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Monday, February 11, 2013

Anti-Shale Gas Protestors Target McKenna Speech

Protestors albeit quiet ones on hand outside th site of McKenna's speech handing out flyers with scary stats on the ills of shale gas exploration.

Chris Rendell tells CHSJ News the former premier is asking the business people to accept the crumbs that fall off the plate as the government rushes to export the energy and profits of shale gas.

He says the majority of the energy leaves the province adding the best idea our leaders can come up with for shale gas is to put it in a pipeline and sell it to Boston.

He says Boston and the U.S. to benefit from our resources and the people of New Brunswick bears the cost which Rendell claims are things like higher cancer rates and a loss of property value because of fracking.

Women Get A Hand With Starting Small Businesses

Fans of Dragon's Den and anyone else with an entrepreneurial spirit might find this interesting.

The Community Loan Fund offering a 20-week course specifically for women on how to start your own business. 

Melanie Vatour tells CHSJ News a lot of women were coming in with great ideas, but no support to help them make them a reality--and part of that means consideration for the issues that specifically effect women.

The course meets 2 evenings per week to learn how to conduct market research, create financials, get funding for your small business and more. The deadline to apply is February 15.

McKenna Calls Energy Projects Huge Potential For NB

Former Premier Frank McKenna says at this single moment in our history where times seem to be the worst there is probably more hope than he's seen in a long long time.

McKenna speaking on energy matters to a sold out audience of 550 people at a Board of Trade luncheon at the Delta today.

McKenna says we have an incredible opportunity presented by a potential West-East pipeline, shale gas and converting Canaport LNG to an export facility.

He says Saint John just happens to be in the right place at the right time with a great port, a great refinery and a great gas resource.

The Watermain That Broke Was 140 Years Old

The cast iron watermain that ruptured Saturday on Rothesay Avenue by Staples was made back in 1873. It had a couple of horizontal cracks and was corroded. 

District Medical Health Officer Dr. Scott Giffin says it points out the need for aging infrastructure to be replaced. He adds if you drink the water without first boiling it, chances are you won't get sick but there's still the risk of contracting salmonella and ecoli along with other types of water borne bacteria.

The transmission line that broke was slated for replacement under the clean water programme according to the city's Deputy Commissioner of Water, Kendall Mason. He adds all of the wooden watermains have been replaced.

The boil water order is estimated to affect more than 35 thousand people from Reversing Falls east to Russell Street and it will remain in force until at least late tomorrow or early Wednesday. 

The first of the water samples collected have been sent off to be analysed by an independent lab.

Bradley Saia Caught In Halifax

One of two brothers wanted by police in connection to a deadly West side home invasion last year and stabbing has been arrested in Halifax.

City police were called to a home on Prince Street West on November 3rd last year where two young men were found stabbed and sent to hospital.    18 year old Andrew Jonathan (AJ) Dennison died of his injuries.

Police have been looking for 21 year old Bradley Neil Saia since last fall and he was arrested in Halifax on Saturday.   

Saia was arrested as a result of a Canada Wide Warrant and is facing charges of forcible entry, robbery and being masked while committing an indictable offence.

Saia's twin brother Brandon was previously arrested on November 6th.    A 16 year old also faces charges relating to this incident along with 21 year old Christopher Reid who was stabbed himself in the incident.

Deadly Fire In Oromocto

The Red Cross is reporting fires in the Maritimes over the weekend forced at least 23 people from their homes or apartments including two people in Red Head. 

There was also a fatal fire in Oromocto on Evans Drive. 

Firefighters managed to rescue a 72 year old woman but she later died in hospital.  Oromocto Fire Chief Jody Price says the woman lived with her daughter and son-in-law but they weren't home at the time.

Traditional Native Values Are In Everyone's Interest, Says Activist

An impassioned crowd gathering on Saint Mary's Reserve gathered last week for a lecture by an internationally renowned aboriginal rights activist Winona LaDuke.

The economist and Harvard graduate slated shale gas, nuclear power, and cross-country bitumen pipelines as irresponsible and dangerous.

Patrick Brooks is a member of the Saint Mary's First Nation, and he tells CHSJ News the people need to look out for the country's interest because the government's priority is fattening its bottom line. Brooks says traditional native ideology focuses on long-termism and protecting the earth, and is thus at odds with the agenda of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

LaDuke charged the feds with losing perspective on the energy issued, and urged the members of Saint Mary's First Nation to work on ways to become self sufficient, like wind-generated electricity and sustainable farming.

Changes To Be Announced With City Bus Service

City Transit coming before Common Council tonight seeking the okay to buy three new buses at a cost of more than 1.3 million dollars. 

The Transit Commission will also be letting Councillors know what changes are coming in a few weeks time with the extra funding in this year's city budget. 

The big upgrade will be to bus service between Lancaster Mall and the Regional Hospital. There will be twelve trips a day, every hours from 6:40 in the morning until 5:35 in the afternoon. 

Nighttime service is being restored to Millford, greendaler, Churchill Heights, the South End and St. Joseph's and holiday service will be reinstated as of Victoria Day. 

Other routes will be getting more daily runs.

Shale Gas Still A Point Of Contention

There is no doubt in the mind of Provincial Finance Minister Blaine Higgs.......Shale gas development is essential to the future economic well being of the province. 

Not everyone agrees but Stephanie Merrill of the Conservation Council's Action Group on freshwater tells CHSJ News it appears to the Alward Government, it's an open and shut case.

Merrill claims there's research from the U.S. showing some counties are actually worse off after shale gas development. 

We have been promised the unveiling by Premier David Alward in the coming weeks of his government's bluepring for shale gas development.

Higgs Faces Even Tougher Job With Provincial Budget

Finance Minister Blaine Higgs has been going around the province claiming the next provincial budget to be unveiled next month has to count. 

In the meantime, the provincial budget deficit is now projected to exceed 400 million dollars. He explains the rise by saying the economic recovery from the 2008 financial debacle never has taken off in New Brunswick and the markets are not supporting any sort of upswing with the provincial pension plan which is carrying a huge deficit.

Higgs has been arguing we have been living beyond our means but acknowledges bringing about change is tough. 

The consensus from the pre-budget consultations is a combination of increasing government revenue with tax increases and spending cuts at the same time. Those consultations were dominated at times by presentations from speakers who belongs to the Canadian Union of Public Employees.