Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Picture 076, originally uploaded by Oldmaison.

Coffee being used to calm kids
April 25,2006
Jennifer C. Smith
Monitor Staff Writer

McALLEN — Forget the apple-a-day cliché. A daily cup of coffee or tea — even for kids — could be just what the doctor ordered to treat attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder.

“I suggest drinking iced tea, black tea for improving the effects of medications,” said McAllen pediatric neurologist Dr. Leonardo Garcia.

“I prescribe it in very small amounts, specific amounts for each child, and that’s the same thing with medicines.”

But the idea of using caffeinated products for youth to calm the disorder’s symptoms such as physical restlessness, poor concentration and impulsive behavior is a controversial idea in medical circles. The limited studies available have not definitively linked caffeine consumption to abetting or worsening the disorder, so while some physicians suggest a latté, others warn against prescribing a substance that can interfere with sleep.

But there is no denying with Starbucks percolating on street corners and green tea riding the antioxidant frenzy, caffeine is the preferred beverage for many American adults and youth.

Still, several therapists and physicians remain unconvinced caffeine and kids mix.

“At one time, it was believed the coffee would decrease the activity in the brain,” said McAllen family physician Dr. Benjamin Bujanda. “Now we have proved caffeine makes you hyper so it is not indicated for people having these disorders.”

Not so, responds Dr. Joel Young, a Detroit child psychiatrist and a member of the Attention Deficit Disorder Association. The Pennsylvania-based nonprofit is a national advocacy group for attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder research.

“Caffeine in the brain enhances transmissions of (the chemical) dopamine and that has an effect of increasing concentration and focus, probably for everybody to some degree,” he said.

So a cup of joe is not the best treatment, but it can mitigate the disorder’s symptoms, he said.

“For a successful treatment of (the disorder), you would need a really high level of caffeine … 8 to 10 cups day and most people would get too agitated on that.”

Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder begins in childhood and sometimes last into adult life. There is still not much understood about it, but several factors play a role, including brain changes, heredity, and childhood exposure to environmental toxins.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 4.4 million youth ages 4 to17 have been diagnosed with the disorder by a healthcare professional. As of 2003, 2.5 million youth ages 4 to 17 received medication treatment.

Typical treatment usually involves prescription drugs such as Ritalin, a nervous system stimulant that produces a calming effect on attention-deficit and hyperactive patients, and at times, support groups and parental training. Improving nutrition, getting adequate rest and daily exercise can also be beneficial.

Behavior therapy, such as lifting or pushing heavy objects to increases a child’s focus and attention, is preferred to caffeine, said occupational therapist Melissa Finley of Building Blocks Rehab and Autism Center in McAllen.

“Modifying a classroom environment also helps them to focus,” she added.

But Mission resident Consuelo Gonzalez, 48, and her two children swear by coffee-flavored mints and an occasional caffeinated beverage to soothe their nerves.

“Once in a while I like to have a cappuccino with milk,” she said. “It helps me to concentrate on whatever I’m doing.”

Since caffeine is a mild stimulant, it may work in the same way as more conventional drug therapies, several doctors said.

Experimental diets advocate the elimination of foods thought to increase hyperactivity, such as sugar and caffeine, according to the Mayo Clinic’s Web site.

Still, “studies haven’t found a consistent link between diet and improved symptoms of (the disorder),” the site states.

But don’t tell that to Dr. Leonardo Garcia’s patient, Martha Muñoz of Pharr, who gives her 2-year-old hyperactive son, Vitale, black tea flavored with kiwi and strawberry flavors.

“He calms down a lot with that,” she said, as Vitale examined play blocks in Garcia’s office. “I like it better than taking medications.”
Jennifer C. Smith covers health, environment and science issues at The Monitor. She can be reached at (956) 683-4462.


irvingoil, originally uploaded by Oldmaison.

Someone sent me this email asking this question? Does anyone was an answer????


Was listening to Talk of the Town and Rick mentioned Irving and Repsol
were in New York for a 700 plus million dollar loan for the LNG plant in
Eastern Canada.

I may of misheard but see if you can information for us on
what is
going on?

Thank you.


L-Ritalin, originally uploaded by Oldmaison.

Adderall abuse among teens a widespread, dangerous problem

Dr. Wes Crenshaw and Marissa Ballard

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Dear Dr. Wes & Marissa: Do you believe Adderall is being abused by college students? Can this abuse lead to more serious problems later on?

Dr. Wes: Absolutely. And it’s not limited to college students or that particular medication. We see this problem in high schools and junior highs and with Ritalin-based products as well. It’s one reason clinics need to be very careful writing these prescriptions for teens and young adults. When our office prescribes any medication to teens, we have a very frank talk with their parents about the potential for abuse or dependency. With college kids, we have the same conversation, and we stay vigilant for signs of abuse. To understand the problem, one has to realize that these medications are stimulants, known commonly as “speed” when abused. They are similar to methamphetamine, though less potent if they are taken orally, as they are supposed to be.

Reasons for stimulant abuse can vary from dangerous (enjoying the high they create) to pseudo-sensible (using them to improve focus for studying or testing). Any reason is a bad one, however, because misuse can lead to significant health concerns and addiction. The only people who should be on these medications are those who have legitimate diagnoses of ADHD or some other disorders, such as hypersomnia.

I have seen many young people and adults with ADHD helped immensely by these medications. I’ve also seen folks misuse these medications with very negative consequences. For the non-ADHD crowd, these medications can cause anything from anxiety and sleeplessness to mania (extreme energy, excitement or arousal), and even paranoia and full-blown psychosis. Physically, abuse can create heart problems and unhealthy weight loss. In people with a tendency toward bipolar disorder, these risks are even greater. This is why psychiatrists and nurse practitioners always try to rule out bipolar disorder in kids and adults with symptoms of ADHD, and why they usually start patients on lower doses of these medications to be sure they don’t make things worse rather than better.

A major allure of stimulants for college kids and teens is that they do help one focus their attention, stay up later and get more work done. That’s great until one realizes that during a fairly short period of time they become addictive when not used as prescribed by a doctor. If you’re asking this question because you have abused or want to abuse stimulants, I’d ask you to think again.

The other interesting thing about stimulants and studying is that you don’t always turn out as good a product as you think. This is because the manic state they cause makes you grandiose and elaborate. I recall one of my teachers sharing that she’d used amphetamines before a big oral exam in college. On the very first question, she recalled offering amazing insight that her professors surely would be talking about for years to come. Then the lead professor turned to her and said, “… that’s all very nice, Ms. Jones, but what did it have to do with the question we asked?” She flunked the exam.

Marissa: When I was in junior high, three of my friends got in trouble for sharing one of their prescriptions for Adderall. The problem with kids using pills only has gotten worse since then, and I don’t think I am exaggerating when I say this.

I know people who hardly ever come to school without having taken something. I’ve been offered dozens of different kinds of pills. Some people are just “generous,” and others are looking to sell them and make a profit. Even when I had my wisdom teeth removed, people were asking if they could buy the hydrocodone that I had received for the pain.

Prescription pills are more enticing than any other drug, in my opinion, because they are easy to conceal, and often it’s impossible to tell whether a person has taken them. There’s no scent, no bloodshot eyes, nothing. One of the biggest dangers of pills is that because it’s so easy to get away with, teenagers don’t take the repercussions seriously. Sure, it’s fun now to be able to take pills and be high, but what about when you go off to college or get a job? How long before it really messes up your life and your ambitions?

I believe schools don’t take the issue of drug abuse as seriously as they should. It goes on every day, and no one seems to notice. I believe that what students actually report using and the number of students that are caught are way lower than the number of students actually taking prescription pills. It can be anyone — the person with straight A’s and the person who is flunking all of her classes. We need to start taking this issue more seriously or it will only get much worse.

Next week: A 15-year old girl asks the golden question of the teen years: Should I be this moody? Or is something wrong with me?

Contest: Last call for essays to compete for Marissa’s job. Deadline is May 1. Read the challenge question online at www.ftimidwest.com, and e-mail your answer to doubletake@ljworld.com.

— Dr. Wes Crenshaw is a board-certified family psychologist and director of the Family Therapy Institute Midwest. Marissa Ballard is a Lawrence High School senior. Opinions and advice given here are not meant as a substitute for psychological evaluation or therapy services. Send your questions about adolescent issues to doubletake@ljworld.com. All correspondence is strictly confidential.


STB_0543, originally uploaded by Oldmaison.


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015 14:05
Mr. S. Graham: My first question this afternoon is for the Premier. I am sure the Premier can
appreciate that the telecommunications industry is changing throughout the world. New Brunswick
enjoys a leadership advantage over other jurisdictions. In fact, I am sure the Premier will agree that
the former administration and the current administration have made great strides in promoting the
technology that exists in New Brunswick. In fact, broadband is not confined to the three major
metropolitan areas of our province. We have high-speed Internet in many rural areas of the province
which greatly impacts rural entrepreneurs. We also see that high-quality cell phone coverage has
been enhanced throughout our province, which gives us an economic advantage. Today, Voice over
Internet Protocol is currently coming online that will allow Internet providers to provide longdistance
My question to the Premier is very simple: Does he not agree that if our province’s economy is
going to continue this important diversification, telecommunications is going to play a key role in
the development of our provincial economy?
Hon. Mr. Lord: Of course, the telecommunications industry is a very important component of our
economy in New Brunswick and it is part of the overall objective of the government to diversify the
economy. We simply cannot rely on our economy of the past, but we have to build the economy of
the future. I believe we do that by investing in people. I believe we do that by embracing innovation.
I believe we do that by building strategic infrastructure, which includes broadband infrastructure in
our province. I believe we also do that by creating a competitive business and fiscal environment
to attract investments in New Brunswick.
Mr. S. Graham: The Premier’s answer this afternoon is very appropriate. As he said, we all agree
in this Chamber that telecommunications will be the key to the diversification of our province. The
past Liberal administration and the current Conservative administration made great strides in
enhancing the infrastructure in this province.
My question to the Premier is this: Currently, the federal government has taken a nationwide review
of the telecommunications policy. Would the Premier not feel that a timely review of our own
provincial policy is warranted, to make sure that New Brunswick continues to have the leadership
advantage compared to other jurisdictions?
Hon. Mr. Lord: Policies are reviewed by the government from time to time. There are certain parts
of our policies that are part of our overall plans. If the Leader of the Opposition has any suggestions
that he would like to make, I would love to hear them. If there is anything precise that he feels needs
to be reviewed at this time, we are more than willing to do that as well.
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I know that our Department of Business New Brunswick, along with other departments, is looking
at the different policies we have in New Brunswick. We do this in a continuing effort to make sure
that this is the place where we invest in people and people invest in us. I believe that our policies
have resulted in record-low unemployment and more jobs than ever before, and we want to continue
because we know that there is still more potential that we can tap into in New Brunswick.
Mr. S. Graham: It is exciting to see that the Premier and I agree on the same objective. Clearly, as
he said, to grow the economy, telecommunications will play a key role. The Premier asked for a
suggestion, and I appreciate that invitation. The suggestion I would like to give to the Premier, and
that I would like to see his support on, is that we strongly feel the time has now come to strike a blue
ribbon panel of key experts within the telecommunications field. These would be people such as
Peter Jollymore, the former VP of NBTel; Lino Celeste, the former Aliant Chairman, who was
formerly the CEO of NBTel; Bill Stanley, the co-founder and President of Fundy Communications;
Jack Travis, who is a former NBTel President; and John Bragg, who is the founder and President
of EastLink. The recommendation I would like to give to the Premier this morning, since he asked
for a suggestion, is: Let’s reach out to individuals such as these in the telecommunications field so
that we can make sure that the best policies are being developed to let New Brunswick continue its
leadership advantage.
Hon. Mr. Lord: I certainly will be able to take note of the names recommended by the Leader of
the Opposition. I know all those names, and some of those names actually are currently sitting on
boards that we have set up. For instance, Peter Jollymore is a member of the New Brunswick
Innovation Foundation that we have set up in the province. The foundation is doing some very good
work throughout the province. In fact, in the budget tabled by the Minister of Finance, we added
funding to the Innovation Foundation. It is important to note that our province must continuously
find ways to stay ahead of the pack. Some things are going well, some things are not going as well.
Even the things that are going well need to be reviewed at times. That is why I certainly welcome
the recommendations and the suggestions of the Leader of the Opposition, and we are more than
willing to give it due consideration.
016 14:10
Land Development
Mr. Murphy: There is a court date of May 26 in the Court of Queen’s Bench in New Brunswick.
While the question is not to the merit of the case, it goes to the Premier and pertains to questions that
have arisen from the affidavit of Gilles LeBlanc as to the integrity of government. In early
September 2002, a verbal stop-work order was issued by the Department of Environment and Local
Government with regard to a protected area in Cap-Brûlé. On or about October 1, 2002, the
executive assistant, a political operative to the Premier, Brian Donaghy, told the individuals, the
LeBlanc brothers and their father, to continue to work. In other words, that was in breach of the
verbal order of the department. On October 15, 2002, a written order was given to them, and work
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was continued until November 3, 2002. My question to the Premier—and it goes to the integrity of
government—is this: Was he aware, at that time or subsequently, that his political operative, his
executive assistant, had advised these individuals to breach the law?
Hon. Mr. Lord: I must say that I am a bit surprised by the question from the member for Moncton
North, who is a renowned lawyer, a well-known lawyer, in Greater Moncton. I think he knows the
rules of evidence better than to suggest that, just on the weight of one affidavit from one claimant,
we can pass judgment on what happened. I know that the member for Moncton North likes to jump
to conclusions, but I think he is stretching it this time. This case is before the courts. I can assure him
that the people will be able to have due process in court.
Mr. Murphy: There is no doubt that the evidence is untested, and the Premier and I are both aware
of that. That is why we are here in this House today, asking the Premier for answers for the residents
of Cap-Brûlé. This is with regard to the integrity of government, and not with regard to the merit
of the case. We want to know whether that transpired. According to Mr. LeBlanc’s statements, he
has said that political operatives, between early September 2002 and November 3, 2002, when the
work was completed, contrary to the orders of the department . . . Was the Premier aware of any
political operatives during that time who were advising the LeBlancs that the matter would be
looked after?
Hon. Mr. Lord: The question is so vague as to what is the matter, and what would be looked after.
I have not read the affidavit of Mr. LeBlanc and, therefore, I do not have personal knowledge of
what is written in the affidavit of Mr. LeBlanc. I do know that the case is before the courts. I do
know that there are lawyers on both sides working on this case. I do know that some sides have
changed lawyers. This is a case that is before the courts. I do know that the people of New
Brunswick must respect the law of the province of New Brunswick.
Mr. Murphy: This has nothing to do with matters before the court. While he has not read the
affidavit, that is fine, but I will refresh his memory as to a few events. We are informed by that
affidavit, and verbally, that the Premier met in May 2003 and on July 21, 2003 with Azor LeBlanc
and his two sons and, on both occasions, said that the matter was being looked after. They then met
with Rodney Weston, the chief of staff, and he said that the Premier would deliver the order himself
within two weeks. They also met with Terry Andow, the PC executive director. They also met and
spoke with Odette Babineau, the defeated candidate for the PCs. They then, strangely enough, met
on January 12, 2004, with Terry Andow, Roland Gaudet, Brian Donaghy, and the executive of the
local PC association. Those individuals assured the LeBlancs that the matter was being worked on.
Those political operatives apparently said this. Apparently, the Premier met with them later, on July
24, 2004, and said that the permit would be granted and the charges withdrawn. Can he tell me, can
he tell this House, can he tell New Brunswickers, if any of this is true, regardless of a court case?
Hon. Mr. Lord: I do appreciate the fact that the member for Moncton North likes to work part-time
as a lawyer and he wants to practice his work here today in the Legislature, but I will not transform
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the Legislature into a court of law. The evidence that is there is presented in an affidavit from one
individual. I can tell you that things are alleged in that affidavit that are clearly not true, in terms of
what happened.
017 14:15
There are two things that are very clear in this. These individuals met with everybody they could.
What is also true is that we have an open government and that we meet with people who want to
meet with us. The second thing that is obviously true is that these people are suing the government
because they did not get what they were asking for.
I do not know what the charge from the opposition is, whether we should have done something to
help these people or not. I know what the opposition members are trying to do. It is not based on law
or on fact. They are just trying to smear the reputation of people who work for the government. That
is the tactic of the Liberals. It is the only thing they are good at. They are certainly not very good
at bringing forward ideas and policies that would move matters forward for the people of New
Mr. Burke: I certainly find it ironic this morning. The Premier said he had not read the affidavit.
Now, he is saying that there are things in the affidavit that are not true. For the Premier’s benefit,
in an attempt to obtain his political assistance in overcoming these problems, the LeBlanc family
contacted the Office of the Premier and spoke to Brian Donaghy, the Premier’s Moncton executive
assistant. Mr. Donaghy, despite the stop-work order issued by the Department of the Environment
and Local Government, instructed he LeBlanc family to proceed with work—a direct violation and
contrary to the stop-work order.
My question to the Premier is this, since he did not read the affidavit and he is now saying that there
are things in the affidavit that are not true: Which Cabinet members did you ask to meet with the
LeBlanc family to authorize the continuation of work in this area?
Hon. Mr. Lord: I may as well have a chance today to talk to every lawyer who works here parttime.
As the lawyer from Fredericton North is not really sharp today, what I heard of the affidavit was
read to me by the member for Moncton North. If, in fact, that is what is contained in the affidavit,
I can state that some of those things are incorrect.
The opposition members are bringing this here today, not because they want to discuss matters of
public interest, but because they want to take this opportunity to smear me and other members who
work for the government, without due process, without letting this case go to trial. That is why we
have courts in this province. That is why the member for Moncton North and the member for
Fredericton North keep making a pretty decent living outside this House serving as lawyers—not
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that there’s anything wrong with that. I am a lawyer myself. They are bringing this to this House,
not to advance any issue of public interest, but to try to smear the reputation of people who work
for the government.
Mr. Burke: I have not had an opportunity to view the Premier in his capacity as a lawyer, but I have
had the opportunity to view him in his capacity as Premier, and it is a pretty poor performance.
In court documents filed with the Court of Queen’s Bench in Moncton, Gilles LeBlanc, a member
of the LeBlanc family project, alleged that he and his brother, Michel, met with Minister Mockler,
in early December of 2002, to discuss this matter.
I want to state again that this is not about the courts; it is about the integrity of government. I quote
from the affidavit:
After (Minister Mockler) looked at the 1977 plan, the pictures, he told us to relay the message to
Azor (the LeBlanc family’s father) that he should stay in Florida and relax. He would consult Brad
Green on the matter and have this lot plan grandfathered.
My question is to the Minister of Culture and Sport. Why would you, as the then Minister of
Transportation, be meeting with the LeBlanc family in the Premier’s Office to discuss stop-work
orders issued by the Department of the Environment and Local Government if it were not for
political purposes, solely to circumvent an order that was put in place to protect the environment
from harmful construction? Why were you involved, Mr. Minister?
Hon. Mr. Mockler: I meet a lot of people, and I will continue to meet with people who want to talk
to me or to the government of New Brunswick. This matter is before the courts, and I will respect
Mr. Burke: The allegations contained in Mr. LeBlanc’s affidavit outline very clearly that Minister
Mockler met with the LeBlanc family on several occasions after the December 2002 meeting to
resolve this matter. In fact, the minister became so personally involved in ensuring that the stopwork
order was lifted that he discussed the issue with the LeBlanc family while they were
vacationing in Florida in 2003.
The most telling of the accusations in Mr. LeBlanc’s affidavit was that he was assured that a permit
would be provided to the family by the Premier to complete the building project if the family would
come home from Florida and help with the convention and election in 2003.
018 14:20
I just have to wonder how many more political favours will be done by this Premier and this minister
at his $5 000-a-table dinner with the Prime Minister of Canada when he comes to New Brunswick.
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Can you tell the residents of Cap-Brûlé if a promise was made that a permit would be issued in
exchange for election favours?
Hon. Mr. Lord: The smear-and-fear campaign of the Liberals is really outrageous. There is one
party in this country that has recently been found to be in contravention of regulations and using
money for a distasteful purpose, and that is the Liberal Party. A lawyer like the member for
Fredericton North should know a lot better than to make false accusations without evidence.
The opposition members do not want to talk about the budget. They do not want to talk about the
HST coming off power. They do not want to talk about the protection of seniors’ homes. They do
not want to talk about the reduction of class sizes in New Brunswick. They want to take an affidavit
of a case that is before the courts to try to smear the people of this government, members of this
government, and people who work for the government of New Brunswick. It is distasteful.
Mr. Allaby: My question is for the Minister of Transportation. The old shell game is alive and well
in this government’s approach to Route 8 and the Nashwaak Valley bypass. Are they not actually
going to do anything? The minister’s capital budget for this year did not say a word about the Route
8 bypass, the Nashwaak Valley bypass, or even the Marysville bypass. Realizing that they were in
trouble on this matter, under relentless pressure from the opposition and from the work of people
like Larry Jewett, they scrambled to include a nicely worded phrase about this project in a press
release accompanying the minister’s estimates. Will the minister admit that, despite the nicesounding
words, the government was not really serious about doing any actual work on this project
last year, when this budget was brought forward?
L’hon. P. Robichaud : Cela me fait tellement plaisir de me lever pour parler des routes au
Nouveau-Brunswick. Vous savez, lorsque j’ai présenté mon budget de capital en décembre dernier,
à l’Assemblée législative du Nouveau-Brunswick, il y avait, à Ottawa, un gouvernement qui disait
non aux demandes du Nouveau-Brunswick. Maintenant, nous avons un gouvernement à Ottawa qui
dit oui aux demandes du Nouveau-Brunswick en ce qui concerne les routes.
On n’a sûrement pas de leçon de morale à recevoir des Libéraux pour ce qui est de la construction
de routes et des engagements avec le gouvernement fédéral pour la construction de routes. Notre
engagement est sans équivoque. Non seulement allons-nous faire des améliorations partout dans la
province mais la route 8 sera améliorée. La voie de détournement de Marysville sera construite par
notre gouvernement.
Mr. Allaby: The minister said that he was not getting any cooperation from Ottawa. That is kind
of interesting. The Premier staged a great photo op with the Prime Minister to announce a $400-
million highway deal, except that we have discovered that there is not a penny in this budget for this.
The minister, in a press release in December, said that the completion of the full NashwaakORAL
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Marysville bypass is a priority for the government, except we learned that Infrastructure Canada
confirmed that the province did not bother to send in the documentation that Ottawa could assess
and forward to the federal Treasury Board to approve. Will the minister confirm that, in fact, the
department did not actually send in the information to Ottawa to assess that would lead to it
spending the $7 million that was set aside for New Brunswick on that project?
L’hon. P. Robichaud : Nous nous retrouvons devant une opposition désespérée, qui fait la chasse
aux sorcières pour trouver 5 millions de dollars alors que nous avons une entente de 400 millions
de dollars avec le gouvernement du Canada. L’information que le député vient de mentionner n’est
pas véridique. L’information que je reçois de mon ministère fait état de toutes les échanges de
correspondance. Toute l’information dont le gouvernement fédéral avait besoin à ce moment-là a
été reçue. Dois-je rappeler au député d’en face qu’on ne va pas au Conseil du Trésor à Fredericton
ou à Ottawa pour recevoir l’approbation d’un plan? On va au Conseil du Trésor pour avoir une
approbation de financement. Je ne veux pas en prendre la responsabilité.
L’ancien ministre responsable du Nouveau-Brunswick au fédéral, Andy Scott, député de
Fredericton, a failli à sa tâche de garantir le financement pour la voie de détournement de
Marysville. Je suis très fier de l’engagement de 400 millions de dollars de notre gouvernement et
de celui du gouvernement fédéral.
019 14:25
Mr. Allaby: The minister indicated that this was not, in fact, true. However, it is from Harper’s own
government that we get this information that this documentation was not sent in. The minister said
that the province will spend much of 2006 and 2007 planning the 36-km Route 8 bypass from
Fredericton to South Portage. I have seen the alignment of this route planned eight or nine years ago.
Is this just another stalling tactic for the minister not to actually have to move because he has no
money in this budget for this project? Is this just another stalling tactic, slowing down the work,
doing this work at the speed of study?
L’hon. P. Robichaud : La vérité vient de sortir. Le Parti libéral, lorsqu’il était au gouvernement,
n’a rien fait pour la route 8. Ce que le député qui faisait partie du gouvernement a vu était tout
simplement une ligne sur une carte. Le Parti libéral et le gouvernement libéral n’ont pas procédé à
l’étude d’impact environnemental. Ils n’ont pas procédé à l’achat de terrains nécessaires à la
construction. Ils n’ont rien fait en ce qui a trait au dossier de la route qui se rend de Fredericton à
South Portage. Ils veulent nous blâmer parce que nous bougeons, nous allons de l’avant et nous
avons maintenant une entente. Pour répondre plus précisément à la question du député, toute
l’information dont Ottawa avait besoin a été fournie avant le 22 juillet de l’an dernier. Ils devraient
vérifier leurs sources d’information avant de lancer toutes sortes de fausses rumeurs et de faussetés
non fondées, comme ils le font depuis le début des questions orales.
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Support Orders
Mr. Lamrock: One of the most important times that a family looks to government for help is in
getting an interim support order. When a family breaks down, often, the poorer parent, the one left
behind with the kids, desperately needs child support. Often, they are not able to get social
assistance to help if parents choose not to support their kids. In a timely way, when families break
down, we need to make sure that these poorer parents are able to have a support order in place very
quickly, so that they and their kids can have some kind of quality of life. In recent days, we have
heard a number of senior family lawyers say that the wait times for interim support orders in New
Brunswick is absolutely unacceptable. In some cases, they are waiting as long as 10 months before
the money can start to flow. Everyone knows that is too long for kids to wait. My question is for the
Minister of Justice and Consumer Affairs. We know that we have unacceptable wait times now.
What kind of decrease is he willing to commit to in wait times for interim support orders this year,
as a result of this budget?
Hon. Mr. Fitch: The mandate of the Department of Justice is to promote the impartial
administration of justice and to ensure the protection of the public good. That is what our vision
statement is, and that is what we do. I sympathize with people who are involved in the courts and
who have to endure some of the wait times, because we know that, in society, there are many people
who, unfortunately, cannot agree, cannot mediate, cannot adjudicate, and cannot take advantage of
some of the systems that we have in place to settle some of their differences. They do end up in
court. We know that is causing some wait times, and we know that we are working on that. We work
with our federal counterparts in order to try to alleviate some of the problems with which society
is faced. Therefore, we continue to do that, and we will continue to do that in the future.
Mr. Lamrock: I have to admit that the minister seems far more excited about building courthouses
than he does in talking about how we are going to get justice at those courthouses. There are too
many vulnerable women and children who are waiting months. It is not about a failure to mediate.
This minister needs to be more on top of his files than that. This is making sure that there is an order
in place, so that the money is there while the parties wait for a court date, while they wait for
mediation, and in many cases, while they wait for social assistance, because this government still
will not change the economic unit policies to make sure that the money flows as soon as the family
breaks down. That is what the real issue is. We all know the vision statement. You have been
minister for a few months now. However, what you are supposed to do is commit to how much we
are going to get those wait times down, so that vulnerable women and kids can have the money that
they need to survive day to day. The minister could not tell us how much he would bring them down
this year, because he did not deal with it in the budget.
020 14:30
Let me ask this. They always ask for ideas. I proposed one several months ago, and I want to know
what has been done about it. Interim support orders could be done under the family guidelines by
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masters. You do not need to wait for a judge to do it. Some provinces have masters in place who can
go through the support guidelines. You could have a quick order, and you could always fix it later.
You make sure that the family has the money then. Since I proposed that idea, have you looked at
when, over the next three to four months, we can expect some real, concrete legislation, and real,
concrete benchmarks in this area? Kids should not have to wait any longer.
Hon. Mr. Fitch: Thank you for the opportunity to speak on this issue, because it is important to us.
It is important to this government that the most vulnerable people in this community are looked
after. That is why we have increased the amount of money to various areas, including legal aid,
family services, the courts, and the area that promotes administration and adjudication to try to
mediate between parties before a matter ends up in court. We want to have the issues resolved and
the differences quieted down, so that the money and respect can go forward. We are anxious to get
to estimates so that I can talk about this in more detail, and so that the opposition can see some of
the bold initiatives we have put forward to help the people in this province who are the most needy.
I am anxious to get there, and I will be more than happy to answer many more questions on that
Mr. Lamrock: We will be happy to look at this minister’s estimates whenever he wants to bring
them forward, but if he is ready, he is going to have to know his files better than this. I will tell you
something: I want to hear a concrete answer from this minister—not how much money you have
sprinkled around, but what you will commit to, in order to decrease the amount of time vulnerable
families, that is, vulnerable single parents and kids, will have to wait to get a support order in place.
Until I hear a real answer to that, from a minister who is on top of the file, a minister who
understands that is done before mediation, it is going to be a long estimates process. If he is going
to come here looking for support in estimates, instead of changing the rules to ram them through,
he had better be able to answer the question about what he is doing for people who are relying on
We talk about putting faith in this government’s word, and this government made a great show of
bringing new legislation forward to enable it to lift driver’s licenses and to make sure that support
orders are enforced. We learned from this minister’s deputy minister that this government will now
take several years to be in a position where that support mechanism can be used. My question to the
minister is this: When can we actually expect government to start enforcing the support legislation?
Why did it choose to slow down, by years, the amount of time it takes to put in place an idea the
member for Fredericton North was ready to do right away?
Hon. Mr. Fitch: With all due respect, I am sure that the member opposite has misinterpreted some
of the information which has been put forward. We have not slowed down. We have continued to
move family support orders forward. We will, hopefully, continue to have in place a number of
measures within the coming year, which will enforce and make stricter the payments which are
owed to those to whom payments are due, mostly single parents and children. This government has
committed additional funds to the system. These are additional funds which will enable us to have
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more enforcement officers in the field who will enforce those orders. Again, this will put the money
into the hands of the people who need it most.
Home Heating Oil Benefit Program
Mr. Doherty: I direct this question to the Minister of Finance and to the Minister of Energy. The
home heating oil benefit program has not completely addressed those living in poverty and the
working poor. It has not been well promoted and, according to a document received by your
department, it has had less than 50% participation. Let me remind you of the significance of $200
for those who are trying to make ends meet on the lowest minimum wage in Atlantic Canada, and
with the lowest income assistance rates in Atlantic Canada. I strongly recommend that this program
be extended to July 1, 2006, as per my letter dated April 19. My question to the minister is simple.
Has this potential extension been addressed?
021 14:35
L’hon. M. Volpé : Cela va certainement me faire plaisir de répondre à la question du député de
Saint John Harbour. On a reconnu qu’il y avait un problème l’automne dernier pour ceux qui
utilisaient le mazout, dû à une très grande augmentation. Immédiatement, on s’est engagé à aider
ceux qui étaient dans le besoin. On a mis en place un processus, et les gens ont fait une demande
pour avoir accès au programme. C’est un très bon programme, qui est à court terme. On a aussi mis
en place une Agence de l’efficacité et de la conservation énergétiques, avec un budget de 11,9
millions, pour que les gens du Nouveau-Brunswick réduisent leur consommation d’énergie à long
terme. L’automne dernier était une première étape. L’étape réelle, c’est que les gens doivent
commencer à réduire leur consommation d’énergie. C’est un excellent programme qui a été mis en
place. On va continuer à aider les gens à réduire leur consommation d’énergie à long terme.
À savoir pourquoi les gens n’ont pas fait la demande ou si on devrait étendre le projet, je pense que
tout le monde était bien au courant du projet l’automne dernier. On a fait une très bonne propagande
du projet. Durant l’hiver, on a fait la promotion de ce projet. Alors, si les gens n’en ont pas fait la
demande, ce n’est pas la faute du gouvernement. Le programme est encore en place, et les gens
peuvent encore en faire la demande.
Mr. Doherty: This program provides financial relief for those who heat with oil only. It has been
our major criticism of this program since its inception. It is the equivalent of stating that one group
of New Brunswickers needs subsidies more than another. In fact, less than a quarter percent of New
Brunswickers heat with home heating fuel. The majority of New Brunswickers heat their homes
with baseboard heating. Last fall, when the Lord government saw that electrical rates were going
up by almost double digits, once again it did nothing and responded far too late. This home heating
oil program must be extended to include those who are living in poverty and to the working poor.
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L’hon. M. Volpé : Le fait d’entendre ce genre de commentaires quand les Libéraux formaient le
gouvernement, et plusieurs d’entre eux étaient là… Ils n’ont rien fait pour les personnes dans le
besoin au Nouveau-Brunswick. Ils ont réduit l’aide lorsqu’ils étaient au pouvoir. Cela a été reconnu
par un ancien ministre du gouvernement qu’ils ont négligé le côté social.
J’ai une lettre de l’opposition qui demande pourquoi on a aidé les gens à payer seulement le mazout.
Je pense que tous ceux qui prennent la peine d’écouter peuvent comprendre. De septembre 2004 à
septembre 2005, le prix du mazout a augmenté en moyenne de 35 % à 45 %, alors que le prix de
l’électricité a augmenté de 6 %. Pourquoi a-t-on aidé les gens qui chauffent au mazout? Parce que
l’augmentation était de 35 % à 45 %. Il me semble que c’est facile à comprendre.
Pourquoi n’avons-nous pas aidé tout le monde? Dans notre budget, on veut aider tout le monde en
réduisant 8 % de la taxe provinciale harmonisée sur l’électricité. Pourtant, vous avez voté contre le
budget. Les gens d’en face ont des visages à deux faces. Ils votent contre un budget qui aiderait tous
les gens du Nouveau-Brunswick dans tous les secteurs d’énergie. La réduction de 8 % s’applique
à tous les secteurs d’énergie, et vous avez voté contre.


Charles 04_07_05 036, originally uploaded by Oldmaison.

Someone just email me and told me they heard it on CBC!!!

The interview was done last fall!!!!

It's on today at noon!

To all the visitors who came to this site after listening to the interview on CBC?

Welcome and stroll down and have a look in the archieves......there's all kind of different issues in there.

Have fun!!!!!


STB_0904, originally uploaded by Oldmaison.

(ISAIAH 60:1-2 *NKJV )

Dear Charles,
Now think spiritually here, for the "light" is the magnificent
of our Heavenly Father! As His children we are reflectors of His
LORD. ( ISAIAH 2:5 )

Remember that our Savior, Jesus Christ said, "YOU ARE THE
( MATTHEW 5:14-16 )

So Charles, it is my prayer that you are already walking in
Glorious Light! If not now would be a great time to start! Ask
God to fill you with it. For you will find that to be a truly
experience, and don't worry; though God's Great Light is brilliant,
it is guaranteed not to give you a sunburn!

Now Charles, may you have a bright shiny day that is filled
with God's Love! Amen.

With My Love & Prayers,
your servant Allen
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