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Sunday, December 1, 2013

4-Plex: Should Folks Outside Of Saint John Have To Pay User Fees?

There's been a lot of talk lately about a 4-plex at Long Wharf which would replace some of the region's ailing arenas, and some are questioning whether those traveling from outlying areas should pay user fees to recover the costs.

Mayor Mel Norton tells CHSJ News we've been working hard to foster at atmosphere of cooperation in the Greater Saint John area....and user fees would be a step backward.

"My own perspective is we need to act as a region. We are the greater Saint John region, it doesn't matter if you happen to live in the Rothesay area or the Grand Bay-Westfield area."

Michael Hugenholtz of the city's Leisure Services department says if the 4-plex is built, they'd need to crunch the numbers on how many people from out of town use the facility, and the cost-recovery model hasn't been ruled out.

JDI Says Natural Gas Hike Could Leave Jobs At Risk

A JDI spokesperson says jobs could be at risk if a proposed rate hike for natural gas gets the green light. 

Mary Keith says the application by Enbridge Gas, for what they are calling a "slight increase" in bills for commercial and industrial users, is concerning. 

She tells CHSJ News they're the main source of natural gas for their Atlantic Wallboard plant in Saint John.

"I think in all of our operations we're looking to ensure that we have got competitive fuel sources, and we've worked very hard to reduce our footprint in terms of greenhouse gases, through options like natural gas, or biomass."

Enbridge wants to see the new distribution rates take effect on the first day of the new year.

About $20B Goes Across The Border In Consumer Shopping Annually

While you're looking for the best holiday deals, Canadian retailers are trying to offer you more options, in competition with the U.S.

Finona Story is the spokesperson for
She tells CHSJ News, there's been an increase in the number of Black Friday deals in Canada over the past 5 years.

She says when Black Friday deals started Canada in 2007, there were only about two deals. Last year, there were about 200 deals and 150 participating retailers.

She adds there have been fringe movements to help push for shopping closer to home, even if that means missing out on some better deals across the boarder. 

"The more recent studies,which came out in 2012, estimated that roughly 20 billion dollars goes across the border each year in consumer shopping," says Story.

Alberta Energy Company Exec. Says Investing In NB Is Too Risky

For some companies, investing in New Brunwick's shale gas is just too risky. 

Keith Steeves works for an energy company in Alberta, called NAL Resources. He says the company probably wouldn't invest in the province because of political and social risks.

 "There seems to be fair amount of protests going on, there seems to be a fair amount of destruction of property going on. Those things aren't conducive to being efficient and effective in carrying out the operations of the business we have."

He said in order for the company to invest in New Brunswick, there would have be more security. "There's lots of places where we can explore oil and gas, and New Brunswick is just one of them."