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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Saint John's Real Estate Market Has Stabilized

Saint John's real estate market has moved past peaks and valley into more stable territory. 

That from president of The Saint John Real Estate Board Jason Stephen, who tells CHSJ News over the last few months they've the market has steadied, and through it all, has stayed tipped in the buyers' favour, adding, there's more choice out there than there's ever been. 

Stephen says if you're selling your home, it's key to price your house competitively, because the one thing that has been trending upwards is how long houses are staying on the marketplace.

Local Farmer Concerned About GM Alfalfa

Genetically modified crops are a tempting choice for farmers who want to increase their bottom lines. 

But local farmer and Kredl's owner Dave Wolpin tells CHSJ News if Monsanto's GM alfalfa is introduced in Canada, some farmers might not have a say in whether or not they want it on their land because it could land on their property from neighbouring farms. And Wolpin tells us he doesn't it anywhere near his crops.

The potential release of GM alfalfa into Canada has been met with nation-wide protests. Wolpin tells us much of the backlash is because there have been no conclusive studies on the effects of the crop itself.

Health Budget Estimates Slammed By Liberals

The health budget estimates are out...and not everyone is happy. Liberal Health Critic Donald Arsenault tells CHSJ News the lack of a catastrophic drug plan in this budget is nothing short of a catastrophe for New Brunswickers.

Arsenault accused the premier of "holding Stephen Harper's hand" at the expense of New Brunswickers interests. Further, he claims Alward simply promised the moon during his campaign, then abandoned his promises once elected.

The Alward government has met with criticisms that it broke its campaign promise to increase health spending, instead attempting to find efficiencies when resources are already stretched far too thin.

Conflicting Reports On Whether A Boston Marathon Bombings Suspect Is In Custody

Major news outlets reported this afternoon that suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings has been taken into custody by federal marshals and is expected in federal court in Boston.

Yet despite those claims we're now hearing the reports have been debunked by an FBI spokesperson.

Retirees Turn Out In Droves On Pension Changes

A standing room only crowd of provincial retirees turning out to hear about the shared risk model.

Provincial Finance Minister Blaine Higgs got a hostile reception with retiree Glen Wilson starting off by accusing the government of trying to take away their pensions. 

Pension consultant Conrad Ferguson has told provincial retirees more pension money is being paid out than is coming in and that spread will grow. He warns change is inevitable because with low interest rates, the return on investment will be low and without the shared risk model being adopted, the provincial plan deficit could double. 

Ferguson told the retirees, survivor benefits will not change but indexing will not be automatic. It will depend on how well the pension plan performs with its investments.

Free Talk On Living and Working In The Arctic

Many of us dream of visiting the Arctic, but few people get to realize those dreams.

Tomorrow night, members of the public will have chance to hear firsthand what it's like from recent MSC graduate Gretchen Lescord. Lescord has made several trips to remote Cornwallis Island to study contaminants in the fish there, and she tells CHSJ News her research was made possible by the relationships she built with two Inuit women. The people she met in the North taught her valuable skills such as where to collect specimens and walk on melting ice floes.

Lescord is giving a free talk on her experiences, and what she found about the contaminants that are making their way from the south to the far North. It happens at the New Brunswick Museum, 1 Market Square at 7:00 pm. on Thursday, April 18th. Contact Phone: (506) 643-2300

Silhouette of Domestic Violence Victim From KV To Be Unveiled

A large, life-sized silhouette representing a local victim of domestic violence will be going on display in the valley. 

The wooden sculpture will be unveiled at the Arts and Culture Park in the valley on May 10th as part of the Silent Witness Project. Laun-Marie Scott, the coordinator for the KV outreach program, tells CHSJ News that that each figure is painted red and wears a shield with text from the victim's family, which brings the reality of domestic violence home.

Scott says they want the figures to open people's eyes to the fact that domestic violence happens everywhere, even in small, quiet communities like the ones in the valley. Constable Kelley McIntyre of the Rothesay Regional Police saying in a presentation to Quispamsis council that they respond to at least one call of domestic violence per day.

Rita MacNeil Passes Away

Nova Scotia born singer Rita MacNeil, who earned national and international acclaim, is dead at the age of 68. 

The announcement was made on her website that MacNeil died from complications after surgery. 

In 1987 she won her first Juno Award for Most Promising Female Vocalist. She was 42. 

“Flying on Your Own” followed in 1987 and in 1989, her Juno performance with Cape Breton’s Men of the Deeps of “Working Man”, brought the house down.

Volunteer Awards Ceremony at Quispamsis Council Meeting

Nine of Quispamsis' finest volunteers being rewarded for their work at the annual volunteer awards. 

Presented to a packed house by council during a meeting, seven certificates were given out during the ceremony. Mayor Murray Driscoll tells CHSJ News it's up to council to recognize these people, because most volunteers don't go out looking for any kind of validation, they do what they do out of love for their community. 

Driscoll calling Quispamsis a community of volunteers, saying the selection process was tough, given how many people volunteer in the community-at-large.

Collective Agreement Between Union and Provincial Government Reached

A deal between the provincial government and a union has been inked. 

The Alward government signing an agreement with New Brunswick Union of Public and Private Employees, which represents technical inspection, laboratory and medical bargaining groups. 

Human Resources Minister Troy Lifford saying the agreement includes the province's two-year wage freeze. Workers won't see increases for the next two years, then it will go up by one percent increments every six months over the next two years. 

This affects 270 employees at Service New Brunswick, the departments of Public Safety, Health and Social Development, and laboratory technologists.