Aug 19

Saskatoon weather outlook: above freezing days coming to an end

Above freezing days come to an end as cooler air slides in.

Saskatoon Forecast


Saskatoon has stayed fairly mild under a deck of low cloud through the night, which allowed us to only fall back to around -1 with wind chill values in mid-minus single digits to start.

Cloudy skies continued into the day with temperatures rising above freezing by late morning.

The overcast conditions will stick around for the rest of the day with an afternoon high expected to be around +2.


Clouds will stick around tonight as we fall back a few degrees below freezing.


-9 is what it’ll feel like with wind chill tomorrow morning before we warm up to an afternoon high at or possibly just above the freezing mark.

That deck of cloud is expected to stick around the region on Wednesday as well with a slight chance of flurries during the day.

Scattered, isolated flurries are possible during the day on Wednesday across central Saskatchewan.

SkyTracker Weather


Predominantly cloudy skies will stick around for the rest of the week with a very slight chance of flurries both Thursday and Friday.

Cooler air will press in from the north, dropping daytime highs back into mid-minus single digits with morning lows pushing toward minus double digits.

Cooler air slides in from the north later this week and into the weekend.

SkyTracker Weather

Weekend Outlook

A disturbance could kick up a little bit of snow on Saturday as mostly cloudy skies linger into Sunday with a slight chance of flurries that day as well.

Temperatures will continue to fall as an arctic high pressure system slides by northeast of the city and keeps us cool with afternoon highs in mid-minus single digits and lows pushing into the minus teens.

Archie Adam took this Your Saskatchewan photo of an ice road near Fond-du-Lac:

Feb. 21: Archie Adam took this Your Saskatchewan photo of an ice road near Fond-du-Lac.

Archie Adam / Viewer Submitted

Saskatoon weather outlook is your source for Saskatoon’s most accurate forecast and is your one stop shop for all things weather for central and northern Saskatchewan with comprehensive, in depth analysis that you can only find here.

ChangSha Night Net

Aug 19

What you need to consider before buying a home with family or friends

As Canadians adjust to hot housing markets and stagnating wages, there’s been increasing buzz around teaming up with friends or family to buy a home.

ChangSha Night Net


  • Canadian wages falling flat: Year-over-year, little change seen in pay

  • Surviving the slump: how to navigate today’s real estate market

  • American interest in Canadian real estate spikes as Donald Trump takes office

    About a third of Canadians would consider co-buying a home, according to a recent ReMax survey; Capital One research found that nearly half of millennials (46 per cent) would be open to buying a home with family or friends.

    READ MORE: Vancouver lawyer says more families joining forces to buy homes

    “With the cost of housing going steadily up, it’s become out of reach for many,” said Bill Whyte,  senior vice-president and chief member experience officer at Meridian Credit Union.”I think there are new generations that are coming in, looking at it differently.”

    Maridian has created a family or friends mortgage guide to help people through the process. Up to four names can be on the mortgage’s title, meaning four owners.

    “Here’s an opportunity to pool your resources together, pool your income and still potentially look at home ownership.”

    While combining funds with family or friends can result in more square footage, that bigger house comes with unique challenges said James Laird, president of CanWise financial and co-founder of RateHub长沙夜网.

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    Federal government hopes to bring stability to B.C.’s volatile housing market


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    Toronto woman stuck with mortgage even though she didn’t sign

    “Economically speaking, more income makes homes easier to afford,” said Laird.

    “But you need to be careful that anyone you’re getting a mortgage with are people you think in the long term will be good financial partners for you.”

    Before signing on the dotted line along with three of your closest friends, here are some things to consider.

    Know all the costs

    Home ownership is more than just a mortgage payment.

    “It’s important to know all the costs of home ownership … go in with your eyes wide open because it’s much more than just principal and interest,” said Whyte. “Make sure you understand all the moving parts of home ownership.”

    You need to consider property tax, bills, repairs, upkeep, one-off expenses — the list goes on.

    Real estate trends 2017: Will Toronto prices catch up to Vancouver’s?

    “Determine how you will share the home,” said Whyte. “Is everybody equal partners in it, is everyone putting the same amount of money into it?”

    Be on the same page as your home-buying pals for household costs and emergencies. Will you all contribute to a contingency fund? Try DIY options or immediately call in an expert? These discussions should happen before the basement floods or furnace craps out.

    You’re on the hook 100%

    “Everyone’s on the hook for the mortgage in its entirety,” said Laird.

    If you buy a house with two friends and one can’t pay their share, it falls on the other title holders.

    “The remaining people are on the hook for that loan 100 per cent,” said Laird.

    READ MORE: CMHC issues ‘red’ warning for Canada’s housing market

    Make sure you’re partnering up with people who are dependable — before you’re left with a larger share of the loan.

    “This involves a fair amount of trust … if it is [with] friends, you should be thinking of them more as family because this is a very close relationship you’re entering into and it’s a long-term one as well.

    Get everything in writing

    Get an agreement in writing that includes everything from dealing with disagreements to plans for eventually selling the property, said Whyte.

    “What happens when you want to sell the house? Is there first right of refusal?”

    READ MORE: Numbers show it’s harder for millennials to buy a home than it was for their parents

    Should relationships fall apart or one person wants to get out of the mortgage, what are you going to do?

    “Even with the best intentions, sometimes things don’t work out and it could be for unforeseen circumstances so you’ve got to protect all parties as fairly and equitable as possible,” said Whyte.

    Be prepared for things to get messy, said Laird.

    “Whatever the nature of the relationship was entering, when you mix business and money with friendships and family then you’re risking those relationships for sure.”

Aug 19

RCMP looking for man after hate message written in snow outside Red Deer Islamic Center

Red Deer RCMP have released a photo, hoping to identify a man who was caught on camera writing a hate message in the snow outside the Red Deer Islamic Center on Sunday.

Mounties were called to investigate at about 7:30 a.m. Feb. 19.

They said a man approached the stairs to the centre and “wrote a hateful message in the snow, signing it ‘E.K.’”

ChangSha Night Net


  • Montreal mosque vandalized: ‘It’s being investigated as a hate crime’

  • Hate crimes spike in Montreal after Quebec City mosque shooting

  • Hate Crimes Unit investigating after ‘Leave Canada’ spray-painted on Edmonton Sikh temple

    RCMP said the building itself was not damaged. However, “public incitement of hatred is defined as everyone who, by communicating statements, promotes hatred against any identifiable group.”

    Therefore, the RCMP said the incident at the centre is considered a hate crime – “mischief to religious property under the Criminal Code of Canada.”

    The Criminal Code of Canada defines a hate crime as a crime motivated by hate based on race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation or any other similar factor.

    READ MORE: #StopHateAB website tracks hate-related incidents in Alberta 

    A man can be seen on camera approaching and leaving from the north, RCMP said.

    The suspect is described as wearing a hooded sweater and ball cap under a jacket, light coloured pants and dark running shoes.

    Anyone with information on the incident or anyone who recognizes the man is asked to contact Red Deer RCMP at (403) 343-5575.

Aug 19

Satisfaction in NB hospitals rise, cleanliness needs improvement: report

Overall satisfaction by the public in New Brunswick hospitals has improved according to a report published by the New Brunswick Health Council on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Primary health improvement needed: N.B. health system report card

ChangSha Night Net

The council gathered information from more than 6,700 people in the province who had been discharged from a hospital between December 2015 and March 2016 and stayed at least one night as a medical, surgical or maternity patient at an acute care facility.  Responses were received from people who stayed in hospitals in both of the province’s regional health authorities.

Survey results showed 78.9 per cent of patients rated their hospital stay favourably, with respondents ranking the hospital between eight and 10 out of 10. The rate was higher than what the province saw in past surveys, with 75.9 per cent in 2010 and 75.4 per cent in 2013. The survey also found high ratings from patients who felt their safety was taken seriously – 81.8 per cent – and 72.5 per cent felt there was good communication with nurses.

The ranking patients gave to New Brunswick hospitals following their stay and the resulting favourability percentage. (Credit: New Brunswick Health Council)

Several key indicators were used in the survey, including language of service, pain control and safety. Sixteen indicators were used to produce the report, though 56 were used in total in the survey. For the 2016 survey, new indicators were also added which included admission process, discharge, and if patients felt helped by staying at the hospital.

“New Brunswickers use this survey to share their praise and concerns with our hospitals, said Stephane Robichaud, the NBHC’s CEO, in a release. “Improving health system performance by sharing their experiences, they support better health services for all of us.”

The report did show some issue however in terms of cleanliness, with about 52 per cent of survey respondents reporting they found both their hospital room and bathroom “always” clean. The rate was also a drop from previous survey results, where 59.6 per cent of people in 2010 and 53.2 per cent in 2013 reported clean rooms. By comparison, 30.4 per cent said rooms were usually clean while only 4.3 per cent said rooms were never kept clean.

How people ranked cleanliness in their New Brunswick hospital room and bathroom. (Credit: New Brunswick Health Council)

READ MORE: New Brunswick health network hears from public on patient experience

Patients also gave mixed reviews when it came to being “completely informed” about the admission process based on where they were admitted. Only 47 per cent of people said they were completely informed when being admitted in the emergency room, while 63.3 per cent being informed when admitted through planned or “other means.”

Other highlights of the report showed 61 per cent of patients got help as soon as they pressed the “call button” and more than 80 per cent of patients reported they always received service in their preferred language – 93.5 per cent when English was preferred and about 84 per cent when French was preferred.

An overall look at hospital experience by patients in New Brunswick in 2016. (Credit: New Brunswick Health Council)

Aug 19

Canada’s strangest laws: From witchcraft to blasphemy to sleigh bells

We like to think of our laws as a logical system, and at their best, they are.

On the other hand, some are like strange old houses that have been added to, tinkered with, repainted and adjusted over the years, according to the theories of past decades. In the house there are musty, long-closed rooms. We’re pretty sure you’d fall through the floor if you went in there, so nobody does. Over the years, it gets bigger and bigger. And if you stand back and look at it, the overall effect is pretty strange.

Here is a tour of nine of the oddest Canadian laws.

Selling (or buying) home brew? Get ready to break some rocks.

ChangSha Night Net

You can make your own beer, drink the beer you made, or give it to other people. You can’t sell it though, not legally.

But what happens if you do? On this point, the federal Excise Act takes a hard right turn into the 19th century. For the first offence, the unlucky culprit can be sentenced to three months with hard labour and for a second offence (after the offender gets out with a tan and an upper-body workout courtesy of Her Majesty) six months of hard labour.

Hard labour referred not to any work that could be done by inmates, but punitive, high-intensity work designed to be a punishment in itself. Sometimes it was useful work, like building roads, and sometimes it was meaningless, like filling and emptying wells, walking on a treadmill, or turning a heavy crank thousands of times a day.

“I question whether that form of punishment is ever going to be imposed,” says Ottawa lawyer Michael Spratt. “There are obviously Charter implications that come into play. I think if anyone was sentenced to that, or if the Crown was seeking that, we would quickly see a challenge to those sections.”

It’s not clear when hard labour died out in Canada’s jails and prisons (convicts laboured in quarries in Kingston, Ont. until 1963.)

And it certainly isn’t clear what a modern provincial jail would do with a prisoner who arrived to serve a sentence with hard labour.

“Practically speaking, I don’t know how you would possibly do that,” says Toronto criminal lawyer Sean Robichaud. “I’m sure that anyone who was sentenced to anything like that, their lawyer would be obligated to challenge that on constitutional grounds. It wouldn’t pass, but that puts an unnecessary strain, and ridicule, on the justice system.”

(The Foreign Enlistment Act, passed hastily in the 1930s to discourage Canadians from fighting in the Spanish Civil War, still provides for sentences of up to two years with hard labour.)

Thou shalt not market Viagra 

Before sidenafil was discovered in the 1990s, there was no effective drug for male erectile dysfunction.

For centuries, an endless line of frauds and quacks claimed otherwise, and made money selling men an astonishing variety of cures, from snakes to strychnine. (One 19th-century doctor recommended cannabis.)

In that context, Parliament seemed to be protecting the gullible or desperate when it banned “advertis(ing) or publish(ing) an advertisement of any means, instructions, medicine, drug or article intended or represented as a method for restoring sexual virility” in a section of the Criminal Code titled “Offences Tending to Corrupt Morals“.

Real erectile dysfunction drugs, prescribed by real doctors and sold by real pharmacies, are here — but so, to this day, is the provision banning advertising them.

It’s a defence to argue that “the public good was served” by advertising an erectile dysfunction drug but, oddly, not a defence to argue that it actually works.

(A few paragraphs above, the Criminal Code bans ‘crime comics,’ the legacy of a moral panic in the 1950s.)

We are not alarmed

Queen Victoria endured a number of assassination attempts.

All were more or less ineffectual (ineffective, but also inept), but she must have found them alarming. Her subjects, loyally, created a new offence of “alarming Her Majesty,” which made its way into Canadian law, where it has remained ever since. It has never, ever been used.

The law resulted from an 1840 incident in which someone fired pistols loaded only with gunpowder at Queen Victoria.

But if something similar were to happen during a royal visit in modern Canada, mainstream criminal charges would easily cover the situation, Robichaud says.

“In being convicted of those regular types of charges — assault, threats, attempted murder, even — the penalties themselves are not going to be any less.”

Don’t pretend to practice witchcraft. (Practicing real witchcraft is fine.)

Who commits this offence? Anyone who fraudulently (our emphasis) “pretends to exercise or to use any kind of witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment or conjuration,”  or “pretends from his skill in or knowledge of an occult or crafty science to discover where or in what manner anything that is supposed to have been stolen or lost may be found.”

People are actually charged under this section more often than one might think (which is to say, ever.) A case comes up every few years, and one is winding through the Toronto courts now.

Looking closely at the problem, pretending to practice witchcraft is really just a form of fraud that targets superstitious people. Also, fraud carries more serious penalties, so it’s not clear why a Crown would ever proceed with a witchcraft charge.

The Criminal Code is cluttered with variations on offences that have been added over the years, when one simple, clear provision would do, Spratt argues.

“We have theft of cattle, theft from clam beds and a general theft. Why do we need to have those other provisions, and not just rely on the general provision?”

What is blasphemous libel? No one seems to know

We should all be sure not to commit blasphemous libel, since it’s against the law. But what is blasphemous libel? The Criminal Code doesn’t say.

Is it libel, with characteristics of blasphemy? Is it blasphemy, with characteristics of libel?

“I can’t tell you what it is,” Spratt says. “No lawyer alive today has had to deal with it.”

Nobody has been convicted of blasphemous libel since the 1920s; a charge against a Sault Ste. Marie movie theatre in 1980 for showing Monty Python’s Life of Brian was quickly stayed.

“These obscure statutes can be abused,” Robichaud warns. “We look at these and laugh, and say ‘What is blasphemous libel?’ and say that nobody has been prosecuted for the last hundred years on it, and sort of chuckle at it. But with something like that you may have a particular political movement get into power, and then they start prosecuting on these sorts of things. Then it’s no longer a joke, because that otherwise unused law can be used.”

Conscription if necessary 

Outside big cities, Canadians in the 19th century didn’t have much in the way of municipal governments.

They did have some civic problems to solve, though. One was organizing schools, and another was figuring out how to maintain roads.

One common way of keeping roads in order, in Ontario and the Maritimes, was a form of conscription called statute labour. Property owners were expected to work on the roads for a number of days that related to the value of their farms (the idea seems to have been that more successful farmers could afford to show up with a hired man or two.)

For nearly 50 years in Prince Edward Island, from 1853 to 1901, the right to vote was based on performing statute labour. It was widely accepted as a fair system. When a provincial government tried to abolish it in 1877, furious voters immediately threw them out.

Statute labour fell into disuse in the 20th century (apart from anything else, contractors were more efficient), and mostly laws changed to reflect that. PEI’s statute labour law was abolished in 1948, for example.

In Ontario, though the practice died out long ago, the law never went anywhere, and the Statute Labour Act is still on the books ready for use. On paper, property owners in rural townships are one council decision away from being sent out to fix the roads, shovels in hand.

Ontario’s Statute Labour Act is an interesting case study of what a really neglected law looks like. Some effort has gone into it in our lifetimes — measures are all in the metric system, for example.

On the other hand, dollar values haven’t been updated in many, many decades:

Owners of property worth less than $300 are liable to work for one day$3-500: Two days$5-700: Three days$7-900: Four daysFor every $300 over $900, one additional day

We’ve calculated this for you: owners of property worth anything over $108,900 are liable to work for free for the township for 365 days a year.

(On the other hand, you could pay the township a fee instead of working. That amount hasn’t been adjusted for inflation either — $3 a day.)

Jingle all the way

In Ontario, if you operate a sleigh “drawn by a horse or other animal” you need to attach at least two bells. Failing that, you can be fined, but not more than $5.

But who would ever have a sleigh without sleigh bells?

The Senate, bulwark of the propertied classes, sort of

When the Senate was conceived in 1867, its creators saw it as more or less a Canadian equivalent of the House of Lords. The upper house was supposed to stand for the interests of property and balance the “will of the mob” in the House of Commons.

The Constitution still requires senators to have at least $4,000 in real property, over and above debts, to be appointed. At the time it was a substantial amount of money, but it’s never been adjusted for inflation. Nobody who is likely to be appointed to the Senate today would have trouble showing that they owned at least $4,000 of property, since a tiny down payment on a tiny condo would qualify.

You would think.

In 1997, Peggy Butts, a nun who had taken a lifetime vow of poverty, was named to the Senate. (She gave her whole salary to charity.) To satisfy the property requirement, her religious order transferred a small piece of land to her name.

And last year, Nunavut senator Dennis Patterson pointed out that the property requirement excludes 83 per cent of people in that territory from being named to the Senate.

(A senator whose real property falls under the $4,000 mark — for example, a senator who decided to sell his house and rent an apartment instead — is automatically expelled. It’s not clear, however, whether a senator can be expelled for actual misconduct, or who has the authority to do it. Don Meredith resigned before the question could be settled.)

READ: Expelling Don Meredith from the Senate will be no easy task

Unlawful drilling

This has nothing to do with oil and gas, and everything to do with 19th-century authorities’ fear of rebellion. Section 70 of the Criminal Code gives Cabinet the power to prohibit groups of people from being “trained or drilled to the use of arms.” (Being trained or drilled to the use of arms is fine until Cabinet tells you to stop, interestingly.)

The provision, like many others, was copied straight from British law. It came out of the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars, when depression and hunger plagued Britain. There were widespread calls for parliamentary reform, and thousands of people had marched for years in Wellington’s armies seemed to a nervous Parliament like they might be a basis for a British version of the French Revolution.

Canada has a modest history of armed revolt, of course. The rebels who drilled in 1837 with pikes and shotguns to follow William Lyon Mackenzie were breaking the Unlawful Drilling Act of 1819.

But might it be useful, maybe, to have a tool for dealing with groups who are preparing a violent rebellion?

“There’s no problem with having criminal prohibitions on situations that arise rarely,” Spratt says. “Many of these provisions are used rarely, and restraint should be used, but that doesn’t disqualify them from being in the Criminal Code.”

\’Rebels drilling in North York, 1837\’