Linked Header

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Atlanta Today, Saint John Tomorrow Night

(CHSJ News file photo)
A storm system originating in the Gulf of Mexico which lead to power outages and snow for Atlanta, Georgia is heading here.

Environment Canada's Doug Mercer tells CHSJ News the snow will begin to fly late tomorrow afternoon switching over to rain late in the evening or overnight.

Mercer says to expect some mixed precipitation as it switches over and you can also expect blowing snow in very strong winds.  

Nova Scotia is getting a bit of snow but more rain along the coast with warnings posted.

Alward Responds To Puzzling Education Questions

While in the Port City, Premier David Alward fielding many questions on education.
He admits to being confused by Dominic Cardy and the NDP's promise to scrap the no-fail policy.

He says the province doesn't have a no-fail policy but he says the government is pleased with work going on in education to ensure kids are prepared well for learning.

Liberal Leader Brian Gallant's education platform includes a plan to return the trades to the classroom.  

Premier Alward points out it was a previous Liberal governmetn that took trades out of schools in the first place.

Coldest Day Of The Year March Hopes To Raise $50K

Helping out the hungry and homeless...that's what groups of Saint Johners who are taking part in the Coldest Night of the Year March will soon be doing. 

The fundraising goal for this year is $50,000, which is doubled from last year. Executive Director of Outflow Jayme Hall says the money goes to help people who are struggling restore their dignity.

The march is happening on February 22. You can donate, sign up or check out the event details by clicking here.

Abandoned Building Problem Gets Attention From Province

Abandoned buildings are a real problem in some areas--and now, the provincial government will be able to recover more than $3.4 million in overdue taxes on abandoned properties.

Changes to the Property Tax Act will let them collect taxes that are seriously behind, work with municipalities to remove dilapidated buildings, and make it easier to sell them.

More than 400 properties can't be sold at a tax sale because property owners have died without a will or heirs, or remain AWOL despite exhaustive research.

The amendments will free up the properties to be lived in or redeveloped.

Stolen Payphone & Fights Near The Mall

Some thieves hit a business on Mystery Lake drive out east and managed to make off with a payphone in a metal case, according to Sergeant Jay Henderson of the Saint John Police Department.

That theft was discovered around noon yesterday.

As well, Henderson says a 20 year old man is facing charges after an incident outside the mall on King Street.

A 16 year old is also facing charges after a separate fighting incident this week near Brunswick Square.

Heartwarming Stories From The Regional Hospital

You'll be hearing some heartwarming stories on our airwaves tomorrow.

Local people who've overcome health struggles will be sharing their tales at the 2nd annual "Love Your Hospital" Radiothon for The Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation.Victoria Clarke of the Foundation tells CHSJ News the hospital is proud of the lifesaving work they do and this is a chance for the community to give back.

From 6am until 6pm tomorrow Country 94 and 97.3 The Wave will be broadcasting live from the hospital lobby raising money for The Give.

All donations collected over those 12 hours will go toward the $850,000 goal to help purchase equipment for the Neurosurgeon Program.

Oil Instability A Major Cause For Concern

Ever since the early 2000s, the price of oil has fluctuated wildly depending on what's going on in global politics, weather conditions, changing markets, and other factors.

Colleen Mitchell of the Atlantica Center for Energy explains when the Coleson Cove Generating station was first being thought of back in the mid-1970s, crude oil was a fraction of what it is today at just $3 per barrel. The engineers working on that project couldn't have anticipated oil going for as much as $100 per barrel, as it is today.

 Mitchell says one way to be immune to these market fluctuations is for New Brunswick to look at stable, cost-effective energy sources like biomass, wind, solar, and biofuels.

Province Also Flying Rainbow Flag

They are a little late to this party but the province is joining other provinces in flying the Rainbow flag in front of the legislature.

A release says the move is in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender athletes participating in the Olympics in Sochi.

Earlier this week, Mayor Mel Norton tweeted a pic of the rainbow flag in front of City hall in Saint John.

Frustration Expressed Over Justice System

Now that a public meeting has been held on the return of a convicted sex offender to Collina, a small community north of Sussex, what happens next. 

People, who live there, are said to be frustrated with the justice system and there has even been talk by some of taking matters into their own hands but Dave Mantin of the Sexual Abuse Network of Canada tells CHSJ News he doesn't think it will come to that.

Mantin says he has heard from some people who were the most vocal at the meeting and they appear to have cooled down. 

54 year old Terrance Leger has served his sentence for sexual interference with young boys but has agreed to abide by a list of conditions imposed by a judge.

Federal Cabinet Minister Says Harper Government is Keeping Taxes Low

The Regional Minister for New Brunswick, Fundy Royal MP Rob Moore tells CHSJ News the federal budget, which some have called boring, is continuing to keep a lid on tax increases. 

He points out the average family of four is paying 34 hundred dollars less in taxes now than back in 2006. 

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is critical of the Harper Government, in its words, frittering away money on snowmobile trails but Moore argues upgrading snowmobile, A-T-V and walking trails generates more tourism.

Moore also points out federal money is being set aside to speed up approval of the Energy East pipeline to Saint John and promises there will be an unprecedented amount of money that's going to start rolling out this year for local and provincial infrastructure improvements.

Federal Budget Gets Thumbs Up From Taxpayers Federation

Even though the Canadian Taxpayers Federation generally likes the federal budget because spending will be lower this year than last year and the deficit is disappearing but there's still some criticism. 

The Federation's Gregory Thomas tells CHSJ News the Harper Government should be cutting Employment Insurance taxes since over 14 billion dollars more will be brought in over the next three years than will be paid out. Thomas points out maximum E-I taxes have gone up 28 per cent since the 2008 financial meltdown and this is a disincentive on hiring. 

He also worries the big tax hike on smokes will spur more smuggling as happened in the 1990's. A carton of 200 smokes will be rising in price by 4 dollars.

Thomas also objects to 500 million dollars in taxpayer money being used to subsidise the big automakers.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is forecasting a deficit of 2.9 billion dollars this year but a surplus of 6.4 billion next year, just in time for the federal election.

Partridge Island & Digby Ferry Mentioned In Federal Budget

Regarding the federal budget unveiled yesterday, Saint John MP Rodney Weston says it's pretty impressive that out of 308 ridings in Canada, Saint John got not one, but several, mentions.

One of those nods is $200,000 earmarked for a feasibility study to look into repairing the Partridge Island breakwater and restore access to the island.

Weston points out the budget outlined a two year agreement for continuing the Digby Ferry service, and also mentioned New Brunswick's role in the future of the proposed Energy East Pipeline.