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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Correction to Original Beer Pricing Story

It appears we may have taken the cap off the bottle before we reported a story to you earlier today.

There is some clarification we need to make on a story about the price of beer in the Province.

NB Liquor spokes-person Nora Lacey tells CHSJ News, it has received a single request for an increase and it is currently being reviewed.

No word how-ever on when a final decision will be made on the price.

Earlier today, we reported the price of beer would not be increasing this year.

Woman is Identified

One mystery has been solved but several still remain surrounding the body of a woman found in a snow bank in Moncton last weekend.

Officers have released her name, Shirley Suzanne Bland of Moncton.

She was found last Sunday afternoon by a man walking his dog in a marsh behind the Superstore on Main Street.

An autopsy has revealed no physical injuries and foul play is not suspected.

Still no word on what killed the woman and further testing could take months.

New Sugar Refinery is Scrapped

The dream of a scaled down sugar refinery in the McAllister Industrial Park is dead.

It has been in the works for years after the Lantic sugar refinfery shut down in the South End in 2000.

Enterprise Saint John was backing one of the two bids, not including one from Lantic. General Manager Steve Carson tells CHSJ News, it is a very complicated receivership process.

Carson adds if the plant has opened......there would have been over 40 high paying jobs to go along with it.

Imperial Theater Gets Cash From Ottawa

The shows will continue to go on at the Imperial Theater thanks to a cash infusion from Ottawa.

Saint John MP Rodney Weston has presented $55,000 dollars to the building for it's up-coming season of performances.

The cash is made available through the Canada Arts Presentation Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Strategic Planning Underway for Enterprise Saint John

(Enterprise Saint John Vice Chair Tony Goguen)
           (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

Enterprise Saint John has launched it's strategic planning process.

Tony Goguen is vice-chair and tells CHSJ News, this exercise will take three months to finish as they meet with out-lying communities and go over some of the latest demographic research.

Goguen adds the priority sectors for the past three years have been energy, advanced manufacturing, i.c.t. and health sciences.

This planning process will let them know if they should remain priorities or other avenues should be explored.

Search for a New Executive Director

The Animal Rescue League has begun it's active search for a new executive director.

In a news release, the organization says it is working with a human resource specialist out of Fredericton to carry out the recruitement and interview process.

Janet Foster has stepped down from the role after six years.
Construction is underway to move the Recue League out of it's current facility and into a anew space in the former Peacocks Garden Center on Sandy Point Road.

Dog Left For Dead in St. George

If you own a dog or just love animals, you may find this next story disturbing.

St. George RCMP is investigating an act of animal cruelty they believe took place between March.20th and 23rd.

Officers tell us someone tied a dog to a tree in a blueberry field on the Old St. Andrews Road and left it for wild animals to attack and feed on.

The dog was black and white and is described as a collie/lab mix.

Premier Graham Set to Travel to Ottawa

(Premier Shawn Graham)
       (File Photo)

Premier Shawn Graham and several of his cabinet ministers are off to Ottawa in the coming weeks.

Up for discussion is repairs needed for the Harbour Bridge and the delay on the refurbishment at Point Lepreau. Graham says they are looking for the same treatment as every other Province is receiving.

Graham says they sent a letter to Ottawa looking to form a partnership when it comes to the Harbour Bidge but they have yet to hear back.

As for Point Lepreau, the Premier says Atomic Energy of Canada has not lived up to it's time-line for completing refurbishment work and if a deal can't be worked out, legal action is the next step.

Traffic Concerns With Costco Set to Open

(City Councilor and SJ East Liberal Candidate Bruce Court)
                             (File Photo)

The city is being called on to come up with a plan to better handle traffic on the east side after Costco opens up on May 27th.

Most of the talk is about traffic congestion along Westmorland Road according to the Common Councillor for the area, Carl Killen.

East side Councillor Bruce Court says he has been told there are people along Westmorland who find it tough to get out of their driveways at times and have even resorted to activating a pedestrian light to give them time.

Board Of Trade Calls For Energy Policy For Province

(Saint John Board of Trade President Imelda Gilman)
                             (File Photo)

The Saint John Board of Trade thinks the time is right to get everyone involved in a new energy policy for the province and it's calling for action.
President Imelda Gilman tells CHSJ News people in the province really become engaged over the NB Power deal. She believes the polarizing reaction to the failed NB Power deal came about because it came seemingly out of nowhere.
Gilman says the Graham government also saw a groundswell of public opposition on postsecondary education over whether to turn U-N-B-S-J into a polytechnic.
She adds the Energy department should use the current momentum, positive or negative, to create a new energy policy for the province.

Police Department To Develop Plan To Communicate Better

The city police department wants to communicate more effectively -- so -- the department has issued a call for proposals to develop a communications plan.
Phase one will deal with areas like communicating with Common Council - a media and web presence - and - internal communication. Phase two would deal with implementing the plan - training of personnel depending on costs involved.
Work on the first phase is scheduled for completion in August while phase two would be completed by November if the go ahead is given.

Jamieson Will Not Be Returning To Provincial Cabinet

                  (Premier Shawn Graham)
                             (File Photo)

The one man who has the ability to re-instate the MLA for Saint John Fundy to his cabinet post is speaking out. Stuart Jamieson has been approached about returning to the Liberal caucus but says he will only do so if he was given back the title of Tourism and Parks Minister. Premier Graham says the return with conditions makes it difficult and won't be happening.
Two cabinet posts, Tourism and Parks along with Justice and Consumer Affairs, are being temporaily filled. The Premier wouldn't be nailed down on whether a Saint John MLA might be in the running for one of those jobs.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

United Way Ends 50th Anniversary Campaign Over The Top

Peninsula Liquor Store Closer to Reality

One person has come forward showing interest in setting up an NB Liquor agency store on the Kingston Peninsula now that the deadline has passed.

Spokes-person Nora Lacey tells CHSJ News, the one application will be evaluated and then reviewed by the board of directors next month.

If the application is approved, a site evaluation of where the store is to be located is then carried out.

Lacey says best case scenario, a new liquor outlet for the Peninsula could be open by the Long Weekend in May.

Construction of Law Courts Building Underway

(Premier Graham Announces New Law Courts)
           (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

Phase one of construction of the $50 million dollar Law Courts on the former YM-YWCA site on Hazen Avenue is underway.

The contract has been awarded to Bird Construction for just over $6.3 million dollars. Premier Shawn Graham says he is very excited about this project.

Graham adds 450 jobs will be created during the construction of the new law courts. The building is scheduled to be open by 2012.

What About New Police Station

(Artists Conception of Peel Plaza)
              (File Photo)

With construction of the new Law Courts building moving ahead, what about a new police station?

Mayor Ivan Court tells CHSJ News, he expects an announcement concerning the new headquarters in about two weeks.

Court adds a new garage with over 200 parking spaces will also be constructed on the site.

Design of the New Law Courts Building

(Artists Design of New Law Courts Building)
           (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

Murdoch and Boyd Architects designed the new Law Courts building and Greg Murdoch tells CHSJ News, he is very happy with the final design which they have been working on for the past four years, 150,000 square feet and six stories high.

The building will also feature among other things, 13 court-rooms, a barristers lounge and sheriff services.

Annual Spring Burn at Gagetown

April.1st is when officials at Base Gagetown will get started with it's annual Spring Grass Burning Program.

 It is carried out every year to reduce the accumulation of dead grass on various ranges and impact areas in the training area.

It's also hoped the burn will reduce the risk of fires happening later in the season when it is more likely to happen.

The area's to be burned are in the north central, southeast and western portions of the training area.
Burning will happen during normal working hours when the weather co-operates and there may be some burning done on the weekend as well. The burn is scheduled to finish up May.15th.

Liberal House Leader Comments on Future of Jamieson

The final decision on whether the MLA for Saint John Fundy will return to caucus appears to be squarely on the shoulders of Premier Graham.
The Liberal party has approached Stuart Jamieson about returning to caucus but he says he won't return unless he is returned to his former cabinet post of Tourism and Parks.

House Leader Greg Byrne tells CHSJ News, the Premier is the only one who can make that happen.

Byrne adds the bottom line is the decision is Jamieson's to make alone.

New Literacy Program at Community College

(Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour
             Minister Donald Arsenault)
              (Photo by Jim Hennessy) 

Community College in East Saint John has a new center of excellence to help improve adult literacy and promote continued learning in the workplace.

It is called Workplace Essential Skills and post-secondary education, training and labour minister Donald Arsenault says his department continues to make literacy a top priority.

The first center opened last year in Bathurst and now includes 35 initiatives around the Province.

Some of the businesses taking part in the program include Fundy Drywall and Ganong Bros in St. Stephen.

Mayor Defends City's Record On Energy Conservation

(Mayor Ivan Court)
      (File Photo)

Mayor Ivan Court says he's sick and tired of the city being accused of missing an opportunity this past weekend to conserve energy during earth hour. Court says the city has implemented energy conservation measures that have saved taxpayers more than a million dollars a year.
The Mayor calls Saint John one of the greenest cities in North America and it isn't because of what industry has done.

Saint John Fundy M-L-A Wants Back In Provincial Cabinet

Stuart Jamieson could have his old job back if the Premier goes along with his conditions. The Saint John Fundy MLA and former Tourism Minister says he was approached about returning to the caucus by Government house leader Greg Byrne after the NB Power deal fell apart last week.
Jamieson tells CHSJ News that he won't go back unless he is restored to his cabinet post. Jamieson tells us from what he is hearing, he will not be invited back to cabinet.
He was forced to resign in February because he didn't think the NB Power deal was good for the province.

Mayor Warned By Truckers About Harbour Bridge Repairs

As the to and fro continues over how those repairs to the Harbour Bridge should be paid for, Mayor Ivan Court says he has heard from the Atlantic Trucking Association and it could be devastating for the city. The truckers considering moving all of their traffic, which accounts for 60% of the revenue for the Harbour Bridge, through Houlton, Maine. The Mayor estimates that would amount to something like 400 thousand trucks bypassing the bridge and he's calling on the federal and provincial governments to sit down immediately and work something out.

Transforming Reversing Falls Won't Come Cheap

The ball is now in the city's court...Common Council has been told it will cost more than 35 million dollars to reinvigorate Reversing Falls and turn it into a 21st century tourist attraction. The GM of Waterfront Development, Kent MacIntyre says they expect to receive a boost later this year when they believe they will receive the UNESCO geopark designation. Waterfront Development is also applying to be designated as a charitable organisation which would make it easier to secure corporate donations. MacIntyre warns without the city on board, they won't be taken seriously. Council has been told Reversing Falls has been in decline for sometime and has now been delisted by the provincial tourism department.

Not All Roadwork Approved By Common Council Was Done

Deputy Mayor Stephen Chase is blaming the escalating costs for a new police headquarters and parking garage at Peel Plaza for the city not spending all the money allocated by Common Council on much needed roadwork. Chase says the estimated cost is now up to 55 or 60 million dollars and that's why he isn't giving his support despite the need for a new police station. Deputy City Manager Andrew Beckett says some projects were deferred because matching funds from the other two levels of government were not made available, a contract bid, in one case was far too high, or the design work and planning took longer than anticipated. Beckett also reminded Council it was warned last year that the Capital budget it approved was too large.

City Staff Say They Felt Threatened At Recent Public Meeting

Guidelines on how the city should conduct public meetings will be drawn up after city staff said they felt threatened at a recent meeting at the Lily Lake Pavilion on what sort of development should be permitted along Sandy Point Road adjacent to Rockwood Park. Also included will be how members of the pubic should conduct themselves. Councillor Patty Higgins says people got upset when no one in authority seemed to know where the boundary to Rockwood Park and this is overkill but fellow Councillor Peter McGuire says staff must be protected.

Monday, March 29, 2010

City also prepares for heavy rain tonight

Get ready for rain, the city of Saint John is expected to get up to 70 Millimetres of rain tonight. Residents living in areas that are flood-prone should prepare for possible flooding.

Municipal Operations will be monitoring weather conditions and advise residents to check catchbasins or ditches near their property for debris.

Police will be monitoring flooded roads and advise residents to use caution when driving and to observe barricades and road closures.

Search Continues for Oil and Gas

Provincial coffers are reaping the benefits of the search for oil and natural gas.

$2.3 million in new revenue is now on the books along with a commitment by an American energy company to spend almost $47 million on exploration.

Southwestern Energy Company of Houston has been granted a three-year licence to search on an area covering more than 934,000 hectares.

It stretches from the Richibucto-Buctouche region across the province to Charlotte County.

There is also an area of 84,000 hectares located in the southeastern half of the province.

Corridor Resources Inc. and Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc are now producing natural gas from the McCully Field in the Sussex area.

There is also a small amount of oil being produced in the Stoney Creek Field near Moncton.

NB Power Earth Hour Numbers are In

Not as many people around the Province participated in Earth Hour this year.

18 mega-watts or the equivalent of 360,000 light bulbs were turned off Saturday night, that compared to 20 mega-watts last year.

NB Power spokes-person Marianne Limpert tells CHSJ News, you don't need to wait for Earth Hour every year to cut down on your power consumption.

Limpert adds she can only guess that it might have been the cold temperatures which cut back on this years participation.

We still haven't heard back from Saint John Energy on it's Earth Hour numbers.

Seadogs Still Waiting for Round Two Opponents

The Moncton Wildcats are not coming to Harbour Station on Friday.

Many people are under the impression that Moncton will take on Saint John in round two which gets started Friday night.

Saint John's next opponent how-ever will be either Montreal, Gatineau or Chicoutimi.

Dogs President Wayne Long tells CHSJ News, for most fans, the dream match-up is Saint John taking on the Wildcats.

Long adds the team isn't looking any further ahead than each series it is playing.

Tickets for Game Ones and two, Friday and Saturday night at the station are on sale at the box office.

Community Centers Get Provincial Funding

A pair of community centers in Greater Saint John are getting a new look thanks to Provincial funding.

$110,000 dollars is going into work at the Milford Center which includes replacing siding, windows and making repairs to walls.

$80,000 dollars is being spent on work at the at the Denis Morris Center which includes repairs to the floor, electrical and other projects.

City Police Officer Looking For Nomination

Dean Secord, a city police officer and president of the provincial police association is going after a career change.

His name is on the ballot to be the Conservative candidate in the riding of Saint John Lancaster. Secord tells CHSJ News, he likes his chances.
Secord says he was approached by the party twice and gave it plenty of consideration before making up his mind with the nomination party scheduled for the 28th of next month.

Business owners Dorothy Shepard and city councilor Chris Titus' names are still being thrown around as possible Conservative nominee's for the riding as well.

Time is quickly running out to get funding for bridge repairs

With no solution on funding, the Harbour Bridge Authority says it has between seven and ten days to get funding in place for repairs to the structure.
If not, a two-year project could stretch into three and bring with it traffic tie-ups. General Manager Ken Anthony tells CHSJ News, the west coast pension fund willing to loan the Authority the $35 million dollars is wondering what is going on.

Anthony calls it kind of ridiculous saying who would ever have thought it would come this but, as far as he knows they are still willing to deal with them.
Anthony adds discussions have been going on for months and why it has to come down to this....he isn't sure.

Rain and Plenty of It on the Way

It looks like we are going to make up for a 30% rain-fall shortage this month over the next few days.

A heavy rainfall warning has been issued for Greater Saint John and Environment Canada meteorologist Claude Cote tells CHSJ News, the majority of the water will fall tonight and tomorrow.

Cote says bite your lip when it comes to the rain this week because a beautiful long weekend with sunshine and above seasonal temperatures is on the way.

Emergency Measures on Flooding

The Provincial Emergency Measures Organization will keep close tabs on the rain-fall over the next few days.
The good news is, river levels are average or slowly below for this time of the year.

Spokes-person Carl Wilmot tells CHSJ News, if your home has been hit by flooding before, it's important to be prepared and make sure culverts and catch basins around your home are clear.

Wilmot adds EMO's major concern at this point is what is left to melt further north and what that could bring down stream.

M-P Rodney Weston Defended On Harbour Bridge Repairs

(Saint John Portland M-L-A Trevor Holder)
             (Photo by Brian McLain)

Saint John Portland M-L-A Trevor Holder is coming to the defense of M-P Rodney Weston on the controversial issue of funding 35 million dollars in repairs to the Harbour Bridge. Weston is withholding his support for the Harbour Bridge Authority to borrow the money until he finds out what it will eventually wind up costing Saint Johnners. Holder tells CHSJ News the provincial Liberals are only interested in scoring political points. He calls it the pettiest political manoevering he has witnessed in his 11 and a half years as an M-L-A. Holder says his party would like to see a joint funding agreement to pay for the repairs between the provincial and federal governments since the debt on the bridge has now risen to 22 and a half million dollars. Opposition Leader David Alward is also calling for the bridge to become part of Highway One with the debt being written off by Ottawa and the tolls removed. The debt is now larger than what it cost to build the bridge back in the late sixties.

Grocery Store For People In South-Central Peninsula Moves Ahead

The idea of setting up a grocery store to serve people who live in the uptown and south end has been given a boost with completion of the feasibility study. Mark Leger of the steering committee tells CHSJ News Co-Op Atlantic is still very much interested in making it something more than just a place to buy food. Ideas such as a wellness clinic being attached as well, a drug store and even a community kitchen where people could go to learn about how to cook nutritious meals have been tossed about.
Leger warns it sometimes will take as long as 3 years to get a store operating. The effort has been going on now for a year. There has not been a supermarket in the south-central peninsula ever since the I-G-A shut down and was replaced in Prince Edward Square Mall with Giant Tiger.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Several Crack Ups in Sussex over the Weekend

A busy weekend for Sussex RCMP.

On Friday evening around 6 o'clock a 48 year old Sussex man followed a 41 year old man from Clover Hill on Route 121 and crashed into him.
The two men are known to each other, and the driver of the vehicle that struck the other will be appearing in court at a later date to face Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle charges.
Then around 9:30 a 17 year old driver lost control of his vehicle and rolled on Route 124. The driver and two occupants were wearing their seatbelts and remained unharmed.
And around 4 o'clock in the morning a 17 year old driver from Picadilly ended up in a ditch. The youth is facing failing to remain at the scene of a collision charges after someone called the police after hearing the commotion. The teenager turned himself in late yesterday morning

Costco Continues to Gear Up For Big Opening

With just under two months before the doors open, staff at Costco continue to get Saint John and area residents familiar with what it has to offer. Marketing representative Cathy Ward tells CHJSJ News, the membership blitz is underway:

Ward adds they are still on track to open May.27th but are still in the process of going through resumes to hire staff, some-where in the area of 160 people, 57% being full time.

Transition Housing Benefiting Homeless

You may have seen the storefront "Outflow" on Waterloo Street by Union which started serving a large meal once a week and now serves more than 150 people who are struggling to get by, many of them homeless. Mark Leger of the Greater Saint John Homelessness Steering Committee tells CHSJ News not all is doom and gloom despite the need for more social housing.
Leger does point out there's no emergency shelter for women and children who are homeless and not victims of domestic violence but just don't have enough money for rent. The average rent for a two bedroom apartment these days is 644 dollars a month.

Fight Against Poverty Top Priority for MLA

Supply and Services Minister Ed Doherty says the ongoing battle against poverty will remain his top priority in the Saint John Harbour riding.

Doherty is re-offering in the September 27th provincial vote -- and -- he tells CHSJ News poverty reduction is crucial in the riding:
So far two people have indicated they want the the Conservative nomination in the riding -- west side volunteer John Campbell and councilor Carl Killen -- former councilor Carl White is also said to be considering a run for the Tory nomination.

Another Councillor Considering Provincial Politics

To go along with his already busy schedule, councilor Donnie Snook has a decision to make. He has been approached as a possible candidate for the Conservatives in Saint John Harbour. Snook tells CHSJ News, he really enjoys his work at City Hall:

Snook says he is still focused on his municipal duties and doesn't expect the party to hold a nomination meeting until May.

Feds Not Rushing to Approve Harbour Bridge Loan

Despite all the pressure and criticism from the provincial Liberals, Saint John M-P Rodney Weston is standing firm on the federal government not rushing to give the go ahead to the Harbour Bridge Authority to borrow 35 million dollars for repairs. Weston tells CHSJ News he's well aware the Saint John Board of Trade considers those repairs to be urgent.

Weston points out 18 million dollars was borrowed to build the bridge in 1968 and there's still a debt of 22 and a half owing and he doesn't want to see the same thing happening.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Fire Rips Through Home in Martinon

A home in Martinon has suffered severe damage after fire ripped through it tonight.

City Crews were called to 20 Granville Lane just before nine o'clock to find flames coming from the basement area of the home.

One person was sleeping but got out alive thanks to a working smoke detector.

Officials are not calling the fire suspicious and tell us it got started near the wood stove in the basement.

Irving Refinery Marks Earth Hour

Earth Hour Goes Tonight

The world movement to reduce power usuage will happen tonight but the City of Saint John is acknowledging Earth Hour in its own way. Spokesperson Leah Fitzgerald tells CHSJ News, they are going to continue to do what they do everyday by turning off non essential lights and turning down heat and air exchange systems.
The town of Quispamsis is encouraging citizens to take part. Earth Hour takes place tonight between 8:30 to 9:30. People are being encouraged to turn their lights out for the hour. Also participating this year is the Irving Oil Refinery which will turn off the lights on it's storage tanks and the LED light at the main entrance.

Independent Candidate to Challenge Both Keir And Parrot

A resident of Lorneville who ran for Common Council in 2004 and was defeated is taking a stab at provincial politics. Ed Hoyt is running as an independent against incumbent Jack Keir in Fundy River-Valley and Conservatiive nominee Dr. Jim Parrot. Hoyt tells CHSJ News he found the Conservative Party leadership to be too controlling about what individual candidates can say and do. He warns Keir, he has become too arrogant for his own good.
Hoyt was considering carrying the Conservative banner for Saint John Lancaster but says he made the decision himself to withdraw.

Youth Arrested After Security Guards Stabbed

A teenager is behind bars after two security guards at McAllister Place were stabbed last night. City Police say the victims were treated and released from hospital after being stabbed in their legs. A suspect was arrested early this morning. According to police, a scuffle began when a youth tried to cash in a stolen gift certificate at Toys R' Us.

Opposition Leader Offers Up Solutions on Property Assessments And Harbour Bridge

(Provincial Conservative Leader David Alward)
                  (Photo by Brian McLain)

Adding another 35 million dollars worth of debt on the Harbour Bridge doesn't make sense to Provincial Conservative Leader David Alward who was in town last night for the party's nomination meeting in East Saint John. Alward tells CHSJ News the repairs should be jointly paid for by the provincial and federal governments but then looking beyond that he says the bridge should become part of Highway One with the federal government writing off the 22 million dollar debt and removing the tolls. Alward is also proposing a three per cent cap on property assessments until a long term solution is found to the escalating tax bills for homeowners. He charges the Graham Government botched the issue by not consulting with the municipalities.

Glen Tait To Run For Conservatives In Saint John East

(Saint John East Conservative Candidate Glen Tait)
                    (Photo by Brian McLain)

What a mess we are going to inherit.......That message delivered by former Fire Chief and Common Councillor Glen Tait who will be running in Saint John East for the Conservatives after being acclaimed with no opposition. Tait tells CHSJ News there is no shortage of issues on the east side. He says flooding must be addressed and it will take provincial involvement to get that done. Tait also hasn't given up hope on a second oil refinery being built. Tait told his nomination meeting the failed NB Power deal was the inevitable sinking of Captain Shawn Graham's ship. He points to his own credentials for having to make tough decisions as head of the firefighters union and then as Chief.

Tories Say They Will Be Ready In Saint John Harbour

A Conservative party official admits Saint John Harbour isn't a Tory stronghold -- but -- work is underway to bolster the party's fortunes.
Yesterday we told you about some grumbling over an apparent lack of preparation for a nomination meeting -- but -- party Executive Director Stewart Fairgrieve tells CHSJ News planning is underway with an annual general meeting to be held soon.
Fairgrieve says a new executive will be elected and a date set for the nomination meeting.
Two people have already announced intentions to seek the nomination -- west sider John Campbell and councilor Carl Killen while former councilor Carl White is also said to be thinking about a bid.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Seadogs Take Care of the Rocket

(Center Ice Shot at Harbour Station)
      (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

Jonathan Huberdeau scored four points including a hat trick as the Saint John Seadogs beat the Rocket 7-2 to take the best of seven opening round series 4-1.

The Dogs will have a week to rest and Head Coach Gerard Gallant says they aren't spending a lot of time worrying about who they will face next.

Tickets for the second round of the play-offs go on sale today at noon at the Harbour Station box office.

Games one and two will be played this Friday and Saturday at the Station.

Seadogs Move on to the Second Round

Alward Will Work With Feds To Remove Harbour Bridge Tolls

Saint John East Tories Crown Tait As Candidate

Liberals Defend Their Harbour Bridge Motion

(Energy Minister Jack Keir)
         (File Photo)

No new results have been produced following an over three hour debate concerning the Harbour Bridge in the Legislature.

The Opposition Conservatives tried to delay bridge work pending a long-term federal-provincial management agreement.

Energy Minister Jack Keir tells CHSJ News, the solution to this problem is not complicated........Ottawa needs to approve the budget so construction can get underway.
Keir adds Ottawa is playing petty politics and Saint John Portland MLA Trevor Holder is right in the middle of it.

MLA for Saint John Portland on Harbour Bridge

(Saint John Portland MLA Trevor Holder)
                  (File Photo)

Trevor Holder is stunned the Graham Government has declared the Harbour Bridge is not it's responsibility.

That came out as part of the debate in the Legislature today. The MLA for Saint John Portland tells CHSJ News, the Conservative motion is calling for a Federal-Provincial agreement to be signed immediately.

Holder adds the Liberals presented a toothless motion which they tried to strengthen, but it was also voted down.

City Points Shine In New Survey

(Photo courtesy Imperial Theatre)

The city is once again shining in a new survey of readers of a Halifax based business magazine.
The latest edition of "Progress" magazine lists the Imperial Theatre as the best cultural space in Atlantic Canada.
Happinez Wine Bar is rated as the best place to take clients for a quiet drink while Sebastian's across the street came in as N-B runner up.
Other runners up include Shucker's Restaurant -- Handworks Gallery -- and -- the Marco Polo Cruise Terminal for best large event space.

New Chairman of Airport

The Board of Directors of the Saint John Airport has elected Wayne Power as its new chairman.

He has served as a Board Member since 2006 as a nominee of the City of Saint John and is currently a Vice President at J.D. Irving Limited.
Power was born and raised in New Brunswick and holds both Canadian and an American citizenship.

Work continues to bring more doctors to the province

Over 1500 physicians are practising in this province including 736 family practitioners and 801 specialists.
That from the Department of Health.
There are 169 more doctors practising in the province than there were in October 2006.

Health Minister Mary Schryer tells us her department is committed to fostering an environment of recruitment and retention of physicians in all regions of the province.
A committee that will involve representatives from key organizations to help recruit doctors will be established this spring.

CFB Gagetown participates in Earth Hour early

CFB Gagetown is taking part in Earth Hour a day early by eliminating all unnnecessary energy usage today between 3 and 4 this afternoon.
Base Commander Michael Pearson tells CHSJ News they decided to do it today during peak work hours to ensure it has the biggest impact.

All base personnel as well as the Military Family Resource Centre and the Canadian Forces Housing Authority will be taking part.

Earth Hour is a global initiative to conserve energy by turning all power for one hour.
It's happening tomorrow night between 8:30 to 9:30 local time.

Private Meeting Confirmed By Tory Hopefuls

Both declared candidates for the Saint John Harbour nomination confirm they have been invited to a meeting next week.
John Campbell tells us he presumes it has something to do with the nomination process in the riding -- he says it appears there is a lack of organization at the riding level.
Carl Killen tells CHSJ News he's not aware of any discontent within the local organization -- one which he understands has not been very active -- but -- says he's never been involved in a nomination process so isn't sure what to expect.

Grumbling Within Tory Ranks In Saint John Harbour

As local Tories gather for this evening's nomination meeting in Saint John East -- there are some rumblings of discontent within party circles in Saint John Harbour.
The Tories have not held the riding in over 30-years -- community activist John Campbell and councilor Carl Killen have announced they are seeking the nomination while former councilor Carl White is rumoured to be interested as well.
But -- sources tell CHSJ News there's a lack of organization -- the riding's annual general meeting has been cancelled -- there is no executive in place -- and -- potential candidates have been invited to a private meeting next week to discuss the selection process -- we have placed a call to party headquarters in Fredericton.
Meantime -- the Liberals have already nominated Supply and Services Minister Ed Doherty to again carry the party banner in the September 27th election.

Rothesay Regional Police Appeal For Public's Help

A break and enter earlier this week into a home in Quispamsis has taken on special signifcance for Rothesay Regional Police. A laptop and flat screen TV were stolen but police say they belonged to a young man who passed away when he was just in his twenties and his parents wanted to keep them for their sentimental value. If you can help locate them, give police a headsup at 847-6300 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-tips.

Dan Robertson Blood Donor Clinic To Be Held Today In Quispamsis

With over 41 brand new donors alone last year, organizers of the 2nd annual Dan Robertson blood donor clinic are hoping to match or exceed that number. Things get started this afternoon at two at the Good Life Fitness Center in Quispamsis. His sister Rhonda tells CHSJ News, Dan was so grateful for all the donations made during his treatment because without those, he would not have lived two months beyond his diagnosis.
The clinic is open from two this afternoon until six this evening.

Board Of Trade Presses For Harbour Bridge Repairs

(Board of Trade President Imelda Gilman)
                   (File Photo)

The Saint John Board of Trade met with the provincial Transportation Minister on the need for repairs to the Harbour Bridge.
The B-O-T along with the Atlantic Trucking Association and Enterprise Saint John sent a letter to Denis Landry requesting a meeting to discuss finding a resolution.
President Imelda Gilman tells CHSJ News that meeting was held yesterday with Landry, Mayor Ivan Court and Energy Minister Jack Keir and the stumbling block to proceed remains the Federal Government withholding its approval for the Harbour Bridge Authority to secure a loan to carry out the repairs estimated to cost 35 million dollars.
Gilman adds they have requested a meeting with Saint John MP Rodney Weston because time is running out on getting this work done.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

City Man Picks Up Lotto Winnings

(Josh Clain, Morgan Sellars, Mary and Anthony Clain)
 (photo courtesy of Atlantic Lotto)

Saint John's latest millionaire has his 7.6 million dollars from Atlantic Lotto.
Josh Clain's winnings were held up because of a family connection to a lottery retailer.
Clain's girlfriend Morgan Sellars tells CHSJ News they are glad the wait is over.
Clain bought his winning ticket at a store on the west side and won the money in the February 20th draw of Lotto 6-49.
He says they plan to take a cruise, travel across Canada and invest some of the winnings.
Clain is sharing his lottery prize with his parents and girlfriend.

Alward says future energy planning in jeopardy after failed deal

Future strategic energy planning in the province is now vulnerable because of all the information that was handed over to Quebec in the failed negotiations to sell some of the assets of NB Power. That charge being levelled by Provincial Conservative Leader David Alward. And he has a warning about the ground shifting in the political landscape of the province because of all the people who were riled up over the proposed sale.

Alward will be in the city tomorrow night for the party's nomination meeting in East Saint John at the Hampton Inn. Former Fire Chief and Common Councillor Glen Tait announced back in the fall that he would be going after that nomination.

C.U.P.E. calls for changes to Canada Pension Plan

The Harper Government is looking for new ideas on how to reform this country's pension system. That's one of the issues the Canadian Union of Public Employees will be talking about at its annual convention in Fredericton. The President of CUPE New Brunswick, Daniel Legere tells CHSJ News more money will have to be put into the Canada Pension Plan by both workers and government.

Concern over whether baby boomer retirees will have enough to live on has escalated since the financial meltdown decimated R-R-S-P's.

Homeless Youth in Saint John

There could be from 150 to 200 young Saint Johnners without a place to live. That, according to Colin MacDonald of the Resource Centre for Youth. He tells CHSJ News there is an immediate need in the city to help them from a downward spiral.

MacDonald says many times they will be given a place to live by crack dealers who turn them on to the drug trade or use them as prostitutes. According to the report on homelessness, there are 70 emergency shelter beds in Greater Saint John and 934 people used them last year.

Last Of Education Town Hall Meetings Tonight

The last of the District 8 town hall meetings goes tonight with organizers looking for feedback on their schools from parents.
The meetings started back in January in Grand Bay-Westfield and have also been held at Bayside Middle School and at St. Malachy's.
If your child attend's a different school, you can still come to tonight's meeting at Princess Elizabeth School.
Tonight's meeting gets started at 7pm.

No Big Change With Gas Prices

If you're filling up today, there has been very little change in gas prices following the weekly setting. The maximum that can be charged for self serve regular is a bit lower at104.2 a litre and it's being sold around town for 101.9. The maximum for diesel is unchanged at 106.3 and is being sold in the city for 103.7 a litre. Furnace Oil is a bit lower at 90.1 with another decrease in the price of propane which is now listed at 105.2 a litre.

Fire Causes Power Outage

There was a power outage after a transformer caught fire on a utility pole along Pugsley Avenue. Fire crews responded first but had to wait until Saint John Energy arrived. There was alot of sparking from the transformer which caught the attention of nearby residents and caused some concern.

Fallout From Shelving Of NB Power Deal

The President of Saint John Energy found news of the cancelled NB Power/Hydro Quebec deal yesterday a bit surprising.
Eric Marr tells CHSJ News a new provincial energy policy should address the aging infrastructure that all municipal utilities but the main thrust should be protect consumers from rate shock.

The New Brunswick Forest Products Association is appealing to all parties to find an immediate solution to rising power rates. This on the heels of the NB Power Hydro Quebec proposal being squashed. President Mark Aresenault is disappointed with the decision as a major piece of their business plan was the five year rate freeze. Arsenault says now they are faced with rate hikes in electricity rates near or over 20% with the proposal gone.

The death of the energy deal between NB Power and Hydro Quebec is great news for the many provincial groups who spent months fighting against it. Tom Mann of NB Power-Not for Sale! tells CHSJ News they are thrilled it's not happening but, are focused now on what comes next. Mann adds when you tally up the costs associated with negotiating the deal and adverstising it, the cost to provincial taxpayers will be in the millions.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Green Leader Calls Failed Deal An Opportunity

The leader of the provincial Green Party says now is the time to open discussion on the future of renewable energy in our province.
Jack MacDougall says his party's energy platform has been on the table for some time -- and -- he's hoping the others will follow.
Meantime -- MacDougall tells CHSJ News he's not about to count Premier Graham out just yet despite the political damage he's suffered as a result of the failed deal.
But -- MacDougall says support for the Green Party is growing across the province.

Saint John's Newset Car Dealership Is Open

(Open House at New Lexus Dealership)
       (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

Saint John's newest car dealership is officially open for business.

Lexus held an open house tonight to let everyone get a good look at what it has to offer.

General Manager Cathy Coyle tells CHSJ News, this dealership has been ten years in the making with the leg work carried out by Keary Coyle.

Coyle says there has been a lot of traffic since they opened two weeks ago with 15 staff on the payroll.

Political Scientist Says Graham Government Not Out Of Woods

An example of cutting your losses-is how UNB Saint John political scientist describes the Graham government scrapping of their energy deal with Hydro Quebec.

Don Desserud tells CHSJ news the Premier and his government are not out of the woods yet.
Desserud says this will give them a chance to recover but time is not long enough to roll out another policy that would make people forget the failures of the past.
He adds he would not be suprised if the Premier stepped down but he does not think that push will come from his caucus saying the Liberal party will support him.

Missing Moncton Woman Found

A missing Moncton woman has been found alive -- 54-year old Donna O'Rielly was found over the noon hour in Moncton.
She was reported missing February 26th after she failed to arrive home from her job at downtown shopping mall.
Police are piecing together the details surrounding her disappearance and are expected to release more details later this afternoon.

Group Opposed To Energy Deal Pleased It's Not Proceeding

The Coalition to Stop the Sale of NB Power calls today tremendous with news the deal is scrapped but concede their work is not finished.

Greg Cook tells CHSJ News the Graham Government never properly answered the questions the people had on the deal.
Cook adds the answers did not make sense and even the public relations firm the government hired could not spin it.
Cook says he's telling their Facebook group members to keep watch because there are some very unhappy corporate interests and more questions to be answered.

Energy Board Will Hold Public Hearing On Profit And Cost Margins

The provincial Energy and Utilities Board is going to hold a public hearing as part of its review of maximum profit margins - delivery costs - and - full service charges.
The Board says the hearing will be open to both petroleum dealers and members of the general public for comment.
The hearing will be held in the fall -- but -- the Board hasn't given a specific date.

Baby Sling recall

(courtesy of Canadian Press)

The warning issued early this month about baby slings is now upgraded to an outright recall.
More than one-million baby slings made by Infantino are being called back after claims linking them to three infant deaths.
The recall covers 15-thousand Infantino ``SlingRider'' and ``Wendy Bellissimo'' slings sold in Canada.
The U-S Consumer Product Safety Commission is warning that babies can suffocate in the soft fabric slings.
Parents are being told to stop using the slings for babies under four months immediately.

No Apologies From The Graham Government

The Opposition Conservatives have failed in a bid to have the Graham government apologize to New Brunswickers for its handling of the controversial N-B Power sale.
Energy Minister Jack Keir says there won't be any apology for trying to do what was right for New Brunswickers.
Keir says the only plan the Tories have for fixing the utility is to "manage it better" -- something he says they failed to do during their seven years in office.

Conservative Leader responds to news of cancelled power deal

Opposition leader David Alward says the Premier shouldn't expect any brownie points from those who opposed the deal just because it's not going ahead.

Alward says the Premier called it his deal and the people of the province will hold him responsible when this is done

Alward says the Premier fell victim to his own arrogance.

Energy Deal between NB and Quebec cancelled

A political bombshell in the Legislature from Premier Shawn Graham.
The premier says it's with much regret they are no longer proceeding with discussion to finalize the energy agreement with Hydro Quebec.
The Premier still maintains the original deal announced last October and the revised agreement in January were in the best interests of the province.
He says over the past several weeks Hydro Quebec asked for changes that Graham says would take value and added risk to the agreement for New Brunswickers.
Graham does concede he could have done a better job of involving people in the process.