Several cabins at Meeting Lake Regional Park, 90 kilometres northeast of North Battleford, were flooded last Wednesday in a storm. Now cabin-owners are hoping for a permanent solution.
CREMONA, Alta. - A cacophony of bellowing cattle makes it hard to hear the other hoof drop, but rancher Bruce Bird knows it’s coming. Bird runs a cow-calf operation and had to shout to be heard during annual branding last week on his ranch near Cremona, 80 kilometres northwest of Calgary. More than 100 calves were run through a chute and locked onto a table to have ear tags applied and a mark seared onto their sides. The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t had a serious effect on Bird yet, but he’s anticipating it will be tougher when the calves are sold in the fall. “Absolutely, we’re going to get hit eventually,” he said. “There’s usually a big ripple effect prolonged. It’s a long, long gradual time until it can rectify itself. “There’s some marketing issues, some commodity issues … that are really slow to hit us. But when it hits us, it hits us extra hard.” A concern for Bird and neighbour Chelsey Reid, who farms with her husband, Scott, is a backlog of beef at feedlots. The Cargill plant in High River, Alta., shut down for two weeks due to a COVID-19 outbreak there and is now operating at about 60 per cent capacity. The JBS plant in Brooks, Alta., reduced its operations to just one shift a day until recently. The two meat-packers process 70 per cent of Canada’s beef. “There’s always what we call the fall run. That’s when there’s always a lot of beef on the market, but we always have the capacity for it, so it’s not that big of a problem,” Reid said. “If people aren’t able to sell their calves this fall, that’s going to be a real problem.” Reid said the uncertainty is the most unsettling part. “Our farms are just sort of carrying on as they always have. Anything that’s going to be negative … is going to be happening come this fall and probably in 2021,” she said. “A lot of us young farmers have a lot of payments that we’re tied into, so it definitely is worrisome. It’s a lot of money that we definitely rely on.” Tom Thorlakson said there are animals at his family’s feedlot near Airdrie that were supposed to have been shipped to meat plants in mid-April. “We have cattle that we wish were gone. We’re not buying anything,” said Thorlakson, vice-president of Thorlakson Feedyards. There are 14,000 cattle at the feedlot and feed costs are running to about $1 million a month, he said. “When are we ever going to know when the plants will be up to full capacity? It will be the ever-going threat we’re living with right now.” Thorlakson said he has heard the cattle backlog could exist until December. And although his family feedlot will be OK, it won’t be the same for others. “It pushes it back to the rancher, right? If a lot of the guys are not buying, the guys selling their calves will be getting a lot less money for them because there’ll be less demand,” he said. “There’s going to be a lot of guys in hardship.” Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press
OTTAWA - Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is proposing a slew of measures including better data on carding and more training for police officers to combat systemic racism in Canada. The proposals come as protests continued to rage in the United States over the police killing of George Floyd, which was captured on video. An emotional Singh, who has previously spoken of his own experiences dealing with racism as a practising Sikh, says he is angry over Floyd's killing but that Canada has its own problems that need to be addressed. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer also spoke this morning about the protests in the U.S., saying he was heartbroken by Floyd's killing and that no one should have to live in fear of the police. Scheer says all levels of government have much more to do when it comes to addressing racism in Canada. The protests in the U.S. have proven extremely polarizing, with those on the left and right of the political spectrum attacking each other on social media and elsewhere. This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2020. The Canadian Press
HALIFAX - A Nova Scotia family is making a passionate appeal for the federal and Nova Scotia governments to end the “back and forth” over who leads a public inquiry into the province’s mass shooting. Darcy Dobson, the daughter of a licensed practical nurse who was among the 22 victims, says in the open letter that she, her father Andrew and her five siblings “formally request the start of a public inquiry into the mass shooting on April 18 and 19.” Dobson’s mother, Heather O’Brien of Truro, N.S., was killed by the gunman on April 19 as she drove along a highway in Debert, N.S. The letter notes that with few answers provided more than 40 days after the tragedy, families aren’t able to heal properly, and she adds “the amount of information being kept from us is deplorable.” Premier Stephen McNeil has said he wants Ottawa to lead a public inquiry because the areas of key jurisdiction - such as the protocols followed by the RCMP - are federal. However, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hasn’t committed his government to overseeing an inquiry, saying only it will “work with the government of Nova Scotia” to get answers. The letter from Dobson is signed by the entire O’Brien family and says, “the back and forth about who’s responsible for an inquiry is unreal.” It says mistakes were made at both the provincial and federal levels: “We need answers, we need answers to heal, we need answers so we can find a way to live in this new normal that we’ve been forced into.” The letter adds that authorities should be trying to learn from one of the worst mass killings in Canadian history. “What’s the hold up in the inquiry? Why hasn’t this happened yet? Where are we in the investigation? Was someone else involved? Why can’t we get any answers at all 40 days in?!” it asks. “The fact that anyone of us has to ask these questions is all very concerning and only makes everyone feel, inadequate, unimportant and unsafe. “Please for the people of our province, for the people of our country, for the people who have lost someone so dear to their hearts, find a way to let us start to heal. Michael Tutton, The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON - U.S. construction spending fell 2.9% in April with broad declines across all building activity as shutdowns hobbled projects and workers were told to stay home. The Commerce Department said that the April decline followed a basically flat reading in March. Spending on residential construction dropped 4.5% in April with single-family construction down 6.6% and the smaller apartment segment down 9.1% Construction of nonresidential projects fell 1.3% with office buildings, hotels and the sector that includes shopping centres all down. Spending on construction by the federal government and state and local governments was down 2.5% in April There is hope that with government stay-at-home orders being lifted, construction activity may rebound. However, many economists are worried that the recovery from the sharp recession which has seen millions of workers lose their jobs may take a good deal of time. Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press
A gas barbecue erupted in flames Saturday in Moose Jaw, causing damage to two homes and a camper. At 4:44 p.m. Saturday, Moose Jaw police officers and firefighters responded to a fire call on the 100 block of Iroquois Street East. An overheated gas barbecue had erupted in flames, igniting the back of a residence. On account of the wind, the fire then spread to the home next door, as well as a camper in the rear of the yard. Damage is estimated at approximately $200,000. The owner of the first home sustained minor injuries.
The federal government is expected to announce financial help for municipalities taking a financial hit from COVID-19.
Strong wind gusts caused havoc Monday morning across central Saskatchewan with downed trees, scattered patio furniture and numerous power outages. Environment Canada meteorologist Brad Vrolijk said Saskatoon recorded the strongest wind gust in the province at 95 kilometres per hour. Kindersley topped out at 93 km/h, while the wind was clocked at 87 km/h in Rosetown. “The strongest winds have been in the west that have moved in through the overnight period …,” Vrolijk said. “The winds will diminish a lot more this afternoon and by tonight the winds should be back to light, in the 15 to 25 kilometres an hour range.” A wind warning for Saskatoon was dropped around 7:30 a.m., but remains in effect for the Prince Albert and Melfort areas. People took to social media to describe the damage in their neighbourhoods. “Saw a lot of shingles off roofs in Warman Sunday afternoon. I can only imagine how many more roofs were damaged when it peaked near 100km/hr,” Chris Wood wrote on Facebook. 95K winds no joke for this vehicle on Lorne Ave. #yxe pic.twitter.com/3gxrBT7hh5 — Brent Bosker (@brentbosker) June 1, 2020 Broken tree branch across 33rd Street near Avenue P.(Submitted/Tya Matchet) A fallen tree at Bedford Road Collegiate (Eric Edwards/Facebook) Saskatoon Light and Power began receiving calls of outages at 4 a.m. and, by 8 a.m., crews were still working to restore power to several west-side neighbourhoods. SaskPower crews were also busy with outages in the Lakeview and Lakeridge neighbourhoods, as well as Riverside Estates and Langham.
WASHINGTON - American factories slowed for the third consecutive month in May as they continued to sustain economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic. The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, said Monday that its manufacturing index came in at 43.1 last month after registering 41.5 in April. Anything below 50 signals that U.S. manufacturers are in retreat. New orders, production, hiring and new export orders all fell in May but at a slower pace than they did in April. The pandemic and the lockdowns, and travel restrictions meant to combat it, have brought economic activity to a near-standstill. U.S. gross domestic product fell at a 5% annual rate from January-March and is expected to drop at a record-busting 40% rate from April-June. The results were about what economists expected. Eleven of 18 manufacturing industries contracted last month, led by printing, primary metals and transportation equipment makers. Six reported growth, led my mineral companies and furniture makers. The Commerce Department said last week that orders for big-ticket manufactured goods dropped 17.2% in April after falling 16.6% in March. " Looking ahead, conditions may start to gradually improve in June but manufacturing faces significant travails on the long road to recovery," economists Oren Klachkin and Gregory Daco of Oxford Economics wrote in a research report. Among the problems factories face are weak demand, disruptions in supplies and heightened uncertainty. "These impediments, along with fears of a second wave of coronavirus contagion, are expected to persist even once lockdowns are fully lifted, making a V-shaped recovery very unlikely,'' Klachkin and Daco wrote. Manufacturing was already hurting before the outbreak brought the economy to a near-standstill in March. The ISM manufacturing index has signalled contraction in eight of the last 10 months. President Donald Trump's trade war with China had raised costs and created uncertainty that paralyzed investment decisions, and the world economy had been losing momentum. Paul Wiseman, The Associated Press
MONTREAL - Eleven people have been arrested after tensions flared between protesters and police following a Montreal anti-racism demonstration on Sunday. While the formal rally took place without incident, the situation later degenerated when some protesters smashed windows and lit fires and were met with pepper spray and tear gas from officers. Montreal police say nine of the arrests are for breaking and entering, one is for armed assault and one is for mischief. They say they have received 70 reports of damage to stores and other acts of mischief, and more arrests could follow. The demonstrators had gathered to denounce racism and police impunity following the death of George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis on Monday after pleading for air while a white police officer pressed a knee on his neck. Montreal police declared the gathering illegal after they say projectiles were thrown at officers, who responded with pepper spray and tear gas. This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2020 The Canadian Press
8:30 – We’ve taken steps to isolate the most vulnerable groups as we fight COVID-19, and no group is more vulnerable than seniors. But leaving seniors in isolation for months comes with its own suite of issues. Dr. Lilian Thorpe is a geriatric psychiatrist, and she says isolation is causing real difficulties. In many cases seniors are passing away with no or minimal visitation from family members, some seniors are afraid to seek care for medical issues because of the risks of COVID-19, and the isolation itself can lead to severe loneliness and other mental health challenges. Thorpe joins Gormley to go over some of the issues caused by keeping our elders isolated. LIVE: Dr. Lilian Thorpe, geriatric psychiatrist. 9:00 - The Hour of the Big Stories... Open Session 9:00 – After six straight days of unrest, America headed into a new work week Monday with neighbourhoods in shambles, urban streets on lockdown and political leaders struggling to control the coast-to-coast outpouring of rage over police killings of black people. KSTP reporter Jay Kolls was on the scene outside the riots and a burning police station in Minneapolis. He joins Gormley with the latest on the protests and riots. LIVE: Jay Kolls, KSTP Reporter. 10:00 – In Dr. Bill Howatt’s book “Stop Hiding and Start Living: How to Say F-it to Fear and Develop Mental Fitness,” Howatt argues that happiness is the direct outcome of choices you make and ways of being and living daily. Howatt says some people can bounce back after stress or failures not due to natural resilience, but because they are able to move confidently through setbacks with good coping skills. With COVID-19 causing setbacks in just about everyone’s life, it’s a great chance for us to catch up with Dr. Howatt and find out more about how to develop mental fitness. LIVE: Dr. Bill Howatt, author of “Stop Hiding and Start Living: How to Say F-it to Fear and Develop Mental Fitness” 11:00 – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has floated the idea of a four-day work week, and Justin Trudeau has said we’ll see “particularly creative ideas” as we work to restore our economy after COVID-19, but would a four-day week make us more productive? Nearly 70% of Canadians would prefer working 10-hour days four times a week according to an Angus Reid poll, but we want to know what you think! Is there a good argument in favour of a four-day workweek, or does the idea make zero sense? Call 1-877-332-8255 and join the conversation! 12:00 – North American Helium has the green light to start building Canada’s largest helium purification facility in Battle Creek, Saskatchewan. The price of helium has gone up by 160% since 2017, making it a great time to invest. NAH President Marlon McDougall joins Gormley to tell us more about the project. LIVE: Marlon McDougall, President and COO of North American Helium.
A collision on Highway 3 west of Paradise Hill has closed the road in both directions. The Maidstone RCMP said in a media release Monday that a crash about 10 kilometres west of Paradise Hill — at the intersection of Highway 3 and Range Road 3254 — has forced the closure. The Mounties said the highway will be closed for an indefinite period. Drivers are advised to use alternate routes until the road reopens.
TORONTO - Rogers Centre, the home of the Toronto Blue Jays, is going to be temporarily converted into a giant food bank facility. Rogers Communications and the Jays Care Foundation have announced a new initiative, called Step Up to the Plate, to support Food Banks Canada. They say the stadium, currently in disuse because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the suspension of the Major League Baseball season, will house more than 4.5 million kilograms of food. The program will see hundreds of Rogers employees and their families volunteer go on the field to sort 6,000 pallets of food into food hampers, which will then be delivered across Canada to families in need. The organizations say each hamper will contain a variety of non-perishable food items and provide one person with a week's worth of food. Rogers says its goal is to fill 390,000 hampers, for a total of eight million meals. This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2020. The Canadian Press
TORONTO - Canada's Olympic and Paralympic athletes will return to sport with the help of $5 million. The Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Committees and Own The Podium came up with the money to get the athletes back to training in their facilities as some COVID-19 restrictions begin to lift. Many athletes have been training at home for several weeks. The Tokyo Games were postponed from this summer to next year because of the pandemic. OTP's return-to-sport task force has worked on reintroducing sport responsibly for athletes and coaches while following provincial, territorial and federal public health guidelines. Swimming Canada introduced a strategy to return to the pool last week. This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2020. The Canadian Press
Maidstone RCMP are asking motorists to take an alternate route near Paradise Hill.
By the time the Saskatchewan Legislature resumes sitting June 15, it will have been almost three months since the sitting was suspended for the pandemic. On Tuesday, the government and official opposition announced their house leaders had reached a deal, and the two sides would sit for three weeks between June 15 and July 3 — except on Canada Day. An updated version of the province's budget will be tabled on June 15 and 60 hours of debate will follow. "This will be, by far, the most extensive scrutiny of any budget in any House in this nation since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic," Premier Scott Moe said Tuesday. In a statement released Tuesday, NDP Leader Ryan Meili said the deal to get back into the assembly came after weeks of pressure from the NDP and the public. "We look forward to returning to the Legislature to push for an economic recovery plan that puts people first. And we'll continue to push for accountability and answers to the government's handling of COVID-19 and its economic fallout," Meili said in the statement. "Before COVID-19, far too many people in Saskatchewan were struggling to make ends meet — many more families are struggling now. That's why we need a plan for our economic recovery." The government was set to table its budget March 18, but at the last minute decided to table only spending estimates and work off special warrants for a while. It was explained that the pandemic was making revenues too difficult to predict. In April, the province gave a fiscal update and predicted that revenues would be down. Moe said Tuesday the budget would be in a deficit. "We will have a deficit this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That deficit will largely be attributed to a lowering of the revenues and that has been indicated and communicated by our minister of finance already," said Moe. Moe said the budget will, for the most part, be based on the spending estimates that were tabled in March, plus the initiatives that have been undertaken as part of the pandemic response. "Our ministries have done a very good job of ensuring that the investment that they were allocated, the 5/12ths of the year that was allocated to them through the special warrant, they are remaining projected to operate, including health, to operate within the estimates that they have been granted," the premier said. Moe's confidence in the budget remains and he echoed sentiments on Tuesday that he'd had before the pandemic, saying the budget is strong and gets the province on the path set out in the plan for growth.
WASHINGTON (AP) - After six straight days of unrest, America headed into a new work week Monday with neighbourhoods in shambles, urban streets on lockdown and political leaders struggling to control the coast-to-coast outpouring of rage over police killings of black people. Despite curfews in big cities across the U.S. and the deployment of thousands of National Guard soldiers over the past week, demonstrations descended into violence again on Sunday. Protesters hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at police in Philadelphia, set a fire near the White House and were hit with tear gas and pepper spray in Austin, Texas, and other cities. Seven Boston police officers were hospitalized. Police officers and National Guard soldiers enforcing a curfew in Louisville, Ky., killed a man early Monday when they returned fire after someone in a large group shot at them first, police said. In Indianapolis, two people were reported dead in bursts of downtown violence over the weekend, adding to deaths recorded in Detroit and Minneapolis. In some cities, thieves smashed their way into stores and ran off with as much as they could carry, leaving shop owners, many of them just beginning to reopen their businesses after the coronavirus shutdowns, to clean up their shattered stores. In other places, police tried to calm tensions by kneeling in solidarity with demonstrators. The demonstrations were sparked by the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee against Floyd's neck for several minutes. Racial tensions were also running high after two white men were arrested in May in the February shooting death of black jogger Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, and after Louisville police shot Breonna Taylor to death in her home in March. The upheaval has unfolded amid the gloom and economic ruin caused by the coronavirus, which has killed over 100,000 Americans and sent unemployment soaring to levels not seen since the Depression. The outbreak has hit minorities especially hard, not just in infections and deaths but in job losses and economic stress. The scale of the coast-to-coast protests has rivalled the historic demonstrations of the civil rights and Vietnam War eras. At least 4,400 people have been arrested for such offences as stealing, blocking highways and breaking curfew, according to a count compiled by The Associated Press. "They keep killing our people. I'm so sick and tired of it," said Mahira Louis, 15, who was at a Boston protest with her mother Sunday, leading chants of "George Floyd, say his name!” At the White House, the scene of three days of demonstrations, police fired tear gas and stun grenades Sunday into a crowd of more than 1,000 chanting protesters across the street in Lafayette Park. The crowd ran, piling up road signs and plastic barriers to light a raging fire in a street nearby. Some pulled an American flag from a building and threw it into the flames. A building in the park with bathrooms and a maintenance office was burned down. The district's entire National Guard - roughly 1,700 soldiers - was called in to help control the protests, according to Pentagon officials. As the unrest grew, President Donald Trump retweeted conservative commentator Buck Sexton, who called for "overwhelming force" against violent demonstrators. Former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential candidate, visited the site of protests in his hometown of Wilmington, Del., and talked to demonstrators. He also wrote a post online expressing empathy for those despairing about Floyd's killing. In New York, thieves raided luxury stores, including Chanel, Rolex and Prada boutiques. In Birmingham, Ala., a Confederate statute was toppled. In Salt Lake City, an activist leader condemned the destruction of property but said broken buildings shouldn't be mourned on the same level as black men like Floyd. "Maybe this country will get the memo that we are sick of police murdering unarmed black men," said Lex Scott, founder of Black Lives Matter Utah. "Maybe the next time a white police officer decides to pull the trigger, he will picture cities burning." Thousands marched peacefully in Phoenix, Albuquerque, N.M., and other cities, with some calling for an end to the fires, vandalism and theft, saying the destruction weakens calls for justice and reform. In downtown Atlanta, authorities fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of demonstrators. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said two officers had been fired and three placed on desk duty after video showed police surrounding a car Saturday and using stun guns on the man and woman inside. In Los Angeles, a police SUV accelerated into several protesters in a street, knocking two people to the ground. Nearby in Santa Monica, not far from a peaceful demonstration, groups broke into stores, walking out with boxes of shoes and folding chairs, among other items. A fire broke out at a restaurant across the street. Scores of people swarmed into stores in Long Beach. Some hauled armloads of clothing from a Forever 21 store away in garbage bags. In Minneapolis, the officer who pinned Floyd to the pavement has been charged with murder, but protesters are demanding the three other officers at the scene be prosecuted. All four were fired. "We're not done," said Darnella Wade, an organizer for Black Lives Matter in neighboring St. Paul, where thousands gathered peacefully in front of the state capitol. "They sent us the military, and we only asked them for arrests." Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz brought in thousands of National Guard soldiers on Saturday to help quell violence that had damaged or destroyed hundreds of buildings in Minneapolis over days of protests. That appeared to help minimize unrest, but thousands marching on a closed freeway were shaken when a tractor-trailer rolled into their midst. No serious injuries were reported. The driver was arrested on suspicion of assault. In tweets Sunday, Trump accused anarchists and the media of fuelling violence. Attorney General William Barr pointed a finger at "far left extremist" groups. Police chiefs and politicians accused outsiders of causing the problems. ___ Morrison reported from Minneapolis and Vertuno reported from Austin, Texas. Associated Press journalists across the U.S. contributed to this report. Aahraf Khalil, Aaron Morrison and Jim Vertuno, The Associated Press
Workers were locked out of the Refinery on Dec. 5, 2019, after a strike vote.
HALIFAX - A Nova Scotia family is making a passionate appeal for the federal and Nova Scotia governments to end the "back and forth" over who leads a public inquiry into the province's mass shooting. Darcy Dobson, the daughter of a licensed practical nurse who was among the 22 victims, says in the open letter that she, her father Andrew and her five siblings "formally request the start of a public inquiry into the mass shooting on April 18 and 19." Dobson's mother, Heather O'Brien of Truro, N.S., was killed by the gunman on April 19 as she drove along a highway in Debert, N.S. The letter notes that with few answers provided more than 40 days after the tragedy, families aren't able to heal properly, and she adds "the amount of information being kept from us is deplorable." Premier Stephen McNeil has said he wants Ottawa to lead a public inquiry because the areas of key jurisdiction - such as the protocols followed by the RCMP - are federal. However, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hasn't committed his government to overseeing an inquiry, saying only it will "work with the government of Nova Scotia" to get answers. The letter from Dobson is signed by the entire O'Brien family and says, "the back and forth about who's responsible for an inquiry is unreal." It says mistakes were made at both the provincial and federal levels: "We need answers, we need answers to heal, we need answers so we can find a way to live in this new normal that we've been forced into." The letter adds that authorities should be trying to learn from one of the worst mass killings in Canadian history. "What's the hold up in the inquiry? Why hasn't this happened yet? Where are we in the investigation? Was someone else involved? Why can't we get any answers at all 40 days in?!" it asks. "The fact that anyone of us has to ask these questions is all very concerning and only makes everyone feel, inadequate, unimportant and unsafe. "Please for the people of our province, for the people of our country, for the people who have lost someone so dear to their hearts, find a way to let us start to heal. This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2020. Michael Tutton, The Canadian Press
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to announce this morning that the federal government will be offering cities an advanced transfer of infrastructure funding to help cover COVID-19-prompted budget shortfalls.