Wednesday, 27 June 2012

The Purple Violet Press signs off

It is announced, with regret, this publication will cease operation as of today. 

Although the laptop has been fixed, the past week spent offline during its repair was a last-ditch attempt to find avenues to make the blog pay. I've been trying to do so in the past six months, to no avail. Unfortunately, there is no business model yet in place to take this publication where I would like it to go. I wanted it to be more than just a blog, and although things improved as time went on, it has begun to eat up too much of my time without adequate financial compensation for my work. 

Through this publication, I have learned much about running my own online site; the technology and design; and what the template allowed me to do each time it was updated. I found I'm smarter at computers than what I thought I was because I could experiment with the medium without having to worry it was someone else's property. It was mine.

I also learned much about journalism in New Brunswick, the good people that practice it, and the future of reporting here. With time, online media will have its regular place in this province, providing the consumer another choice of where they get their information, with or without a paywall. The competition is sorely needed here because more and more, people under 50 are demanding quality work that takes into consideration issues they're dealing with. Right now, the older demographics seem to be dictating what is covered. Or they're at least satisfied with what they're fed. But that won't last forever. Corporate dominance of the news needs to change. And it will. The blogosphere may not be strong in Canada right now like it is in the United States, but it's coming. Everything always drifts north eventually.

This publication has been my saving grace. It allowed me to hold my head up where once I didn't feel worthy of doing so. It got me back in the reporting game that I enjoy and, by succeeding in having online news publications accepted into the Legislative Press Gallery of New Brunswick, I feel like I perhaps gave something back to the profession, leaving it better than when I started three years ago. Maybe that will have to be enough for now. It's up to someone else to come along to make use of it. The door is open.

I would like to thank all the kind, generous and supportive people I've met on this journey.  So many great people who trusted me with their information, invited me to their homes, sent me tips, gave me a drive or helped with gas money. To the reporters of this province who let me stand alongside them, I thank you. Your dedication to your work was inspiring. 

As a civilian, I plan to be a part of some of the causes I have covered. Who knows, maybe I'll start an informal online publication with my opinions about issues of the day in this province. The writing will likely continue in some form or other. But for now it's finding a full-time job and moving on to the next chapter of my life to accomplish a few more things I dream about.

Best to all.

Cheryl Norrad
Creator, Publisher, Editor, Reporter
The Purple Violet Press - A Citizen Publication

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Offline until further notice

Due to a broken laptop, this publication is offline until it's fixed. Apologies for any inconvenience. - ED

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Picture of robbery suspect released, Moncton, NB

Picture of suspect

The Codiac Regional RCMP is releasing a picture and updated description of the suspect in a robbery at a credit union that occurred on June 18. (photo left)

Shortly after 2 p.m., a lone suspect entered the institution at 1192 Mountain Road in Moncton and demanded money from an employee. He left the location with an undisclosed amount of cash. No one was injured during the incident.

The suspect is a Caucasian man in his late 20s. He is approximately 5'9" tall and stocky. He was wearing blue jeans, a black jacket, a green baseball cap and running shoes.

Anyone with information on this robbery is asked to contact Codiac Regional RCMP at 506-857-2400. Information can also be provided anonymously through Crime Stoppers NB online at or by phone at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Public health effects of shale gas lectures

Monday, 18 June 2012

Bill allowing rural communities vote on shale gas died on floor of Legislature

Conservation Council expects government to table new bill next session 
FREDERICTON - Bill 62, an amendment to the Municipalities Act which would give unincorporated rural areas the same authority to vote on shale gas exploration as municipalities, passed second reading in the Legislative Assembly with the support of government.

The bill did not, however, go through and pass the final reading before the end of the day on June 13 which marked the end of the summer session of the Legislature. All bills not passed by the end of the session die.

Stephanie Merrill, spokesperson for shale gas at CCNB Action is encouraged by the fact that the government voted in favour of the bill.

“We are happy to see that the government is supportive of legislating equal opportunities to rural communities and municipalities in deciding on shale gas exploration” said Merrill.

Merrill said that the current governance structure in New Brunswick means unincorporated communities have no legal mechanisms that give them the authority to decide if shale gas development, and other mining and development projects, is something they feel fits with the vision of their community. 

“Since the bill passed second reading, we fully expect the government to bring its own version of the bill back to the Legislature during the Fall sitting”, said Merrill.

CCNB Action has been advocating that all communities be given this authority to define the type, pace, scale and place of shale gas exploration and development.

RCMP investigating fire that claimed 9500 chickens, Saint-Francois, NB

The RCMP in Grand Falls is investigating a fire at a poultry farm in Saint-Fran├žois, N.B. 

Police and firefighters responded to the fire in the early morning hours of June 17, 2012. A building that housed a chicken nursery, located on chemin Bouchard, was destroyed by fire. Approximately 9,500 chickens perished.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and at this time is unknown.

Anyone with information about this incident, or who may have seen suspicious activity in the area is asked to contact the District 10 RCMP. Information can also be provided anonymously to Crime Stoppers at or 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

- There is some speculation this incident might be part of the ongoing dispute between Nadeau Poultry Farms and Groupe Westco. This publication did a story on the disagreement between the two companies earlier this year. - ED.

NDP leader Cardy says Robichaud's defence of Blaney appointment in tailspin

ROTHESAY – “The Conservatives are trying to spin their way out of a mess they created. I want the Conservatives to explain why Efficiency New Brunswick needed four Presidents and CEOs in the last year,” said New Brunswick New Democrat Leader Dominic Cardy.   

Cardy questioned Deputy Premier Paul Robichaud’s explanation for Premier David Alward’s decision to appoint former Conservative MLA for Rothesay Margaret-Ann Blaney to be CEO and President of Efficiency New Brunswick. Mr. Robichaud told the media that Ms. Blaney was hired to replace former CEO of Efficiency NB Elizabeth Weir, when in fact the position was filled in March by the deputy minister of environment Denis Caron, and has been previously held by other civil servants.
“My problem is not with Ms. Blaney – it is with the system that gives New Brunswick Premiers, Liberal and Conservatives, the power to play favourites with our public service,” said Cardy.

Since the Conservatives were elected Premier Alward has appointed his campaign co-chairs to head InvestNB and NB Liquor. The previous Liberal government also has a record of patronage. Former Premier Shawn Graham appointed one of his closest political advisors to be CEO of NB Liquor in 2006 and then, when he lost the election, made sure he was gifted with a secret pension.

Mr. Cardy is the New Democrat candidate in the riding of Rothesay, and has committed to ending patronage in New Brunswick.

“If elected I will bring the Rothesay Charter to End Patronage to the legislature,” said Cardy. “This Bill would make it an offense for an elected politician to try and influence the hiring process in any way.”

Cardy added, “Except for the individuals working directly for politicians, and ceremonial offices, all government appointments will be made based on merit and without the influence of elected officials.”

“For 150 years, the Conservatives and Liberals have traded power back and forth, making bad decisions that have undermined our economy and weakened our province,” said Cardy. “It is time for a change.”