New Brunswick

Pricey pot, a possible Speaker and a well-timed rainbow: It's your weekend briefing

The 506er, CBC New Brunswick's newsletter, returns to bring you the major talking points in provincial news for the week ending Oct. 19.

It's the 'Pot at the end of the rainbow' edition

Good evening,

Here's what we're talking about this week:

Photo of the week

"The pot at the end of the rainbow." Photo by: Eva Boone.

Be sure to check out the rest of CBC New Brunswick's Instagram Page.

A rainbow shines above the Cannabis NB location in Perth-Andover. (Eva Boone/Submitted)

Legalized cannabis

Canada made history this week becoming the second country in the world, behind Uruguay, to legalize recreational marijuana.

On Wednesday, droves of New Brunswickers lined up outside the province's 20 Cannabis NB retail locations to be among the first customers to step inside.

Their patience was tested with near hour-long waits, but the prevailing mood on Day 1 was one of enthusiasm.

Legalization N.B.: Day one

3 years ago
These are some New Brunswickers’ thoughts on the first day of legal pot in Canada. What are yours? 1:01

Legal weed is off and rolling, but major questions still linger. Here are the top cannabis-related stories from this week:

So, who's going to run New Brunswick?

Liberal Premier Brian Gallant's time in the province's top post seems to be running out. The legislative assembly is scheduled to convene on Oct. 23, and the Liberals appear short of the votes needed to pass a throne speech.

New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant speaks to reporters in front of the provincial legislature in Fredericton on Sept. 26. (Kevin Bissett/Canadian Press)

But before a word from a throne speech is read, the Speaker stalemate needs to be sorted or the province could be facing a new minority government or even a new election.

With none of the three other political parties willing to let any of their members become Speaker of the legislature, the Liberals were cornered into deciding they would nominate someone by Monday's 5 p.m. deadline.

The first session of the 59th New Brunswick Legislature will be on Oct. 23. (CBC)

It's come to this after almost a month of talks between parties about potential governing partnerships, including an unlikely Liberal-Tory coalition. Both parties quashed the idea.

Community News

Firefighters in Miramichi responded to an old train station that caught fire Monday evening. (Photo: Tina Jepson)

  • 'It's just devastating': Century-old Miramichi train station severely damaged by fire
    • In Miramichi, the Chatham train station building, most recently known as the Rail House restaurant, went up in flames late Monday evening. The building on Johnson Street was built in 1912 and hasn't been a working train station in years. At one time, it housed the nightclub, the Whooper, which later became Choo Choo's. "It's a tremendous loss to the community, it holds significant memories for so many people," said Shaun O'Reilly, president of the Miramichi History Museum.

Quentin Sock, left, and Buffy Peters say they feel they're 'a little more approachable than a bank.' (Oscar Baker)

  • Mi'kmaq couple opens their own loan business at Elsipogtog First Nation
    • Quentin Sock and Buffy Peters have opened a short-term, or payday, loan business in the Elsipogtog First Nation. The couple, who has served customers from across the Maritimes, has high hopes for future expansion but is aware of the risks associated with the payday loan industry. "We're not in the business of putting people into debt. We're trying to help people financially, not cripple them," said Sock.
The City of Edmundston says deer are causing property damage and public safety risks because of backyard feeders. (CBC)
  • Edmundston asks citizens to stop feeding deer
    • The City of Edmundston is the latest New Brunswick municipality to take action against nuisance deer by urging the public against feeding wild animals. The deer population in the area is growing and has become reliant on food provided by humans, according to a provincial biologist.
The plan for a new roundabout in Fredericton. (GNB)
  • Here we go again: North side of Fredericton get its own roundabout
    • Another roundabout will be installed in Fredericton — this time on the north side, connecting Two Nations Crossing to the Ring Road in both directions. Roundabouts have become a source of frustration for some drivers, but city traffic engineer Jon Lewis says "it's going to be tremendous for traffic flow on the north side."
An alarm system to warn of leaks will be added at the Moncton Coliseum ice plant. (Stephanie Mercier/CBC)
  • Moncton Coliseum gets $240K safety upgrades to reduce ammonia leak hazard
    • The death of three Fernie Memorial Arena employees as a result of an ammonia leak prompted Moncton city council to spend $240,000 on renovations to make the Moncton Coliseum safer. The province required the city to carry out the work or else shut down the ice plant that keeps the ice surface cool.

Worth a read

  1. Ragtime musician carves out side business making wooden pipes
  2. Proposed Irving plea deal would put money into Irving-controlled salmon group
  3. 2 paramedics suspended pending disciplinary hearing
  4. Dennis Oland pleads not guilty, again, in father's death
  5. Alleged abuse case raises red flags about lack of Indigenous foster homes

Behind the scenes

Courtesy of the CBC's Vanessa Blanch...

Earlier this month I travelled to Eel Ground First Nation, or Natoaganeg, to check out their new community food centre which is transforming the way people eat by giving them a place to gather, and by bringing back traditional foods such as moose, eel and salmon.

It's a partnership with a national organization, Canada Food Centres Canada, which is run by Nick Saul. He's a bit of a rock star in the world of food and social justice, and he was there to celebrate with the community.

Nick Saul, CEO and president of Community Food Centres Canada, spoke at the opening of the Natoaganeg Community Food Centre, which is the first centre in an Indigenous community and the first in New Brunswick. (Vanessa Blanch/CBC)

With high levels of poverty and food insecurity, The Natoaganeg Community Food Centre is offering drop-in meals, food bank services, workshops in food preparation and preservation, and a place to volunteer. It's the first centre of its kind in New Brunswick, and the first in an Indigenous community.

I was welcomed by everyone at Eel Ground, including Chief George Ginnish, who told me bringing back traditional foods is one more way for his people to find their identities and heal themselves after generations of trauma. I was surprised to learn that this tiny community has a culture of fast food, not traditional food. Many people told me they grew up eating burgers, hot dogs and Mr. Noodles.

For Natoaganeg Chief George Ginnish, access to healthy, traditional food is crucial to people who are trying to find their identity and embrace their culture. (Vanessa Blanch/CBC)

I was most impressed by the elder who started this change in Eel Ground. You will meet Freda Simon, who for the past 12 years has been feeding children in her community. What started as Cheez Whiz on toast is now a hot breakfast and hot lunch program that is free to every student and includes wild meat and fish and, believe it or not, a very popular salad bar. When you combine good meals for children, and access to good food for adults, Chief Ginnish says you get a community that is stronger and on its way to a healthier future.

Watch out for Vanessa's story on Sunday morning.

Feel good story of the week

Newly elected Green MLA Kevin Arseneau doesn't like to wear ties. He owns two of them and only needs one hand to count the number of times he's worn them. But the rules of the legislative assembly require men to wear ties if they're in the chamber during official business. So, what's an organic farmer from Rogersville to do?

A gift from a fan sparked an idea, and now Arseneau is asking his constituents to help him out with his formal attire in the most meaningful way.

Read all about Arseneau's request here.

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