Lee says he’s prepared for impending strike

Edited from the Saint Croix Courier Week of Wednesday, Jan. 20, 1988

ST. GEORGE – Transportation Minister Sheldon Lee hopes a strike by provincial snow plow operators and other transportation department workers will not materialize, but he has made contingency plans just in case. Lee, Charlotte Centre MLA, told the Courier Monday that roads will be plowed if there is a strike, but it will likely take longer than normal to clear all the roads in the province. “We’re going to do the best possible job with the men and equipment we have,” said Lee. Two to five employees have been designated as essential at each highway depot, and they will be manning the plows in the event of a strike by the regular operators. CUPE Local 1190, representing about 2,300 transportation workers in the province, is threatening strike action if their demands are not met.

Ganong’s looks at living with free trade

ST. STEPHEN – Now that President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Brian Mulroney have signed the free trade pact, Ganong Bros., Ltd., has swallowed the bitter pill and now the company is exploring its options and looking at ways to meet the challenge of the new trading arrangement with the United States. “We are looking at what alternatives exist for the company in light of free trade,” company president David Ganong said. The candy manufacturer said they are making a study of a number of options, making some changes in their current plant or the possibility of moving all of their Milltown Boulevard production operations into a new building, or moving part of production to a second building. However, Ganong said as of yet there are no final decisions to come out of any of these studies. Ganong’s fears the free-trade agreement will expose them to fierce competition from the large U.S. confectionery companies.

Pennfield mill remains on just one shift

PENNFIELD – Laid-off employees of the J.D. Irving sawmill here could be facing from three to six months more of UIC. Ron Cleghorn, president of the mill’s Canadian Paperworkers Union local, said company officials have told him the single shift in the sawmill division could continue for three to six months. There were 34 employees of the sawmill laid off in October and the two-shift mill was reduced to only a single shift. The planer and other divisions of the mill were apparently not affected. The company at the time said it was due to a shortage of saw logs and Cleghorn said it is his understanding that is still the situation. GRAND MANAN – Connors Bros. sardine factory at Seal Cove is operating again and taking fish when they are available. Purse seiners have been picking up some fish around the island. Smoked herring stands are busy with stocks on hand to last through much of the winter. Much of the boats are rigged now for scallop dragging and have commenced operations.

60 YEARS AGO – 1958

May complete business site by Easter

Reconstruction of the Water St. business block destroyed by fire last August may be completed by Easter, it was learned Monday. Cost of the building project undertaken by St. Stephen Developments Ltd. has been estimated at $100,000. O.W. Dunham, secretary-treasurer of the locally owned company, said work at the site is three weeks ahead of schedule. Barring unforeseeable circumstances, the new building could be finished early in April. Dominion Stores Ltd., returning to St. Stephen on a scale considerably larger than before the disastrous summer blaze, will occupy the western section of the property. Frontage of the new market will extend for 75 feet, 35 feet longer than its predecessor. Fashion Frocks Ltd. and the Tally-Ho, previously housed at the location on Water St., will share the balance of the eastern frontage equally.

Opens $16,500 quarters at Union Mills bridge

Built at a cost of $16,500, a new Canada customs and immigration building at the Union Mills bridge opened Saturday. Its construction was started in October and followed completion of new $500,000 customs and immigration facilities at the Canadian end of the international bridge to Calais.

Wild storm churns Fundy

GRAND MANAN – Gales of hurricane force on Wednesday of last week, said to be one of the wildest mornings on the Bay of Fundy ever experienced by present generations, slapped the final touch of discouragement on the local lobster fishing industry. Hundreds of traps were smashed, others put out of fishing order and, when fishermen were able to survey the damage, they were forced to haul pot after pot before they found saleable lobsters. MV Grand Manan III, coming down shore from Saint John that day, had one of its roughest tussles with old Fundy. Wind speeds were given at 70 to 90 miles at the high point of the storm, although conditions improved within a few hours.

90 YEARS AGO – 1928

While attempting to pass another car on the slippery road near Christ Church Monday afternoon, Haley & Sons’ new three-ton truck skidded over the edge of the road and the rear of the big truck went through the window of a house on the lower side of the street. The window and frame were carried away and the plaster knocked from the wall, while the lady of the house rushed to the nearby pantry for shelter, sure that the end of the world was very close at hand. The big feature at the wrestling and boxing party which will be held in Eaton Hall will be the appearance of Wheelock of Milltown, Me., and Bowles of St. Stephen in a boxing contest. Brewer of Milltown and Bradford of Milltown will put the gloves on in a four-round bout. Gayton of Milltown and Moffatt of Calais will entertain in boxing and Steeves of St. Stephen and Beek of Milltown will meet a wrestler from Horn Hill, Milltown, Me. The Wheelock and Bowles meeting in the ring promises to be of deep interest to the boxing fans.

120 YEARS AGO – 1898

Hamburg steak is an entirely new delicacy in the meat line that J.P. Wry is offering for his customers. The electric light company has purchased an engine of 275 horsepower and three boilers of 100 horsepower to enable them to operate their plant when the water power fails them.

MCADAM – The new houses are nearing completion. The men in charge are putting in lines for lighting by electricity. The masons are rapidly getting their work done. At an early date the CPR will build 30 more houses. The Toronto building association intend to sell on the installment plan or rent houses which will be erected next season.