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Saskatchewan labour climate stable according to arbitrator

Watch above: labour relations calm in Saskatchewan compared to other regions

SASKATOON – Saskatchewan’s labour relations climate is relatively calm compared to other parts of the country, according to a local arbitrator.

Alan Ponak, a labour arbitrator and mediator, referenced British Columbia’s current teacher’s strike when assessing the current labour situation in Saskatchewan.

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  • Locked-out Cameco workers picket Saskatoon headquarters

  • Saskatchewan teachers reject second contract offer

  • Saskatoon transit union rejects city’s final offer

“There have been major province wide walkouts in almost every sector of their economy; we haven’t seen that nearly to the same extent in Saskatchewan,” said Ponak, who has been a practising arbitrator since 1982.

“Right now in Saskatchewan we have relative labour stability; the worst on-going dispute is Cameco in the uranium sector,” he added.

Saskatchewan does have a number of groups that are looking for new contacts.

Cameco’s labour dispute has led to a work stoppage at two of its production facilities. Saskatoon’s transit union has been at odds with the city over a new contract and Saskatchewan’s teachers are also looking for a new deal with the province.

In 2011, Saskatchewan’s teachers took limited strike action, however the current dispute hasn’t gotten to that point yet.

“There’s certainly not a love-in between the labour movement and the current government, but I think by and large they’ve managed to work together,” said Ponak, who added that all governments, regardless of party affiliation, end up in labour disagreements.

Despite the current disputes, data from the Canadian Labour Congress suggests that being in a union is financially beneficial. The group, which says it represents the interests of affiliated workers, claims that unionised workers in Saskatchewan make $4.99 an hour more than the non-unionised labour force.

BMW Championship: Stakes familiar in FedEx Cup playoff, even if course is not – National

CHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. – Phil Mickelson and Geoff Ogilvy were eager to get to Cherry Hills for the BMW Championship, for reasons more than just advancing to the third FedEx Cup playoff event.

Mickelson is part of the history at the fabled club in the Denver suburbs.

Ogilvy had only read about it. He took a day off from golf and spent more time with his nose in a book than with a club in his hand.

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“I did a little more research on Cherry Hills. It’s supposed to be pretty good,” he said Tuesday night. “Hogan hit 34 greens in a row on Saturday playing with Nicklaus, and then he spins it off 17 with what was nearly a perfect shot. I just want to see how impressive that was, to be honest with you.”

He was talking about the 1960 U.S. Open, the great convergence of three generations – Ben Hogan and his last good shot at a fifth U.S. Open title, Arnold Palmer’s most celebrated charge that began with a driver onto the first green, and the debut of Jack Nicklaus, a 20-year-old amateur who easily could have won that day.

“Not many courses have the history of Arnold Palmer driving a par 4,” Ogilvy said. “I just want to see it.”

Mickelson has experienced it.

Of the 69 players who advanced to the BMW Championship, no one knows Cherry Hills better than Mickelson. He played six matches in 1990 on his way to winning the U.S. Amateur when he was a college kid with his collar turned up and even more bravado than he has now.

On the first hole in one of his matches, it was taking so long because of rulings that Mickelson conceded his opponent a 35-foot par putt, and then rolled in a short birdie. He could only recall four of the six players he beat that week, though he remembers trying to drive the first green every day because that’s what Arnie did.

“I’m pretty excited to get back to Cherry Hills,” Mickelson said. “There’s an emotional tie there for me.”

And for all of them, there is work to be done.

The BMW Championship, which starts Thursday after a Labor Day finish outside Boston, is the final chance for 30 players to advance to the Tour Championship with all its perks, from a mathematical shot at the $10 million FedEx Cup bonus to a spot in the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open next year.

Chris Kirk went to No. 1 in the FedEx Cup with his victory in the Deutsche Bank Championship, which assured him a clear shot at the $10 million even if it wasn’t good enough for U.S. captain Tom Watson to select him for the Ryder Cup.

The more compelling stories are those on the bubble, and no one feels more at home there than Ogilvy.

He missed the cut in The Barclays and was certain he would not be among the top 100 who reached the second playoff event. But he made it to Boston – by two points – when Troy Merritt missed a 10-foot par putt on the final hole at Ridgewood, and hours later, Brendon Todd made a 15-foot par putt on the same hole.

“I thought I was going to be a week-and-a-half into my drinking season at this point,” Ogilvy said.

He thought the same thing at the TPC Boston until he started making just about every putt he looked at over the last 27 holes. Ogilvy briefly was tied for the lead, and his 65-65 finish gave him a tie for second. But even that contained some drama.

Ogilvy was alone in third until Russell Henley made a 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to tie him. Then, Billy Horschel missed a par putt after hitting into the hazard, and Ogilvy wound up in a three-way tie for second.

Because of the points distribution, Ogilvy went from No. 30 after Henley made his putt to No. 24 after Horschel missed his putt.

“I found myself quite interested in Billy and Russell,” he said. “Normally, I wouldn’t. At a normal tournament, you would finish and say, ‘OK, this was a good week and move on.’ But the FedEx Cup makes you think about that stuff. In a 20-second period, I go from third on my own to tied for third and then tied for second.”

And with that good fortune comes more pressure.

Given the breaks he required to get to Boston, much less Denver, Ogilvy felt he was playing with house money. Now, he is close enough to East Lake – and a return to the Masters for the first time in three years – that it has his full attention.

“Not only is it a realistic proposition, I kind of have to mess up not to get there,” he said. “Before I said it was house money. Anything I did last week was a bonus. Now I’m back in the mix for the whole thing.”

©2014The Canadian Press

City of Regina believes civic pension plan “solution” could be imposed – Regina

REGINA – In the latest move in the civic pension dispute, the city of Regina is submitting a proposed plan to the provincial regulator without input from the employee groups.

“It is the responsible thing to do,” said City Manager Glen Davies to reporters Wednesday afternoon.

The proposal comes following increased pressure from the Deputy Superintendent of Pensions of the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority (FCAA), who in July announced a potential cancellation of the plan if a deal isn’t reached.

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Despite the current veto power on both sides of the dispute, the city believes it’s found a way to impose its proposal.

“This was a plan that was created by city council bylaw and so ultimately it may boil down to council determining what amendments need to be made to the bylaw alterations,” said Davies. “A solution to the current circumstances may be imposed.”

The city’s proposal also includes a way to pay down the estimated $240 million deficit. The employers would take on 70 per cent while the employees would cough up the rest.

“Paying it off over 40 years is all well and good, but the money has to come from something else,” said Jason Childs, associate professor of economics at the University of Regina. “The city is taking on two fairly large infrastructure projects right now, with the stadium and the sewer treatment plant. They’re carrying a fair bit of debt.”

The city is also proposing new contribution rates of 10.5 per cent for the employee and 11.6 per cent for the employer, which is slightly different from the current even split.

Additionally, if the plan dips back into the red, the city is out with a list of steps to follow, including a one-time 0.5 per cent contribution rate increase for both sides and an elimination of the bridge benefit for retirees younger than 65.

“We are disappointed that the City is walking away from a deal we signed in good faith just over a year ago,” said Kirby Benning, chair of the pension and benefits committee, in a statement. “We are concerned that they are trying to keep the concessions we agreed to while stripping away the defined benefit nature of the plan – the core aspect that both sides agreed to protect in our original deal.”

The civic pension plan impacts 4,000 employees and 3,000 retirees.

The employers represented include the City of Regina, the Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant, Regina Board of Education, Regina Public Library, and the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region.

Looking for a place to stay during TIFF?Hotels aren’t your only option – Toronto

Some Torontonians are opening their homes during TIFF and renting out rooms or the whole apartment, condo or house.

They’re getting connected online through Airbnb.

“It’s pretty simple,” said Aaron Zifkin, Country Manager of Airbnb, “Individuals just go online and create a listing profile for their space.”

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  • Will a sharing economy change us from buyers to bartering borrowers?

Prospective renters can look at descriptions and reviews of the location and sign up online. A letter sent out to prospective Airbnb hosts claims a person could “Earn up to $1000 a night by simply opening your doors to festival goers from around the world during the Toronto International Film Festival.”

“It really depends on the type of home you have and the location of the place,” said Zifkin.

Esther Goldlust is renting out rooms in her home during TIFF and feels safe doing so. “I feel very comfortable. I’ve been doing this for two years and I’ve had virtually no problems.”

Zifkin says transactions are done on their secure platform. Both hosts and guests are reviewed on the website. This allows each party to learn more information about the accommodation and visitor.

“All of our hosts have a guarantee. It’s called the Airbnb Host Guarantee which covers all of our hosts for up to $900,000 for any damages that occur during the time that somebody’s renting their place,” said Zifkin. “So we have full coverage.”

It is legal in Toronto to rent an apartment or home. However, if renters are interested in subletting – Airbnb suggests looking through the lease agreement carefully to see if it is allowed.

This is the first year that Airbnb is a sponsor of TIFF. Although they have been operating since 2009, this will be the first year they officially track participation numbers during TIFF.

Airbnb operates in 35,000 cities in 190 countries around the world.

Tips for travellers:

Aygelina Brogan, Travel Expert

Read all of the reviews, if you see an issue more than once it’s a red flag.Lukewarm reviews are also a sign of people just wanting to be polite. Look for shining praise of the space and the host.Ask lots of questions. Wifi may be available but is it free? Is there a cleaning fee?Make sure you have the cell phone number of the host and that they are available at your arrival time (unfortunately, I once arrived in London, had issues with the key and my host was at a wedding without cell reception).Ask for the address. Many spaces will say they are a 5 minute walk to transit but in reality it is 10 or 15 minutes. With the address you can use Google maps to investigate.

Walmart takedown sparks questions about security training

(Watch Above: Video of the takedown posted on Live Leak by user OPD21. Warning: the content may be disturbing to some.)

EDMONTON – A video depicting a violent takedown and arrest of a man allegedly stealing from Walmart by two loss prevention workers is raising questions about training for security staff.

The August 28 altercation, caught on video and posted on the website Live Leak by user OPD21 on Monday, led to an Edmonton police investigation, an internal Walmart review and a review under a provincial act.

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  • Watch: Violent takedown of alleged Walmart shoplifter; police investigate

READ MORE: Violent takedown of alleged Walmart shoplifter; police investigate 

Jeremy Garnhum, 26, faces six charges including assault with a weapon, assault to overcome arrest, theft under $5,000, and possession of a weapon dangerous to the public. The accused was treated for injuries but not admitted to hospital.

As of Wednesday, charges had not been laid against the loss prevention workers.

In Alberta, the security industry operates under the Security Services and Investigators Act. 

The provincial government must license businesses and individuals in this industry. Working without a licence can result in fines or court appearances.

Under the Act, a person seeking a loss prevention officer licence must successfully complete Alberta Basic Security Training.

However, David Hyde, who has 25 years of experience in the private security sector in Canada and a Masters degree in security and risk management, says in some cases the training is not adequate.

“The training in Alberta is about equivalent to a 40-hour classroom training course where paper and pen and theory items are walked through,” said Hyde, who managed security at Calgary’s Chinook Centre for seven years. “They learn about the powers of arrest, when they can and can’t arrest.

“What they don’t learn is how to actually perform an arrest, the mechanics and function.”

Hyde believes more specific, standardized training is required for security personnel who are not police or peace officers.

“We need to have those techniques taught by a professional training organization who understand the private security approach to making an arrest and the legalities and to equip the front-line security people with the requisite tools to make arrests safely.”

He says, in many cases, this training is done by former police officers “who may not understand the type of situations security staff face, who have a little bit less power, less weaponry and less backup of course than the police have.”

Larry Wheaton, an instructor in the Alberta Basic Security Training program at Calgary’s Columbia College, says training is essential, but the onus is also on the companies that hire security staff.

“Security guards – LPOs specifically – can make an arrest, so what they were doing was absolutely correct. How they were doing it is a matter of debate.

“That’s where a lot of companies fall short; teaching their staff how to do that job.”

Wheaton stresses he doesn’t have the details of the Walmart employees in the video or the company itself.

“The company – the onus is on them to give [employees] the tools that they need to do that particular job. And if employees are left to their own devices, they’ll fill in the gaps on their own, and make up their own plan on the fly, and what you get is often, what you see in the video.”

On Tuesday, Walmart issued a statement to Global News saying it was “deeply concerned about the incident” and was “conducting a review of our processes to ensure all safety considerations are addressed.”

Hyde agrees that companies also play a big role, and that their policies should address security staff, protocol and safety.

“All too often, I don’t think the employer really understands how their front-line security staff are trained, and what type of policy guidelines are in place – or are often not in place.”

“It may be legally permissible to make the arrest, but is it operationally viable to make the arrest in a safe way? This is the focus of training that’s very often missed out in my experience.”

A spokesperson for the province explains that duties and functions of roles covered under the Security Services and Investigators program vary greatly and include security guards, loss prevention workers, executive security guards, private investigators, and even locksmiths.

Regardless of the sector, the Security Services and Investigators Act is designed to ensure minimum standards of training, accountability and professionalism.

Complaints about actions taken by individuals and businesses licensed under the Act can be directed to:

Complaints Coordinator, Security Programs

Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General

9th Floor, 10365-97 Street

Edmonton, AB T5J 3W7

Phone: 780-638-3704

Fax: 780-427-4670

Email: [email protected]桑拿按摩

Follow @Emily_Mertz

Walk to End Knife Violence targets criminal code changes – Saskatoon

Watch above: a tragic incident involving a knife in Saskatoon prompts awareness walk

SASKATOON – Six months after losing his brother, Chad Boulet has organized the awareness ‘Walk to End Knife Violence’ in Saskatoon.

Boulet has arranged the walk to pay tribute to his brother Dustin who was fatally stabbed in the 2400-block of 22nd Street West in March.

Family and friends say Dustin was celebrating his 29th birthday when he attempted to break up a fight and was stabbed. He died later in hospital.

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  • Saskatoon man wants action on knife violence

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The walk is scheduled for Thursday starting at 6 p.m.

Organizers are asking people to gather at Cowtown, behind the Co-op gas bar off Fairlight Drive in the Fairhaven neighbourhood. The route will head east toward Bridges bar on 22nd Street.

Boulet says the walk aims to raise awareness but ultimately the goal is to change the law.

“No doubt if my brother wasn’t killed, I wouldn’t be researching the Criminal Code of Canada,” Boulet admits.

“But it’s unbelievable what is allowed. You can’t go into a public place carrying a gun but yet you can walk around with a knife.”

Boulet has emailed every provincial MLA, the leader of every federal political party across Canada, Federal Justice Minister Peter MacKay and even Stephen Harper.

He is asking for mandatory minimum sentences and for a change to the criminal code, making it illegal to carry a knife.

Watch below: Chad Boulet explains why he wants tougher knife laws

Knife crimes are down this year in Saskatoon. From Jan. 1 to July 31, there were 79 assaults with a knife. Over the same period in 2013 there were 98 and over the past decade the average is 89.

Alyson Edwards with the Saskatoon Police Service says Chief Clive Weighill would like to see prohibitive legislation.

“Any tools we can add to our ability to deal with crime would be a good thing,” said Edwards, adding knives are the weapon of choice in Saskatoon.

Edwards says the number of violent crimes in the city is down but the severity is up.

Boulet encourages everyone to be part of the walk. It’s expected to take an hour.

He feels the effectiveness of the walk will be partially determined by the number of people who take part, stating the message will be stronger with more people behind it.

Drop-off location for six-year-old deemed dangerous, gets corrected – Saskatoon

Watch above: Concerns expressed by a Saskatoon mother result in school bus route changc

SASKATOON – The school year is barely underway but already one local family says it has its concerns over their son’s bus route.

The six-year-old’s drop-off is just a few feet away from his home but on the opposite side is a busy stretch of road.

“When I was told where our new stop would be I was really happy about the time and I was really happy about the location,” said Jessica Isaak, mother of two.

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“That’s across from my house but I was concerned that my son would have to cross McClocklin Road which is a very busy road.”

Concerns were heightened after Isaak sent her son Jacob off for his first day of school on Tuesday.

“The afternoon was a disaster, I think the bus driver, as well as myself, almost had a heart attack with the number of vehicles going either around the bus or from this direction passing by the bus, with my son clearly visible that he needed to cross the street.”

A small change but one this family says had the potential to be devastating.

“I feel like if he has to do this all year, he will be hurt, that bothers me,” said Isaak.

An alternate route was suggested by the family’s new bus provider but Isaak said she wasn’t comfortable with the suggestion since Jacob would be out of her sight.

In order to safely cross the street, her son would need to walk close to two blocks in either direction then back.

“I have a four-year-old at home that isn’t always awake and that is not responsible for me to leave him at home, so then I guess it would require me waking him, bundling him up, walking them both down and back.”

Luckily for the family that won’t have to happen.

The bus driver on Jacob’s route for Hertz Northern Bus agreed with Issak’s safety concerns and changes were made Wednesday afternoon.

“The bus driver was very concerned that it was a busy stretch of the road and it’s all been resolved as of this afternoon, the bus has been rerouted and it will stop on the opposite curb in front of the child’s home,” said Ablina Kille, owner of Hertz Northern Bus.

First Student Canada works with 10,000 students a day and says it will make every effort to drop a child off in front of their home.

“Even if we have to go around a Crescent or block to end up on the correct side of the street where the children live so they do not have to cross the street especially if it’s a busy street, we want to avoid crossing in 99 percent of the cases,” explained Chanda Lockhart, location manager for First Student Saskatoon.

Approximately four city blocks is the furthest distance a child is required to walk back home with their age taken into consideration.

The company also has safety protocol in place regarding how children should safely exit the bus at the end of the school day.

“They will go six to 12 feet from the bus, they will freeze, the driver will count them, they will make sure they are present and accounted for, they will then close the door and proceed, once the bus proceeds ahead, the children know it’s safe to walk,” added Lockhart.

If a child has to cross the street they are to wait until they reach a safe crossing area and not jaywalk. Motorists are also reminded to obey the rules of the road and stop for school buses with flashing lights.

“The motorist should remain behind the bus until the bus has proceeded to go. They should also remain at caution cause there may be children on the sidewalk to cross the street to a friend’s house, so they should still use caution but they should definitely stop behind the bus,” said Lockhart.

Crossing arms or stop signs are no longer used by regional buses as a signal to drivers to stop since they are against a city bylaw.

Man charged after altercation at Rob Ford’s campaign office – Toronto

TORONTO – Rob Ford and his brother Doug Ford are defending a campaign volunteer who faces assault charges following a video stunt involving a masked man on Wednesday afternoon.

The mayor said all his campaign staff do a “phenomenal job” while Doug Ford was a little more forthright, saying the 60-year-old campaign worker “did the right thing.”

The campaign worker, William Byers, was charged with assault, mischief and theft after a confrontation with 43-year-old Paul Benoit. Benoit allegedly entered the campaign office around 3:30 p.m. wearing a Rob Ford mask, carrying a camera and videotaping inside.

The video of the incident posted on YouTube shows Benoit walking into the office where he was met by Byers.

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“Put that camera away. Get out of here. I’m calling the cops,” a man in the background is heard yelling.

Police said in a media release that Byers escorted Benoit from the premises and then a fight broke out in front of the campaign office.

It is alleged Byers kicked Benoit’s camera out of his hand, punched him in the face and took his microphone.

“I thought that I would be asked to leave but I did not think that I would get shoved, kicked and punched and basically assaulted for doing my Citizen Journalism,” wrote Benoit in his YouTube video description.

Benoit was initially taken into custody but was later freed Wednesday evening after showing police his footage.

“I was questioned by Police at 41 Division and released without charges after this video exonerated me.”

Benoit claims he was attempting to find someone who would actually vote for the mayor.

Doug Ford, the mayor’s brother and campaign manager, was furious about the incident when Global News caught up with him Wednesday evening.

“We live in a democratic society. You don’t go out and start barging into people’s campaign offices and disrupt,” he said.

Ford’s Scarborough campaign office is located in a strip mall on Lawrence Avenue East near Avenue.

Byers is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 7.

Nanaimo woman sexually assaulted after offering ride to stranger – BC

Nanaimo RCMP are hoping someone recognizes a composite sketch of a man who sexually assaulted a woman who gave him a ride from one shopping mall to another.

Police say that on August 17, a 24-year-old woman was approached by an unknown, “clean cut” man in the parking lot of the Shoppers Drug Mart at Country Club Centre. He asked her for a ride to Woodgrove Centre.

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She agreed to his request, and drove him to Woodgrove, where he asked to be dropped off at the cinema. While she was driving, the man made small talk with her, saying he had attended a wedding the night before in Nanaimo and also owned a small business that was not doing well.

Once they arrived at the cinema, the man began to make overt sexual gestures towards her. Then he locked the doors, choked her and tried to remove her shorts. She screamed and fought back, which caught the attention of a Good Samaritan. The suspect fled the parking lot on foot.

“The actions of the Good Samaritan caused the suspect to stop, run from the car and he was last seen running in the direction of the Island Highway,” says Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

The woman drove home and after consulting with her family, called RCMP.

The suspect is described as white, 25-30 years old, approximately 5’10” with short brown hair. He was wearing dress pants, a white dress shirt, pink tie and a ball cap. There was a white emblem on the front of the cap. Police say the victim was extremely upset and remembers little about the Good Samaritan who assisted her, other than he was older white male.

Police hope the Good Samaritan will come forward and help solve the case.

“Investigators are hopeful the Good Samaritan will be identified and can assist investigators with providing further details about the assault and the suspect male,” says Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

Anyone with information is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or go online at 杭州夜生活nanaimocrimestoppers杭州夜网

WATCH: Penticton senior accused of defaming city staff

PENTICTON, B.C.  — Elvena Slump, 75, feels a responsibility to keep Penticton council and city staff accountable for their actions.

Her criticisms and concerns are regularly published in the letter to the editor sections of local newspapers.

But now those letters may be getting her into trouble.

“Free speech is dead in Penticton,” Slump declares.

Last week, she received a letter from Vancouver law firm Harper Grey LLP, accusing her of defaming three top bureaucrats at the city of Penticton.

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The letter says: “Your allegations are defamatory and unfounded…the employees are entitled to damages for the defamatory statements made about the and collectively reserve the right to seek damages from you.”

In Slump’s letters, she accuses one city staff of being addicted to power and bullying city council members, and says another stumbles from one mistake to another.

Deputy Mayor Judy Sentes explains that city staff felt harassed and threatened by Slump, and hiring a lawyer was a result of following WorkSafe BC protocols to ensure a safe work environment.

“Where that authorization came from? I’d imagine the city’s H.R. had a great deal to do this because that is their function in the defense of staff who feel like they’ve been victimized,” says Sentes.

Councillor John Vassilaki attended Slump’s press conference and says city council was not informed of the potential lawsuit.

He also admits that this may not have been the best course of action.

“Do I think a citizen should be taken to task because they’re putting their views forward? I don’t think so, that’s my personal view,” Vassilaki says.

Slump says she felt bullied when she received the letter.

The city’s lawyer says: “I expect to be a recipient of a full apology and retraction within the next week.”

The letter was dated August 28, which means the deadline is tomorrow.

But Slump will not be retracting her statements or saying sorry.

“I will not apologize for something I didn’t do,” she says.