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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Casino New Brunswick Feeling Some Heat

The Acadian Society is lashing out at Casino New Brunswick.

A lack of french in the facility on both the slot machines and poker tables has the Society asking why it isn't complying with bilingual legislation.

Business Minister Victor Boudreau says the Province has spoken with officials at the facility and they are looking for a solution.

Casino manager Stephen Hancock says efforts are underway to meet all provincial languages and one of the concerns with french is if poker players speak different languages, it could give some an unfair advantage.

New Minister for Liberal Cabinet

     (Premier Shawn Graham Speaks With the Media)
                (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

No word on who it will be, but a new member of the Liberal Caucus is set to be unveiled in the next two weeks.

The Minister for Public Engagement is being put in place to get voters engaged and find solutions to the many challenges facing the Province.

Premier Graham says this follows in the success of the parties many public engagement strategies.

Graham also has other portfolio's to fill including Tourism and Parks and says there will be more questions answered when the new minister is unveiled.

Holder reacts to news of Public Engagement Minister

(Saint John Portland MLA Trevor Holder)

The MLA for Saint John Portland finds it ironic the Liberals adding a Public Engagement Minister to their caucas since he thinks they have failed to to engage the public on most issues.

Trevor Holder tells CHSJ News public engagement is what MLA's should already be doing.
He calls it an excuse by the Liberals to give out an expense account and a government car.

Holder says the Liberals point to the Poverty Reduction Strategy as a success in engaging the public but, Holder says it's their only one.

Board of Trade gets new chair

(Mike Murphy, new Chair for the Saint John Board of Trade)
             (Staff File)
Municipal planning and the refurbishment of Harbour Bridge are two priorities that Mike Murphy, the new chair of the Saint John Board of Trade, hopes to tackle this year.

Murphy, who has been with the Board of Trade for 12 years, says he has more questions than answers going in, and is nervous about getting everything done.

Outgoing chair Kathy Craig says Murphy's biggest challenge will be getting the proper amount of input from Saint Johners for the municipal plan.
Her parting advice for Murphy is to take his time and keep moving the issues forward.

Contract for Harbour Bridge repairs is awarded

A 32.6 million dollar contract has been awarded to an Ontario company for repairs on the Harbour Bridge.
Bridge Authority General Manager Ken Anthony tells CHSJ News that the traffic will be impacted.
He says work will start this weekend and will not affect traffic until May 15th.
The work will continue until the end of October.
Concrete USL of Bolton, Ontario has been awarded the contract.

Candidates Lined Up To Run Provincially For Conservatives In The K-V

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

The Conservatives have their candidates in place in the K-V for the September 27th provincial election. Blaine Higgs, the Director of Business Development for Irving Oil will be nominated for the riding of Quispamsis tomorrow night. This will be a joint event with the riding of Rothesay where long serving M-L-A Margaret Ann Blaney, who was first elected in 1999, will be reaffirmed. Party leader David Alward tells CHSJ News the credibility of the Graham Government will be the big issue when the campaign officially starts. Alward accuses the Liberals of fiscal mismanagement. Health Minister Mary Schryer has held the Quispamsis riding for the Liberals since 2006 when she defeated Brenda Fowlie.

Manufacturers And Exporters In Province Will Have To Change The Way They Do Business

Manufacturers and exporters in the province are said to be cautiously optimistic as they prepare to meet in Fredericton later this month. Some may find that surprising in light of the rise in the value of the loonie in relation to the U.S. dollar and the failed NB Power deal with Hydro Quebec that would have seen a dramatic reduction in electricity rates. The Regional Vice-President for Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, David Plante tells CHSJ News change will be the name of the game because electricity rates will continue rising. Plante says coming up with an energy policy for the province should be a priority. Another worry, according to Plante, is growing protectionism in the U.S.

Close To A Record But No Cigar

Yesterday was warm and unusually muggy for Saint John but, contrary to what you might believe, we did not reach a record high. The temperature did get up to 24.4 celcius just after 3:00 in the afternoon but fell short with the record high for the date being 25.6 degrees.

Car Fire Under Investigation

A taxi driver called City Police around 2:30 this morning to give them a heads up about a car on fire at 176 Metcalf Street in the north end. No one was injured but the cause of the fire is considered suspicious. The Major Crime Unit has been called in to investigate.

Harbour Station To Get New Scoreboard

By the 24th or 25th of this month, Harbour Station will have a new look. A new four screen high definition scoreboard and screen for the marquee will be installed. General Manager Mike Cadell tells CHSJ News, this is amazing technology.
Cadell compares the new scoreboard to watching four high definition televisions for some of those plays you might not be able to see from your seat.

Changes Coming to Highway One

If your morning commute brings you in from outside Saint John, there is a change coming to Highway One you need to know about. First of all, work on the One Mile Interchange is ramping up at Exit 125 at Crown Street and also the Allison Road and Wright Street Intersection beginning tomorrow. Then later this week and the first of next, the Crown Street Off-Ramp, Exit 125, will be permanently closed depending on weather. Traffic will be directed to a new ramp to access Allison Road.

City Police Using New Technology To Determine Problem Areas For Crime

E-S-R-I, a leading Geographic Information Systems company, is using the Saint John Police Department as an example of how to use crime mapping technology effectively. Brian Malone, Director of Knowledge Management for City Police, says crime mapping is a tool that allows them to see crimes in relation with their locations so problem areas can be identified.
After conducting a case study based entirely on Saint John's use of the product, E-S-R-I determined car thefts in the city are down by 18% and break and enters are down by 27%.

McHappy Day Across The City To Raise Money

If you can find some time, try to drop by one of the eight McDonalds locations in Greater Saint John. It's the 17th annual McHappy Day with a loonie from each Big Mac, McMuffin or Happy Meal sold going to the Boys and Girls Club. Spokes-person Amanda Masters tells CHSJ News, last year, $15,000 dollars was raised.
Mayor Ivan Court and Debbie Cooper with the Boys and Girls Club will get the day started with breakfast at the McDonalds on Fairville Boulevard. Masters adds 28 million dollars has been raised across the country on McHappy Day in the past 16 years