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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Retired? Worried About What The Shared Risk Model Could Mean For You?

Retirees looking for more information on the proposed shared-risk pension model will have a chance to get up to speed with how a potential change would effect them.

Finance Minister Blaine Higgs says the government is working with retirees to hear their concerns and answer questions. A presentation will outline the current PSSA's challenges and show how the shared-risk model would impact retirees. Representatives from the provincial government will be available.

“It would be wrong to ignore the challenges facing the PSSA,” said Higgs. “The province has an obligation to consider the long-term sustainability of the pension plan both for current and future retirees. Currently the PSSA has a $1 billion shortfall that is expected to get worse. With people living longer after retirement and interest rates at historically low levels, action needs to be taken today.”

Dates and locations of the sessions:

Wednesday, April 17:

●    Saint John: 1 p.m.-3 p.m.: New Brunswick Community College gymnasium, 950 Grandview Ave.
●    Fredericton: 6 p.m.-8 p.m.: Fredericton Convention Centre, Pointe-Sainte Anne rooms A and B, 670 Queen St..

Thursday, April 18

●    Moncton: 1 p.m.-3 p.m.: Moncton Lions Club, 55 Mark Ave.
●    Miramichi: 6 p.m.-8 p.m.; New Brunswick Community College gymnasium, 80 University Ave.

Friday, April 19:

●    Bathurst: 1 p.m.-3 p.m.: Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick amphitheatre, Room 286C, 75 Youghall Dr.
●    Campbellton: 6 p.m.-8 p.m.: Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick gymnasium, 47 du Village Ave.

Saturday, April 20:

●    Edmundston: 1 p.m.-3 p.m.: Clarion Hotel, Banquet Room, 100 Rice St.

Grand Bay-Westfield Garage Suffers Fire Damage

A garage in Grand Bay-Westfield suffering smoke and water damage after a fire earlier this afternoon.

Fire Chief Troy Gautreau tells CHSJ News the call came in just after 2pm to a garage on Woolastook Drive.  

When crews arrived there was heavy smoke coming from the second floor and the roof.

Crews knocked it down and had it under control about an hour later.

Grand Bay-Westfield fire crews calling the City fire department for assistance providing water at the scene but they later determined it wasn't needed.

No word yet on a cause.

Saint John Runner Says Being In Boston For This Marathon Was 'Surreal'

Alex Coffin is happy to be home safe and sound after a surreal experience at the Boston Marathon this year.

Coffin tells CHSJ News when the explosion happened he was on the subway having already finished the run but he was toying with hanging around the finish line to watch the Saint John runners.

He says he was at the Arlington Station near Boylsten Street very close to the spot where the second explosion went off and he was very much 50/50 on whether he would get on the train or stay at the finish line.

Coffin has run the Boston marathon 6 times and says he'll take part again adding he expects organizers will be very serious about security next year like it was after 9/11.

Surprise: Campbell Won't Run For Ward 3

From the way entrepreneur and community activist John Campbell has been talking lately, one may have assumed he was planning to run for the Ward 3 by-election.

But Campbell, who's run for office three times in recent years without success, called a news conference this afternoon to inform the public he plans to sit this one out. CHSJ asked why he held the meeting, to which Campbell responded he's "not a typical politician" and it's his job to simply draw attention to the issues.

Campbell identified garbage collection, vacant lots, and entrepreneurship as major issues facing Ward 3. At the end of the speech, however, he cited "prior commitments" as his reason not to run.

Golfing Season To Start In Sussex

It's time to break in the new clubs you got for can happen now that the Sussex Golf and Country Club is opening for the season tomorrow.

General Manager Jayne Ingalls tells CHSJ News golfers are very excited.

She tells they have been getting calls for days and they have been teasing people with a potential opening with updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Ingalls says the Peticodiac golf club had the earliest opening of the season beating them by a few days.

For more information, click here

Fines Mean More NBers Are Going Green

New Brunswick has gotten a lot greener in the past few years when it comes to how it's dealing with its trash.

Mark MacLeod of the Fundy Regional Solid Waste Commission tells CHSJ News it's clear bans and bag limits work when it comes to encouraging people to recycle.

Under the new restriction, leaf and yard waste must be set out with compost and will not be picked up if it is with garbage. The amount of compost versus garbage set out at the curb in Saint John went up by 2% last year--which MacLeod calls a pretty significant difference.

Gallant's Win Changes The Political Landscape In The Province

Brian Gallant winning a seat in the Legislature will change the political landscape of this province.

That from UPEI political scientist Don Desserud who tells CHSJ News it's significant when party after a serious defeat, like the Liberals had in the 2010 election, gets a permanent leader who gets a seat in the house.

He says it's offer a new dynamic and a new spirit so it's good news for the Liberals. He tells us he doesn't think it's any surprise that he won but it's still a great morale boost.

Desserud says it's always tricky when a party loses an election and has to find a new leader adding he thinks the provincial Liberals were well served by Victor Boudreau as interim leader.

With an interim leader he says everyone knows including the government that the person they are facing will not be running in the election so it changes the intensity of the attacks on the opposition.

Court Action Against City Is Averted

Common Council approving a settlement of just over 5 million dollars with the contractor that built the police headquarters building at Peel Plaza. 

It's alot of taxpayer dollars but Acting City Manager Bill Edwards, who was the project manager for Peel Plaza, says its still not too bad a deal under the circumstances. 

Pomerleau had been suing the city for more than 7 million dollars for unpaid work.

Scott Crawford Remembered At Common Council

Moosehead will be closed this afternoon from 1 to 5 as a mark of respect for one of its employees who died after being assaulted Easter Monday at a lounge on Manawagonish Road. 

That announcement made at last night's meeting of Common Council by west side Councillor Bill Farren who also works at Moosehead.

Farren describes Crawford as being a prankster who was loved by alot of guys and will be missed. He concluded by saying "Crow" as he was known at the brewery was too young to die and there was no need of it.

A funeral service will be held this afternoon at 2 in Our Lady of the Assumption Church on Dufferin Row. There will be visitation this morning from 9 to noonhour at Brenan's on Manawagonish Road.

A 37 year old man is scheduled to be in court May 8th to be formally charged.

Saint Johnner Was Close By When Bombs Went Off In Boston

It appears no one from New Brunswick was injured as a result of those explosions at the Boston Marathon. 3 people have died including an 8 year old boy and more than 140 others have been injured. 

Garth Millar of Fundy Sports and Tourism, as he does every year, organises a bus trip to the Boston Marathon and found himself only a kilometer away from the finish line at the time of the explosions. 

He tells CHSJ News it was a close call for one of his runners. She had crossed the finish line 30 seconds before the first explosion and felt the ground shake beneath her feet but other than that was alright although shaken and upset.

Millar, who lives on Seely Street, says another of his runners was about 600 metres away from the finish line when he was evacuated off the course in the aftermath. 

Former provincial cabinet minister and Liberal leadership candidate Mike Murphy was about 75 yards away from the explosions and is reporting he's alright.
In a touch of cruel irony, the 26th mile of the marathon leading to the finish line was dedicated to the 26 victims of the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut just before Christmas.


70 City-Owned Buildings Fall Under Asbestos Management Plan

Given the age of some of the Port City's buildings, some of them could be harbouring asbestos. 

Council being presented with a plan on how to manage it in city-owned buildings, and mayor Mel Norton tells CHSJ news the first step is exploring potential sites to find out what's inside the buildings.

But even if they find asbestos, that doesn't mean the building will be gutted. City facilities manager Trevor Gamblin says it's only a hazard when it breaks down into particles that can be inhaled. Otherwise it can be repaired, encapsulated or left in place safely.

70 buildings fall under the asbestos management program, the first of its kind for the city. Assessing the buildings will cost $200,000.

Brian Gallant Elected in Kent By-Election

A landslide victory for Liberal leader Brian Gallant, who has been elected in the Kent by-election.

The seat for the riding of Kent became vacant in March, when former premier Shawn Graham quit politics after a conflict of interest scandal.