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Monday, July 29, 2013

More Measures Must Be Taken To Prepare For Flooding Says MLA

A carbon copy of the flood of the century is how one MLA describes what happened in St. Stephen over the weekend. 

With the devastating 2010 flood still fresh in the minds of residents, MLA for Charlotte-The Isles Rick Doucet is calling on the Alward government to do more when it comes to preparing for floods and helping people avoid flood damage.

Doucet tells CHSJ News he'll be re-introducing an amendment to the Emergency Measures Act to provide better coordination of emergency measures for those in charge of critical infrastructure in flood-prone areas. 

Many people have voiced their frustration to him about the dam in particular. He says they want more communication coming from the operators of the dam so that people are aware of what they're doing and when.

In an effort to get input from residents, he's organized a public meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 13 at 7pm at the Magaguadavic Place in St. George.

Police Investigating Tool Theft From Trailer

Police want your help in finding who is responsible for a theft from a work trailer in Quispamsis. 

Constable Nathan McIntyre of the Rothesay Regional Police says sometime between Saturday and today, a large amount of tools were stolen from the trailer on Millennium Drive.

Crimestoppers is offering a $1000 reward for anyone with information leading to the arrest of the culprit.
To contact the police, call 847-6300. You can contact the KV Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Man Killed In Highway 7 Crash Identified

The Mounties have identified the man killed in a crash between a coach bus and a car on Friday as 31 year-old Jean-Fran├žois Audrain.

They say Audrain is originally from Montreal, but was living in Welsford. He was the driver and only person in the car that collided with the bus on Highway 7, about halfway between Saint John and Fredericton. 

They're still investigating the cause of the crash, however, heavy rains are believed to have been a factor.

Secret Shopper Scam Targeting New Brunswickers

If you get a suspicious cheque in the mail, beware. A secret shopper scam is targeting New Brunswickers.

The Financial and Consumer Services Commission says a 13 year-old Minto girl received a cheque in the mail for $3,900 saying she qualified as a secret shopper. Her parents intervened by calling police, sharing their story on social media and reporting it to the commission. 

The commission says scams like this one have been making the rounds across the country. At least three other people have been approached.

The scheme starts when you get a cheque and letter from a company asking you to spend the money at a certain store, then asks for a certified cheque or a money transfer in return telling you that you can keep the rest of the money as compensation.

If you've been the target of a scam, get in touch with the Financial and Consumer Services Commission by calling (866) 933-2222.

Parking Meter App Gaining Traction In Province

After getting the green light from Fredericton for a pilot project, the founder of a parking app has set his sights on Saint John. 

Phillip Curley is a student at UNB and the CEO of Hot Spot Parking, a program that lets you pay for on-street parking through your smartphone.

It works like this: when you sign up for the app online, you register your phone number, and when that number phones the Hot Spot Parking system, it will deduct money from your existing balance.

Curley tells CHSJ News he's been in talks with Uptown Saint John to set up meetings with retailers to get them on board. Through the app, retailers can choose to pay for their customers' parking.

The pilot project in Fredericton starts on Thursday, and Curley says he wants roll out the app in Saint John by September. He says installing the app in the city may come with an integration fee.

Development Of Old Coast Guard Site Moving Closer

Things are moving ahead on a development that could change the face of the uptown. That's the indication from City Manager Pat Woods as he tells members of Common Council planning for development of the old coast guard site, adjacent to Market Square is progessing at a quickened pace. 

The Saint John Development Corporation is seeking 214 thousand dollars from the city to pay for the planning necessary for an environmental cleanup and repairs to the seawall. 

Woods terms the request "reasonable", saying the work will only go ahead after an agreement is signed with the proposed developer.

Former Mayor Wants War Declared On Illegally Placed Signs

Common Council is being asked by Councillor at Large Shirley McAlary to authorise the city to seize all the signs that have been placed where they shouldn't be.

McAlary has heard complaints about signs making it harder for drivers to see oncoming traffic because of where they're placed as well as from pedestrians about the sandwich board signs on sidewalks. 

She says a city bylaw stipulates real estate signs can only be placed in front of the properties that are up for sale. McAlary claims the real estate firms know this but are reluctant to take down their signs until other businesses are forced to do the same.

Jet Boat Rescues Woman From Reversing Falls

One of the city's tourist attractions taking part in another water rescue over the weekend. 

The co-owner of the Reversing Falls Jet Boat Rides, Marc Gosselin, says their boat was the first on the scene and rescued a woman from the falls at 7pm Saturday night. Gosselin was told the woman was able to stand, though was badly bruised.

Recently, they also took part in the rescue of two kayakers, one of whom overturned.

People With Flood Damage Urged To Report It

The people who live in Charlotte and York counties whose properties have sustained damage as a result of the heavy rainfall on July 26th are requested by the Emergency Measures Organization to report the damage to Service New Brunswick. 

You may do so by calling toll-free at 1-888-298-8555 Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. or online. 

These reports will help officials assess the damage.

New Brunswick Kids May Not Be Getting Enough To Eat

25 per cent of children are living in New Brunswick households that are having a difficult time putting the food they need on the table. 

That claim being made in a new report published by researchers at the University of Toronto.

The researchers have concluded nearly one in eight Canadian households experienced food insecurity in 2011 and with the exception of Newfoundland and Labrador, food insecurity has persisted or even gotten worse in every province and territory since 2005.

St. Stephen Recovering After Weekend Flooding

Despite washed out streets and over 40 waterlogged basements, St. Stephen's mayor says with more than 165mm of rain falling onto the town, the situation could have been much worse.

Mayor John Quartermain tells CHSJ News he was on his way back from his lakeside cottage when he first heard about the flooding. On his way back into town, he says he pulled off of the new highway onto King Street and saw the road was completely covered in five or six feet of water.

He says they're trying to arrange meetings with the provincial government next week to find out how to handle the flooding issue. He says it's happened before, referencing the devastating 2010 flood, and chances are it will happen again. 

The forecast is calling for more rain for the town this week.

Green Party Leader Unimpressed With Plans To Protect More Wilderness

The Alward Government plans to double the percentage of protected wilderness in the province. 

That might sound like a good thing to most people but not to the leader of the Provincial Green Party David Coon who tells CHSJ News there's less to this than meets the eye.

Coon argues the areas that will be protected are those where companies have been restricted to select cutting which is more expensive than clear cutting which he claims is continuing on an unimaginable scale.

He claims New Brunswick is facing a crisis when it comes to protecting habitat and the province is caving in to pressure from the forestry industry.

Common Council To Consider Reorganisation Of Transit And Parking

Common Council will be hearing a joint presentation tonight from Saint John Transit and the Parking Commission on options for reorganisation. 

They range from the status quo to outright amalgamation with the two budgets being integrated into one. In that setup, there would be a general manager overseeing the whole operation and separate managers for transit and parking. 

Transit service costs the city 5 million dollars a year while parking administration generate 1.3 million dollars in revenue for the city. 

Council is also being told the Trade and Convention Centre is operating an overall deficit of more than 830 thousand dollars.

Arrests Made In Domestic Disputes

Two arrests made by City Police after two separate domestic assaults. 

A 30 year old man is facing charges of assault and making threats after an incident on Guilford Street on the west side and a 56 year old man is looking at an assault charge after another domestic disturbance on Waterloo Street.

Major Traffic Disruption On East Side

There will be a major traffic disruption beginning today at Loch Lomand Road and Kane's Corner with traffic reduced to one lane each way because of reconstruction. Thorne Avenue at Kane's Corner will also be reduced to one lane each way and traffic will be detoured away from Russell Street. The reconstruction work will be continuing until November.

The Chesley Drive on-ramp to the westbound lane of the Harbour Bridge is closed for the next few days because of repair work.

Somerset Street is reopened to traffic but crews will be painting the lines along the road this week.

Local Cabinet Minister Sounding More Confident About Pipeline

Fundy Royal M-P and federal cabinet minister Rob Moore says, as he sees it, the business case to move ahead with the west to east oil pipeline all the way to Saint John has been made but it's still not a done deal.

Trans Canada's timeline would see the pipeline extended to Saint John in 2018.

Trans Canada has also announced public meetings will be held at various locations in the province along the route the pipeline would follow.