Man, 25, dies after being struck by vehicle on Shediac Bridge – New Brunswick

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A 25-year-old man has died after he was struck by vehicle while crossing the Shediac Bridge Friday night.

New Brunswick RCMP say they were called to the crash on Route 11 at around 7 p.m.

READ MORE: Police investigating pair of assaults in Halifax

Police believe the victim was crossing the road to get to his parked vehicle when he was struck.

The man from Elsipogtog First Nation died at the scene, according to police. The driver of the vehicle was not injured.

READ MORE: ATM stolen from gas station in southern New Brunswick: RCMP

Police are still investigating the exact cause of the crash. They did not say whether charges will be laid.

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Elementary students challenge Quispamsis town council on climate change – New Brunswick

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Five Grade 5 students at the École des Pionniers Elementary School in Quispamsis, N.B., have made a pitch to town council on the issue of climate change.

The students are asking the town to sign the Citizens’ Universal Declaration of Climate Emergency. They feel the time to act is now.

“Our planet is technically in danger, and we need to change it now before it’s too late,” said student Diego Arseneault.


READ MORE:
Advocacy groups call on federal government to declare climate change a public health emergency

“It’s going to be our world, and if we don’t make change now, it’s going to be too late by the time we’re in charge,” added Leah Doucet.

The students took turns over a 10-minute period to make the case for signing the declaration. They referenced events close to home, like record flooding in the spring of last year, as a potential sign of things to come. These pre-teens say they’re already concerned.

“I’m worried about our future and I want other people to have a good life and not have to worry about the future,” said Arseneault.

The town doesn’t sign declarations as a matter of policy but did recognize the declaration and invited the students to work with the town’s climate change committee.


READ MORE:
Richmond may be next city to declare climate emergency

“I really think that they understand what we were trying to say and that we all hope that every human has a happy planet and there’s a better world,” said student Jacob Somers.

Grade 5 student Chloe Ryder added: “I think that at least we put the word out and that they’ll think about it.”

The school’s principal says they were hoping council would have signed the declaration right away but is encouraged moving forward.

“We’re very open to the idea of discussing this with them and giving them the right arguments to actually step up and sign and align with us,” added Anik Duplessis.


READ MORE:
Halifax joins Vancouver as 2nd Canadian city to declare climate emergency

The mayor says the students certainly made their point.

“We feel that this is extremely important and we want to make sure that we do this and work with the schools and the community,” said Mayor Gary Clark. “We certainly are forward-thinking in the town, where we already have started this in 2018.”

At the end of the day, the wish is quite simple, according to student Isabel Cormier. “It’s really important for everyone to live a happy life and including the earth — to live a happy life.”

Halifax and Vancouver are the only two major Canadian cities to have signed the declaration. Several communities in Quebec have also signed.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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New Brunswick cancels plan to host 2021 Francophonie Games

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After weeks of sorting through ballooning costs anticipated for the 2021 Francophonie Games, New Brunswick’s Progressive Conservative government has decided to cancel its plan to host the international event.

« We understand this is a very difficult decision for the individuals who wanted the games to move forward, » Premier Blaine Higgs said.

Higgs announced the fate of the 2021 Francophonie Games at a news conference in Fredericton on Wednesday morning, describing the costs of the sports event a « very steep climb. »

« None of these decisions were easy. »

Higgs said the high cost of the Games makes it impossible when the provincial government is making tough spending decisions. The premier said his government will name a representative to begin the cancellation process.

He said there will be associated costs with cancelling the event. So far, the province has spent $2.65 million on the event.

Deputy Premier Robert Gauvin previously set a Jan. 30 deadline for the federal government and the province to « develop funding options » to save the troubled event.

It appeared, however, an impasse had been reached with neither side budging from their initial funding commitments to cover the soaring price tag.

But on the day before the deadline, there were signs the Games had not been lost.

Changing tones and costs

As of late, the outlook for the Games has been grim.

The cost of hosting the Games ballooned last year to $130 million from the $17-million figure used in the original 2016 bid. A revised estimate put the potential cost at $80 million. 

Premier Blaine Higgs repeatedly said the province would not pay more than its initial $10-million commitment and called on Ottawa to cover the balance. Federal cabinet ministers and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau maintained Ottawa would not shift from its policy to match provincial investment dollar for dollar.

« There has to be a model that works financially, » Higgs said.

Last week, Higgs suggested the fate of the Games was essentially sealed.

Higgs said the provincial government will name a representative to the organizing committee to begin the cancellation process for the 2021 Francophonie Games. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

« Given what [Trudeau] said … given what I’m saying, it seems like the outcome is obvious, » Higgs told reporters last Thursday.

But hours before the province’s deadline, Radio-Canada reported the organizing committee for the Moncton-Dieppe Games submitted a new potential cost estimate of $62 million.

Also Tuesday, Federal Sports Minister Kirsty Duncan struck an upbeat tone on the state of talks with the province. In a statement, Duncan said provincial officials had « finally come to the table to work collaboratively with us to find solutions that reduce the cost of hosting the games and include in-kind contributions. »

Dieppe Mayor Yvon Lapierre also announced the city would increase its contribution, if the money would be directed to legacy projects for the municipality.

New Brunswick was selected to host the ninth edition of the Francophonie Games in 2016. The games are organized by La Francophonie, an international organization of 58 governments with connections to the French language.

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Saint John council tight-lipped following data breach report – New Brunswick

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Saint John Common Council didn’t have much to say about a data breach that potentially exposed the personal information of thousands at a meeting, Monday.

Council is being told attacks against municipalities are on the rise and it’s not a case of “if” organizations will be hacked but “when.”

A report presented to council Monday night indicates the city was made aware of the breach on Dec. 21 after a pair of online articles suggested customer payment information may have been compromised through the Click2Gov application which allowed parking tickets to be paid to the city online.


READ MORE:
No action taken to improve cybersecurity after N.S. government data breach: MLAs

Saint John was one of nearly four dozen North American municipalities identified as being potentially hacked.

Further investigation revealed the so-called at-risk period to be between May 1, 2017, and Dec.r 16, 2018, and to anyone who used a card to pay a parking ticket online, by phone or in person. Ten thousand letters were mailed to people who had paid parking tickets in that timeframe but the report says it was unable to determine exactly who was impacted by the breach.

Saint John Mayor Don Darling seemed none too pleased with CentralSquare Technologies, owners of the Click2Gov application.

“It wouldn’t meet my definition of a partnership,” said Darling. “And the CentralSquare folks, the Click2Gov folks that we were working with… that we had to find that out through an article would be questions that I would have in terms of a go forward. Why weren’t we notified?”

WATCH: Investigation continues into Saint John parking data breach






Outside of Darling and the city’s Stephanie Rackley-Roach, who gave the presentation, no one else around the council tabled offered any comment on the situation.

When asked about the lack of discussion, Darling says he couldn’t speak to why other councillors didn’t comment further.

“It’s a very complex subject,” said Darling. “I think that we have very competent staff. I believe that they did handle this very actively through a difficult time of the year, late in December (and) all through the holidays.”


READ MORE:
Saint John one of at least 47 municipalities across North America affected by data breach: report

The city is looking at long-term remedies which include a new online payment system with hopes of launching in the 2nd quarter of this year.

Seven short-term recommendations are being made by city staff. They include additional anti-virus software, updating firewalls, securing cyber insurance and also a new system that would better monitor, detect and then respond to any possible to any future cyberattacks.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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New Brunswick flooding has Red Cross looking for more volunteers – New Brunswick

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After one of its busiest years, the Red Cross is asking for more volunteers to help out in New Brunswick.

Red Cross volunteers assisted 64 people following last week’s stormy weather that caused flooding across the province.

But in the Sussex region, the Red Cross faced its own challenges, as it had no volunteers to respond from that community.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have any in Sussex,” said Allie Murchison, who is an emergency management coordinator.

“That was really one of our disadvantages this weekend. We had amazing volunteers from Saint John, Quispamsis and Rothesay make the trip to Sussex.”

READ MORE: Sussex residents forced from homes following flash flood

Houses stand among flood waters on Golden Grove Road in Saint John on January 25, 2019.

Silas Brown/Global News

The Red Cross provided emergency assistance for 2,600 residents in New Brunswick after 150 events in the past year.

“This year has been the busiest it’s been in New Brunswick in decades,” she said.

She says the call for volunteers isn’t directed at one specific population or group, saying disasters can happen at any time.

“We’re just looking for anybody who is willing to give back and who wants to help out in their community,” Murchison said.

The mandate of the Red Cross is to provide emergency assistance for 72 hours, but they help longer when they can.

Fifteen people are still being assisted following last week’s storm and flooding.

WATCH: Water recedes in Sussex after flash flood forces residents from their homes






In situations of need following a disaster is when the Red Cross gets the call.

“You’re trying to get your life back in order, we’ll help people put a roof over your head, food in your belly,” Murchison said. “That’s not something you have to worry about, so you can focus on getting your life back on track.”

Steve Wilson, who has been volunteering with the Red Cross for three years, says it’s a rewarding opportunity.

“It gives you the sense that you’re giving back to the community,” he said. “And again, if you’re retired it gives you something to do.”

More information can be found at redcross.ca/volunteer.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Flash flooding around Sussex, N.B. forces evacuations – New Brunswick

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The Canadian Red Cross says at least a dozen homes had to be evacuated late Thursday because of flash flooding in riverfront areas around Sussex, N.B.

The town’s Emergency Operations group issued an advisory late Thursday, saying water levels had exceeded the flood stage and that residents in affected areas should evacuate.


READ MORE:
Ugly mix of rain, snow, freezing rain closes schools in parts of Atlantic Canada

The Red Cross was arranging emergency lodging at hotels for at least 17 people, with more requests anticipated overnight following heavy rains and fierce winds that also knocked out power in the province as well as in Nova Scotia.

An emergency shelter had been set up at the Saunders Irving Chapel at Kingswood University.

The town says on its website that the Trout Creek crested at 19.75 meters overnight and water levels were “trending downward” as of 4 a.m.

WATCH: Winter storm leaves New Brunswick highways a mess






NB Power says about 6,000 customers were affected by outages, with most in the Kennebecasis Valley Fundy area, while Nova Scotia Power said about 12,000 customers were without electricity in the wake of winds that exceeded 80 km/h.

The winds also ripped part of the roof off an apartment building in Moncton, N.B., where eight people were forced from four apartments in the 12-unit building.

This is just the latest flooding to affect the small New Brunswick community following less serious localized flooding last weekend along the Kennebecasis and Canaan rivers.

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Ottawa doesn’t appear to be offering new money for Francophonie Games in N.B. – New Brunswick

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It doesn’t appear Ottawa will be offering up any new money for the embattled Francophonie Games in New Brunswick.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked about the funding during a stop in the New Brunswick community of Quispamsis this morning.


READ MORE:
‘We went on the information we had’: Francophonie Games faces skyrocketing costs

Trudeau reiterated his pledge to match a provincial proposal dollar-for-dollar, but didn’t say there would be additional money.

New Brunswick’s new Tory government has said the Games could be too expensive, with cost estimates ballooning to $130 million from the original bid of $17 million.

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New Brunswick police officer rescues woman trapped in clothing donation bin – Halifax

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A quick-thinking and observant police officer was able to save a woman who was trapped inside a clothing donation bin in Miramichi, N.B. early Monday morning.

According to a release from the Miramichi Police Force, the officer was driving past the Lord Beaverbrook Arena on University Avenue at around 3:30 a.m. Monday, when he happened to glance at a number of clothing donation bins at the edge of the arena parking lot.


READ MORE:
‘This is a problem across the country’: Clothing donation bin deaths prompt demand for action

As he drove by, he thought he saw the metal flap on one of the bins move.

When he stopped to check, he found a 60-year-old woman inside the bin. She told him she had crawled inside to get out of the storm a few hours earlier, but had become stuck and was unable to get out on her own.

According to police, the officer was able to get her out and eventually drove her to a residence.

“Other than being very cold, physically she was okay,” the release said.


READ MORE:
‘She was wonderful’: Friends hold vigil for Toronto woman who died in donation bin

The issue of people becoming trapped inside donation bins has been a deadly problem in this country. Earlier this month, the Canadian Press reported that since 2015, at least seven Canadians have died after getting stuck inside a clothing donation bin.

Since that report, a woman has died after being found inside a donation bin in Toronto on Jan. 8.


Many bins have a gate mechanism that is designed to prevent animals from getting in and to prevent theft. That mailbox-like design means that people can get inside the bin, but are unable to get out.

In the wake of the deaths, some jurisdictions have temporarily shut down the bins, while manufacturers look into changing their design.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Kevin Vickers considering run for New Brunswick Liberal leadership

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Kevin Vickers, who became Canada’s ambassador to Ireland after being hailed as a hero for helping to end the 2014 attack on Parliament Hill, is considering a move into politics.

The former sergeant-at-arms of the House of Commons said he’s considering a run for Liberal leadership in his native New Brunswick, though he’s a « long ways from making a decision. »

Lisa Harris, Liberal MLA for Miramichi Bay-Neguac, said she met with Vickers recently and believes he would be an exciting candidate for the party’s leadership.

Former premier Brian Gallant announced recently that he’ll be stepping down as Liberal leader earlier than planned, saying the party needs to move on.

In an interview from Trout Brook, N.B., Vickers said he wants to carry on the legacy of his father, Bill, who began the Northumberland Co-Op Dairy decades ago.

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Fredericton service fees for fire inspections, parking to increase Jan. 1 – New Brunswick

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Fredericton officials are reminding the public that select city fees will increase on Jan. 1, 2019.

As detailed in the 2019 municipal budget, all inspection fees for the Fredericton Fire Department will see a jump in cost.

David McKinley, assistant deputy chief of the Fredericton Fire Department, says this is just a matter of inflation and it’s about time the changes happened.

“It more accurately reflects the cost of doing business,” he said.

READ MORE: Fredericton Food Bank creates plant-based Christmas hampers

McKinley says the increases to the fee structure at the fire department are aimed at modernizing prices, since they have not changed since 2004.

The largest fee hike for professional inspections performed by the fire department is the Fire Full Incident Report — used in court proceedings and for insurance claims.

The cost of the report will increase from $25 to $250.

These fee spikes also reflect the amount of work that goes into completing the reports by city and fire staff.

McKinley says a lot of time and detail goes into creating the paperwork, which is why the cost is going up.

“There are several people that are involved in doing that report — our clerk inside, the actual fire investigator that works for the fire prevention division as well — so there’s quite a bit to it, and $25 just was not representative of the cost of preparing that report.”

WATCH: No plans for Fredericton to provide curbside recycling to apartment buildings






A longtime Fredericton resident thinks the increase is drastic but reasonable.

“I don’t think anyone’s going to have any issues with the rate increases, however I do think some people might want a justification for some of the steep increases that we are seeing at one time. Maybe some people would like to see a more gradual increase as opposed to the sudden rate hike,” said Jeremy Goddard.

These fee increases have been in the works by the fire department for a long time. Because fire department officials were unable to submit the necessary paperwork on time in previous years, the prices went unchanged.

McKinley says that this year the fire department made an extra effort to ensure the price jump made it into Fredericton’s 2019 city budget.

“We’ve actually been working on it for quite a few years and we’ve known that the rates were low and too low for many years,” he said.

“Often times, we’ve started working on it and next thing you know the budget is on top of us and we don’t get it submitted in time. This year, we got it done in time.”

READ MORE: Fredericton’s Out of the Cold shelter to remain open until spring 2019

Fire services aren’t the only city fees that will surge on Jan. 1.

The new budget increases parking fines for the first time in eight years, going from $15 to $25.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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