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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

You Can Start Planning Your Summer Now

Your camping trips this summer could be going a little more hi-tech.

A new online system for booking campground spots and cabins at provincial park lets potential visitors to complete their reservation online.

Visitors can reserve in advance and ensure they get the site they want; that means no waiting entrance gate to complete their reservation. There's also no disappointment at finding the campsite you were hoping to get is already booked. Tourism Minister Trevor Holder says the system brings New Brunswick's services in line with what other provinces and the federal government are doing.

To check out a the new online campground booking service click here

Taxpayers Federation And Business Council Differ Over H-S-T

Some of the largest companies in the province, represented by the New Brunswick Council, are proposing the H-S-T be raised. 

That suggestion has drawn a swift reaction from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation whose Atlantic Director Kevin Lacey tells CHSJ News it's the wrong prescription for what ails the provincial economy.

Lacey argues the average taxpayer is falling behind the cost of living. He also estimates a 2 per cent rise in the H-S-T would cost every man, woman and child in the province over 500 dollars.

Lacey points out businesses in the province get over 200 million dollars in government grants each year and expect taxpayers to pick up the tab.

Gallant Supports Proactive Solutions To Challenges

The Liberal leader thinks the Alward government should have a glass full approach to solving the province's fiscal challenges. 

Brian Gallant was asked if he thinks Health Minister Ted Flemming took a negative approach to the issue of revealing doctor's salaries. 

He says he thinks some of the comments were necessary and if we want to reach out to the people on the front lines we have to be very clear that we want them helping us out.

Premier Alward and Health Minister Ted Flemming will be attending the New Brunswick Medical Society's meeting this weekend.     

City Releases New Urban Development Booklet

A slick new booklet released by the city touting how much urban development has taken place in Saint John and future potential.

Former Chief City Planner Ken Forrest points out  there are a lot of old and outdated bylaws on the books that will have to be rewritten.

He says then they need to carefully design a development process to make sure that people can enter the process, provide information and get a permit on the other side as quickly as possible.

Forrest says developers complain they can't figure out what the city wants so there has to be more collaboration to move forward and see more building take place.

Rothesay Police Need Your Help On Investigations

Rothesay Police need your help with a few of their investigations, most of occurring this month.

One involves a break-in on Chelsea Drive back in November where several items including a TV, laptop and jewelry were stolen. Contact Cst. James McKay.

On New Years Day a set of air horns were stolen overnight from a transport truck that was parked in the Dolan Road Irving parking lot. Contact Cst. Nathan McIntyre.

On the morning of January 9th a 2003 gray Toyota Tundra was involved in a hit and run accident on Hutson Street. Damage was done to the driver’s side door, mirror, and window. Police are looking for a high-sided vehicle or trailer that may have backed in to it. Contact Cst. Anika Becker.

Last Wednesday in the wee hours of the morning a truck was on fire by the train tracks near the Shadetree Lane & Hampton Road intersection. The 1993 Chevrolet Pick-up was stolen from Palmer Brook Road. Contact Cst. Mark Roberts.

And this time last week several cars parked in the Universal Truck and Trailer lot on Enterprise Drive had windows broken and damage done to the interior of the vehicles.

Listeners React To Idea of East-West Oil Pipline

Is an East-West oil pipeline a golden opportunity for Atlantic Canada? Or could it be a bureaucratic and environmental nightmare? Our listeners have some strong thoughts on the matter.

Tom says Saint John needs to get behind the idea because "people here are defeatist haters who look down on every opportunity.

Rosa says she doesn't buy that oil and gas prices are going to go down, warning "If anything, it might go up due to operational costs."

Trish writes the pipeline would be something to look forward to in our beleaguered economy.

Got an opinion? Join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter.

Flu Season Is Officially Upon Us

It's officially 'flu season.

Now that the season of runny noses and sore throats is upon us, Horizon Health wants to ensure you're not spreading infection as you spread good cheer to friends and family in the hospital.

If you're coughing, feverish, sneezing, or have a sore throat, you're asked to avoid visiting.. Or if you can't avoid a trip to the hospital while under the weather, wear a mask and clean your hands with an alcohol based hand rub upon entering and exiting.

You can get surgical masks and hand rub at the entrances of all hospitals. If you have any questions you're asked to contact your local health-care facility.

Shopping & Living Planned For Old Coast Guard Site

A place to shop, work and live is in the works for the old Coast Guard site.

Waterfront Development GM Kent MacIntyre says they're planning a mixed development building for the newly named Fundy Quay that would contain apartments or condos with stores on the first floor.

MacIntyre says they're currently checking how environmentally sound the site is, which determines what's contaminated and how to clean it up. He says it's a perfectly normal process, and the area is not high in contaminants.

MacIntyre adds they're still working with the developer, and more information will be released in the coming weeks. In the meantime, test drilling equipment will be used and technical workers will be on the site.

Fire Dept Needs Own Training Facility, Says Chief

With around 80 city buildings set for upgrades in the 2013 general capital budget, Common Council wanting to know if it's necessary to install a training tower for the fire department.

Fire Chief Kevin Clifford says it's as essential as a fire truck. Clifford telling council he's noticed a decline in skill and judgement with fire crews since they lost their facility in Millidgeville 5 years ago when it became unsafe and old. He adds that the closest training centre is 40 minutes away, which would greatly decrease response time in an emergency if crews were training out of town.

Training is also not weekly or monthly, but ideally a daily hour and a half practice. Clifford says they need a site where 2 or 3 fire trucks can operate and simulate an emergency situation, which is something they could never practice on a public street. And although crews practice basic skills in a basement in Millidgeville, it's not ideal and they can't accurately simulate fire situations.

Upgrades Suggested For Many Well Known Rec Buildings

City Manager Pat Woods presenting Common Council with a recommendation on where to spend funds in the 2013 general capital budget.

This is the last of 4 budgets that focuses more on major projects and investments such as land purchases and building development. The recommendation is based around Plan SJ, council priorities and being cautious with city funds. Staff is recommending more development on underground infrastructure, road repairs and upgrading many old recreational buildings.

The 30 year-old Canada Games Aquatic Centre is on the list, as well as the Nick Nicolle Community Centre, Harbour Station and the Trade & Convention Centre. Woods says if we want more development, work needs to be done on underground infrastructure which has a recurring problem of flooding. The report also recommends using 2.3 million dollars in new money from the gas tax fund to use on roads and sidewalks.

Mayor Mel Norton says he's pleased with how the budget is drafted, saying it reflects many of the city's priorities. Council will now consider the recommendation and vote on it at the end of the month when all councillors are in attendance.

The over capital program for 2013 is set at 11 million, but the total budget is higher than that because they can get additional funding from federal funds and sales of assets.