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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Finance Critic Calls For Fiscal Update, Job Summit

With a rise in the province's unemployment rate, the Opposition Liberals are calling for an update from the Finance Minister on the fiscal situation in New Brunswick.

But Finance Critic Roger Melanson tells CHSJ News that's not all that's on their wish list they also want a job summit hosted, something they've been asking about for the last two years.

Melanson says the Alward government doesn't have all of the solutions, and he wants to see different stakeholders from around the province come together and have a serious conversation about how to address the job crisis and financial situation. 

He says the job crisis is affecting the quality of life of New Brunswickers because services are being cut.

Child & Youth Mental Health Services Research Gets $2.5 Million

A group of researchers from the Maritimes trying to make life a little easier for parents of children and youth suffering from depression, anxiety or other mental illnesses, getting a financial boost.

The group getting $2.5 million from the Department of Health to identify gaps in services available for kids and young people who have mental illnesses. Dr. Scott Ronis is a professor at UNB and the team's provincial representative, and tells CHSJ News their end goal is to make it easier to get help.

Part of the project is creating a web portal, where people can find and contribute information about the services they're getting. Ronis says that will change over time, so the idea would be to follow what is happening on the ground.

The funding announcement was made by Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq on June 26.

Users Alone Aren't Enough To Pay For Recreation

Recreation doesn't come cheap......Just ask the town of Sussex where the arena is saddled with a huge deficit and in danger of closing. 

Grand Bay-Westfield Mayor Grace Losier waged her own battle a while back in a vain attempt to persuade people outside the town in the local service districts to pay for recreation they may not necessarily use at the River Valley Community Centre.

She says you can't just depend on the users to pick up the tab and recreation can mean alot when it comes to growing the population and even enhancing the chances of selling your home. 

The Fundy Regional Services Commission will, at least, talk about regionalising recreation but not before hearing a presentation on what it means to have proper recreational opportunities.

What's Happening With The Gothic Arches?

Although the Gothic Arches was sold to a Toronto developer back in November, to the casual observer  there hasn't been any visible progress on the proposal to turn the historic church into condos.

 We checked in with Saint John real estate agent Bob McVicar, and he tells CHSJ News the project is exactly where they expected it to be, considering all the factors that need to be taken into account. All of the groups that were using the space have been relocated and the space is ready to go, says McVicar.

Developer Jody Cairns has moved to Saint John to oversee the project. According to McVicar there could be from 20 to 80 units put into the Arches depending on what happens with the local real estate market--which could change radically if the West-East oil pipeline comes to fruition.

Mayor Is Confident About Rail Safety

There has been some concern expressed in light of the train disaster in Quebec about how safe rail traffic through the Saint John area is these days.

 Mayor Mel Norton is confident what happened in Lac Magentic last weekend would not take place here. Norton explains Saint John has an excellent safety record with trains over the years which are never parked on inclines.

Rothesay Council isn't as confident as Norton is and wants more information about rail activity through the town with concern over the number of cars and the speed they're travelling at.

Little Local Restaurant Getting Some Major National Attention

A little restaurant in the countryside outside of Sussex is going to be getting some national attention.

Giermindl's  Old Bavarian Restaurant is being featured in the reality show You've Gotta Eat Here. Founders Adolf and Olga Giermindl along with 9 of their 11 children immigrated to Canada in 1976. They chose the Knightville, Kings County property to settle on because the rolling hills reminded us of their native Bavaria region in Germany.

Manager Claudia Giermindl tells CHSJ News it was quite the experience working with show host John Catucci--even though she had a thing or two to teach him about traditional German cusine

The family-owned restaurant raises all their beef, lamb and pork on their own farm and specializes in traditional dishes like cabbage rolls, pork hocks, and schnitzel. To check out the website click here

Man Killed In Train Incident Identified

The Saint John Police Force are confirming that the victim of July 6th train incident involving a 48 year old man, who was killed on the train tracks is Paul Kenneth Lorne Hayward of Saint John.

The incident occurred at or near Marsh Creek at approximately 5:45 AM.

Greater Regional Policing Shot Down

The idea of one regional police department for the entire Saint John area has gone down in flames at the Regional Services Commission, even the option of leaving Rothesay and Quispamsis out of the equation didn't fly. 

Mayor Mel Norton wanted to have options put on the table with how much they would cost. He sees the Regional Services Commission as a forum to have such a discussion and expressed disappointment the other members didn't appear open to new information.

Grand Bay-Westfield Mayor Grace Losier warns a study of this kind would be a waste of time, wind up costing as much as 250 thousand dollars and for what at the end of the day since no one is interested.

Rothesay Mayor Bill Bishop told the Commission the only two options he could see for greater regional policing would be the RCMP or a whole new police department. 

When asked about the RCMP in Saint John, Norton replied by saying we have a good police department but Common Council is dedicated to finding better ways to deliver value for tax dollars.