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Friday, June 29, 2012

Hiring For New Blood Services Call Centre Next Year

Hiring is expected to start next spring by Canadian Blood Services for its new contact centre to be located in its building on University Avenue and renovations alone will cost from 2 to 2 and a half million dollars.

That estimate from Chief Operating Officer Ian Mumford who says 16 to 20 people are expected to be working there by July of next year with 50, including five registered nurses, taking calls from across the country by July of 2014.

Mumford says Canadian Blood Services did not receive any money from the province. Blood product will be stored in the building and blood will still be collected there.

Finley In SJ To Give The Scoop On EI Changes

Federal Human Resources Minister Diane Finley in town today  as she wrapped up a whirlwind tour of Atlantic Canada. The Minister addressing widespread concerns about proposed changes to the EI program, which many have worried will have a negative impact on seasonal workers.

Finley tells CHSJ news the changes aren't going to hurt those workers as some believe. She says if you're looking for work in the off season and can't find it, EI will still be there for you. But if you're laid off in the off-season, she says there will be "incentives" to get you back out working again.

While the changes haven't been entirely finalized, she says one that will be effective in August is allowing part-time workers to keep 50 cents on every dollar they make instead of having it clawed back.

Whirligigs Galore All Summer

If you're looking for something different to do this Canada Day weekend - the Whirligigs exhibits may just be the answer.
The Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton and Kingsbrae Garden in St Andrews have various pieces of the wind driven whirligigs artwork by Atlantic Canadian artists on display from now until September 15th.
Locally - Chas MacKay is one of the artists contributing to the display.
The Kingsbrae Garden exhibit opened earlier this month while the Beaverbrook Art Gallery held it's official opening of the exhibit last night.
Acadia Broadcasting Limited - the parent company of Country 94 and 97.3 the Wave - is a proud sponsor of the exhibits.

Countryfest Is Set To Rock The qplex

Kevin Chase and Mike Biggar fans can get their fix at a brand new music event in the Valley this weekend.
Countryfest is an all day concert at the qplex, a first for the venue.
Marketing and Promotions Manager Aaron Kennedy tells CHSJ News they will also have food on site.

He says it's all a beer garden and will be held on the arena floor inside the qplex.
He adds people will be protected from the elements rain or shine.   

Countryfest begins at 4pm tomorrow at the qplex. 

For ticket info, click here

Insurance Industry Appears Happy With Proposed Changes

Balanced and well reasoned........That's how Bill Adams of the Insurance Bureau of Canada describes the provincial government's proposed changes to auto insurance.

Adams likes the idea of having a list of minor injuries because it gives greater clarity on what constitutes a minor injury.

Adams did not criticise the proposed increase in the minor injury cap from 25 hundred to 75 hundred dollars.

He does say it will take some time and alot of actuarial number crunching before it's determined the effect the changes would have on what you pay for auto insurance.

National Mental Health Strategy Unveiled

The National Mental Health Commission did exhaustive research in creating "Changing Directions Changing Lives" to create a mental health strategy for the entire country.

The new national approach and provincial mental health action plan share common ground on how to best provide help to those with mental health.
Provincial Health Minister Madeline Dube was in town today at Mental Health Recovery Services on Duke Street.

Dube tells CHSJ News it's a great example of what we need as they provide people with health assistance and support in getting a job and a home.

She says it's huge because people have a central place to come and work on the recovery side and have quality of life and this is what we want.

Dr. David Goldblum of the Mental Health Commission of Canada says they want to continue the dialogue on improving mental health care for everyone here and across the country.

A Change Of Plan For Canadian Blood Services

Canadian Blood Services describe it it as an enhanced role for the province in the national blood system as it announces the establishment of its second contact centre at its building on University Avenue which will, by July of 2014, have 50 people, including 5 registered nurses taking calls about blood from across the country 7 days a week.

The blood agency had been talking about putting the building up for sale.

Chief Operating Officer Ian Mumford also says the blood itself will be kept there right across from the Regional Hospital. He believes that short proximity will allay the fears of the medical community about running short. In any event, Mumford says performance will be tracked with benchmarks and the results of how it's working will be transparent.

Happy Canada Day, Saint John!

Most of us are counting down the hours to the long weekend--and uptown Saint John is playing host to some major celebrations this year. 

The Market Square Boardwalk is in the middle of 145 hours of performances to celebrate Canada's 145th anniversary. Stephany Peterson of the Hardman Group tells CHSJ News a slew of bands will be playing including headliners Hawksley Workman, Mother Mother, and country and folk acts.

The Canada Day fireworks start July 1 on the boardwalk at 10:15pm. 

For a full schedule click here

Morrisdale Crash Update

No one was seriously hurt after a head-on crash on Route 102 in Morrisdale. Constable. Jason Myatt tells CHSJ news a woman was treated for minor injuries at the hospital and later released.

The crash happening around 5pm yesterday. Traffic was backed up in both directions for a significant amount of time.

Strikers Issue Warning to "Scabs"

"We'll remember your names"--that warning from school board worker president Brien Watson to workers that cross the picket line at Maritime Broadcasting. The school board workers president says he hopes the "scabs" realize they'll have a hard time getting union jobs down the line now that they've crossed the picket line at MBS.

 With Saint John MBS workers on their 5th day of strike action, a number of members of school board local 380 came down to the corner of Union and Sidney Streets to lend their support.

Watson says all 30,000 CUPE workers stand behind the striking employees--- and this will only escalate from here.