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Thursday, June 20, 2013

VIDEO: Media Tour of the Law Courts Building

Ahead of its opening on Monday, members of the local media were invited to check out the new Saint John Law Courts building at Peel Plaza

Moore Claims Grace Foundation Approached Him

The Grace Foundation Board Of Directors has issued a public statement, saying that it never asked Fundy Royal MP Rob Moore--or any other political person---to put pressure on Justin Trudeau to return $20,000 the Liberal leader received to speak at a failed fundraiser.

But Moore tells CHSJ News the exact opposite, saying members of the Grace Foundation Board of Directors solicited his assistance.

The Grace Foundation has further said it is deeply distressed by Moore's comments about the Foundation.

A request for comment on Moore's most recent statement has not yet been returned.

New Law Courts Building Opens Monday

After a nearly 6 month delay because of a broken pipe, the Saint John Law Courts building is preparing to hear its first case. 

Dave Maclean of the Department of Justice and the Attorney General tells CHSJ News the move is well underway and will continue through the weekend if needed to finish it.

He says those last little bits of pieces of furniture and files are being moved over from courtrooms and offices at City Hall and on Sidney Street and Charlotte Street and they will be ready to roll with court cases as of Monday.

The building features a scanner that was used during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and a stained glass window depicting all of the previous court buildings and the new facility.

The new courtrooms featuring high-tech sound and a multi-camera video monitoring system for remand cases start hearing cases on Monday.

Province Declares Syphilis Outbreak Over

The chief medical officer of health has declared the syphilis outbreak is over in New Brunswick.

The outbreak was declared in 2009. It started in Moncton but quickly spread across the province.

Between 2002 and 2008, New Brunswick saw on average three new cases every year.

Over a three year period, 122 cases of syphilis were reported to public health impacting men between the ages of 15 to 24.

If left untreated, syphilis can spread and cause damage to a person's brain, heart, bones, other organs. It can cause paralysis, dementia and even death.

If you want to get tested can contact their family physician, nurse practitioner or a testing clinic.

Well-Known Saint John Lawyer Gets Jail Time

A well-known Saint John lawyer has been sentenced to 22 months in jail for obstruction of justice.

In 2009 Gillis was representing former Liberal MLA Frank Branch in a civil lawsuit against the North Shore Forest Products Marketing Board and on charges of fraud and extortion.

Gillis was found guilty in January of attempting to obstruct justice by trying to keep witnesses from testifying against his client.

Gillis, who is 66 years old, was formerly was the managing partner at Gilbert McGloan Gillis, but has since resigned. He was also suspended by the New Brunswick Law Society.

Talk Of Banking Time At City Hall

Common councillor Donna Reardon  has suggested Saint John take a page out of Calgary's book when it comes to hours for city staff.

Reardon explained to common council that her friend recently started working for the city of Calgary, and employees there have the option to work a 37 and a half hour work week, and get paid for 35. Then, at the end of each pay period, they can take a day off. She says it's all the same since the work is already done.

Since all the hours of work are governed by collective agreement, if anything is changed it will have to be part of negotiations in the collective bargaining process. The idea has been passed on to city staff to collect more information.

Controversy Rages Between SJ Charity & Fundy Royal MP

The Grace Foundation has released a statement saying it's deeply distressed with remarks made by Fundy Royal MP Rob Moore calling on Federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau to return his speaking fee of $20,000 dollars for a fundraiser last year at the Imperial Theatre that drew a sparse crowd. 

The Grace Foundation wound up with a deficit of $21,000 dollars. The Board claims it did not want this to become a political discussion and did not authorise anyone to approach Moore.

30th Anniversary Of Market Square Celebrates History

The 30th anniversary of Market Square is being marked; however, actually getting the complex built wasn't easy. 

The first attempt was made in the early 70's by a Moncton real estate lawyer who backed out when he couldn't get the financing together. Bob Lockhart was Mayor at the time with a lot of talk about the need to transform the look of the city.

Lockhart credits developer Pat Rocca for keeping the vision alive until Market Square was built. Lockhart doesn't think it has reached its potential but believes it might be on the verge of doing so. Waterfront Development wants to see a new hotel, condos and retail space developed on the Coast Guard site.



MLA Hospitalized

The House Leader for the provincial Liberals Bill Fraser is in the Chalmers Hospital after suffering what appears to be an angina attack and is listed in stable condition. He was taken to hospital after experiencing pain while returning to the Opposition Office from the Legislature. 

Fraser is still in the cardiac unit at the Chalmers Hospital in Fredericton awaiting more test results. 

Deputy House Leader Victor Boudreau will take over Fraser's responsibilities for the remainder of this Legislative session.

Man Tries (And Fails) To Take Stolen Dock For Joyride

A 65 year old man who allegedly stole a floating dock to travel downriver is now facing several charges.

The Fredericton Rowing Club reported the dock missing earlier this week, but it was found 13 kilometres down the shore.

The unidentified Huckleberry Finn wanna-be who was arrested told them he was using the dock to travel to Saint John.

He's facing charges of theft, drug possession and breach of a court order.

Refugees Make New Lives In Saint John

It's hard to imagine being transplanted to a totally new country where you don't know the language, culture, or any friends.

Yet that is precisely the difficult situation in which 300 refugees each year find when they immigrate to Saint John. Shiloh Boucher of YMCA Settlement Services tells CHSJ News they come from war-torn and politically volatile countries like Burma and Somalia.

She describes some instances in which people escaped from their country of origin thinking members of their family were dead, only to be reunited with them in Saint John.

Boucher says the most important thing is that people in Saint John accept people of all cultures and backgrounds. Today is World Refugee Day with numerous organizations gathering in Market Square to hand out information.

Gas Prices Continue Slow Climb Upward

The slight increases in the price of gas are continuing after the weekly setting. 

Self serve regular around town is selling for $1.26.6, which is an increase of a cent a litre. 

Diesel has gone up by a cent and a half to $1.28.8. 

The maximum price for propane has declined to just under a dollar a litre while the max for heating oil is more expensive at $1.11.9.

Shale Gas Is Dividing New Brunswickers

Opinion is divided on shale gas in the province according to a poll conducted by Corporate Research Associates but people who live in Southern New Brunswick appear to be a bit more favourably disposed. 

53 per cent of those people surveyed in the southern part of the province say shale gas development is important or critically important to the economic future of New Brunswick. 

Most of those questioned, though, perceive shale gas exploration to be unsafe. When asked about how safe they considered it to be on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being not safe at all, people in the southern part of the province only gave shale gas exploration, with fracking, a 4.6. In Moncton and the northern part of the province, the scores were even lower.