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World Juniors were a family affair for Ingrams

By Joel van der Veen IMPERIAL — For the Ingram family, Christmas dinner is coming a little later than usual this year. Brent and Joni, their four sons and significant others were gathering in Imperial this past weekend for a belated holiday meal. Normal traditions were put on hold in December as the family travelled east

Volunteer fire department looking for recruits

By Joel van der Veen DAVIDSON — Don’t worry if you’re not exactly calendar material — the Davidson Volunteer Fire Department can use your help. The department is looking for new recruits, putting out the invitation to all men and women aged 18 and older. “We need members and I don’t care who it is,” chief Clayton

Craik gets $1.4M grant for water fix

By Joel van der Veen CRAIK — A federal-provincial grant totalling more than $1.42 million is opening up new possibilities for Craik as the town continues to move towards restoring its potable water. Besides the clear financial benefit, Mayor David Ashdown said it was a sign of confidence in the town’s future. “I see this

Local input still welcome in move to single health region

By Joel van der Veen REGINA — Rural residents will still be heard when it comes to their health services, even as Saskatchewan begins its transition to a single provincial health authority. That was the message from rural and remote health minister Greg Ottenbreit last week, as he spoke with the Leader about the impending

Gift card project helps needy families

By Joel van der Veen DAVIDSON — Close to 40 recipients and families will benefit from the generosity of their neighbours this holiday season through the annual Christmas Gift Card Project organized by the Davidson Inter Church Association (DICA). The cards are distributed at Christmas to families in need in Davidson and the surrounding area. Monetary

World Juniors were a family affair for Ingrams

Brent and Joni Ingram, parents of Team Canada goalie Connor Ingram, wear their jerseys at their home in Imperial.

Brent and Joni Ingram, parents of Team Canada goalie Connor Ingram, wear their jerseys at their home in Imperial.

By Joel van der Veen

IMPERIAL — For the Ingram family, Christmas dinner is coming a little later than usual this year.

Brent and Joni, their four sons and significant others were gathering in Imperial this past weekend for a belated holiday meal.

Normal traditions were put on hold in December as the family travelled east to watch their youngest son on the world stage.

Connor Ingram, 19, was one of two goalies for Team Canada during the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship, helping the team to a silver medal.

His proud mother and father spoke to the Leader last week from the kitchen of their Royal Street home.

Coffee and baked goods were on the table, and playing in the background was a radio station from Humboldt.

Connor was on the air, answering questions of all sorts — like what makes goalies different, or what his favourite meal is. (“My mom’s homemade soup.”)

In recent weeks he has given a string of interviews to radio, TV and print media, and his parents also spoke to multiple reporters.

“We talked to a lot of people,” said Brent. “It was a way to get the message back home . . . When you live in a small town, you don’t do that very often.”

The tournament brought an unprecedented level of attention to the town of 350 residents, with two of its native sons taking part.

Kris Knoblauch, 39, was assistant coach for Team Canada, working with head coach Dominique Ducharme and assistant Tim Hunter.

Following a successful career as a forward on multiple WHL teams, Knoblauch spent two seasons coaching the Kootenay Ice. He currently coaches the Erie Otters, one of three U.S.-based teams in the Ontario Hockey League.

“We had two from a town this size there at the same time,” said Brent Ingram. “It was good for Imperial.”

“Imperial doesn’t usually get a lot of love,” said Connor, who spoke to the Leader last week by phone. “I think they liked it.”

For the full story, please see the Jan. 16 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

Volunteer fire department looking for recruits

Deputy chief Don Willner and chief Clayton Schilling of the Davidson Volunteer Fire Department pose with the rapid rescue unit at the fire hall.

Deputy chief Don Willner and chief Clayton Schilling of the Davidson Volunteer Fire Department pose with the rapid rescue unit at the fire hall.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — Don’t worry if you’re not exactly calendar material — the Davidson Volunteer Fire Department can use your help.

The department is looking for new recruits, putting out the invitation to all men and women aged 18 and older.

“We need members and I don’t care who it is,” chief Clayton Schilling said recently.

“We need to keep our department strong,” deputy chief Don Willner said, adding that local residents need to feel “confident that when they call 9-1-1, somebody’s coming.”

The department currently has 10 active members. That number includes EMS employees, who often have to leave a scene to transport patients to the hospital.

On average, around five members respond to a typical call.

The chiefs said they’re confident in the ability of their modest team to provide a fast and effective response.

But with fewer members, it’s harder to guard the scene of an accident or collision, or to provide relief when firefighters need a break.

“Everyone is so well trained, they have lots of experience,” said Willner, adding that without backup available, “you get physically worn out.”

The department responds to an average of 50 calls a year. About 80 per cent of those are located on or near Highway 11, and the chiefs have noticed a greater volume of traffic, as well as increasingly unsafe driving.

“People are going faster than they ever have, and they’re totally unprepared,” said Willner.

The remaining calls are mostly structure fires and field fires.

The Davidson department covers a large area for rescue service, stretching north to the townline road at Bladworth and south to Chamberlain, extending into the valley around Buffalo Pound Lake.

The main service area includes the Town of Davidson and the RMs of Arm River and Willner, as well as a small part of the RM of Wood Creek. Officials said they have also responded to structure fires in Bladworth, Craik, Elbow and Loreburn.

Davidson also provides mutual aid to other departments, including Craik and Kenaston.

For the full story, please see the Jan. 16 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

Craik gets $1.4M grant for water fix

Craik Mayor David Ashdown (at centre, in grey suit) joined with other mayors from across the province for Wednesday's funding announcement.

Craik Mayor David Ashdown (at centre, in grey suit) joined with other mayors from across the province for Wednesday’s funding announcement.

By Joel van der Veen

CRAIK — A federal-provincial grant totalling more than $1.42 million is opening up new possibilities for Craik as the town continues to move towards restoring its potable water.

Besides the clear financial benefit, Mayor David Ashdown said it was a sign of confidence in the town’s future.

“I see this as a statement by both senior levels of government that Craik is a viable community,” said Ashdown. “It’s a community that’s worth investing in, from their perspective.”

Ralph Goodale, federal minister of public safety and emergency preparedness, and Donna Harpauer, provincial minister of government relations and minister responsible for First Nations, Métis and Northern Affairs, announced the grant in Regina on Wednesday.

A total of 28 new projects in cities, towns and villages across the province will receive grants, through either the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF) or the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund.

“Infrastructure is the foundation of the Canada we all want to build for tomorrow,” Goodale was quoted, saying the projects funded thusly would “protect the environment, keep our communities healthy and livable, and will create well-paying jobs for the middle class.”

For Craik’s grant, the federal government will contribute 50 per cent, or $950,659, while the province will contribute 25 per cent, or $475,329. The rest of the funding will come from the town’s water fund, bringing the total to more than $1.9 million.

The grant represents a significant financial boost and an encouraging sign as Craik seeks to end the boil water advisory that has been in place since August of 2010.

The town applied for CWWF funding late last year, though Mayor Ashdown was careful not to raise expectations beyond the realistic at the time, calling it “purely exploratory.”

Council passed a resolution in December to request a meeting with consulting engineers from KGS Group, the Regina-based firm that has been working with Craik to address its water situation.

Bearing in mind the possibility of CWWF funding, council also asked KGS to prepare “supplementary design information in the event additional funding becomes available.”

Now that funding is confirmed, Ashdown identified three main points of focus for council.

The town will explore alternate sources of water and also investigate the other treatment options outlined in KGS’s reports, previously believed to be beyond the town’s financial capacity.

Ashdown said council would also look at ways to improve, renew and renovate the delivery system that brings water to users.

For the full story, please see the Jan. 16 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

Obituary: Lang, Alice

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Lang, Alice
1932 — 2017

Alice passed away peacefully at St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon. Alice was predeceased by her husband Wilf, infant son Jeff, her parents and all of her brothers and sisters. She is survived by her daughters Erin, Mary (Lawrence), her son Brett, her in-laws Marilyn and Greg Petroski, Ed Krieser and Betty Lang, as well as numerous nephews and nieces. Alice’s life was focused on her family and a love of nature and literature. She continued to enjoy reading and challenging herself with crossword puzzles to the end.

A celebration of her life will be held in July 2017 at Aylesbury Community Hall. Flowers are gratefully declined. Friends so wishing may make donations to the Canadian Wildlife Federation or the SPCA.

Arrangements in care of Hanson’s Funeral Home of Davidson.

Obituary: Ouellette, Anne

Anne Ouellette (Strmotich)
June 29, 1940 — January 4, 2017

Anne passed away peacefully in Saskatoon on Jan. 4, 2017. She is lovingly remembered by her husband of 58 years Gerald (Gerry) Ouellette, daughter Carol Kidd (Byron), sons Perry (Betty), Glenn, Doug (Denise), grandchildren Mark, Brody (Jelena), Kimberley, Dayna, Nicole, Mackenzie, Madison, Kristina and great-grandchildren Maximilian and Tyler. She was predeceased by grandson Robin in 1982.

Anne was born on the family farm northwest of Bladworth, Sask. She attended school in Bladworth and Kenaston where she was active in school sports. As a “stay-at-home mom,” Anne provided a warm, loving environment for their four children. As a loving wife and mother, she provided support and encouragement, and was always just a phone call away. If she could, she would always help. She enjoyed sewing and making crafts, particularly her Christmas Village, a favourite project that grew every year!

For many years, while the grandchildren were still young, Anne looked forward to the family summer vacations, first at Waskesiu, Sask., and then Fairmont, B.C. In later years she enjoyed her bowling league and many friendships.

Anne is survived by her brothers George (Mac) and Frank, sisters Mary and Kay. She especially treasured her relationships with Mac and Mary. A special thank-you to a dear family friend, Pat Confrey, for many years of love and support.

Anne was predeceased by her beloved parents, Josip (Joe) and Matija (Matilda) and siblings Tony, John, Peter, Nick, Joe Jr. and Fran.

At Anne’s request a graveside service will be held at Kenaston in early spring 2017. Arrangements in care of Hanson’s Funeral Home of Davidson.

Local input still welcome in move to single health region

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By Joel van der Veen

REGINA — Rural residents will still be heard when it comes to their health services, even as Saskatchewan begins its transition to a single provincial health authority.

That was the message from rural and remote health minister Greg Ottenbreit last week, as he spoke with the Leader about the impending changes to the structure of the province’s health care system.

Ottenbreit said Thursday that a gradual transition would be important to avoid the pitfalls that plagued other provinces like Alberta during similar transformations.

The upcoming change from 12 regional health authorities (RHAs) to a single provincial body has also prompted some concerns about a potential lack of local representation.

The minister said that community advisory committees will be able to report directly to the authority board, thus ensuring those local voices are still heard.

“There will be an avenue for communication that way,” he said. “We’ll welcome a strong voice from rural Saskatchewan.”

Part of that input will also come from rural MLAs, Ottenbreit added, saying that elected members will continue advocating for their constituents.

The Davidson-Craik corridor is served by a team of three doctors, and while the arrangement has met with success, it is complicated somewhat since the two towns are in separate health regions.

Davidson, Loreburn and Kenaston are part of Heartland Health Region, headquartered in Rosetown, while Craik is part of Five Hills Health Region, centred in Moose Jaw.

Ottenbreit said the two regions have collaborated well in this regard, but not all issues have been easily addressed.

“There’s still that border that does get in the way from time to time,” he said, adding that moving to one region would remove that boundary and the complications that come with it.

Health minister Jim Reiter announced Wednesday that the government would move forward with replacing the 12 RHAs with one single provincial health authority.

In doing so, the government is accepting the recommendations of a three-member advisory panel, established by former health minister Dustin Duncan in August 2016 to offer guidance on the future structure of the province’s health care system.

In a statement, Reiter said the change was about consolidating administration, not centralizing services, and expressed the government’s commitment to “providing high-quality health services in every part of the province.”

The report also recommended that the authority be governed by a single appointed board of directors, along with system-wide improvements such as the consolidation of administrative support and some clinical services.

The ministry of health has begun planning the implementation of the announced changes, with the goal of bringing the new health authority into being in the fall of 2017.

For the full story, please see the Jan. 9 edition of The Davidson Leader, or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.