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Friday, June 14, 2013

Trudeau Being Called On To Return His Speaking Fee

Give back your speaking fee to a Saint John charity!!!!!!!

That's what Fundy Royal M-P Rob Moore is calling on Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau to do. 

This stems from a fundraiser that was held in June of 2012 at the Imperial Theatre. 

Trudeau came to the city to raise money for the Grace Foundation to buy furniture for local seniors. He charged $20,000 for his speaking fee but only 120 tickets were sold and as a result, the Grace Foundation wound up with a deficit of $21,000. 

Enbridge Gas Applies For Rate Increase

If Enbridge Gas has its way, large industrial and commercial users of natural gas will be paying 20 per cent more as of July 1st. The Energy and Utilities Board would have to approve the rate increase application. 

Large users like Ganongs and J-D Irving received a 32 per cent reduction in distribution costs last fall after complaining to the provincial government about how much they were paying as opposed to their competitors in other jurisdictions. 

Enbridge maintains they will still be getting an average savings of 20 per cent over their previous rates even with the proposed increase which will not affect residential and small commercial natural gas users.  

J-D Irving Random Alcohol Testing Makes It To The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision overturned mandatory, random alcohol testing of workers even if their workplace is considered to be dangerous. 

Back in 2006, Irving Pulp and Paper unilaterally imposed such a policy and local 30 of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union filed a grievance. 

The worker who was tested had a blood alcohol level of zero and called the experience unfair and humiliating.

The company says it will review the court's decision. 

The court left open the door for such a policy to be implemented if it's part of a collective agreement.

Students Demonstrate To Support Their Principal

A group of 60 of mostly students from Saint John High holding a demonstration outside the school district office in Millidgeville. 

The students chanted, signed a petition and wrote letters on the spot in support of the school's principal Marijke Blok whose contract as principal is not being renewed. 

School District Superintendent Zoe Watson came out and spoke to the students but didn't say why the change is being made. Watson calls it a personnel issue which precludes any public comment. She acknowledged how upset the students are and how much they hold Blok in high regard. 

The Student Council President at Saint John High David Hickey calls the decision "unjust and outrageous", suggesting it's time to get politics out of the decisionmaking in 

A City Police officer showed up just to keep an eye on things.

Most Of Us Believe Parliamentarians Fudge Their Expenses

86 per cent of us, according to a new poll, believe Senators and M-P's, are cheating on their expense claims. The overwhelming percent of people surveyed also want to see parliamentarians make public all their expenses online. 

The Atlantic Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation Kevin Lacey tells CHSJ News they're just hoping the scandal over improper expense claims will just fade away which reflects how tone deaf they actually are.

Lacey says the one thing the Senators and M-P's agree on, no matter what party they belong to, is defending their entitlements. 

The Taxpayers Federation wants people to keep putting pressure on their M-P to bring about change and Lacey says if you look at how the M-L-A's pension plan was reformed after public outrage, it can be accomplished.


Death At Marden's In Calais

A 49-year-old woman is dead after being struck by a car over the border.
Police say the incident happened around 1:20 yesterday afternoon in the Marden's parking lot.
Calais Police Sgt. Chris Donahue tells CHSJ News 74-year-old Kenneth Martin of Eastport, Maine was pulling his car into a parking spot near the entrance of the store and struck the woman.
Donahue says Zina Eller of East Machias died at the scene.
He says an investigation is underway and no further details are available.

Green Event Tomorrow On The Peninsula

The Nature Conservancy of Nature is giving Mother Nature a helping hand tomorrow.

The group is organizing a volunteer event in Shamper's Bluff to try and rid the area of an invasive species called Woodland Angelica, which is choking out other plants and keeping them from flourishing.

The event runs from 10am to 4pm. Volunteers will also learn about the threat of invasive plants to natural ecosystems. Afterward, they will hike out to “eagles perch” lookout. For more information click here

Traffic Lights To Be Finally Switched On At Notoriously Busy Corner

The long-awaited lights on Campbell Drive by the fire station are going to be switched on today.

Rothesay town council expressing frustration with the delay in getting them switched on at the hazardous corner, which is heavily travelled by cars both going on to...and coming off....the highway from Saint John.

The lights will be flashing for week starting today, then start on a regular cycle in a week's time.

Higgs Cuts Some Tax Red Tape

Some provincial tax regulations are going to be a little easier to deal with thanks to changes announced in the Legislature by Finance Minister Blaine Higgs.
One of those changes will impact the amount of sales tax you pay on a used vehicle if it's not listed in the valuation books used by Service New Brunswick - the government agency will provide what Higgs calls "a common sense estimate."
But the Minister says you will still have the option of obtaining an independent appraisal of the vehicle for tax purposes - meantime Higgs is also reducing the amount of paperwork required by companies and independent businesses to claim tax free amounts of fuel - and - reporting will now be based on the company's fiscal year rather than the provincial government's fiscal year.

A Heads Up For Drivers On The East Side

Westmorland Road between Loch Lomand Road and Northumberland Road will be closed for construction from 7 this morning until 7 tonight.

Benefit Organised For Daughter Of Murdered Woman

A benefit will be held at the Q-Plex on June 23rd for the 6 year old daughter of 33 year old Tanya Shand who was murdered by her common law partner, May 23rd in her Dolan Road apartment. 

The little girl was in the apartment and saw what was happening. She's now living with her grandparents. 

It's hoped a scholarship fund will be set up for her. A Facebook page has been set up and is attracting large numbers and Rothesay Town Council is throwing its support behind the effort.

Has Anything Changed In Doctors' Dispute?

A Court of Queens Bench Justice has concluded the Medical Society does have a legal and binding fee agreement with the provincial government until March of 2014 but the controversial issue of a cap in medicare payments to doctors is still up in the air.

Judge Judy Clendenning says the application to the court was only for a declaration on the agreement so the cap, itself, was not an issue for her to decide because she wasn't asked to.

Provincial Health Minister Ted Flemming maintains nothing has changed and the cap will remain in place. Medicare billings were below budget during the first quarter.

The President of the Medical Society, Dr. Robert Desjardins says his group offered to drop the court case last week if the government would sign a court order acknowledging their agreement was binding but that offer was rejected.

Biker Hurt In Crash

There was a motorcycle crash last night shortly before 8 at 2530 Red Head Road. 

The fire department is reporting the motorcycle left the road and one person was taken to hospital. 

No word on the extent of injuries.