• IG: Road Trips 2018 Photos

    IG: Road Trips 2018 Photos

  • IG: TV Posts

    IG: TV Posts

  • An Election is in the Air

    As the fall approaches, it is time for another round of provincial elections. The province is in a tough but still hopeful situation, people throwing around money and making promises that will make them look popular and ruthlessly attacking their opponents.

    I’m going to make a list of items that I consider a priority for the next government.

    1) Remove the ban from walking down the street with open liquor. There is no real public safety impact here, and littering would be of little impact as the empties will quickly be retrieved.

    2) Rename the Saint John River the “Saint John / Wolastoq River”, it would only cost 50ish signs and would make everyone happy. Also, please the indigenous peoples in the area.

    3) Within 5 years, eliminate 10 schools. Even if you have to build new modern 20th century buildings.

    4) Change legislation to ensure there are no more than 6 levels of management between the minister and the front line staff in every department and agency.

    5) Change the way we do municipalities. Naming streets, municipal planning, recreation, transportation, by-laws etc are what makes a community and councils should be limited to those things. Protective services should not be at the municipal level. There should be large regional elected service boards that run protective/regional services.

    6) Reduce 10 municipalities. There are too many for the size of the Province.

    7) Modernization of the delivery of government services. It is completely ridiculous that you still have to play phone tag with the receptionist to get appointments at the hospital and be called by 3 different departments for the same procedure. Also that your medical information is in silos that don’t allow your doctor to know the whole story, and allow electronic filing of prescriptions so you are not given conflicting drugs, and reduce the addictions.

    8) Be ambitious and strive to have Bilingualism as a requirement of Graduation for all students of New Brunswick. “switching between two or more languages gives the brain a dexterousness and improves our attention, planning, memory and problem-solving skills.” (Irish Times, 27 March 2018)

  • The End of “here”

    I have seen that the weekly local newspaper here magazine is now no more. Here is my little story of that zine.

    We go back to March of 2004 the one and only time that I had visited the office of here. I went up all the stairs in the Miller Britain building on Princess Street. I do not recall who I met in the office at the time, but this was the first place that I dropped off my press release to in person after I had filed my papers in my run for Mayor. The guy asked me a few questions, then I left.

    A few days after I received a call from one of the reporters. The were going to do a cover story on young candidates in that election for which there was eleven of us. They wanted to have a group picture and we arranged to all meet-up in front of Photography Flewwelling and taken by Tim Pfinder on a ladder. I remember the day was overcast and there was a very cold April wind.

    So that is my story/memory of how I ended up on the cover of Here Magazine. Of the group Jay Young-Chang was the only one to get elected that time, and Donnie Snook was also in that photo sou would get elected in the following election.

  • Preventing Service Cuts, not a priority!

    This seems to be a big promise by a lot of candidates this election. Let’s face the facts in the past 10 years this city’s spending has ballooned from about 90 million to 135 million.

    It is time to reconsider what services that city should offer. To have a reasonable tax rate this city needs to reduce its spending very drastically. In most accounts, the number that results in a reasonable tax rate is about $105 million dollars.

    Our fire service is one of the most costly in the country. Our transit services have increased in municipal funding from $250,000 to over $5 million dollars in the past 10 years. In addition, the biggest sources of revenue (the parking commission) and the biggest expenses (major facilities, pension fund, solid waste) are not under the city’s complete control and are hidden behind provincial legislation.

    These bodies are also not required to be either open or accountable to the public. Several years ago the spring garbage collection was removed for costing half a million dollars in one week, but was it really required?

    A truly responsible new council should take the necessary measures to remove Saint John from the ranks of the highest property taxes and water taxes in the country and instead promote measures to increase the tax base but offering a more advantageous tax rate to attack further development.

  • Saint John Road Conditions

    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

  • It’s the most wonderful season of the year…

    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.

  • Council’s Last Chance at Transit

    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.

  • A Memorable Mass Transit Story

    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…

  • Taking Perfect Long-Exposure Pics

    Today is Election Day. Sure I could write about the election but, instead, I’m going to write a self-help post about one of my favourite hobbies, photography.

    The first tip to long exposure shots is to use a tripod. What is the fun in that? Knowing that your shot will be perfect first time, every time.

    That leads to tip 2, lean on something. It is almost given that this will work best most of the time. Tip 3 is to hold your arms close to your body. They are the main tips that most people who teach photography will say but I have a few of my own that work better in a digital world.

    Tip 4 is to use the delay timer set to like 2 seconds. I find the movement of pressing the button has ruined many photos. Tip 5 works off of the same idea. Use the multiple photo mode. You are likely to get one of many right.

    The next tip is to use the LCD screen. There is no way you can hold it still enough up to your face. If all else fails then my last tip is to fake it in PhotoShop.

  • Election season again, count me out!

    So once again we are in the pending situation for an election in October, the question to ask is why?

    The governing conservatives haven’t even had a chance for their national meeting in November to develop a new policy document to drive the platform from. So they will be forced by the party to develop a new platform off of an old and aged policy.

    Or perhaps, Stephen Haper is afraid of facing the music of a new policy, and National Council and also interferes with the election this fall of the hunt for a new leader for the NB PC party.

  • Post-Election Post

    So we all know how the election turned out. As every one that knows me knows I enjoy relating the statistics. This year 23,977 voted for a mayor candidate, 24,078  voted in total. Therefore, 101 voters did not vote a mayor. In 2004, 25,489 voted for a mayor, 448 voted for me. Between 2004-2008 Saint John has 1,618 (source: Statistics Canada) less people. Between 2004-2008, 1512 less people voted for a Mayor. Conclusion, most of the people who used to care are the people that are leaving.

  • My Post-Birthday Post

    My Post-Birthday Post

    Boston Pizza Vanilla Bean Cake

    Yesterday was a very interesting day for my birthday. For a change people seemed nicer. It seems like it was no time ago, let alone four years ago today that (in 2004) today (May 11th) I was working at Client Logic, done after a hectic month and a half of campaigning and just waiting for election day to be over, wait a minute, that didn’t happen as a recall at that time I was ditching Sunday shifts to go to Empire Theatres probably to see Mean Girls, New York Minute, or 13 Going On 30 (I seen all of them in the theatre and cant remember which.) Then off to go do Too Close to Call, back in the days when it was only a half hour long show. Then off the day after the election to the great city of Toronto, ON for the first time ever, and my first time on a train too. It is too bad that a lot of my blog here didn’t survive from that time.

    So yesterday… after doing some overtime and fighting with the Royal Bank, I went to Boston Pizza and had an appetizer of Thai chicken bites, Caesar Salad, Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti, glass of Keith’s, and Vanilla Bean Cake. Then I went to the theatre and seen “Maid of Honor.” I have to say it was a very good meal and very good movie (4 stars.)

  • Third Election Update

    So, at this point I can’t be persuaded on a candidate because I already voted. I do believe in open transparency in politics, and since lynch mobs are so 1800’s I’m going to revile my votes.

    Mayor of Saint John: Michael Richardson
    At-Large: Danny Jardine and Chris Titus
    Ward 4: Kevin Goggan and Ralph Landers

  • Okay, a second look at the election.

    So now that I have looked into the election a little harder, I am changing some of the options.

    Mike Richardson- I’m not quite sure what it is but Mike seems to have a well thought out plan, no dirt and the just has a personality that one would pay attention to as mayor.

    Councillor At Large:

    Danny Jardine- I remember Danny from the last election he was one of those people that are deeply rooted in the social aspects of the community, like Donny Snook, that understands the poverty aspect of the city but is that enough, I’m adding this name to my shortlist because the list of candidates that I get to choose from is so pathetic, I think ward 4 might just have the worst turnout than any other part of this city.

    Mark LeBlanc- A maybe

    Rick Mantle- I think this one could make the council a little interesting.

    Chris Titus- This one is a definite vote, many of my favourite memories of council involve this fellow, especially back in the Shirley days. I like that Chris is involved in the community not afraid to express new ideas, and knows the when a horse is being flogged too long.

    Councillor Ward 4:

    I don’t seem to think that any of these people would be beneficial at the moment on the council chamber, this is one of the reasons that I was so opposed to the entire ward system is that the east is the area where no one that matters seems to ever run.

    District Education Council District 1

    Sub District 9: No one is running

    District Education Council District 8

    Zone A: Acclaimed

  • It’s election time again!

    As the signs start rising again leads to another dilemma again of who to vote for. Here are my options with names I’m not even considering crossed off:


    Ivan Court

    John P. Ferguson

    Michelle Hooton

    Norm McFarlane

    Mike Richardson

    Councillor At Large:

    Stephen Chase

    Susan E. Huestis-Toner

    Danny Jardine

    Mark LeBlanc

    Rick Mantle

    Anne-Marie Mullin

    Chris Titus

    Albert Vincen

    Councillor Ward 4:

    Bruce Court

    Teresa Debly

    Kevin Goggan

    Carole Keddy

    Ralph Landers

    Joe Mott

    James Whelly

    District Education Council District 1

    Sub District 9: No one is running

    District Education Council District 8

    Zone A: Acclaimed

  • Again another post and another year!

    While since it is a new year it just seems different. 2006 was a very bad year as I posted a year ago now that I look back at the posts I made and 2007 went by without many successes or failures. But, now it ’tis 2008. I can’t wait this looks to be the year that every thing seems to be heading to.

    This spring there is another one of those municipal elections. Not to say that I would run again seeing as how things are going, but who knows what will happen.

    On the political side of things I don’t see me doing much this year as there is still uncertainty as to where I will be come the end of it.

    I’m, along with Tony Tompkins are working on a web cast series titled “The Badger Hunter” the editing of the pilot episode is almost done on that and is slated for release on February 29th. We are currently about to begin filming of the second episode.

    I’ve been going over some of the code for my photo gallery and seem to have it fixed despite the unknown reason that the background of the main section disappears on FireFox or Safari. So I’m gonna get to adding the few new photos I have taken lately. I might even take more photos soon, need reason to get more active.

    I have decided that the Crushed Beautifully series has come to an end, there will not be a third film in the series.

  • Saint Johners I thought you were smart!

    I still think that most of you don’t have a brain in your head sometimes. But, we will see. Come the next election I hope that there will be enough good candidate running in every ward so that we don’t end up like Miramichi.

    Doesn’t anyone remember why in 1980 the ward 198 years of a ward system was brought to an end? Because the council was too focused on the day-2-day of the city rather than setting policy and advancing the city forward. We were doing that, this is going to be another nail in the coffin of Saint John. This is going to strip away the progress foreseen in the last 4 years.

    The next council is more likely than not going to pit one against the other for; who gets a rink, I want my sidewalks plowed. And attention is diverted away from the future and placed on the present.

  • And my vote has been cast…

    I have just had my say, in the advance polls this afternoon. Hopefully at least 40% +1 will agree with me and turn down the ward system, as proposed by council. The idea of having 2 per-ward and have no power to regect someone if they are the only two runing is so undemocartic. In my opinion this will hurt the city and only benifits the easyness of entry for for people to run for council.

  • I’m against wards for Saint John

    After hearing that Common Council is going to let us vote for or against wards I thought I would point out my views. The problem with wards is that you force people to elect people based on where they live as opposed to whether or not the person is any good for the job. In addition there is no course in the system to correct this error. Although it does allow for people to run and get elected that do not have broad support, but it also hinders the election of people that might be good people. And in some cases if there is no good people running in a riding the people in that riding would have to “make do” with one of those.

    We see it all the time in Provincial and Federal governments some ridings end up with weak people all the time that end up being backbenchers and you never hear from them till next time there is an election.

    Using Miramichi as an example here are the results from May 2004.

    MIRAMICHI (source gnb.ca)




    Mayor / Maire
    Gerry Cormier M 2558    
    John McKay M 2850 E  
    Arch C Pafford M 852    
    Frank B. Trevors M 2646    
    Councillor At Large/Conseiller(ère) Général
    Rupert Bernard M 4202 E  
    Ken Clark M 2310    
    Paul W. Dawson M 4264 E inc./sort.
    Bernard (Bunny) Dempsey M 2030    
    Raymond J Desveaux M 1288    
    Pat R. Diotte M 2206    
    Peter L. Manderson M 3113 E  
    John (Jake) McLaughlin M 3796 E  
    Robert (Trapper) Newman M 906    
    René Smith M 2498    
    Terry F Whalen, Sr. M 2050    
    Councillor Ward 1/Conseiller(ère) Quartier 1
    Reg Falconer M 759 E inc./sort.
    Jamie James M 206    
    Councillor Ward 2/Conseiller(ère) Quartier 2
    Mike Connors M 80    
    Ned E.J. Manderson M 550 E inc./sort.
    Esther (Es) Nye F 79    
    Bill Treadwell M 502    
    Councillor Ward 3/Conseiller(ère) Quartier 3
    Harry Hoekman M accl. E  
    Councillor Ward 4/Conseiller(ère) Quartier 4
    Wendy M Chadwick F 377 E inc./sort.
    Allison J Furlotte M 276    
    Carmel Elizabeth Hambrook F 300    
    Councillor Ward 5/Conseiller(ère) Quartier 5
    Lisa Harris F 879 E  
    Shawn Power M 540    
    Councillor Ward 6/Conseiller(ère) Quartier 6
    Scotty H. Bernard M accl. E inc./sort.
    Councillor Ward 7/Conseiller(ère) Quartier 7
    Peter J Malley M 474    
    Martin J. McIntyre M 614 E inc./sort.
    Councillor Ward 8/Conseiller(ère) Quartier 8
    Brian J. King M accl. E inc./sort.

    Disclaimer- This is not meant as defamation to any of the people listed here and as general assumptions based on numbers. I do not know anyone on this list. Nor, do I have plans of endorsing any of them,, this is meant as a example of a mixed “at large”/”ward” system as proposed by Saint John council.Okay, looking at the “at large” group this is very typical there are 4 strong people elected, 5 moderately liked, and 2 “also rans.” Wards 3, 6, and 8 didn’t even have a council candidate, which probably had lower voter turn out. Also with Ward 3 it was a new candidate which means only 25 people (who signed a piece of paper) really had a say in whether or not that person would be a good councillor.

    Assuming that all wards are pretty equal in population Ward 4 there really wasn’t that many that voted and no one really got more votes than the other, this is an example as a “weak” ward. Where as Wards 2 and 5 had very strong candidates and the second place candidate was more popular than the people elected in number 4.

    This system is not good enough. Here is the system I think would work if wards were to work. For Saint John to have 6 Wards and 4 “at large” and all candidates will run for their ward. On the ballot you will have the candidates residing in your ward on the top for you to choose 1. And and option “I choose to not have any of the above candidates”. And is that option is the majority then that seat is added to the at large pool. This would protect from unwanted people being acclaimed/elected. Then the rest of the candidates from other wards would be listed for you to choose up to 4 people. If the person is the top in their ward, then they would become elected. Then all the votes will be combined city wide for the top 4 (or more to total 10 councillors if a ward was not elected) people that were elected “at large” that did not win their own ward. And the person city wide that receives the most votes becomes Deputy Mayor.