Monthly Archives: February 2014

Get out your calendars!

You’ll need your calendar beside you when you read next week’s paper as there are many events coming up next month and beyond! You can find the events listed by clicking on our calendar link above, and read the fine details in the actual paper.

Besides the event details you will find in the advertising,, the March 3 Unity Wilkie Press-Herald features:

  • a wrap up of the Affinity Credit Union Provincial Senior Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships, both in terms of results and impact on the community;
  • a prelude to the Unity Skating Club’s upcoming carnival, At the Movies;
  • a summary of results and where all three area senior men’s hockey teams are at in their respective league playoffs; and
  • a new concept in farm financing – commodity streaming.
Maze, Charteris and Eddingfield

Locals Gary Maze, Wayne Charteris and Daryl Eddingfield, playing with Unity skip Glen Heitt, almost made it to the championship game, falling short by only one point in the semifinal against Al Schick, Brian McCusker, Kerry Gudereit and Jim Loos of the Callie Curling Club of Regina. This photo was taken during a round robin match.

Provincial Senior Men’s Curling Championships

The Affinity Credit Union Provincial Senior Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships were held in Unity, Feb. 18 to 23. Local curling fans were treated to some of the best curling in the province.

Darrell McKee, Mark Lane, Rick Picard and Brad Gee of the Nutana club in Saskatoon won the men’s side.

Please see the March 3 issue of the Unity Wilkie Press-Herald for more details on playdowns and the actual hosting of the tournament, as well as additional photos. Photos of the opening ceremonies are in the February 24 issue of the Press-Herald.

Enjoy these shots from men’s round robin play.

Darrell McKee

Saskatchewan men's curling curling heitt curling hritzuk curling larrie curling watching

Saskatchewan curlers hritzuk team Thiele team sweepers profile


Unity men's curlers



Provincial Senior Women’s Curling Championships

The Affinity Credit Union Provincial Senior Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships were held in Unity, Feb. 18 to 23. Local curling fans were treated to some of the best curling in the province.

Lorraine Arguin, Donda Lee Deis, Shelly Urquhart and Connie Fritzler from Moose Jaw won the women’s title.

Please see the March 3 issue of the Unity Wilkie Press-Herald for more details on playdowns and the actual hosting of the tournament, as well as additional photos. Photos of the opening ceremonies are in the February 24 issue of the Press-Herald.

Here’s some photos from the women’s semifinal between Arguin and the Inglis rink from Yorkton.

Lorraine Arguin

curling ladies semi after the throw arguin team hurry hard

Saskatchewan women's semifinal

inglis teamsenior women's curling

Housing, especially rentals, in short supply

Unity’s economic development officer, Carey Baker, has been running an advertisement in the paper, looking for rental property.

He maintains a rental registry at the town office and says “interest has definitely increased over the past few weeks.” Lately, he gets requests almost daily for information on homes to rent.

The demand for rentals in Unity exceeds the supply.

no vacancy

The question arises, with industry continuing to expand in Unity, how do businesses attract new employees? Where do new residents find living arrangements?

Last week, a homeowner posted the availability, for rent, of a a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home, on the Unity Online Yard Sale Facebook page. The homeowner justified the rent of $1,000, saying, “I had about 6 people basically fighting over renting it last time. I don’t think I’m being unreasonable considering there are people in unity renting out rooms for 700.” Someone else responded, “That’s cheap for rent you should have no problem renting it out.”

Baker believes “a very real constraint to our growth as a community is our low availability of rental housing options.”

Joe Reddecopp, general manager at Delta Co-op, said working with new hires to help them find rentals or homes “has been challenging. Rentals are very hard to come by, and housing is more expensive than individuals expect it to be.”

Baker “would be interested in discussing the possibility of rental construction with individuals and I do have some possible locations for multi-unity dwellings to consider.”

Last year, there were six new houses in Unity, with two additional plans for homes being filed at the end of the year. The town is also progressing towards development of a new residential subdivision, although the timeline for availability of land for construction is still unclear.

The Town of Unity has had an infill housing incentive in place for several years. By building on an empty lot in an established area of town, property tax is charged at the vacant lot rate for both the year of construction and the following year. The same two-year tax benefit applies to lots where an older and often poorly maintained home is demolished to allow for construction of a new home.

The housing shortage is not limited to Unity and its neighbouring communities. In a press release issued Feb. 11, following the tabling of the federal budget, Claude Dauphin, president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities said the 2014 federal budget, as tabled, fell short of addressing the growing housing crisis, “failing to include any targets, timelines or a commitment to a long-term housing plan.”

Horses seized – see Monday’s paper

Four horses from the pasture near Scott have now been seized by the Saskatchewan SPCA. Global, CTV and CBC are also now all covering this story of animal neglect.

CBC News

Read all about it in the February 24 issue of  the Unity Wilkie Press-Herald. Also in next week’s paper:

  • a tale of a runaway bull, loose in Unity’s industrial area;
  • coverage on discussions about train speeds and cargo;
  • a report on the lack of rental housing in Unity; and
  • the Miners move on to the SWHL semifinals – they play at home Sunday, February 23 against Kindersley; Luseland also moved on, playing Lloydminster Friday, February 28.

Also, with Telemiracle coming up next weekend (March 1 and 2), find out who from Unity will be performing. They are looking for your donations to present while they are on stage.


Students learn about workplace bullying

After guest speaker Blake Fly of Toronto, Ont., concluded his presentation to assembled students from Unity Composite High, McLurg High, Luseland and Macklin schools, Feb. 4, a panel discussion on bullying, harassment and the use of social media in the workplace took place.

(For more information on Fly’s presentation, see the February 10th issue of the Unity-Wilkie Press-Herald or

Panel members were local lawyer Ken Neil; human resources personnel for both the Unity Credit Union, Alan Zimmer, and Living Sky School Division, Brenda Vickers; Lana Mabbett from Heartland Health; local business owner Mike Wismer; RCMP Cst. Eric Macdonald; and Living Sky’s superintendent of schools, curriculum and instruction, Brian Quinn.

UCHS presentationUCHS student Zoher Rafid-Hamed posed questions to different panel members in turn. Responses and comments made by panel members included the following.

Quinn talked about a specific incident in a Living Sky school where an inappropriate comment was made to a student and other students immediately stepped in to tell the offending student it was inappropriate. “No tool is as powerful as peers stepping in,” he said, telling the students that, more and more, “who” you are is more important than the talents or skills you have.

Zimmer reinforced that statement when he explained that, even before someone is hired at the credit union, they try to weed out people who will not fit in. For example, a potential new employee will be asked specific questions about how he or she deals with conflict.

Vickers echoed Zimmer’s comments about the hiring process. She added that, at the school division, reference checking is done not only to confirm skills and abilities but also to ask questions about relationships and how a person solves problems.

In any organization, Zimmer said, “you have a responsibility to everyone in that organization.”

He was referring to workplace bullying and harassment at the time, but that responsibility holds true to the use of social media as well – no matter whether an employee is at work or at home.

Vickers said, even when at home, if you are talking about someone from work online, the employer can take action. Mabbett added, even when you are off duty, you still represent the place you work.

Mabbett cautioned students to establish a positive digital footprint or they may even find themselves not being able to be licensed in the field for which they studied. She gave the example of seeing a photo of a surgeon drunk at a Saturday night party – would she want that doctor operating on her Monday morning?

A video of the panel’s entire presentation is available online at, under the heading Social Media and Respectful Relationships.

Town imposed environmental fees going up in 2014

The Town of Unity passed a new bylaw Jan. 28, increasing the environmental levy fees for residents and businesses.

Town of UnityResidents will see a modest increase of $1 per month, paying $18 every three months, up from $15 per quarter.

The minimum businesses will pay is also $18 per quarter, but businesses deemed to be medium or high use recyclers will see significant increases. To qualify for theminimum fee of $18 per quarter levy, businesses need to have only one to two bags of recyclables per week.

Businessesw ith three to four bags of recyclables a week fall into the medium category and will be charged $126 per quarter. Five or more bags of recyclables per week puts a business into the high category. These businesses will pay $270 per quarter, or over $1,000 annually.

All businesses should have received a letter from the Town of Unity advising them of the changes and of their category. Business owners or managers who disagree with the category decided by the town can appeal.

An appeal form was included with the letters sent to businesses. To make an appeal, the business must fill out the form and give facts and reasons for their request to be in a lower category than the one assigned by the town. Appeal forms must be returned to the town office before March 3.

Businesses who have their own contracts with recyclers will still have to pay the minimum charge of $18 per quarter.

For now, the town will continue to use the community Loraas bins as its recycling method. Administrator Aileen Garrett said that could still change and a town owned recycling building in the future has still not been ruled out.

Should the new environmental fees create a profit for the town, Garrett said the money would be transferred to a reserve for the future. She noted, however, “if our recycling program is abused, additional costs are incurred as the town is penalized.”

Not only does Loraas charge a penalty if bins are contaminated with non-recyclables, but when garbage is left at the bin site, town employees have to be paid and have to take time from their regular duties to clean it up.

Highway drivers reminded to watch for winter work zones

Saskatchewan HighwaysWhile highway construction is usually associated with the warm summer months, drivers should be aware certain types of work can take place year-round.

“We may be in the middle of winter, but crews are still out there working on bridges and installing culverts,” Highways and Infrastructure Minister Don McMorris said.  “Remember that no matter the season, you must always slow to 60 km/hr when you see the black and white speed signs.”

While cold temperatures present challenges, certain aspects of construction can benefit from wintry weather.  For example, cranes can be placed on frozen waterways and used to hoist beams into place during bridge construction.

Bridge projects currently underway include work on Highway 14 near Kinley, on Highway 10 south of Yorkton and on Highway 26 south of St. Walburg.  These are just a few examples of the work currently taking place, and motorists are reminded to keep an eye out for work zones when they travel.

To find general information about work zones in Saskatchewan, please

Travel information about construction, emergency road closures, the status of ferries and barges and other road activities is always available on the Highway Hotline  It’s also available by calling 306-787-7623 in Regina, 306-933-8333 in Saskatoon, the SaskTel cellular network at *ROAD, toll-free across Canada at 1-888-335-7623 and via the Highway Hotline mobile website at

Paper preview for February 17th edition

Next week is a big week in Unity with 16 curling teams in town from all over the province, here to compete for the Senior Men’s and Women’s Saskatchewan Championship. Find out who is coming “to rock the house” in next week’s issue of the Press-Herald, along with:

  • details of new recycling fees in Unity;
  • comments and lessons from the panel presentation at UCHS on workplace bullying and harassment;
  • following the hockey career of Luseland’s Jessica Sibley;
  • recap of the Luseland/Dodsland Mallards first round playoff wins;

along with all the regular features such as the RCMP Report, a Faith Matters column, an Olympic-themed Top 10 and food for thought on our editorial page!

Unity wildlife awards and annual supper

With as many seated at the tables as possible without violating fire code regulations, some 300-plus people enjoyed pan-fried pike, moose roast, ginger venison, elk sausage and other wild game meats along with salads, baked potatoes and buns, at the Unity Community Centre Feb. 1.

The annual wildlife supper, put on by the Unity branch of the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation, is entirely prepared by volunteers who start preparations days ahead of the event. The calibre of the meal is evident from the sell-out of tickets each year.

Along with serving supper, club members do some fundraising with silent auction items, line draws and many raffle prizes. Memberships are also sold at the event. Each year, the Unity wildlife club sponsors a bursary for a graduating student. The club stocks Scott reservoir with rainbow trout and pays the power bill to keep the reservoir aerated. Donations have also been made to community projects such as long term care and emergency measures.

Antlers and heads from the 2013 hunting season were mounted on a wall at the front of the hall. The comment was made that, although there had been complaints there weren’t much in the way of “big” antlers last fall, the display put the lie to that statement.

unity wildlife awardsWhen it came time for the hunting and fishing awards, Tania Heck and Ed Lantz were each called to the podium twice. Heck had both the largest elk, with a score of 333 7/8, and the largest ladies’ whitetail deer, typical, scoring at 111 2/8. Lantz had the largest goose with a 13-pound, 14-ounce bird and the largest rainbow trout which weighed in at 5.01 pounds.

Also taking home trophies for their hunting prowess were the following club members: Lee McGonigle, largest typical whitetail, 150 2/8; Glen Heitt, largest non-typical whitetail, 137 5/8; Omer Desmarais, largest non-typical mule deer, 195; Debbie Baldwin, largest ladies’ mule deer, 176, non-typical; Bill Rissling, largest seniors’ whitetail, 149 3/8, typical; Brianna Elder, largest juniors’ mule deer, 131 2/8, typical; Scott Purcell, largest archery trophy, 156 3/8, non-typical whitetail and Kurt Elder, largest moose, 132 2/8.

A number of fishing prizes went unawarded. Other than Lantz, the only other winner was Dylan Ganter with the largest jackfish, weighing 18 pounds and three ounces.