Advisor Top Story
Advisor Top Story - Feb. 6, 2017
Terrifying experience for local woman Daniel Bushman/Advisor
A local area woman is lucky to be alive after she was forced off the highway at the intersection by Jansen when a vehicle turned in her lane. After spending a few days with family in Saskatoon and attending a couple of doctor appointments, Kelley Kereluik was looking forward to heading home to Sheho. Making the trip back from the city Friday night, Jan. 27, Kereluik said the journey was normal by all accounts but as she went through Lanigan, she felt a premonition to pay better attention. Turning down her music, Kereluik approached the intersection at Jansen around 7 p.m. and noticed two vehicles waiting to turn left on to Hwy. 16.
“Something said to watch these two vehicles so I slowed down for what I thought was no reason,” Kereluik said. “The first car turned straight away into my lane and the car behind turned into the proper lane. I don’t remember any decision making, I just remember the head lights right in front of my car and I remember screaming. Then I remember my car in the ditch and thought, ‘we didn’t collide!?’”
Fearing it could be a drunk driver, Kereluik called 911 and reported the vehicle. Kereluik said since local RCMP were already busy assisting in Humboldt and unable to make it back, Saskatoon police were notified of the situation. Driving out of the ditch, Kereluik began following behind the vehicle which she described as a newer burgundy jeep and said, “It drove for at least 1.5 kilometres still in the wrong lane. I was flashing my lights and finally the car pulled into the proper lane.”
As the vehicle continued on, eventually disappearing from view, a distraught Kelley said she cried most of the way home. “I was thankful to be alive. I ran scenarios in my head of what could have happened and the senselessness of it all. The only explanation I have is Jesus was there, telling me to pay attention and to watch those two vehicles.”
Kereluik’s experience comes after more than 350 impaired driving offences were handed out in December across the province as people drove after drinking. Despite extra enforcement throughout the holiday season, December marked the third consecutive month where SGI and Saskatchewan law enforcement focused on impaired driving.
Earl Cameron, Executive Vice President of the Auto Fund said, “It’s certainly disappointing. After extensive coverage in the media about safe ride options, increased enforcement and the tougher impaired driving laws that would be coming into effect on Jan. 1, 2017, people are still choosing to drive when they shouldn’t. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to report zero impaired driving charges next month? And it’s possible – by making smart choices, and planning ahead. Let’s make sure everyone gets home safe.”
In total, there were 353 offences related to impaired driving (compared to 308 last December). Ten people were charged with having a blood alcohol content (BAC) between .04 and .08. They received a three-day licence suspension, four demerit points on their driving record and must complete a Driving Without Impairment (DWI) course. Under tougher laws that came into effect Jan. 1, those drivers would have also had their vehicle seized for those three days.
There were 343 Criminal Code charges laid for driving while legally impaired or refusing to give a breath test when demanded by police. Upon conviction, those drivers will lose their licence for a year, pay penalties up to $17,750, and lose up to 20 points on their driving record. They also have to attend the three-day DWI program and have ignition interlock installed in their vehicle for at least one year after they get their licence back. This will cost them each thousands of dollars on top of legal fees. Once convicted, they will have a criminal record which could make employment and travelling a challenge.
“If you know you’re going to be drinking – plan a safe ride ahead of time. It’s that simple. Because once you’ve been drinking, your judgment can be impaired and you may make the bad decision to get behind the wheel,” said Cameron. “So take that temptation away, right from the start. Don’t even take a vehicle if you’re going to drink. Make plans to get there and back safe and sober.”
While impaired driving was the focus last month, law enforcement were still looking out for other dangerous traffic offences. The following tickets were also issued in December*:
• 2,894 speeding violations;
• 282 distracted driving offences (144 of those were for cellphone use); and
• 167 tickets for inappropriate or no seatbelt/child safety seat.
If you are going to drink, do not drive. If you are going to drive, do not drink. Always plan a safe ride home.
Impaired driving laws changed Jan. 1, 2017. Visit SGI’s website at www.sgi.sk.ca for details.
* Includes all traffic safety focus results for December submitted by police as of Jan. 18, 2017.
Advisor Top Story - Jan. 30, 2017
From one weather extreme to another Daniel Bushman/Advisor
Perhaps it should come as no surprise that the weather in Saskatchewan went from a bone-chilling -30˚C one week to a balmy 6˚C the next. After all, it is the prairies and the way that the elements can turn on a dime, the first month of 2017 went pretty much how it seems to usually go. The only thing that may have been a little more unusual was just how dramatic those swings were.
Environment Canada’s David Phillips said the variety of temperatures in winter and even thaws in January can be a bit more commonplace, but it was the extreme changes between those that caught people off guard.
“We saw temperatures go down to -30˚C and it stayed from about Dec. 7 to the 18th and then what happened? It warmed up. Then you got some cold weather around the Christmas period and then it warmed up again where temperatures were almost at the freezing mark. Then in January you got another cold bout where temperatures were in the -30˚C range and now they have swung to melting temperatures. I think it is not the back and forth, it is the extreme of back and forth. You have the depths of cold to the balminess of warmth. It is almost like polar to tropical.”
Comparing the start of this year’s winter to the previous one, Phillips said last year’s version had 12 days where the temperatures went below -20˚C. Heading into the final week of January, there were 28 of those days where values dipped below -20˚C. In terms of days -30˚C or below, there were three days last year and already six days this time around.
In fact it got so chilly in the province earlier this month that daily natural gas consumption over a 24-hour period from Jan. 12 to 13 tied the previous record set in December 2016 of 1.33 PetaJoules (PJ) of natural gas. This is now the fourth consecutive winter in a row that a new record has been established, and eight of the top 10 peak load or near record-setting days for SaskEnergy have occurred this winter.
SaskEnergy said the previous 24-hour record was set Dec. 16th, 2016 due to the extreme cold temperatures, along with high natural gas consumption from industrial customers and power plants. The 1.33 PJ record is three percent higher than the record set in January 2016. A PetaJoule is a unit of measurement equivalent to one million GigaJoules (GJ) of natural gas – the average home in Saskatchewan consumes about 102 GJ of natural gas annually.
With an added extreme cold warning in effect and temperatures dropping below -30˚C (-40˚C with an added wind chill), travel was not recommended during the night Jan. 12 as white out conditions existed across the province. Motorists hit ditches as visibility was poor at best. Then a night later, a power outage occurred after a larger trip on the line. SaskPower crews worked hard to get power restored to the area after the outage hit around 6 p.m. Affecting places like Allan, Colonsay, Viscount, parts of Saskatoon and all the way over to Nokomis, the outage lasted until after 11 p.m.
Despite the cold weather invading the region, it eventually subsided and much warmer values arrived, commencing a January thaw. The slushy roads and sunshine continued through the latter part of the month, leaving the bitter cold behind; for at least a while.
“You don’t always get a January thaw but this one has been noteworthy because it is fairly mild. When you hit 6˚C in mid-January, it is something,” said Phillips. “A January thaw can be just a half degree above freezing and may go for one day but this one was longer than that. Even when it cooled off with a bit of snow, it was still above normal.”
The dramatic swing into the thaw went from a dismal -30˚C to record warm values just under a week later. A total of 21 record high temperatures were set in the province Jan. 18 including a 94-year-old mark in Saskatoon. Locally, values in places like Last Mountain Lake, Watrous and Wynyard also set new marks. For Last Mountain Lake, the new record set was 5.7˚C, beating the previous mark of 3.7˚C from 2009. Watrous reached 6.4˚C, eclipsing the old record of 4.0˚C also set in 2009. Wynyard reached 6.2˚C, shattering its mark of 2.4˚C set in 1991. Maple Creek was the warmest (12.2˚C), breaking its record of 10.1˚C from 2014 on Jan. 18.
While above-normal numbers hovered around the region for the remainder of January, Phillips said do not be mistaken, winter is still sticking around.
“I think the polar vortex is going to return and you haven’t seen the end of winter as you have had it but what is happening is that the days are getting longer and you are gaining about two and a half minutes a day of daylight. The sun is also a little higher in the sky and the warmth is a bit more intense. However, any spring like weather you get is false spring and is just a teaser but the warmer weather does make winter go faster.”
Advisor Top Story - Jan. 23, 2017Lots on the go as Lanigan mayor anticipates busy 2017
Numerous projects were on the go in Lanigan during 2016 and more is planned for this year. Lanigan Mayor Andrew Cebryk said, “As 2016 drew to a close, we have many things to be thankful for and even more to look forward to.”
As January continues to roll right along, the mayor highlighted some key areas within the community that the town has been focusing on and will continue to do so in 2017. Cebryk graciously provided the following report to the Advisor:
Water and Sewer Upgrades
On June 29, 2016 we received funding through the Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component National and Regional Projects funding program. This means we have matching contributions from the federal and provincial governments of $2,045,000 each. We are required to fund the remaining third and any cost overruns.
The lagoon has been tendered and will be awarded in early January. The well tender has been issued as well with a closing date of Jan. 19th, 2017. We expect both of these projects to commence early spring. The wells will be located east of the sportsgrounds where pilot tests completed in 2014 indicated an adequate water supply that we could treat with an RO system. The water lines are being designed to be installed in the ditch along Agnew Avenue to Hoover Street. From Agnew, the water lines will be installed down the middle of Hoover Street to accommodate the existing installed infrastructure. We ask for patience with detours as the project progresses but we will do our best to accommodate. The expansion of the lagoon and the reverse osmosis retrofit to the water plant should be completed by Dec. 31, 2017.
REACT Garbage Collection
The survey we completed in November regarding front street roll-out bin collection for garbage and recycling was a close count. There were only a couple more “not interested” than interested. In looking at concerns raised and the logistics for our community, council decided not to proceed with the pilot project. The current system will continue as is.
Continued Infrastructure Investment
In 2014 the Town of Lanigan participated in the NAMS Asset Management Project with the MSMA. This project values our infrastructure for replacement at current values. We have started infrastructure renewal by replacing a set number of hydrants and valves each year. The reason we replace hydrants is due to the age of the hydrants and the water leaks that are present within the hydrant. This will continue in 2017, although with the other projects we may delay until 2018.
The lift stations require upgrades as some of the piping is original and thinning. This is a costly and arduous task that will require detailed planning.
Our water distribution pumps require replacement as well. We have one pump on order with a seven to eight week delivery.
Downing Drive Rehabilitation
We had planned to rehabilitate Downing Drive from Main Street to Hoover Street. With the construction of the new ambulance building to the fire hall, we were not able to coordinate it and an early fall did not help us at all. However, the good news is it is scheduled for early 2017 which will include excavation of five feet of organic material with drainage into the storm sewer as a test area. We hope to provide a stable base with water drainage to extend the life of our pavement without cracking. Pavement should last 15 to 20 years.
There is a lot going on. We congratulate Kailey, our Recreation Director on her marriage and impending delivery of her first baby in February. We are also excited to have found a Recreation Director to fill in for Kailey on her maternity leave.
We have registered for the Go Out and Play Challenge sponsored by Blue Cross. This challenge runs from Mar. 1 to Mar. 10, 2017. Having community members log physical activity minutes each day enables us a chance to $10,000 towards improving our Sportsground. Even members outside our community can choose to log their minutes for Lanigan. We need to get creative. Watch for more details of activities as the Go Out and Play Challenge draws nearer.
We have identified that the posts around the football field need replacing, the ball fences need to be reset and bleachers to enjoy the activities need to be replaced. We would appreciate if everyone logged their minutes. In 2016 Lanigan logged 71,371 minutes, the winning community logged 395,813. The goal we need to achieve in 2017 is more physical activity minutes! A challenge to log the most minutes to upgrade and improve our sportsgrounds. If we each log 90 minutes a day which is the maximum per day, that would be 1,251,000 minutes!
Advisor Top Story - Jan. 16, 2017Local artist’s album voted as one of Sask atchewan’s best
By Daniel Bushman
Not only did an artist with local roots find herself in the top 10 but her album placed fifth overall as SaskMusic announced its Best Saskatchewan Albums of 2016. Following a publicly voted poll, Meghan Bowman’s album, The Watchmen, tied for fifth. From a list of well over 100 qualifying albums released by Saskatchewan artists in the past year, an industry jury determined a long list of 42 artists spanning a wide range of genres from metal to country, roots to ambient electronica. From there, the list was presented to the public for voting and after the polls closed, the results were tabulated from nearly 2,000 individual voters from 25 countries.
When Bowman heard the news that she had made the list and tied for fifth she was excited and surprised. “I released my album independently, with very little promotion, so I was just excited to make SaskMusic’s long list of 42 albums being voted for the top 10.”
With a tremendous amount of prairie grown talent to pick from, Bowman said there were many of those people that made the list that she respects. “I am being honest when I say I was just honoured to have made the top 42. That and the fact that people had to vote for me and it was not just a list compiled by a committee makes it even more special. The people decided.”
Cracking the top 10 also provided a vote of confidence for the Guernsey area native who finds herself in a difficult industry. “This past year was a year of many closed doors for me. There were a lot of cool things that happened but there was some rejection too. Being in the top 10 has been a great help in promoting my album and what I do.”
With the honour of being recognized on the list, the talented artist said more people are now aware of her. While she will continue to make music, Bowman said she is also continuing to figure out a balance and how to do that in this day and age while remaining true to herself.
As for the album The Watchmen, which found its way to number five, it is a collection of songs Bowman wrote in a time of struggle and loneliness. “I had just experienced a stranger walking up to me on a bus, saying inappropriate things, and then treating me like I was his girlfriend or something. He put his arms around me and pulled his fingers through my hair. I was terrified and froze. I didn’t know what to do. The police got involved and called it an assault. I just wanted to forget the whole thing but I couldn’t. I had trouble sleeping, and struggled with feeling safe everywhere I went. I began to sit down at my piano in the worst moments, and just sang it out. The songs I wrote in these times are some of the songs on the album. They aren’t the most well crafted songs, some of the lyrics may not even make sense to some people, but they are honest songs.”
Bowman said people can also find songs about love on the album. “I was really questioning love at that time and was struggling to believe in it. There are songs about God on there too. One of my favourite lines on the album is, “God did you watch? Did you see it? Did you think I was strong enough? Your love is fearless, but I’m afraid. Your love is perfect but I’m ashamed.” I wrote that line directly about my experience of assault. Maybe people don’t like that line, I’m not sure, but it’s honest.”
While the local artist said 2016 was a continued year of growth for her, she said it was also a time of following her dreams. “The last two and a half years have been a roller coaster ride . . . dreaming is a beautiful thing but walking those dreams out is a different thing entirely. I become stronger every day and I become more okay with who I am and who God created me to be every day. I have also learned how to find joy when things seem uncertain. I think that is a really important lesson.”
Part of those dreams have also included learning the cello, something Bowman has been doing as of late. “This has been a dream of mine for almost my whole life.”
In addition to playing the cello, Bowman is looking forward to 2017. “I think 2017 contains a lot of possibility and I will just keep walking. Musically, I hope to keep doing what I am doing. There are some opportunities on the horizon . . . I have learned that it is really important to not jump on every opportunity you receive though. That may seem like bad advice and opposite to what the music world would have you believe, but it is important to take the opportunities that aren’t destructive to who you are as an artist and say no to the ones that are.”
While Bowman is eager to see the possibilities that await her this year, she is also enjoying the fact that her album is one of the best from Saskatchewan in 2016.
“I appreciate everyone who voted for me and those who have supported me from the get go. Let’s all just keep walking!”
Here is the list of albums, including Bowman’s The Watchmen, that made the top 10:
• #1 The Dead South - Illusion & Doubt (folk/bluegrass; Regina);
• #2 DGS Samurai Champs – Crayons (electronic R&B/hip hop; Regina and Saskatoon);
• #3 Andy Shauf - The Party (pop/folk; hometown Bienfait, later Regina);
• #4 Tenille Arts - Tenille Arts (country; hometown Weyburn, currently working in Nashville);
• #5 (tie) Meghan Bowman - The Watchmen (folk/pop; Guernsey); Scott Pettigrew – Alone (R&B/blues; Regina); and Poor Nameless Boy – Bravery (folk/roots; hometown Estevan, currently Regina);
• #6 Jen Lane- This Life of Mine (country/ roots; Saskatoon);
• #7 Andino Suns - Madera (Latin/world; Regina);
• #8 Belle Plaine - The Unrequited Love (roots/country/folk; hometown Fosston, currently Regina);
• #9 (tie) The Garrys - Warm Buds (“garage surf doomwop”; Saskatoon); and The Extroverts – Supple (pop/punk; Regina); and
• #10 (tie) Untimely Demise - Black Widow (thrash/death metal; Saskatoon); and Brody Siebert - Lonely Town (country; Spiritwood).
SaskMusic created the project to raise awareness of and to celebrate the fantastic music being created in the province. “We’re proud of all our Saskatchewan artists. SaskMusic thanks the artists involved and the general public for their participation.”
People can find Bowman’s music on iTunes, YouTube, Spotify, bandcamp and other online platforms. Physical copies can be purchased either at the Guernsey Hotel or through Bowman online at www.meghanbowman.com
Advisor Top Story - Jan. 9, 2017Parker's Compassion Shines Through During Career
Helping people has always been a part of Lanigan resident Gloria Parker’s DNA and for the past three decades, she has cared for the sick and injured. As Parker retired at the end of December, throughout her Emergency Medical Services career with the Lanigan and District Ambulance Service there have been many changes; but Gloria remained a constant.
“I love helping people,” said Parker, who had her last official day Dec. 31. “When someone is sick, injured, traumatized, they need someone to care, to listen, they need someone to hold their hand, to do what they can to help, and if I could do that, I so wanted to. I have always tried to be compassionate with my patients. I always stop to say good bye, good luck or give them a hug when dropping them off at the hospital.”
Trying to make a difference in other people’s lives, Parker had a passion for the medical field right from an early age. Born in Prince Albert and living in nearby Meath Park, Parker went to SIAST to be a medical secretary. From there she worked at Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon for about 10 years in different capacities involving x-rays, outpatients and medical records.
Gloria then moved to Lanigan in 1975 and worked at Lanigan Agencies for a few years before becoming an assistant administrator at the Town of Lanigan from 1981 to 2000. It was during her first few years in the community that Gloria felt the call to help with the ambulance service. Parker joined in December of 1986 and a month later, was offered the EMT program.
“I was then able to take that as it was held here in Lanigan and with two small children I would not have been able to travel out of town for such. At that time there were only 300 EMTs in the province, as compared to approximately 4,000 now.”
After taking the program, Parker’s long time dream of becoming involved in EMS came to fruition. While working with the Town of Lanigan, and after completion of her EMT, Parker worked part time doing the night and weekend shifts with Lanigan Ambulance. Then in 2000, after retiring from the Town of Lanigan, she took on the full time position with the Lanigan Ambulance, continuing to work for the next 17 years, as well as working on a casual basis at the Lanigan Hospital and teaching First Aid/CPR classes.
Throughout that time Parker experienced a variety of changes within the local EMS.
“When I started we were basically a volunteer service. I was totally surprised that we actually got paid for volunteering. At that time, it was $15 for a 12 hour shift. That has significantly changed over the years as employees receive higher qualifications and training and updates with the Health Sciences contracts across the province. These are now full time paying positions.”
The local service remains a privately owned operation and is run by a local Ambulance Board and supported by and belonging to the people in the rural communities and rural municipalities in the Lanigan area. “For that, we should be proud.”
Like some of the changes within the local service, Parker said technology has evolved significantly over the years with advanced equipment and training available. “We are very fortunate to have been able to obtain the best quality of equipment available to our service in the past years. Lanigan is, as well, very fortunate to have highly trained employees on our staff. There are a lot of services still in Saskatchewan that are not as fortunate. We have an Advanced Care Paramedic, who is highly trained in Advanced Care, along with three full time Primary Care Paramedics who are constantly being upgraded with new medications and technology. This is a far cry from the 14 plus volunteers, First Responders, we had working for us in 1977-‘87.”
While technology has changed, Parker was quick to note the care has not. “They were then, as they are now, very competent caregivers, only in different aspects of technology, better equipment, medications and education.”
While Parker’s last day with Lanigan EMS was Dec. 31st, 2016 her official last shift was Dec. 15th. During her final shift, Parker’s passion for care and keeping people safe shone through one more time as she responded to a (non-serious) call.
“This made me reflect on my past and brought tears to know I will no longer be out there in the field helping people. My last day in my uniform, my last day in the ambulance my last day carrying my radio, my last day with my partner. Sad? Yes. But ready to be done? Yes as well.”
Throughout her time Gloria also experienced numerous highlights. While she admitted everyday was a highlight, she mentioned a few items that stood out:
• in 1995 our Ambulance Service received a prestigious Olsen Award, which was presented to an outstanding group who deserved to be recognized for exemplary services to EMS and their community;
• in 2014 I was able to spend the day with Air Ambulance out of Saskatoon. A privilege not too many are able to experience;
• in 2015 I received the Governor Generals Award for exemplary services in EMS to Lanigan and District Ambulance Services; and
• in 2016 I was nominated for, and lucky to be chosen to receive, the Saskatchewan Protective Services Medal for outstanding services in Protective Services in Saskatchewan for having served 25 years and above in the public services sector working in a direct capacity to ensure the safety and security of Saskatchewan residents.
“For these I am very honoured and humbled to have received. I have been very fortunate to have been able to have worked with such wonderful people during my career, and there have been many. To them, I owe these medals of achievement. They have helped make me who I am today. So to all of them, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I am truly blessed. You have made me totally love my career that I was chosen for.”
In addition to the highlights throughout her 30 year career, Parker said there have been many mixed emotions to go along with her numerous adventures. There were also many sacrifices made like missing family functions, working holidays, carrying the radio constantly to getting called out in the middle of the night and being out all night.
“There have been many motor vehicle accidents, medical emergencies, cardiac, pediatric, psychotic and the list goes on and on. Some were rewarding, some were not. But all in all, would I have changed my life for any other? Totally not. I loved doing what I do. I was totally blessed that I was able to do it for so long. Now, I am looking forward to closing those doors and opening new ones.”
With an eye on the future, Gloria said she will be spending more time with her family that includes: husband Ken; daughter Tracey, who lives in Saskatoon with her husband Les and their three children, Jayden (20) and twins Cade and Teegan (16); as well as son Travis his wife Brandy, who live in Lanigan and their two children Declan (5 1/2) and Molly (4).
Gloria also added she will be enjoying some time at the lake in the summer and hopes to holiday some in the winter. But while she will have a little bit of free time, Parker’s passion for the medical field will still remain as she will continue to work casual at the Lanigan hospital while teaching First Aid and CPR.
“I will still continue to be busy . . . Because that is what I do. I want to thank absolutely everyone who has been a great part of my life in EMS for the past 30 years. I have become very close with several of these people and hopefully will have them in my life for many years to come. Thank you, thank you to my fellow workers. Thank you to all the First Responders that I have taught and worked with over the years from Drake, Jansen, Guernsey and Viscount. You have no idea what a blessing you are to us in EMS. Thank you to the Lanigan Fire Department, you have been a big part of my career and to the Lanigan Ambulance Board and Lanigan Agencies for all your work with our administration. Thank you to my family, you have missed so much and to the people of Lanigan for being so very kind and appreciative of my services. You were truly my life. If I can leave anything with the Lanigan Ambulance crew, I would like to leave them with this little prayer and let them know they will be truly missed.
As I perform my duty Lord
Whatever be the call
Help to guide and keep me safe
From dangers big and small
I want to serve and do my best
No matter what the scene.
I pledge to keep my skills refined
My judgement quick and keen
This calling to give of myself
Most do not understand
But I stand ready all the time
To help my fellow man.
To have the chance to help a child
Restore his laugh with glee.
A word of thanks I might not hear
But knowing is enough for me
The praise of men is fine for some,
But I feel truly blessed,
That you, Oh Lord have chosen me
To serve in EMS
Advisor Top Story - Jan. 2, 2017Presenter to share his story of being prepared, Just in Case
By Daniel Bushman Married for over 50 years and facing health issues, Harold and Betty Empey began trying to figure out how she would be able to move forward after Harold passed away. In an effort to ensure Betty had all the information she would need, they created a Just in Case binder which listed assets, want needs, obituary information, passwords and key codes, among other things. However, when Betty recently passed away, it was Harold that needed to utilize the binder. From that experience the Saskatoon resident has been sharing his story and in turn has helped thousands. Making a presentation in Lanigan Jan. 8, Empey said many have found his idea not only helpful but valuable as they try to make decisions during tragic and
at times, unexpected loss.Containing 12 sections dealing with a matter that needs to be considered when planning or providing information like finances, funeral arrangements, Wills, identification or even who to contact, Empey said his Just in Case binder holds all of that material.“The package is very user friendly with paper to make notes and directions as to how to use the computer if they have one.”Empey said after his wife passed away he was asked how he was able to get everything arranged so fast and complete.“My friend wanted to see what we had. I replied that it was a binder full of answers and he needed a binder full of questions or guidelines. I went home and developed Just in Case and the demand has far exceeded my wildest expectations. Over 12,000 have been sold and I have conducted over 250 seminars.”Reviewed by a lawyer, financial advisor, church minister and others, Harold said initially the binder was intended for preparation in the event of death; however, he learned that it became important to have in the event of a serious illness. And while many think the binder is geared towards just seniors, Empey said it is not. Losing a son shortly after his wife died, Harold said nothing was decided or arranged. “It was very difficult. Every person over the age of 18 needs a Will and at my seminar I will give some examples of why that is necessary.”Doing seminars in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, Empey feels having something like the Just in Case binder is very important.“Regularly I get phone calls or letters telling me they do not know what they would have done without the binder that they and their family used when their loved one passed away. Just the other day I had a message from a lady in Calgary that could not say enough about how wonderful and helpful it was for them.”Empey said he does not do his work for personal gain but rather as a legacy to his wife. “We were married for 56 years and all profits from the sales go to charity.”So far Harold has created over $200,000 for charities and his presentation has resulted in well over $1 million being identified to charity in final papers.In Lanigan to share about his Just in Case binder and tell his story Jan. 8 at the Lanigan Town Hall (see the ad below), Empey’s presentation is being put on by the Wheatland Library Lanigan Branch.“I will take everyone through the binder and use a lot of my experience to help the listeners understand the value and motivate them to make decisions in the advance of a need.”Empey said at the seminar, each person will have a binder to refer to and they are for sale for $30. “I should point out that the binder alone sells for over $25 at Staples. Following the presentation, there is an opportunity for questions, which is a very important aspect.”
Jansen and District 2016 Volunteer of the Year namedSubmitted by Joni Mack
Dec. 8, 2016, at the Jansen Annual Christmas Concert, the community honoured a person who has lived in the area her entire married life and who has contributed many hours in so many key areas; social, recreational, and church related in order to help make Jansen a better place to live.
Karen Renz, together with her husband Bob, moved to their farmyard over 54 years ago and began their life together, beginning a mixed farming operation where they grew cereal and pulse crops, raised cattle, horses, pigs and chickens, as well as three children, Murray, Alanna and Terry.
They attended church regularly at Zion Lutheran and took part in all activities associated with it, including church council or the ELW Ladies Auxiliary and participating in all activities that make a church community thrive - Sunday morning greeters, communion assistants, Christmas decorating, and fundraising, with Karen often chairing funeral lunches as well as perogy and cabbage roll suppers, something that continues to this day!
Karen has also spent many years working with the Ladies’ Quilting Group, where she meets regularly with the ladies involved, putting together the cloth pieces on frames and quilting them together. She also is instrumental in finishing them by sewing the layers all together before they are packaged up and shipped away to developing countries. As well she, together with Donelda Klinger, have always taken the lead on caring for church property shrubs and greenery, making sure both church and parsonage looked great. Bob’s handyman skills have also been put to the test many times, where he has puttered and fixed and puttered some more until what was broken is looking as good as brand new.
In addition to her church involvement, Karen quickly became involved in our local Ladies Catering Club, the Jansen Community Club where, while working under Eva Elke’s tutelage, Karen soon became invaluable as a caterer in her own right. She spent many years working on the community club’s executive, several of them as president. This led to Karen’s very active role in the design and eventual completion of this community centre. One of the main reasons for building a new gathering place in the early 1990s was because of the outdated kitchen facilities and the difficulty in catering functions. So when the new plans were made for the building, they were built around the kitchen and the needs of the community club. Karen was the lead here too and did extensive research, travelling to other facilities as well as gathering local knowledge to design one of the most functional kitchens for many miles around. Many caterers comment on this great working space. Then came a short period of time when the Jansen Community Centre was without a janitor. Quietly Karen stepped up to the plate and once again enlisting the very capable help of Bob, filled in until a replacement was found.
Karen was also very active in the ‘Jansen Lites Up The Nite’ committee when it took over the Canada Day celebrations, attending meetings and completing tasks necessary to make a huge event like this fly.
And when the Jansen Community Bloomers came into being, Karen came on board at its inception, showing up at work parties, giving suggestions and carrying her share or more of the load. Then this spring, she agreed to become the president of the Bloomers. She brought fresh ideas and insight to the group and was instrumental in putting into action the ideas Wendy Renwick, the garden’s chairperson, had originally envisioned for it. As Wendy said, “Karen keeps us focused and organized and works as hard as the rest of us.”
Organizing people and events is one of Karen’s core strengths: she leads by example and will never ask anything of anyone that she is unwilling to do herself. She and Bob are both perfectionists and refuse to leave a job unfinished or less than satisfactory. She has been an awesome role model for many in the community and her work within it is not close to over. We look forward to her energy for many years to come!
Thank you Karen Renz for your contributions and congratulations on being acclaimed the Jansen and Community’s 2016 Volunteer of the Year!
Advisor Top Story - Dec. 12, 2016Familiar physician calling it a career
For over four decades, Dr. Onkar Saxena has performed countless surgeries, delivered numerous babies and diagnosed hundreds of patients during his time in Lanigan. However, come Dec. 29, the doctor will be wearing his stethoscope one last time before calling it a career. Arriving in Canada in the early 1970s, Saxena moved to Lanigan in 1973 and has been a fixture in the health care field ever since.
“We decided to come to Canada for two years and we ended up here 44 years,” said Saxena. “This is one of the best countries in the world. We were very welcome here.”
With their three children and four grandchildren settled in Vancouver, after his final day in Lanigan, Onkar along with his wife Madhuri will be boarding a plane and heading west.
“They are growing up,” said the doctor of his family. “My oldest granddaughter is in pre-medical in San Diego. She wants to be a surgeon so she can follow my footsteps, that is what I am hoping. She is very smart and is top in her class at university there.”
As the Saxenas get set to close the book on their time in the area, they are looking forward to the next chapter. However, the memories that filled the more than 40 years of pages will not be forgotten.
“This community has been very good and the community at large like Lanigan, Drake, Jansen, Humboldt, Watrous and Wynyard, I had patients from all over. The community was very friendly and the people very helpful. I think that was one of the reasons why we stayed here because people like each other and there was good cooperation from every corner. We will never forget that and we will keep those memories with us after we go.”
Born in India, Onkar went to medical college in 1951 and took a five year course, graduating on his first attempt in 1956. After marrying Madhuri in 1960, Onkar did his residency, travelling to England in 1961 to specialize and get a degree of fellowship in surgery in general surgery and urology surgery. Taking the fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons, an accolade held by some of the most exceptional and innovative physicians in the world, Saxena spent the next 10 years in London, England before electing to be a specialist surgeon in New Delhi.
However, after informing his parents of his decision to return to India, his dad felt Onkar should try and gain experience in North America. Packing his bags and getting set to see a new part of the world, Saxena along with his wife and children arrived in Canada in August 1971. From there he began practicing in Porcupine Plain with Dr. Ben.
“He was looking for a surgical colleague in a family practice and he was an anesthetist so I said, sure.”
Working well together, just over one year later the pair found Lanigan and relocated in January 1973. With one being a surgeon and the other an anesthetist, it proved to be the perfect fit.
“That was pretty nice,” said Saxena. “We hardly sent anybody out because we could do everything here.”
While Canada was proving to be a good experience for Saxena, the Saskatchewan winters were a bit of an adjustment for the man from India.
“When the snow came, the first thing I thought was ski-doo. What was that machine? I had never saw anything like that. I ended up driving a ski-doo and I approached a tree so I stopped. I asked how to reverse it and the person selling it to me said, ‘You can’t reverse it, you have to lift it,’” said a laughing Saxena, “That was my first experience ski-dooing.”
However, operating a snow machine soon became a part of the job for Saxena. “Many times I would go to calls on a ski-doo. When we came to Lanigan I bought a ski-doo and many of my patients might remember I used to go to emergencies on my ski-doo and park in front of the hospital. I would stop it there, attend to the emergency then drive it home.”
Over the years, Saxena continued to care for residents in the area, many of whom gave birth.
“I delivered some babies who are now parents and they are now bringing their babies to me. To me they are like an extended family.”
In some cases, Saxena has treated and helped families spanning at least four generations, something he is proud of.
“The community has been very good and the thing I have found over the years is we have had wonderful cooperation with the staff at the hospital, nursing home and home care. I think that is what is very good, when you are working together for the best care of the patient you can provide. If you can work hard to help the patient, that is best you can do in our profession. I tell my nursing staff and colleagues to treat their patients like their family member. If you do that, chances are you will be successful in life and you will have no regret.”
Another highlight for the doctor from Lanigan was coming up with a new surgical technique for undescended testis in children.
“I didn’t like the operation and I thought there should be some reason to do something better.”
After performing a few operations with his preferred technique at the Lanigan hospital, Saxena published his work and the Royal College of Physicians in England accepted his paper. Since then a lot of surgeons perform Saxena’s surgical technique around the world.
Despite all of his accomplishments and longevity within the medical profession, what may come as a surprise is that Saxena did not always want to be a surgeon.
“It was my mother that pushed me into it,” he said with a grin. “I wanted to be an electrical engineer. In fact I started my first year as an electrical student but my mother said, ‘No you have to go to medicine.’ I changed because of her and I have no regret.”
Onkar, who will be 87 years old paved the way in his family as the first surgeon while his five sisters and four brothers also went their own way, some following in his footsteps.
“My mother wanted all of us in different professions. My oldest brother became a lawyer, my next brother older to me became a chartered accountant, I became a doctor, my two younger brothers became civil engineers. My three younger sisters followed me and became doctors. One is a famous gynecologist in India and they married three doctors. We have a team of doctors in our family and I was the first doctor in the whole family and the first to come out of the country to do more to further my education.”
While he may not have originally thought he would have been practicing medicine for so many years, Saxena said it just came natural for him to keep doing what he loved.
“I always wanted to continue my practice and keep my health good. I still go walking everyday even when it gets to -20˚C and -30˚C and I think that is important to keep me going physically. I think that makes a difference, if you are healthy you can look after your patient and that is important.”
He was also quick to point out that he could not have been able to do what he has done without the help of his wife Madhuri, who was integral in keeping his clinic going.
“She looked after the clinic and I saw the patients. I must say if my wife was not here, I would not have stayed here so long because she has been a tremendous help to me.”
While the Saxenas both said they will miss Lanigan and the people from the area, they admit they are looking forward to seeing their children and grandchildren again. As the pair get set to wrap up a tremendous career, others will be expressing their appreciation to the couple at a retirement farewell Dec. 15 at the Lanigan Community Hall. Local representatives and dignitaries from the area will be in attendance to give their best wishes as they honour the long-time doctor.
Others have also shared their gratitude including the Saskatoon Health Region’s Michele Bossaer. “I do want to take a moment to extend my deep appreciation to Dr. Saxena on behalf of everyone here at Saskatoon Health Region. He came to Lanigan in 1973, and his commitment and dedication to his patients for over 40 years has truly added to the health and well-being of this community. Practicing medicine for 60 years, he has helped care for and affected the lives of so many people, and he will be missed. We wish Dr. Saxena all the best in his retirement!”
Manager of the Lanigan Integrated Hospital Carol Neugebauer said Dr. Saxena was a tremendous asset for not only Lanigan but the area. “I was first part of the nursing staff and then went into administration and over that time, Dr. Saxena really took ownership of the hospital and the staff became family to him. His years of service that he provided for Lanigan and the community is exceptional and to have someone serve us for as long as he did was amazing. We really appreciated everything he did and will miss him.”
On behalf of the community of Lanigan and the area, Lanigan mayor Andrew Cebryk echoed those sentiments and said, “Dr. Saxena has served the community and surrounding area for 40 plus years. He has also been the Medical Health Officer for our community for many years. We wish Dr. Saxena and his wife Madhuri all the best in their new journey of retirement.”
On behalf of the community of Jansen and the Rural Municipality of Prairie Rose, councillor Dave Paetsch said Dr. Saxena’s service to the area was very much appreciated by the village and RM. “He will be greatly missed but we want to congratulate him on his retirement and wish him and his family all the best.”
On behalf of the RM of Usborne, Reeve Jack Gibney said, “The RM of Usborne is appreciative of Dr. Saxena’s many years of service. Best wishes for retirement.”
Advisor Top Story - Dec. 5, 2016Recognizing the work of volunteers By Daniel Bushman/Advisor
Aimed at promoting the work of local, national and international volunteers, Dec. 5 marks International Volunteer Day. Mandated by the UN General Assembly, the International Volunteer Day (IVD) is held each year and is viewed as a chance for volunteers and organizations to celebrate their efforts, to share their values and to promote their work. One such place that not only appreciates its volunteers but relies heavily on them is the Lanigan Community Gift and Thrift store.
In operation for 33 years and operating out of a new facility at 14 Main Street in Lanigan, the store was originally started by five Mennonite churches in the area. With a purpose of raising funds for local and international relief, development and peace work of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), the store also helps out locally with new immigrant families, Teen Challenge, victims of fires or disaster and the food bank.
In order to be able to do that, Lanigan Community Gift and Thrift relies heavily on its volunteers. Assistant manager Heidi Martens said they have approximately 70 volunteers who come from within the Drake, Guernsey, Lanigan, Nokomis, Watrous and Young areas.
Martens said without volunteers, the store would not be able to function. “It would be impossible without them. We would not be able to donate as much money to MCC and that is ultimately why we are all here. It also provides a social atmosphere for those who lend a hand and they can meet people within the community and from the area.”
Martens said there are many opportunities for those who help out during the year. “Cashiers and back room workers are always needed. People can volunteer when it suits them, whether it is half days, whole days, once a week or once a month, all can be worked into our schedule.”
A quilting area is also set up in the store where blankets are made for MCC or are offered for sale. “For that we need sewers, people to tie knots and volunteers to assemble the blankets.”
Martens said no matter the volunteer, the Gift and Thrift store will find jobs suitable for everyone willing to lend a hand. “We are always looking for volunteers to work Monday to Saturday and we also have an evening volunteer time the first Wednesday of each month.”
Volunteering for 25 years, Beatrice Bowman drives in from her farm near Guernsey to help lend a hand at the store. “I work at the front and enjoy meeting people. By supporting this store I support the work of MCC.”
Walter Bowman has also volunteered for many years and said MCC does very important work and he is happy to be able to help.
Helping to volunteer on and off since 1983, Sue Wiens has made the trip in from her farm near Lockwood. “Volunteering here provides an opportunity to serve and a chance to help those in need, not just locally but also globally. I think it is important to contribute and it is fun to work with friends and get to know others.”
Darlene Guenther, who resides in the country between Lanigan and Drake enjoys lending a hand to provide help to those in need. “It is something I can do.”
While there are many who make the journey to Lanigan to help volunteer, there are lots from the community who also help out when they are able.
For about 10 years, Jerry Pullman has volunteered at the Gift and Thrift store and said he enjoys connecting with different people. “The work we do in the store results in giving something to people who are in great need in other parts of the world. It is better to give than to receive and that includes time, money and labour.”
Helga Krahn agrees and has been helping out for just over nine years. “It is important to help those in need. I know where the money goes and I love meeting and visiting with people that come into the store. My prayer is that I can be a witness and an encouragement.”
Since 2008, Robin Liimataines has been helping out and volunteers to help give back to the community while meeting new people. “The money goes to MCC through sales in our store.”
A volunteer for six years, Jo-Anne Deditch said there is joy that comes with belonging to a staff that raises funds to help those in need. “I have met very interesting people from across Canada and Spain and I have made new friends with other volunteers and people who have come in to the store.”
Martens said having volunteers like those above have benefitted the Gift and Thrift store since it first opened.
If there are those who are interested in helping out, the assistant manager said, “We are always looking for more people with all types of skill levels. Whether it is for a few hours a day or a full day, we appreciate anything that people are willing to give. We are regularly blown away by the support we get. Countless people put in so much of their own time to give generously. To show our appreciation to our volunteers and to our loyal customers, we are holding a customer appreciation day Dec. 17 which will entail snacks and deals. It is just awesome to have all of those volunteers helping us out and we greatly appreciate it. ”
Advisor Top Story - Nov. 28, 2016
Changes and adjustments taking place for Potash Corporation
By Daniel Bushman/Advisor
Approximately 100 permanent employee and 40 temporary positions are being reduced at Potash Corporation’s Cory potash facility while production is being curtailed at both of the company’s Lanigan and Allan mines.
The potash giant outlined its operational changes and inventory adjustments Nov. 23 with the Cory workforce reduction primarily taking effect in February and the remaining changes occurring in the third quarter of 2017.
“This is a difficult day for our employees and their families, and we are committed to helping those affected through this transition,” said Mark Fracchia, President PCS Potash. “We are making this decision to optimize production to our lowest cost operations, including Rocanville and other Saskatchewan sites, where new capacity was added and employment levels have risen by approximately 265 since 2014.”
The operational changes at the Cory potash facility will involve a move to produce only white potash with an expected operational capability of approximately 0.8 million tonnes. The company said the facility previously had a capability of around 1.4 million tonnes and produced both red and white potash. Overall those changes will see a reduction of approximately 100 permanent employees and 40 temporary positions while about 350 employees will remain at the site.
“PotashCorp is intent on providing severance packages, assistance, transition programs and information on existing openings at other sites for affected employees. The operational change is not expected to impact the availability or quality of products across the company’s portfolio of operations and, as such, impacts to customers are not anticipated.”
As for the Lanigan and Allan mines, the company said with the ramp up of additional low cost production from the Rocanville site and consistent with Potash Corporation’s practice of matching supply with market demand, Lanigan will curtail its production for six weeks beginning January 2017 and Allan will curtail production for 12 weeks beginning February 2017.
Potash Corporation said the number of temporary layoffs associated with those inventory adjustments are not known at this time as the company continues to assess the opportunities for reassigning positions to capital and maintenance projects during the down time.
Advisor Top Story - Nov. 21, 2016SaskPower conducting extensive work within area Daniel Bushman/Advisor
Ensuring customers have reliable power while supporting future economic growth in the region is SaskPower’s goal as work continues in the area. The extensive work is taking place in an area encompassing communities like Drake, Lanigan, Simpson, Imperial, Viscount, Watrous, Young, Humboldt, Bruno and Annaheim.
SaskPower said it has started construction on its new $3 million Watrous substation in September to replace the existing 1950s vintage station. “Substations are critical electrical infrastructure transforming electricity from high to low voltage so we can deliver power to customers.”
Part of that construction also includes building new power lines to connect the new station to the existing system. While some of the work is weather dependent, SaskPower is hoping to have everything in service by early 2017.
“The new substation will serve customers in: Watrous, Manitou Beach, Young, Simpson, Imperial, Liberty, Holdfast, Stalwart, Penzance, as well as the Rural Municipalities of Arm River, Big Arm, McCraney, Morris, Sarnia, Wood Creek, Wreford and surrounding areas.”
While work continues on the new substation, SaskPower said in 2016, residential and commercial customers within the area made over 40 new connection or reconstruction requests. “Additional maintenance work in the region, worth over $3.5 million, includes replacement/reinforcement of aging wood poles, upgrades to electrical devices that assist our field technicians in troubleshooting and locating problems in our system, relocating/upgrading overhead power lines out of the middle of farmers’ fields and remediating power structures located in water-logged areas.”
Since system improvements are ongoing, SaskPower said there may be planned outages. “Customers will be notified in advance. Planned power outages are listed on saskpower.com and on Twitter.”
Advisor Top Story - Nov. 14, 2016Warm Weather Replaces Wet October
By Daniel Bushman/Advisor After a soggy October that contained snow, rain and fog, the month of November has been much more pleasant thus far, with sunshine and temperatures reaching into the mid-teens. Environment Canada’s David Phillips said given what people in Saskatchewan experienced last month, the recent November temperatures have almost been like an atmospheric gift. “Temperatures were cooler than normal in October and you had a lot more rain, a lot more wet days and then the early snow arrived,” said Phillips who added that trend reversed when the calendar was flipped over to November. “It was almost as if nature felt sorry for people in Saskatchewan and across the prairies and since then we have seen a remarkable string of great weather that is more of what you would see at the end of September.”While abnormally warm days can sometimes occur late in the year, it is the duration in which they have lasted that has caught people’s attention. With highs pegged between 15˚C and 18˚C for the Lanigan area last week, Phillips said those values were similar to ones back in 1962, when it was 16.1˚C on Nov. 8. On the other side of the coin, Phillips said it could also be much worse. “When you think of how cold it could be, it could be -19˚C as it was back in 1971 or you could have six to eight centimetres of snow. You realize that this is something quite unusual and unseasonably warm.”Many people were able to utilize the warm stretch including some farmers who had yet to get the crop off their fields. “The quality and quantity was maybe hurt because of October’s misery but the latest warm spell has been fantastic news.”While people were a bit spoiled with the well-above normal values, Phillips said not to get used to it as it will not last forever. “It is just nature setting you up for a big fall which will probably happen before the end of the month. But we clearly know the benefit from this warmth is that it makes winter that much shorter.”From a practical point of view, Phillips said the warm weather will eventually give way to colder values, especially since November is a month that typically resets itself. The month in Saskatchewan has also always contained snow at some point as typically winter takes a foothold. “When we look at the difference between October and November, we often find the greatest drop in temperature for any month is often at this time where you go from almost late summer in October to early winter.”Despite snow typically being on the ground already, Phillips said people certainly received a nice surprise in its absence. “The high right now should be about 1˚C but it has been almost a dozen degrees higher on some days. I’m sure Saskatchewan residents have smiles on their face because it is really unseasonably wonderful weather.”
Phillips said Environment Canada is still calling for it to be more of a colder winter but added that once it does arrive, it could contain something for everyone. “These wild swings that you might see in November will probably continue. The durations won’t be as long but there will be something for everybody.”
Advisor Top Story - Nov. 7, 2016Local Legion remains
important part of community Daniel Bushman/Advisor
This week Canadians from coast to coast and across the world will take time to remember those who fought for our freedom and those who are currently doing so. As people pause to reflect Nov. 11, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 143 in Lanigan continues to be instrumental in honouring those who have gone before us. The local Legion also spends time throughout the year raising awareness about the importance of remembrance while holding a variety of events of which the most important one is the annual Poppy Campaign.
Poppy Chairman and member of the Lanigan Legion Janice Attfield said, “Every year, the Legion conducts a Poppy Campaign to honour those who serve and to raise funds in support of Veterans and their families. From the last Friday in October to Remembrance Day, all Canadians can be a part of the campaign.”
During the Poppy Campaign, Attfield said thousands of Legion members from coast to coast volunteer their time to distribute poppies and raise millions to help support Veterans and their families in need.
“While poppies are distributed freely, the Legion truly appreciates the generous donations to the Poppy Fund in support of serving and retired Veterans and their families.”
As part of the Poppy Campaign held in Lanigan over the years,the most recent presentation made by the local branch was made to the Lanigan Hospital. A donation in the amount of $3,871.54 was provided to cover the cost of a Welch Allyn Vital Signs Machine, which monitors blood pressure, temperature, heart rate and oxygen concentration and has a programmable automatic print option.
Attfield said donations big or small, like the amount used to purchase the machine in Lanigan are used to help honour those who served. “Your donation makes a difference in the lives of Veterans and the families of those who served our country. Any amount is gratefully accepted. The basic purpose of our poppy funds is to provide immediate assistance to Veterans and their families in financial need. The funds are also used for care facilities, for elderly or disabled Veterans and their families, community medical appliances and medical research, drop-in centres, meals on wheels, transportation and related services to help Veterans and their families. The Legion was very happy to be able to support the hospital in their need.”
In addition to the Poppy Cam