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  #61  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2006, 8:03 PM
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I would like to know the status of these projects by now :

http://www.irvinggreenindustrialpark...ult.aspx?id=13

http://www.westsidebypassroad.com/

Last edited by ErickMontreal; Dec 2, 2006 at 1:55 AM.
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  #62  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2006, 9:32 PM
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Employment rates really aren't great indicators of the health of an economy. Declining unemployment could mean that people are getting jobs, or it could mean that they're leaving or are simply giving up.
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  #63  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2006, 5:02 PM
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Second retail developments in Saint John

West development sure thing: totten

Retail City manager says construction should take place in 2008


John Mazerolle
Telegraph-Journal
As published on page C1 on December 7, 2006

SAINT JOHN - City manager Terry Totten says the big retail expansion on the West Side is a sure thing, though it likely won't take place until 2008.

"I'm absolutely convinced that the West Side development will occur," Totten said in an interview Wednesday. "That area is ripe. The community expects it, and the retailers want it."

A Wal-Mart, a new Canadian Tire and a Sobeys have all been rumoured for the Fairville Boulevard area, as have a new Superstore, a Shoppers Drug Mart and an Empire Theatres complex.

The city and Plaza BNG Inc., the Montreal-based group behind the project, entered into a draft sales agreement about four months ago, Totten said. Since then the two sides have been "negotiating legal process," but Totten insists that the issues are normal for this kind of development and the project will move forward soon.

"We have been advised by Plaza that they have finalized their locations with the big-box retailers that are going onto that site," he said, though he would not divulge the businesses that would be part of the development.

One sticking point has been a new location for Saint John Transit's bus terminal, which would be torn down as part of the project. Totten said the city is looking at four locations for a new terminal, and will base its decision on price, quality of the land, and handiness to bus routes.

Totten says that "in a perfect world" the deal with Plaza will be finalized sometime next month. The city's western municipal works depot, which is adjacent to the transit terminal, would be vacated in the summertime. Then the transit facility would be vacated, no later than spring 2008.

"At this point, things are going well," he said.

Frank McCarey, general manager of Saint John Transit, has said that a new facility would require storage and maintenance garages and an administrative building on about five acres of land.

Totten did not name the specific sites for the new depot. Most bus terminals in Canada are at industrial parks because the land is cheaper and the proper zoning is already in place.

In late November, common council gave Plaza access to the land on the Golden Mile so it could carry out surveys and testing - essentially allowing the developer to kick the tires of the land it is buying. Totten said that was done to show that the project was still moving along.

Fairville Boulevard is not the only development Totten has his eye on. The huge East Point shopping complex on Westmorland Road is moving ahead, and Totten said Horizon Management's construction of Retail Drive has gone better than he would have imagined.

Retail Drive will connect with the existing Marlborough Avenue, which Horizon is developing into a four-lane street. The final product will be one long street - all called Retail Drive - from Westmorland Road to Rothesay Avenue.

The street is nearing completion, and Totten said it should go a long way to alleviating traffic congestion in the area.

Officials haven't disclosed the names of the stores and hotel that will find a home at East Point, though the access road to one section of the shopping complex hints at clothing: The road's name will be Fashion Drive.

Totten said he's asked repeatedly if Costco or Chapters are coming to town, but he said he doesn't know.

"They (Horizon) are in a competitive market and they don't disclose who their clients are," Totten said, though he did note that Mayor Norm McFarlane has approached both Costco and Chapters about coming to the city generally.

Totten contends that if a high enough concentration of businesses takes root on the East and West Sides, the uptown will also benefit. The centre of the city will see a sort of reverse urban sprawl, he believes, as businesses set up shop in the core.

"It's a pendulum," he said. "It'll move back and forth
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  #64  
Old Posted Dec 13, 2006, 8:01 PM
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As published on page C1 on December 9, 2006


Ottawa needs to lower price on its coast guard site

John Mazerolle
Telegraph-Journal


SAINT JOHN - The highly anticipated development of the Coast Guard site is a "long ways away" because the federal government's asking price for the site is too high, the city manager says.

Terry Totten says the city's project with the Hardman Group, a private firm, has not moved ahead because Ottawa appraised the location without taking into account how much it would cost to make the area ready for development.

"It's a wharf, so the thought that you can just go in and build there is just not going to happen," he said. He did not divulge the amount of the appraisal.

Earlier reported estimates suggested that the property - owned by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans - would sell for $3 million to $4 million, a cost that could be borne by the city and then recouped through a lease to the Hardman Group.

The scope of the $75-million project would be the largest for the uptown since the development of Market Square more than two decades ago. If the project moves ahead, the site will be redeveloped to include a hotel, condominiums, residential units, commercial and retail space, parking and an educational technology complex, all connected to Harbour Passage and the inside pedway.

When the project's details were first announced in December 2005, some officials optimistically suggested that the development could start in the summer of 2006. But the project hasn't gone very far.

"Whether it's the Coast Guard side or (the city-owned and adjacent) Peter's Wharf, any cost of the construction because of the nature of the land is going to be high," Totten said. "It's going to be difficult to make anything cost-effective down there."

The potentially high cost of construction on the site has already had ill effects. NB Liquor recently backed out of negotiations with the Hardman Group to set up a high-end store on the property because construction costs made the rental price too high.

"It would have been a good location, but it was out of our range," said Mike O'Brien, vice president of facilities for the government corporation.

One glimmer of hope for Totten is that, according to Treasury Board of Canada rules, the site must be appraised every two years. He is expecting the results of another appraisal before Christmas.

"I believe that the appraised value of that site should reflect that it would be tens of millions of dollars to get that site ready," he said.

The appropriate officials at federal Public Works, the department responsible for appraising the land, could not be reached for comment.

William Hardman, the president of the Hardman Group, was confident the project would go ahead. But he said that the federal government needs to take into account three things - the lack of any true foundation at the site, the expense of building by the water, and the poor condition of the concrete seawall that protects the property from tides and erosion.

City engineers expect the seawall to collapse within the next 20 years, he said, adding that fixing it will cost several million dollars.

He said any construction will have a built-in "substantial cost" because concrete or steel piles are required to connect the building to the bedrock.

He compared it to the steel pegs that hold up a backyard playground.

"Without the pegs, the swing set falls down," he said.

Hardman said he doesn't consider the deal stalled. A lot of work has been going on behind the scenes, he said. There is an unnamed hotel company committed to the project, and Hardman's company is ready to pre-market its residential units, he said.

He said that once the land is sold people will see work done within six months.

"We've made good progress," he said.

__________________________________________________________________


As published on page B3 on December 11, 2006


High-tech changing Saint John

David Shipley
Tech beat
Telegraph-Journal


Though the pace is quiet and slow, there is a high-tech tide of change happening in Saint John.

The industrial city, known throughout the country as a blue-collar town, is embracing information and communications technology at a faster pace than other municipalities in the province.

Over the last few weeks there have been several positive portents for the Port City's ICT sector.

Consider first the recent report by the non-profit ICT industry group, propelSJ. The group's findings showed Saint John is poised to add as many as 1,300 high-paying jobs in the ICT sector.

More than 600 of those jobs will be created over the next two years, representing a 132 per cent increase in employment in the sector.

What's even more interesting is the rest of the province is only expected to add another 400 jobs over the next few years, making Saint John the centre with the majority of the growth.

To put Saint John's growth in perspective, a second Irving Oil refinery in the city, if it's built, will add 1,000 full-time jobs.

The new Canaport liquefied natural gas terminal under construction in Mispec will add 40 full-time jobs.

If propelSJ's prediction plays out, the trends seem to show that the next generation of employees in Saint John will be more likely to wear business attire instead of coveralls and work boots.

While Saint John's energy hub concept has received a lot of attention - rightfully so given the billions of dollars in projects underway or proposed - perhaps it's time to start building a greater buzz about Saint John the IT hub.

In some ways that buzz is already starting to build.

As Saint John-based New Brunswick tech guru Gerry Pond points out, ICT firms dominated this year's Saint John Board of Trade's 22nd annual Outstanding Business Achievement Awards last week.

ICT firm Centerbeam captured the gold award for business excellence, while Web 2.0-focused Evolving Solutions garnered the gold award for emerging enterprise.

Pond's own Mariner Partners also left with an accolade, getting the gold award for entrepreneurial achievement.

"To me that says something," said Pond this week. "You don't need a lot more proof that there are some things happening."

And there's going to be more ICT companies competing for the top business awards in Saint John.

Pond said while propelSJ's Launch 32 initiative, which aimed to see 32 new ICT companies start up in 32 months, hasn't launched as many companies as fast as he would have liked, more announcements about new start-ups are coming soon.

But while Saint John's tech star is on the rise, perennial rival Moncton is starting to get its geek game together.

The completion of its study on the ICT sector, which was done with the University of Austin's IC2 Institute, is a sign that Moncton is preparing to be a serious player.

Among the recommendations of the report is the creation of a business incubator in a physical building.

While propelSJ has its Catalict business incubator program in Saint John, the program doesn't provide actual office space for new start ups.

If Saint John's city council was smart, it would consider copying this recommendation by working with propelSJ and other private sector groups to open a physical building for new ICT companies.

The city could help by donating the value of the property taxes for a number of years. After all the city has cut property tax deals in the past for the energy sector and a deal on property tax for a small office building wouldn't cost nearly as much as previous deals.

Perhaps a company with some spare office space could donate the space for several years, as was done in Austin, Texas for their business incubator.

An investment by the city in creating a physical office space for new ICT startups, combined perhaps with a partnership with UNB Saint John and the private sector, could speed up the number of new ICT companies starting up in the Port City and help Saint John stay ahead of Moncton.

Saint John will likely always have gritty visual reminders of its industrial past, but smart investments and a bit of energy by the private sector and government could help it embrace its bright technological future.

David Shipley is a Moncton-based reporter for the Telegraph-Journal.

_______________________________________________________________


As published on page B1 on December 8, 2006


Saint John's hot housing market tops in region

Michelle Porter
Telegraph-Journal


SAINT JOHN - Nowhere in Atlantic Canada is the housing market hotter than in Saint John, according to the latest statistics.

And the reason, analysts say, lies in the current and expected boom in the energy sector.

"New Brunswick is the strongest of all the Atlantic provinces," Alex MacDonald, regional economist with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said Thursday. "That's a reflection of continuing strong growth in housing and in the oil and gas industry. There are a number of large projects which are helping to push non-residential [construction] numbers and we expect that to continue into next year."

MacDonald was responding to an unexpected surge in the construction sector, as numbers from a Statistics Canada report for the first 10 months of 2006 show the value of building permits pushing past the $6-billion mark across the country. That's the second-highest total in history.

Overall, the value of building permits in the province rose by 7.7 per cent in the year to October, with rises in commercial permits and housing permits that were almost equal. That's just 0.3 per cent below the growth seen in Halifax. Across Canada, the value of building permits rose 10.3 per cent. Both Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island saw declines in overall values.

But what is going on in Saint John is a different story.

"The numbers in Saint John inflate the numbers overall for New Brunswick," said Étienne Saint-Pierre, an analyst with Statistics Canada.

The value of Saint John's building permits surged by 21.4 per cent compared to the same period last year.

What does this mean?

"This mainly a reflection of the increase in demand in housing because the difference in the number of houses and the value is not very big," explained Saint-Pierre.

Bill Edwards with Building and Inspections at the City of Saint John predicted that Saint John would not see a slowdown in building activity anytime soon.

"I think what's happening in Saint John will be sustainable for a long time," he said.

The value of residential and commercial building permits issued in Saint John to the end of November is well over $101 million dollars. Last year's value peaked at $77 million dollars. The city has issued 1,142 permits, 182 of which were for multiple and single-family housing, representing 313 dwelling units. Last year, 166 housing permits were issued, representing 215 units.

The strength of the housing market is also reflected in housing starts, said CMHC's MacDonald.

"New Brunswick is showing the strongest level of growth. Single starts are declining the least amount in New Brunswick," he said.

Single starts are flat at best in most major cities across Canada because of the high cost of housing compared to income. First time-buyers tend to look at other kinds of housing, MacDonald said, such as semi-detached and condominiums.

"It's not surprising that New Brunswick is holding up well. The reason is that the economy is doing well. There is a resurgence in energy projects. There's a perception of optimism. I've seen what optimism does to an economy," he said.

"The challenges going forward will be price. That's why multiple units are already rising in New Brusnwick and Saint John. First-time home buyers are looking at semi-detached units because they still want to live in a house, but don't want the cost. That trend should continue next year, with starts focusing on higher-density units priced for the market.

NBers have the highest level of house ownerhship in Canada and New Brunswick is the strongest area of growth in term of rental construction.
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  #65  
Old Posted Dec 14, 2006, 7:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by someone123 View Post
Here is the image I was talking about:

Where do you find these images? You're always good for turning up historical photos, do you use a specific website/database or just "google" the cities?

It's good to see Saint John getting so many projects. It seems there's an upswing lately in the Maritimes as a whole, but most noticeable in places with bad reputations that were declining up until recently (eg- Saint John, Sydney, I'm sure there are others).

Last edited by Smevo; Dec 14, 2006 at 8:05 AM.
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  #66  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2006, 9:27 AM
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Hello,

The ICT Incubator sounds like a great idea, I am sure that a partnership with UNSBJ and private industry uptown could prove quite productive.

As for the Coast Guard site I am sad to hear that NB Liquor backed out - upscale developments like that are just what uptown needs to spur gentrification and further such development. I'm sure they will open somewhere else uptown, and I at least take comfort knowing that the Hardman group is looking at the tone and level of development.

It is also good to hear SJ's housing market is doing so well - I would like to see it in a metropolitan breakdown (to see if Grand Bay-Westfield/Rothesay/Quispamsis still represent the majority of growth).

I am especially happy to know that the federal transit funding for the Com-X program will be forthcoming. That will really change the urban dynamics of Saint John drastically.



At any rate, all very good news.
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  #67  
Old Posted Dec 18, 2006, 10:19 AM
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More News

REVERSING FORTUNES

Hope returns to Saint John after years of economic stagnation and an exodus to Alberta, SHAWNA RICHER reports. A $7-billion proposal would position the city as an energy hub and help regenerate a lost population

SHAWNA RICHER -
Wednesday, November 1, 2006


SAINT JOHN -- This historic, industrial city on the picturesque Bay of Fundy is the archetypal land of Maritimes hope and dreams.

A thriving shipbuilding hub through the nineties, Saint John, like so many Atlantic Canadian towns and cities, has seen its economy stagnate and its population flee, mostly to booming Alberta. These days, however, the city's biggest employers are travelling west to stage job fairs, and business leaders are waging a public-relations war to try to lure back workers who left home.

A city of 69,961 built by private industry, largely the powerful Irving family whose name is on everything from the country's largest oil refinery and pulp mills to gas stations and building-supply stores, plucky Saint John has never given up the dream of returning to its glory days. Those good times may be around the corner, thanks to a new Irving megaproject and an energetic will to battle Alberta's population poaching.

"It's absolutely a crisis," said Bob Manning, a financial adviser and chair of the Saint John Board of Trade. He is also a former resident of Alberta who now makes the port city home.

"Our employees are being poached and companies are feeling it. It's going to hamper their growth if we don't deal with it today. But the good news is we have both the private and public sector willing to address it."

Irving Oil Ltd.'s proposed $7-billion state-of-the-art refinery would produce more than 300,000 barrels a day and employ 5,000 during construction and more than 1,000 long term. Operation is expected to start some time in 2012. The refinery, along with a forthcoming liquefied natural-gas terminal and Emera pipeline, will position Saint John as an energy hub for the northeastern seaboard.

Irving made the announcement last month, coinciding with a vigorous campaign by the business networking group Enterprise Saint John to get New Brunswickers to move back east.

"It's really a recognition of declining population, aging population, people seeing their kids move away and the movement towards the West," said Kevin Scott, Irving Oil's director of refining growth. "People are saying, 'What's this going to look like in 20 years if we don't do something?' Are all of our families going to be living out there? Are we creating a missing generation?"

New Brunswick took personally a recent insert published in Maritimes newspapers that urged job seekers to move to Alberta.

"This community got quite incensed," said Enterprise Saint John CEO Steve Carson. "We've spent a lot of time and energy over the last few years looking at work force issues in Atlantic Canada and looking at immigration and repatriation strategies for the coming years. We're bombarded every day with talk of our people going to Alberta. This is an urgent problem."

As part of its "Move East" agenda, Enterprise Saint John printed a cheeky response to the publication inviting those in Alberta to come to New Brunswick, poking fun at the West's staggering cost of living.

Mr. Manning grew up north of Calgary in the farming community of Delburne, attended St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia and married a woman from Saint John. He lived in Somerset County, N.J., until shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, when he and Kelly decided to return to the Maritimes.

"Our choice was either Western Canada or Saint John, and we chose Saint John," he said. "Three of our children were born here. As a business community it had been very good to me. We made a quality-of-life decision. We like the Maritimes, being close to the water and the idea of a smaller community."

According to Statistics Canada, New Brunswick saw a net loss of 2,047 people during the first six months of this year. The preferred destination? Alberta. New Liberal Premier Shawn Graham made out-migration a major issue in his campaign, promising to bring New Brunswickers home "by the plane load."

Irving's pulp-and-paper division, JD Irving Ltd., and Moosehead Breweries are two employers that have started recruiting out west, selling the Maritimes quality of life and a chance to come home. They have little choice.

"There are holes in our organization because of retirement and growth and we're doing our best to cast the net," said Moosehead spokesman Joel Levesque, whose own 26-year-old son is working at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. On a recent visit to Calgary to see his son, they happened into a diner for breakfast and found "a huge table of Saint Johners. That's the story of out west."

Goin' Down the Road, the 1970 Canadian film about two Nova Scotians who seek a better life in Toronto, has long been the story of the Maritimes but has rarely been more of a going concern. To wit, earlier this week, more than 5,000 workers lined up for hours outside a hotel in St. John's, Nfld., for an Alberta job fair.

Business New Brunswick Minister Greg Byrne said Alberta's aggressive recruiting of Maritimers has left the province no choice but to fight back to get them home and keep them from leaving in the first place.

"It's going to take a comprehensive strategy, but there are many things we can do. The most important thing is making sure the jobs are here for people to return to. We have to pay competitive wages, but in cases where we don't, we have to sell our strengths, our quality of life," he said.

Jeff and Kim MacDonald both grew up in New Brunswick and moved to Fort McMurray, Alta., after university in the late nineties because they couldn't find jobs at home. When Ms. MacDonald received an offer from oil-sands company Suncor, Mr. MacDonald followed and easily found a job.

"Within a week I threw out three résumés and had two offers," he said. "In New Brunswick, I'd send out 300 résumés and get one interview."

They wanted to return home in 10 years, but Irving Oil headhunted them and they came back in 2002. With a baby on the way, they couldn't be happier.

"We didn't regret the decision to go but we're happy to be home," Mr. MacDonald, an environmental specialist, said. "For us, it's about being close to family. The salaries are comparable and I'd rather work for a New Brunswick-based company. My parents are close. We missed out on a lot of birthdays and things we should have been home for when we were in Alberta. We want to raise Maritimers. The lifestyle is calmer. And we've got a much bigger lawn and I can see the deer on it in the mornings."

The uber-heated economy in Alberta has taxed the province's infrastructure. Housing prices are astronomical; some new arrivals are forced to live in campgrounds. Conversely, New Brunswick is the only province where housing prices have fallen, but business leaders have recognized the city has catching up to do so far as cultural amenities to make it a more desirable place to live. Enterprise Saint John's True Growth plan aims to change the city's "brand," as Mr. Carson calls it; in other words, more art galleries, better restaurants.

It hasn't been easy. With its reputation as a smokestack town, Saint John has often had trouble getting out of its own way when it comes to its image.

"Compared to where we were 10 years ago we've come a long way already," Mr. Carson said. "Saint John is known as a community that doesn't always have its act together and doesn't know what it wants. But it's a city built on the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation, an old city with a sense of self. There have been times lately when things haven't looked so good, but I believe it is Saint John's time again. It's up to us to make it real."

At $6.70, New Brunswick has the lowest minimum wage in Canada; at the high end, Nunavut pays $8.50, while British Columbia pays $8. The MacDonalds acknowledged they "did very well" financially in Alberta, but say they are also doing "just fine" in New Brunswick now. Wages are typically lower in the Maritimes, but the companies trying to lure workers home are selling something else entirely.

"Dollar for dollar, we're not always going to compete, but on quality of life, I think we compete very well," Mr. Scott said.

So far it seems to be working. Moosehead Breweries, which can't fill the dozen or so midlevel management jobs it currently has open, received 150 résumés in the week after a recruitment drive just in the Maritimes. Moosehead will head out west soon.

Mr. Manning predicted that in 10 years, Saint John could rival Halifax as a culturally and economically vibrant city.

"We haven't seen anything like this in Saint John since the frigate program," he said. "Saint John is in for even a greater economic ride than the heydays of ship building."

***

COST OF LIVING INDICATORS

Calgary Edmonton Saint John Fredericton
HOUSING Average price (Sept. 2006) $369,928 $278,732 $128,451 $128,451
GASOLINE Avg. price/litre (Oct. 31, 2006) 80.8 cents 77 cents 87.9 cents 88.3 cents
COFFEE Large cup, Tim Hortons (pretax) $1.51 $1.51 $1.29 $1.29

_________________________________________________________________

New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham has committed $26.6 million toward cleaning up the polluted Saint John harbour, leaving the federal government as the only partner in the project not contributing its share of the total cost.

Graham and his 18-member cabinet were sworn in on Tuesday and had five promises to keep in their first 24 hours in office, including a pledge to make a binding agreement with Saint John on harbour cleanup. The money will be parcelled out during the next seven years.

Harbour cleanup advocate Tim Vickers chats with Premier Shawn Graham in Saint John on Wednesday.

The new premier presented Saint John Mayor Norm MacFarlane with a memorandum of understanding committing the province's share of funding to clean up the harbour at a sold-out breakfast meeting at the city's trade and convention centre.

Graham's announcement won a standing ovation from the crowd of business and civic leaders and environmentalists, who have argued for years for provincial funding to clean up the raw sewage in the harbour.

"An accelerated time frame demonstrates our desire to move this project forward immediately," Graham said.

The city pumps millions of litres of raw sewage into the harbour every day. The price tag for cleanup is approximately $80 million, and the city has already promised to pay one-third of the cost. The federal government has agreed to commit just $3 million to the project.

Tim Vickers of the Atlantic Coastal Action program said this commitment from the province puts the pressure on the federal government to come up with the rest of the money.

"Clearly we have the province coming forward and saying, 'Look, we're stepping up to the plate, we're making the first move,' and that opens the door for the federal government to come forward and know that the province is serious about this."

MacFarlane said the city can't proceed on the project until Ottawa signs on for the rest of the money.

The new premier appointed five cabinet ministers from the Saint John region, including Supply and Services Minister Roly MacIntyre, who said he will lobby the federal government to contribute its share of the funding.

"I will work to promote this project with my federal counterparts at every opportunity," he said.

The Liberals also made good on their other four "Day 1" promises.

A pledge to reduce the provincial gas tax happened overnight Tuesday. At midnight, the New Brunswick Public Utilities Board set the new price of regular self-serve gasoline at 86.07 cents a litre, down from the previous price of 90.4 cents a litre. Certain approved retailers can add as much as three cents a litre to cover the cost of distribution.

"This reduction makes New Brunswick's provincial [gas] tax the lowest east of Alberta, a distinction I am committed to maintaining over the course of our mandate," Graham said.

Graham kept his promise to split agriculture and fisheries into two departments.

Graham also said the decision's been made on delivering $2,000 grants for first-year university students, but the details still have to be worked out on how the money will be distributed.

Cabinet also approved a change in the way seniors have to pay for nursing home care, though Graham said it may take a few days for the change to take effect.
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  #68  
Old Posted Dec 18, 2006, 8:56 PM
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Thanx you Lucas for the news. However I`m upset about Hardman project in Waterfront, I hope the developers will be able to get built his projects with a fair price from Coast Guard.

Last edited by ErickMontreal; Dec 20, 2006 at 7:15 PM.
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  #69  
Old Posted Dec 20, 2006, 7:18 PM
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Saint John: building momentum

Mayor Norman McFarlane
Commentary


CINDY WILSON/TELEGRAPH-JOURNAL

Saint John's industrial and commercial skyline is growing.

If I had to sum up what's happening in the City of Saint John in a word, I would say "momentum."

Saint John is moving forward, achieving better things for the people who call it home and for all of New Brunswick. Saint John has momentum. And this momentum hasn't come from out of the blue. It's because we have a vision and a plan for our city. We are making things happen, and building our own momentum.

Consider this recent Globe and Mail headline: "New energy hub of North America: Saint John?" The newspaper raised the somewhat rhetorical question after the Irving family's recent announcement that its oil arm is considering building a second major refinery in the city - the first major refinery to be built in North America in nearly a quarter of a century. The new facility would have a capacity of 300,000 barrels a day and provide about 1,000 full-time jobs. It would cost $5 billion to $7 billion to build and employ 5,000 people during the construction phase.

This follows $1 billion the Irvings have already invested to upgrade its existing oil refinery (already the largest in Canada), not to mention the company's commitment to the $750 million Canaport LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminal and regasification facility. Irving Oil Limited is partnering with Repsol YPF SA, the Spanish energy giant, on this project.

These initiatives are on top of the $1.4-billion refurbishment of the Point Lepreau generating station, which will extend the life of the nuclear power plant by 25 years, and Emera's investment of $350 million into the New Brunswick Pipeline project, just to name two.

Combine all of this with Premier Shawn Graham's plan to move the Department of Energy to Saint John, bringing an estimated $1 million in salaries with it, and we have all of the ingredients for an energy hub.

But much more is generating momentum for our city. In the past few weeks alone we have seen developments that are turning our city's aspirations into reality.

Start with one of Saint John's biggest natural assets, its waterfront. We are moving into the next phase of development, which will see further improvements on Water Street, including new park spaces and a new cruise ship terminal. The five regional mayors back this ambitious project, which has come this far, in large part, because of city council's initial decision to invest in Water Street and the hard work of the Saint John Development Corporation and Saint John Port Authority, which are working to secure funding from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

There's been progress too with the long-overdue cleanup of the harbour. Premier Graham has already fulfilled an election pledge by committing the province's share of $26.6 million toward the cleanup. That's a third of the entire cost. The city is committed to meeting another third of the cost, and we are optimistic that the federal government will commit to funding the remaining third soon.

Private-sector companies are also recognizing and contributing to the momentum building in our city.

Sunwing Airlines' decision to offer non-stop charter flights down south for the first time from Saint John Airport is one exciting example. It's great news for sun-seekers, and another boost to Saint John's economy.

The city was also proud to play a key part, along with Enbridge Gas New Brunswick and Fundy Linen, to bring natural gas to the Spruce Lake Industrial Park. This major infrastructure project gives Spruce Lake the same advantages enjoyed by many industrial parks across Canada. And I am confident this will spur further investment in our park.

Our momentum is not restricted to corporate successes. Country music artists raved about Saint John, which was absolutely hopping in September when the Canadian Country Music Awards were held here. It set the stage for future major entertainment events to be held in the city. Many of us felt great pride in playing a role in the event's success.

All of these developments are feeding the sense of optimism in our community. And this positive momentum brings with it many other benefits. During the past two years, we have seen increasing growth in our retail sector, the development of existing properties in our uptown area and increased residential development throughout the region.

Common Council and I are well aware that there are concerns with some of the projects planned for our community. And we are committed to sustainable growth for our region. This means making sure that the concerns over environmental and social impacts are properly addressed through the development phase.

And this is why we have developed Vision 2015 - to make Saint John the community of choice in Atlantic Canada.

Vision 2015 is our blueprint for the future. It will change the culture of City Hall, making it even more accountable and better at communicating. The ultimate aim is to deliver services more effectively and provide the infrastructure our city needs for the future.

Vision 2015 will help us to build on our successes and to achieve all of the ambitions of our True Growth strategy. True Growth is about creating communities that will attract and retain the best people, the best ideas, and the best investment. And we need more people. A byproduct of the economic momentum we are seeing is a shortage of workers. In many ways, it's an enviable position, but it means we must ensure the policies we develop will mean our youngest and brightest citizens want to stay, live and work in Saint John.

To meet this challenge we must also look outward and welcome skilled workers - students, entrepreneurs and immigrants - from Europe, India, China, Korea, Iran and other countries around the world. We must attract people who will make our community more culturally diverse and help us work towards a more prosperous future.

It's not by chance that Canadian Business Magazine ranked Saint John sixth as the Best City for Business in its highly regarded annual survey. It's the second year in a row that Saint John has made it to the top 10 across the country - and as the best city to do business in New Brunswick.

Saint Johners should be proud of our achievements and of the momentum we have created for our city. We will continue to seek out and create opportunities that will capitalize on this momentum and help us reach our ultimate goal of making Saint John the best community in Atlantic Canada to live, work and do business.

Norman McFarlane is mayor of Saint John.

Last edited by ErickMontreal; Dec 22, 2006 at 3:31 PM.
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Old Posted Dec 20, 2006, 9:00 PM
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Projects news update and brand new projects that added in projects section on page number 1
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Projects news update and brand new projects that added in projects section on page number 1
For the BNG Plaza there is confirmation of Costco? (Where do you get all this good information? I feel internet challenged)

That would be great - the West Side is an ideal location to get one to serve SJ and Fredericton.
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Old Posted Dec 28, 2006, 8:54 PM
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For the BNG Plaza there is confirmation of Costco? (Where do you get all this good information? I feel internet challenged)

That would be great - the West Side is an ideal location to get one to serve SJ and Fredericton.
Hi Lucas

I got this in internet, "Horizon" and "BNG" speak with Costco and Chapters. Both want Costco and Chapters in their own prime retail space.

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SAINT JOHN, NB - With the new year quickly closing in, so does a deadline for the YM-YWCA to find a new home.


The province has purchased the Y's current location with the intent to demolish the current building and erect a new justice complex.

Originally the "Y" was going to merge with the Canada Games Aquatic Centre.

In the end however, the "Y" decided to pull out of that deal.

C-E-O Pat Davis tells News 88-9 it was a very hard decision to make.

"It took a lot of long hard work and diligence on behalf of all of our volunteers and our legal and financial advisors to make sure we were making the right decision. It was a very tough one. In retrospect I would say it was the right decision on behalf of the "Y" not to move forward with that." Davis said.

Davis says it is still up in the air as to where the "Y" will set up shop but she reassures us there will be a temporary place for members to go as the board continues to look for a permanent uptown location.
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Thanx you Lucas for the news. However I`m upset about Hardman project in Waterfront, I hope the developers will be able to get built his projects with a fair price from Coast Guard.
Here's a link to an update on the Hardman project
http://cbc.ca/informationmorningsain...102CGSITE2.ram
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Old Posted Jan 3, 2007, 4:40 PM
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Here's a link to an update on the Hardman project
http://cbc.ca/informationmorningsain...102CGSITE2.ram
Thank you!
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Old Posted Jan 4, 2007, 2:13 AM
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Here's a link to an update on the Hardman project
http://cbc.ca/informationmorningsain...102CGSITE2.ram
My computer won't let me open the link. Could someone tell me what it says or what I might be doing wrong?

Thanks!

At any rate, I'm glad this project is still getting buzz.
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Old Posted Jan 4, 2007, 6:18 PM
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Saint John Turnaround

Economic engine is beginning to rev: MP


Published 2007-01-02
Paul Zed likes to use the analogy of a car to describe the turnaround in Saint John's economic engine.

Five years ago, the Liberal MP says, it was running pretty well in reverse.

But thanks to a non-partisan team approach to the city's problems, the Liberal MP says that car is now out of the garage and well on the road to success on many fronts that he - and other community leaders - see only gaining momentum over the next 12 months.

"My prediction for the year ahead is slow and steady wins the race," Zed says. "The car is now running at 30 miles per hour. We're not rocketing ahead, we're not moving dramatically, but I think people now see us as a community in a positive way. "

He says it's the job of government to make sure any economic and environmental development proceeds in an appropriate way by creating the right conditions for investment.

"I believe, we as politicians we have done that by addressing very, very significant issues like medical education training, cleaning up the harbour, and closing the poverty gap with new non-profit housing," Zed says.

"These are things that have a huge impact on the city and allow companies like the Irving Group to do what they do best, which is reinvest in Saint John," he adds. "We're looking to continue to build on these foundation blocks over the next 15 years into sustainability unto itself so, basically, we can maintain what we have amongst ourselves without any outside interference or help."

He's optimistic 2007 will be the year Team Saint John's lobbying efforts on behalf of harbour cleanup in Saint John will pay off.

"I think early in the fiscal new year - probably March or April - we are going to finally see the federal government join the province and the city in the important health and economic initiative that is harbour cleanup," Zed said. "So, the environmental sustainability for me is critical to Saint John's future development.

"You cannot have growth in Saint John unless the environment is respected."

After a banner year in 2006, with housing starts taking off, employment rates falling to historically low levels, and projects like CenterBeam in the uptown, Canaport LNG and Horizon Developments' box store and hotel development on Westmorland Road moving ahead, the city's development possibilities for 2007 go way beyond harbour cleanup.

They include the proposed second Irving Oil refinery for Red Head, expected to be announced early in the new year; the justice and police complex in the uptown area; more high-end housing in Millidgeville; a racino for Exhibition Park; and more development on the city's waterfront.

"Our focus right now is on the redevelopment of Water Street," says Ross Jefferson, general manager of the Saint John Waterfront Development Partnership. "We are expecting, in the spring, to be starting the construction of (an addition) to Harbour Passage there.

"We also have most of the work completed for phase two (of the Water Street redevelopment), in partnership with the Saint John Port Authority," he adds. "(It calls for) the development of their cruise terminal building, as well as some wonderful park space at Pugsley Park, the Three Sisters Park, and some great improvements at the foot of King Street. There's also some great architectural features at the bottom of Duke and Princess."

Jefferson said the partnership is also plans to finish a development plan for opening up Partridge Island and continue work on plans for extending Harbour Passage to Fallsview Park and the Reversing Falls.

"All of the partners in the group we speak to are very optimistic about 2007," he said. "I think (Saint John) has definitely turned the corner. What we want to do is continue this momentum and keep it rolling faster."

With so many major projects on the go, particularly in the energy sector, Jefferson said all the employment that will be created is definitely going to have a major impact on housing and an investment and a significant impact on commercial space, retail space and the overall economy.

For the same reason, he doesn't think the city's future hinges on any one project.

"No doubt, the (proposed second) oil refinery will be one of the major variables this year, but the city has a number of major strategies working together, waterfront being one of them," he says. "Our objective is to make the smartest, most effective decision that ultimately is there to stimulate growth, in particular growth in the tax rate."

Jefferson says studies the Waterfront Partnership has done of the city centre tax base show that after a decline of 24 per cent in the 1990s, it leveled off, and is now on the rebound.

Zed said the 2006 relocation of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.'s planning offices to Saint John from Mississauga, Ont., does more than just help lend credibility to the city's claims of being a regional energy hub.

"People need to appreciate the importance of that is that they're long-term, stable technical jobs in the nuclear industry that are leading Saint John into a new century as an energy producer and energy leader," he says. "They're in the planning stages of not just refurbishing Point Lepreau (set to begin April 2008), but also looking at other refurbishments in the AECL system that will need the design expertise generated in Saint John.
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Old Posted Jan 4, 2007, 10:55 PM
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My computer won't let me open the link. Could someone tell me what it says or what I might be doing wrong?

Thanks!

At any rate, I'm glad this project is still getting buzz.
As you know, english is not my mother tongue. Summarily, Hardman Groups spokesman has primarily said that they found a Hotel chain for the site and they are ready to go with condo presale when the deal will be seal with the Federal as well. However, in the second part of the interview, the major issue was the price of the coast guard land owned by the Federal government as well as the share of cost for the coast guard seawall repair. Hardman also said that the construction price will be high because those new buildings will need more stabilization and they have already made studies about this issues. Actually, this is the reason why they try to get a fair deal for land so leveled off the lease price for the future tenants. Moreover, they hope to start construction by 2007, they will start by the restauration of federal building, the Hotel and Condos when Coast Guard land will be free as well as when the sale will be done. There will be an update by the end of January about the sale process.

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Old Posted Jan 5, 2007, 2:40 AM
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The only thing I can think of is that you may not have real player loaded.
If so, you can download it at:
http://www.real--player.com/googus.htm
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Old Posted Jan 5, 2007, 5:08 PM
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Bad new for Saint JOhn

Metro Moncton now N.B.'s dominant city: study

BY ROD ALLEN
TIMES & TRANSCRIPT STAFF
Published Friday January 5th, 2007
Appeared on page a1

The results of Canada's 2006 census won't be released for another month but another prominent national data-gatherer has already anointed Metro Moncton as New Brunswick's new dominant city, today and into the next decade.

According to Canadian Demographics 2007 - the Financial Post's 80th annual demographics guide to almost all market areas in the country - the rise of Moncton is particularly striking when compared to Saint John.

Population estimates alone tell a compelling tale, starting with mid-2007 projections for the two cities - 130,226 in Metro Moncton compared to 126,216 in Saint John.

An ever-widening gulf will emerge between the two cities over the next five years in Moncton's favour, the study predicts.

Moncton's estimated growth rate (EGR) between the last census in 2001 and the end of 2007 outstrips the national average - 1.23 per cent compared to .97 per cent - and also dominates in Atlantic Canada, perhaps to the surprise of those who might have assumed the Halifax Regional Municipality is the fastest-growing community in the region.

Metro's EGR almost double's the Halifax rate of .76 per cent and is more than a hundred times Saint John's virtually flat .02 per cent EGR, predicted in the survey to fall below zero over the short term.

Metro's population is projected to be 133,060 by mid-2009 compared to 125,865 in Saint John, and 137,320 by 2012 compared to 125,330 in Saint John.

Thus, over the next five years Moncton will continue to grow rapidly in the Atlantic Canadian context, as Saint John slowly dwindles.

In terms of income estimates, the provincial capital is still 'Fat City' with a predicted average household income of $67,800 by mid-2007 compared to $62,800 in both Moncton and Saint John.

Overall, however, Moncton has the strongest overall economy of the trio in terms of diversity and growth.

The survey lists 11 major occupations for the local work force and Moncton does not finish third in any of them, in fact either easily outstripping or nearly matching the other two in all categories.

For example, where it might be assumed Fredericton would dominate under 'government services' (a category which also includes social science and religious services) the capital city actually employs 2,497 people compared to Moncton's 2,219 and Saint John's 1,846.

Where Saint John would be expected to dominate under 'trades, transportation and equipment operations,' with 10,912 employees, it barely surpasses Moncton's 9,701.

Fredericton isn't close under this category, at 6,067.

Meanwhile, under such service- heavy categories as 'business, finance and administration' Moncton employs 16,227 people compared to Saint John's 12,238 and Fredericton's 9,717.

Meanwhile, all those workers - and their employers - are spinning their incomes and profits back into Moncton faster than their counterparts.

In 2005, the last year available for this survey, Moncton more than doubled Saint John in housing starts - 1,191 to 501. Fredericton meanwhile is also growing; its mid-2007 EGR is predicted at .95 per cent and its housing starts in 2005 stood at 792.

In terms of the total value of building permits issued annually for all types of construction, Fredericton and Saint John continue to grow, but fitfully compared to Moncton.

Building permits in Moncton are valued from 2003 to 2005 at $200 million, $237 million and $252 million compared to $119 million, $118 million and $148 million in Saint John and $114 million, $128 million and $115 million in Fredericton.

According to John Thompson, a diversified economy is Metro's greatest strength, and it goes hand-in-hand with an increasingly diversified population.

"No sector accounts for more than eight per cent of our economy so we have an ability to attract a diverse group of people," says the CEO of Enterprise Greater Moncton.

"The tradespeople are coming for the construction boom in Dieppe and all the commercial starts in Riverview related to the new bridge and its connectors and our very specialized, very highly paid people are no longer coming just to institutions such as the two city hospitals.

"Shift Central does its business in Boston and New York, Whitehill Technologies and Spielo are international players in high-tech services and gaming and there are very specialized services from companies like Assomption Vie and Medavie Blue Cross," he says in citing just a few examples.

That's not just growth, stresses Thompson, it's diversified growth; a lot of different people.

If parts of the province are in a slump right now, a lot of their residents would rather start a new life closer to home rather than joining the headlong rush for Alberta so indeed Moncton is drawing great strength from the northern part of the province, but that is not the whole story.

"We have people arriving with companies who have moved here from central Canada and the other Atlantic provinces. We have people coming from China and Korea and through the provincial nominations program we are entertaining applications from a group in Iran.

"As these people begin to arrive in the Moncton area they bring a unique perspective to how we live and do business here," says Thompson.

"They are helping us to build a great mosaic for the Moncton area." Other findings in Canadian Demographics 2007 appear to back up Thompson's vision for the city.

For example under schooling, there are 15,029 holders of university degrees in Metro Moncton compared to 6,353 degree holders in Saint John.

In Moncton, 'home language' (a somewhat different category than 'mother tongue') is split by percentage of total population at 63.5/18.5 English/French, but more than 17.5 per cent are 'multiple response,' suggesting fluently bilingual speakers.

Those figures suggest more diversity than either Saint John (more than 94 per cent English) and Fredericton where 89 per cent registered English, 2.5 per cent French and 7.5 per cent multiple response.

The survey's findings are encouraging in that they bolster much of what we already know about ourselves, says Thompson, who nonetheless cautions that Metro ought not to "rest on its laurels.

"We need to keep working together as a tri-community to achieve our common goals," he says, we've got the business community and government behind us and we have to keep pushing." The Financial Post's annual survey draws source material from Statistics Canada, Mapinfo Canada, R.L. Polk Canada Inc., Strategic Projections Inc., it own CARD survey on newspaper and radio penetration and its Monday Report on Retailers, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement (BBM).
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