1 week ago

LMT April 9th 2018

6 Monday,

6 Monday, April 9, 2018 • Last Mountain Times POLICY Continued FROM PAGE 4 yet parents are expected to venture out in a snowstorm to retrieve their kids from school because the highways are unfit for school bus travel. An officer explained to me that they had no influence over school board policies, that it was a provincial government matter, and that perhaps it was ‘safer’ to have students travelling in smaller groups in such situations, rather than have 40 students in one vehicle. I thanked the officer for his time, and then called the RCMP Media Services Centre in Regina. Their number was handy as I had just received another RCMP email advising people “to avoid highway travel altogether if conditions are particularly poor in your area.” I explained the situation to the person who answered phone, and was again told, in so many words, that it was not something the RCMP had any jurisdiction over. I suggested they should perhaps include the matter in their future discussions about highway safety and other traffic matters. Mr. Hrynkiw returned my phone call at about 3:50 PM. We discussed my concerns, and I was again given the ‘designate billets when registering” explanation. Again, I asked: “What if a billet family could not be designated. Not everyone has a circle of friends or acquaintances that can be called upon in such situations. Does William Derby School have a back-up plan? Perhaps house the students in the gym for several hours, or even overnight if the situation requires it?” Mr. Hrynkiw again insisted that the school has a billet system that is designed to handle situations like this. So, then I asked: “If that’s the case, why has my daughter had to ask her kids to wait at a local restaurant until she can arrange transportation?” (I later found out that I was mistaken on this point: waiting at a local restaurant was my daughter’s suggestion as a last resort, but the Principal disallowed that possibility, and later personally drove her kids to a friend’s house.) He agreed that the issue was worth exploring more with the school, and committed to getting back to me. While I was having these frustrating discussions with ‘officials’, my ever-resourceful daughter mustered her motherly instincts and reached out through social media. She was able to arrange with an acquaintance in Strasbourg to take the kids in until safe transportation could be organized. (Early the next week, Mr. Hrynkiw called back to tell me he had discussed the issue with the Principal at William Derby and was satisfied that situation had been handled properly and efficiently, and that the ‘designate a billet when registering’ was working as it should. We agreed to disagree on what might happen if a billet was not found, or couldn’t be found for some of the rural students.) You have to wonder how many other families in our area and around the province struggle with this issue each winter ...and why a more reasonable, common sense school board policy (perhaps mandated by the province and the RCMP) has not been put into place that would prevent parents from venturing out in treacherous winter conditions to retrieve their children from school. You really do have to wonder. -editor PS: Early Saturday afternoon, March 24, I received a media release from the Saskatchewan RCMP noting that they had responded to 74 motor vehicle collisions on Friday the 23rd. Thankfully, only minor injuries were reported as a result of those accidents. Tim Hortons takes reputational hit CARBON tax CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4 TORONTO - Google, Shoppers Drug Mart and Canadian Tire are the three most admired companies in Canada, while Tim Hortons plummeted from last year’s results, according to NATIONAL Public Relations and Leger’s 2018 Corporate Reputation Study. This marks the 21st edition of the Leger study that ranks corporate reputations. It is the third year that NATIONAL has partnered with Leger and the second year for The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business as its media partner. “It is clear that Canadians judge their most admired companies based on the ability to respond to a crisis and how they treat their employees and customer base,” says Christian Bourque, Executive Vice-President and Partner at Leger. “For Google, it is the sixth straight year that it has earned the number one ranking in the study.” Rounding out the top 10 corporate reputations in Canada are: Sony, Samsung, Microsoft, Dollarama, Kellogg Canada Inc., Campbell Company of Canada and Kraft.Tim Hortons, however, experienced a massive drop from its 2017 number 4 ranking to the 50th position. The company received significant backlash with its reduction to employee benefits, resulting in protests and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne accusing the founders’ children of bullying its employees. Samsung, however, had the biggest increase, pulling itself up the rankings from 24th place last year to fifth position overall. Last year, the electronics company fell behind due to its smartphones overheating and some catching fire. Since then, Samsung has been able to restore its reputation among users. “These companies are acutely aware of how serious today’s reputational challenges can be,” said survey spokesman Rick Murray. “Canadian brands everywhere must step up their reputation efforts and recognize that in order for them to build and maintain trust, they must do more than simply respond to the media.” For the first time this year, Leger looked at the powerful millennial group, adding their views to the mix. Millennials ranked their top most admired companies slightly differently: Netflix, Canada Post and Amazon (ranked fifth, sixth and seventh in the Millennial top 10) were the differentiators, shedding light millennials’ lust for on-demand video streaming and online shopping. The 2018 reputation study is composed of 241 companies. Only companies with presence in all Canadian regions are part of the Canadian ranking. -media release in 1993 to almost 14c/kWh today). Experts say that the CCS approach is costing SK $60 to over $100/tonne carbon (C), yet we complain about a federal “Carbon Pricing Tax” strategy that starts at $10/tonne C and will move to $50.00/ tonne C by 2022. What if that $1.5 B for the CCS had been used as a subsidy for hybrid vehicle industries, or as grants ($10,000 or more?) for all of the lower-middle and lower-class families in Saskatchewan to install solar panels? Our futures would’ve been served in smarter, more sustainable ways. What about the “Carbon Implied Tax”? Please access and read the Leader Post article “Carbon capture ‘implicit’ tax, says minister”, May 11, 2017, page A2 - citing Dustin Duncan. I argue that the Carbon Implicit/Implied Tax (CIS) is a major part of our CCT, our GST, and our PST (Wall “blinked” and raised this to 6% to help cover the increasing deficit and debt!). There are other implicit “Pricing” policies such as “Cap and Trade” schemes found in Ontario, and in California which has more people (37 million +) using stuff, than the total Canadian population! We all need to transition to a more renewable, less carbon-intensive future so we can slow the devastating effects of climate change: droughts (one year in SK so far; what if it lasts 5 years, like in California, or 10?), forest and grass fires, excessive area rainfalls causing flooding (Quill Lakes), extreme storms (tornadoes), disease (Pine Beetle in Alberta and coming here, and the Ash Borer coming), changing biodiversity (loss of habitat), etc. So what’s the bottom line? Want to pay less Carbon ___Tax? Drive a hybrid, drive that truck less or slower, insulate more, install solar panels, buy only the stuff that you absolutely need (ignoring the wants), or try hundreds of other ways! Stay posted. Will “Moe Taxes” change the list and amount of our “Carbon ___ Taxes”? -Barry Mitschke, Senior citizen, RM of Lumsden Disclaimer: opinions expressed are those of the writer

Monday, April 9, 2018 • Last Mountain Times 7 Nokomis Public Library “Luck of the Irish!” draw was done Friday, April 6th at the Nokomis Affinity Credit Union by Tara McNichol & Betty Styles. Deb Bloomquist was the lucky winner of our lottery tree with $100 worth of scratch and win lottery tickets. -submitted by T. Strachan Nokomis Seniors birthdays Nokomis Seniors celebrated the birthdays of February and March on March 30, 2018 at the Seniors Centre. Those present celebrating birthdays were Walter Scruten, Jim Tait, and Shirley Kirk. Others members not present, but also celebrating birthdays, included Ruth McNichol, Lorna Mansell, Graham Thompson, Winston Felske, Ilene Harding, and Judie Purdie. - Photos by Dennis Simpson Overheard at the coffee shop A mealworm meal AG NOTES CALVIN DANIELS While we tend to look to chemicals to solve most of the pest problems we encounter from ticks on our pet pooches and dandelions in the front lawn to weeds and bugs in farm crops, that may not always be the best option. It is always interesting to find those instances when researchers find creative solutions without turning to some complex mixture of chemicals. Such was the case in reading a recent article at The story relates to research taking place at the University of Saskatchewan which investigates a rather intriguing way to deal with wheat which has been infected by fusarium. Fusarium head blight can be a major downgrading factor for wheat. For instance, in 2016 it caused an estimated $1 billion in damage to the prairie wheat crop. The problem is that wheat damaged by fusarium becomes very difficult to market because it can be detrimental to both humans and animals above certain thresholds of contamination. The risk factor is one most just don’t want to take, leaving farmers extremely limited in where they can sell infected wheat. Researchers at the U of S, headed by Fiona Buchanan, an animal sciences professor, have determined they can fatten up mealworms on a diet of fusarium-damaged wheat and then safely feed the mealworms to broiler chickens. The story related how researchers bought one tonne of fusarium-damaged wheat with a contamination level of eight p.p.m. of vomitoxin separating the wheat into fractions that ranged from 0.2 p.p.m. to 12 p.p.m. of vomitoxin. Mealworms were fed the contaminated wheat for 30 days and then fasted to get rid of anything in their gastrointestinal tract. The worms were freeze-dried, ground up and analyzed for toxins. The worms contained 0.13 p.p.m. of vomitoxin no matter whether they were fed wheat with high or low doses of vomitoxin. The mealworms were then fed to chickens, which naturally like worms. The worms are also a pretty good chicken feed since they contain 50 per cent protein and 34 per cent fat. The research is most interesting because it finds a reasonable solution to a growing problem; that of what can be done with fusarium infected wheat. Whether the process is reasonably expandable in terms of production scale is to be seen, especially given the uncertainty of damaged wheat supply and the ability to feed the worms in a commercial chicken farm, but it does open some doors to explore. And it could well spur other researchers to look to more natural ways of dealing with some of the problems farmers face. - Calvin Daniels Disclaimer: opinions expressed are those of the writer. There was a message from the wife on the answering machine: “By the way, don’t eat those funny-looking mushrooms in the fridge ...I changed my mind.” Uh oh. Subscribe to Digital Edition Free! Midweek updates & corrections LMTIMES.CA