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Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Feds and Province Announce $7.9 Million For The Fundy Trail

A large group trekked far into the woods this afternoon for a huge announcement on the 
Fundy Trail.   With the interpretive centre as a backdrop, MP's Rob Moore & Rodney Weston along with Premier David Alward announced more than 7.9 million dollars in funding for the next phase of the Fundy trail parkway.

The funding will allow the Fundy Trail Development Authority to start the next phase of engineering and construction of the parkway.

It's estimated a completed Fundy Trail parkway would create a signature destination that will contribute $32.5 million a year to the tourism sector and 750 jobs on an ongoing basis.

Saint John Fundy MLA Glen Savoie says a big reason this is happening is because of the people of St. Martin's.

New List Of Inductees Into Saint John Sports Hall Of Fame

Five Saint John athletes and one local team are getting a major nod next month.

The Saint John Sports Hall of Fame will be inducting new members at a ceremony and dinner at the Lily Lake Pavilion.

The 22nd Saint John Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony will honour Hanlon Senior Curling, Raymond Jenkins (bowling), Tara McIntyre-Olsen (volleyball), Gidden Titus (bodybuilding), Nancy Morrision (softball and basketball) and Gina Spear-Burrows (triathlon and running).

The Hall of Fame honours athletes that display excellence in their chosen sport and also a sense of respect and fair play. The event happens Thursday, June 27 at 7pm. Tickets are $60.

Imagining A World Without Hatred

A world without hatred and intolerance would be better for everyone.

That's the simple message of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Former Ward 3 Candidate Brian Boyd tells CHSJ News attitudes are slowly changing but it's still important to fight the stereotypes and try to accept everyone for who they are. 

As we hear about tragic cases like the murder of Raymond Taavel and the suicide of Raeteah Parsons, Boyd says we need to make sure we treat our fellow men and women with respect.

Boyd says we all have a friend, acquaintance, or relative that's part of the gay community so homophobia is an issue that effects everyone.

The Heart Centre Gets $250K For A Research Endowment

Cardiac research at the New Brunswick Heart Centre just got a big boost.

The J.T. Clark Family Foundation announcing at $250K research endowment at the Regional hospital.

Dr. Marc Pelletier tells CHSJ News it's hoped research being done at Dalhousie Medicine NB can help those here at home.

He says unfortuneately we have some of the highest rates of cardiac risk factors in the country with diabetes, obesity and smoking.   He says targeting the research may help them have a better impact.

Acting Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation CEO Victoria Clarke says it will also allow them to retain and attract the best who work in cardiac care.

MP Calls Criticism Of P3 "Ironic"

Conservative MP Rodney Weston visited the Imperial Theater this morning to announce an endowment fund of over $120,000 dollars has been granted to the iconic uptown theatre.

While pleased to announce the Harper government will match the public's donations to the theater, Weston tells CHSJ News he's much less enthusiastic about recent comments by former Commissioner of Municipal Operations Paul Groody, who spoke to a crowd of activists last night on the pitfalls of the P3 model--one of which that they tend to cost up to 16% more than a traditional tendering process.

Weston says his government has done its homework on P3 and one of the benefits is that any cost overruns are the responsibility of the corporate doing the work, not the taxpayers. 

He also called it "ironic" that Groody would criticize a public-private partnership on the basis of potential cost overruns when Groody was responsible for Harbour Cleanup. Weston says, as he recalls, that project ended up coming in 20% over budget.

Local Economy Boosted By Higher Education

Unlike Halifax, Saint John is not seen as being the same type of education centre. But the Vice-President in charge of U-N-B Saint John, Dr. Robert MacKinnon tells CHSJ News most people would be surprised at learning how big a part learning plays in the local economy.

He says when you put universities together with the college in Saint John, Private sector training, and secondary schools, overall education has a big impact on the Saint John economy.

Dr. MacKinnon also says we need a vibrant urban core in Saint John.

New Rules For Preparation Of Chemotherapy Medication

The Ontario government says a gap in oversight has now been shut tight after about 12 hundred patients received diluted chemotherapy drugs including 186 at the Regional Hospital.

Starting immediately, the government will ensure hospitals buy drugs only from accredited, licensed or otherwise approved suppliers.

The Ontario College of Pharmacists will also be responsible for inspecting drug preparation facilities. Previously, there had been no oversight.

Gas Is More Expensive

Gas prices rise over a cent a litre after the weekly setting. 

Self serve regular in the city is selling for $1.24.3 a litre with diesel at an even $1.27.

Propane has gone down by just over a half a cent a litre with the maximum price of $1.05 while the maximum price of heating oil has risen to $1.09.2 a litre.

Your Water Rates Could Spike Due To P3, Warns Former City Employee

Saint John's former Commissioner of Municipal Operations speaking out against the not-so-distant possibility of a public-private partnership for the city's water utility.

Paul Groody tells CHSJ News P3s usually cost 16% more than a traditional tendering process. At the end of the day, he claims that cost will get placed firmly on the taxpayers shoulders--meaning a spike in your water rates.

Groody is urging the public to contact politicians and ask for them to look into other options, like a municipally owned corporation that will bring money back to Saint John. 

We are expected to find out whether Saint John's application to P3 Canada has been accepted later this month.

Minister Puts End ToTalk About Emergency Room Closures

Some good news on the health care front - Health Minister Ted Flemming is turning aside speculation some hospital emergency rooms will be shuttered.
Appearing before a Legislature committee - Flemmng is putting to rest any concerns - at least for now.
The Health Minister told the committee there are no hospital or emergency room closures in his department's spending estimates for the current budget year that ends next March.
But - Flemming isn't being pinned down on potential closures beyond this budget year - he says he's looking for other ways to find savings because we simply can't afford to continue to maintain the current level of spending on health care.