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Monday, January 4, 2010

Replacements Announced for Murphy

(Premier Shawn Graham)

Premier Graham has announced the replacements for Mike Murphy in the wake of his resignation. Local Government Minister Bernard LeBlanc will succeed Murphy as minister of justice and consumer affairs. Social Development Minister Kelly Lamrock will assume additional duties as attorney general. Finance Minister Greg Byrne will take over Murphy's role as government house leader.

Moncton East MLA Chris Collins has been named to succeed LeBlanc as minister of local government. Collins will be sworn in as minister next Tuesday when the Legislature resumes sitting. Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault will be appointed as deputy government house leader. Restigouche-la-Vallée MLA Burt Paulin will succeed Collins as government whip.

Conservatives React to Murphy Resigning

(Conservative Leader David Alward)

Saying it is not a suprise, the Opposition Conservatives are out with their own perspective on why Mike Murphy has stepped down. In a release, the party says the people of this Province have lost confidence in this government and clearly the Premier’s own MLAs are also unable to support the decisions this government is making. Minister Murphy is the second Liberal minister to resign his cabinet post but the first to declare he intends to leave, not just the cabinet but also the caucus.

Former Minister of Justice and Attorney General, T.J. Burke announced he was resigning from his cabinet position in June following a cabinet shuffle that landed him as Minister of Environment. The party applauds Murphy for his hard work and admit the decision has to be a tough one.

MIke Murphy is Getting Out of Politics

(Justice Minister
  Mike Murphy)

Big news out of Moncton today. Justice Minister Mike Murphy is resigning his cabinet post and seat in the Legislature. That is confirmed to our news-room by Colin Caruthers who works at the Minister's office in Moncton. Caruthers tells CHSJ News, all of the details will be announced at a news conference this afternoon at one in Moncton at Murphy's riding office.

Caruthers adds Murphy is working on a few files he wishes to finish up before stepping away from the job in five weeks time. Murphy served as Health Minister for the first two years of the current Graham Governments mandate.

Blaney Reacts to Murphy's News

(Rothesay Conservative MLA
     Margaret Ann Blaney)

The initial reaction from Rothesay Conservative MLA Margaret Ann Blaney on Murphy's annoucement is shock. With some speculating the Minister is stepping down to distance himself from the NB Power proposal, Blaney tells CHSJ News, that isn't for her to comment.

Blaney and Murphy have had some legendary battles both in and out of the Legislature and Blaney says he is a worthy advesary.

No Name Being Released After Teenager Killed

The investigation continues into a New Years Day Crash on the West-Side that killed a 19-year old man. He was killed when the vehicle he was a passenger in left the Sand Cove Road just after four in the morning and hit a hydro pole. The family has requested the man's name not be released to the media.

Sargeant Pat Bonner tells CHSJ News, it could be a few weeks before the blood sample taken from the woman driving is returned to them.

Steady Growth for the West Side

Growth and plenty of it is coming to the community across the bridge. President of the West Side Business Association Blaine Harris confirms to CHSJ News, Papa John's is opening a restaurant on Fairville Boulevard. No word on when construction will get started but the sit down restaurant will be open this year. Also set to start construction is crews on the new Canadian Tire-Marks Work Warehouse store, also on Fairville Boulevard.

Harris tells us construction on that store, which will be located right behind the current set-up, is set to get started in April. As for a movie theater, Harris tells us they are still in negotiations with Empire Theater and hope to have some good news this year.

Looking For a Solution to Westgate Flooding

City staff is looking into ways to fix the problem of flooding in the Westgate area and the acting city manager is recommending hiring a consultant. Engineering consultants CBCL Limited has put together a proposal to look for solutions, after a study was conducted by city staff. The proposal has a price tag of over $73 thousand dollars, and aims to conduct a thorough study on the drainage systems in the Westgate Park area.

CBCL has done other drainage studies for the city and this topic will be up for discussion at tonight's council meeting getting underway at 6:30.

A Plea to Plant Spruce Trees

Trees are our best friends..........So says Saint John High teacher Barry Ogden who also chairs the city's Recreation Committee. Ogden spearheaded the Marigolds on main Street campaign and now wants as many people in the city as possible to plant spruce trees.

Ogden says spruce trees would make the city more green in the winter.

Radio Stations Are Getting a Facelift

(Country 94 and 97.3 The Wave From King Street View)
                       (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

Our radio stations are getting a make-over. Country 94 and 97.3 The Wave are under construction and that is why you don't see any one in the studio windows, for now. Phase one includes gutting of the front half of the main floor of the building at 58 King Street. When finished next month, both stations will have new state of the art, store front studios and newsroom.

The stations' reception area has also been temporarily relocated to the second floor if your coming in to pick up a prize. Most of the work will be carried out overnight but you may notice the sound of a hammer or other equipment in the background as you listen through the day. Total cost of the project is half a million dollars.

Weekend Storm Ravages Maritimes

A weather bomb hit the Maritimes over the weekend dumping close to 30 centimeters of snow in the Saint John region. The cleanup is now underway with roads and sidewalks slushy and slippery in spots after the light snow turned to drizzl in the city. A parking ban was imposed in the uptown. City Police tell CHSJ News 15 vehicles have been towed. If you're parked in once of the city lots, your vehicle must be out of there by 7 this morning. Three deaths in the region over the weekend have been attributed to the storm. As of last night, NB Power was reporting more than 100 outages affecting almost 3 thousand people, mostly in the Miramichi. A state of emergency was declared in Port Elgin where two dozen people had to be rescued from homes that were flooded from the storm surge. Some cottages were lifted from their foundations.