Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Saying goodbye to council opening prayer

Executive committee decides to discontinue reciting opening prayer at city council meetings
City clerk/solicitor Myron Gulka-Tiechko talks about
 the opening prayer at council meetings at the
March 28, 2016 executive committee meeting.
Lisa Goudy/Times-Herald

By Lisa Goudy

Council meetings will no longer begin with an opening prayer, executive committee has decided.

"It is nice to start out the meeting with a bit of a reflection, but I understand the need to be more inclusive as we are a province and a city that welcomes newcomers and has a motto of many peoples' strengths," said Mayor Deb Higgins. "We're becoming more and more multicultural and more diverse and I think we need to adjust accordingly."

The move comes after the April 4, 2015 decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in the case of Mouvement Laique Quebecois and Alain Simoneau vs. the City of Saguenay and Jean Tramblay that "The recitation of the prayer at the council's meetings was above all else a use by the council of public powers to manifest and profess one religion to the exclusion of others."

Read more

Monday, March 28, 2016

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Narrow street restrictions are coming

Executive approves several narrow street parking restrictions, including a permit system 
One of the city's narrow streets, Sixth Avenue
Northwest, by Saskatchewan Polytechnic is shown
on the afternoon of March 28, 2016.
Lisa Goudy/Times-Herald

By Lisa Goudy

Parking restrictions might be coming to narrow roadways in the city with a trial period to begin in May, pending council ratification.

On Monday, Mark Sture, transit manager, and Josh Mickleborough, engineering director, presented a report to executive committee with more information regarding parking and access issues in the narrow avenues.

"We looked at what has been happening in Regina and Saskatoon as well as other jurisdictions outside of Saskatchewan. We had dialogue with the Moose Jaw Police Service on enforcement aspects of this," said Sture.

Read more 

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Lisa's Corner: Fear is easy, but what's harder is necessary

By Lisa Goudy

It's easy to be afraid.

We hear about all of these terrible things happening in the world. Terrorist acts from different parts of the globe add up so easily, becoming more frequent with the intention to frighten and to instill terror into our hearts.

And the response that these terrorists want to get from us is so easy. So I'll say it again. It's easy to be afraid. It's much harder to be brave. It's far more difficult to stand up to these terrorists and to work together to stop them.

But just because something is harder doesn't mean it's not necessary. In this case, it's crucial.

Read more

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Shaving heads for books

Teachers at Westmount School get heads shaved after kids sell more than 500 books at book fair
A Westmount Elementary School student 
helps to shave teacher Derick Paice's hair
at the school on March 24, 2016.
Lisa Goudy/Times-Herald

By Lisa Goudy

Chants of, 'Shave the beard!' reverberated through the gymnasium at Westmount School on Thursday afternoon.

"You can just see the enjoyment in the kids faces," said Grade 6/7 teacher Derick Paice, whom kids chanted for his beard to get shaved as well as his hair. "That was the biggest positive, just to see the kids happy."

Paice and Grade 1/2 teacher Keith Silversides sat on chairs on the stage of the gymnasium as a handful of kids took turns shaving the hair from their heads.

Read more

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: 'Queen of Caramel'

Emmy Barr is an aspiring entrepreneur with a disability

Emmy Barr, who lives with Williams Syndrome, shares
her success story as an entrepreneur for her business,
Queen of Caramel, at the launch of the new program for
aspiring entrepreneurs with disabilities, Elevate,
on March 24, 2016 at the Moose Jaw Public Library.
By Lisa Goudy

Emmy Barr loves caramel and talking to people. Now she's the Queen of Caramel.

"I like it because it's fun to make the apples and the squares and I like to go to different events and talk to people," said Barr, who is 21 years old. "I like meeting people and the flexible hours."

She also has Williams Syndrome, a genetic condition that can come with medical problems such as cardiovascular disease, developmental delays and learning disabilities as well as verbal abilities such as highly social personalities.

However, Barr hasn't let her disability stop her from success, as her business Queen of Caramel, has been growing in success, selling caramel apples and squares. 

Read more

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: 'The new normal'

Sask. Polytech celebrates Intercultural Week

By Lisa Goudy

Multiculturalism is evident at the Saskatchewan Polytechnic Moose Jaw campus just by walking the halls.

"The intercultural experience is something we've been having, particularly at the Moose Jaw campus, for the last four or five years. We've seen some growth there," said Dan MacKay, dean of business, information and communications technology at Saskatchewan Polytech.

"It's become our new normal, which I'm happy to say is quite positive so that it's not unusual to see students from a variety of different cultures and backgrounds and countries walking the halls on a regular basis here."

Read more

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Left in a lurch

City anticipates job to be done in two weeks
One of the two holes on Third Avenue Northeast
across from the Cosmo Senior Citizens Centre
is seen the week of March 21, 2016.
Lisa Goudy/Times-Herald

By Lisa Goudy

The contractor the City of Moose Jaw hired to rehabilitate the water feeder line walked away from the project.

"We've had issues and concerns and in the end, they decided not to finish the work," said Colin Prang, manager of engineering.

As a result, there are two large holes on Third Avenue Northeast. The project, referred to as the East Feeder Water Line, encompasses replacing the 4.2 kilometres of the 20-inch steel water line that was installed in the 1950s. That line has had four breaks in the last two years, said Prang.

Read more

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Water main break causes bus to fall through street

City crews dig in the pavement in response to a
cast iron water main break at the intersection
of Third Avenue Northwest and Fairford 
Street West on Wednesday morning.
Submitted photo by Kathy Brown
By Lisa Goudy

A city transit bus fell through the pavement because of a water main break early Wednesday morning.

City officials have been on site at the intersection of Third Avenue Northwest and Fairford Street West since learning of the break around 5:30 a.m. Crews immediately went to close water services and assess the leak, but before barricades were installed, the bus fell through pavement at 7:10 a.m.

"There was a water main break in the area and the bus fell into a sinkhole," said Mark Sture, transit manager with the city. 

Read more

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Lukiwski criticizes 'bad news' Liberal budget

Local MP says budget shows broken promises
Conservative MP for Moose Jaw-
Lake Centre-Lanigan is pictured.
Lisa Goudy/Times-Herald                 

By Lisa Goudy

Tom Lukiwski isn't impressed by the Liberal government's 2016 budget that was tabled Tuesday.

"It's not a good news budget if you're a taxpayer. It's just a litany of broken promises," said the Conservative MP for Moose Jaw-Lake Centre-Lanigan. "During the election campaign of course the Liberals said that they would run modest deficits of $10 billion a year for the first three years and then balance the budget by the end of the first term. That's been blown out of the water completely."

The Liberals presented their 2016 budget on Tuesday at the House of Commons. The budget projected a $29.4-billion deficit in 2016-17, a $29 billion shortfall in 2017-18 and a $23-billion shortfall in 2018-19.

Read more

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Mayor encouraged by federal budget

Mayor Deb Higgins speaks at the
March 21, 2016 council meeting.
Lisa Goudy/Times-Herald
By Lisa Goudy

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government's first federal budget was unveiled Tuesday and Moose Jaw Mayor Deb Higgins said it looks promising.

"The biggest thing I'm looking at here from the city of course is how the infrastructure funding will roll out and what kind of infrastructure dollars are being put on the table at this point in time," she said. "I think that's pretty encouraging."

Under the previous government of Stephen Harper, the feds had $14 billion in infrastructure spending over 10 years.

Read more

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Broten reacts to revenue sharing

By Lisa Goudy

NDP leader Cam Broten believes in the current revenue-sharing formula for municipalities.

"It's been a longstanding pledge of mine to keep the revenue sharing formula in place," he said. "What municipalities and cities like Moose Jaw need is also a dedicated fund for infrastructure, for fixing the things that need to be fixed and we have a commitment to have that fund in place as well."

Jim Reiter, Sask. Party candidate for Rosetown-Elrose, stopped in Moose Jaw Monday morning, along with the two Moose Jaw candidates Greg Lawrence and Warren Michelson, to talk about the Sask. Party's record on municipal revenue sharing.

Read more

Monday, March 21, 2016

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: A 1.23 per cent tax increase

Council gives final approval to 2016 operating and capital budgets
Council approves the 2016 operating and capital
budgets at the March 21, 2016 meeting at city hall.
Lisa Goudy/Times-Herald

By Lisa Goudy

Residents' taxes are going up by 1.23 per cent.

At Monday's council meeting, the majority of council approved the 2016 operating and capital budgets. This increase will generate an additional $299,509 for the city's budgets. Also, $546,215 - the equivalent of 2.25 per cent of municipal taxation - will be allocated to the cast iron water main replacement program on an ongoing basis.

"There has been restructuring done," said Mayor Deb Higgins. "There's been a fair bit of shifting that's been done internally so that we can better focus our resources ... into the areas where residents of Moose Jaw will see the results."       
Read more

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Broten promises to hire more teachers, EAs

NDP leader visits Moose Jaw to talk about education in Sask.
NDP Leader Cam Broten talks with the media
at NDP candidate Karen Purdy's campaign
office in Moose Jaw on March 21, 2016.
Lisa Goudy/Times-Herald

By Lisa Goudy

Being a father of three and soon to be four, NDP Leader Cam Broten said he values education.

"I want the best education for my kids, but what I want for my own kids I want for every child in the province whether they're a child in Moose Jaw or Saskatoon or Regina or on a farm in a rural area or far up north," he said while in Moose Jaw at NDP candidate Karen Purdy's campaign office on Monday afternoon.

Read more

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Cooling off Cultural Centre

Executive committee approves replacing the 'deteriorating' chiller barrel unit at the MJCC
Barb Fysh, recreation services manager with the
City of Moose Jaw, speaks about the need for a
new chiller barrel unit at the Moose Jaw Cultural
Centre at the March 14, 2016 executive
committee meeting at city hall.
Lisa Goudy/Times-Herald

By Lisa Goudy

The Moose Jaw Cultural Centre (MJCC) is getting a new chiller barrel unit, if ratified by council.

Executive committee voted in favour of authorizing the parks and recreation department to issue a tender or request for proposals regarding the supply and installation of a new chiller barrel unit for the MJCC. The tender is set to include that the contractor would be responsible for pressure testing the system and leak testing all components, including the roof top compressor and condenser fan.

The MJCC air conditioning system was installed in July 2003. In September 2015, two different contractors, Gateway Refrigeration and Precise Temp Refrigeration, noticed something was wrong.

Read more

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Lisa's Corner: It's everyone's responsibility to vote

By Lisa Goudy

With an election only a few weeks away, I can't imagine not voting in it.

It's one of my rights. I will be casting a ballot in the April 4 provincial election. I will, as everyone should, make sure I'm informed of all of the candidates, the party platforms and any other relevant election information before I mark down my 'X.' I feel it's imperative that I vote in this election, just as it's imperative that everyone else who is eligible should vote as well. It's a basic democratic right.

Yet if this was an election in 1915, I wouldn't be able to vote because I am a woman.

Last Monday, the 100th anniversary of when some women officially got the right to vote in Saskatchewan through royal assent was marked.

Read more

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: A century has passed

Mayor Higgins' thoughts on 100th anniversary of Sask women's voting rights
Mayor Deb Higgins is seen at a recent
budget committee meeting at city hall.
Lisa Goudy/Times-Herald

By Lisa Goudy

It has been 100 years since some women were allowed to vote in Saskatchewan.

Monday marked the 100th anniversary of when royal assent was given for some women to vote in Saskatchewan that was given on March 14, 1916.

"I hope that all women recognize that this is a privilege that has been fought long and hard for. So I hope that all women take the opportunity to get out and vote when there's an opportunity, whether it's civic whether it's provincial or whether it's federal," said Mayor Deb Higgins. "It's an important part of our democracy to be able to cast your vote and have a voice in who represents you and each of us at various levels of government."
Mayor Deb Higgins is seen at a recent
council meeting at city hall.
Lisa Goudy/Times-Herald

Women getting the right to vote in Saskatchewan wasn't easy.

Read more