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Saskatoon transit union says City poisoning talks

The union representing Saskatoon Transit workers is accusing the City of not bargaining in good faith as contract negotiations drag on.

Jim Yakubowski, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 615, said the most recent vote on management's last offer was held Aug. 15. He said the vote came as a result of a request from the City to the province's Labour Relations Board to compel a vote.

Sask. electricians OK smart meter installer exemption

The union representing electricians in Saskatchewan is throwing its support behind an exemption SaskPower received to allow non-journeymen electricians install smart meters in the province.

A release sent out by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Friday states it endorses the exemption, and adds that the installers are members of the IBEW local 2067.

Highway speed signs east of Regina knocked over and stolen

Vandals have been targeting highway signs east of Regina this week.

Five of the new speed limit signs near White City were knocked down, and three temporary signs were stolen.

"That stretch of highway one east is a high-collision location," explained Doug Wakabayashi, Assistant Director of Communications with the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure. "And the speed limit there was reduced to 90 kilometers per hour to improve safety for everyone."

Wakabayashi says signs are one of the most important safety features on Saskatchewan highways.

Activist calls for inquiry into missing, murdered aboriginal women

After the body of a young aboriginal girl was pulled from Winnipeg's river and the remains of an aboriginal woman was found in a burnt out cabin in British Columbia, a Saskatoon activist is calling for a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women. 

Darlene Okemaysim-Sicotte is the co-chair of Iskwewuk E-wichiwitochik (Women Walking Together), a group which advocates for families of missing and murdered indigenous women in Saskatchewan and brings awareness to the issue of violence against aboriginal women.

Province speaks about SaskPower installer exemption

Saskatchewan's deputy labour minister gave some more details Wednesday on the exemption given to SaskPower for smart meter installers.
 
On Friday the NDP released some documents about an exemption given to SaskPower for smart meter installation; that the people installing the new smartmeters would not have to be journeyman electricians.
 

NDP demands answers on 'smart meter debacle'

The opposition is calling on the provincial government to speak to what it calls “the smart meter debacle.”

“This premier and this cabinet have remained silent and let’s not kid ourselves, they’re there, they are pulling the strings, they’re approving the decisions of SaskPower and they’re directing some of those decisions,” said Deputy NDP Leader Trent Wotherspoon.

Specifically, Wotherspoon says he wants to know who directed SaskPower to apply for an exemption so that workers installing the meters did not have to be journeymen electricians.

Committee suggests Regina upgrades new red light cameras

The committee in charge of red light cameras in Regina is recommending the City upgrade and overhaul them because the ones set up right now don't work.
 
According to a report put together by the red light camera committee, only two of the four red light cameras in Regina work at all. The two that do partially work are only picking up about half of violations because some of the lanes don't register.
 

Premier offers condolences after former opposition leader's passing

A former leader of Saskatchewan's Official Opposition passed away earlier this month. Dick Collver died on August 7 in Thailand, where he lived. He was 78 years old.

On Monday morning, Saskatchewan's premier offered his condolences to Collver's family and friends.

“Dick Collver was a strong conservative voice who led the PC Party from zero seats when he became Leader to Official Opposition status in the Legislature,” Brad Wall said in a statement.

Sask. families pay more in taxes than basic necessities, report

The average Saskatchewan family spent more in taxes than on food, clothing and shelter combined last year, according to a new report.

The Fraser Institute’s 2013 Canadian Consumer Tax Index shows the average family of two or more people made around $117,000, and gave up 42.4 per cent ($49,608) to governments. In the same year, the average Canadian family spent 36.1 ($42,237) per cent on basic necessities.

Saskatchewan’s numbers are just behind the national tax average of 43 per cent.

Province launches review of smart meter program

The provincial government has released details on how it plans to review SaskPower’s smart meter program.

Crown Investments Corporation (CIC) will conduct the review - something the opposition NDP has criticized, suggesting a third party should do the investigation.

The province calls it a “thorough” investigation, which will include investigating whether SaskPower did due diligence when it comes to managing the smart meter program.

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