Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Fredericton’s population grows according to 2011 Census

Fredericton (February 8, 2012) – Numbers released today as part of the 2011 Census results show that the population of the City of Fredericton has grown by 11.3% to 56,224 people. This is up from 50,355 recorded during the last census in 2006.

The Fredericton region, or Census Agglomeration (CA) as it is recorded in the census, has grown by 9.3% for a total population of 94,268. In 2006, the total population for the region was 86,226.

“This is good news for the Fredericton and the surrounding area,” said Mayor Brad Woodside. “We are the fastest growing city of the three major cities in New Brunswick and growth in the Fredericton region is the second highest in the province.”

According to the census, Saint John and Moncton each experienced positive municipal and regional growth. Moncton has the fastest growing region in the province. Dieppe was the fastest growing city in New Brunswick. All other New Brunswick cities experienced a decline in population, except for Campbellton which remained the same.

“We will certainly be examining the numbers further, but I think our growth can be attributed to our knowledge-based economy, our growing retail sector and our strong development and construction activity in recent years,” said Mayor Woodside.

FREDERICTON LAUDED FOR GREEN INITIATIVES

BY THE DAILY GLEANER
08 FEB 2012


The Federation of Canadian Municipalities and Local Governments for Sustainability on Tuesday recognized the City of Fredericton for achieving five milestones for corporate and community action in the Partners for Climate Protection program at a special ceremony in Ottawa.

Berry Vrbanovic, federation president and councillor for the City of Kitchener, Ont., hosted the ceremony as part of federation’s 2012 sustainable communities conference.

“We continue to be proud of efforts in this area,” said Mayor Brad Woodside.“We have been at this for a long time now. As a municipal government, we have proven ourselves at the corporate level and our residents have made a difference at the community level. More than ever, our plan is to continue on the road to sustainability.”

Municipalities influence more than 44 per cent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. The partners for climate protection program is committed to reducing those levels.

Member municipalities progress through a series of five milestones that help them to build their capacity to reduce greenhouse gases. They must create an emissions inventory and forecast, develop a local action plan, implement the local action plan or a set of activities, monitor progress and report results.

The city has been involved with partners for climate protection since 2001. Fredericton is one of only five cities in Canada to reach all five milstones.

City’s EMO Group releases Mass Evacuation Plan

Fredericton (February 7) - The City of Fredericton Emergencies Measures Organization has presented it Mass Evacuation Plan to the City’s Public Safety and Environment Committee. The plan is intended to guide first responders and members of the City’s Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) in the event that a mass evacuation involving thousands of residents living in a large geographic area of the city is required.

This document supports the City’s current EMO Plan,and it does not replace standing operating procedures for first responders, but rather provides an overview of required actions. It also supports the more detailed decision making done by the City’s Emergency Operations Centre.

The City’s Mass Evacuation Plan lists the first ten things to do in a mass evacuation, and how to activate the City’s EMO Group, notify the public, set up an evacuation perimeter, identify evacuation routes, and transport evacuees, as well as providing information about shelters and reception centres.

The document goes on to identify roles and responsibilities, important names and phone numbers, information about declaring a State of Local Emergency, and departmental preparedness information, as well as special and other considerations.

The plan is in point form, to guide quick response, and will be placed in most first responder vehicles, as well Fire, Police and Community Services vehicles, and made available for internally for staff and externally for various support agencies. Additional training for staff and the City’s EMO group is planned.

The success of the any emergency situation comes down to public preparedness. As per Public Safety Canada’s emergency preparedness guide for families, all residents are urged to be able to take care of themselves for 72 hours. Know the risks; make a plan; and, get an emergency kit. Find out more at www.getprepared.ca.

Fredericton has been actively involved in emergency preparedness for the over a decade. The City has a Community Emergency Planning By-law, an Emergency Response Plan, Emergency Response Procedure based on 19 hazard assessments, a Widespread Illness Plan, and ongoing training efforts.

The need for such a plan was identified as a priority by the City’s EMO group. Work began on a draft plan in March 2011. Input was sought from internal and external stakeholders and a planning workshop was held in May 2011. That feedback was reviewed and the draft plan revised. That draft was reviewed again by the City’s EMO group in October 2011, with the final document being prepared for the City’s Public Safety & Environment Committee.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Councillors tweet opposition to city gun registry

By DON MACPHERSON

macpherson.don@dailygleaner.com

01 Feb 2012

A plan has hatched on Twitter to review a city bylaw requiring air- and spring-fired guns to be registered with the Fredericton Police Force.

Recent media reports about a City of Fredericton bylaw governing such guns have given way to criticism, and some of it’s coming from city councillors.

Coun. Mike O’Brien took to Twitter to express his thoughts about the registration aspect of Bylaw S-5.

“The spring loaded nurf [sic] gun my grandson & I play with at home likely falls under our By-Law S5 & must be registered. No need for a registry,” he tweeted Tuesday.

It wasn’t long before a colleague addressed the issue on the social-networking site as well.

“Good chat with @mikeobrien_fton today, he’s on board with repealing Fredericton’s Gun Registry. Who else is in?” tweeted Coun. Jordan Graham.

There’s no need for the registry, O’Brien told The Daily Gleaner later Tuesday, but there are aspects of it that should be retained.

“It’s a well-intentioned bylaw,” he said. “The bylaw itself has to be amended.”

The elements allowing for fines and seizure of weapons in instances of misuse should be maintained, O’Brien said, but requiring people to register such guns with the police force isn’t practical.

“The registry doesn’t serve a purpose,” he said.

He has no doubt the idea of a registry made sense on paper when it was passed by council a few years ago, but it just didn’t work in practice, O’Brien said.

The time has come to review the bylaw, first at the committee level, he said.

Should the city’s public safety committee vote to remove the registration requirement of Bylaw S-5, the councillor said, then the issue should be forwarded to council.

O’Brien said removing the registry component is merely a bit of housekeeping business he and his council colleagues need to undertake.

Coun. Bruce Grandy added to the Twitter chatter on the subject Tuesday, suggesting a regular review of bylaws to ensure relevance and usefulness.

“This brings up a good question, why is there not a ... process to revisit by laws for purpose every X years?” Grandy tweeted.

O’Brien said he agreed a regular review of all of the city’s bylaws is something worth discussing and undertaking.