News & Politics

We have all heard or experience the pot hole haven stories about this city. But, do the numbers support the claims that Saint John is too big for its population to support its roads properly. In fact Saint John has 4x the population per km of road than Bathurst. It would however be interesting to see how well Bathurst does at their own road maintenance.

Below is a table sourced from Statistics Canada 2011 census for population and NB Department of Transportation Road Mileage charts (2012) for the kilometres of road.

These numbers also include provincial designated highways that the cities get a grant to maintain.

City Population KM of Roads Population per KM of roads
Bathurst 4979 184 27.1
Miramichi 17811 325 54.8
Grand Bay-Westfield 5117 87 58.8
Rothesay 11947 149 80.2
Edmunston 16032 199 80.6
Ouispamsis 17886 203 88.1
Saint John 70063 718 97.6
Campbellton 7385 73 101.2
Moncton 69074 541 127.7
Fredericton 56224 429 131.1
Dieppe 23310 153 152.4
News & Politics

Election Season! In under 2 months, every municipal, education, and health council in this province will be new. But this is my favourite part is waiting for everyone to announce and I need to pick the people who I will vote for. I need to vote for and choose a Mayor of Saint John, 2 Councillors at Large, 2 Ward 4 councillors, an education councillor for Anglophone District South-5, and Francophone district Sud-9, and Health region B-4.

This Saturday the nominations open up and I will announce more of my thought.

And for theses that are wondering. I will not be running again this year.

My best advise is don’t run for the fame and glory either run to do a committed job, or run to say something. It is much worse to have an idea not considered. Leave it to the people to determine its value. It could be the idea that might inspire those that can do.

News & Politics

It is now 7pm in the council chambers and the councillors are now arriving. As council begins there is 44 people here.

The meeting has now begun the councillor are doing their opening thanks to different community groups.

Joe Mott is absent tonight. Most of the routine business is quite boring and routine. The first item is 12.1 on the demolition of a dilapidated building on city road no one will miss. Next is a review of the Taxi by-law review and a full presentation with slides.

Council has after an hour approved starting the process of drafting the new Taxi By-Law something that has been talked about for close to 15 years now. Now they are discussing changes to the procurement policies.

Now it is time for transit (11.2). Councillor Higgins has moved to reassess the decision to cuts. Now the motion is a refer to budget deliberations. Councillor Farren sounds hesitant as long as it does not increase taxes. Deputy Mayor Chase does not seem to really support this. He is even denying that Higgins did know that the facts that she is denying and is stern on holding the budget. Councillor Norton is proposing a public review on route changes, but is being cautious. Councillor Snook is supporting transit but is supportive of the public consultation of optimizing routes. The City Manager is trying to educate council that this is not a cut but a limit to the increase to 1% even though Transit has been increasing the city’s subsidy by about 8%. Court was not favourable to the motion. Councillor Sullivan is not wavering on the fact that Transit is not a council priority. They are trying to wash their hands of transit and placing responsibility on the commission and the province for the taxes on the garage.

Some appear on delaying a decision. Councillor Titus, the council representative on the Transit Commission, is placing the blame back on council. He is insisting that the transit commission placed much thought on the routes. The cuts were based on cost effectiveness of service. The pension issue is of great importance and that money has been already been spent on printing of new schedule.

Titus insists that there is not really $5-million dollars extra. Insists that we have really good services, that citizens should be proud of.

Higgins makes a good closing point that perhaps if more than one transit passenger was on the commission it could be more efficient. It could be better promoted, and that the larger percentage of users are renters and renters pay 2x the tax rate of regular residential.

Considering that East Saint John is getting hit the hardest. It is despicable that Councilor Court is taking such a hard line against the prosperity of transit. Councillor Court does not stand up for is own ward and should likely be cut come election time. Voting time it is a referral motion 8-2 in-favour. Titus and Sullivan against.

News & Politics

Remember that one time on the bus, when…? Share your mass transit stories.

One of my best memories on the bus was on an East bus headed to the mall on March 25th, 2004. I happened to run into my friend Tony, we were both heading to the mall. At this point I had my first batch of 25 names on the nomination papers. This was where Tony signed as the witness.

As soon as I got to the mall I instantly went to head back to the north end to file the papers. The first time 8 of my names were rejected as the people who signed were not actually registered to vote. Then the second time 45 minutes later I was 2 names short. Then 25 minutes later, I was officially on the ballot.

When it finally got approved, the first thing I did was to run to every media outlet that I could find and dropped off my Press Release.

Running for Mayor was one of the most interesting times of my life, and all the people and aspects of the community that you get exposed to is unreal.

Then six and a half weeks, and 448 votes later that part of my life was over. Thus leading the way for 2 days later when I left the province on my first vacation and train ride later.

And the travels continue…

News & Politics, Rants and Raves

Apparently my site traffic has dropped a fair bit in the last few months. This past week has been one of the craziest news weeks that I can remember in quite some time. Four elections, a new premier, a shady closed meeting of the public accounts committee in Ottawa. The Europe economy teetering beyond hope. The City of Saint John not having a clue how to fix its self with the pension. Sarah Palin announcing that she won’t run again, and overshadowed by the death of Steve Jobs that no one really head or cared.

But among all that the things that stood out the most happened on Thursday. US President Barack Obama in responding to why the US Wall Street executives that killed the global economy were not jailed for what they done responded with; “what they done was immoral but not illegal.”

It is pretty bad when a few can make over a hundred million people worldwide homeless and unemployed. Then be bailed out by every reserve of money available on this planet then… nothing happens.

Added note: I had received a comment that it was unclear but, the point I was trying to make was that no one cared that Sarah Palin was not going to run again. Many people including myself cared about the passing of the great Steve Jobs.

News & Politics, Rants and Raves

This morning I heard the following story on the radio and was practically outraged by what I was hearing. Basically, the Government of Saskatchewan is offering a reasonable 6% pay increase to all the teachers, but the lousy blood-sucking unions are demanding 16%. In addition, who is going to feel bad for these teachers, 6% will make them some of the highest paid in the entire country.

Even if the Government is able to pay this amount they should not give in. The money should go to offer better supplies for learning, libraries, I would even hire actual fitness trainers than give in to the greedy unions.

I think that this country would be much better served banning unions from the public service.

News & Politics

For the better part of my life I always considered nuclear power to be incredibly clean and efficient way to produce a lot of power. With the recent earthquake to hit Japan and Fukushima, perhaps it is now time to consider something else.

The question is what else? The thought of going back to burning coal, oil, or even worse Orimulsion. Then there is wind power that kills birds, bats, honey bees, and causes hearing damage. Hydro-electric power that kills the eco-system of a river upstream, even if provisions were made not to. Solar? The sun will come out tomorrow but not today and are very inefficient to have reliable energy in short winter days.

I think the most important factor is that although we believe it can be safe, what if nature makes it go wrong. Canadian reactors are supposed to be certified for expected levels of seismic activity. But expected and reality can be different. Like the old expression “Shit Happens”.

News & Politics

A few year’s back I got reconnected to a classic piece of music; Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A Changin'”. Back then was in March 2005. I was a young political supporter taking by first trip by train to Montréal, for the 1st Conservative Party of Canada policy and constitution convention.

Back then I thought we were doing something new a great. The vision of make a new party from scratch. Also, strengthening up the constitution to make it more fair and accountable.

Fast forward to now six years later, and we are back to the corruption as before but the song is developing new meaning. With recent events that started in Egypt and Tunisia we are seeing once more that The Times They Are A Changin’. In hindsight, it appears that change actually happen quite rapidly.

Now that it spreads fast people can compare this turning point in history to the storming Bastille. Where people’s choice takes forefront to prolonged oppression. But of greater concern is that at this point in History the current super-power the United States turns out to be broke, and not exactly globally well liked. Compare them to the Hapsburg Dynasty of Austria that controlled much of Europe at the time of the Bastille.

The French king at that time was completely unaware of the state of his people like leaders today in Egypt, Bahrain, and Libya. One only has to visit Luzern in Switzerland to see the most moving pieces of artwork in all Europe to see this was true. The only protection of a ruler be it King, Sultan, President; is who the Armed Forces supports, in France and now Egypt to military supported to people.

As history goes the Bastille event results in Napoleon, where the Hapsburgs end up dead and everything changes. In the 2010’s can the United States survive or will we see that nothing is safe as The Times They Are A Changin’.