Thursday, December 08, 2005


Please go and vote!! Merci!!


Thw security staff have installed these pillars all around the Legislature. Stay tune for more on this issue in the morning.

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An email from a stranger.


I received a lot of emails and I will admit that not all are praising views.

B this little note really touch me. It's supports like this that really keeps me going forward in my battles...

Here's the email-

Dec. 8 2005

Dear Mr. LeBlanc,

What an amazing blog/web site you have!!

I met you way back at some rally in Saint John, I can't remember where or when.

You're charming, I wish you would run in a civic election or provincial/federal election, I feel you'd win in a landslide!

I always love it when you call in to Talk of the Town.

I heard you this morning.

Your topics are darn interesting all the time.

I couldn't help but hear you say a couple of months ago on there that the Irvings have blocked your e-mails from entering the newspaper.

That's awful.

I suppose it wouldn't even help you to conjure up another hotmail e-mail address of some sort, you'd still have to sign your name...

I miss your letters to the paper here. Too bad Irving has a monopoly on it.

I'm a philantropist myself, I have assisted dozens of needy people and children.

You must put a ton of work into your blog sight, this is the first time I've been on it today, I just heard on Talk of the Town this morning to do the search engine thing to find you, so I did just that.

I'm not sure where you're living at now, Fredericton, I think?? I'm sorry you left Saint John.

We need more people like you around here, now we have no one that speaks out the way that you did.

If there is anything I can ever do for you, please do not hesitate to e-mail.

Heaven's knows, you've sure paid your dues to the people of Saint John.

Like you pointed out on your blog today, a very sore point with me as well is that there is no live announcers on our radio after a certain time in the evening and that is pathetic in this day and age!!

I thought that new Rogers FM radio station was going to be ok for awhile (with Tom Young), until I was listening to it one week and they had Tom Young's "middle of the week show on" was Sunday, for God's sake.

So obviously that was old recorded stuff to fill up the hour.

What we REALLY need is a 24/7 LIVE talk/call-in show on the radio. If someone would come up with this, I think they'd make a fortune in advertising.

Play a tune or two if there are no callers at any given time....Insomniacs like me could listen to it all night.

Anyway, Mr. LeBlanc, I don't mean to take any more of your time.

I just wanted you to know that there are a LOT of us out there who REALLY appreciate your work and now that I've discovered your blog site, that too. But a lot of us in Saint John know that you, for many years, have been fighting the government for various rights that you believe in.

I admire and respect your opinions as do many others who usually remain silent or for whatever reason, are shy, or maybe do not have access to the internet or are not computer literate.

Please keep up the terrific work that you are doing!!


Last two days....

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Myself? The first time I seen those chairs 4 years ago? I couldn't believe they were forced to sit down in them. I never noticed the new chairs yesterday in the House. I was too busy looking at the new area for the Sargeant At Arms. I'm doing to try to locate the old chairs and take a picture. Here's the letter from the angry reader and the story in the Irving paper.


Morning Charles, heard you on the talk show...

I agree, if T. Holder votes
against that bill, he will be run out of town during the next

Also, very surprised I saw no mention on your blog about the
"NEW" chairs purchased in the Legislature by the PC govenment!!

I was boiling mad when I heard that on CFBC this morning., as here we have people burned out in the city, and now homeless.

Also, 2 people dead, and
their families probably can not afford to bury them.

We have people who can not afford to pay their winter hydro bills, or pay for their oil , or even put a meal on the table 7 days a week, and the Premier thinks they all need
$1400.00 chairs to plunk their butts in...

I am waiting to hear from S.
Graham or Able LeBlanc, or S. Jamieson, or R. McIntyre, speak out
against this!!....

If they sit their "butts" in theses chairs I will have no faith in
them to form the government.

When these idiots got elected they raise the pay scale, they new the conditions in the legislature, if they are not comfortable chairs for them to sleep in, let them bring a chair from their homes.....

I am just raging over this........I think you should get a post going on this matter today....

Here's the story in the Irving's paper!

NB Telegraph-Journal | Provincial News
As published on page A1/A2 on December 8, 2005

New legislature chairs save backs, not bucks

By Kathy Kaufield

FREDERICTON - Talk about taking a seat in the legislature.

MLA Michael (Tanker) Malley says the old chairs in New Brunswick legislature were so tight for his 280-lb. frame, his chair almost came with him when he tried to get out of it. On one occasion, he leaned backwards, the chair flipped over and he hit his head on the floor.

Other MLAs complained the antique wooden chairs gave them backaches and broke easily.

For these and other reasons, taxpayers have shelled out $75,000 for new, cushy, reclining leather chairs for our provincial politicians.

MLAs tried out their new chairs for the first time Wednesday as the House opened for the first day of debate of the fall session.

"You can lock the recline at the angle you want to," said Nigadoo-Chaleur Liberal MLA Roland Haché. "You can go up, you can go down ... I brought it up just to see the feeling of it, and my feet were hardly touching the floor."

House Speaker Bev Harrison said chairs were bought only for the province's 54 MLAs. The Speaker gets the best seat in the House - a luxurious, throne-like seat. Legislature officials would not put a price tag on the chairs but Finance Minister Jeannot Volpé said it cost $75,000. For 54 chairs, that's about $1,400 each.

When asked what he thought of the price, Mr. Volpé said: "Too much."

But quickly added he was joking and said MLAs need proper equipment to do their jobs.

Some of the old chairs dated back to the late 1800s. They are handcrafted and ornate, each with two lions' heads carved on the back. Some of the chairs weren't quite that old because chairs were reproduced when the province increased the number of MLAs to 58 and when chairs broke..

Mr. Malley, MLA for Miramichi-Bay-du-Vin, said he's broken about three himself.

"I had a flippin' one day. The chair went right back ... I got a tough hit. Good thing they have carpet," he said. "I had a good laugh. I was just like Rolly Poly, flipping over. It was pretty interesting."

He said he liked the new chairs, which feel much more comfortable.

"I can get up really quickly and go out ... Before I almost had to take the chair with me. I don't know, my physique is different."

But Mr. Malley wasn't the only MLA who found the old chairs hard to take. Mr. Volpe said numerous MLAs complained about backaches. Training and Employment Development Minister Margaret-Ann Blaney among them.

She said she had to bring in special back padding so she could sit in the old chairs comfortably.

"I welcome you to come sit in (the old ones) for 10 hours, day after day," she said. "Certainly from the perspective of saving your back, it was a good decision."

Government House Leader Brad Green said an all-party committee of the legislature approved the expenditure. He said the old chairs were breaking so often that it was soon going to cost more to fix the old ones than to buy new ones. Plus, he said the chairs are so historic that they needed to be preserved.

"If we replace the chairs every hundred years, I think that is probably a reasonable expenditure."

The old chairs have been put away in storage and will be used on ceremonial days like the throne speech and will be displayed for tourists when the House isn't in session.

- with files from Shawn Berry


Once again, I don’t feel like writing a blog but I must give an update of the happening yesterday around the Legislature.


I expected trouble at the Legislature but it never happen.

The story about Metal Detector isn’t true. There’s no such device at the Legislature and I believe that’s a good thing.


I walked inside and went downstairs at the Cafeteria for a soda.

I enjoy watching the live debate on the television downstairs and I’m sure the pro LNG protesters enjoyed the atmosphere also than in the gallery last spring.

I don’t bother anyone and everything is ok.

I was approached by a reporter asking me the reason I campaigned for the Liberals during the Bi-Election in Saint John Harbour?


My answer - With Shawn Graham as Premier? The issue of Ritalin will be studied.

The media person asked me if Shawn Graham told me this?

I said- Yes, he did and if he doesn’t? Look out!!!

He suggested that I would go on the attack as I’m doing to Bernard Lord?

I told the individual that I made myself very clear with Shawn on this issue!


If he doesn’t do anything about the drugging of our children?

I told the future Premier that I will boot him in the butt so hard that he won’t be able to sit down for a week and I’ll do it too!!!…

I walked in the Library and I was told that the Library was indeed close two days ago.

You see? The way the commissionaires have treated me in the past? I just don’t trust them at their words.

I walked in the Gallery and I noticed the Sargeant At Arms has a new cozy set up!


In the past, he would be sitting in the best chair in the House. He looked so comfortable and once he left his chair other MLA’S would sit down in the chair.

Yesterday, I noticed he installed a new desk and a computer.

He surrounded himself in a little wood frame wall. It’s like an office. He’s often on the computer in his office and he reads my blog every single day.

He was on my list for three years but I quickly remove his email from my email list once he labeled me as a security risk at the Legislature.


You can read my Human Rights complaint on the front blog.

I received this mail yesterday from the Commission telling me that my complaint has been sent to Mr.Bussieres.

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My God? It sure took a long time but it won’t be no surprise to him because he read it in my blog. I signed those papers on November 8th!

It was pretty boring so I left the Legislature ad went into the Centennial Building.

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I was told that the Premier would invite the public to his office for a Christmas Party.

Once there, I didn’t noticed too many people and I wanted a nice new picture of myself and the Premier in front of the Christmas tree but he wasn’t around. Maybe he was hiding under his desk?…..I'm getting in this picture. Time for a new update version.

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No…the House was still in session.

I had one of his staff showing me around and I asked if I could take a picture of the Premier Desk?

The worker quickly told me –No!!!

They were afraid that I would make fun of his desk in my blog!!!!…

Hey? Power of the bloggler eh???

They all read my daily updates and this is a good thing!

A few wanted to know who was Artist WCIE?


But they didn’t get nothing from me.

They let it known that they didn’t like this picture.


Artist WCIE don’t like it either. He never expected that I it would be my favorite.

I told the staffer that all they have to do?

Do a study on the issue of drugging our children and I’ll tell artist WCIE to do a picture of a smiling kid giving the thumbs up!!!

So? All is fine at the Legislature and no one is bothering me.

But the question is this? Is this the calm before the storm??? Who knows? Stay tune!!!!


Charles 04_07_05 057

He's been raising his voice a lot during the last two days. I got to have a chat with that boy because some area in his riding are wrost than Saint John Harbour. Go read the end of this story? Is Trevor Holder saying that he will defeat the bill???? If this is true? Mr.Holder will definetly hear from this guy!!!

NB Telegraph-Journal | Provincial News
As published on page A4 on December 8, 2005

New Liberal MLA has big first day in legislature
Ed Doherty introduces bill to crack down on slum landlords

By Kathy Kaufield

Newly-elected Saint John Harbour Liberal MLA Ed Doherty has introduced a bill to crack down on slum landlords.

The rookie MLA used his first day in the legislature Wednesday to introduce a bill, question Environment and Local Government Minister Trevor Holder on harbour cleanup and chastise Premier Bernard Lord for ignoring the plight of the poor.

And he got a standing ovation from his Grit colleagues.

"I promised the electorate that I would be a man of action for them," Dr. Doherty said.

It's unusual for a rookie MLA to introduce a bill and get the chance to speak so often in the legislature on his first day but Dr. Doherty said he and Liberal Leader Shawn Graham wanted him to get off on to a good start after his big byelection win.

"He (Mr. Graham) was very anxious that I should be able to represent my constituents well. They gave me an overwhelming mandate," he said.

He introduced "An Act Respecting the Protection of Low-Income Occupiers," which he said will help crack down on slum landlords.

The proposed bill would change the Municipalities Act by allowing officers appointed by a municipal council to enter premises 48 hours after notice is given to occupiers and owners. It would also create a fine for owners not respecting their obligations and increase current fines to owners from a minimum of $240 to $500, decrease current fines to occupiers from a minimum of $240 to $140. Under the bill, municipalities would be able to apply to court to get up to 50 per cent of rent in order to pay for necessary repairs where owners have failed.

The bill would also change the Residential Tenancies Act to extend protection similar to what renters in apartments have to individuals living in boarding houses or lodging houses where three or more rooms are provided as living accommodations.

"People have the right to safe and affordable housing. This legislation is about protecting people and holding landlords accountable," said Dr. Doherty.

During the Saint John Harbour byelection and in this week's Throne Speech, the Progressive Conservatives promised to get tough on slum landlords. Premier Lord said municipalities will be given the authority to issue tickets to landlords whose buildings don't meet minimum property standards and he promised to introduce changes to increase compliance by landlords and also raise the standards.

Mr. Doherty stole some thunder from the Tories Wednesday by introducing his bill first, which according to House rules will force the government to deal with the Liberal bill before the Tory one can be tabled.

Mr. Holder was quick to dismiss the Liberal bill.

"Quite frankly I don't care what they are doing. This is the first time that I can ever remember the Liberal Party of New Brunswick raising this issue on the floor of the legislature."

He said previous Opposition bills have often been flawed.

"I don't suspect that they have had the same kind of consultation with officials at the building inspectors office in Saint John like we have. And we are going to do that and we are going to have to continue to do that," he said. "I want legislation that makes sense. I want legislation that's done by consulting with the municipality in terms of what they need and that's what I intend to do."



My God? I remember this just like it was yesterday. I just bought his new album and I love the song- Starting all over. I was working at the Shipyard when I found out the news that John Lenon had been shot! What a lost! In the picture is Lenon with the idiot who shot him. Where were you 25 years ago today?



NB Telegraph-Journal | Saint John
As published on page A1/A2 on December 8, 2005

Two killed in Saint John blaze
Two others injured in fire in city's South End

Click to zoom (Kâté LeBlanc/Telegraph-Journal)
A young girl and a man watch as flames pour out of a building on the corner of Duke and Sydney streets in Saint John Wednesday afternoon.
By Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon

Two people are dead and two others injured following a fire in Saint John that destroyed a three-storey apartment building, leaving at least a dozen tenants homeless Wednesday afternoon.

The cause of the fire at 152-154 Duke Street, which took nearly five hours to extinguish, is still under investigation. Police and fire officials were expected to be on the scene this morning.

Norma Budgell believes the death toll could have been doubled if she hadn't been visiting her 93-year-old mother to help put up Christmas decorations.

When the second-storey apartment filled with thick, black smoke about 1:30 p.m., Ms. Budgell, 74, got her mother, Rita McGrath, outside to safety. Then she fought her way back through the blinding smoke to rescue her mother's boyfriend, Edward (Bossy) Ritchie, 67, who was taken to hospital with burns to his face.

"Thank God I went there today," she said, eyes skyward, still in shock.

Firefighters were called to 154 Duke St. at 1:30 p.m., said Chief Rob Simonds. The multi-unit brick building, located at the corner of Sydney Street, was already engulfed.

Flames were shooting from the second-storey windows and there were reports of people trapped inside, he said.

Firefighters worked quickly to contain the blaze to help rescue efforts, breaking windows to ventilate the building and improve visibility, with streams of water trained on the flames from all directions.

But the construction of the heritage building proved challenging, with air pockets created by subceilings and subwalls from years of renovations helping the fire to spread rapidly, said Chief Simonds, who was called to the scene after the fire escalated.

Flames were also stoked by strong winds that blew thick clouds of smoke and ash over the South End, leaving some neighbours concerned about their adjacent buildings.

Jeanne Chown, who manages her mother's four-unit building at 137 Sydney St., came home from work in case firefighters needed her to unlock her gate to gain access to the back of the buildings and to make sure her cats, Izzie and Sadie, were safe.

As a precaution, an apartment building across the street from the fire-ravaged building was evacuated in case it collapsed, said Chief Simonds.

A larger area was also cordoned off in case the hydro poles, which had already been cut off by Saint John Energy officials, came crashing down.

About 24 firefighters were on the scene and eight more were called in to help supplement coverage for the rest of the city.

"It's a bit of an anomaly to have a fire this significant in the middle of the day," said Chief Simonds. "Normally it's detected much sooner.

"We haven't had one of this magnitude and this consequence, with respect to the loss of life, in some time," he added.

Two people were taken to hospital about 1:45 p.m. with undetermined injuries as nearly 100 spectators looked on, shivering in the frigid temperatures behind yellow police tape.

At 2:10 p.m., about nine rescue officials rushed a middle aged man from one of the upper floors to a nearby ambulance on a stretcher, broken window glass crunching under the wheels as they anxiously performed CPR.

The man later died. His name could not be released until next of kin are notified.

About five minutes later, firefighters removed a body covered in a white flannel blanket from the building. That person's identity also could not be released.

Colin Parewick believes the man who subsequently died was the tenant he had been talking to just minutes earlier.

"I told him to get out, but he said he couldn't," said Mr. Parewick, who had been driving back to work along Duke Street about 1:30 p.m. when he saw the flames and pulled over to call 911.

The man, who was yelling down to him from the upper window of 152 Duke St., had his hands wrapped in what looked like towels or T-shirts, said Mr. Parewick. "I assume the door knob was too hot."

Click to zoom (Kâté LeBlanc/Telegraph-Journal)
Norma Budgell, left, holds on tightly to her mother Rita McGrath's hand shortly after the two escaped from a fire in Saint John Wednesday.
He said the man seemed "calm for the most part," but expressed concern about another tenant, an older man. "We told him to sit tight, the fire department was on its way."

The fire seemed to be under control fairly quickly, but then engulfed the building with flames licking out the windows and over the roof, he said.

"It's sad," said Mr. Parewick, suggesting the full impact likely hadn't hit him yet. "I wanted to go in and go upstairs, but there was already smoke in the building. There's no way I would have made it to the third floor.

"You feel helpless, but you have to be realistic about what you think you can do."

Ms. Budgell said she was just going on instinct.

She had been sitting in her mother's kitchen, talking on the phone to her brother in Toronto when she noticed an overwhelming smell, like a pot burning on the stove.

Next thing she knew, there was a wall of smoke pouring in through the door that separated her mother's apartment from a series of one-bedroom rooms.

"I couldn't see anything "... I've never seen so much black in all my life."

Ms. Budgell guided her mother, who was only wearing shorts and a top, about four feet out into the vestibule, then down a full flight of stairs. "She was short of breath, but I made her go," she said, her mint sweater torn at the collar and covered in soot.

Ms. Budgell saw the flames, but went back inside to get her mother's boyfriend of nearly 30 years. Although she couldn't see him, she felt his leg. He had fallen down and hit his head, she said. "I was trying to hold my (hand over my) mouth and get him up," she explained, traces of his blood from his burnt face in her blonde hair.

Her mother was uninjured and is insured, she said. But it will be the personal items that can't be replaced she will miss, including photos of her with her grandchildren from her birthday party last July and knickknacks collected during the 31 years she's lived in the apartment.

"That's going to bother her."

James Mailman, who has lived on the first floor of the building for three years, doesn't have insurance. He lost his computer, clothes, his wallet and identification, but he just shrugged his shoulders as he watched the building continue to smoulder.

"What can you do?"

Mr. Mailman had been visiting a friend's house when someone called his cellphone to say his building was on fire. He said he would likely stay with his parents or friends until he finds a new place. "I'm not going to homeless, or anything like that."

Some of the other tenants weren't so lucky, said Cpt. Chris Rideout of the Salvation Army.

The organization had to put up at least one man and one woman in a hotel for the night.

"It's a sad day," said Cpt. Rideout, who knew one of the victims.

"He had been here in the morning for coffee and donuts and a basic computer course. So for us, it's a face and a person. It's real. It's somebody we've been in contact with quite a few years."

Cpt. Rideout provided counselling on the scene to the son of one of the victims. He also supplied coffee and soup to anyone in need.

Sue Condran and Angelo Defazio, of Bent Halo Ministries, also did what they could, supplying blankets and seats in their warm van.

The Salvation Army is accepting cash donations to get tenants set up in new apartments. Many of them are on income assistance, receiving only $270 a month and can't afford a down payment on a new apartment, said Cpt. Rideout.

He's also looking for bedding, furniture, and dishes. The Salvation Army thrift store will provide the tenants with clothing, he said.

To make a donation, call 634-7166 or visit 36 Waterloo St.