Category Archives: featured

Davidson council amends business license bylaw

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — Feedback from the public has prompted Davidson councillors to revisit the town’s new business licensing bylaw.

The bylaw, which was approved in November and took effect Jan. 1, required all people conducting business in the Town of Davidson — whether door-to-door, from a storefront on Main Street or from their basement — to purchase a license on an annual basis.

At their regular meeting on Tuesday, town council agreed unanimously to amend the bylaw to exempt business owners who pay commercial property taxes within the Town of Davidson.

Bylaw 778, known as the “Business Licensing Bylaw,” had received some criticism from business owners.

Several town councillors reported that they had been approached with questions and complaints, particularly in regards to businesses that already pay tax here.

“We’re doubling up on those people,” said Coun. Gord Cross, whose motion to revise the bylaw was seconded by Coun. Todd Lockwood and carried.

The bylaw requires that the owners of storefront businesses purchase a license at a cost of $100 — but those who pay commercial property taxes within town are now exempt from this.

The bylaw’s other requirements for various types of businesses remain in effect.

Continue reading Davidson council amends business license bylaw

Dundurn RM council grilled at public meeting

By Tara de Ryk

DUNDURN — Concerns over road maintenance, taxation, expenditures, transparency and alleged conflicts of interest were aired at a Jan. 16 ratepayers meeting for the Rural Municipality of Dundurn.

The meeting was called by RM council to address questions circulating in the community about some of council’s recent decisions. It was the first such meeting held in the RM in recent years and it was well attended with about 100 people filling the Dundurn Community Hall.

Reeve Trevor Reid spent about 20 minutes informing the crowd of major issues and projects the RM had handled last year. He then opened the meeting to questions from the floor.

Ratepayers asked about recent expenditures including $230,000 spent on trucks and potential conflict of interest after council decided to buy the vehicles from Saskatoon Truck Centre, a business owned by Div. 2 councillor Louis Paquette.

Ratepayer Andy Olson questioned whether the municipality consulted other companies or considered putting out a call for tenders. He also wanted to know if Coun. Paquette had declared a conflict of interest and left the room, as the meeting minutes do not mention this.

Ratepayer Iver Johnson called for Paquette’s resignation.

“I don’t care how you stack it, what kind of spin you put on it. He should be resigning and made (to) leave immediately,” Johnson said. “Nowhere in those minutes does it say Lou excused himself and declared an interest.”

Reid said he would have to look into the minutes and see.

Coun. Paquette did not attend the ratepayers meeting. When reached for comment Thursday afternoon, Paquette said, “I wasn’t there to defend myself.”

Asked if he’d declared a conflict of interest, he said, “Absolutely I declare a conflict,” adding that when anything comes before council concerning his business, “I just leave the room.”

Ratepayer Glen Cline suggested that council meeting minutes contain more detail. He read a motion from the February 2017 meeting that said: “that the RM purchase a 2015 truck.”

Cline continued, “This is one (motion) I was most surprised with,” referring to a motion to pay five months’ rental on a storage unit located on the northeast of 31-34-43.

“I look at that motion and I don’t know how any councillor sitting here could vote on a motion that vague,” Cline said, pointing out the motion doesn’t say to whom or how much rent would be paid. Nor did the motion give a specific land location despite the fact the section of land in question is subdivided.

“If you’re going to continue to make motions like this without a lot of content you’re going to have ratepayers like me asking you questions. I want to see way more content in these motions.”

“We will definitely improve on those minutes,” Reid said, explaining that council decided to rent the storage bay in the north end for one of its road graders.

“We contemplated a shop facility in the north end for one of our graders. The north end consumes one whole grader non stop,” Reid said. To improve efficiency and save the 45-minute, one-way commute time from the RM’s shop in Dundurn to the north end as well as saving wear and tear on the machinery of the municipality, Reid said council decided to try parking a grader there permanently.

Reid said the grader was parked at a shop owned by an RM councillor. The RM paid $2,000 a month for interim rent. He said the bay beside it rents for $3,500.

“We did it for four to five months and determined it was a very viable alternative,” Reid said.

For the full story, please see the Jan. 22 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.


Senior boys prevail over Hanley

Hanley’s Zach Armada heads up the court with Davidson’s Tobi Arowolo (left) and Parker Smith following closely behind during Wednesday’s game.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — The cats came back Wednesday, as Davidson hosted Hanley in senior boys basketball action.

While the Davidson Raiders took an early lead and ultimately won 80-63, the Hanley Sabers kept them on their toes throughout.

Davidson had a slim lead 42-31 after the second quarter, and for much of the third quarter Hanley trailed by just 10 points.

Carter Block, who coaches the Hanley team, said the school is still rebuilding its basketball program after several years without one.

“It’s about turning a bunch of football players into basketball players,” he explained.

Though the Sabers played a strong defence and had good ball movement, he said improved shooting might have made the difference between a loss and a win.

After a few years working with the team’s core players, Block said he is seeing signs of progress, though he has also lost a couple of players since the season started.

“It’s up and down for sure,” he said. “We’re still pretty young, mostly Grade 11s.”

Continue reading Senior boys prevail over Hanley

Close encounters of the furred kind

Stuart Morrison of Davidson spotted two wild boar running across a field, about 15 miles east and five miles north of Davidson, on Dec. 22.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — Pigs might not fly, but as Stuart Morrison can attest, they can at least run pretty darn fast.

Morrison spotted a pair of wild boar while driving on a grid road towards Simpson on Dec. 22.

He said he was about 15 miles east and five miles north of Davidson when he saw the two animals.

“I seen these things coming across the field,” he said. “I thought they looked like bears to begin with.”

He stopped his truck, hoping to take some pictures of the critters, but they went hog wild, running off in the opposite direction.

Morrison followed them briefly, snapping three photos.

“They were running pretty fast,” he recalled, adding that they appeared to be headed toward an open grain bag.

He said he’d never spotted a wild boar before, though he’d heard reports about them.

He has spoken to several hunters since then, who told him that there is a small wild boar population in a ravine in that area.

Some have spotted the animals’ tracks while others have reported hearing them.

Morrison said lots of people have reached out to him since the sighting, asking for the photos or the location.

“They created a lot more interest than I thought they would,” he said. “It is something you don’t see everyday.”

Wild boar, native to Europe and Asia, were introduced to Saskatchewan through a agriculture diversification initiative in the 1990s, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

An unknown number of these animals escaped and survived, adapting to Prairie conditions and eventually establishing themselves in the wild.

Continue reading Close encounters of the furred kind

Renovations begin at Bladworth hall

Jim Cross performs a Rodney Dangerfield impression on the stage during Bladworth Variety Night at the village hall in this 2007 file photo.

By Joel van der Veen

BLADWORTH — They’ve only just begun, but efforts to renovate the Bladworth Hall are already paying off — at least in terms of its aroma.

Volunteers gathered at the hall last weekend for an intensive work bee, with the goal of removing surface mould from both the basement and ceiling.

Lyle Kowalski, who serves on the hall committee, said the smell inside has improved noticeably as a result.

“It’s a much nicer, fresher smell,” said Kowalski. “We must be on the right track.”

The committee is planning several major upgrades for the hall, which has served as a meeting place for Bladworth and area residents for decades.

Their first goal is to install a suspended ceiling, in both the original hall and the seating area in the newer part. Acoustic tile will be used, in hopes of addressing the noise issues that have plagued the facility in the past.

Down the road, the hall committee plans to replace the furnace, siding, doors and windows.

An immediate need is to improve the ventilation in the attic, which is believed to be the culprit responsible for the mould.

“It wasn’t done properly in the first place,” explained Kowalski. “It wasn’t allowed to breathe.”

This will involve the addition of new vents, as well as replacing the soffit on the eaves.

Continue reading Renovations begin at Bladworth hall

Chevy confident as leadership campaign winds up

Ken Cheveldayoff speaks to a crowd during a campaign stop at the Davidson Seniors’ Centre in October.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — With two weeks to go till the Saskatchewan Party chooses its next leader, Ken Cheveldayoff has a good feeling about the outcome.

“I feel the momentum is with my campaign,” he told the Leader in a Jan. 8 phone interview.

Cheveldayoff, one of five candidates running to replace Brad Wall as both party leader and premier, has attracted significant support from his fellow MLAs, including Arm River’s Greg Brkich.

He also pointed to informal online polls taken in recent weeks, a couple of which have placed his campaign in the lead.

“I’m very encouraged by the polls,” he said, adding that he doesn’t want to take anything for granted at this point. “I just want to work like I’m five points behind.”

Cheveldayoff was first elected to the legislature in 2003 and has been re-elected three times since then. He currently represents Saskatoon Willowgrove, and has also served in multiple cabinet positions.

A recent endorsement came from former Conservative MP and RCMP officer Rob Clarke, who was briefly a candidate for the party leadership.

Clarke dropped out of the race in December, less than a month after announcing his candidacy, and endorsed Cheveldayoff’s campaign.

“It was a real boost to my campaign, a real shot in the arm,” said Cheveldayoff, adding that Clarke’s support is helping him reach out to First Nations and northern voters.

Still, he added, he needs to go out and earn those votes.

Continue reading Chevy confident as leadership campaign winds up