Saskatchewan carbon tax case heads to court — province argues its unconstitutional


Lawyers are expected to pack a Regina courtroom Wednesday to argue the constitutionality of a federally imposed carbon tax.

A panel of five judges is to listen to arguments from both the Saskatchewan and federal governments as well as from 16 interveners on both sides of the dispute.

Saskatchewan’s justice minister says carbon case likely headed to Supreme Court

Saskatchewan opposes the federal government’s plan to force a carbon tax on the province and plans to argue it is unconstitutional because it’s not applied evenly in all jurisdictions.

Ottawa says the constitution gives it the power to impose a carbon price because climate change and greenhouse gas emissions are national concerns.

The two-day hearing is to open with Saskatchewan presenting its case followed by submissions from other carbon-tax opponents.

WATCH: Trudeau’s carbon tax is ‘unconstitutional, ‘Moe says

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The governments of New Brunswick, Ontario and Alberta’s Opposition United Conservative Party are among the presenters.

On Thursday, Ottawa is to get its turn as well as interveners from the pro-carbon-tax side.

“I would put this case on a short list of important federalism decisions that courts have grappled with,” said University of Alberta law professor Eric Adams.

He said there are merits to both arguments.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan, Ottawa carbon tax case ‘monumental’ for Constitution, expert says

Where Saskatchewan will want to keep the court focused on the federal-provincial division of powers, Ottawa is likely to steer its argument towards the issue of climate change itself, Adams said.

Saskatchewan Attorney General Don Morgan has said challenging the constitutionality of Ottawa’s carbon tax is the right thing to do for his province’s residents and its energy sector.

Saskatchewan is one of four provinces without a carbon pricing plan that will be subject to Ottawa’s fuel charge starting in April.

New Brunswick, Ontario and Manitoba are the others.

The federal government’s carbon price starts at a minimum at $20 a tonne and rises $10 each year until 2022.

WATCH: How climate action incentive payments work


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Winter weather bringing cold and snow to Saskatchewan – Saskatoon


Another winter blast is creating a mess of snow and cold across Saskatchewan.

Meteorologist Peter Quinlan said temperatures have been dropping down to below -30 C with the wind chill due to a surge of Arctic air.

“The temperature is so low it’s going to create very light, Hollywood-type snow that blows around with a wind of 20 to 50 kilometres per hour,” he said. “That’s why we are expecting near zero visibility, blowing snow right through into the work week.”

Saskatoon braces for heavy snowfall, cold temperatures

Both Saskatoon and Regina are plagued with winter driving conditions. Police are asking drivers to slow down and use caution.

Quinlan said he doesn’t predict the snow will let up in the province anytime soon.

“The first round of snow on Saturday was from a system [called] a frontal boundary stalled over the area.”

He explained the amount of snow received in each area varies across Saskatchewan.

Environment Canada issues winter storm and snowfall warnings in Saskatchewan

“There is another round of snow that is going to bring 10 to 20 centimetres to extreme southern areas of the province,” he said. “Regina could see around 5 to 10 centimetres and that is going to be part of a Colorado low that will sweep into Manitoba. Both of these systems come with gusty winds.”

Quinlan said we haven’t broken any weather records yet, but could later in the week.

Troy Davies with Medavie Health Services said dressing for the cold temperatures is incredibly important as it is easy for skin to freeze and cold weather-related illnesses to set in.

“For skin in this type of weather, it’s minutes with the wind chills we are experiencing,” he said. “You can see frostbite or even cold exposure.”

Saskatoon weather outlook: snowiest, coldest days of the year ahead

Signs of frostbite include numbness and a change in skin colour, particularly to fingers and toes due to their lower circulation.

The cold temperatures sweeping the province aren’t expected to let up until the middle of February

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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TSB urges better communication after Via Rail train derailment in Saskatchewan


The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) is urging authorities to communicate better after a Via Rail train derailment in eastern Saskatchewan last summer.

Two crew members sustained minor injuries in the crash, which happened early on July 5, 2018, north of Hudson Bay.

Highway 11 north of Saskatoon reopens to traffic at site of train derailment

The TSB said in a report that more than 100 millimetres of rain fell over the four days leading up to the derailment.

Engineering staff with Canadian National Railway, which operates Via tracks, found culverts were diverting water as they should the evening before.

Part of Highway 9 to the west was washed out at the time, but there were no protocols for Saskatchewan’s transport ministry and the railway to share information.

The board said with the highway breached, the excess water flowed overland and flooded the railway, causing the track to lose support.

TSB unable to determine cause of fatal crop-dusting plane crash near Arborfield, Sask.

“In locations where railway and road authority infrastructure shares a common drainage basin, it is critical that the authorities have communication protocols in place for the sharing of information relating to the protection of the infrastructure,” the report released Thursday says.

The board noted safety improvements CN made since the derailment, such as a warnings when heavy rain may lead to flooding in a specific area and increasing patrols.


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Second oversized load headed to Fort Saskatchewan along Highways 14 and 21


A second piece of petrochemical development equipment is making its way to a refinery near Fort Saskatchewan in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland.

It comes less than two weeks after a massive ‘splitter’ made its way along the same route.

READ MORE: Tower as tall as CFL football field begins complex move out of Edmonton

The second piece of equipment is called a de-ethanizer stripper and weighs approximately 682 tonnes and is about 63-metres long.

The stripper separates ethane from liquid natural gas to be reused elsewhere in the refining process or for other petrochemical products.

The massive move began Saturday night from Dacro Industries in south Edmonton. It’s expected to take approximately four days to complete the move.

Motorists are being advised of travel disruptions that might occur during the move.

Move route

  • Exit Dacro yard west of 93 Street on to 51 Avenue
  • East on 51 Avenue to Roper Road continuing east to 75 Street
  • South on 75 Street to 51 Avenue
  • East on 51 Avenue to 50 Street at Whitemud Drive, westbound off-ramp
  • East on Whitemud Drive to Anthony Henday Drive, southbound
  • East on Highway 14; stage at Highways 14 and 21
  • East on Highway 14 to Range Road 190
  • North on Range Road 190 to Township Road 510
  • East on Township Road 510 to Highway 834
  • North on Highway 834 to Highway 15
  • Highway 15 west to Lamont
  • Continue west on Highway 15 to Range Road 220
  • North on Range Road 220 to final site
Date Start Time Origin End Time Destination
Jan. 19 9 p.m. Dacro 5 a.m. Hwy 14 & 21
Jan. 21 8:30 a.m. Hwy 14 & 21 5 p.m. Lamont
Jan. 22 8:30 a.m. Lamont 1 p.m. Site

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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Saskatchewan Rush beat San Diego Seals in home opener for season’s first win


Ben McIntosh had five goals and four assists to lead the Saskatchewan Rush (1-1) to a 16-12 win over the San Diego Seals (1-2) on Saturday in National Lacrosse League (NLL) action.

Jeff Shattler had four goals, while Mark Matthews chipped in a pair. Matthew Dinsdale, Ryan Keenan, Jordi Jones-Smith, Curtis Knight and Connor Robinson added singles for the Rush.

“It was good to see Jordi and Connor get their first goals tonight, that’s always fun,” said Ben McIntosh, Saskatchewan Rush forward.

Saskatchewan Rush season starts on the road

“They’re good players and they are going to help us this year, for sure.”

WATCH: Saskatchewan Rush ready for 2019 home opener

Austin Staats paced the Seals with four goals, while Kyle Buchanan, Turner Evans and Garrett Billings had two goals apiece. Dan Dawson and Adrian Sorichetti also got on the scoreboard.

“There was a bit of a distraction at the start of the game with the ceremony and that, but we were pretty focused,” said Derek Keenan, head coach of the Saskatchewan Rush.

“First half [we took] too many penalties, but we cleaned that up and our offence was great for 60 minutes.”

Saskatchewan Rush re-sign defenceman Mike Messenger

Saskatchewan’s Evan Kirk made 37 saves for the victory. Frank Scigliano stopped 47 shots for San Diego.

The Rush were 2-for-2 on the power play. The Seals were 5-for-6 with the man advantage.

The Rush are back at Jan. 12 when they travel to Vancouver for a game against the Warriors.

— With files from Global News.


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Man last seen by family in Saskatchewan found dead north of community


RCMP in Saskatchewan say a man who was reported missing over the weekend has been found dead.

Police say in a news release that the man – who they didn’t name – was 32 and was from the Kawacatoose First Nation.

Family of Ashley Morin seeks answers into her disappearance

They say he was last seen by family members late Saturday afternoon on the Day Star First Nation.

Wynyard EMS later notified police that a man’s body was found on a grid road north of the community, and it was confirmed that it was the missing man.

RCMP say the investigation into his death is continuing.

An autopsy is planned for Wednesday.


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Nuclear research in Saskatchewan gets boost from federal government – Saskatoon


A facility for nuclear innovation at the University of Saskatchewan is receiving a big funding boost from the federal government.

The Fedoruk Centre is getting $2.2 million to renovate and equip its innovation wing of the Saskatchewan Centre for Cyclotron Sciences.

The new wing is expected to create at least 50 new jobs and attract around $500,000 worth of business in research and development by 2021.

University of Saskatchewan tests Canada’s first PhytoPET imaging system

It will house specialized laboratories which will allow researchers to develop new drugs containing medical isotopes, used to detect and treat cancers and other diseases.

John Root, the executive director of the Fedoruk Centre, said scientists at the university are already on the cutting edge and the investment will expand their research.

“This investment enables Saskatchewan researchers and students to create new nuclear imaging agents and prove their effectiveness in living plants or animals, to advance agriculture technologies, and to treat diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and heart disease,” Root said.

John Root named executive director of Fedoruk Centre

Federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said the government is investing in more than just jobs.

“For over 60 years, Saskatchewan has been home to pioneers in nuclear medicine and technology that have made us renowned the world over,” Goodale said.

“This place is a success story and it’s contributing to health and well-being for the entire world that’s why we are investing in it.”

WATCH BELOW: From 2014 – University of Saskatchewan celebrates cyclotron completion

The new, first-of-its-kind imaging lab will also help advance agricultural sciences.

Researchers will be able to use radioisotopes to better understand the flow of nutrients in plants and soil bacteria in order to improve crop productivity.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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Saskatchewan premier to apologize to Sixties Scoop survivors in January


Premier Scott Moe will apologize to Sixties Scoop survivors early in the new year, but there will be no monetary compensation.

The apology is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 7, at 10 a.m. CST in the Rotunda of the Legislature Building.​ It will be preceded by a pipe ceremony.

The announcement comes following a series of six sharing circles across the province that were held to inform the Government of Saskatchewan’s apology.

These sharing circles were co-ordinated by the Sixties Scoop Indigenous Survivors of Saskatchewan (SSISS), with support from the Government of Saskatchewan.

Premier Scott Moe will deliver an apology to Sixties Scoop survivors on Jan. 7. (CBC)

The Sixties Scoop saw thousands of Indigenous children taken from their homes from the 1960s to the 1980s and placed mostly with white families.

Earlier this year, Saskatchewan’s social services minister said the province hoped to apologize to Sixties Scoop survivors by the end of this year.


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Last of the Sixties Scoop sharing circles comes to a close in Saskatchewan


As the Saskatchewan government moves towards an apology, the last of the Sixties Scoop sharing circles — a province-wide process meant to give survivors a chance to share their stories — came to a close Sunday.

An estimated 20,000 Indigenous and Métis children were removed from their home communities and adopted by primarily white families across Canada and into the United States from the 1950s to the 1980s.

In October, sharing circles began for survivors in six communities throughout the province. It’s part of the government’s efforts in working with the Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Saskatchewan (SSISS) to observe past wrongs and use what officials hear to form an apology.

’60s Scoop sharing circles to guide provincial government’s apology

For many, the past two months have been part of a healing journey, with many survivors saying that by telling their stories, they have been helped in finding their voice and identity.

“It was through a lot of work personally that I had to come face-to-face with abandonment issues with working at just being a better person, not being co-dependent,” said survivor Norine Tourangeau.

It’s taken a lot for Tourangeau to get to a place where she’s comfortable sharing her story. She was taken from her family at age 10 and the impact of the trauma still lingers.

“I just remember getting the haircuts the same as my younger siblings, we were placed in newspapers with the adoptive Indian, Métis program,” Tourangeau said.

Sask. ’60s Scoop survivors call on the need for healing programs in addition to apology

Now working as an educator, Tourangeau says the upcoming apology from the government will not fully right the wrongdoings of the past, but will shed light on colonization and its impact.

“It’s inter-generational, it even affects the students we teach today,” Tourangeau said. “Some of them whose families are still going through a difficult time and dealing with various social issues and certainly poverty being the biggest factor for creating obstacles.”

“If and when we can address those issues, we can impact policies, hopefully to create more support for children and families.”

The government of Saskatchewan says an apology is expected by the end of the year. But with a report expected by SSISS next week on their findings, some say the timelines are tight.

Sask. minister hopes ’60s Scoop apology can come by year’s end

“People are watching us, we need to get out there,” said board member Rod Belanger. “We could have done a lot more work than this if we would have had more time. For me, this shortened period of giving this apology doesn’t make sense to me.”

“There’s 150 years of policy and acts imposed upon Indigenous people, and this apprehension era that we come from and the damage that it’s done, the disruption of our families and our identities and so on and so forth — the apology, two months of work and then the apology, it doesn’t make sense.”

While Sunday brought the sharing circles to a close, survivors say more work needs to be done, even with an apology. They would like more support to preserve their culture and language and ultimately to reduce the record high levels of Indigenous children in foster care.




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Saskatchewan and Ottawa agree to spend more on addictions treatment


The federal and Saskatchewan governments have announced a partnership aimed at helping people struggling with addiction in the province.

The agreement provides more than $5 million in funding from the federal government.

The program will focus on improving access to treatment for people with « substance use disorders, » according to a release on the province’s website.

The money will support initiatives such as recruiting and training more health-care professionals qualified to provide opioid-substitution therapy, as well as training health-care providers to adjust treatment and care plans based on client needs and root causes of addiction, among other things.

The province has already invested $7.4 million to increase access to opioid substitution therapy, according to the release.

Earlier this month, Saskatchewan Health Minister Jim Reiter said there will be more funding for mental health and addictions services in the next budget, especially for more beds and improved wait times.


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