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Archive for March, 2019

24 March
Comments Off on ‘It’s the Wild West’: Opposition calls for Sask. campaign finance reform

‘It’s the Wild West’: Opposition calls for Sask. campaign finance reform

Financial statements released by an organization called Progress Alberta show that Alberta-based companies have donated about $2 million to the Saskatchewan Party over the past decade.

This had the Saskatchewan NDP calling for reform to campaign finance laws in Question Period on Wednesday.

“It should be Saskatchewan people influencing that. We fully support getting big money out of Saskatchewan politics,” opposition leader Trent Wotherspoon said.

“Right now, it’s the wild west.”

ChangSha Night Net

Premier Brad Wall said the Saskatchewan Party has received nearly $30 million in donations over the last decade and about 10 per cent came from corporations with headquarters outside Saskatchewan.

“How do you say to Crescent Point, who employ directly and indirectly thousands of people in this province, who have a lot at stake in terms of government, a chance to participate in democracy even if they want to provide support for either party,” Wall said.

Wall added that the province’s lobbyist registry provides transparency to the dealings of politicians and agencies like corporations and unions. This is because all of these meetings need to be documented.

The province launched the registry in August.

Associate political science professor at the University of Regina Jim Farney said Saskatchewan is lagging behind other provinces when it comes to campaign finance reform.

Most jurisdictions have some kind of cap on donations that can be made to political parties —; such a cap doesn’t exist in Saskatchewan.
Farney said lobbyist registries tend to work best when combined with these other regulations.

“Most other places have had [lobbyist registries] for a decade. So to some extent the tools that you or I would use to go is there something fishy are very slow coming on stream,” Farney said.

He added that even if nothing fishy is going on, large corporate donations can create that impression for voters.

“Saskatchewan has been murkier than other provinces because we haven’t cleared the water up,” Farney said.

24 March
Comments Off on 5 things you can do now to save big bucks at tax time

5 things you can do now to save big bucks at tax time

Some strategic spending before the end of the year can help you maximize your 2016 tax return by taking full advantage of tax credits.

“There’s really not a lot of things you can do to save tax in March and April,” said Jamie Golombek, managing director of tax and estate planning with CIBC’s wealth strategies group.

ChangSha Night Net

READ MORE: Simple tax tips to help couples score big on their tax returns

“There are things that Canadians can do right now to save some tax on their 2016 return, that would not be available to them if they wait.”

A recent CIBC poll found that 77 per cent of Canadians don’t think about their taxes until the New Year, and 66 per cent of Canadians don’t know what they can do to reduce their tax bill.

There are many ways to reduce your taxes (or hopefully get a bigger return), but it often means planning ahead. A tax expert can help outline provincial and federal tax credits available to you and your family, but here are some tips to keep in mind heading toward Dec. 31.

Children’s Fitness and Arts Tax Credits

This is the last year that families can claim up to $250 spent on art classes or cultural activities, and up to $500 on children’s physical activity programs. The Liberals phased out these tax credits to make way for the Canada Child Benefit. The credits have been cut in half for 2016, and will be gone entirely in 2017.

READ MORE: 6 clever tricks to help break the paycheque-to-paycheque cycle

Take advantage of these credits by pre-paying now for classes or courses for 2017.

“If you pay them now, then you’d be able to claim that fitness credit if you haven’t used it up yet for 2016,” Golombek said.

Home Accessibility Tax Credit

The Home Accessibility Tax Credit is new this year. Seniors or those with disabilities can claim expenses for alterations to their home to make them more accessible. This can be used for a whole host of purchases, from a new wheelchair ramp to grab bars in the shower.

“It’s $10,000 a year, 15 per cent of that is a credit,” said Golombek.

“So if you spend that money now, you get the credit right away instead of having to wait another year.”

Teacher and Early Childhood Educator School Supply Tax Credit

Another new tax credit this year, the Teacher and Early Childhood Educator School Supply Tax Credit allows educators to claim up to $1,000 of eligible teaching supplies purchases, and see a 15 per cent return.

This credit covers things such as construction paper and art supplies, as well as educational support software.

WATCH: Tax tips: new credits and enhanced benefits changes

Medical Expense Tax Credit

With medical expenses, you need to claim more than $2,208 or three per cent of your net income (whichever is less) for it to have an impact on your taxes. Partners can combine medical expenses, to be claimed on one person’s return.

“Sometimes it may make sense to pool all your medical receipts — you can use any 12 month-period ending in the year — so you can be strategic about that,” said Golombek.

READ MORE: The most outrageous tax claims Canadians have made

An example of this would be paying for your child’s braces in a lump sum now, instead of monthly payments over the next year.

You can see a full list of eligible expenses here.

Donations and gifts

If you’re heading to an event next year that provides charitable receipts, see if you can pay before the end of the year.

“If you can make that gift now … you can claim their donation credit this year instead of waiting more than a year to get the benefit of that back,” Golombek said.

Canadians get 15 per cent back on the first $200 of charitable donations, and a 29 per cent return on anything beyond that amount.

24 March
Comments Off on Broadway Avenue businesses hope to bounce back as area construction wraps

Broadway Avenue businesses hope to bounce back as area construction wraps

After months of reduced lanes, street closures, disrupted traffic flows and noise in a Saskatoon neighbourhood, one of the most massive road construction projects in recent memory is now complete.

Motorists will no longer have to re-route their commute along Broadway Avenue and parking for those wanting to window shop in the area has returned to normal.

READ MORE: Last span of old Traffic Bridge coming down in November

City crews replaced more than 1,600 metres of water main, resurfaced close to nine kilometres of road and upgraded 100 water service connections.

“We started on the Broadway project in May at the beginning of the construction season and even with a few weeks of early snow, we were able to finish in with days of the targeted completion date,” Celene Anger, director of construction and design with the city, said.

“Throughout this project we kept in close contact with businesses and residents working with them to make sure the phasing of the project worked to their advantage.”

WATCH MORE: Fringe Festival a welcome sight after months of construction

City officials say there was also an extensive campaign to ensure the public knew Broadway was open for business.

“There were some business owners that wouldn’t have agreed with that,” Kayla Kobiela, a flavour specialist at Oliv Tasting Room, said.

“Just going into some of the restaurants, different businesses, you know people said their rushes were gone.”

“I definitely felt that things were not given the publicity they should have.”

ChangSha Night Net

Compared to years previous, business at the Oliv Tasting Room was down 50 per cent this summer, according to Kobiela.

READ MORE: Improvements to major Saskatoon intersection delayed until 2017

Broadway business owners said they are out tens of thousands of dollars and now all they can hope for is foot traffic this Christmas.

“I’m really excited that it’s finally wrapping up because that means that the Broadway clientele can finally walk around Broadway again, visit all of their shops, you know parking was really an inconvenience so I’m looking forward to it finally being revitalized,” Kobeila said.

The city says going forward it plans to better prepare affected areas of the potential impacts during major roadway construction projects.

“You don’t really understand it until you live through it sometimes,” Anger said.

Broadway Avenue still has a little bit of construction left to go but nothing that can’t wait until next spring. When crews will return to the area to tackle some touch-up work, landscaping, sidewalk panels and to pave a small section roadway at the top of the bridge.

24 March
Comments Off on 2 Saskatoon Hilltops suspended after teammate chokes on tape wrapped around neck

2 Saskatoon Hilltops suspended after teammate chokes on tape wrapped around neck

The Saskatoon Hilltops are getting ready to play for the national championship but tonight the team is dealing with the fallout of an off-field incident that happened last month.

The Hilltops have confirmed that on Oct. 14, one of their players was taken to hospital after losing consciousness when he was taped to a pole by some of his teammates.

The incident occurred after practice at the team’s training facility.

ChangSha Night Net


  • Saskatoon Hilltops making a habit of dramatic victories

    READ MORE: Saskatoon Hilltops continue to rewrite PFC dynasty

    According to reports, the player told an offensive joke and his teammates taped him to a pole as punishment.

    The player wound up losing consciousness after choking on the tape around his neck.

    Paramedics were called to the scene, and the victim was taken to hospital in stable condition.

    Saskatoon police confirm they subsequently opened an investigation, which concluded that the two players responsible did not intend to cause injury.

    The victim asked police not to pursue the matter further.

    Meanwhile the Hilltops have confirmed that the two players involved in the taping have been suspended indefinitely.

    No names have been released but head coach Tom Sargeant said the offending players have a combined eight years with the team while the victim is a Hilltops rookie. He added that all three players and their families are involved in an ongoing mediation process that included a face-to-face meeting.

    “We remind our players constantly about being role models, doing the right things and being great when the best is needed, and obviously that didn’t take place a couple weeks ago but we’ve certainly addressed this with the team. They understand what’s in front of them into the future and the expectations that consistently have always been here,” Sargeant said.

    The Hilltops executive board met Wednesday night to determine how to move forward both in dealing with the Oct. 14 incident and what, if any, measures need to be put in place to prevent any similar incidents in the future.

    “The players all sign a code of conduct before the beginning of the year. They all know what their responsibilities are. Obviously this was not part of that but we’re going to take all necessary precautions to make sure that something like this doesn’t happen again,” said Chris Hengen-Braun, one of four operations directors who sits on the board.

    READ MORE: Saskatoon Hilltops down Calgary Colts 43-31, capture 3rd straight PFC title

    The news of the incident comes as the Hilltops are preparing to travel to Langford, B.C. next week to take on the Westshore Rebels for the Canadian Junior Football Championship.

    The team is expected to release a full statement on Thursday.

    Ryan Flaherty contributed to this story

24 March
Comments Off on Hillary Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump unaffected by FBI announcement: poll

Hillary Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump unaffected by FBI announcement: poll

NEW YORK – Hillary Clinton led Republican Donald Trump by 6 percentage points among likely voters, according to a Reuters/Ipsos daily tracking poll released on Wednesday, the same advantage the Democratic presidential nominee held before an FBI announcement that reignited the controversy about her email practices.

ChangSha Night Net

The Oct. 28-Nov. 1 opinion poll was conducted almost entirely after FBI Director James Comey notified Congress last Friday his agency would examine newly discovered emails that might pertain to Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.

Comey said he did not know whether the emails were significant and released no information other than that they existed. His announcement drew outrage from Democrats who voiced concern it would unfairly influence voters so close to next week’s election. Trump and other Republicans seized on the news to revive questions about Clinton’s credibility.

WATCH: Donald Trump is looking for a path to victory, as Hillary Clinton seeks to put up roadblocks in the face of tightening polls. Jackson Proskow reports on the race, and how explosive new allegations against Trump could change the dynamic in the final days.

Among 1,772 people who have either voted already or were identified as likely voters in the Nov. 8 election, 45 percent said they supported Clinton, while 39 percent said they backed Trump. On Thursday, the day before Comey’s announcement, Clinton led Trump by 43 percent to 37 percent.

In a four-way poll that included alternative party candidates, Clinton led Trump by 8 percentage points among likely voters. Forty-five percent supported Clinton, while 37 percent backed Trump. Five percent supported Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and 2 percent backed Jill Stein of the Green Party.

WATCH: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton effigy to be burned in England

READ MORE: Hillary Clinton winning the early voting race, new poll says

Other national polls have shown Clinton’s lead shrinking over the past week. RealClearPolitics, which averages most major opinion polls, showed Clinton’s lead had narrowed to 1.7 points on Wednesday from 4.6 points last Friday.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online in English in all 50 states. It had a credibility interval, a measure of accuracy, of 3 percentage points.