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Friday, January 18, 2013

Another Person Is Sick With E. Coli

An investigation is underway to determine the source of a new case of E. coli which has been confirmed in the province. 

Lab results show there's a link with six other cases already reported and Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Eilish Cleary says the most likely cause is shredded lettuce distributed by FreshPoint.

Seven people have now been diagnosed with E. coli in New Brunswick. There are other cases in Nova Scotia and Ontario. 

She says if you're going to eat lettuce or cabbage, throw the outer leaves away and then remove the remaining leaves before thoroughly rinsing them in water for about 30 seconds.

Those Drowning In Debt Seek Help

Now's the time the credit card bills from Christmas are coming in and that's putting a strain on the finances of many households. 

John Eisener, the President of Credit Counselling Services for Atlantic Canada, tells CHSJ News the average debt loads of the people who are coming into his office for held are anywhere from 26 to 28 thousand dollars.

He says if you made minimum payments each month, it would take you from 20 to 30 years to pay it all off.

Eisener says the rising cost of living is putting a strain on households and if your finances are causing you to lose sleep at night or arguments at home then you need some help to get out of the hole.

Layoffs At Local Call Center

Some layoffs are happening at the IBM call center in Place 400 but just how many isn't being spelled out because the company is refusing to say.

Big Blue isn't confirming the full extent of what it calls a "workforce remix", it isn't putting any fears to rest, either. Nor is it denying if people have already lost their jobs through layoffs. We are told the strong Canadian dollar is being blamed for the layoffs, which will reportedly take effect by the end of March. 

CHSJ News contacted IBM's corporate office in Toronto for details. In an email, the corporation would only say it doesn't publicly discuss the details of its staffing plans and change is constant in IT sector.

The call center employs several hundred people.

Snook's Seat To Remain Empty Until Spring

With the official resignation of ward 3 councillor Donnie Snook, the picture of will happen to his seat around the council horseshoe is becoming much more clear. 

Mike Quinn of Elections NB tells CHSJ News the are regular scheduled by-elections to fill vacant seats that arise throughout the province.

The next round of by-elections is scheduled for Monday, May 13th, so Snook's seat will remain vacant until then. There are currently 6 different requests for by-elections from 6 different municipalities throughout the province, and the number will be 7 if Saint John council votes to move in that direction.

Doctors' Pay Will Not Be Made Public

The idea, put forward by provincial Auditor-General Kim McPherson, to make the individual pay of doctors public has been rejected by the Alward Government. 

Health Minister Ted Flemming met with the New Brunswick Medical Society to talk about the concerns raised by her about double billing on the part of some doctors. 

Anthony Knight of the Medical Society says it supports addressing what he calls rare inconsistencies but tells CHSJ News the doctors have gone out of their way to help out the province financially with a two year freeze on any increases in their Medicare fee schedules. He questions how much value the provincial government has placed on that.

The Medical Society has told us doctors believe they have been under attack of late in some sort of campaign to taint the public's perception of them but adds they're looking forward to a stronger relationship with the Department of Health.