New Brunswick News
CBC News Brunswick

Moncton student struck by truck near school in city's north end

A Moncton student was hit by a vehicle near a school in the city’s north end on Friday morning, in an area where parents have long raised concerns over traffic. ...
More ...Intersection with crosswalk and stop sign

A Moncton student was hit by a vehicle near a school in the city’s north end on Friday morning, in an area where parents have long raised concerns over traffic.

25 minutes ago

CBC News Brunswick

New book, advocate suggest ways to prevent homelessness

The editor of a new book on homelessness says it’s time to rethink the way society combats the problem because the current approach is not working.  ...
More ...man

The editor of a new book on homelessness says it’s time to rethink the way society combats the problem because the current approach is not working. 

2 hours ago

CBC News Brunswick

Horizon's target for reduced ER wait times is 4 times national guideline

Horizon Health Network has set a target to reduce emergency department wait times for urgent patients to 120 minutes, which is four times the national guideline, a coroner's inquest heard this week. ...
More ...A brick hospital building with red letters indicating the emergency department in English and French.

Horizon Health Network has set a target to reduce emergency department wait times for urgent patients to 120 minutes, which is four times the national guideline, a coroner's inquest heard this week.

2 hours ago

CBC News Brunswick

N.B. Liberal Leader Holt keeps distance from Trudeau as election nears

Speaking to reporters earlier this month, Susan Holt welcomed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement of a $6-billion Canada Housing Infrastructure Fund. But — despite slamming Higgs for inac ...
More ...a woman with light hair and a blue and yellow striped shirt talks to reporters.

Speaking to reporters earlier this month, Susan Holt welcomed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement of a $6-billion Canada Housing Infrastructure Fund. But — despite slamming Higgs for inaction — she wouldn’t commit.

2 hours ago

Father faces prison for sexual touching
Fredericton Independent

Father faces prison for sexual touching

Subscribe nowLawyers and a judge involved in a sentencing hearing Friday for a man found guilty by a jury of sexually abusing his own child years ago in Fredericton noted the case poses challenges ari ...
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Lawyers and a judge involved in a sentencing hearing Friday for a man found guilty by a jury of sexually abusing his own child years ago in Fredericton noted the case poses challenges arising from the secrecy of jury deliberations.

The defendant - a 54-year-old man from Newfoundland and Labrador - was convicted earlier this year following a jury trial in the Court of King’s Bench on charges stemming from historical offences.

The jury found him guilty of touching a minor for a sexual purpose and sexually assaulting that child in Fredericton and elsewhere in New Brunswick between Dec. 1, 2002, and March 31, 2011.

Courtroom A in the Burton Courthouse. (Photo: Don MacPherson/The Fredericton Independent)

There’s a court-ordered publication ban in place protecting the identity of the victim, and given the relationship between that person and the offender, the Fredericton Independent isn’t naming him either so as to comply with the order. 

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2 hours ago

Woman pleads guilty to neglecting horses
Fredericton Independent

Woman pleads guilty to neglecting horses

Subscribe nowA Currieburg woman will be sentenced this summer after pleading guilty Friday to neglecting horses in her care and allowing them to suffer early last year.Charlotte H. Bright, 76, of Curr ...
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A Currieburg woman will be sentenced this summer after pleading guilty Friday to neglecting horses in her care and allowing them to suffer early last year.

Charlotte H. Bright, 76, of Currieburg Road, appeared before Court of King’s Bench Justice Thomas Christie at the Burton Courthouse on Friday for a proceeding listed as a pre-trial conference.

But ultimately, it led to the defendant meeting with the prosecutor for resolution discussions and to her pleading to criminal charges laid by the New Brunswick SPCA.

The animal-protection agency filed three counts against her last year, alleging she killed, maimed, wounded or harmed horses; neglected horses by failing to provide them with adequate food, water, shelter and care; and caused horses unnecessary pain or suffering.

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5 hours ago

CBC News Brunswick

2 found dead after Saint John tent fire are identified

Two people found dead after a tent fire in Saint John last month have been identified by police.  ...
More ...A flower bouquet on a telephone pole with a grassy field in the background with tents and debris in the background around several trees.

Two people found dead after a tent fire in Saint John last month have been identified by police. 

6 hours ago

Fredericton man missing - cops
Fredericton Independent

Fredericton man missing - cops

Subscribe nowThe Fredericton Police Force is turning to the public for help in locating a city resident who’s been reported as missing to authorities.The force issued a news release and social-m ...
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The Fredericton Police Force is turning to the public for help in locating a city resident who’s been reported as missing to authorities.

The force issued a news release and social-media alert Friday advising that it’s seeking tips on the whereabouts of Michael Andrew Betts, 59, of Fredericton.

“Betts was last seen on April 6, 2024, in downtown Fredericton,” the release said.

Michael Andrew Betts (Photo: Fredericton Police Force/Submitted)

He’s described as Caucasian; with white/grey, collar-length hair; a white beard and moustache. Betts is 5’10” tall, weighing 160 pounds, with a slender build and broad shoulders, police reported. 

“Betts often wears a hat,” the release said.

Anyone with any relevant information is urged to contact the Fredericton Police Force by calling 506-460-2300 or emailing [email protected].

Those wishing to provide tips anonymously can Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

The Fredericton Independent can be reached at [email protected].

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7 hours ago

St. Croix Courier

Spring into safe driving

Spring has finally sprung, and people of all ages are seeking their recreation outdoors again. For drivers, this means more focus on sharing the road, as cyclists, walkers, playing children, farmers h ...
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Spring has finally sprung, and people of all ages are seeking their recreation outdoors again. For drivers, this means more focus on sharing the road, as cyclists, walkers, playing children, farmers hauling gear, and people of all sorts jockey for their share of space.

Drivers hear “Share the road” warnings so often that they become background noise. Safely insulated in our cars, it’s often easy to forget there are other road users. Many drivers exist in a state of being chronically inconvenienced, vexed over every stop sign, crosswalk user, or perceived delay in their journeys.

But roads aren’t just for cars and drivers. They’re the sinews that bind our communities together, and everyone in our community has a right to use them, even if they’re walking or biking to their destination.

Drivers often complain they face greater scrutiny than other road users; they feel hectored by the constant safety warnings. If drivers are targeted more (which is debatable — ask some friends about annoying road users, and you’ll hear broadsides on bikers and walkers most often, we’d wager) it’s because they have the greatest responsibility.

A careless or distracted person walking endangers no one but themselves. An inattentive or unskilled driver is a hazard to everyone on, or near, the road.

So this spring, as our families, friends, and neighbours return to the great outdoors, let’s take extra care to keep our whole Charlotte County community safe.

The post Spring into safe driving appeared first on The Saint Croix Courier.

7 hours ago

CBC News Brunswick

Not a Starship not afloat: Once stuck-in-ice vessel is now on bottom of St. John River

The owner of a sailboat that sank in the St. John River has until the end of the month to get it out of the water, according to a deadline set by Transport Canada.  ...
More ...One photo on top of a another. Top photo shows a sailboat alfoat, abeit in ice, and the bottom shows it sunk up to the top of the cabin.

The owner of a sailboat that sank in the St. John River has until the end of the month to get it out of the water, according to a deadline set by Transport Canada. 

12 hours ago

CBC News Brunswick

GED testing in New Brunswick ends next month, questions remain about replacement

On May 3, General Education Development testing, more commonly known as the GED, will end in New Brunswick. The GED is an equivalency test for adults who did not complete high school. ...
More ...A GED prep textbook on a desk with a student studying in the background.

On May 3, General Education Development testing, more commonly known as the GED, will end in New Brunswick. The GED is an equivalency test for adults who did not complete high school.

12 hours ago

CBC News Brunswick

Former Horizon CEO Dr. John Dornan to seek Liberal nod for Portland-Simonds

Dr. John Dornan, the former head of Horizon Health Network, has announced he will seek the Liberal nomination in his home riding of Portland-Simonds. ...
More ...A man wearing a collared shirt and black jacket, speaking into a microphone.

Dr. John Dornan, the former head of Horizon Health Network, has announced he will seek the Liberal nomination in his home riding of Portland-Simonds.

11 Apr 2024 20:04:50

CBC News Brunswick

PC campaign manager joins premier's office, will earn taxpayer salary

The campaign consultant hired by the Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick for this year’s election has landed a second position — a taxpayer-funded job in the office of Premier Blaine H ...
More ...A group of men stand in a group at a conference. Two face the camera.

The campaign consultant hired by the Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick for this year’s election has landed a second position — a taxpayer-funded job in the office of Premier Blaine Higgs.

11 Apr 2024 17:58:08

CBC News Brunswick

N.B. drops small community from Trans-Canada Highway signs, outrage ensues

The name Saint-Basile, a former village that is now part of Edmundston, was removed from highway signs by transportation officials. ...
More ...Saint-Basile missing sign

The name Saint-Basile, a former village that is now part of Edmundston, was removed from highway signs by transportation officials.

11 Apr 2024 17:35:49

CBC News Brunswick

New $12M water system for Alma in design phase, residents hope for end to boil-water warnings

After years of boil-water advisories, the community of Alma got an update this week on a project to upgrade its infrastructure, with construction expected to start this summer. ...
More ...Alma residents listen to a presentation about plans to upgrade the community's water infrastructure during a public meeting on Wednesday.

After years of boil-water advisories, the community of Alma got an update this week on a project to upgrade its infrastructure, with construction expected to start this summer.

11 Apr 2024 16:04:03

CBC News Brunswick

Beloved Saint John park gets a little TLC

A clean-up effort is underway at the Irving Nature Park following extensive damage to the coastal area in recent months. The plan is to repair and regenerate parts of the ageing forest. ...
More ...Beloved Saint John park gets a little TLC

A clean-up effort is underway at the Irving Nature Park following extensive damage to the coastal area in recent months. The plan is to repair and regenerate parts of the ageing forest.

11 Apr 2024 15:43:10

Defence might challenge search in drug trial
Fredericton Independent

Defence might challenge search in drug trial

Subscribe nowA Newcastle Creek woman awaiting her jury trial on a first-degree murder charge is considering a challenge of a search of her home in a separate drug-trafficking prosecution.A pre-trial c ...
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A Newcastle Creek woman awaiting her jury trial on a first-degree murder charge is considering a challenge of a search of her home in a separate drug-trafficking prosecution.

A pre-trial conference was held in the Court of King’s Bench at the Burton Courthouse on Thursday for Erica Lea Ann Blyth, 41, of Wasson Road in Newcastle Creek near Minto, and Devon Mark Hill Hood, 26, of Veterans Drive in Fredericton.

The duo is jointly charged with June 21 counts of possession of crystal meth, cocaine and hydromorphone (Dilaudid) for the purpose of trafficking; possession of a loaded, prohibited firearm (a sawed-off shotgun) without a licence; possession of unloaded prohibited firearms (two other sawed-off shotguns) with readily accessible ammunition; possession of seven firearms for a purpose dangerous to the public peace; possession of non-restricted firearms without a licence; and illegal storage of those weapons.

Erica Lea Ann Blyth, left, is seen being escorted from the Burton Courthouse on Thursday, and Devon Mark Hill Hood is pictured after a previous court appearance. (Photos: Don MacPherson/The Fredericton Independent)

The charges arose after police executed a search warrant June 21 at Blyth’s home.

Read more

11 Apr 2024 15:19:36

Arson suspect abandons quest for bail
Fredericton Independent

Arson suspect abandons quest for bail

Subscribe nowA Fredericton man on remand after being charged with torching a historic downtown building in March has given up on his bid to be released from custody on conditions - for now.Cole Christ ...
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A Fredericton man on remand after being charged with torching a historic downtown building in March has given up on his bid to be released from custody on conditions - for now.

Cole Christopher Harris, 28, was previously scheduled to go through a bail hearing April 2 but asked for the proceeding to be postponed to Thursday.

Harris faces charges of arson and breach of probation, stemming from a March 12 fire at the Militia Arms Storehouse on Carleton Street that appears to have gutted the structure, which is almost two centuries old.

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11 Apr 2024 14:07:27

St. Croix Courier

Premier says he wants to overhaul property tax system

By John Chilibeck, Local Journalism Initiative FREDERICTON — Facing an outcry over high property taxes, New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs says provincial assessment services need an overhaul, an ...
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By John Chilibeck, Local Journalism Initiative

FREDERICTON — Facing an outcry over high property taxes, New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs says provincial assessment services need an overhaul, and is musing that it could be farmed out to a private company or a new, standalone Crown corporation.

Speaking to reporters March 21 at the legislature, the Progressive Conservative premier said property tax assessments had long plagued New Brunswick governments, both Liberal and Tory.

This year, close to 10,000 property owners have launched appeals of their assessments, the highest number since a 2017 property tax scandal when Service New Brunswick pushed through batches of higher assessments without doing proper evaluations.

“Here we have a case where assessments are up because the population’s up and the demand’s up, so the market has improved,” Higgs said. “People aren’t really questioning the value of their homes. They’re questioning the taxes that are related to that value.”

This year the provincial government added an information sheet to property tax bills encouraging homeowners to contact their municipal government if they are unhappy with their tax rate.

The province comes up with the property assessments and collects the taxes, but then transfers the taxes on people’s principal home to municipalities. It only collects a portion of property taxes for its own coffers from apartments, cottages, secondary homes and commercial properties.

Nine out of every 10 property owners saw their property assessments go up this year.

At the high end, four out of 10 properties saw greater than a 10 per cent increase in their assessed values. Even with the province’s spike protection mechanism, many bills will go up 10 per cent, or hundreds of dollars.

Higgs said there was a good reason the province included the information sheet.

“The general public felt it was our bill because it has the Government of New Brunswick’s name on it. We do the assessments, that’s fair. But we don’t set the tax rate.”

Nonetheless, he expressed sympathy for municipalities struggling to make ends meet following local government reforms that his government imposed last year.

“I know the municipalities have increased costs, the same as we do. Our costs of operating government have gone up dramatically. So, I know they’re faced with the same thing. But let’s all look at where the opportunity can and cannot be and find out other sources of revenue.”

A recent independent study by two Université de Moncton economists recommended the province open new sources of revenue for struggling municipalities. Following provincial reforms that forced the amalgamation of many communities last year, it warned as many as 29 of the province’s 89 local entities were at risk of financial failure.

“Through this next year, it’s more important than ever that we have these financial discussions with the change in municipal reform, and all the discussions with municipalities and how they’re funded and make sure they have the funds they need to go forward and grow,” Higgs said.

Municipal leaders in the province have long complained they need more sources of revenue to keep their communities running.

“We need to figure that out,” Higgs admitted. “What should be different? Because I just think this is the year to really, finally put this thing to rest.”

Although the province has committed to putting in fiscal reform for municipalities by January, it will be after the provincial election, which must be held by Oct. 21.

Higgs said he’d analyzed charts that show property tax rates are much higher in New Brunswick than in neighbouring Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, and he wants to get to the bottom of it.

“This is the time that all the facts are on the table and we find the right financing model going forward, and including if we should be in the assessment business. Because the other provinces are totally set up differently.”

Deputy Liberal Leader René Legacy, who had just delivered a speech in response to the Tory budget introduced on Tuesday, said he was pleased to hear the premier acknowledge that something had to be done to fix assessments and property taxes.

In his speech, Legacy criticized the Tory government for still charging a rate of $19.40 for every $100,000 of assessed property just to do the assessment work. With property values going up, some people were seeing that charge rise dramatically. Legacy called for a flat rate that would charge everyone the same. Higgs acknowledged the rate should be part of any review.

“We’ve been calling for this review,” Legacy said. “There’s also the fact that while we’re talking about this, municipalities are really suffering. And we’re still sitting with a government with a large surplus that can probably offer some temporary relief at least.”

Green party Leader David Coon said fiscal reform for municipalities was long overdue and communities couldn’t wait much longer.

But he argued that before any major changes are made to property assessments, a public inquiry should be held.

“Everyone needs to understand why it’s gone wrong, why it’s inconsistent and often appears inequitable and unfair before we start building a new system,” he said. “What I hear most often from people is the system is unfair. So many places have property tax assessments that are dramatically different even though they have comparable homes. And then we need to look at how fairness could exist across property types from residential all the way to industrial. We haven’t got that.”

The Daily Gleaner

The post Premier says he wants to overhaul property tax system appeared first on The Saint Croix Courier.

11 Apr 2024 13:41:56

CBC News Brunswick

Landlords removing units from rent subsidy program, citing increased operating costs

The head of New Brunswick's housing corporation says it's taken notice of a trend of landlords taking rental units out of the corporation's subsidized rental program in order to make more money. ...
More ...Gregory Forestell stands inside a large conference room.

The head of New Brunswick's housing corporation says it's taken notice of a trend of landlords taking rental units out of the corporation's subsidized rental program in order to make more money.

11 Apr 2024 09:00:00

CBC News Brunswick

Minister rejects pitch for western N.B. police force to replace RCMP

A proposal to create a new regional police force in western New Brunswick to replace the RCMP has been rejected by the province's public safety minister. ...
More ...A close-up of the side of an RCMP vehicle.

A proposal to create a new regional police force in western New Brunswick to replace the RCMP has been rejected by the province's public safety minister.

10 Apr 2024 20:20:08

CBC News Brunswick

WATCH | Did the solar eclipse make tides more extreme? Kind of …

Tides across Atlantic Canada have been significantly higher and lower than usual this week. That’s partly because of normal spring tide patterns — but the recent eclipse is also playing a part. CB ...
More ...On the left, a total eclipse is shown. On the right, a red clay beach in P.E.I.

Tides across Atlantic Canada have been significantly higher and lower than usual this week. That’s partly because of normal spring tide patterns — but the recent eclipse is also playing a part. CBC P.E.I. meteorologist Jay Scotland explains the science at work.

10 Apr 2024 20:16:39

Cops release details about drug arrest
Fredericton Independent

Cops release details about drug arrest

Subscribe nowWhen officers moved to execute warrants of arrest for a Fredericton woman on outstanding theft and driving charges, it led to an accident drug-trafficking bust, police say.The Fredericton ...
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When officers moved to execute warrants of arrest for a Fredericton woman on outstanding theft and driving charges, it led to an accident drug-trafficking bust, police say.

The Fredericton Police Force issued a news release Wednesday detailing the circumstances that gave rise to the arrest of Tatiana Marie Martin late last month.

As the Fredericton Independent reported previously, Martin, 25, of Union Street in Fredericton, was remanded last week on several counts of possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking.

Wednesday’s release provides background on the circumstances police allege give rise to those charges.

Tatiana Marie Martin (Photo: Facebook)

“On March 30, 2024, Fredericton Police Force Patrol members attended a location in the Lincoln area to locate a female wanted for outstanding warrants of arrest,” the release said.  

“During the arrest, the officer observed drugs and drug paraphernalia dispersed throughout the location. Patrol members then arrested both individuals present for possession for the purpose of trafficking.”

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10 Apr 2024 19:01:03

CBC News Brunswick

Business owner who lost N.B. Liquor agency contract makes his case

A judge has reserved his decision in a legal challenge by a Hartland business owner over what he calls a case of political influence over a lucrative N.B. Liquor contract. ...
More ...A man with white hair stands outside on a town street wearing a leather jacket.

A judge has reserved his decision in a legal challenge by a Hartland business owner over what he calls a case of political influence over a lucrative N.B. Liquor contract.

10 Apr 2024 18:35:43

Lawyers let loose with agency-store arguments
Fredericton Independent

Lawyers let loose with agency-store arguments

Subscribe nowA Hartland business’s lawyer says unfairness and political interference cost it a long-standing NB Liquor agency-store contract, but the Crown corporation’s counsel contends i ...
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A Hartland business’s lawyer says unfairness and political interference cost it a long-standing NB Liquor agency-store contract, but the Crown corporation’s counsel contends it’s just a case of sour grapes.

An extended legal battle between a numbered company owned by Peter Cook, doing business as Freshmart in Hartland, and the provincial Crown corporation that oversees liquor sales in New Brunswick came to a head Wednesday after three years.

Cook had filed an application for judicial review with the Court of King’s Bench in Fredericton in March 2021, claiming NB Liquor’s decision to end its agency-store contract with Freshmart and to award it to Hartland Valu Foods Inc. was erroneous.

Hartland Freshmart (Photo: Google Street View)

The case has been the subject of numerous preliminary motions, including an effort to introduce evidence from a whistleblower - Stacey McKinney, a former financial executive at NB Liquor - who ultimately withdrew her allegations, signing a sworn affidavit in 2022 that she had no information that was pertinent to Cook’s case.

Justice Terrence Morrison heard arguments at the Burton Courthouse on Wednesday for the judicial review itself, and he reserved his decision on the issue to a later date.

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10 Apr 2024 18:14:06

CBC News Brunswick

Son of man who died waiting for care at Fredericton ER speaks of heartache, frustrations

The son of the patient who died in the Fredericton ER waiting room nearly two years ago speaks out about watching security video at the inquest this week showing his last moments. ...
More ...A man wearing a blazer standing in the hallway of a hotel.

The son of the patient who died in the Fredericton ER waiting room nearly two years ago speaks out about watching security video at the inquest this week showing his last moments.

10 Apr 2024 17:30:44

St. Croix Courier

‘Plans are in place’ for sale of St. Stephen hotel property: receiver

By Andrew Bates, Local Journalism Initiative ST. STEPHEN — A downtown St. Stephen property that’s sat in construction limbo since last year may soon have a new owner, the property’s recei ...
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By Andrew Bates, Local Journalism Initiative

ST. STEPHEN — A downtown St. Stephen property that’s sat in construction limbo since last year may soon have a new owner, the property’s receiver confirms.

According to court documents, work began in 2022 on a proposed Best Western hotel on Budd Avenue next to the Garcelon Civic Center. But after the foundation was put down in 2022 the spot has sat empty, according to court documents, and with as many as seven companies filing claims against developers Spur Line Properties, a judge ordered in November the property go into receivership.

Receiver Paul Pettigrew, of MNP, confirmed Monday “plans are in place to market and sell the property,” and declined further comment.

Discussions regarding the proposed hotel go back as far as 2012, and in April of 2022 Spur Line Properties owner Thomas McFarlane told media it was to be a hybrid of hotel and apartments, with 35 hotel rooms and 28 long-term rentals planned to open in spring 2023.

Ontario firm Nelkor, owned by Robert Nelson, said in court filings it is owed $927,592 from loans it issued Spur Line Properties from December 2019 to September 2021, secured against the property’s mortgage.

“There is no evidence of any prospect of advancement of the development,” Nelkor said in a September 2023 filing arguing for the receivership, which described the land as a “bare concrete slab foundation with plumbing fixtures extruding” and a “blight on the streetscape” of St. Stephen, threatening the property’s value.

The filing said the receiver could act in a “commercially reasonable manner” to dispose of the property, which could have added value for a developer who wished to take the hotel project forward.

Bird Construction Group, Celtic Construction Inc., Fundy Contractors Limited, Seaside Plumbing and Mechanical, Inc., Ocean Steel Rebar Limited and Southwest Electric and Security Inc. all also have actions against Spur Line Properties, according to the receivership order. The property was appraised at $764,500 in January 2019, according to court filings.

A motion was filed to rank the creditors, according to court records, with a court hearing planned April 15.

On Friday, Mayor Allan MacEachern said the municipality is concerned about the sale process.

“I hope a great developer comes in and take advantage of the property, with the location, and builds a hotel,” he said. “That would be the best win ever.”

MacEachern said “the need is there” for a hotel, saying that the stalled development has prevented another large hotel from moving into town on another site, hampering economic development.

“It’s huge… If that wasn’t where it was right now, there would be a hotel,” he said. “I had discussions with developers and they were ready to roll, the only thing holding them up is fear of that one coming to fruition.”

A March report to St. Stephen council from Future St. Stephen interim president Jeremy Barham said the sale is expected to be open by the end of the month with the owner taking possession by the summer.

In the report, the economic development agency recommended the municipality consider a bid to regain control of the land. It said that once the sale went through, they could begin approaching hotel developers again.

At a recent council meeting, Barham said the motion to rank the creditors hopefully will not delay the process “any more than a week or 10 days.”

Barham told media they’re “eager to see resolution of the court process” and declined further comment.

MacEachern declined comment on the proposal to make a bid, saying that “we’re not developers, my biggest concern is someone develops it into a need for our community that fits that area.”

At the meeting, Coun. Marg Harding called the bid idea a “winner,” adding that the hotel development would support all the town’s other projects.

“In order to move this town ahead, I’ve said this 10 times, we have to have a hotel,” she said.

Spur Line Properties didn’t respond to a request for comment by press time.

With files from Marlo Glass.
Telegraph-Journal

The post ‘Plans are in place’ for sale of St. Stephen hotel property: receiver appeared first on The Saint Croix Courier.

10 Apr 2024 13:38:55

St. Croix Courier

“My buddy’s sister got in a Carrie Underwood lookalike contest and took fourth place. The bad news is she was the only one in the contest” — Larry the Cable Guy

I was listening to the radio last week and couldn’t believe my ears when the lady said someone smuggled an elephant into Mexico from Texas. It happened back in 2001 when a pick-up truck pulling a tr ...
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I was listening to the radio last week and couldn’t believe my ears when the lady said someone smuggled an elephant into Mexico from Texas. It happened back in 2001 when a pick-up truck pulling a trailer with an elephant in it, was waved through customs in Matamoros, Mexico. Let’s face it, nobody wants to see anybody lose their job, but not spotting a three-tonne elephant may be just cause. The closest that I’ve ever came to something like this happening to me was years ago when I was travelling with a bunch of delinquents on our way back home from the St. Croix Valley Drive-In in Baring, Me. When we pulled up to Canadian customs, an astute officer said, “Any more beer in the car?” Apparently, it was lost on the young chap with us in the front seat passenger side that a can of beer between his legs might not go undetected. This set off a series of events like a complete search of the car that allowed us all to try on the officer’s hat he placed on the roof. It also got us a visit inside the customs office where we were given a choice of paying duty on the beer or surrendering it to the Government of Canada. Nobody was swimming in money, but we managed to pay for the “alleged” illegal beer but a $5.00 duty charge on each bottle of Boone’s Farm wine that cost 99 cents was just too rich. After we got some newfound cockiness, we questioned the officer on what was going to happen to the wine, he took us into the bathroom where he poured it into the flush. We were OK with that. After all, the last thing we wanted was for somebody to snag a few bottles of fighting wine and have a good time on our dime.

Getting things done around the house can be challenging as there always seems to be things that can be pushed back or aside while you focus on the important issues. I remember seeing a lady washing her mailbox one day. All I could think of was, “Now there’s somebody who must have everything done on her to-do list done and now is on the last item.” This coming from somebody who prides themselves in getting so much procrastinating done every day that they are the president of the local chapter of Procrastinators Anonymous. I swear that before I die, I’m going to attend one of the meetings if I can only find the time. I really like the saying that you should wait until the very last second to do something because then you’ll be older and therefore, much wiser. That’s why you won’t catch me around too much on April 30: I’ll be filing my taxes. I got all kinds of time!

I noticed a story recently about what vehicle was cheaper, an electric one or gas powered. I am sorry I don’t have the results of the study to report them to you. There were a few things that prevented me from getting this information. One was that the headline said the study was done by a scholar and that deterred me right off the bat. There ain’t no way this cat is going to understand what’s being talked about. As soon as the multisyllabic words start coming out of the guy’s piehole, I’m off to Another World or General Hospital. The second was that I had to watch the whole thing on a video which is not going to happen. I’ll watch cats that are high as a kite, chase laser beams around, but probably not somebody talking about electric or gas vehicles. Another good reason is that you’re dealing a guy who once saw a Mark Twain postage stamp and said, “Cool, the Americans put Lanny McDonald on a stamp!”

The post “My buddy’s sister got in a Carrie Underwood lookalike contest and took fourth place. The bad news is she was the only one in the contest” — Larry the Cable Guy appeared first on The Saint Croix Courier.

10 Apr 2024 12:00:00

‘What I did was awful’ - sex offender
Fredericton Independent

‘What I did was awful’ - sex offender

Subscribe nowA Canadian soldier wept openly throughout his sentencing hearing Tuesday as lawyers made arguments about how much time he should serve in prison for sexually abusing a young girl.Marcelo ...
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A Canadian soldier wept openly throughout his sentencing hearing Tuesday as lawyers made arguments about how much time he should serve in prison for sexually abusing a young girl.

Marcelo Sosa, 33, formerly of Robert Street in Oromocto, was found guilty after trial months ago of touching a girl for a sexual purpose, directing her to touch him sexually and making sexually explicit material available to her.

The incident in question occurred in Oromocto between March 1 and July 11, 2021.

Marcelo Sosa (Photo: Youtube/Canadian Forces)

Sosa was back before Fredericton provincial court Judge Lucie Mathurin for sentencing Tuesday.

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10 Apr 2024 11:15:41

CBC News Brunswick

Unclaimed workers' benefit money fuels $44M growth in N.B. budget surplus

Most people the New Brunswick government targeted to receive a new $300 workers' benefit have not applied for the money, and $44 million the province set aside in last year's budget to finance payment ...
More ...A cheque for $300

Most people the New Brunswick government targeted to receive a new $300 workers' benefit have not applied for the money, and $44 million the province set aside in last year's budget to finance payments to the end of March went unclaimed.

10 Apr 2024 09:00:00

CBC News Brunswick

More volunteers needed to help solve housing crisis, N.B. non-profit groups say

A shortage of volunteers is putting strain on the work that non-profit organizations in New Brunswick are able to do to build and manage more homes amid a housing crisis. ...
More ...Peter Corbyn stands outside the Fredericton Playhouse.

A shortage of volunteers is putting strain on the work that non-profit organizations in New Brunswick are able to do to build and manage more homes amid a housing crisis.

10 Apr 2024 09:00:00

River Valley Sun

Best place under the sun… and moon

Sun, moon, weather, and community cooperate for magical eclipse show in western New Brunswick Thousands of eyes turned to the skies in Upper St. John River Valley late Monday afternoon, April 8, as ...
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Sun, moon, weather, and community cooperate for magical eclipse show in western New Brunswick

Thousands of eyes turned to the skies in Upper St. John River Valley late Monday afternoon, April 8, as the moon passed in front of the sun to deliver a total eclipse under clear blue skies.

Communities in the Upper Valley offered almost ideal weather conditions in which to view the rare celestial phenomenon. Visitors from around the globe joined community residents to cast their eyes skyward at viewing parties in communities like Florenceville-Bristol, Hartland and Woodstock.

“It’s phenomenal,” said Western Valley Regional Service Commission Tourism Director Barb Sharp, who worked with community representatives for several months to coordinate plans for Eclipse Day.

“I’m ecstatic today,” she said as she stood among the growing crowd at Potato World in Florenceville-Bristol early Monday afternoon, excitedly anticipating the pending total eclipse.

Between cell phone calls with officials overseeing several other viewing parties throughout the River Valley and Miramichi in eastern New Brunswick, Sharp flashed a wide smile as everything fell into place for a positive experience of the area’s first total eclipse in more than a millennium.

“This is the best place in North America to watch it,” she said. “It’s such a great vibe.”

Sharp said visitors arrived in western New Brunswick from across the world, noting hotels, bed and breakfast sites, cottages and camps have been booked for months. She said most had never heard of Carleton North, Woodstock or Hartland before the sun and moon converged for a few minutes above them.

She said she talked to visitors from India, Switzerland, and worldwide.

“It’s put us on the map globally,” Sharp said.

Amateur astronomer Vincent Martin of Grand Falls watches the eclipse from the viewing area near Potato World in Florenceville-Bristol. (Jim Dumville photo)

New York couple Yong and Christina Hahn said the weather forecast convinced them to make last-minute adjustments to their eclipse plans.

When they first viewed the total eclipse path, which started in Mexico and ran diagonally through the U.S., parts of Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick, they saw that Texas offered the greatest probability of clear skies and New Brunswick the worst.

“I think it was 90 per cent (chance of clouds) in New Brunswick,” Yong recalled.

As the big day approached, the couple noted weather forecasts predicted heavy cloud cover in Texas and other parts of the U.S. and Ontario but bright sunshine in New Brunswick. They decided to head north, crossing into Canada at the Houlton-Woodstock border crossing on Saturday, April 6.

The Hahns are glad they did. They not only got a clear view of the total eclipse but also experienced a part of Canada they knew little about. Christina said they visited Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax and even watched polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba, but never considered western New Brunswick.

As part of the total eclipse experience, the couple joined hundreds of others behind the Amsterdam Inn and Suites, next to Potato World, to watch the long-planned launch of a weather balloon carrying a payload of computer equipment and telescope to provide a view of the total eclipse beyond cloud cover.

Florenceville-Bristol resident David Hunter, a retired physicist and long-time astronomy enthusiast, planned the launch for the last four years. After viewing a total eclipse in 2017 in Wyoming, he developed the balloon idea to improve the chances of an unobstructed view of the event regardless of weather when his hometown experienced the rare phenomenon in 2024.

After multiple years of planning and winds which would hinder the balloon launch, Hunter said the clear skies reduced the pressure.

As they prepared the launch site behind the Amsterdam Inn Monday morning, David’s brother, Lawson Hunter, one of the numerous members of the balloon-launch team, noted the growing number of media and spectators already gathering under the bright sunshine. He said that made for a great day.

“We already consider it a victory,” he said. “We wanted to make Florenceville-Bristol a destination and we succeeded.”

Anne and Mark Steeves of Kelowna, B.C., joined the many travelling long distances to view the total eclipse in Carleton North. The event provided Moncton native Mark and Carleton County native Anne with a ready excuse to visit home.

Anne’s brother James Blackie and his wife, Cecile, among the scores of volunteers helping out at the launch site and viewing area, happily hosted family members for the historic day.

When asked whether she would be visiting her brother if not for the eclipse, Anne responded with a laugh, “Not in April!”

Cape Breton native John Mercer, who now lives in Edmonton, Alberta, also travelled across Canada to combine viewing the eclipse with a family visit. Mercer, his wife Vida and other family members visited their sister Jocelyn Kierstead in Woodstock.

In addition to taking in the eclipse, they enjoyed the many community activities during the weekend leading up to Eclipse Day. On Sunday, April 7, Woodstock’s Eclipse Family Fun Day, they enjoyed live music in Sam’s Room at the AYR Motor Centre.

Mercer, Vida, and a few friends have become eclipse chasers, having previously watched a total eclipse in Montana and Hawaii. He said they planned to watch this one in Mexico, but they opted to head east when he realized Woodstock was on the total eclipse path.

He called watching a total eclipse an incredible life experience.

“You’re in touch with the universe,” he said.

Young amateur astronomer Vincent Martin had to travel only a short distance from Grand Falls to join others at the viewing area in Carleton North. Equipped with his eclipse glasses and telescope and wearing his NASA hat, Martin exuded excitement as he took in the rare astrological event.

The post Best place under the sun… and moon first appeared on River Valley Sun.

9 Apr 2024 23:50:04

CBC News Brunswick

WestJet returns to Fredericton with seasonal service to Calgary

WestJet is returning to the Fredericton International Airport to offer a single flight, twice a week, from Fredericton to Calgary. ...
More ...A white passenger airplane rising in the sky with the green and teal WestJet markings on it's tail and fuselage.

WestJet is returning to the Fredericton International Airport to offer a single flight, twice a week, from Fredericton to Calgary.

9 Apr 2024 20:39:04

CBC News Brunswick

Shorter waits for new knees, hips led to longer waits for other surgeries, doctors say

Wait times for hip and knee replacements may have dropped dramatically in the Horizon Health Network, but it's come at the expense of other types of surgeries, say some Fredericton doctors.  ...
More ...A large bilingual Horizon Health Network sign for the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital and emergency department near the parking lot, with the building in the background.

Wait times for hip and knee replacements may have dropped dramatically in the Horizon Health Network, but it's come at the expense of other types of surgeries, say some Fredericton doctors. 

9 Apr 2024 19:54:21

Child-abduction case resolved
Fredericton Independent

Child-abduction case resolved

Subscribe nowA Florenceville-Bristol woman who had been remanded on parental-abduction charges until her release on conditions last week has admitted to lesser, included offences.The 43-year-old defen ...
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A Florenceville-Bristol woman who had been remanded on parental-abduction charges until her release on conditions last week has admitted to lesser, included offences.

The 43-year-old defendant was charged in January with two counts of parental abduction in violation of a family court custody order, alleged to have occurred Jan. 4 in Beardsley, just south of Woodstock.

Courtroom No. 5 in the Justice Building in downtown Fredericton. (Photo: Don MacPherson/The Fredericton Independent)

The identities of two children - who are the subject of the court order and who were named in the charges as victims - are protected by a court-ordered publication ban, and given the relationship to the accused, the Fredericton Independent isn’t naming her either so as to comply with the ban.

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9 Apr 2024 19:43:33

CBC News Brunswick

2 more COVID deaths in N.B., no new flu deaths

Weekly report from the Department of Health days disease levels remain stable. ...
More ...A paramedic wearing a baseball hat and medical mask walks beside an ambulance parked outside a hospital.

Weekly report from the Department of Health days disease levels remain stable.

9 Apr 2024 18:49:54

CBC News Brunswick

On-site massage chairs available for New Brunswick health-care workers

New Brunswick's health-care workers can now get a free massage at the new RecharjMe cabins, officially launched on Tuesday morning. ...
More ...Two cabins with black doors and a punch code entry system.

New Brunswick's health-care workers can now get a free massage at the new RecharjMe cabins, officially launched on Tuesday morning.

9 Apr 2024 18:46:57

CBC News Brunswick

Ottawa eases requirements for international students, but N.B. schools say not enough

Some New Brunswick post-secondary institutions are welcoming an increase in the number of attestation letters they can send to international students in support of their study permit applications. But ...
More ...Ryan Sullivan smiles for a portrait

Some New Brunswick post-secondary institutions are welcoming an increase in the number of attestation letters they can send to international students in support of their study permit applications. But it may not help in time for September,

9 Apr 2024 18:45:12

Stanley man denies sex assault, choking
Fredericton Independent

Stanley man denies sex assault, choking

Subscribe nowA Stanley man accused of sexually assaulting an underage female complainant and choking her while he did so is headed to trial in a year’s time.Spencer Ray, 21, appeared in Frederic ...
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A Stanley man accused of sexually assaulting an underage female complainant and choking her while he did so is headed to trial in a year’s time.

Spencer Ray, 21, appeared in Fredericton provincial court Monday to answer to three indictable charges.

He was accompanied by defence lawyer Emily Cochrane, who was acting as an agent for his counsel, T.J. Burke. 

Spencer Ray (Photo: Facebook)

Ray is accused of sexually assaulting a girl; choking, suffocating or strangling her in committing that assault; and touching a minor, the same girl, for a sexual purpose with a part of his body.

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9 Apr 2024 18:08:29

Dead-horse suspect says she has counsel again
Fredericton Independent

Dead-horse suspect says she has counsel again

Subscribe nowA Currieburg woman charged with neglecting and harming horses last year was no-show in court last week, and on Tuesday, no one could track down the lawyer she now says represents her.Char ...
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A Currieburg woman charged with neglecting and harming horses last year was no-show in court last week, and on Tuesday, no one could track down the lawyer she now says represents her.

Charlotte H. Bright, 76, of Currieburg Road, was supposed to appear in the Court of King’s Bench at the Burton Courthouse on April 3 for a pre-trial conference.

She’s scheduled to stand trial June 17 on charges of killing, maiming, wounding or otherwise injuring horses belonging to her; neglecting those animals by failing to provide them with adequate food, water, shelter and care; and causing the horses unnecessary pain or suffering, all between Feb. 1 and April 8, 2023, in Currieburg.

Charlotte H. Bright (Photo: Don MacPherson/The Fredericton Independent)

But Bright, who was representing herself on the charges, wasn’t present when her case was called last week, prompting Justice Thomas Christie to issue a warrant for her arrest.

Her pre-trial conference was back on the King’s Bench docket Tuesday, and this time, Bright was in attendance.

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9 Apr 2024 15:32:25

St. Croix Courier

First Nation, province refuse to settle lawsuit

By John Chilibeck, Local Journalism Initiative FREDERICTON — Both sides battling over a big Indigenous title claim in New Brunswick blame the other for refusing to settle the case outside of cour ...
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By John Chilibeck, Local Journalism Initiative

FREDERICTON — Both sides battling over a big Indigenous title claim in New Brunswick blame the other for refusing to settle the case outside of court, a dispute that will likely create millions of dollars in legal costs.

During a break in proceedings last week, Madawaska Chief Patricia Bernard said the Wolastoqey Nation has always been willing to negotiate with the provincial government over its Aboriginal title claim.

She blames Blaine Higgs’s Progressive Conservative government for being inflexible.

“We don’t want to litigate but we have no choice,” said Bernard, whose First Nation in northwestern New Brunswick is one of six communities along the Saint John River, or Wolastoq, that launched the claim in 2020 for more than half of the province’s territory.

“Every time we litigate, it’s not for want of trying to negotiate. Because the province is just, like, ‘nope.'” 

The Liberal and Green opposition parties have criticized the Higgs government for not engaging in settlement talks. Bernard said she tries to stay out of provincial politics and doesn’t normally advise her First Nation’s registered population of 377 who to vote for.

But this Oct. 21, when the provincial election is scheduled, will be different.

“On this subject, yes, I’ll ask them to vote in favour of the Wolastoqey. I don’t tell people to vote Liberal, I tell them not to vote Conservative.”

Premier Higgs fired back that Indigenous leaders were the ones who don’t want to negotiate.

“Chief Bernard wants to play politics with people’s rights,” Higgs said in an email to media. “We are only before the court asking for what the Wolastoqey have publicly promised several times.

“Their land claim needs to leave out the property of everyday citizens. We negotiated with them for over a year. Not only was our request refused, but they also added 25 private companies and NB Power to the claim. The very thing they said would never happen and that they would not do.”

Higgs said the court hearings could end tomorrow.

“The Wolastoqey simply need to consent to a court order that releases the land of everyday citizens and their right to use it, something which they have always maintained. I can’t explain why the Wolastoqey are in court objecting to their own position.”

The province says the private land in question has an assessed worth of $44 billion.

The Court of King’s Bench is continuing to hear preliminary motions this week before the case goes to trial. Experts say the litigation could take up to a decade to resolve.

The potential costs are enormous. Among the companies named in the title claim, most have lawyers at the proceedings, which the court has been holding at a conference room at the Fredericton Inn, allowing more space. There are also teams of lawyers representing the Wolastoqey, the provincial government and NB Power, and Ottawa.

No fewer than 18 lawyers are set up at tables to argue their points, with an overflow of legal workers in the public gallery, at any time numbering more than two dozen professionals in total. The billable hours for hours and hours of court time will be immense.

All sides agree the Wolastoqey have a legitimate case for Aboriginal title, a legally accepted principle in Canada that protects the Indigenous communal property rights over lands that were never surrendered to the Crown.

Josh McElman, the lawyer the Province hired to argue its case, described in court last month that the relationship between the Crown, or government, and the Wolastoqey was like a marriage in which there can’t be a divorce.

The question is over what a declaration of title would mean. The Wolastoqey Nation says it doesn’t want to get in the way of everyday New Brunswickers using their homes or businesses as they wish, and that it simply wants government compensation for giving away those lands.

It also wants a future say over how those properties might be used if the owners want to extract valuable resources, such as opening a strip mine.

In the case of the big 25 companies and Crown or public land, the Wolastoqey wants the territory returned.

Bernard, a lawyer herself, said her side began preparing the groundwork in 2013, when it held talks with a couple of legal firms about options. It ultimately picked OKT, one of Canada’s leading Indigenous law firms, with offices in Toronto and Yellowknife. The firm’s lead lawyer in the case, Renée Pelletier, grew up in Nova Scotia but her father’s side is originally from the same First Nation as Bernard’s.

“Since I was a child, I was told, we were never defeated, we never gave up the land, we never surrendered it or ceded it,” Bernard said. “It didn’t just happen all of a sudden one day. Over time, an awareness among the Wolastoqey and a lot of Indigenous people came about. We’re saying, ‘Wait a minute, that’s not right. Let’s do something about it.’Once you reach that point, when do you start an action?” 

The chief said she appreciated McElman’s analogy about a marriage with no prospect of divorce, binding the two peoples together. It’s less paternalistic, she said, than the province’s normal approach.

“You want to work on a nation-to-nation basis. This is a marriage where you can’t get a divorce. That’s a better analogy than a parent-child relationship. So I saw that analogy a little bit of movement in their understanding about what the relationship is. Because you don’t sign a treaty with your child, you do it with an equal, nation to nation.”

Reporters asked Mike Holland, the minister of Indigenous Affairs and natural resources, to comment, but he demurred.

“I will continue to work with First Nations on all matters that require my attention as Minister of Indigenous Affairs,” he said in an email. “At this time there are ongoing legal proceedings taking place and I cannot comment on any of these issues as they are before the court.”

The Daily Gleaner

The post First Nation, province refuse to settle lawsuit appeared first on The Saint Croix Courier.

9 Apr 2024 14:17:03

St. Croix Courier

Nominations closing for local government byelection

FREDERICTON — Nominations close at 2 p.m. on Apr. 12 for candidates to fill 11 vacancies in local governments around the province, including Ward 2 on Campobello Island. “Elections New Brunswic ...
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FREDERICTON — Nominations close at 2 p.m. on Apr. 12 for candidates to fill 11 vacancies in local governments around the province, including Ward 2 on Campobello Island.

“Elections New Brunswick encourages residents … to consider offering for these important positions”, said Kimberly Poffenroth, municipal electoral officer, in a press release. “Serving on a council allows individuals to give back to their communities and have a say on the future planning in the place where they and their families live.”

If more than one candidate is nominated for a position, there will be a byelection on May 6.

The post Nominations closing for local government byelection appeared first on The Saint Croix Courier.

9 Apr 2024 13:53:33

St. Croix Courier

Low-income seniors’ benefit applications open

FREDERICTON — Applications are now available for New Brunswicks’ 2024 Low-Income Seniors’ Benefit, which increased to $600 on Apr. 1. “Government knows many seniors on fixed incomes and low ...
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FREDERICTON — Applications are now available for New Brunswicks’ 2024 Low-Income Seniors’ Benefit, which increased to $600 on Apr. 1.

“Government knows many seniors on fixed incomes and low-income seniors need help with their household bills,” Kathy Bockus, minister responsible for seniors, said in a press release. “More than 44,000 seniors across the province benefit from this program, and I am pleased this initiative ensures they can access assistance right away.”

To qualify, applicants must be New Brunswick residents, at least 60 years old, and already receiving the federal Guaranteed Income Supplement, Allowance Program, or Allowance for the Survivor Program.

Spouses receiving the Guaranteed Income Supplement are only eligible for one $600 benefit per household.

According to government figures, the program will cost $28 million.

Applications are open until Dec. 31. Details are available online, by emailing [email protected], or by calling 1-833-796-0944.

The post Low-income seniors’ benefit applications open appeared first on The Saint Croix Courier.

9 Apr 2024 13:50:42

St. Croix Courier

Fugitive caught, charged with assault, robbery

By Andrew Bates, Local Journalism Initiative ST. STEPHEN — A 33-year-old Charlotte County man wanted for robbery and assault with a weapon was arrested last week and appeared in court last week. ...
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By Andrew Bates, Local Journalism Initiative

ST. STEPHEN — A 33-year-old Charlotte County man wanted for robbery and assault with a weapon was arrested last week and appeared in court last week.

Ronald James McLaughlin, 33, of Route 755 in Honeydale, was charged late last month with robbery of a 2010 Dodge Journey through use of personal violence, assault with a crowbar, uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm and damage to the windshield of the Dodge. The charges relate to Feb. 15 attack in Old Ridge, according to court records.

St. Stephen RCMP asked for the public’s help to locate McLaughlin on Feb. 17, and recently announced he was  “arrested in the community.” McLaughlin was previously arrested Jan. 29 in connection to an alleged gun incident in Lawrence Station, police said.

McLaughlin also faces charges of possession of a shotgun and careless handling of a shotgun dating to Oct. 8, 2022, in Tower Hill, assault with a cellphone, and damage to the cellphone Sept. 8, 2023, and carrying a handgun for a dangerous purpose Jan. 4, as well as breaches of house arrest and a failure to appear, according to court records.

In court, McLaughlin appeared by video, with duty council Margaret Gallagher saying he was still seeking legal aid.

Telegraph-Journal

The post Fugitive caught, charged with assault, robbery appeared first on The Saint Croix Courier.

9 Apr 2024 13:47:22

St. Croix Courier

Lake Utopia residents ‘on pins and needles’ as water rose during rains

By Andrew Bates, Local Journalism Initiative LAKE UTOPIA — A local resident said she spent Easter Monday standing in water atop her two-metre retaining wall. Patty Borthwick said she missed th ...
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By Andrew Bates, Local Journalism Initiative

LAKE UTOPIA — A local resident said she spent Easter Monday standing in water atop her two-metre retaining wall.

Patty Borthwick said she missed the worst of flooding in the St. George area, but watched during the weekend as rains drove the water level higher.

“We’re at a higher elevation, so my house wasn’t at risk of flooding, although you don’t know when the water is going to stop,” Borthwick said. “For like three or four days, we’ve been on pins and needles watching, because you can’t stop water.”

Municipality of Eastern Charlotte CAO Jason Gaudet said two to three houses dealt with basement flooding damage, and others would be dealing with debris on their property. The municipality warned of heavy rains March 27 to 29, with Environment Canada recording 71.5 millimetres of rain at the St. Stephen station from March 27 to 30.

Gaudet said the water broke the banks of the Magaguadavic River and Lake Utopia, but did not reach the 100-year-flood level, or the level reached by catastrophic flooding in December 2010.

River levels at Elmcroft topped out at 4.97 metres at 1:35 p.m. Saturday, which was 2.4 metres higher than the previous maximum for that date, according to provisional Environment Canada data.

Gaudet said most people in the area were “pretty much prepared,” and that areas most affected were “newer homes” under the 100-year mark, with some docks and other items coming loose.

“What we will typically say around here is if it’s below that mark, you are risking it,” he said. “We always encourage residents to not leave anything come November where those high watermarks are.”

Gaudet said that most people in the area were “pretty much prepared” for the flooding. He said that there was a “long delay” with a usual delay of 12-18 hours when heavy rain hits the river system before water levels are impacted.

“The water peak was significantly delayed by probably about six hours, so that was kind of unusual, I think it’s just the way the rain fell,” he said. “Outside of that, water’s water, as long as you are preparing for it.”

He said there were a few closed roads, but there was no use of municipal services, including fire, for evacuations. Other than a boardwalk system in the riverside park, they aren’t worried about structures.

Borthwick said she felt it’s a “recurring thing” and “totally preventable,” saying that the gates of the St. George dam downriver opened too late.

“When you have a big rain event, and it’s forecast, and you can see it coming, the gates of the dam need to be open,” she said.

The dam, operated by J.D. Irving, Limited subsidary St. George Power, has three main gates and a “tainter” gate, which is the last to be opened. A live reading of dam status and levels is provided on the SGP website.

JDI spokesman Brendan Langille said in a press release that workers opened all gates before the rain started, allowing the river to “flow fully” through the dam unrestricted.

“St. George Power cannot control river levels in high flow events like we saw over the last few days,” he said. “The flow rate of the river has been studied extensively and the dam is not the reason that flooding is occurring upriver.”

Ken Hanselpacker, a board member of the Lake Utopia Preservation Association, said his group sent an email asking for the “tainter” gate to be opened on the morning of Sunday, March 24, but it wasn’t opened until late Tuesday.

Because water flowing south can go either through the dam or into Lake Utopia, he said draining the lake to about 17.5 metres would create a “buffer” to help prevent flood damage.

“That buffer was not there,” Hanselpacker said. “Had that buffer been there, we wouldn’t have the flooding like we do now.”

Langille said a narrow restriction on the Magaguadavic at the Brunswick Street Bridge affects upsteam levels during “high flow” events, not the dam.

“According to engineering studies and historical operation, lowering water levels on Lake Utopia in advance of rain events does not lower the peak water levels upriver,” he said.

Elaine Nason, who lives on Canal Road, said it “wasn’t as bad as it could have been” at her property, saying water came up over a pasture area.

“It didn’t cut me off from civilization and it didn’t necessarily flood my house, thankfully, but it is a concern,” she said.

She said in past flood events, water has risen to the level of the Canal covered bridge and prevented access.

“We couldn’t get out of here at all,” she said. “Once you get trapped in here, unless a boat comes to get you, you don’t get out.”

Gaudet said the water levels were receding Monday, and the lake stood at 19.6 metres as of 5:45 p.m. Hanselpacker posted a SGP screenshot showing what he said was a peak level of 19.9 metres as of 9 p.m. Sunday night.

The water levels were higher than this past December, when the town went into active monitoring at 19 metres, Gaudet said. At the time, he said residential flood issues start at the 19.5-to-20-metre range.

In November, Wildlife Conservation Society Canada declared Lake Utopia a “key biodiversity site,” saying it’s the only known habitat of the Lake Utopia Rainbow Smelt.

Borthwick said she sees lake levels fluctuate frequently, which gives her concern about erosion and animal habitats, including the smelt.

“I sound frustrated, because I am frustrated, when it’s totally avoidable,” Borthwick said. She said a “watchdog” regulatory body could help make sure property owners and wildlife are looked after.

She said she was out on her retaining wall Monday to make sure a dock and other flotsam weren’t stranded on the way back out.

“Last thing we want is 50 feet (15 metres) of dock up on our grass, so you’re out there all day today in the rubber boots, pushing off the dock, pushing off the dock,” she said.

“We’re lucky, OK, it’s only a dock and it’s only grass and debris that we’ve got to clean up, but some people are not as lucky.”

Telegraph-Journal

The post Lake Utopia residents ‘on pins and needles’ as water rose during rains appeared first on The Saint Croix Courier.

9 Apr 2024 13:37:54

CBC News Brunswick

Inquest into death of man waiting at Fredericton ER to hear from nurses, pathologist

A coroner's inquest into the death of a patient who was waiting for care at the Fredericton hospital's emergency department continues today with more testimony. ...
More ...A portrait of a man with grey hair and a beard, wearing a blue collared shirt and brown tweed blazer.

A coroner's inquest into the death of a patient who was waiting for care at the Fredericton hospital's emergency department continues today with more testimony.

9 Apr 2024 12:53:06

Suspect in shooting incident needs new counsel
Fredericton Independent

Suspect in shooting incident needs new counsel

Subscribe nowA Maugerville man remanded on serious firearms charges will return to court next month - hopefully with a new lawyer.Brandon Aaron Laads, 32, of Portobello Drive, appeared in Fredericton ...
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Subscribe now

A Maugerville man remanded on serious firearms charges will return to court next month - hopefully with a new lawyer.

Brandon Aaron Laads, 32, of Portobello Drive, appeared in Fredericton provincial court by telephone from a remand facility Monday to answer to several RCMP charges stemming from events three weeks ago.

Brandon Ladds (Photo: Facebook)

He’s accused of discharging a firearm at Shawn Cochrane with intent to wound, maim or disfigure him, or to endanger his life; possessing a rifle for a purpose dangerous to the public peace; storing a firearm improperly; possessing a rifle without a licence; and possessing it knowing he didn’t have a licence to do so.

Read more

9 Apr 2024 11:52:48

River Valley Sun

Solar eclipse ‘a dream come true’ for western New Brunswick

Clear skies and few issues make April 8 a perfect day Barb Sharp, Tourism Director with the Western New Brunswick Service Commission, said the day was “a dream come true.” Clear skies a ...
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Clear skies and few issues make April 8 a perfect day

Barb Sharp, Tourism Director with the Western New Brunswick Service Commission, said the day was “a dream come true.” Clear skies and few traffic problems meant tourists and residents alike were able to witness history clearly as the moon passed in front of the sun, creating a perfect moment for those who took advantage of the event and watched. Col. Chris Hadfield, Canada’s most famous astronaut, capped off the day with a special show at the Northern Carleton Recreation Centre.

The River Valley Sun will have complete coverage in our newspaper (on newsstands on Friday, April 12) and online in the coming days as we work to upload videos, including our full interview with Chris Hadfield.

In the meantime, enjoy this condensed version of the big event. Thanks to Nova Scotia videographer Nancy Vidito, who made our coverage that much more spectacular.

The post Solar eclipse ‘a dream come true’ for western New Brunswick first appeared on River Valley Sun.

9 Apr 2024 10:26:13

CBC News Brunswick

Fredericton police pursuing more bylaw changes in effort to crack down on noisy vehicles

The Fredericton Police Force wants to change a city bylaw again as part of efforts to crack down on excessively noisy vehicles in the city. ...
More ...Martin Gaudet speaks inside the lobby of the Fredericton police headquarters.

The Fredericton Police Force wants to change a city bylaw again as part of efforts to crack down on excessively noisy vehicles in the city.

9 Apr 2024 10:21:02

CBC News Brunswick

5 years on, Higgs still impatient for more health authority collaboration

Premier Blaine Higgs's on-and-off preoccupation with the province's two health authorities — and his desire to see them collaborate more — is on again.  ...
More ...A man in a blue suit and white shirt stands in hallway talking to reporters.

Premier Blaine Higgs's on-and-off preoccupation with the province's two health authorities — and his desire to see them collaborate more — is on again. 

9 Apr 2024 09:00:00

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