Year in Re­view 2018 - City gath­ers feed­back for Recre­ation Master Plan

The Southwest Booster - - OPIN­ION -

MARCH 15

Chi­nook School Di­vi­sion brac­ing for con­tin­ued im­pact of bud­get cuts

The rip­ple ef­fect of a $6.5 mil­lion bud­get re­duc­tion for the Chi­nook School Di­vi­sion from 2017-2018 will con­tinue to be felt dur­ing the com­ing years.

Chi­nook School Di­vi­sion Direc­tor of Ed­u­ca­tion Kyle Mcin­tyre said they have some ad­di­tional belt tight­en­ing to make in the com­ing two years de­spite mak­ing a $6 mil­lion re­duc­tion in ex­pen­di­tures this past school year.

Mcin­tyre was speak­ing at Mon­day’s Board-school Com­mu­nity Coun­cil Spring Fo­rum, where he con­firmed they have a two year plan to ad­dress their changed staffing for­mula which is oc­cur­ring be­cause of bud­getary con­straints.

Study shows wa­ter qual­ity and wa­ter­shed health sim­i­lar to a decade ago

A decade com­par­i­son of the wa­ter qual­ity and health of the Swift Cur­rent Creek basin shows there has been rel­a­tively lit­tle change over the past 10 years.

This past Thurs­day, the Swift Cur­rent Creek Wa­ter­shed Ste­wards an­nounced the pre­lim­i­nary re­sults of their 2017 Swift Cur­rent Creek Wa­ter Mon­i­tor­ing Re­port. They un­der­took the study to de­ter­mine if there were many changes since their last mon­i­tor­ing pro­ject com­pleted in 2007.

“The gen­eral qual­ity in­dex, re­ally ev­ery­thing is in about the same range. So we do not see over­all a great amount of dif­fer­ence in the wa­ter qual­ity from 2007 to 2017,” ex­plained Kevin Stein­ley, Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor of the Swift Cur­rent Creek Wa­ter­shed Ste­wards. “It’s mostly TDS (to­tal dis­solved solid) lev­els that’s caus­ing some dif­fer­ence.” MARCH 22

Feed­back needed to de­velop Recre­ation, Parks and Cul­ture Mas­ter Plan

Ad­di­tional com­mu­nity feed­back is be­ing sought in or­der to pro­vide the di­rec­tion of a Recre­ation, Parks and Cul­ture Mas­ter

Plan for the City of Swift Cur­rent.

An on-line sur­vey will be con­ducted un­til April 11 to gather ad­di­tional data to guide ser­vices and in­vest­ments in Recre­ation, Parks and Cul­ture over the next decade.

A draft ver­sion of the Recre­ation, Parks and Cul­ture Mas­ter Plan is sched­uled to be com­pleted by De­cem­ber 2018. The find­ings from that pre­lim­i­nary re­port would be pre­sented to the com­mu­nity one fi­nal time be­fore the com­ple­tion of an of­fi­cial mas­ter plan doc­u­ment in early 2019.

MARCH 22

Do­na­tions needed to fix wa­ter dam­age at Wal­lace Steg­ner House in Eas­tend

A fundrais­ing ini­tia­tive is un­der­way to help pay for the ex­ten­sive dam­age caused by a frozen wa­ter line at the Wal­lace Steg­ner House in Eas­tend.

Back on March 2, there was a sig­nif­i­cant wa­ter leak at the his­toric house which serves as a year round res­i­dence for artists of all dis­ci­plines. The house is owned and op­er­ated by the Eas­tend Arts Coun­cil, and they now need to raise funds in or­der to pay for re­pairs not cov­ered by in­sur­ance.

MARCH 29

Health­care Foun­da­tion cel­e­brates pur­chase of key equip­ment

The ef­forts of two high pro­file cam­paigns by the Dr. No­ble Ir­win Re­gional Health­care Foun­da­tion in 2017 have re­sulted in a pair of im­pact­ful con­tri­bu­tions at the Cy­press Re­gional Hos­pi­tal.

The Foun­da­tion show­cased their new pur­chases and the vast im­prove­ments the ben­e­fi­cial equip­ment is hav­ing on pa­tient care. In the Emer­gency De­part­ment, physi­cians are us­ing a new por­ta­ble Ul­tra­sound unit, while the ma­ter­nity ward is ben­e­fit­ing from the pur­chase of three new birthing beds and a pair of Panda Warm­ers.

APRIL 5

Large turnout for emo­tional Dorie’s House Rally

An emo­tional out­pour­ing of sup­port was given to Dorie’s House dur­ing a com­mu­nity rally on March 28, just days after the South­west Youth Emer­gency Shel­ter was de­nied fund­ing in the up­com­ing pro­vin­cial bud­get.

Tom West­bury, who over­saw the con­struc­tion of Dorie’s House, which was named in hon­our of his mother, or­ga­nized the rally. He is hop­ing pro­vid­ing a loud voice be­hind the re­jected fund­ing will help change the mind of gov­ern­ment.

Dorie’s House pro­vided hous­ing sup­port for teens be­tween the ages of 14 and 18 at their eight bed fa­cil­ity from Jan­uary 15 to Oc­to­ber of 2017.

APRIL 12

Hum­boldt tragedy sends shock waves through­out the hockey com­mu­nity

Sports, pol­i­tics and the weather were all sec­ondary top­ics to the waves of emotions which swept across Saskatchewan in the wake of the Hum­boldt Bron­cos tragedy on April 6.

The Hum­boldt Bron­cos team bus col­lided with a semi trailer while trav­el­ling to a Saskatchewan Ju­nior Hockey League play­off game in Ni­pawin on April 6, and the lives of 15 in­di­vid­u­als were lost dur­ing the un­fath­omable tragedy.

Simp­son named 2018 Fron­tier Days Am­bas­sador

Adri­anna Simp­son from the Kyle dis­trict has been named as the 2018 Fron­tier Days Am­bas­sador.

Simp­son will be for­mally crowned am­bas­sador dur­ing the up­com­ing Dis­cover the Farm: A Farm Facts Ex­pe­ri­ence event on April 28. She will take over from 20178 am­bas­sador Ha­zlet’s Brook­lynn Becker.

APRIL 19

Bud­get did not ad­dress im­pact of pre­vi­ous Chi­nook School Di­vi­sion fund­ing cuts

The Chi­nook School Di­vi­sion will con­tinue to pro­ceed with staff re­duc­tions after the April 10 pro­vin­cial bud­get did not ad­dress fund­ing short­falls which have oc­curred in Chi­nook over the past few bud­gets.

The pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment an­nounced a 1.6 per cent in­crease in fund­ing prov­ince wide for Prek-12 ed­u­ca­tion in their 2018-2019 bud­get. The bud­geted amount in­cluded a promised restora­tion of $30 mil­lion in ed­u­ca­tional fund­ing, but that to­tal falls short of the $54 mil­lion cut as part of aus­ter­ity mea­sures in the 2017- 2018 bud­get.

For the Chi­nook School Di­vi­sion, the im­pact of this year’s bud­get is ap­prox­i­mately $275,000 less than the pre­vi­ous year, and the $75.2 mil­lion in grant fund- ing does not ad­dress the $6.5 mil­lion bud­get re­duc­tion Chi­nook ex­pe­ri­enced at the start of the 2017-2018 school year.

Ear­lier, in re­sponse to bud­getary con­straints the di­vi­sion an­nounced they are em­bark­ing on a two year board ap­proved strat­egy to re­duc­ing the teach­ing staff in Chi­nook. This amended staffing for­mula has been ap­proved that in­creases the op­ti­mal class size in ev­ery class­room.

APRIL 19

South­west well rep­re­sented in tourism win­ners cir­cle

A pair of South­west busi­nesses walked away with Saskatchewan Tourism Awards of Ex­cel­lence for 2017.

Ghos­town Blues Bed & Break­fast in Maple Creek claimed the Ser­vice Ex­cel­lence Award, while the Busi­ness of the Year Award (un­der 20 full-time em­ploy­ees) went to the His­toric Reesor Ranch.

APRIL 26

Pi­o­neer Co-op posts an­other year of record sales

Pi­o­neer Co-op cel­e­brated an­other year of record sales and con­tin­ued strong fi­nan­cial re­turns to mem­bers as a re­sult of a suc­cess­ful 2017.

The pos­i­tive fi­nan­cial pic­ture was a high­light of Pi­o­neer Co-op’s 81st an­nual gen­eral meet­ing on April 18, where the mem­ber­ship learned of over $290 mil­lion in sales and a $12.6 mil­lion eq­uity al­lo­ca­tion com­ing to mem­bers this June. The South­west based Pi­o­neer Co-op has grown over the years into one of Saskatchewan’s largest re­tail Co-ops.

Abil­ity Bowl sets record

An ex­panded num­ber of fundrais­ing events helped Abil­ity Bowl 31 set an im­pres­sive new record to­tal.

While the ma­jor­ity of the funds were raised dur­ing Satur­day’s show­case fun fund- raiser at the Fron­tier Bowl­ing Lanes, the ad­di­tional events helped Abil­ity Bowl 2018 raise $105,102.

Great West Auto Elec­tric cel­e­brates grand open­ing

Great West Auto Elec­tric Ltd., a down­town Swift Cur- rent fix­ture for al­most seven decades, cel­e­brated the grand open­ing of their new lo­ca­tion on April 21.

The large grand open­ing and cus­tomer cel­e­bra­tion for Great West Auto Elec­tric Ltd. - Bumper to Bumper was cel­e­brated this past Satur­day, just over a year since con­struc­tion started on the build­ing back on April 3, 2017.

MAY 3

Swift Cur­rent aim­ing to at­tract in­vest­ment from around the world

The City of Swift Cur­rent is reach­ing out around the globe to share a long list of ben­e­fits which they be­lieve makes Swift Cur­rent an ideal place to in­vest and live.

Thanks to the emerg­ing re­new­able en­ergy sec­tor, and other es­tab­lished strengths, city of­fi­cials are hop­ing to get the word out that Swift Cur- rent has some­thing to of­fer global busi­nesses.

The City of Swift Cur­rent un- veiled their Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment plat­form dur­ing the Swift Cur­rent and Dis­trict Cham­ber of Com­merce’s Cham­ber on Tap event on April 25.

MAY 31

Del­e­ga­tion takes a close look at Swift Cur­rent’s Games venues

Even with 14 months to go be­fore the open­ing cere- monies, close at­ten­tion is be­ing paid to the fa­cil­i­ties and venues Swift Cur­rent will uti­lize to host the 2019 Western Canada Sum­mer Games.

Two days of meet­ings and venue tours were hosted on May 23 and 24 as vis­it­ing pro­vin­cial and ter­ri­to­rial del­e­ga­tions had their first op­por­tu­nity to learn about the plans al­ready in place as Swift Cur­rent gears up to host the Games on Au­gust 9 to 18. Ap­prox­i­mately 1,700 ath­letes from host Saskatchewan, Al­berta, Man­i­toba, North­west Ter­ri­to­ries, Yukon and Nu­navut will com­pete in 16 sports dur­ing the 10-day multi sport com­pe­ti­tion.

JUNE 21

Saturn Power build­ing 10 megawatt so­lar power pro­ject in South­west

The RM of Coulee will be the home for a 10 mega- watt util­ity-scale so­lar power pro­ject to be built by Saturn Power.

In a press an­nounce­ment on Tues­day, Saturn Power an­nounced they have signed a 20 year power pur­chase agree­ment with Saskpower for power pro­duc­tion from what will be known as the High­field So­lar Pro­ject. Elec­tric­ity from the site is an­tic­i­pated to be on line as early as the end of 2019.

211 di­rects peo­ple to sup­ports when they need them most

South­west Saskatchewan res­i­dents now have a new way to reach out and find the sup­ports they need.

The of­fi­cial ex­pan­sion of the 211 ser­vice across Saskatchewan which was an­nounced on Mon­day is in­tended to help re­move the bar­ri­ers to find­ing an con­nect­ing with re­sources and agen­cies. These sup­ports range from ba­sic needs such as food, shel­ter and em­ploy­ment, along with men­tal health, ad­dic­tions, vi­o­lence and abuse, cri­sis and health­care.

JUNE 28

Premier Moe hop­ing to spark equal­iza­tion dis­cus­sion

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe is propos­ing changes to the federal equal­iza­tion pay­ment strat­egy in hopes of a more eq­ui­table dis­tri­bu­tion of funds across Canada.

Moe dis­cussed the new equal­iza­tion idea in Swift Cur­rent on June 22 when he was the guest speaker at a lun­cheon hosted by the Swift Cur­rent and Dis­trict Cham­ber of Com­merce.

“It is time for us to have this dis­cus­sion un­der­stand­ing that that federal gov­ern­ment has un­til April 2019 to make a de­ci­sion re­gard­ing any changes or up­dates that may come to the equal­iza­tion for­mula,” Moe said

July 26

Shau­navon Fire Hall re­named Gor­don Speirs Fire Hall

Long-serv­ing Shau­navon Fire De­part­ment mem­ber Gor­don Speirs was hon­oured to par­tic­i­pate in a re­nam­ing of the Shau­navon Fire Hall to the Gor­don Speirs Fire Hall on July 21.

As one of the high­light events of Boom­town Days 2018, an of­fi­cial nam­ing cer­e­mony was held on Satur­day to of­fi­cially re­name the fa­cil­ity the Gor­don Speirs Fire Hall.

Speirs joined the Shau­navon Vol­un­teer Fire De­part­ment in 1945, and went on to serve as Fire Chief from 1949 to 1991.

Stock Grow­ers launch grass bank pi­lot pro­ject at Grass­lands

The Saskatchewan Stock Grow­ers As­so­ci­a­tion and Parks Canada - Grass­lands Na­tional Park are team­ing to part­ner on a unique habi­tat pre­serv­ing grass bank pi­lot pro­ject.

The pro­ject, an­nounced at last month’s Saskatchewan Stock Grow­ers As­so­ci­a­tion AGM in Swift Cur­rent, will uti­lize graz­ing man­age­ment prac­tices to help pre­serve habi­tat for species at risk in­clud­ing the Greater Sage-grouse, Sprague’s Pipit, and Ch­est­nut-col­lared Longspur.

AU­GUST 9

Ribfest makes a suc­cess­ful week­end de­but in Swift Cur­rent

Swift Cur­rent’s first ever Ribfest served up a tasty feast of award-win­ning BBQ delecta­bles dur­ing the Au­gust long week­end.

The three day Ribfest at the Liv­ing Sky Casino boasted de­li­cious food, a pop­u­lar line-up of mu­si­cal en­ter­tain­ment, along with a kid zone which pro­vided a fam­ily fun at­mos­phere at the event.

AU­GUST 16

South­west siz­zles in all time record heat

South­ern Saskatchewan en­dured a pair of the hot- test days on record dur­ing a scorch­ing Au­gust heat-wave.

The tem­per­a­ture rose above the 40 Cel­sius mark on both Fri­day and Satur­day, mak­ing the re­gion warmer than many lo­ca­tions in the south­ern United States. Val Marie rose to an all time record high of 40.9 Cel­sius on Satur­day to edge past the pre­vi­ous mark of 40.6 recorded back in both Au­gust 1949 and July 1960. It now stands up as the hottest ever tem­per­a­ture recorded in the com­mu­nity among records dat­ing back to 1939.

Swift Cur­rent suf­fered through back-to­back record heat on Fri­day and Satur­day. After reach­ing an all time Au­gust record high of 40.0 Cel­sius on Fri­day, it got even hot­ter on Satur­day when the mer­cury climbed to 40.1 Cel­sius. These were the hottest Au­gust days among records which started in 1885.

Lyle Ste­wart step­ping away from Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter du­ties

Lums­den-morse MLA Lyle Ste­wart is step­ping down from his du­ties as Saskatchewan’s Min­is­ter of Agri­cul­ture to fo­cus on his bat­tle with can­cer.

Ste­wart will con­tinue in his du­ties as Mla,but will re­lin­quish his re­spon­si­bil­i­ties for his cabi­net po­si­tion in or­der to fo­cus on his health.

“I was re­cently di­ag­nosed with col­orec­tal can­cer and will be un­der­go­ing sev­eral months of pretty ag­gres­sive treat­ment,” Ste­wart said in a press state­ment.

Tributes pour in for Huyghe­baert

A Cel­e­bra­tion of Life ser­vice was held Au­gust 13 in mem­ory of for­mer Wood River MLA Yogi Huyghe­baert.

He passed away on Au­gust 2 at the age of 74, and a pri­vate fam­ily in­ter­ment was held at Mount View Ceme­tery in Fir Moun­tain.

He was an in­stru­men­tal fig­ure dur­ing the early years of the Saskatchewan Party. Huyghe­baert, who was born in Lafleche on May 27, 1944, was one of three can­di­dates dur­ing the in­au­gu­ral lead­er­ship cam­paign for the fledg­ling Saskatchewan Party in 1998. He won a June 2000 by-elec­tion in Wood River to earn his first seat in the leg­is­la­ture, and he was re- elected in 2003, 2007 and 2011.

AU­GUST 23

Test events pro­vide valu­able lessons for Games or­ga­niz­ers

The con­clu­sion of a trio of test events in prepa­ra­tion for the 2019 Western Canada Sum­mer Games has pro­vided Games or­ga­niz­ers with some valu­able in­for­ma­tion on how to bet­ter pre­pare for the 16 sport com­pe­ti­tion in Au­gust of next year.

This past week­end a two-day cy­cling com­pe­ti­tion was hosted by the Swift Cur­rent Cy­cle Club, in­clud­ing a Time Trial road race in Wy­mark, a cri­terium race in Swift Cur­rent, plus a Road Race from Ha­zlet along High­way #332. It was the third pre-com­pe­ti­tion test event fol­low­ing an Open Wa­ter Swim on July 15 and Triathlon on Au­gust 12.

SEPTEM­BER 13

By­law amend­ment will re­quire cannabis re­tail lo­ca­tions to have more in­put be­fore ap­proval

The City of Swift Cur­rent will be uti­liz­ing dis­cre­tionary use pro­vi­sions to reg­u­late the lo­ca­tion of re­tail cannabis lo­ca­tions in Swift Cur­rent’s newly zoned Cen­tral Down­town Dis­trict.

As their Septem­ber 10 City Coun­cil meet­ing, coun­cil gave no­tice of mo­tion to make amend­ments to their down­town zon­ing in or­der to add dis­cre­tionary use pro­vi­sions be­fore fi­nal­iz­ing a lo­ca­tion of a re­tail cannabis busi­ness. Coun­cil also pro­posed amend­ments to al­low cannabis pro­duc­tion op­er­a­tions as land uses in in­dus­trial dis­tricts.

OC­TO­BER 4

Liv­ing Sky Casino re­flects back on im­pact­ful first decade

The Liv­ing Sky Casino cel­e­brated a look back at an im­pact­ful first decade while kicked off a five month long 10th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion sur­round­ing their De­cem­ber 29, 2008 open­ing.

A 10th an­niver­sary Kick-off Gala was hosted on Septem­ber 28 to both cel­e­brate their achieve­ments over the past 10 years, in ad­di­tion to an an­nounce­ment of a se­ries of cel­e­bra­tion events over the com­ing weeks and months.

Rain and snow halts late har­vest op­er­a­tions in South­west

Back to back damp weeks have slowed late har­vest progress across the South­west, with pro­duc­ers now hav­ing just 12 per cent of the crop to har­vest.

Ac­cord­ing to the Saskatchewan Agri­cul­ture Crop Re­port for the pe­riod of Septem­ber 18 to 24, pro­duc­ers now have 88 per cent of crops in the bin, up just two per cent from the pre­vi­ous week, and only six per cent up from the re­port two weeks ago.

OC­TO­BER 11

NDP raise con­cerns over lack of lo­cal work­ers at Chi­nook Power Sta­tion pro­ject

The Saskatchewan NDP are con­cerned that Saskatchewan’s skilled trades are be­ing left out of crown con­struc­tion projects across the prov­ince by a flawed gov­ern­ment pro­cure­ment process.

After walk­ing through a worker park­ing lot filled by mostly out of prov­ince and out of coun­try li­cence plates, NDP leader Ryan Meili raised a con­cern about the lack of skilled labour from Saskatchewan be­ing uti­lized at the Chi­nook Power Sta­tion con­struc­tion site.

Meili added that Saskpower, a crown cor­po­ra­tion build­ing a pro­ject with Saskatchewan pub- lic dol­lars, should have looked closer at lo­cal skilled labour.

NOVEM­BER 1

20th an­niver­sary SCBEX Awards rec­og­nizes Swift Cur­rent’s best

Ten win­ners were saluted dur­ing the 20th an­niver­sary edi­tion of the Spirit of Swift Cur­rent Swift Cur­rent Busi­ness Ex­cel­lence Awards.

The an­nual Swift Cur­rent and Dis­trict Cham­ber of Com­merce awards were handed out on Satur­day night to hon­our the en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit and im­pact of Swift Cur­rent’s di­verse busi­ness scene. Win­ners were:

Start-up/new Busi­ness - Olea Oil & Vine­gar Tast­ing Room.

Small Busi­ness - The Sput­ter­gotch Toy Com­pany.

Medium Busi­ness - Great West Auto Elec­tric/bumper to Bumper.

Large Busi­ness - Ag Growth In­ter­na­tional.

Not For Profit - Swift Cur­rent Ag & Ex. Em­ployer of Per­son(s) with Dis­abil­i­ties - Gi­ant Tiger.

Home Based Busi­ness - JAG Land­scap­ing & Yard Main­te­nance.

Cit­i­zen of the Year - Larry John­son.

NOVEM­BER 22

Cabri and re­gion cel­e­brates ef­forts which se­cured Pri­mary Health Care ar­rival

The re­fusal of the res­i­dents of Cabri and re­gion to let health­care ser­vices leave their com­mu­ni­ties was re­warded on Novem­ber 16 when there was a grand re-open­ing of Cabri Med­i­cal Clinic.

The prov­ince has ap­proved an­nual fund­ing of ap­prox­i­mately $145,000 for a full-time nurse prac­ti­tioner along with other ser­vices which will al­low the Capri Med­i­cal Clinic to op­er­ate with a pri­mary health care team.

SOUTHWEST BOOSTER PHOTO

Even though the winds did not fully co­op­er­ate at the 14th an­nual Saskpower Wind­scape Kite Fes­ti­val, there were still a va­ri­ety of fun ac­tiv­i­ties to keep kids of all ages en­ter­tained dur­ing the two day event on June 23 and 24.

A to­tal of ap­prox­i­mately 140 peo­ple braved the cool tem­per­a­tures and took on the Fun Muddy May­hem course in late Septem­ber in sup­port of the Dr. No­ble Ir­win Re­gional Health­care Foun­da­tion. A chal­leng­ing course, built by Wal­lace Con­struc­tion and Win­mar Prop­erty Restora­tion Ser­vices, fea­tured 20 ob­sta­cles for teams to tackle dur­ing the two day event. A to­tal of $7,000 was raised in sup­port of the pur­chase of a por­ta­ble x-ray ma­chine for the Cy­press Re­gional Hos­pi­tal

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