Category Archives: Government

LIam and Olivia most popular 2015 baby names

eHealth Saskatchewan released the top 20 baby names in 2015 earlier this week.  Liam was the most popular name for baby boys for the sixth year in a row and Olivia was the most popular name for baby girls.  The second most popular names were Noah and Emily.


There were 69 baby boys named Liam in 2015, followed by Noah, Benjamin, Lincoln and Lucas.  There were 80 baby girls named Olivia, followed by Emily, Emma, Ava and Avery.

Perhaps the royal family’s newest addition influenced some parents in Saskatchewan, as Charlotte was one of the top 20 girl names in 2015 for the first time.  Last May, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, introduced the world to their baby girl named Princess Charlotte.

In 2015, 15,497 live births were registered in Saskatchewan.  This number does not include Saskatchewan mothers who gave birth outside of the province.

For more information on the most popular baby names, and to see the lists of popular names from previous years, visit the eHealth Saskatchewans website at

While 2016 new babies are being celebrated already by many families, our hearts go out to the Surine and Romanowski families of Unity who lost the second of their twin girls earlier this week. Addison joins her sister Emma in heaven. The girls suffered from a rare disorder, spinal muscular atrophy, SMA. Donations for research into a cure for this horrible disease that afflicts babies may be made at,


Next week’s paper

A jam-packed 20-page Press-Herald next week. There was too much stuff going on to fit it into 16 pages! Look for:

  • a report from the all-candidates’ forum in Unity held Oct. 6;
  • a letter to the editor that outlines what you need to vote;
  • some information – but no definite answers – on the strong smell in town earlier this week; and
  • a suicide survivor shares her story in hopes of helping others.

Then there’s a story on local companies making the Saskatchewan top 100 list, the RCMP report, a Warriors’ football update and more. You’ll even want to read the ads because there are a lot of fall specials and upcoming events, including the start of the fall supper circuit.

Federal election candidates in the Battlefords-Lloydminster riding attending the Unity Chamber sponsored all-candidates’ forum Oct. 6:

Conservative Gerry Ritz (incumbent)

Conservative Gerry Ritz (incumbent)

Independent Doug Anguish

Independent Doug Anguish


Liberal Larry Ingram

Liberal Larry Ingram

New Democrat Glenn Tait

New Democrat Glenn Tait







CRA telephone scam calls continuing

The calls keep coming. And where for a time the caller was almost always male, now sometimes a female voice is heard on the other end of the phone.

The Saskatchewan media relations office for the RCMP quoted one of the calls in a release issued Sept. 17: “This is Officer Brandon Walters and I am working with CRA Tax Crime Division. Now if you fail to return the call…I can only wish you good luck as the situation unfolds on you.”

The release went on to say, “The voice is convincing and forceful, but the call is a fraud. Similar fraudulent calls are making their way across Saskatchewan and threatening arrest of those victims that engage in conversation.”

Locally, the Unity RCMP reported Sept. 24 that they have been receiving an recent influx of complaints regarding the same telephone scam. The caller pretends to represent the Canada Revenue Agency and tells the homeowner there are warrants out for their arrest and, if they don’t make immediate payment, the RCMP will be coming to arrest them.

In many reported incidents the caller spoke English with an accent. The calls are all believed to originate outside of Canada. The RCMP are advising callers to tell the caller they are reporting the call to the RCMP and then hang up on them.

In particular, RCMP warn residents to not share any personal information with the caller about banking, date of birth or living circumstances.

For more information about Fraud Scams involving the CRA visit the Canada Revenue Web page at

Next week’s paper

As August comes to an end, the Unity Wilkie Press-Herald looks at what one area teen did on her summer holiday! Along with this story of a teen travelling to Nicaragua to volunteer, look for:

  • a list of the blocks in town being paved this year;
  • an interview with provincial NDP leader, Cam Broten;
  • a story on an upcoming move for KC Rescue; and
  • some Unity girls win another provincial gold!

Below, a paving crew works on 1st Street East and Unity SK motorists look forward to having a lot less potholes to swerve around.

paving streets in Unity

Unity veteran awarded French Legion of Honour

The Saskatchewan Honorary Consul for the Republic of France came to Parkview Place in Unity, Saskatchewan,  June 6 to present Second World War veteran Bill Fleming of Unity with the French Legion of Honour. The Legion of Honour ceremony was open to the public and many attended, including members of Fleming’s family who travelled to Unity for the occasion.

The induction and award presentation ceremony opened with O Canada, sung by Natalie Keller and Iza Belle Lucenio, accompanied by Irene Thiessen-Campbell. Natalie and Iza Belle also sang La Marseillaise, the French national anthem. George Ward, Padre of the Unity branch of the Royal Canadian legion, was MC for the occasion, and also delivered a closing prayer. The Wards and Flemings were neighbours in Unity for eight years.

at presentation of French Legion of Honour to Unity veteran Bill Fleming

Honorary Consul Vincent Martin explained that, to celebrate last year’s 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings, the French government “decided to present awards to all of the living Canadian veterans who participated in D-Day operations.” And not just any award, but the Legion d’Honneur — the highest award possible for France to give, equivalent to Canada’s Order of Canada.

Saskatchewan Honorary Consul for the Republic of France Vincent Martin

William George “Bill” Fleming landed on Juno Beach June 6, 1944 with Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied France.

Addressing Fleming, Martin said, “As a young man, Mr. Fleming, you left your family and your home to cross the Atlantic and participate to one of the fiercest battles in modern history, on a foreign soil, far away from your country, to help the people of Europe to get free from terror and tyranny.

“Your accomplishments during the Second World War are a vibrant reminder of the profound and historic friendship that binds together France and Canada. Our two countries owe each other their very existence as free nations and this indeed creates a special relationship.

“The French people will never forget the act of bravery accomplished (by) Canadian soldiers … There is no winner in war, but sometimes fighting is necessary. and you personify the great Canadian spirit to defend freedom. Your story is a bright example for all generations.”

Martin also said, “Freedom is more important than life. Many people made the ultimate sacrifice to allow others to remain free and unchained. This is the sacrifice that more than 45,000 Canadians made during the Second World War. The D-Day was this very first step that enabled liberty, justice and human dignity to break through.

“Canadian soldiers were on the front line, and it is with extraordinary bravery and sacrifice that they landed on Normandy beaches.”

Martin concluded his speech by saying, “So thank you so much, Mr. Fleming, for fighting at our side for freedom and democracy. Thank you for making France a free country, and thank you for making my family a happy, living family.

“I congratulate you warmly, with my deepest respect! Thank you so much!”

Martin then pinned the Legion of Honour decoration onto the already heavily decorated Royal Canadian Legion uniform Fleming wore for the occasion.

Martin, Fleming and Fleming

Fleming’s son, Harold, who lives in Ontario, read the citation which outlined his father’s accomplishments. Born in Plunkett, Nov. 30, 1916, Bill left home at age 12 to work as a farmhand. He and Nellie Davey were married shortly before the war.

Son of Bill Fleming

“In 1941, Bill enlisted in the Canadian army, joining the First Hussars, a London, Ontario, regiment.” Bill trained as a heavy transport driver and went ashore on Juno Beach with the Allied Forces on D-Day. “The next day, June 7, Bill watched in horror as friendly force bombers mistakenly attached a nearby site where the Sixth Canadian Armoured Regiment had gathered. Bill’s brother, Kenneth Fleming, was serving in that unit. Soon, Bill was informed that Ken had been killed in that raid… With his well-known grit and determination, Bill soldiered on, serving with the First Hussars through Northern France, Belgium and the Netherlands, ‘right up to the German border.’”

After the war, Bill and Nellie  bought a farm of their own near Swarthmore. Harold was their only child. Later the couple moved into town where Bill was eventually honoured with life memberships in the Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 90 and the Unity and District Heritage Museum  for his many years of hard work in both organizations. In 2012, Bill received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his community service.

The citation concluded with this statement: “This brave, tough old soldier has served well both in war and in peace.”

Earlier Martin had outlined some of the history of the French Legion d’Honneur. “The law that brought the Legion of Honour into effect was passed in 1802, during the reign of Napoleon.”

French Legion of Honour, QE II Jubilee Medal and war service medals

Previous Canadian recipients include former Governor General Michaelle Jean, former Quebec premier Jean Charest, former prime minister, William McKenzie King; Percy W. Nelles, Admiral and Chief of the naval staff during the Second World War; Rear Admiral Leonard Murray, commander-in-chief of Canadian Northwest Atlantic and architect of the Battle of the Atlantic; and Rear Admiral Desmond Piers, former commanding officer of HMCS Algonquin. “There are about 600 Canadian veterans still living in Canada, who have been added to what was a quite small list of recipients of the Legion d’Honneur,” Martin said.

Unity Legion members took advantage of the occasion to also give Fleming his 90th Royal Canadian Legion Anniversary Commemorative Medal. Secretary Theresa Keller presented Fleming with the medal.

After both presentations had been made, the speeches concluded and God Save the Queen sung by those in attendance, many took the time to individually extend their congratulations to Fleming. Cake, coffee and socializing wound up the event. Bill cut the cake, surrounded by cameras!

fleming cake

Big game draw opens today, May 1

Saskatchewan’s big game draw opens online May 1 and hunters have until midnight June 2 to submit their online application.  Early applications are recommended.

The big game draw is a transparent and equitable method of allocating a limited number of hunting licences to Saskatchewan residents.  This year’s draw includes licences for elk, moose, either-sex mule deer and antlerless mule deer.

Do not shoot without a licence!
“Saskatchewan’s spectacular natural resources provide ample recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts, including big game hunting,” Environment Minister Scott Moe said.  “This year, the big game draw moves to our province’s automated hunting, angling and trapping licence (HAL) system.   I encourage all hunters to apply early to ensure adequate time to familiarize themselves with the new process.”

The 2015 big game draw will be administered through HAL, including submitting, reviewing and updating an application, checking pool status history and purchasing a draw licence.  These changes help to streamline and simplify the process.

Customers can also verify their residency status through a new online feature.  It is recommended that Saskatchewan customers use this feature to verify their residency status before attempting to purchase a licence, or apply for the big game draw so that any errors in their information can be resolved.  Customers may contact the Active Network call centre at 1-855-848-4773 or a ministry office for assistance with issues related to their account information.

Saskatchewan residents who are sponsoring a Canadian resident in the Canadian resident white-tailed deer draw must have a HAL account.

If hunters are successful in the big game draw, the appropriate licence will be available for purchase on their HAL account.  Hunters can simply select the licences they want to purchase and complete the transaction.

For more information about the big game draw and HAL, visit

Consultants preparing housing study/plan for Unity

PrairieWild Consulting, a firm of community planning experts based in Saskatoon, were in Unity, SK, in mid April, meeting with various groups of people to discuss perceived housing needs in Unity and area. The consultants’s two days of meetings wound up April 15 with a public meeting at the Unity Community Centre.

Prior to the public meeting, they had met with local focus groups, the Unity and District Chamber of Commerce, high school and elementary school students, town council and the RM of Round Valley. They have also done work with other communities in the area, including Wilkie and Kerrobert.

Prairiewild Consultants meet with the Unity and District Chamber of Commerce in Unity, Saskatchewan, April 15, 2015.

Prairiewild Consultants meet with the Unity and District Chamber of Commerce in Unity, Saskatchewan, April 15, 2015.

A slide in the introductory PowerPoint presentation set out that, “The Housing Plan Will: Contain an inventory of the existing state of housing in Unity; Identify a continuum of anticipated housing needs for future development; Provide direction and guidance for future housing development in Unity on a 15+ year time horizon; Identify roles and relationships on housing for the Town and the RM of Round Valley; Set targets and priorities for housing development; Identify strategies for achieving housing targets, including relationships with the RM; and Identify performance measures and methods of reporting on progress.”

PrairieWild staff were here in March, walking the streets with cameras and notepads in hand, gathering the information to create the inventory of current housing in Unity. The bulk of housing available in Unity is single, detached homes and, according to the consultants, that fact is reflected in the average price of housing locally.

The PrairieWild staff put the approximately 20 people in attendance at the public meeting through some small group exercises, designed to elicit input from the community before they complete their report. Participants were asked what would be the ideal housing mix for Unity and what was currently missing from that list. One common theme which emerged from each group included the need in town for rental housing for young families.

Participants also completed a mapping exercise, choosing locations in and around town for various types of housing including assisted living, condominiums, short term lodging, small country living acreages, rental homes, apartments and single detached homes. Finally, groups came up with what was needed when, looking one to five years, five to 10 years and 10 to 15 years into the future.

All the information, maps created and timelines filled in were collected for consideration by PrairieWild as they work to complete Unity’s housing study and plan. They will be presenting a draft report to town council May 7, with the final report due May 19.

Unity SK housing study goals


Saskatchewan recognizes National Wildlife Week

The Government of Saskatchewan is pleased to join the Canadian Wildlife Federation and the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation to recognize April 5 to 11 as National Wildlife Week.

“Saskatchewan’s diverse wildlife is one of our most valuable natural resources and provides a variety of recreational, educational, and economic opportunities for Saskatchewan residents,” Environment Minister Scott Moe said.  “Our government is committed to protecting Saskatchewan wildlife and their habitats for future generations.  We value and support conservation efforts of our stakeholders and encourage individuals to become involved at a local level.”

April 10, 2015 marks the 150th birthday of the late Jack Miner, one of the founders of Canada’s conservation movement.  Miner is credited with saving the Canada goose from extinction.  In honour of his invaluable contributions to conservation, this year’s theme focuses on wild migrations.

The Canadian Wildlife Federation will use this week as an opportunity to highlight the challenging migratory journeys of Canada’s wildlife, including 20 currently at-risk species.

“National Wildlife Week is a great opportunity to appreciate the unsurpassed wildlife diversity and healthy ecosystems we enjoy in Saskatchewan,” Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation President David Pezderic said.  “The 2012 Canadian Nature Survey confirms that more than 80 per cent of Canadians participate in nature-based activities every year and spend more than $40 billion annually on those activities.”

National Wildlife Week, initially proclaimed by Parliament in 1947, is a program created by the Canadian Wildlife Federation for the purpose of celebrating our country’s natural heritage and promoting the importance of its conservation.  The spirit of National Wildlife Week is complimentary of the Ministry of Environment’s dedication to the maintenance and preservation of Saskatchewan’s wildlife and natural habitats.

Canada geese in early spring

SaskEnergy warning customers about scam phonecalls

SaskEnergy is warning its customers of a telemarketing scam occurring in various areas of the province.

SaskEnergy has received reports that individuals claiming to be from SaskEnergy are contacting customers threatening disconnection of their natural gas service unless a payment is made. The caller claimed to be a SaskEnergy representative.

The calls are reported to be coming from 1-800-983-1304 and the caller ID reads SaskEnergy (the name or number on your call display may vary).  The caller asks for a payment by prepaid debit or credit card.

This is not a SaskEnergy representative. While SaskEnergy does contact customers via phone from time to time, the corporation never requests payment information over the phone, and does not accept prepaid debit or credit cards.

Anyone who has received calls of this nature should report the call to Phonebusters (the Canadian Anti-fraud Call Centre) at 1-888-495-8501. If a customer has provided personal financial information, including bank account or credit card information, over the phone, they should report the matter to their local police, as well as immediately contact their financial institution.

If you have questions about your SaskEnergy bill, or are unsure if the person contacting you is from SaskEnergy, ask for the person’s name, and call SaskEnergy back at 1-800-567-8899 to verify the caller.

Free ice fishing weekend!

February 14 to 16 marks another free fishing weekend in Saskatchewan – the first in winter – to promote the province’s many ice fishing opportunities.  This means everyone, including visitors from outside the province, can fish in Saskatchewan on Family Day weekend without having to purchase a licence.

Environment Minister Scott Moe said.  “The Family Day weekend is an excellent opportunity for people of all ages to learn about and enjoy the sport of ice fishing, and to recognize the province’s diverse angling opportunities.”

Caution and common sense are key to safe and enjoyable ice fishing.  Test the ice thickness before you travel on it.  A minimum of 10 cm of good ice is required for walking and 30 cm for light vehicle travel.

Anglers are reminded that all other fishing regulations, including possession limits and reduced limits on some lakes and rivers, remain in effect.

More information about fishing in Saskatchewan can be found in the 2014 Anglers’ Guide, available wherever fishing licences are sold, or online at