August 5, 2011

Estevan/Weyburn Region

Construction on the 44,000 square foot, $14 million Saskatchewan Energy Training Institute (SETI) remains on schedule. The substantial completion date is October 31, 2011, for the facility which is located in Glen Peterson Industrial Park. (Estevan Mercury, July 27, 2011; Pipeline News, August 2011)

The City of Estevan is set to surpass its record of $50.81 million in building permits set in 2010. Through the first six months of 2011, 87 permits with a combined value of $28.5 million were issued. (Estevan Mercury, July 27, 2011)

The official ribbon cutting was held for the Petterson Point condominiums on August 4, 2011. One bedroom units start at $169,000 and two bedroom units start at $196,000. (Estevan Mercury, July 27, 2011)

Kathleen O’Connor is the new owner of KO Subs n’ Ice Cream. (Grenfell Sun, July 25, 2011)

Bannerman Park Estates is a new adult condominium project to be built on the old Elgin School grounds. The four storey building will contain 22 – two bedroom homes. (Pipeline News, August 2011)

The June 23 Crop Report indicated that only 44% of the 2011 crop in the southeast has been seeded. This will likely force many producers to seek alternate employment as a means to keep their family farms solvent. (Weyburn Review, June 22, 2011; Saskatchewan Government News Release, June 23, 2011)

The oil patch is recovering after area flooding caused delays in drilling and exploration industry. Instead of the regular six weeks of road bans, many municipalities in the south east experienced up to 14 weeks of road bans. Cenovus was hard hit with about 200 wells shut down due to flooding and road bans. Currently, there are about 50 drilling rigs in the oilfields that surround the Estevan, Stoughton, and Weyburn regions. (Black Gold, July 2011; Estevan Mercury, July 27, 2011)

Moose Jaw Region

Jenny Lam is now the new manager of the Snack Shack in Gravelbourg. She took over the business on April 28, 2011. (Gravelbourg Tribune, Monday, July 25, 2011)

North Battleford Region

Pennydale Junction Restaurant is closed for renovations starting July 30, 2011. (Regional Optimist, July 29, 2011)

Cut Knife
SaskTel has expanded its 4G wireless network to the town of Cut Knife and the surrounding area, including highways 21 and 40. (Daily News Online, July 26, 2011)

The Wilbert Store, located 9 kilometers west of Cut Knife closed after many years of service. Joanne Scott took over the business along with her mother Gloria and Dan Panzier in 1983. The store was originally built in 1936. (Highway 40 Courier, July 27, 2011)

Aaron’s recently opened in Lloydminster. (Meridian Booster, July 13, 2011)

Lakeland College has revamped and simplified its website for both the Lloydminster and Vermillion campus making it easier for prospective students to navigate through the site. The new site went live July 8, 2011. (Meridian Booster, July 18, 2011)

Saskatchewan and Alberta officially opened a new joint satellite agriculture office in Lloydminster. The Alberta specialist is available on Tuesdays and the Saskatchewan specialist on Thursdays. The office fills a gap left following the closure in 2004 of the Rural Service Centre at Lloydminster. (St. Walburg & Area Gazette, August 3, 2011)

Meadow Lake
Meadow Lake Home Hardware owner Don Marsh has delayed plans this year to construct a new 30,000 square foot facility on land purchased for that purpose. The business was denied a water permit by Saskatchewan Environment. Mr. Marsh indicates construction will not go ahead now until next year pending the City and the Rural Municipality resolving issues of annexation and water. (Northern Pride & Meadow Lake Progress, August 2, 2011)

North Battleford
The City issued 18 building permits last month for projects worth a total of $2,951,500. During June last year, the City issued 16 building permits for projects worth a total of $1,258,000. (Daily News Online, July 26, 2011)

Building Plans: Living Sky School Division will build a $3.3 Million, 13,650 square foot bus facility and maintenance shop on the east side of existing office as well as a new $1.2 Million, 4,071 square foot office to the west side of the existing facility. (City of North Battleford, July 25, 2011)

Northern Nursery owner Judy Dwinnel will be relocating her business to a new and larger location next spring. The new greenhouse will include a teahouse called “Dots”. (News Optimist, August 3, 2011)

North West Terminal Ltd. is moving forward with plans to install a water and heat-recover scrubber system (WHRS) on its dryer at Unity later this fall. The system is expected to reduce the company’s water consumption by 100,000 litres per year and also reduce any potential nuisance odours created during the drying process. Cost of the system is estimated to be $250,000. (Unity Herald, July 25, 2011)

The Unity Co-op held a grand re-opening of the new C-store. (Unity Herald, August 1, 2011)

Prince Albert Region

Emma Lake
Sunset Bay Restaurant, formerly known as the The Beach House Family Restaurant at Emma Lake, is being leased by Jaklin MacGregor, owner and manager of Persia Bistro in Prince Albert. (Prince Albert Daily Herald, July 25, 2011)

Fort a la Corne and Nipawin
The Shore Gold Diamond mine will need to clear more than 4,000 hectares or 40 square kilometres of forest to start construction on the plant. Quality wood will be sold to a milling plant. The rest of the wood which is usually waste will be sent to Nipawin Biomass Ethanol New Generation Co-operative. Agreements between the two parties need to be settled on the amount of wood that can be shipped, when it can be shipped, and what price to set. The Ethanol plant needs about 200,000 dried, metric tonnes of cellulosic fibre. (Parkland Review, July 15, 2011)

Hudson Bay
The Government of Saskatchewan announced that it would be investing an estimated $2.6 million in the Hudson Bay airport. The money is being provided to improve the runway, taxi-ways and aprons. The upgrade is expected to be completed by mid-September. (Prince Albert Daily Herald, August 4, 2011)

Ten businesses that have opened up in Nipawin in 2011 are:

Amerispec of Prince Albert (home inspections), All Good Plumbing and Heating, Ann’s Second Hand Store, BJ’s Yardscapes, Brian Ritthaler (carpentry, siding, renovations), Griffin Mechanical (mechanical landscaping), Laura Diachuk Registered Massage Therapy, Nipawin Emporium (specialty shop), SaBaNaH Cleaning Services and Spahh (personal aesthetic services). (The Nipawin Journal, July 27, 2011)

SaskTel is in the process of expanding its full-featured digital Max entertainment television service and high-speed internet service to Nipawin. The services are expected to be launched in Nipawin during October or November 2011. (The Nipawin Journal, July 27, 2011)

Prince Albert
On August 3, 2011, the official re-opening of the pulp mill was celebrated with the unveiling of its new sign, Prince Albert Pulp Incorporated. Paper Excellence, the company that bought the mill, which was shut down in 2006, is in the process of converting the facility to produce a different kind of pulp that will be used in products like food additives, shaving gel and rayon. There are currently 20 people working at the mill and 10 more expected to be hired by the end of the month. Once the conversion is complete the pulp mill expects to create 250 full time jobs. The opening of the mill is anticipated to be in late September or October 2012. (Prince Albert Daily Herald, August 4, 2011)

On July 26, 2011, RBC Royal Bank held a ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the opening of their new branch in the Cornerstone Mall. The RBC Cornerstone branch manager is Shaun Hay. (Prince Albert Daily Herald, July 27, 2011)

As of July 20, 2011, Perry Trusty is the new Chief Executive Officer of the Prince Albert and District Chamber of Commerce. Trusty replaces former CEO Bergen Price, who resigned last month. (Prince Albert Daily Herald, July 23, 2011)

Wood Country Castle is celebrating the opening of its Tisdale location on August 4, 5 and 6, 2011. (The Parkland Review, July 29, 2011)

SaskTel Max is officially available in Tisdale. Tisdale is the 21st community in Saskatchewan to receive the SaskTel Max service. (The Tisdale Recorder, August 3, 2011)

Gordon’s Repair Shop closed after 35 years of service to the community. The owners of the business were Gordon and Bernice Barnett. (The Tisdale Recorder, July 27, 2011)

Stitch This Upholstery is the new name of Knuff Upholstery recently purchased by Lisa and Duane Doerksen. The previous owners were Kathy and (late) Bill Knuff. (Parkland Review, July 15, 2011)

Regina Region

Regina Transit is celebrating 100 years of service. (Leader Post, July 26, 2011)

Residential real estate sales in the Regina area remained steady in July but were down after two record setting months, according to the Association of Regina Realtors. There were 330 sales during July in Regina, up five per cent from 2010. May and June were two exceptional months with over 400 sales taking place. (Leader Post, August 4, 2011)

Saskatoon Region

Saskatoon resale home prices are expected to rise by seven per cent in the next 12 months, says the Conference Board of Canada's metropolitan resale index released July 27, 2011. Resale home prices in Saskatoon averaged $310,484 in June 2011. Sales were up 16 per cent year-over-year to 3,936 in June 2011 from 3,396 in June 2010. (Star Phoenix July 28, 2011)

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. is beginning to see the payoff in investing billions of dollars in expanding its production facilities. With global demand for food rising and worldwide supplies of potash tightening, the firm's CEO said the company has positioned itself to benefit from a growing need for its namesake nutrient. It is estimated that from now through 2015, PotashCorp product will account for half of all the new potash capacity expected to come on line around the world. (Star Phoenix July 29, 2011)

Home sales in Saskatoon rose by 13 per cent in July 2011, climbing to 403 from 356 in July 2010, according to the Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors. (Star Phoenix August 3, 2011)

The Saskatchewan Abilities Council is set to receive funding to help dozens of people with varying disabilities find employment in Saskatoon. The federal government, through its opportunity fund for persons with disabilities, is giving more than $89,000 to the Council. (Star Phoenix August 5, 2011)

New Businesses:

Trim Rite Home Products, Owner Ray Houston (Star Phoenix July 23, 2011)
Sotano Hair Studio, Owners Cynthia Merced and Michelle Taylor (Star Phoenix July 23, 2011)
Duck Duck Goose Tapas Bar, Owner Todd Gronsdahl (Star Phoenix July 30, 2011)
Saboroso Brazilian Steakhouse (Star Phoenix July 30, 2011)
Rock Creek Tap and Grill, Owner Jim Beck (Star Phoenix July 30, 2011)

Swift Current Region

Gull Lake
Gull Lake will celebrate “100 Years of Community Pride” throughout Centennial Weekend August 5-7. (The Gull Lake Advance, August 3, 2011)

The Kindersley Airport received a much needed facelift, including the refacing of the runways and the access road to Highway 21. (The Clarion, July 20, 2011)

Vern and Joanne Scheider, former owners of the Leader IGA, thank their loyal customers over the past 36 years. The new owners, D.J. and Jenna Park, took over August 1, 2011. (The Leader News, August 3, 2011)

The Canalta Group and the Town of Shaunavon have confirmed that a development agreement has been reached to develop a new Canalta Hotel. It is expected to cost approximately $8 million and will be on the southwest corner of Highway 37 and Third Avenue. Construction will begin in October 2011 with a scheduled opening of August 2012 and will employ up to 20 people. (The Shaunavon Standard, August 3, 2011)

Swift Current
The ground was broken on the new Home Inn and Suites which will be built north of the Living Sky Casino along Battleford Trail. The project is expected to take nine months to complete. (, July 23, 2011)

Work will begin on a new landfill for Swift Current. The new site will be located approximately 10 kilometers northwest of the city. (, July 26, 2011)

The City held a public consolation on the new proposed integrated facility to be built around the new hospital. This project could include one Public and one Catholic school, and various City services like a community pool, field house, urban trail system, art gallery and public library. (, July 27, 2011)

The new Cypress Motors location will be opening August 8, 2011. The new home will be located on the South Service Road, beside the Pioneer Coop Agro Centre. (The Southwest Booster Smart Edition, July 28, 2011)

Crescent Point’s Swift Current office opened on January 1, 2011. The initial 5,000 square foot space will be doubling by November. The company has over 60 employees locally and hundreds more through various contractors, drilling rigs, service rigs and suppliers. (Pipeline News, August 2011)

Yorkton Region

Brian and Shannon Tressel have opened “Cozy Nest”, a private executive guesthouse, offering a rental alternative for Melville residents for special occasions, or visitors in the city. (The Melville Advance, August 3, 2011)

The Town of Wakaw held their Centennial Celebrations on July 29 – 31, 2011. (The Wakaw Recorder, July 27, 2011)

The 56th Annual Threshermen’s Show and Senior’s Festival took place on July 30 and 31, 2011. (The News Review, Yorkton, July 21, 2011)


Saskatchewan urban housing starts were up 33 per cent in June 2011 over June 2010, the highest percentage increase among the provinces. Single family dwellings were up 6 per cent while multiple units increased substantially, up 87 per cent. In the first six months of 2011, urban housing starts are up 38 per cent in Saskatchewan, the largest percentage rate improvement in Canada. (Enterprise Saskatchewan News Release, July 11, 2011)

Between April 2011 and May 2011, manufacturing sales were up by 8.6 per cent, the highest percentage increase among the provinces, well above the 0.8 per cent decline experienced on a national basis. On an annual basis, sales were up 16 per cent, the second highest improvement in the nation while nationally, sales were up only 4 per cent. Sales increases were contributed to a rise in sales in the chemical industry. (Enterprise Saskatchewan News Release, July 15, 2011)

Saskatchewan is leading the country in new motor vehicle sales, while a new Statistics Canada report shows that the rest of the country is experiencing a decline. Saskatchewan was the only province to see an increase from April 2011 to May 2011, up 1.7 per cent. Nationally, sales declined on average by 6.1 per cent. In May 2011, Saskatchewan’s new motor vehicle sales were up 11.8 per cent over May 2010, the highest percentage increase among the provinces and well above the 3.2 per cent decline recorded on a national basis. (Enterprise Saskatchewan News Release, July 18, 2011)

In May 2011, wholesale trade in Saskatchewan was up 26.4 per cent when compared to May 2010, the largest rise among the provinces. Trade increased by 7.9 per cent nationally over the same period. On a monthly basis, trade improved by 7.3 per cent, the second highest percentage in the nation, and well ahead of the 1.9 per cent recorded for the national average. (Enterprise Saskatchewan News Release, July 20, 2011)

Saskatchewan retail sales were up 7.6 per cent in May 2011, when compared with the previous year. That is almost double the national average of 4.0 per cent for the same period and just below the 7.8 per cent recorded by Alberta. (Enterprise Saskatchewan News Release, July 22, 2011)