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Prince Albert police investigating first homicide of 2019

8 hours 2 min ago
Prince Albert police are investigating the city’s first homicide of 2019 after a 27-year-old man was assaulted and later died in hospital. According to a police news release, the victim was assaulted in an alley off the 200 block of 12th Street East just after 1 a.m. on Feb. 9. Police initially responded to the assault after receiving reports of an intoxicated man, but upon arriving at the scene they discovered the victim had suffered serious injuries. The victim was first treated at Prince Albert’s Victoria Union Hospital before being transported in stable condition to a hospital in Saskatoon where he later succumbed to his injuries. Police say an autopsy is expected to occur within the next week. Members from the Prince Albert Police Service Criminal Investigations Division and Forensic Identification Section are actively investigating this incident and are also working with the Office of the Chief Coroner. Anyone with any information that may assist the investigation or any video surveillance from the midtown area are asked to contact the Prince Albert Police Service at 306-953-4222 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Kyla Shand no longer the new big in town but starting to settle in as University of Saskatchewan Huskies starter

10 hours 35 min ago
Kyla Shand is a “big” with big-time potential. Standing 6-foot-3, she automatically gives the University of Saskatchewan Huskies size. Her role with the Huskies has grown, too, as a second-year Huskie. Shand has entrenched herself as a go-to girl in the paint as she begins to fulfil a promising university basketball career in her hometown of Saskatoon. “She’s really coming along,” U of S women’s basketball coach Lisa Thomaidis says of Shand, a Holy Cross Crusader graduate. “She’s going to be, and continues to be, a big part of our plans.” Those plans include another potential trip to the U Sports national championship, where the Huskies claimed silver a year ago. They started nicely this week, finishing a two-game quarterfinal sweep of the visiting Winnipeg Wesmen Friday with a 102-56 victory. That victory sends them into next week’s conference semifinal. The Huskie men’s team held a 1-0 series lead heading into Friday night’s game against the Regina Cougars; that contest was still being played at press time. “She’s a big presence for a 6-3 (player) and she moves really, really well,” Thomaidis says of Shand. “She runs as well as any post in the country for her size. She puts a lot of pressure on opposing teams because of that and her fitness. And we’re putting a lot of pressure on her to continue to develop, because we see her as a big piece to the puzzle; being able to challenge for a national championship. “I’m notoriously hard on bigs and I’ve been really hard on her but, again, it’s because she’s got a lot of potential. She’s grown a lot.” Shand, a sophomore post player, has averaged 6.8 points and 4.1 rebounds per games this season while shooting 53.5 per cent from the floor. Her totals are trending upward. Last season, Shand averaged four points and 2.4 rebounds per game and shot 43 per cent. “Our team has been doing really well, so that’s awesome,” Shand says. “We would have loved to end (the regular season) on a better note against Regina but, hopefully, we’ll get another shot at it. Redemption would be nice.” Before redemption, there needs to be faith. “My team’s put some faith in me, which is really nice and reassuring for me to know,” says Shand. “I guess it’s kind of reciprocated because I like to put a lot of faith in them, too. “The bar has been raised. It’s more of ‘we know what you’re capable of and we want to see that’ and it’s coming from a really good source. They want us to perform our best every weekend.” NCAA OPTIONS Shand had plenty of options before deciding on the U of S, including a tempting offer to play NCAA Division 1 at Iowa State. “We knew that, when we got her, it was big for us to have her for five years,” Thomaidis says. “We’re at a stage now where the majority of our players have passed up Division 1 offers to stay here. That says a lot about the play in Canada and Canada West. That’s the level of athlete that we need to be successful. “Kudos to her. She’s highly intelligent. She stayed for the combination of academics and basketball.” Shand admits it was a difficult choice. “I knew that I had the best support system here and I didn’t want to leave that behind,” offers Shand, who did visit Iowa State. “I knew that, if I came here, Lisa is amazing. She’s the coach of the national team. That’s where I want to hopefully get someday. There’s no coach better to train under than her.” There’s also a winning tradition with the Huskies program, adds Shand. “It’s expected that we make it to the Canada West final and that we make it to nationals every year, because that’s where the bar is and that’s what we’ve risen to know,” Shand says. “It’s something special because it’s an opportunity that a lot of people don’t get.” It’s an opportunity she couldn’t resist. “I was left deciding between (Iowa State) and here. It was a tough decision but I think it was definitely the right one.” Thomaidis couldn’t agree more. Related  

Book reviews

10 hours 36 min ago
Thorn-Field by James Trettwer In Regina writer James Trettwer’s debut collection of short fiction, Thorn-Field (Thistledown, $19.95), the stories are linked by a number of metaphors — thorns being an obvious one — by characters fighting or dying from various addictions, and by the plume of smoke that hangs over their lives from the omnipresent potash mine — their employer and in some cases their killer. Indeed, in the first two stories, which take over half of the book, we hear that the “mine’s tendrils are thick and invasive. Once they’re in you, it’s like trying to get rid of thistles.” Or thorns. Later in the same story, when contemplating the local bar, the narrator asks how “many lives are buried here, under a mine shaft flood of booze and drugs?” and to drive the metaphor home, the narrator in story two contemplates the mine’s plume and says it “reminds him of nuclear winter and a horror story he once wrote.” Lourdes, the narrator of story one, tries to make a life for herself after her father died in a mine accident working extra hours to pay off gambling debts, and her alcoholic mother brought home men who tried to rape her and then burned down their trailer. Now she’s working at the motel and trying to get some savings together for university. Against all sound advice, she’s thinking of majoring in English. So is Lewis in story number two. He’s got a summer job at the mine where, because he’s an English major, he’s called the Purrfesser, among other things. He works with the father who died in story one, the decent guy in the bunch, and this is his backstory. By the time we get into the next few stories, we’ve moved away from the mine itself to head office in what looks like Regina, where “the grinding tedium set in under a perpetual plume of sales quotas and shipping schedules.” The men in these stories are uniformly unhappy, unfulfilled in their jobs, and deal with the problem with alcohol and drugs. They probably went for the wrong degree, too. The fellow in Blue’s got one in Communications and Journalism and played his cards to get on disability where he reads good literature, while the guy in Leaving with Lena notes that everyone around him went straight into MBAs and are working their way to the top. Not him. He’s an articulate alcoholic. What it comes down to is you’re either cut out to work in the mine or at head office, or you aren’t. Trettwer’s characters aren’t. With their literary aspirations blunted by economic necessity, they drink and see the world as one large thorn field. Even in the city, no amount of pavement can cover those tenacious thistles, reminding even the boy in the final story with his aspirations in history, outside that back fence it’s all weeds. These are engaging stories, but a little too obvious in the symbols and dreams department. Fewer reminders and the reader will still get what that plume of smoke is doing in these characters’ lives. Miles to Go by Beryl Young In Beryl Young’s Miles to Go (Wandering Fox, $12.95), best friends Maggie and Anna are struggling through family and social life as very young teens in small-town Saskatchewan. It’s 1948, and though the recent world war doesn’t elbow its way into the story, strict codes of conduct for women and children do. Anna is the eldest in a large immigrant Polish family where the children keep coming and the father is well known as a drinker. Maggie’s father is the head of the local RCMP detachment and her mother seems well aware of his position, keeping Maggie on a short leash. While Anna is pushed into the role of mother after a crisis and must leave school, Maggie reacts sharply against her mother’s strictures and makes that classic decision: “If my parents think I’m a thoughtless person, then that’s what I am … and proud of it.” She even goes so far as to believe she’s adopted. While Maggie’s behaviour is maddening, especially compared to the struggles her best friend must endure, what both girls have to learn is hard, heartening, and profound. Young, who lives in Victoria but comes from Yorkton, has crafted a story that shows young people’s vulnerability but doesn’t let them off easily. Sapphire the Great and the Meaning of Life by Beverley Brenna Finally, in Sapphire the Great and the Meaning of Life (Pajama Press, $19.95), celebrated Saskatoon author and educator Bev Brenna tells a tale of a nine-year-old named Jeannie who wants, and gets, a hamster during a time of family calamity. Ever attuned to evolving social dynamics, Brenna presents a family in which the father has left to be with his male companion, and his mystified two children and angry wife are given comfort and cheer by a very large, mannish woman named Anna Conda. Helping little Jeannie navigate her way through this tricky territory is Sapphire, her new hamster, who not only poses intriguing philosophical questions but is co-narrator, with Jeannie, of this story. While Jeannie tries to figure out why and where her father has gone and why, exactly, her hamster bites some people, Sapphire goes into extended deliberations on the nature of freedom and how much of it she wants. As Jeannie draws up a set of rules to place on her hamster’s cage about how not to get bit, Sapphire discovers that a hamster cage without clean wood shavings or much food, and an indifferent pet shop owner, is indeed a cage. However, a clean cage and lots of food from Jeannie, who pets her regularly, is far better than freedom in a school hallway or out in the winter playground. As Sapphire discovers that a cage can be a comfort, her owner wishes for a set of rules that could govern human behaviour, particularly that of adults, to keep children tucked in and happy. Brenna understands a child’s need for warm limits and presents a modern family trying to work its way to safety, comfort, and mutual respect.

New Faces New Places: Personalized advice makes healthy living a snap at Supplement World

11 hours 35 min ago
Whether you’re looking to make some serious gains or simply live a healthier lifestyle, Supplement World can help you meet your goals. Having recently opened their third Saskatoon location in Blairmore, with additional locations in Regina and Prince Albert, owner Josh MacGowan says customers were constantly asking for a new location on Saskatoon’s west side. Offering a huge assortment of sports nutrition, health and lifestyle products, MacGowan admits it can be difficult to know where to start and that’s why he and his team aim to get to know the goals and lifestyles of each and every customer so they can suggest the perfect product for your individual needs. “I think what we do differently from a lot of supplement stores is rather than starting out with a product in mind we want to sell we ask the customer about what they are looking to achieve,” he explains. “A lot of people come in feeling like they can’t achieve their goals but when they leave they’re feeling excited and confident.” By getting to know each customer, the Supplement World team is able to keep your progress on track by helping you to develop healthy routines and cut out — or simply cut down — on bad habits. MacGowan says one of the major habits people are trying to break is eating too much sugar — so if you are someone who doesn’t want to give up sweet treats but are looking for an alternative, he suggests trying out something like a protein milkshake, which has no sugar but is high in protein and healthy fats. Or if sugary, decadent coffee is your vice they have options like protein lattes which MacGowan says tastes just like the ones from Starbucks. But, no matter what you are looking to achieve MacGowan says you can always trust that you are getting the best advice and it all starts by walking through their doors. “Our goal really is to help,” he finished. “So if they have any questions, even if it’s just about nutrition or training, and our staff will take the time to help them because we know it can be overwhelming.” Josh MacGowan, left, the owner of Supplement World, poses for a photo with store manager Colby Stern, at the store’s new location in Blairmore on Feb. 4, 2019. MacGowan said he hopes to help his customer achieve their goals while informing them about the supplements and health products they need. Supplement World (Blairmore) Owner: Josh MacGowan Address: 110-220 Betts Avenue Hours: Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Phone: 306-955-4372 Website: Check Facebook and Instagram Related Erin Petrow is a reporter at The StarPhoenix. If you have started, expanded or moved a small business in Saskatoon within the last few months, contact her at Follow Erin on Twitter @petr0w

Housing awards program embraces new name

12 hours 35 min ago
Member builders, renovators and service providers of the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association (SRHBA) gathered February 9 at TCU Place to celebrate achievements of the past year. For the past 27 years, the gala event was known as the Bridges Awards. In 2019, the awards program evolved into the Housing Excellence Awards. Jennifer Lamontagne, SRHBA director of business development, says the event’s new name says it all. “Changing the name from the Bridges Awards to the Housing Excellence Awards provides the best opportunity to showcase our builders and their projects. We’re very proud of what our members have achieved.” The Housing Excellence Awards celebrate quality workmanship and professionalism in a variety of categories in new home construction, renovation and design, marketing, customer choice, service and innovation to the industry. The SRHBA received a record number of submissions for this year’s awards, says Lamontagne. “We had 144 submissions, the highest we’ve ever had.” An independent panel of industry experts recruited from across Canada reviewed the award submissions. The judges have decades of industry experience and many have participated in other province’s housing awards programs. “Judged by their national peers, the Housing Excellence Awards are the highest honour bestowed on our members. Winning one of these awards and being able to promote that achievement is of great value to companies in our community,” says Lamontagne. Presiding over this year’s Housing Excellence Awards were masters of ceremonies Ron and Honya Olson. Introduced as the “power couple of the Saskatoon home building industry”, the Olsons are at the helm of Boychuk Construction. Founded by Honya’s father, Mike Boychuk, in 1945, Boychuk Construction has been in operation longer than any other residential construction and land development firm in the province. The Olsons entertained the audience with anecdotes from their years as home builders, including Ron’s term as the only Saskatchewan builder to serve as president of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association. The Best New Home Design Award was presented to Haven Builders and jubilantly accepted by the entire staff. The award honours the builder’s “Elmwood” project, a spectacular 5,000-plus square foot contemporary timber frame acreage home. Customer Choice Awards were presented to small, medium and large volume builders of single-family homes: Maison Design + Build, Westridge Homes and Warman Homes. North Ridge Development Corporation took home the Customer Choice Award in the Multi-Family Builder category. Lexis Homes, Evermore Homes Inc., Maison Design + Build, Haven Builders, Ehrenburg Homes, Shift Development and North Prairie Developments took home crystal statues for a variety of New Home and Multi-Family Construction Awards. For the second consecutive year, Delonix Homes was named Renovator of the Year. The award recognized the builder’s passion for transforming existing living spaces through renovation. The Ambassador Award honours an SRHBA member for outstanding service to the industry and the community at large. This year’s recipient was Don Armstrong. During his lengthy career with Dundee Development and Dream Development, Armstrong helped create many of Saskatoon’s subdivisions, from River Heights in the 1970s to the newest neighbourhoods of Stonebridge and Brighton. “This award recognizes an individual who has left a legacy within the residential construction industry. That legacy is measurable change within the community, our association and our industry. Don Armstrong, with all that he’s achieved during his career, is the ideal recipient,” says Lamontagne. The evening’s most highly anticipated presentation was the Builder of the Year Award. To win this award, a builder must excel in multiple categories. “The award is designed to capture the full essence of what it means to be the Home Builder of the Year, including their contributions to the community, their environmental stewardship, the promotion of safety leadership within their company’s culture as well as the quality and design of their new homes,” says Lamontagne. This year, the Builder of the Year Award was presented to Maison Design + Build. Andrew and Jilaire Wagner began their journey as boutique home builders in 2000 with the construction of their own home. Since then, the couple has established a reputation for building unique design-driven production and custom homes. Andrew Wagner says, “This is one of the greatest honours. We had the opportunity to be graced with this award in 2015 and we were so surprised when it happened that time. It’s something we’ve strived for again over the past couple of years, really trying to increase our quality and service to our clients through the design, construction and delivery of our houses. To win it this year almost brings tears to my eyes. It’s a big deal!” Jilaire Wagner is equally elated. “It was a year of really intense builds for us. We did a number of very, very special projects for very special clients. With a really small team, we were able to deliver on our clients’ expectations,” she says. “We are so fortunate to work with people – our team at Maison, our trades, our suppliers – who share a collective dedication to building beautiful homes. We are so proud of the work we have done. The houses we build represent the contributions of hundreds of people, thousands of hours and unlimited heart.” The SRHBA has already begun planning next year’s Housing Excellence Awards, announcing the creation of a new category: Best Home in the Parade of Homes. A poll held during the 2018 Parade of Homes asked the public to vote for their favourite out of 30 participating show homes. The people’s choice – Lexis Homes – was revealed at the Housing Excellence Awards. At the 2020 awards, the winning builder in this category will receive a coveted crystal statue celebrating Housing Excellence.  

New Faces New Places: Saskatoon Region ECIP helps prepare kids for school

12 hours 35 min ago
Getting your child ready to start school can be stressful and for parents of children experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, developmental delays it can be even tougher — unless you know where to turn. The Saskatoon Region Early Childhood Intervention Program (ECIP) has been providing home and community supports for these children and their families for 40 years through home and community-based services. But, having recently moved into a new, larger space — boasting an expansive toy and activity room — the nonprofit is hoping to expand its centre based programming. “We’re kind of that first program that families can get involved with before their children start school,” said executive director Arlene Trask. “Our idea is that we support the families in learning strategies so then they are able to carry on in the time we are not there.” Beginning with an in-home assessment — followed by home visits twice a month — ECIP works with each family to create a family service plan and set individualized goals to improve the child’s developmental outcome. Trask says though some of their clients are referred to them by a doctor or other professional, having a referral isn’t necessary, noting that if you think your child would benefit from their programming to give their office a call to refer their child and set up an appointment. “We are always trying to get the word out on who we are and what we do,” Trask said. With the large new space, the ECIP team is hoping more families will come down to their offices to take advantage of the centre based programming — which she says will help the children learn to play, socialize and make friends with others. “Children learn through play so we are encouraging them to play, learn new things and increase their skills,” Trask finished. Arlene Trask, executive director of the Saskatoon Region Early Childhood Intervention Program, can be seen among some of the homemade toys they use to help children learn through play at the organization’s new, larger facility on Feb. 5, 2019. Officials say the new space will allow more room for programming and they hope it will also help increase the organization’s profile in Saskatoon. Saskatoon Region Early Childhood Intervention Program Address: 10-2302 Hanselman Avenue Hours: Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Phone: 306-657-3247 Website: Check Facebook Related Erin Petrow is a reporter at The StarPhoenix. If you have started, expanded or moved a small business in Saskatoon within the last few months, contact her at Follow Erin on Twitter @petr0w

'There's no benefit to the planet if we chase away jobs': Scheer talks environmental policy, pipelines during Saskatoon visit

12 hours 36 min ago
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer spent Friday in Saskatoon, meeting business groups and supporters before a rally Friday night and a planned trip to a pro-energy demonstration in Moosomin on Saturday. Between meetings, he sat down with the Saskatoon StarPhoenix to discuss environmental policy, pipeline approvals and the controversial yellow vest movement. Q: Your last event in the province was on New Year’s Day, when you spoke out against the carbon tax in Regina. When can we expect to see an environmental policy from your party and what will it contain? A: We’ve already started to unveil some details of our environmental policy. We’ve talked about some of the things our greenhouse gas reduction plan would be based on — incentivizing investment in energy efficiencies, taking credit for what Canada does well here, recognizing that we can reduce global emissions by taking advantage of our clean technology, our clean energy. There’s no benefit to global emissions, there’s no benefit to the planet if we chase away jobs and investment and see factories popping up in other countries. Q: So you are looking at Canada as part of the global whole, rather than considering its emissions in relative isolation? A: I think it’s a blend. But we could artificially lower emissions here and punish sectors of economies, lead to job losses and higher costs for consumers, just to see that production move to other countries where emissions would actually be higher. Global emissions could actually go up if we did that. Our full environmental plan will be released with plenty of time for Canadians to make their own evaluations before the election. Q: You’re going to Moosomin tomorrow for a pro-energy rally. If you form government later this year, what would you do to streamline the pipeline approval and construction process? A: Things like scrapping the carbon tax would make projects in Canada more competitive; getting rid of, repealing, Bill C-69 — which is being called the anti-pipeline bill; streamlining the approvals process so that the goalposts don’t keep changing; a more dynamic role for the federal government in Indigenous consultations; getting rid of foreign funding in the approval process. I believe those conversations, those decisions, should be made by Canadians. Q: How do you accomplish that while at the same time being aware of and respecting the views of Indigenous groups across the country, many of which are against new pipelines? A: The balance is struck in a robust and transparent approvals process, where concerns can be addressed. And where concerns are found to be legitimate … that obligation is put on the proponent. We don’t live in a country where different people, different groups, different provincial governments get vetoes. People can have their say, people can have their input, but a robust, transparent, rigorous approvals process that people can have confidence in on the front end has to be able to deliver the project on the other end. Q: Last month, a couple of Saskatchewan cabinet ministers were criticized for appearing at yellow vest protests. What’s your view on the yellow vest movement, and the extreme views that have been attached to it? A: The rallies that I’ve seen … these are people who just want to work. Anytime you have public events, people with other views, with other agendas, may come and participate but I don’t think that should be allowed to distract from the overall crisis that is happening in our energy sector, and the hundreds of thousands of men and women who have been impacted by that. I also think it’s frustrating sometimes because there are groups that protest for things on the left wing of the spectrum that attract just odious characters who have very extreme positions … I don’t know that Liberal MPs and NDP MLAs are asked the same type of questions. Q: If you form government, would you repeal the legislation that’s been in the news this week and forbid deferred prosecution agreements for corporations that are accused of crimes? A: We can have those conversations, we can have debates, we can have studies down the road (on) if this is an appropriate tool for Canada or not. But right now the issue is not about which law the government tried to politically interfere with; it’s the fact that they were politically interfering in the first place with an ongoing criminal prosecution. This interview has been edited and condensed. Related

Parish Notes

13 hours 35 min ago
Please send items for Parish Notes to with the words “Parish Notes” in the subject line. Submission deadline is Friday one week before at 10 a.m. Stephen Hardy Palmer: Sunday, 2 p.m., at St. John’s Cathedral, 816 Spadina Cres. East. Country-roots and gospel music. A family-friendly sing-along show. Cost is $15 at the door. Children ages 12 and under get in free. Information at 306-242-5146, All-You-Can-Eat Perogy Supper: Friday, 5 to 7 p.m., at the Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral Auditorium, 919 20th St. West. Adults cost $14, children ages five to nine cost $6, and children ages four and under eat free. Admission includes dessert and a beverage. Meat and cabbage rolls priced separately. Information at Bible-Based Church: Saturdays, 10 a.m. to noon. An inclusive, gender-sensitive, compassionate and non-judgmental church. A potluck follows the service. For directions email or call 306-979-5256. One Light Chant and Dance: Held the second Saturday of the month, with sporadic impromptu chant-only evenings, in Saskatoon. Hosted by Dances of Universal Peace leader Wayne Rollack. A meditative practice combining the chanting of sacred phrases with simple circle dances to live music. No experience necessary. Information at Sunday Meditation: Sundays, 10 a.m., at Windsor Chapel, 704 Windsor St. Presented by the Centre for Spiritual Living Saskatoon. Learn how to create the life you long for. Sunday celebration follows at 10:30 a.m. Information at 306-975-2022, Buddhist Meditation: Sundays, 4 to 5:30 p.m. Guided meditation taught by the monks from the Buddha Meditation Centre of Saskatoon. Everyone is welcome. Class is free. Information at, 306-374-2840. Celtic Evening Service: Tuesdays, 7 p.m., at St. George’s Anglican Church, 624 Ave. I South. Celtic music, tea and coffee. Each mid-month service will begin with a potluck at 6 p.m. Free Community Soup Lunch: Wednesdays, noon, at St. Paul’s United Church, 454 Egbert Ave. Everyone is welcome. L’Arche Prayer Nights: Wednesdays, 7 p.m. Prayer and fellowship with L’Arche Saskatoon, an ecumenical Christian community. Everyone is welcome from all faiths. Information at Gongbath Immersion Meditations: Thursdays through March 14, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Queen’s House Retreat and Renewal Centre, 601 Taylor St. West. No meditation Feb. 21. Drop in fee $15. Information at, 306-270-3800.

Cuthand: Wilson-Raybould maintains respectable reputation

13 hours 35 min ago
Jody Wilson-Raybould’s term in office has gone from highs to lows as she took the high road and refused to allow her office to be used as an advocate for the Quebec construction company SNC-Lavalin. She maintained that the Office of Public Prosecutions be independent and free from political interference. It sounds noble and ethical, but because she allowed the Office of Public Prosecutions to carry on and take the company to court, she has left the Trudeau cabinet and is the subject of a whispering campaign. Shadowy figures who haunt the corridors of power in Ottawa have been feeding the media lines such as, “She was hard to get along with,” “She was not a team player,” and so on. I’ve seen this many times before; as long as you are onside and non-controversial you are okay, but as soon as you become a liability you are just another uppity Indian and you get thrown under the bus. Ms. Wilson-Raybould was the Attorney General of Canada and as such was chief law officer of the executive council and considered the guardian of the public interest. The role of the attorney general is unique in cabinet because it fills a semi-judicial role, and as such the AG must steer clear of political interference. Because of this, the Attorney General has a solicitor-client relationship with the government and the prime minister in particular. She can only make public statements with the approval of her client. This is an important, time-honoured practice to protect the client, but when the client is the prime minister, when does protection become a shield? Now Wilson-Raybould is muzzled while the prime minister and his minions can run free, unencumbered by the rules. So, what is the other side of the story? SNC-Lavalin is a huge international construction company that has built major projects such as the James Bay Hydro project and the Vancouver sky train. But SNC-Lavalin has also left muddy tracks all over the globe. In Bangladesh, the company was charged with bribing government officials to get a bridge building contract. The World Bank also suspended the loan for the project, and suspended SNC-Lavalin from bidding on contracts funded by them. They referred to misconduct in Bangladesh as well as Cambodia. Meanwhile back in Canada, the company was accused of bribing officials in the McGill University Health Centre construction contract. The police investigation resulted in charges for senior SNC-Lavalin executives for alleged kickbacks and commissions paid to hospital officials to win the $1.3 billion contract. But the big one, and the one that has created a serious rift in Cabinet and Quebec, is the bribery charges levelled against the company and the charges the RCMP laid in relation to SNC-Lavalin’s work in Libya. The RCMP allege that between 2001 and 2011, the company paid out $47.7 million in bribes and commissions to government officials in the Gadhafi regime. In addition, it has also been alleged that the company defrauded the Libyan government and other entities of “property, money or valuable security or service” worth approximately $129.8 million. Officials from SNC-Lavalin were trying to get the government to drop the charges or negotiate a remediation agreement in which they would admit wrongdoing and pay a hefty fine. The prosecution has since argued that the offer should be struck down and SNC-Lavalin should face criminal charges. SNC-Lavalin maintains that it is too big to be allowed to fail. The company has a workforce of about 50,000 and in 2015 did close to $10 billion in contracts. Its failure would be a major blow to the Quebec economy in particular. But is such an immoral company worth saving? Is this the face of Canadian business that we want the world to see? Is it worth throwing a respected First Nations leader under the bus to save the government’s hide? Wilson-Raybould took her job seriously and maintained her ethics and reputation. She can leave cabinet with her head held high and the support of her people, and for us that is what really matters in the end. Related

Letters to the editor Feb. 16, 2019

13 hours 35 min ago
Let’s fund mental health Murray Mandryk’s perceptive column “Mental health advocate says Minister needs to see world through her eyes” (SP, Jan. 30), made a point that cannot be repeated too often: The impact of underfunding mental health on individuals and families is too often not fully understood when decisions about health care spending are being made. This remains true even though one in five families will face mental health issues. Saskatchewan now lags behind other provinces in mental health funding. The La Loche shooting and trauma from the Humboldt bus crash have put the need for mental health services in the public eye, but the need is broader than these tragedies suggest, and all sectors of society are affected. As a senior, I’m particularly concerned with the mental health problems that often come with age. Depression and isolation are frequently compounded with other health issues and are too often overlooked. Several years ago, a 10-year action plan for mental health identified a need to “address the mental health needs of the growing population of seniors, beginning with home care services and the lack of long term care facilities, with suitably trained staff, for seniors with serious mental health issues.” Unfortunately there has not been much ‘action’ on the ‘action plan.’ It is time to commit funding and attention to mental health issues in Saskatchewan. Michael Finley Saskatoon   Co-op no longer puts people before profits I have been a Co-op member since the early ’70s. I joined the Co-op and have been a dedicated supporter since then because I believed in cooperative principles. I believed I was supporting a model which, however imperfectly, put people before profits, which was not driven by the ruthless corporate greed that has contributed so much to wealth and income inequality, and which promised a more humane and just alternative for economic exchange among people of good will. The current dispute at the Saskatoon Co-op seems to give the lie to all that. Management seems determined to increase profits at the expense of a just and decent wage for present and future workers. As the dispute drags on, management’s intransigence looks more and more like an attempt at union busting. Paltry patronage dividends not withstanding, I see no purpose in loyalty to an organization which preaches principles of economic justice but betrays them in practice. More, I ask myself whether it would be wrong for me to support an organization which is so blatantly unfaithful to the ideals it espouses as a movement. In the absence of a just settlement it will be a hard habit to break, but shopping elsewhere may seem the right thing to do. Michael Sheridan Saskatoon Related SHARE YOUR VIEWS The StarPhoenix welcomes letters, which are limited to 250 words and must include the writer’s name, street address and phone number. Submissions will be verified and edited before publication. We publish the names and community of all letter writers. Do not send email attachments. Writing more than one letter a month is discouraged and “open” letters are not accepted. Send to: 204 Fifth Ave. N., Saskatoon, Sask., S7K 2P1 Fax: 306-657-6437 Email:

At the Galleries

13 hours 36 min ago
Please email submissions to by 5 p.m. Sunday for the following Saturday listing. Galleries Paved Arts: Your Hog Has Arrived by Julie Oh. Saturday, 424 20th St. West. Visit AKA Artist-Run: Entertaining Every Second by Life of a Craphead, the collaboration of Amy Lam and Jon McCurley. Saturday. Locals Only by Justin Langlois, Alana Bartol, Vanessa Kwan, Lisa Hirmer and Holly Schmidt. Through June 2019, 424 20th St. West. Visit Darrell Bell Gallery: Topo by Tod Emel. Saturday, 405-105 21st St. East. Visit The Gallery/Art Placement Inc.: Shades of Grey, a group exhibition introducing Martin Bennett. To Thursday, 238 Third Ave South. Static Image Painting/Grey/Canterbury/Cathedral by Martin Bennett is on display at The Gallery/Art Placement Inc. Love is the Language that Sex Speaks by Rebecca La Marre — install view is on display at The Gallery/Art Placement Inc. Messenger by Kristin Bjornerud is on display at The Gallery/Art Placement Inc. Nocturne II by Douglas Bentham is on display at The Gallery/Art Placement Inc. St. Thomas More Gallery: Prairie Perspectives by Paige Mortensen. To Friday, 1437 College Dr. Market Mall Children’s Playland Art Gallery: Brandon Woelfel Effect by photography 30 students at Holy Cross High School. To Feb. 28, 2325 Preston Ave., in Market Mall. Saskatchewan Craft Council: Connections, a group exhibition of contemporary printmaking by local artists and printmakers from Art Print Research Centre in Seoul, South Korea. To March 2, 813 Broadway Ave. Visit Remai Modern: Rirkrit Tiravanija: Tomorrow is the Question, to March 24. Rebecca Belmore: Facing the Monumental, to May 5. New works from the Remai Modern Collection, 102 Spadina Cres. East. Visit Wanuskewin Heritage Park/College Art Galleries/Kenderdine Art Gallery: The Writing on the Wall: The Works of Joane Cardinal Schubert. To March 29. Visit Gallery on the Greens: Fun and Functional Felt by Heike Fink. To March 31, 2325 Preston Ave., in Market Mall.

Rush seek turnaround with trek to B.C.

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 19:03
Losses are stacking up as the Saskatchewan Rush head to Vancouver for what they hope is a turnaround game. The Rush have lost three straight games for the first time since they moved to Saskatoon from Edmonton prior to the 2016 National Lacrosse League season, and their record is 3-4. Here’s some things to know as the Rush prepare for their Saturday-night clash in Vancouver against the Warriors. A LOOK AT THE STANDINGS Saskatchewan was 6-1 at the same point of their 2018 season, but it’s a different story this time. After a 3-1 start, they’ve lost 13-10 to Georgia, 16-13 to Toronto and 17-12 to Calgary. That triple setback leaves Saskatchewan third in the five-team NLL Western Division. San Diego and Calgary top the division with 4-3 and 5-4 records, respectively, followed by Saskatchewan at 3-4, Vancouver at 3-6 and Colorado at 2-5. IN QUOTES “Yeah, we need to turn this thing around,” Rush head coach Derek Keenan told reporters after Saturday’s loss to Calgary. “It’s just a slump, man,” Rush forward Jeff Shattler said at game’s end. “In any sport, teams get into slumps. These guys have been on top for four years now. We’re just going to face a little adversity right now and see how we’re going to answer. “I’m not panicking.” BY THE NUMBERS Just one Rush player currently holds a lead in any given statistical category: That’s Saskatchewan defender Jeremy Thompson, who has a league-best 98 loose-ball recoveries through seven games. Next is Calgary’s Zach Currier, who has 90 through nine contests. Reigning league MVP Mark Matthews is Saskatchewan’s top points-getter with 40 through seven games, good for 14th on the overall list. Buffalo’s Shawn Evens tops the NLL with 61 points through nine games. BIG CHANGES IN VANCOUVER The Warriors, previously called the Stealth, were purchased by Canucks Sports and Entertainment prior to this season. They promptly switched venues, moving from the Langley Events Centre to Rogers Arena. The team is ninth among 11 teams in announced attendance with an average 7,700 per game. Last season, they were last with an average of 3,507. Vancouver’s three victories this season have already eclipsed the two games they won in all of 2018. UP NEXT Saskatchewan follows Saturday’s game in Vancouver with back-to-back-to-back home clashes — Feb. 22 against the Colorado Mammoth, March 2 against Calgary, and March 16 against the Buffalo Bandits. Related

Three-day Great Backyard Bird Count takes flight on Feb. 15

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 18:34
For three days, bird watchers around the province will join orinthologists around the world in keeping tabs on their neighbourhood birds. The Great Backyard Bird Count returns on Feb. 15, and is being touted by Nature Saskatchewan as an example of “citizen science,” which involves the public in scientific research. During the Great Backyard Bird Count, people will be counting birds for at least 15 minutes and submitting their observations online. Nature Saskatchewan, in a media release, says the information provided gives insight about the health of species and bird population trends, for example. The count is jointly run by Audubon and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and its partner Bird Studies Canada, with support from Armstrong Bird Food and Wild Birds Unlimited. According to, last year people in more than 100 countries took part and 6,400 species were counted. Anyone interested in taking part can go to

What's open and what's not for Family Day in Saskatoon

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 18:32
Family Day on Monday is also the start of the February break for schools. Here’s a list of what’s open and closed on the statutory holiday: — City Hall administrative offices and all branches of the Saskatoon Public Library will be closed on Monday. The Transit Customer Service Centre will be closed for walk-in customers, but phone service will be available. — The Cosmo Civic Centre will be closed, but a Family Day event will run in the gym from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. All other civic centres in Saskatoon will be open, including the Harry Bailey Aquatic Centre and the Shaw Centre, but regular fitness classes and childminding are cancelled. The Terry Fox Track at the SaskTel Sports Centre will also be closed. — The Remai Modern art gallery will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo will be open for regular hours. — The ACT Arena, Cosmo Arena, and Clarence Downey Speed Skating Oval will be open, with a special Family Day skate in the afternoon. — City parking pay stations will not require payment on Monday, and the impound lot will not be open to release vehicles. — Garbage and recycling collection will occur as regularly scheduled, and the city landfill will remain open for regular winter hours. — Saskatoon’s malls will be open for holiday hours: Market Mall, The Centre, and the Mall at Lawson Heights will be open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Midtown Plaza from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Confederation Mall from noon to 5 p.m. Related

City studies pedestrian bridge, sewer pipe across river

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 18:08
The City of Saskatoon is exploring the possibility of constructing the city’s first standalone pedestrian bridge and sewer pipe across the South Saskatchewan River. The city is seeking proposals to build the river crossing until Feb. 27. The pipe/bridge would cross the river south of the waste water treatment plant in the Silverwood Heights neighbourhood. The pipe would connect the sewage treatment plant on the west side of the river to the University Heights sector on the east side, where much of Saskatoon’s residential growth is supposed to happen. “The proposed location is roughly halfway between existing bridges (Circle Drive and Chief Mistawasis), which makes it an attractive site to add a connection for cyclists and pedestrians,” says a document posted on the Sask Tenders website. The submissions are supposed to help city hall make a decision about how to proceed with estimates of the cost. A 2015 feasibility study contracted by the city estimated the cost of a combined sewer pipe and pedestrian bridge at $20 million to $25 million. A utility bridge without the pedestrian component was estimated to cost $12 million to $17 million, based on a 90-centimetre pipe. Burying the pipe under the river was expected to cost $20 million to $25 million. Sewer pipes already cross the river under the University Bridge and under the Senator Sidney L. Buckwold Bridge. The area studied in the 2015 feasibility report was focused between Lenore Drive on the west side of the river and Agra Road on the east side. The city’s active transportation plan, which was endorsed by city council in 2016, pitches three new pedestrian/cycling bridges, including one at either Lenore Drive or Assiniboine Drive. The city’s growth plan includes the possibility of a four-lane bridge for vehicles that connects to 33rd Street on the west side of the river and University of Saskatchewan lands expected to be developed in the coming decades. This drawing from a 2015 feasibility study on the possibility of a combined sewer pipe and pedestrian bridge to cross the South Saskatchewan River south of the waste water treatment plan shows a possible bridge design. (City of Saskatoon) Related

Man says he's 'so ashamed' of assaulting 11-month old child while drunk

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 17:56
Left alone for three days with two children and limited food, Andrew Paul Chatsis snapped — and hit an 11-month old boy. When the boy’s mother returned home on April 5, 2018, she said the baby was crying and his head was covered in red marks. The facts of the case were heard in Saskatoon provincial court in December, when Chatsis, 30, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault. Court heard he admitted slapping the boy because he wouldn’t stop crying. The woman told Chatsis to leave and took her son to St. Paul’s hospital, where he was treated for two brain bleeds, Crown prosecutor Tamara Rock said. She told court the doctor’s prognosis was that the infant would recover from his injuries without surgery. However, it’s difficult to know if there will be any permanent damage until the boy is older, Rock noted. She said Chatsis was extremely emotional during his initial court appearance and it’s obvious he is sorry for his actions. Defence lawyer Ian Wagner said he’d be “hard-pressed” to find a client more remorseful than Chatsis. He said the man was frustrated with being abandoned in the home; when his friends showed up, they became intoxicated and the crying baby put Chatsis over the edge. “He most certainly has the memory of striking the child once, but it’s obvious from the pictures that it’s more than once and he knows that,” Wagner said. “The word(s) he used is ‘I”m so ashamed.’ ” The Crown and defence jointly proposed a jail sentence of two years less a day, which Judge Robert Jackson imposed. Rock said the typical range for aggravated assault on an infant is between three and five years, but a lesser sentence better reflects Chatsis’s remorse and minor, non-violent prior criminal record. His probation conditions for the two years following his release from custody will include addictions, psychological and anger management assessment and treatment as required. Wagner said Chatsis looks forward to the probationary aspect of his sentence because it will help him deal with his issues. “Clearly this was a loss of temper,” Rock said. Related

Man fined $14,500 for selling fish caught in a protected spawning ground

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 17:07
A Canoe Narrows man has been fined $14,500 and had his truck forfeited to the Crown after he pleaded guilty to violating provincial fisheries regulations. Richard Desjardin, 63, entered a guilty plea in a Canoe Narrows courtroom on Nov. 8, 2018 to three counts of marketing fish without a licence, commercial fishing without a licence, fishing in a closed area and obstruction, the province said in a media release on Friday. He was fined on Thursday. Another Canoe Narrows man, Donald Iron, 60, was previously tried and convicted of three counts of selling fish and three counts of selling fish without a licence in connection with the same investigation. He was fined $1,080. Fish trafficking charges were laid against four people after a Ministry of Environment investigation launched in 2016. Charges against two other people were stayed after Desjardin entered his guilty plea. The probe was launched after conservation officers from Beauval received a tips indicating two people were illegally selling fish, the province said in the release. Undercover officers bought fish from the two people, who did not have a commercial licence to fish or a licence to sell the fish; one of them was selling a “significant amount more than the other,” the release stated. The officers were able to buy more than 200 walleye. Most of the fish were caught illegally in an area of Canoe Lake that is closed to fishing to protect a walleye spawning ground. The closure, which has been in place for more than 20 years, “is fully supported by the Canoe Lake First Nation,” the release noted. Walleye populations in Canoe Lake fell in the 1970s and 1980s and it took years for the fish population to recover, resulting in extra measures to prevent illegal sale of fish caught from Canoe Lake.

Police charge former teacher with second count of historic sexual assault

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 14:00
A 79-year-old Saskatoon man faces a new charge of sexual assault in connection with a complaint from a student he taught in the 1970s. The woman, now 53, told police an incident occurred between Jan. 1, 1979 and March 1, 1979, when the accused man was her teacher, police said in a news release. Police said the man turned himself in on Feb. 13. Errol Frazer-Harrison is charged with indecent assault under the 1977 Criminal Code. He is expected to make his first court appearance on the charge on March 7. Frazer-Harrison will also appear in court that day on a previous charge of indecent assault laid in September in connection with a complaint filed with Calgary police by another former student, a 50-year-old woman. Her complaint is related to alleged incidents between 1977 and 1979.Related

Two youth arrested after shots fired at Pleasant Hill home

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 10:29
Two youth have been charged with what police say are “numerous firearms related offences” after a house was hit with numerous shots in Saskatoon’s Pleasant Hill neighbourhood. Police say just after 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, police were called to a home in the 400 block of Avenue S South after a man had reportedly been shot at. Police units responded to the area and two suspects, ages 12 and 14, were arrested a short distance form the scene, with officers recovering two firearms. Investigators determined numerous shots were fired from the outside of the house, with several bullets hitting the home and at least two penetrating walls and entering the building. There were no injuries as a result of the incident, despite the fact two people were home at the time of the shooting. Saskatoon police say detectives continue to work to establish a motive behind the shootings, alongside where the youth got the firearms. Police say the incident is not believed to be random in nature. Both boys will appear in Saskatoon Provincial Court on Friday morning and anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Saskatoon Police or Crime Stoppers. Related

Photos: Editorial Cartoons: Feb. 9-15

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 10:14
Here’s a compilation of the StarPhoenix’s editorial cartoons from the past week.