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Sask. gov. says there will be wildfire review when the fires are out

While almost 100 wildfires still burn in northern Saskatchewan, on Tuesday the NDP called for an inquiry into how the wildfire situation was handled by the provincial government. 

The Opposition party is asking about things like cuts to resources, what they're calling rigid policies, a perceived lack of collaboration and information sharing with northern and First Nations' leaders.

Saskatoon moves to add e-cigs to smoking bans

Saskatoon city councillors have moved to add electronic cigarettes to the existing bans on public smoking.

The Standing Policy Committee on Planning, Development and Community Services voted unanimously Monday to send the issue to the full meeting of council on Aug. 20.

E-cigarettes and "vaping" have become increasingly popular in recent years. Though the battery-powered devices produce vapour and not smoke, they can pack a greater nicotine punch than traditional cigarettes.

Swift Current burlesque performance stopped over Sask. nipple critique

She may be getting some unwanted national attention -- but the head of an annual theatre festival in Swift Current says she would do it again.

Denise Wall of the Chautauqua Theatre Festival jumped to the stage to stop an unscheduled appearance by burlesque performer Rosie Bitts -- which had turned into a rant over Saskatchewan's on-again, off-again laws regarding liquor laws and stripping. 

B.C., Saskatchewan want co-ordinated national approach on wildfires

The premiers of Saskatchewan and British Columbia would like to see a national approach to fighting forest fires, fearing this year’s wildfires are the new normal.

Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall said Thursday he is grateful for the help his province has received from across the country and called for a partnership between the provinces and the federal government to ensure equipment is available where it is needed.

Training for military personnel on fighting fires also needs to be looked at, he said after a meeting of the country’s premiers in St. John’s.

Sask.'s restaurant inspection website down, but to return

There is good news and bad news if you want to find out how your favourite restaurant in Saskatchewan holds up to health standards.

A new and improved restaurant inspection information website is in the works which promises significant improvements including enhanced-search capabilities and more-detailed inspection information.
 
In the meantime, the existing website was shut down in March for the upgrade. The Ministry of Health doesn't have an exact time line of when the new website will be launched, only to say it will be online in the coming months.

Wall ready to talk wildfires, energy at meeting with premiers

Premier Brad Wall has made the tough decision to leave Saskatchewan as unprecedented wildfires burn to join the premiers meetings in St. John's, Newfoundland a day late.

He left Wednesday after briefing the media of his plans, and assures he will still take part in daily conference calls with the Emergency Operations Centre regarding the wildfires.

While at the meetings, he plans to bring up the forest fires. He said crews were running out of basic equipment because every sprinkler is being used.

Sask. offering 90,000 acres of conservation land for grazing

As concerns regarding a feed shortage continue in Saskatchewan, the province is offering some help to ranchers.

On Tuesday, Environment Minister Herb Cox and Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart announced that 90,000 acres of conservation land would be made available for grazing.

Waugh upsets Yelich in Conservative Party nomination

Saskatoon broadcaster Kevin Waugh is a step closer from making the jump from the sports desk to Parliament Hill.

“In sports terminology this is called a huge upset,” said Waugh Tuesday morning on Gormley.

On Monday, Waugh ousted longtime Conservative MP and cabinet minister Lynne Yelich, who held the seat for the urban-rural riding of Saskatoon-Blackstrap since 2000.

Yelich was most recently appointed the minister of foreign affairs and consol.

Physicians, Sask. government reach tentative agreement

Physicians in the province are headed to a ratification vote this month after a tentative four-year contract was reached between the government of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Medical Association (SMA).

The SMA is recommending its 2,200 members to vote to accept the agreement.

The SMA says, in a release from the government, the agreement keeps Saskatchewan competitive with Alberta and Manitoba to help with recruiting and retaining doctors.

It also says the agreement deals with issues that allows physicians to better serve patients.

Greek immigrant fears future of homeland amid financial crisis

Sitting across the table in the basement of the Saskatoon Greek Orthodox Church, George reflects on the past four years. 

Hailing from Piraeus, Greece, George came to Canada in January 2014, following three years of unemployment back home. He didn't want to use his last name for fear it might affect his latest work visa application.

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