 630 for 189 Ocean Drive and on arrival crews found heavy smoke and fire in the kitchen.

One firefighter was slightly injured, while one person suffered a slight burns to a leg and another person suffered smoke inhalation.

The cause of the blaze has been deemed accidental.

Controversy Over Simm's Corner Traffic Calming

No answer yet when it comes to tackling the tricky traffic spot at Simm's Corner. Common Councillor Bill Farren tells CHSJ that he thinks the spot is most problematic for drivers unfamiliar with the area, not west siders. After the idea to install a roundabout was shot down, Farren wants to see a permanent solution put into place.

He calls the choice not to install the traffic fixture "disappointing".

Province Could Lose Another Covered Bridge

A damaged covered bridge may get a new lease on life if some petitioners have their way.

Locals are presenting a petition to Curtis Malloch, MLA for Charlotte-Campobello, urging the provincial government to restore the damaged covered bridge at Maxwell Crossing.

The bridge was heavily damaged in a January 21 single-vehicle collision and the Department of Transport suggested the bridge might not be repaired, but  replaced with a bailey bridge. The petition has been signed by more than 900 people.

The repairs would cost some $500,000. The province has lost almost 240 of its historic covered bridges in the last 50 years.The bridge at Maxwell Crossing was built 103 years ago.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Center For Women Addicts Marks 5 Years

A recovery center aimed specifically at women is marking 5 years in operation in Saint John.

Sophia House has seen 370 women through its doors since it opened and executive director Janet Bordage tells CHSJ News there have been some amazing success stories. She says one thing, however, came as a bit of a surprise for her: the most commonly abused drug isn't something illicit. Rather, about 50% of the women they see are primarily addicted to alcohol.

Everyone who works and volunteers at Sophia House is in recovery themselves, which provides an atmosphere of understanding as women work to overcome their addictions. An event marking the 5 year milestone is being held Monday (today) at the center at 83 Hazen Street.

Shipbuilding Industry in Motion

Slowly, but surely, the shipbuilding industry is moving forward. MP Rodney Weston telling CHSJ news that he's confident that the current strategy for the program in Halifax is the right one to keep the maritime industry afloat.

The Irving shipbuilding project will span over the next 30 years, and Weston says because of that time frame, they're factoring inflation rates into cost estimates.

Marigolds A Success, But North End Needs More

Main Street in the Old North End used to be a thriving commercial area---and although things have changed for the worse according to Marigolds on Main founder Barry Ogden, the city needs to focus on the area's potential. 

Ogden tells CHSJ News he'd like to see the murals along that street keep up and a fountain installed near Fort Howe.

Ogden says part of the reason people aren't attracted to the area is also the high rate of speed on Main--but that needs to change is the city wants to generate tax revenue from the North End.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A New Look For Your Milk Carton Helps Nature

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is asking you to take a closer look at milk cartons.

The organization is partnering with Northumberland Dairy for the second year in a row for a provincial campaign that aims to protect undeveloped areas that are special to New Brunswickers by promoting the organization's land and habitat protection project on all white milk containers.

NCC Director Andrew Holland tells Tide News he hopes the campaign gets residents thinking about those spots they share a connection with in New Brunswick.The goal is to raise awareness, and to match the $50, 000 they made in donations last year.

Shoplifter Hits 3 Stores In 1 Day

A shoplifter who made the the rounds of 3 local businesses before getting busted will appear in court in the spring.

The 41 year old man us charged with with 3 counts of shoplifting from the Co-op, Grand-Bay Home Hardware and also Guardian Drugs in Grand-Bay all in the same day. 

The shoplifter is due back in court in April.

Major Retailer Opening Up Saint John Location

A major retailer of farm, industrial, garage, and surplus items is opening its doors in Saint John this year.

Princess Auto announcing it will be opening a new location at the East Point Shopping Center at some point in 2013. Previously, the closest location to the Saint John area was in Moncton.

The Canadian retail chain operates 34 stores in 8 provinces and employs 1,700 hundred people nationwide.

Gas Leak And Vandalism Calls For Fire and Police

Police were called to a few Friday night upsets; however, none of the calls were too serious.

Some residents on the corner of Pitt and Crown awoke to a nasty shock finding some windows smashed out and tires slashed overnight. Police are looking into the cause of the damage.

The Fire Department were also called to deal with a propane leak on McAllister Drive. it's speculated the leak was caused by a leaky ball joint but the situation was soon turned over to mall management.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Cardy Thinks Graham Is Right To Resign

Provincial NDP leader Dominic Cardy tells CHSJ News he gives Shawn Graham some credit for realizing, albeit a bit late, that quitting was the right move.

Cardy says following Justice Ryan's report and his conflict of interest, getting out of politics is the correct and honourable step for Graham.

In terms of whether or not he'll seek a seat in the inevitable bye-election, Cardy says he'll be speaking with the NDP folks in Kent but he does promise there will be a strong candidate there.

CUPE Finds Horizon Shakeup Begs More Questions

It appears to be a shuffle with some title changes.   That is the reaction from Norma Robinson, the President of the Council of Hospital Unions, on a management shake up at the Horizon Health Network.
The health authority announcing changes to 25 senior management positions yet only 2 people are actually leaving the system.
President Norma Robinson tells CHSJ News she wonders if there is an intention of making more reductions.

She says they are talking about going from 23 people to 12 but only two are leaving the system so she isn't sure what that implies.

Robinson isn't sure if that means there will be another sweep adding it's one of the unknowns.

Shawn Graham Quits Politics

Former Premier Shawn Graham is leaving politics after an investigation concluded he violated conflict of interest laws.

The province's conflict of interest commissioner released a report this week saying Graham was in a conflict of interest when his Liberal government gave a $50 million loan guarantee to a construction company.

Patrick Ryan said Graham should have removed himself from cabinet discussions in March 2009 over the loan guarantee to Atcon because his father was a paid consultant of Atcon companies.

    Graham said the conflict was an oversight on his part and he accepts full responsibility for his actions.

    Graham was elected premier in 2006 but ousted from power four years later.
    He says he will continue to serve as the member for the riding of Kent until March 11.

Canaport L-N-G Could Benefit Big Time From Shale Gas

Exporting natural gas from Canaport is where the real money is according to John Herron of the Atlantica Centre for Energy. 

He says because of shale gas development in North America, the business case for bringing natural gas in by ship is drying up but being able to export natural gas is a whole different story with prices in Europe and Asia alot higher.

Herron says 30 per cent of natural gas in North America comes from shale already and that is expected to increase to over half within ten years which he calls a real game changer.

He also estimates an export terminal at Canaport would be a 2.5 to 4 billion dollar investment.

Saint John M-P Wants To Know More About E-I House Calls

A public sector union says the Harper government should stop sending federal employees on Employment Insurance house calls because they might end up in dangerous situations.

Spokesman Larry Rousseau says  some employees who have done the E-I house calls have not been well received and the union is worried about their safety. 

Saint John M-P Rodney Weston is not ready to say yet whether this is the right approach to uncovering abuse. Weston has many questions he wants answered after conceding it caught him by surprise and , at first glance, finds the house calls a bit disturbing.
Prime Minister Harper is defending the house calls, saying hundreds of millions of dollars are lost through false or inappropriate E-I claims.

Province Pays Former Premier Legal Bills For Conflict Of Interest

72 thousand dollars........That's the legal bill for former Liberal Premier Shawn Graham, who was found to be in a conflict of interest over loan guarantees to Atcon, but who should have paid that. 

The Peoples' Alliance Party releasing a statement saying it should not have been provincial taxpayers who already find themselves under the gun but ought to have been the provincial Liberal party, the former Premier himself or the former members of his cabinet who took part in coming to the decision to give the loan guarantees.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Imperial Theatre Gets Another $100K

It's been a good week at the Imperial Theatre.

On Tuesday, PotashCorp NB made a $250,000 matching contribution and today MP Rodney Weston gave $100,000 to support the theatre over two different seasons.

Executive Director S. G. Lee tells CHSJ News the money from the federal government is for programming.

She says this money goes directly to the cost of bringing in artists including fees, travel and flights and community activities in and around the Imperial.

Lee says planning for the 2013/2014 is 75 per cent complete and now they are working on the 2014/2015 season.

Ashley Smith's Mother Testifies At Inquest

 The mother of a Moncton teen who strangled herself in prison says no one has been held accountable for the death.

    Testifying today at a Toronto inquest, Coralee Smith says nothing has changed for inmates.

    She says everyone in the system knew how desperate her daughter was, yet they did not help.

    Ashley Smith choked herself to death in her segregation cell in Kitchener, Ontario in October 2007.

    Guards, who were under orders not to intervene, simply watched.
    Her mom says the 19-year-old should not have been in prison in the first place.

UPDATE: Horizon Announces Changes At The Top

Some streamlining at the top at the Horizon Health Network.

New president John McGarry announcing the Executive Management Team has been reduced from 12 to 7.

McGarry says three VP's are out of the senior management team, 4 VP's have been converted to corporate directors and one person have been brought in as Chief Operating Officer.

McGarry says the two people leaving will receive a standard severance package as approved by the province.

He says that will result in significant savings for the organization but he would say how much money they will save with these changes.

Horizon Health Network must find 3 million dollars in savings by next year and McGarry tells CHSJ News this gives them a start on it.