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Saskatchewan firefighters back from tour of duty in BC PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dean Bear   
Thursday, 27 July 2017 13:10

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

The first group of firefighters that went to BC to help fight forest fires in that province’s interior are back home.

Thirty-six firefighters landed back in Saskatoon this morning, with more scheduled to come back home from BC and Montana later this week.

Steve Roberts, with the Wildfire Management Branch, says the Saskatchewan crews integrated well with firefighters in BC, and none of the crew members sustained any injuries during their tour of duty.

One of the fire fighters was Kevin Powder from La Ronge. This is the second time he has gone to British Columbia to help fight fires. He said one of the toughest challenges is the terrain.

“There’s a different lay of the land, the ground is a lot harder and it’s drier,” he said. “They use more heavy equipment to fight fires than here in Saskatchewan.”

There are still 48 firefighters and three planes that have been lent out to British Columbia and to Montana, which is experiencing the highest fire load in the United States.

Roberts says some of those crews may be coming back this weekend, but if things escalate in British Columbia again, he said there will be another crew sent to help.

Meanwhile, Saskatchewan’s fire hazard in the north is moderate with 25 small fires burning, which are contained.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 July 2017 13:12
 
La Ronge to host World Hepatitis Day testing and events on urban reserve PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chelsea Laskowski   
Thursday, 27 July 2017 08:53

Pamphlets on display at La Ronge’s 2016 World Hepatitis Day event. Photo courtesy @GeorginaJoliboisNDP, Facebook.

For World Hepatitis Day, healthcare workers in the La Ronge area want people to know that Hepatitis C can be cured with treatment.

Multiple agencies from the health region, town and band are joining forces to host a barbecue and children’s activities on Friday, which will be accompanied by information sessions and testing for Hepatitis C on the Mobile Health Bus.

Candice Hegland, a community case worker specializing in Hepatitis C and AIDS at the Jeannie Bird Health Centre, wants people to know there's nothing wrong with getting tested.

“A lot of people are afraid, right? So they feel like if they don’t know then it’s OK. But it’s better just to get yourself tested and know your status,” she said, adding that what you don’t know really could harm both the individual and other people.

A media release about the event states that both Hepatitis B and C can spread through exposure to contaminated blood or bodily fluids containing blood in a number of ways. This includes sharing needles, unsterile body piercing or tattoo equipment, and personal hygiene items.

The La Ronge area has a doctor who visits from Saskatoon every three months to see patients and deliver Hepatitis C treatment, and Hegland said through a 12-24 week treatment “and after you’re treatment you’re cured. You don’t have Hep C anymore.”

The Urban Reserve in the downtown region of La Ronge Avenue will be hosting the events on Friday between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 July 2017 09:20
 
More calls for a restart of the missing and murdered Indigenous women inquiry PDF Print E-mail
Written by Manfred Joehnck   
Thursday, 27 July 2017 08:23

Michele Audette. Photo courtesy of Manfred Joehnck.

Delegates attending the AFN General Assembly in Regina last night provided a polite applause to two members of the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women, but then things got a little more heated when the floor was opened up for questions.

Family members of victims and some delegates took to the microphones to call for a fresh start. There were several calls for the inquiry members to resign and a restart for the entire process, which began about a year ago. A delegate from Manitoba says the inquiry was flawed and destined to failure from the beginning.

"It’s not our inquiry, it never was our inquiry," he said. "We want a hard reset, and we are asking the remaining four commissioners to resign."

There was also a lot of criticism about the terms of reference, especially as it relates to examining police policy and procedures as it relates to investigating cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Family members say police failed them as well, and that must be part of the entire inquiry process.

Commission member, Michele Audette, says mistakes have been made along the way, especially in the area of communication.

"We were too silent, and that needs to stop," she said. "And that is something that we have doing, with mistakes of course. We are human beings, we are not perfect, but also we want to be sure we do it well."

There have been lots of bumps along the way for the inquiry, and not much progress since it began its work in September of 2016. Earlier this month, Marilyn Poitras, a commission member from Saskatchewan, resigned, saying she didn’t like the direction the inquiry was taking. In June, the executive director quit. Another big problem has been retaining communications staff.

The inquiry has a budget of about $54 million. It was expected to finish its work in two years, but that timeline will likely have to be extended, as only one hearing has been held so far. The budget will also likely have to be increased.

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 July 2017 08:58
 
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