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Thursday, January 17, 2013

BREAKING: Donnie Snook Resigns

Mayor Mel Norton has just released an official statement regarding Common Councillor Donnie Snook. It reads as follows:

"Today I received a letter addressed to the Mayor and Common Council from Councillor Donnie Snook, via his lawyer, tendering his resignation. This was a result of a personal matter for Councillor Snook.  I thank Councillor Snook for dealing with this matter in a final and timely manner.

I have notified members of Council. The letter has been forwarded to the Common Clerk and staff will follow procedures regarding vacancies as outlined in the Municipalities Act.

The Department of Environment and Local Government is the body responsible for administering the Municipalities Act.

There will be no further comment provided from the City of Saint John."

Snook was re-elected last May to Common Council and first elected in 2008; a by-election now must be held in the coming months to fill the empty seat in ward 3.

The councilor is  facing 3 counts of sexual interference on a child under 16, 2 counts of possession of child pornography, 1 count of making child pornography, and 2 counts of making child pornography available. He had already been suspended with pay as director of the Inner City Youth Ministry pending further information about the case.

Snook's bail hearing is scheduled for Monday morning.

Women Deserve A Fair Wage

The New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity wants to take wage parity one step farther.

Executive Director Johanne Perron tells CHSJ News the coalition would like to see the government to use more complete to calculate what women in female-dominated fields like daycare, homecare, and women's transition houses should earn. In such fields, where there are no male-dominated jobs,she says the government needs to work with pay equity experts and pro-equality groups if it hopes to get a realistic measure of pay equity.

Perron tells CHSJ News New Brunswick has a few lessons to learn from other provinces when it comes to developing a fair system. In particular, she says the NB government has closely studied Quebec's solutions to the problem; however, some aspects of their systems have been lost in the attempt to bring them to bear them locally.

The Coalition is hoping to work closely with the government to develop fair wages for female-dominated work.

This Canadian Music Icon's Tour Stops Here

One of Canada's most influential singer-songwriters is making a stop in Saint John.

Leonard Cohen will be coming to Harbour Station on April 15th.

The Montreal native is famed for such classics as "Suzanne", "Bird On A Wire" and "Chelsea Hotel"

Tickets range from $20 for upper bowl to $263 for floor seats. Regular sales start tomorrow at the Harbour Station Box Office. 

For more information click here.

Verdict In Point Lepreau Hearing Could Be Reached In A Few Weeks

Closing arguments by NB Power's legal counsel wrapping up the 5 day hearing into the deferral account and cost overruns for the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station.

The hearing covered how much is in the deferral account and how long the plant is expected to run. NB Power's legal counsel John Furey summarized internal and expert reports showing NB Power did its duty to incur accurate costs and didn't charge more than necessary.

The EUB will spend the next several weeks reviewing evidence before rendering any decisions.

Astronaut Chris Hadfield Talks With Local Students

Elementary school students having an experience that's out of this world.

Canadian Astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield answered 20 questions from the students, straight from the International Space Station. Held at Saint Rose Elementary School, over 400 students plus grade 6 kids from Barnhill Elementary were in awe of the astronaut.

In a packed gymnasium, select students went up to a microphone and asked the Commander various questions, like how cold it is, if he can see a solar eclipse and how long oxygen can last. Hadfield saying his favourite part about being an astronaut is working with wonderful and friendly people. He was 9 years old when he first saw people walking on the moon, which is when he chose that career path. A good chuckle came from the crowd when Hadfield admitted that yes, he often gets lost floating around the ISS -- which is the size of 5 NHL rinks. He says he can clearly see Saint John from space, saying with our coast lines, rivers and harbours it really pops out.

It was in April when Greg D'Entremont and his Loyalist Amateur Radio Club team found out the ISS was looking for one school in each province to have a chat with the astronaut. After many meetings and setting up antennas, the plan was ago. D'Entremont said he was involved last time the ISS did this in Quispamsis, which took over 3 years to get ready.

Principal Victoria Moseley tells CHSJ news the kids did various space themed projects leading up to the talk, and this event was the climax of so much learning. She says they were the only school that actually had enough time for all the students to ask their questions.

Mayor Mel Norton had the chance to watch, and says everyone in the room felt like they were 6 years old with all the energy and excitement. 

Can't We All Get Along?

Tensions between the local service districts and the Mayors on the Fundy Regional Service Commission have boiled to the surface after just one meeting.

Commission chair Mayor Grace Losier of Grand Bay-Westfield tells CHSJ News there are bound to be growing pains with a brand new Commission.

Losier says the main goal of the Commission appears to be the provision of services to the local service districts but it would also like to eliminate, as much as possible, duplication of services with more collaboration in the region.

Losier says this new body has been legislated by the province and she assumes everyone on the commission is acting in good faith.

Some Gas Is Cheaper

Self serve regular is slightly less expensive after the weekly setting. The price falling by just over a cent a litre and is being sold in the city this morning for $1.21.4.

Diesel rose by a cent a litre to $1.36.9.

Heating oil will also cost you more with a maximum price of $1.18.6 a litre and propane is higher as well at 96.6 cents.

Guilty Pleas In Hampton To Tax Evasion

A Hampton businessman has pleaded guilty to five charges of failing to file tax returns and has been fined 5 thousand dollars as well as paying the tax owed. 

Dwight Allen Bond failed to file corporate tax returns for Bonded Builders Company Limited for 2006 through 2010. 

Bond has been given until February 8th to pay the federal government the back tax.