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Friday, July 19, 2013

Referendum On Senate Gets Lukewarm Reaction

Liberal Senator Joe Day of Hampton isn't disputing the need to reform the Senate but he's not crazy about the idea of holding a national referendum on its fate which is being called for by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

Day tells CHSJ News the Senate isn't the only government institution in need of reform. He argues the House of Commons is in need of reform as evidenced by the mini revolt staged by some Conservative M-P's over their treatment at the hands of the Prime Minister's Office and the control being exerted over them by the P-M-O.

One former Conservative M-P from Alberta who's now sitting as an independent complains they were being treated like trained seals.

A Bigger And Better Trail For Hampton

The Trans Canada Trail will be extended all the way through Hampton thanks to 100 thousand dollars in federal funding and another 100 thousand from the town. 

That announcement being made by Fundy-Royal M-P Rob Moore who's now the federal minister for New Brunswick. He tells CHSJ News the Spooner Island Bridge will be replaced and new portions of trail will be constructed.

The M-L-A for Hampton Kings, Bev Harrison says Moore's elevation in the federal cabinet which includes responsibility for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency spells good news for the area.

Moore says he wants to spur economic development and, to that end, believes the business case has been made for the West to East pipeline to be constructed all the way to Saint John.

Point Lepreau Could Experience 2 Week Outage

The Point Lepreau Generating Station is currently operating safely at 95 per cent according to the New Brunswick government.

NB Power is considering the advantages of a two-week outage this fall so technicians can make adjustments to a steam valve.

NB Power stated its intent to have a two-week outage back in June. Fixing the valve would take care of steam line vibration issues, allowing the plant to return to 100 per cent reactor power.

If an outage is required, rates for NB Power customers would not be affected.

Tolls Again On The Harbour Bridge?

Social media was abuzz this morning with rumours that Transportation Minister Claude Williams had said there was a possibility of re-instating the toll on the Harbour Bridge.

The comments were made to the media yesterday. According the Honourable Dorothy Shepherd, the rumour was the result of a miscommunication when the Minister was talking about tolls in general.

Shepherd did say tolls are definitely on the table as an option for generation revenue--but not on the Harbour Bridge. It was a platform promise of the Tories to remove the toll, which was widely believed to unfairly penalize Saint Johners.

Illegal Smokes Seized

About 260 thousand illegal cigarettes have been confiscated by the RCMP with two men from Burton now facing charges and hefty fines.

Police say the seizure of 26 cases of illegal tobacco happened after the two were stopped in Charters Settlement.

An 81-year-old man and 54-year-old man have court appearances scheduled in September. Their names won't be released until they are formally charged in court.

Irving Oil Named In Lawsuit

Irving Oil has been added to the list of defendants in a proposed class-action lawsuit stemming from the train derailment in Lac-Megantic, Quebec.

The oil in the train cars that derailed and exploded was destined for Irving's refinery here in the city

An Irving spokesperson says the company did not own or control the oil or its transportation at any time.

Fewer Cruise Ship Passengers Next Year

The Carnival Glory will not be visiting Saint John next year and that could represent the loss of as many as 36 thousand passengers. 

Higher costs in the North American Emission Control Area being cited as the main reason for the decision to keep the Carnival Glory year round in Miami.

Carnival will operate a variety of four to eight day Atlantic Canada voyages on Carnival Splendor from New York next year. Included will be 11 cruises to Saint John but with fewer passengers.

Profit Drops At Lottery Corporation

The Atlantic Lottery Corporation is reporting a $7 million decline in its profit.

The corporation's annual accountability report shows a net profit of more than $362 million for the 2012-2013 fiscal year as compared to $369 million plus in 2011-2012.

While the sale of lottery tickets was up $19.9 million, video lottery revenues declined by $29.2 million.

$367.7 million in prizes were paid out which represents the largest amount in recent years.