Linked Header

Monday, October 31, 2011

Negotiations At A Standstill As Bus Strike Looms

A bus strike could be coming: talks between Acadian Coach Lines and the union representing 70 employees have stalled.

VP of Communications for Acadian Marc-Andre Varin tells CHSJ News the company is ready to go back to the table but the union has stepped away for now.

If a deal is not made, service could be distrupted as early as November 21st.

Varin says as of right now, Acadian does not have a contingency plan in place as he is hopeful a deal can be worked out.

Issues in the negotiations include driver assignments and wages.

Two Saint John Residents Killed In Weekend Crash

A weekend crash in Kent Junction taking the lives of two Saint John residents.

58-year-old Monique Marie Daigle, who celebrated her birthday the day before, and 57-year-old Vincent Daigle were killed Sunday afternoon when their vehicle lost control and were hit by a truck on Route 126.  A passenger, 47-year-old Donna-Lynn Martin of Miramichi was also killed.

Another vehicle also rear ended the truck but the other drivers were not seriously hurt.

RCMP says road conditions were slippery and snow packed at the time of the accident.

End Is Near For Bridge Grid Lock

City Not Alone In Pension Woes

Scotiabank's Chief Economist Warren Jestin says the city won't be alone in struggling with it's pension woes as other cities will be undergoing the same financial pains.

He tells CHSJ News the baby-boom generation is galloping towards retirement and low interest rates are leading to much lower return rates.

He says you will also find the same pension woes with the federal government and the private sector.

He says there will most likely be reforms in how pensions are handled in 2 to 5 years.

Meanwhile, the city is proposing to get rid of indexing to the cost of living in the latest revision to its pension plan.

Power Still Out In Rothesay

An update on the power outage in Rothesay.

NB Power tells us power should be restored soon but 232 customers are still without energy according to the the utility's website.

There are also about 45 homes in Sussex without electricity either.

A Late October Storm Is Not Unheard Of

It was an ugly end to the weekend with strong winds, rain and heavy snowfall catching many in Greater Saint John off guard and unprepared.
Environment Canada's Meteorologist Claude Cote tells CHSJ News the Saint John Airport reported 15 centimetres of snow.

In the Greater Saint John area, Cote says we got between 7 and 15 centimetres with strong wind gusts to 70 kilometres an hour making for a nasty Sunday.

It was a rain event in Moncton with over 50 millimetres but, our American friends were not so lucky with residents of Hartford, Connecticut digging out from 70 centimetres of snow.

Residents In Water Dispute Can No Longer Afford Lawyers

The hearing in from of the Mining Commission about whether 26 residents in Penobsquis will get compensated for damage to their homes and loss of water could last another year. 

One of the residents is Heather McCabe and she tells CHSJ News they no longer have a lawyer because it was getting too expensive. 

She says the group has already spend 10-thousand dollars on legal fees and they haven't been able to raise any more money.

McCabe says one lawyer they talked to estimated the legal bills could amount to 200 to 300 thousand dollars by the time its all said and done.

New Tourism Web Site To Be Developed

Discover Saint John plans to unveil a new website well before the next tourism season to try to attract more visitors to the city.

Jen Tupper of Discover Saint John tells CHSJ News the new website will be more interactive than what was inherited from Saint John Tourism with people able to get any questions they might have answered.

The current website got 127 thousand views this year, 95 thousand of whom were first timers.
Tupper says they were happy with the numbers but would like to engage people more on the website. 63 per cent of the people who visit Saint John live elsewhere in the province.

Empty Lots Replacing Torn Down Buildings In North End

The city is making a concerted effort to demolish over a hundred dilapidated buildings around town but the big question remains........What, if anything, will go up in their place?

Tammy Calvin of One Change in the North End tells CHSJ News the empty lots themselves are proving to be a problem with garbage being dumped on them.

Calvin goes on to say they have taken the old tires that have been dumped on the empty lots and filled them with flowers.

She also tells us on one of these empty lots in the neighbourhood, there are rebars sticking up which are a danger to the children who are using it as a playground.

Arson Suspected In Fire On West Side

There was a suspicious fire early this morning shortly after 2:30 in a vacant building at 418 City Line.

There was also a very brief harbour rescue yesterday afternoon between 2 and 3 when the winds were raging at the Royal Kennebecasis Yacht Club in Millidgeville after a boat crashed on the rocks.

Two men, one wearing a lifejacket and one without, both got out of the water on their own. The boat, though, was left foundering on the rocks.

Yesterday's storm caused numerous power outages with as many as 15 hundred people in Rothesay being left without electricity.

Activist Fears Transit Cuts May Impact Crescent Valley

Cuts to City transit service may be hurting the people who need it the most.
Crescent Valley activist Juanita Black tells CHSJ News they are afraid that will lose bus service in the evening and on Saturday.

She says she knows Frank McCarey at Saint John Transit and would not want his job but, she thinks Crescent Valley residents should be consulted on potential cuts to their bus service.