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Friday, September 27, 2013

Cardy Calls Late Numbers Another Broken Promise

The NDP leader says the lateness of the Alward government quarterly financial report is another broken promise.

Dominic Cardy tells CHSJ News we know why they are late adding Minister Higgs was even writing op-ed articles about it a few years back.

He says the departments wouldn't give Higgs the figures he needed to get the updates out.   

Cardy says that mean Blaine Higgs has been taught not to talk about the incompetence and lack of discipline inside the government over the last two years.

Cardy says the projected deficit is a sign of how the government failed to put forward a vision that would change the province.   

He says that task will be left to the next government to make sure we can fix problems like seeing our population drop and high unemployment.

Workplace Accident In East Saint John

One man taken to hospital after a workplace accident this  morning.

City fire crews responding to Thomas Construction in the Industrial park on Grandview Avenue where a man had fallen off a piece of equipment.

He was taken to hospital to be checked out and is expected to be ok.

Worksafe NB is looking into what happened.

Shiny New Law Courts Have Official Opening

Law and order are important to any community--and the new law courts at Peel Plaza reflect that, according to dignitaries gathering for the facility's grand opening. 

In his first official duty as the new Justice Minister, Troy Lifford praising the new law courts as a vast improvement over the old situation at city hall.

The mayor, premier, lieutenant governor and various MLAs were on hand. The law courts have been in use for some time already but the ribbon cutting ceremony officially marked its opening to the public.

Update Monday On Sexual Abuse Investigation

The city has scheduled an update Monday on the investigation into sexual abuse perpetrated years ago by then City Police officer Ken Estabrooks, amid reports of many more victims have come forward. There are also rumblings a potential class-action lawsuit. 

Common Council has approved an additional $100,000 to continue the investigation. There may have been more than 40 victims of the abuse.

 Estabrooks was never charged in 1975 even though he confessed. Estabrooks resigned from the police department but was transferred to City Works. Charges were finally laid in 1998 and Estabrooks, who died in 2005, was convicted in 1999 and sentenced to six years in prison. The Police Commission released a report, calling the 1975 investigation "unprofessional" which allowed a serious sex offender to go unpunished.

Inmate Hospitalized After Assault

Yesterday at around 11pm an inmate was assaulted in the maximum-security jail in Renous. The victim had to be taken to an outside hospital.

 The Mounties are investigating and they know who committed the assault.

The victim is in stable condition. Jail officials say they taking what they call "appropriate" measures to keep incidents like this from happening.

Mike Biggar Launches New Country Record Tonight

Mike Biggar is a name in country star most folks in Saint John will recognize. 

Biggar's been breaking into the mainstream music scene will his collaborations with Chris Cummings and he tells CHSJ News he's excited to release his new album Feels Like Now.

Biggar is an ECMA and New Brunswick Music Award winner.

He's performing tonight on the Mexi's patio with Chris Cummings and a full band to launch the new record. 

 The show starts at 9pm at Mexi's on Princess Street in Saint John.
For more info, click here

Not Everyone Is Enthralled With The National Energy Board

Premier David Alward says he has confidence the National Energy Board will be able to adequately evaluate the environmental risks associated with building a pipeline to Saint John. 

David Thompson of the Conservation Council tells CHSJ News a lot of people were turned off by their treatment when the National Energy Board held hearings in the city a few years ago on the natural gas pipeline through Rockwood Park.

Thompson says the rules apparently have changed since then and a lot of people who might want to have something to say and take part could be shut out from participating because they won't be given standing.

A grassroots energy summit will be held in the city next week with the theme that shale gas, oil pipelines and nuclear energy represent the past and not the future. One of the speakers will be Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians.

Higgs Releases Financial Update In Saint John

The Alward government providing a long overdue fiscal update with first quarter results projecting a deficit of nearly 500 million dollars.

Finance Minister Blaine Higgs joined by the Premier and MLA Glenn Savoie for the announcement at the Delta today as the Saint John caucus wraps up its summer retreat.

Higgs says if government had not confronted spending the revenue challenges they have been facing would be much worse.

In 2011 and 2012, Higgs says they saw year over year expenses decrease for the first time in 11 years adding in the last two years they have seen spending only grow by a half a per cent compared to the 10 year average of 4.2 per cent.

Premier Alward says historically departments have been way over budget with their early quarterly results and now they are seeing departments below budget and within 1 per cent representing a huge shift.

The Premier also revealing to the gathered media that the fall session of the Legislature will begin early on November 5th.

Empress Of Ireland Exhibit

Next May will mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Empress of Ireland.  

It's happened in the St. Lawrence River and more than a 1000 passengers on the ship died.   

The New Brunswick Museum hosting a travelling showcase on the ship which includes video of the underwater wreck. 

Pascale St. Amand tells CHSJ News the exhibit is moving on to Halifax at 5 today.

She says she has had many visitors from cruise ships and they are a bit scared by the tragedy but most people are surprised they have not heard of the Empress before.

St. Amand says the exhibit includes a video that depicts how the Storstad hit the Empress sinking her.    She add the sinking is significant as World War 1 broke out a short time later.