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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Britt's Fast Feet

14 minutes, 3 seconds and 48 milliseconds. That's Barry Britt's time at his 5000 metre heat, and his own personal best.

Hailing from Hampton and competing for Idaho University, the 23-year-old's time is the third fastest ever by a New Brunswick runner on the track, and also ranks the Saint John Club member 3rd in all of Canada.

Gabriel LeBlanc, the Technical Director of Athletics New Brunswick says he has no doubt that Britt will challenge the provincial record in the 5000 metre this year, and be a contender for a spot on the provincial team heading to the Jeux De La Francophonie in Nice, France. He adds that he thinks Britt will be among the elite of Canadian distance running in the upcoming years.

Green Party Will Sit Out Kent By-Election

The Green Party will not run a candidate in the riding of Kent for the April 15th by-election.

A news release says party leader David Coon visited the eastern riding earlier in the week, and he says what he heard when he was there was that people aren't happy with parties "parachuting" candidates into their communities, so the Greens have decided they won't run someone from outside.

He says the party's potential local candidates weren't able to run on such short notice, and because the general election is just 18 months away, they've decided to "wait this one out."

The seat was vacated by former premier Shawn Graham earlier this month, who left politics after he was found to be in a conflict of interest over a $50-million loan guarantee his government gave to Acton, a construction firm with ties to his father.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Class Teaches Students How To Be Leaders

You don't have to be born a leader. You can learn how to be one in the classroom. 

Brynn Aucoin is a grade 12 student at Harbour View High taking Leadership 120 and she tells CHSJ news the course material will help her out later in life; she's learning how organizations run, group dynamics and how to work in groups.

Aucoin tells us the course is part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. The 17 students in the leadership class are paired with young students from another school, and the pairs spend an hour every week together. The class also runs a variety of events as part of the course.

YM-YWCA Donation Could Transform North End

The YM-YWCA got a big donation this week from the MacMurray Foundation and Saint John Portland M-L-A Trevor Holder is hoping a new "Y" when it's constructed will transform the north end. 

He tells CHSJ News the area has suffered ever since the loss of Sears years ago but now believes a new "Y" can begin to turn things around.

Holder says if you look at what has happened across the country, quite often retail and residential development will follow a YMCA.

Saint John On Disney's Radar

The port of Saint John is still on Disney's radar after its experience during last year's cruise ship season. 

That, according to Port President and C-E-O Jim Quinn who tells CHSJ News it took a couple of years of work to get the Disney Magic to stop here and he's confident it will be back in a couple of years time. He says the stop was important because the Disney brand is world-recognized, so having them come to the city was huge.

Quinn says the Disney people were impressed with all the shore excursions that were on offer. He adds, it took a couple of years of work to get the Disney Magic to stop here and he's confident it will be back in a couple of years time.

Cardy Says Prescription Drug Programme Could be Launched Next Year

There's still no word from the Alward Government about funding for a comprehsive prescription drug programme even though it was a promise made during the last provincial election campaign.

Provincial NDP leader Dominic Cardy is trying to get either the Conservatives or Liberals to introduce an amendment to the Budget Motion which would transfer over 17 and a half million dollars from the Economic Development Department, what Cardy refers to as Corporate Welfare, to the Health Department. 

He believes a prescription drug programme could be launched by the end of next October.

Celebration of the Scottish

A day of celebration is coming up for those of you with Scottish in your blood. 

Tartan Day celebrates the heritage of the Scots and the contributions that they've made in the province. Laurie Hossack, the president of the Saint Andrew's Society's tells CHSJ news that the Scots played a major role in the shipbuilding industry and commerce in Saint John.

It dates back to about 1993, when MLA Georgie Day presented a resolution to the New Brunswick Legislature to declare April 6th Tartan Day. It passed unanimously. 

On this year's Tartan Day, they'll raise Scotland's flag in front of city hall in the morning and host a Ceilidh in the evening, complete with piping, drumming, highland dancing and of course, haggis. Tickets are $10 in advance by calling (506) 696-4253 or $15 at the door at the Simonds Lions Auditorium at Loch Lomond Villa, on 185 Loch Lomond Road. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

M-P From Charlotte County Speaking Out About The Right To Speak

Unrest within the Conservative caucus over stiff party control is showing no signs of calming down. 

Three more M-Ps stood in the House of Commons to assert their freedom to say what they want in Parliament, without first being vetted by the party leadership.  

Charlotte County M-P John Williamson was among those defending the right to speak in the House about anything they wish. Ironically, Williams, who once headed the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, also served as Prime Minister Harper's Communications Director at one time. 

The backbenchers have been denounced by other Conservative M-P's as going rogue but they say this is actually a matter about the right of an M-P to represent his or her constituents.

New Date For Inquest Into Death Of Chinese Student

There's a new date for the inquest into the death of 17 year old Yi Fan Wang at the Aquatic Centre in September of 2011. 

It will be held from May 21st through the 24th at the Sydney Street Courthouse. It had been scheduled to start on April 8th. 

Wang was swimming in the pool with some friends when something happened to him. He was taken out of the swimming pool but died two days later at the Regional Hospital's intensive care unit. 

It remains unclear what happened that afternoon which is why the inquest was called to look at the circumstances and come up with recommendations.

Vehicles Broken Into In the K-V

Rothesay Regional Police arresting two teens for breaking into vehicles and stealing whatever they could get their hands on. 

Police say the car prowling happened in K-Park, along Rothesay Road and in sub-divisions off Rothesay Road, Grove Avenue, the Pettingill Road and Oakville Acres. 

If you believe your vehicle has been gone through, police say give them a call at 847-6300.

S-U-V Flips Over After Leaving Highway

An S-U-V leaving the highway and rolling over near the Ducks Unlimited Marsh in Musquash. This happened around 4:30 yesterday afternoon. 

The Musquash Fire Department found the S-U-V on its roof. A mother and her child outside the vehicle. They sustained what appeared to be minor injuries but were sent to hospital as a precaution to be looked over. 

The S-U-V had been going westbound along Highway 1.

(Photo Courtesy Of Andrew Sanojca)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Police Need Help Indentifying This Man

The Major Crime Unit of the City police force wants your help in identifying a man.

It relates to one or more stolen or recovered vehicles in the City and police believe he can provide more information.

If you can know anything contact the City police at 648-3333 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or click here

We Will Get A New Economic Development Office

Of the 12 new economic development offices opening on Tuesday, Saint John will have one of the district offices on King Street.

The offices aim to provide quick and easy access to funding programs.

Each district office will have a director, a planning co-ordinator and economic development officers with administrative support.

The new offices are part of the Alward government's new export strategy and its goal to grow the economy in six sectors including biosciences and information and communications technology.

Two advisory councils will be announced in May and their role is to provide advice to the government about economic and business needs for each region.

For more info, click

Medical Society Says It Offered Ideas To Save Healthcare Money

The Alward Government and the New Brunswick Medical Society are sniping at eachother over the cap on medicare fees. 

Provincial Health Minister Ted Flemming accuses the Medical Society of not co-operating to lower the cost of healthcare, in effect telling him to stick it. 

Medical Society President Dr. Robert Desjardins tells CHSJ News an extensive report complete with suggestions on how to make the healthcare system more efficient was handed over to the government last August but he speculates the recommendations are gathering dust somewhere because there was no followup.

He adds one of the suggestions was not a medicare cap.

Retired heart surgeon and now M-L-A Dr. Jim Parrot got expelled from the Conservative part caucus after charging the Alward Government wasn't listening to doctors.

Funding For Universities Said To Be Tighter Than Ever

The Alward Government being accused of starving universities in the province. 

That charge made by Miriam Jones of U-N-B Saint John who's President of the New Brunswick Association of University Teachers. 

Jones tells CHSJ News universities provide hope to young people that they can have a better future. Without that, Jones maintains young people will move to a place where there's more hope and she adds the squeeze on university funding is now tighter than ever.

The State Of School Buildings Coming Under the Microscope

The Anglophone South School District will look into the crystal ball to determine the state of its school buildings from Sussex to St. Stephen and how they will shape up over the next five years.

Rob Fowler chairs the Anglophone South School District and he concedes Saint John has schools dating back to 1924 which can present financial challenges to keep them up to par.

Having said that, Fowler tells CHSJ News this review doesn't necessarily mean schools will be closed unless the drop in enrollment and cost of repairs are drastic. He adds no student in the district is in an unsafe school. 

The province wants a five year infrastructure plan from school districts by the end of June.

Drivers Getting A Price Break

The price of gas has fallen a bit after the weekly setting. 

The price of self serve regular around town is down from $1.30.3 last night to $1.29.5 a litre this morning. 

Diesel will also cost you less, $1.35.8 falling from $1.37.7 a litre and heating oil is cheaper by almost two cents a litre with a maximum price of $1.15.

Early Childhood Education To Be Expanded In Saint John Region

A big push is being made to enhance early childhood education in the region from Sussex to St. Stephen. 

The Education Department has taken over early childhood services from Social Development with the commitment to offer more support for families and expanded early intervention. 

The Director of Early Childhood Services in the Anglophone South School District Gary Hall tells CHSJ News the goal is to put children first with more support for families, easier access to services and expanded early intervention.

Hall says they want to have early childhood education available to all pre-schoolers in the region because of how crucial that is to their intellectual development.

 Meantime, the literacy assessments of Grade 7 students in the school district are in. 77 per cent of students in Anglophone South were successful in reading and 63.9 per cent in writing, both of which were slightly higher than the provincial averages.             

Medical Society And Alward Government In War Of Words

To say the relationship between the New Brunswick Medical Society and the provincial government at the moment is bad might be an understatement. 

The two sides are locked in a dispute over a budget measure to cap medicare fees. 

Medical Society President Dr. Robert Desjardins tells CHSJ News the patients are the ones who drive the cost of medicare depending on how sick they are and he warns their care will suffer with a cap on billing by doctors.

Dr. Desjardins says the cap announced in the budget came as a shock because doctors are in the middle of an agreement with the government which has a two year freeze on increases in medicare payments and that deal has been unilaterally broken.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dr Parrott Not Impressed With Budget

An erstwhile heart surgeon turned politician is slating the cap on billable hours for doctors built into the Alward Tory budget.

Dr. Jim Parrott tells CHSJ News we're only just recovering from the difficulty we had with recruiting physicians because of the Medicare caps brought in under Frank McKenna.

Parrott says it was one of the Alward government's promises that everyone would have a family doctor and with this kind of legislation that's not looking realistic anymore.

Creation of Youth Shelter In Motion

Out of 341 people that used a shelter in the city last year, more than 62 of them were between 16 to 24 years old, according to the annual homelessness report card by the Human Development Council. 

Colin McDonald of Safe Harbour Transitional Youth Services tells CHSJ news that the creation of a youth shelter is in motion. He says that we need a shelter specifically for young homeless people to address their unique needs. Any mental health or addiction issues are likely just starting, says McDonald, the youth shelter could head things off at the pass.

McDonald says that young homeless people are the least likely demographic to use shelters, so the numbers don't paint a full picture of youth homelessness in Saint John.

New YMCA Gets Big Donation From Generous Family

The new YMCA that is set to be built in the North End is getting a major boost from a generous local family.

The MacMurray Foundation has announced the donation of $200,000 over the coming years toward a new community room which will bear their name. Anne MacMurray-Cox tells CHSJ News her late father, James MacMurray, would have approved and was involved with the YMCA throughout his life.

The fundraising campaign is still in the silent phase, so there's no telling how much they've actually raised yet; however, YMCA President and CEO Shiloh Boucher says it's going extremely well.

Gallant Says Corporations Will Pay Less Taxes

Corporations will fare better than people when it comes to provincial tax hikes.

That's according to Liberal leader Brian Gallant, who tells CHSJ news that out of the $373 million expected in two years, coorporations will only pay $39 million. Gallant calls that number alarming, since they received $34-47 million dollar property tax cut a few months ago. He tells us now, corporations are now in a position where they'll be paying less taxes.

Gallant says he was very disappointed with the provincial budget presentation and that the Tories broke their two election promises: that they had a plan to balance the budget and that they wouldn't raise taxes.

Coalition Urges Retirees To Voice Their Opposition

Hundred of retired provincial workers gathering in Quispamsis to voice their opposition about the government's plan to switch from defined benefits to a shared risk model.

The Provincial Pension Coalition began a month ago and is growing in numbers with 300 people coming out to an information session.

The Coalition's Clifford Kennedy tells CHSJ News it all started at a meeting in a Fredericton.  Kennedy says the coalition went from nothing to a great turnout in Fredericton and they want to keep going and hit locations all over the province.

He says under this proposed model a retiree that makes $21,000 a year would lose more than $40,000 over a 25 year period.

The group is encouraging all retirees to write their MLA's to express their opposition and to register on the website.

To find the website, click here

NDP Leader Worries About Flight Of Doctors From Province

Provincial NDP leader Dominic Cardy is criticising the provincial budget for cutting 20 million dollars from the billable hours agreement with the province's doctors, which he says means essentially a couple of months worth of billable hours are disappearing off the table.

He worries we're likely to see them head elsewhere where they won't see their pay cut.
Cardy is glad to see the Alward Government dealing with what he describes as the terrible mistake the Shawn Graham Liberals made with the tax cuts in 2006.

Union Expects Job Losses In Healthcare With Freeze

The contents of the provincial budget is making many of the people who work in the healthcare system nervous about their futures.

Gordon Black is Regional Director of the Canadian Union of Public Employees and he tells CHSJ News several hundred people could be getting their layoff notices because something has to give when healthcare costs are rising at 6 per cent a year but spending is frozen.

Black believes any cutbacks in health will take place at the smaller hospitals around the province. He claims rural New Brunswick is under attack.

Black is not surprised at being one of the few voices in favour of the tax cuts of 2008 being rolled back to the 2006 levels.

Tax Increases Will Put A Damper On Economic Growth

The increase in personal and corporate income taxes come July is going to hurt the provincial economy. So claims Richard Dunn, a senior policy analyst with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business in New Brunswick.

He tells CHSJ News it's galling to discover provincial government spending is still rising.

Dunn does say there is one silver lining and that is if you take out the one time pension payment, the increase in spending is below the rate of inflation.

But he argues his comparison of New Brunswick's financial situation to that of Detroit, where a financial state of emergency was declared, remains valid.

Hours At Liquor Stores To Change For Easter Weekend

NB Liquor telling us liquor stores will be closed both Good Friday and Easter Sunday and will be open Easter Monday from 10 to 6 with regular hours on Saturday.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Budget Doesn't Look Good For Business In Saint John

Things just got even tougher for Saint John businesses with the unveiling of the provincial budget.

That's the sentiment being expressed by Saint John Board of Trade Chair Larry Hachey. He tells CHSJ News the budget does too little for the sectors we need most desperately to grow.

He points out there have been no structural changes or rationalization of services in the healthcare sector, and it's hard to get and keep a physician. In terms of education, higher learning facilities are the hotbeds of 90% of our research and development yet they're not receiving any additional funding.

Hachey says it's obvious that we have an expense problem, and simply increasing revenue isn't going to cut it unless we address the root issue as well.

Sussex RCMP Still Looking For White

The Dairytown Mounties are still looking for a man after a stabbing late last month where a woman was hurt.

It happened near Sussex on February 27th and a charge of attempted murder was laid against 49-year-old Robin White and a warrant was issued for his arrest on March 4th.  

Despite many efforts, White has still not been located.

Robin White is described as white about 5 foot 11 brown hair and brown eyes.
He was last seen wearing glasses, a black coat, jeans and black boots. 

He may be driving a 2009 grey Honda Ridgeline truck with the provincial license plate CPM 926.

If you know anything about the location of Robin White or the vehicle he was seen driving,  contact police or Crime Stoppers immediately but do not approach him. 

To reach Crime Stoppers, click here

Lacey Calls Budget A Slap In The Face To Middle Class Families

A slap to the face of average working families... that's what Kevin Lacey of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling tax increases presented at the provincial budget. He tells CHSJ news it's an attack on the struggling middle class.

He says families will have to shell out up to $1000 in more tax in some cases. The $8.5-billion budget presented today will see personal income taxes hiked to 2006 levels, and that's expected to yield $136 million for 2013-14. 

He tells us the only positive thing he's seen so far is getting rid of the government airplane, which he calls the gravy plane.

Leslie Will Run For The Ward 3 Seat

5 candidates so far are running in the Ward 3 byelection this spring and a few more are thinking about it.

Allen Leslie moved to Saint John 15 years ago and tells us drinking water, transit and jobs are big issues.

He tells CHSJ News we are losing our affordable housing adding the City has apartments renting around $600 and you would walk in and walk right back out.

He says the landlord realized he wasn't going to rent them that way so he renovated but Leslie tells us he went too far making the units unaffordable with rents exceeding $1200 or higher.

Leslie thinks the City should fix our drinking water but only through a method that is affordable.

Burton Man Dies In Geary Crash

The Mounties releasing the name of the man killed in a crash on Highway 7 yesterday near Geary. 

44-year-old Michael James Boucher of Burton died at the scene of a collision early Monday morning between his truck and a transport.

Boucher was the only driver in a pickup truck heading northbound on Highway 7 that crossed the centre line and collided head-on with a transport truck.

The transport truck driver was not hurt.

Nature Conservancy of Canada Gets $20 Million

This year's federal budget pledging a significant sum of cash to the conservation of undeveloped landscapes. 

$20 million going to the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and the NCC's Andrew Holland tells CHSJ news that on a local level, they'll build on the work they've done on the Musquash Estuary.

The money will support their Natural Areas Conservation program through 2013-2014. Holland says the non-profit is going to start work on matching the federal contribution.

The Provincial Budget Contains Pain For Smokers

The Province delivering a budget that hikes tobacco taxes and eliminates previous income tax cuts as it tries to wrestle with a deficit projected to grow to $479 million.

    The $8.5-billion budget presented today will see personal income taxes rise to 2006 levels which is a measure expected to generate $136 million in revenue for 2013-14.

    The corporate income tax rate will be increased to 12 per cent from 10 per cent on July 1, resulting in an estimated boost of $17 million in additional annual revenue.

    Smokers will also pay higher taxes on tobacco as of midnight tonight---up two cents per cigarette.

    Finance Minister Blaine Higgs says the government will continue efforts to reduce the size of the public service through attrition and attempt to cut their use of sick leave by 20 per cent.

    Higgs says the government can return to balanced budgets by 2015-16 if there is improved economic growth and revenues.

For more info, click here


Ice Jams Could Lead To Flooding

For the next 2 days people who live and work along the province's rivers might want to look our for ice-jam flooding.

Above-freezing temps and sporadic flurries and rain showers forecasted for tonight and tomorrow could lead to the break-up and movement of ice.

An ice jam along the Nashwaak River at Stanley Bridge has stabilized but officials continue to monitor another ice jam downriver at MacLaggan Bridge. Don't use your recreational vehicles on the ice.

A Lot Of Saint Johnners Without A Place To Call Their Own

The annual report card on homelessness in the city will be released tomorrow but we do know the emergency shelters in the city were busy last year.

An accurate count of how many people are homeless in the city is tough to come by but it's known 341 stayed at emergency shelters during 2012. The Salvation Army in the south end had the highest occupancy rate of any of the 8 emergency shelters in the province. The length of stay at 31 days was also the highest. 

91 women stayed at Coverdale Centre and 42 men used the Out of the Cold shelter at Grace Presbyterian Church from December to March. 

Shelter space is also available to pregnant and teenaged moms at First Steps Housing who have no where else to go and abused women in Hestia House.

The Way Of The Future For Saint John's Water

Barring a huge jump in the expected costs--or the rejection of our application--a public private partnership will represent the way of the future for the City of Saint John's water utility. 

Common council voted 7-1 in favour of applying for the funding from P3 Canada which, according to a report by city staff, could open up as much as $100 million in funding. 

A number of activist groups including Common Causes and the Council of Canadians have been vocal in their opposition to the funding model. CHSJ News asked Mayor Mel Norton whether the rates will increase for industrial water users as council has heard they will for residential users. The Mayor responded that while raising industrial rates is not currently part of the conversation, we can certainly expect industrial users to pony up for the cost of delivering their water. The Mayor also says a new metering system will be part of the future for big companies; however, that will be an ancillary project not funded by P3. Further, we'll be seeing two completely separate systems for industrial and residential users, since the former have no need for chlorination in their water.

Common Councillor Bill Farren was the only councilor to vote against making the application to P3. He tells CHSJ News he simple lacks full confidence that the public private partnership will be cheapest for Saint John over the coming decades.

The project is expected to take 5 years under a P3. P3 Canada will take a maximum of 90 days to get back to council with an answer.

Warning About Having Sex With Strangers

People around the province who are having anonymous sex are being encouraged by the chief medical health officer to be tested for sexually transmitted disease.   

Dr. Eilish Cleary issuing the warning because of an increase in the numbers of people in the province having unprotected sex with strangers they meet on dating websites. 

Recently, a New Brunswicker, who was a frequent user of a website that facilitates anonymous sexual encounters and had about two dozen sexual partners living in the province, tested positive for HIV. Health officials are now trying to track down the people, mostly men, he had sex with. 

The sexual encounters took place in Moncton, Saint John and Fredericton.

Boats Broken Into

City Police arresting two men, aged 18 and 19, after numerous boats were broken into at the Saint John Powerboat Club in the north end.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Energy Use Drops 3% During Earth Hour

We flicked off our switches and unplugged our electronics for Earth Hour, and because of it, the city's energy use dropped by almost 3%. 

Ray Robinson, president and CEO of Saint John Energy says that by spending that 60 minutes in the dark, we start to think about electricity in a different light. He tells CHSJ news that we all take electricity for granted sometimes, but by going energy-free even for a short time, we start to realize the value of it.

He says overall they saw about a 3 megawatt reduction in the system on Saturday.

The Boil Water Order Is Lifted

You can drink from the tap again.

The boil water order in place since Friday for many Saint John residents has been lifted.

Tests have been reviewed by the Department of Health and the District Medical Officer of Health has rescinded the boil water order.

It was put in place by on Friday after an equipment malfunction in East Saint John and that problem has since been fixed.

If you have been away from home over the last few days, it's recommended that you take a few minutes to flush out the water in your plumbing.

All you need to do is turn on the taps in your house for a few minutes.

Keep Boiling That Water

Thousands of Saint Johners east of the Reversing Falls bridge remain under a boil water order.

Millidgeville is not included.

Sampling began over the weekend and the results have been sent to the Department of Health. 

They will make the decision whether to rescind the order or not.

An update is expected between 5 and 6 tonight.


You Can Still Nominate A Great Volunteer

You still have time to nominate any awesome volunteers you know in the City.  

 The deadline to nominate someone for the 3rd annual Volunteer Appreciation Awards next month has been extended until Thursday at 4pm.

Deputy Mayor Shelley Rhinehart tells CHSJ News its important because many organizations would not exist without volunteers.

She says if we don't recognize their efforts and encourage others to volunteer then some of our organizations will be in trouble.

29 nominations have been submitted so far and the winners will be announced April 24th at the Lily Lake Pavilion during Volunteer Appreciation Week. 

To nominate someone, click here

Business Owners Should Set Their Own Hours, Says Letter Written To Council

If you want to hit the shops on Sunday, you're out of luck until lunchtime. But Jim Cormier, the Retail Council of Canada's director for Atlantic Canada wrote a letter to common council asking them to let businesses choose when they open and close

Business owners in Moncton, Dieppe, Riverview, and Grand Falls all set their own hours on Sunday, and Cormier tells CHSJ news that many establishments don't even make changes, it's just about having the option. He says it's the next logical step when it comes to Sunday shopping.

In his letter he told city council that if they're interested in hearing more, he'll swing by the common council meeting on April 8th.

Funeral Tomorrow For Longtime City Employee And Hockey Star

A funeral service will be held tomorrow at noonhour in Brenan's on Paradise Row for Nick Nicolle, who died over the weekend at the age of 88.

Nicolle worked for the city from 1957 to 1988 when he retired as Director of Parks and Recreation.

He was also known as a pretty good hockey player being inducted into both the Saint John and P-E-I Sports Halls of Fame. He was a member of the Saint John Beavers when they won the Maritime Senior Hockey title in 1953.

 Nicolle also was a member of the 1985 Canada Games Committee.

Volunteers Can Start Applying For World Women's Curling Event In City

If you want to be part of next year's Ford World Women's Curling Championship in the city, you can start applying now.

Event Chair Jeff Lacey tells CHSJ News 400 volunteers will be needed in a variety of jobs from driving to bartending but, judging by the amount of interest shown since the announcement back in December that Saint John will host the event, he doesn't foresee any problem in having enough.

Lacey says it's been 15 years since a curling event of this magnitude has been held in the city and back then, the level of interest in being part of it was tremendous.
You can apply by going to

Highway 7 Crash Claims One Man

RCMP telling CHSJ News about a deadly crash on Highway 7 about 730 this moring involving a pickup truck and a tractor-trailer near the Geary exit.

That crash is causing a major traffic snarl today on Highway 7.

Corporal Chantal Farrah tells CHSJ News a man driving a northbound pickup crossed the centre line colliding with a transport truck.

The driver of the pickup died at the scene but the transport driver was not hurt.

There is a roadblock set up on Highway 7 and all drivers are being rerouted via Highway 101 through Geary up to Welsford.

RCMP officers are posted at either end of Highway 101 directing traffic.

Motorists can expect delays for several hours.

MindCare Raising Money For Mental Health

MindCare's big fundraiser "Skate to Care" over the weekend at Harbour Station raised more than 132 thousand dollars.

Sheila Levesque was the top individual fundraiser while Investors was the the top fundraising team.

City Votes To Pursue Public Private Partnership For Water

Barring a huge jump in the expected costs--or the rejection of our application--a public private partnership will be the way of the future for the City of Saint John's water utility. 

 Common council voted 7-1 in favour of applying for the funding from P3 Canada: which, according to a report by city staff, could open up as much as $100 million dollars in funding, or 25% of the project. 

Activist groups including Common Causes and the Council of Canadians have been vocal in their disapproval of the model. We asked Mayor Mel Norton whether the rates will rise for industrial users as they will for residential customers. The Mayor responded that while such an increase is not currently part of the conversation, industrial users will certainly be expected to pony up for the cost of delivering their water. The Mayor also said we will be seeing two separate systems for potable water and water used only for industrial purposes, since the former needs to be chlorinated. A new metering system will also likely be part of the future for big companies; however, those would be an ancillary project not funded by P3. 

Common Councillor Bill Farren was the only one to vote against and he tells CHSJ News his rationale was simply that he does not believe the project will be cheapest under the model.

The project is expected to take 5 years under a P3. P3 Canada will take a maximum of 90 days to get back to council with an answer.