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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Clash Over Language In The Legislature

The Opposition Liberals are raising questions in the provincial legislature over what they deem vague language in the provincial health plan, which could result in rural hospitals being understaffed.

Health Minister Ted Flemming objected they just want to find fault where there is none. Flemming  received a warning from the Speaker of the House for calling the Liberals a bunch of Chicken Littles who want to declare "the sky is falling". The minister has been cautioned previously for his choice of words while answering questions.

The Liberals saying it's difficult to trust the PCs on healthcare when--in their view--the Tories have been sending nurses home and eliminating positions.

CBS Says They're Committed To A Fair Deal

With employees at Canadian Blood Services in a legal strike position as of today, CBS tells CHSJ News they are committed to reaching a fair and reasonable agreement

CBS states that meeting the needs of hospitals and patients is their #1 priority, and blood products will continue to be available because they'll able to draw from the national supply of donor blood.

The two groups will be back at the table next week.

Quispam Couple Wins $333,000

A couple from Quispamsis are happy campers picking up over $333,000 in the Lotto Max draw.

Terry Steane tells CHSJ News they decided to check their numbers before going to bed on Saturday night.

He says he heard this big scream from his wife saying "we have all 7 numbers" and they were pretty happy jumping up and down.

Steane says they plan to help their kids out, do some work on the house and invest the rest of the money.

Province Reaches Tentative Deal With The NBMS

The province reaching a tentative deal with the New Brunswick Medical Society relating to fee for service physicians.

Both parties have agreed to withhold details until a ratification vote is held.

Medical Society president Dr. Lynn Hansen says doctor's will keep working with the province to ensure that the patient is at the centre of the health system.

If it's ratified, a new deal would kick in on April 1.

UPDATE: Shed Near The Jet Boat A Total Loss

A fire investigator is looking into the cause of a shed fire behind the Jet Boat trailer at Reserving Falls.

Crews got the call after 3pm of a shed on fire and once on site it was quickly put out.

The shed is a complete loss and the business trailer nearby did suffer some heat damage.

Crews did struggle briefly with a broken fire hydrant in the area but quickly found one that was working.

Chilling Details From MacKean Trial

Chilling details are being revealed in the sexual assault case involving a teenage boy who was chained up for 10 days inside a cabin in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia.

64 year old John Leonard MacKean is facing two charges in relation to his alleged role in the incident which took place in September 2012.

The alleged victim - a teenage boy - was the first witness to take the stand  in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Bridgewater.

He told court he was blindfolded and chained to a bed while he was sexually assaulted by David Leblanc and Wayne Cunningham.

The teenager also testified about a third man involved in the sexual acts.
However, the boy was blindfolded and could not clearly identify the other individual.
Evidence of chains, a blanket from the bed and a blindfold were submitted as evidence by the Crown prosecutor.

Defence lawyer Mike Taylor will cross examine the alleged victim this afternoon.
The trial is being heard before a judge and 12 member jury.

The trial is expected to last three days.

Former P-C Party Staffer Claims Party Can't Win Next Provincial Election

There's deep dissatisfaction within the provincial Conservative Party and no one sees the Conservatives winning the next election. 

That claim being made by Bill Carter of Hampton, a former Conservative party staff member and ex President of the party's youth wing in the province. 

He points to how many young people are giving up on New Brunswick and moving elsewhere. Carter calls that a sad commentary since their hearts are in New Brunswick and they would rather be living here if there was opportunity.

Carter has joined the provincial NDP but will not be running to be an M-L-A in September's election.

Draw 9 Is In The Books At The FWCC

Draw 9 is complete at the World Women's Curling Championship, Canada doubled Latvia 8-4, Sweden beat Denmark 7-2, Korea defeating the Czech Republic 8-5 and Russia hammered Scotland 10-4. 

Switzerland is undefeated at 5 and 0, Canada and Sweden are tied with a 5 and 1 record.

Switzerland plays today and Canada takes on Scotland tonight.

Scathing Report Released On Proposed Energy East Pipeline

A new report released by a group of environmental organisations claims nearly all of the 1.1 million barrels a day of crude oil the proposed Energy East pipeline would carry from Alberta would be exported unrefined.  According to the report, eastern Canadian refineries would process only a small amount. 

Catherine Abreu of the Ecology Action Centre tells CHSJ News the number of jobs that would be created considering all the money that's going to be spent is distinctly unimpressive, 166 for every billion dollars spent.

By contrast, Abreau says for every billion dollars invested in green energy initiatives, 15 thousand jobs are created according to research done by the University of Massachusetts.

Adam Scott of Environmental Defence claims we are being misled about the claims being made by politicians on how this pipeline will help turn the provincial economy around.

Just What Was That In The Sky?

If you were up early enough this morning you may have been among the folks who saw what appeared to be a fireball in the sky for just a few seconds. 

It was seen around 5:00 by people in this province and also in Nova Scotia. 

There's been a lot of speculation what it was with a suggestion that it could have been a meteor shower.

Fire Leaves Two People Homeless

A home is destroyed by fire a few kilometers north of Fredericton in McLeod Hill. We hear from the Red Cross that two people managed to get out safely but they were still in their night clothes. 

The man and woman are getting emergency assistance from the Red Cross which includes somewhere to stay temporarily, food and clothing. 

There's no word on what caused the blaze on Chateau Drive.

Canadian Women Curlers Win Twice

After an 8-2 win over Denmark in the afternoon, Canada, skipped by Rachel Homan, defeated the U.S. 9-3 in six ends at Harbour Station last night. 

Team Canada improves to 4-1, behind only Switzerland, who won 7-3 over Denmark and has a perfect 5 and 0 record. 

This morning, Canada takes on Latvia and then Scotland tonight. The Swiss will play South Korea this afternoon and the U.S. tonight.

Shale Gas Study To Be Carried Out

It's being described as its very first research initiative with half a million dollars to be spent by the New Brunswick Energy Institute on what the impact will be on groundwater of shale gas exploration. 

According to the Institute, this study will provide the necessary baseline data that's required to assess shale gas extraction and the occurrance of methane gas in private water wells. 

The study will examine four areas in the southern part of the province, including the Sussex area.

The Energy Institute was created by the Alward Governnment but its legitimacy was called into question after Professor Louis LaPierre resigned as the head of the Institute following controversy over his academic credentials. 

Business Climate Improving In Saint John

Most members of the Saint John Board of Trade are optimistic about the business climate in the area, according to its annual survey. 

78 per cent of Board of Trade members say they expect their companies to do better in the year ahead and more than 96 per cent expect to maintain current staffing levels or even hire more people. 

More than 61 per cent believe the city is headed in the right direction with 26 per cent undecided and 12.5 per cent saying Saint John is on the wrong track.

Over 70 per cent support shale gas development and as for the provincial government's new drug plan, 45 per cent are in support with 44 per cent still undecided.