Page 1

Prairie Life APRIL 2018

VOL. 1 - ISSUE 3

Future Farm Watch

Robotic remote controlled farm equipment changing the face of agriculture

By Theresa Nett obotic remote control tractors otherwise known as autonomous tractors will be ready for sale on the market as early as 2020. In their final testing stages now, the four major companies developing them have their strategies ready. The drive behind the development of this type of equipment in local Southwest Manitoba is the high cost of labor and the lower cost of grain on the market, according to farmer Ed Arndt’s. Since the age of nine, he has been driving tractors and farming on his grandparent’s farm, and compares how much has changed in just the last 25 years. “I used to drive a 50 horse power tractor, now it’s a 550, and still not enough to get the job done.” But what has also happened in direct relation to this technol-

ogy is the price of the equipment. A big selling point of the new autonomous tractors is saving cost and streamlining the business. Hiring seasonal staff can be a hard thing to do on agricultural farms where wages can out-price affordability of the labour. This technology eliminates the need and cost of an operator. “The bigger the farm gets, the harder it can be to find enough staff to fill positions,” said Arndt. “Instead you could conceivably run 3 or 4 remotely operated tractors from your living room chair and handheld tablet.” Arndt sees the future with robotic equipment as inevitable, especially since they can literally run for 20 hours a day. “A man has got to have a break, you can’t push a man for 20 hours day, for six months out of the year. But a programmable tractor operating

on GPS would do the trick. You could run it 24 hours a day.” A further reduction in cost to the farmer would be to simply rent autonomous equipment and have a dealer custom farm your land without having to buy any equipment - a service dealers will likely offer at some point. Another aspect of robotic farm equipment would be scaling equipment to the size of the farm. Arndt sees smaller scales, and just using more of them. Today, larger equipment like 80 ft. feeders are towed behind a 600 horsepower tractor. These tend to be hard to move from field to field, especially if there’s a public road you have to take to get there. “If you’ve ever driven one on a regular highway, you’ll see. It’ll stop traffic, cars can’t even get by cause it takes up the whole road.” Continued on page 2








WHAT’S INSIDE: Future Farm Watch: Robotic Tractors PAGE 2 • RCMP Officer’s Special Run PAGE 4 • Tracing Family History PAGE 5 • Small Town Air Seeder Company Competes Globally PAGE 6 • Memories of Travelling on a Hockey Bus PAGES 8 • Saskatchewan Hockey Player Makes NHL PAGE 8 • Harmony Singer Hits Special Milestone PAGE 9 • Community Profile of Virden PAGES 10/11 • Bull Power PAGE 12 • Alida: A Prairie Performance PAGE 15 • Addiction Group Offers Support PAGE 15

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Prairie Life

APRIL 2018

Prairie Life

Robotic farm equipment becoming a reality

With a belief in the core values of the people, their stories and the beautiful vast land we call home, Prairie Life recognizes the importance of keeping our history relevant and our future promising – one story at a time.

Continued from front page

APRIL 2018

VOL. 1 - ISSUE 3

Rick Major, Publisher (306) 861-0705 Nancy Johnson, Consulting Publisher (204) 726-4362

Sales Team

Alison Dunning, Regional Saskatchewan Sales (306) 453-2525\ Shawna Andrews, Virden Area (204) 748-3931 Andrea Corrigan, Weyburn Area (306) 842-7487 Leslie Dempsey, Production Supervisor (ads@weyburnreview.com) Sabrina, Kraft, Production Coordinator


Kelly Running, Carlyle Observer (Story) Greg Nickel, Weyburn Review (Story) Dolores Caldwell, Reston Recorder (Story, Photography) Lynne Bell, Carlyle Observer (Story) Branden Crowe, Westman Journal (Story) Theresa Nett, Melita New Era (Story, Photography) Brandi Pollock, Westman Journal (Story, Photography) Anne Davison, Virden Empire Advance (Story) Heather Reimer, Virden Empire Advance

NEXT ISSUE – MAY 18, 2018 • DEADLINE – MONDAY, MAY 11 2018 We connect the borders of Southeastern Saskatchewan and Southwestern Manitoba with 32,000+ copies 10 times a year.

The idea behind these newly developed types of farming equipment is downsizing. The current prototypes have remote controlled feeds of about 30 feet. This means the owner of the farm could have two or three working the field at the same time. Also this equipment will be more portable, and expected to be less expensive once available. A “claim to fame” for robotic technology is that prices are dropping. In comparison, the technology required to convert a car into a driverless vehicle is only $2,700. To convert larger farm equipment to hands free will be comparable, and companies are preparing to offer this option. When you look at the cost to retrofit an older farm planter for example at $30,000, the cost for a new one would be closer to $150,000. It is expected this will likely be popular to farmers as they look to invest in this equipment revolution. “The technology is there, and the younger generation is right on top of it and ready to follow. Us old fellows are just tagging along pretending to know what were doing.” Arndt laughed when mentioning that his four-year-old grandchildren can play a video game on the TV and that he wouldn’t have a clue how to do it. In terms of when we might see remote controlled tractors running around, Arndt believes the technology is sound but may have some initial challenges around his region. “Our ground is too interrupted with wet holes and bluffs. But with the map platforms they are building now, this will give almost real time feedback to and from the autonomous tractors. And as the equipment begins to change the farming industry, it won’t be like the old days. It’s high investment, high risk, and high tech. It’s not because you just love farming anymore.” Even though Arndt might not purchase a remote tractor for his own farm in the future before he retires, he sees nothing wrong at all with this new technology. He compared the tractors to computers and the education requirements alone to be able to fix these autonomous tractors will be astounding. Techs will have to continually re-train. “I wouldn’t be able to fix my own combine. It’s a guy with diagnostic equipment, and sometimes he scratches he head.”

The Citizen Kipling

this week

Prairie Performances Presenting Alida’s Act One Productions By Lynne Bell


t’s been said “It takes a village” and small towns throughout the prairies exemplify those words as they continue to band together to share their time and talents for the betterment of their communities. The community of Alida SK. is no exception. Since 1993, Alida’s Act One Productions has entertained and fundraised. By bringing top-notch theatrical entertainment to residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba and raising tens of thousands of dollars to support community facilities, the community theatre company has helped to finance improvements to the local rink and upgrades to the Alida Hall, including stage lights and a state-of-the-art sound system. “Act One started in 1993 with a couple of people who were trying to think of a way to raise money to build an addition to our hall here in Alida,” says President, Tim Cowan, who joined Act One in 1995. “They decided to start a drama club and since then, during each of the 26 years we’ve staged a play, we’ve raised an average of $14,000 per year for local improvements to our community, such as the Alida Hall or the rink.” Since the beginning, the community has supported staging a play every March with planning for each production begins in summer. This is when a small committee selects plays to choose from. “A ratings committee meets and narrows the selection down to four or five plays,” explains Cowan. “From there, we have an initial organizational meeting in the fall to choose a play and to gauge inter-

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est in who wants to do what. From there, we get ready for four performances in March.” Act One typically stages four shows: a dessert theatre, a cocktail theatre a dinner theatre and a Sunday matinee. Plays are chosen for both artistic merit and crowd-pleasing potential, but Cowan says that the number of available volunteer actors also plays a part. “This year, we had a smaller cast, so we chose the play with that in mind,” he said. “At our 25th anniversary performance in 2017, we had 25 performers - many who came back just for that occasion.” Although there would be no play without performers, Cowan says that each volunteer has an integral part to play to make the yearly fundraiser a success. In addition to the cast, Cowan points out that each performance depends on the volunteer efforts of a production crew, director, stage manager, prompter, construction managers, set decorator, props manager, technical supervisor, costumer, make-up supervisor, house and floor managers, dinner theatre managers, cocktail manager, dessert manager, bar manager, house decorator, cleanup crew, photographer and more. “I can’t stress enough how much this hinges on the contributions of each and every volunteer,” said Cowan. “You need those volunteers to make it work. I often think of the people who come in - after the last performance - and clean the tables and the floors, while everybody else is at home, sleeping.” Cowan says that Act One is also grateful for the support of audience members from Saskatchewan, Manitoba and beyond. “This year, we performed ‘Clothes Encounters’ by Roger Karshner, and we had audience members from Alberta and Minot, North Dakota.” “We also honoured a special local fan this year,” he said. “Elaine Purves passed away and from the beginning, she was always in the front row for our plays. So we were able to honour her by dedicating a performance to her memory and her family all came out for that show.” Cowan says the ongoing success of this small-town theatre company is the result of people coming together to support their community. “We need audience support and we thank everyone who comes out to our shows. But nothing can be done without volunteers. Actors get a lot of recognition, because they’re on stage. But every job is important - whether you’re washing dishes or producing the play, you’re doing your part for Alida.” Alida’s Act One Productions recently staged sold-out weekend performances of playwright Roger Karshner’s comedy, ‘Clothes Encounters.’ Pictured are 2018’s cast members (l-r) Rochelle Smith, Dennis Jolicoeur, Tim Cowan, Wes Smith and Shanna Carrieire. Act One Productions has been bringing high-quality theatre featuring local talent to the area since 1993 and the much-anticipated productions attract eager audience members from Saskatchewan, Manitoba and beyond. - Photo by Chelsy Minshull

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Prairie Life

APRIL 2018

Weyburn police officer runs to remember, and to raise awareness C

onst. Jeff Bartsch is known as “the running cop”, because he attempts what many people would not do even without all the equipment — he runs half and full marathons (which are 42.2 km or 26.2 miles) in full uniform, including all of his police equipment, but he does so with a purpose. Initially, his purpose was to raise public awareness of mental health issues, but then he added a new purpose, as on April 8 he took part in the “Run To Remember” in Los Angeles, Calif., as the only Canadian police officer officially invited to participate. His purpose in LA was to represent three Canadian police officers who died in the line of duty in 2017, which for him was a huge honour. Const. Bartsch will head south of the border later this year, as he and Const. Melinda Mintenko were invited to join a large group of U.S. law enforcement officers to run in uniform in Las Vegas for the 2018 Rock’n’Roll marathon on Nov. 10-11. This full marathon will combine both of his interests, to raise awareness of mental health and to pay tribute to fallen officers. The L.A. race was designed initially, three years ago, to honour the police officers and other first responders who responded to the scene of the bombing of the Boston Marathon. With his running to raise awareness of mental health issues, Const. Bartsch has quite a following on social media, including twitter and Facebook, and through that medium he was invited to come down and take part in the marathon to represent fallen Canadian officers. Unlike when he runs in Canada, he wasn’t able to take his weapons across the U.S. border, so he was provided with replica weapons in L.A. Const. Bartsch partnered with the Police and Peace Officers Memorial Ribbon Society, also known as the Blue Ribbon Society, for the L.A. run, a group which developed a blue-and-black ribbon specifically to remember fallen police officers. The three Canadian officers he is representing include Const. John Davidson, who was shot and killed in November 2017 in Abbotsford, B.C.; Const. Frances “Frank” Deschenes, who died in September 2017 as he stopped to help a motorist change his tire; and Const. Richer Dubuc, who was killed in an accident in Quebec near the New York border in March of 2017. “I’ve been to L.A. before, but not in this capacity,” said Const. Bartsch, adding this was a huge thing for Weyburn and the Weyburn Police Service to have a member representing the city in this run, with officers representing over 100 fallen officers from around the United States. One officer he’s gotten to know via social media is from Missouri, and ran in full uniform from St. Louis to Kansas City. “It’s something that’s becoming bigger and bigger. It’s really rewarding,” he said. Asked how he feels to be doing this, representing three fallen police officers from Canada, Const. Bartsch said, “It’s very heart-warming, and this is a huge honour to be asked. I can’t even describe how that would’ve affected the family of a fallen officer.” He noted he did represent a fallen officer last year who was a friend of his, and said, “It’s very humbling to be able to do that, and to represent a Canadian officer, it’s kind of overwhelming.”

By Greg Nikkel

To assist the families of the fallen officers, he raised money through the Canada.Helps.org web page, under fundraising for a charity, or else under www.memorial ribbon.org. Those interested can also follow him on twitter (@WPSCstBartsch), or on his Facebook page, Marathon Mental Health.

Const. Jeff Bartsch of the Weyburn Police Service took part in the “Run to Remember” in Los Angeles on Sunday, and was the only Canadian officer to take part along with about 100 American officers. He represented three Canadian police officers who died in the line of duty in 2017. There were around 5,600 runners who took part in the run altogether. Officer Sean Dodge of the Modesto PD in California, and Theresa Ann from Henderson, Nev., where she raised funds from lemonade stands to support fallen officers, are shown with Const. Bartsch. Photos — Const. Jeff Bartsch

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Prairie Life

APRIL 2018

Making of an author:

Tracing your family history L

ocal author and schoolteacher, Sharon Simms of Reston has always felt a pride in her extended family. With the passing of the older generations, it became important to her to record it for the next generations. “My first attempt was a coil bound booklet about the families of my four grandparents – it was pretty basic,” explained Simms. “It was later, when I realized my ancestors were much more than ‘the dash’ between their birth and death dates.” Simms started looking for pictures, belongings of theirs, and first hand stories of their lives. Simms said she first took interest in recording her family history when her father’s sister, Doris Simms Henry passed away in 2010. Doris left her a cedar chest containing old papers and family trees that she had compiled over the years. “At the time, I wondered – why me?” She also left eight handwritten pages of her memories and life as a young child. To share her story, Sharon typed it up, added pictures and printed copies for her cousins. “To me, it meant her story would live on and I decided she left that chest for a reason and she knew exactly what she was doing.” Her writings actually started with an ongoing website – a “blog”. In 2014, Amy Johnson Crow, a blogger, Simms followed introduced her to the “52 Ancestors 52 Weeks” challenge. She suggested that one ancestor should be chosen each week where you would write anything you know about them and include any pictures and other documents. Henry was her first subject and over the next 51 weeks, she featured several generations of both her Simms and Kinnaird families along with anything she knew about their lives. In December 2014, Simms had a year’s worth of material published into a


By Dolores Caldwell

book for a Christmas gift for her parents. “Mom and Dad had been following my blog but there is no substitute for a book to hold in your hands!” said Simms. “I began writing The Boulton Blog about my husband Randy’s family in the summer of 2014 and had enough material by the next November to create a book. Uncle Frank

Boulton was the family historian and I thought it was important to preserve the proud homesteading experience of the Boultons after his passing in December of 2014.” Simms gives her husband credit for being the proofreader and “run-on sentence” editor. “The blog is easily changed and I am always finding errors. But my audience is kind.” Fifty-two Ancestors is the paper version of the first year of her family blog, The Bolton Blog is her husband’s paternal family, and The Coburn/Cassell Connection is his mother’s side of the family. “I love old pictures and I scan and try to save them in some organized fashion.” Her research on each book came from many sources such as Ancestry, Newspapers.com, Manitoba Archives in Winnipeg, and Facebook Family History Groups. But most importantly, she credits the generosity of her family’s willingness to share photos, letters and stories with her. “Facebook, email and Ancestry have allowed me to contact people all over the world that share a similar passion and we love solving each other’s mysteries. So much information can be found online and can be found with a simple Google search.” Simms continues to update her blogs and putting some of her posts into a new book is on her “to do” list, someday. “You don’t have to know the whole family tree to start with. Just write what you know and don’t worry about grammar, spelling or other conventions (imagine a teacher saying that). Scan old pictures and save them with as much information as you know or write it on the back of them,” explained Simms “If you are lucky enough to have inherited an item from your ancestors, write everything you know about it and who owned it and put the note in safe place or tape it on the item. Someday, somebody may be glad you did.”

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Prairie Life

APRIL 2018

Prairie small town air seeder manufacturer strives to be number one

By Lynne Bell


angbank, Sask.-based Vaderstad Industries Inc. is now the North American base for a leading Swedish planting and tillage maker, Vaderstad. The company manufactures and supplies air seeders for markets in Canada, the U.S. and Australia and CEO Nigel Jones says: “Our objective is to be the number one air seeder brand in North America.” Vaderstad’s Langbank origins stem from a local company, Seed Hawk, which was founded in 1992 by Pat Beaujot. Vaderstad’s minority stake in the agricultural equipment manufacturer moved to full ownership of Seed Hawk in 2013. The original company started with a prototype seeder and opener built in 1992 for zero-till use. Since then, Vaderstad’s spirit of innovation is exemplified in the areas of research and development, manufacturing practices, employee retention, customer engagement and local outreach combined with a global reach. With the Langbank manufacturing facility at 100,000 square feet, after undergoing two expansions, the company now employs 150 people, and was named one of Saskatchewan’s Top Employers in 2016. Jones added the company’s emphasis on employee engagement and ongoing innovation translates to excellent customer focus. “You can’t have one without the other. Our employees are key in growing our business and responding to the needs of our customers - which is our priority. And that all feeds into our research and development.” Vaderstad’s customer engagement also encompasses social media, virtual test drives and more - with the company extending its sales reach to Australia - where “the units are shipped in sea cans, partially-assembled,” according to Jones. “Our no-till seeder is suited to North

American conditions, but we share similarities with Australia regarding top soil for example. The Australians have similar environmental practices to us. They have dry top soil so like us, they don’t want to work the soil too much. Along with similarities in soil conditions, Canadian farm equipment has an excellent reputation in Australia, as well. The Australians just really like our product.” Even with Vaderstad’s international growth, Jones said the company’s success is rooted at the local level. “Our employees are key; our customers are key and their interests and concerns are ours. And that’s reflected in our giving and our commitment to the communities we serve. We have 110 manufacturing staff and 40 support staff and sales and service staff here in Langbank. They come from Langbank and communities in the area such as Wawota, Whitewood, Kennedy, Kipling and Moosomin. A lot of our donations and community outreach are local and are aimed at these communities - because that’s where both our employees and our customers are.” The dual focus on both local and global growth is Jones’s immediate priority as CEO. “We have a very aggressive growth plan for the next two to five years, and my goal is for this location to be the same size as Vaderstad in Sweden –-and as I said before, to be the number one air seeder brand in North America. We are a local presence with a growing global reach.” Visit www.seedhawkseeder.com to learn more.



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Prairie Life

APRIL 2018

A hockey bus is a player’s “special place”

By Branden Crowe


remember the day like it was yesterday. I was a fresh-faced 19-year-old kid, in my first radio job at CJVR in Melfort, Saskatchewan. My boss, Darryl Skender said, “Alright kid you got the call for the Nipawin Hawks and La Ronge Ice Wolves game, and the bus leaves tomorrow at 1:00.” I was thrilled! My entire childhood I’d dreamed of being a hockey announcer and I was finally going to get that chance. I packed as little

as possible (I didn’t want to be a burden) and I boarded the Charlie’s Charter’s bus in Nipawin and headed to the remote northern town of La Ronge. Little did I know that bus trip for me would be the first of thousands in my young career. I have spent virtually my entire adult life riding on busses. A couple months after that first trip, I was named the voice of the Humboldt Broncos. A job that was ex-

tra special as my best friend since birth, Ward Szucki was living his hockey dream as a Bronco. (Unfortunately, before we could make a bus trip together, he was traded. Something about taking too many penalties.) In eight years of sports broadcasting, the miles and hours I’ve spent riding the “iron lung” are staggering. I have spent more hours on a bus than I have in my own office. I’ve watched more movies on the bus than I have on the couch with my fiancé. I’ve spent birthdays and holidays on the bus and I’ve watched thousands and thousands of miles of Canadian landscape roll on out that big glass window. Each time I boarded a bus there was never any doubt in my mind that I would return home safely. Why would there be? This is a safe place… a place of hockey folklore where stories are told, poker is played and friendships are made. Anyone who knows me will say that it’s always the first aspect of my job I complain about. Sure, it’s uncomfortable (I’m 6’1, and trying to find a good sleeping position

is a task for NASA scientists), smelly, and cramped. But for anyone who works in the game… it’s also home. With the laughter, joy, good jokes, bad jokes, and stories about the cute girls in chemistry class, some of my best friends in the world spent hundreds of hours just a few rows behind me every winter. What happened on that stretch of Saskatchewan highway on April 6 near Tisdale is every parent’s worst nightmare – twenty-nine people boarded the bus for a playoff game, and sixteen lives were taken away. That is sixteen too many. Riding a bus is an experience shared by many across Canada and this special place is where many young boys grow up and bond with others with dreams like them. Unfortunately these young hockey players will not have the opportunity to chase those dreams, and become men. If there is one thing I learned from my time in Humboldt, it is how much love that town has for their boys. Now this small prairie town needs our love more than ever.

Hard work and dedication: Ethan Bear scores first NHL goal

By Kelly Running

Credit: Nova Scotia Editorial Cartoonist Bruce MacKinnon





In home consultations ESTEVAN & AREA





ockey is the great Canadian pastime and for many young athletes getting to play in the National Hockey League is their dream. This was no different for Ochapowace First Nation’s homegrown hero, Ethan Bear – who has quickly become a favourite on the Edmonton Oilers. At a young age, he showed an affinity for the sport and through drive and determination let his abilities do the talking, working his way up to playing in the NHL. The 20-year-old defenseman who grew up near Whitewood SK. began playing away from home in 2011 within the OMAHA league for a year before heading to the SMHL league, which is when the Seattle Thunderbirds picked up the young Saskatchewan prospect. He would remain with the Thunderbirds for the entirety of his WHL career. Bear has also represented his country at the Canada Western U17, the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament (U18 Junior World Cup), and at the IIHF World U18 Championship. It was in 2015 when the Edmonton Oilers drafted and eventually signed him to a three-year entry-level contract on July 2, 2016. Bear remained with the Seattle Thunderbirds for the 2016-17 season – where he was recognized as the WHL defenseman of the year, and earned the Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy. This past year he was playing with the Bakersfield Condors out

of California when he was called up from the American Hockey League affiliate to make his NHL debut on March 1 versus the Nashville Predators. “It’s pretty special and it’s pretty exciting,” he told Global News following his first game in the NHL. “To play in Edmonton and to feel the fans and the excitement of the building and the players was pretty cool.” “It means the world to get that support… to know that all of the First Nation community is behind me that feels really good and that makes me want to work that much harder.” Working hard also led him to his very first ever NHL goal, which was a huge milestone for the young man, and although it came in a game the Oilers lost to the Anaheim Ducks, it was nonetheless a momentous occasion. For First Nations communities, the number 13 is often considered lucky. So with the game against the Ducks being his 13th game in the NHL, there were bound to be good things

happen as preparation and opportunity collided. In his post-game interview, Bear explained the excitement and relief of earning a goal: “It’s a really good feeling and at the same time a big sigh of relief. It’s something you dream about your whole life until you get to this point and you know when you get that first one it feels really good.” “We were on the power play, and I think we were kind of just moving it around… we were just cycling it around for a bit trying to open up some lanes and then that time came I went down and McDavid made a good pass so I just tried to bear down and make sure I put it in and it went it. It was just a good feeling after that.” Smiling widely he added, “It’s a play I’m going to remember for the rest of my life for sure.” In that same game, Bear also had an assist as Leon Draisaitl scored off a Bear’s pass. The Edmonton Oilers social media boomed following Bear’s goal with congratulations and well wishes.

Photo courtesy Facebook: Edmonton Oilers

Prairie Life

APRIL 2018


Local Brandon harmony singer hits milestone of service

By Brandi Pollock


n impressive milestone has been achieved for Edna Procter of the “Women in Harmony”- which is part of Harmony Inc - as she embarks upon her 43rd year of service with the Barbershop Harmony Style Organization. “This an exciting time in Harmony Inc.’s history, which spans more than five decades,” says Sandra Dunlop, former Harmony Inc. president. “We rely heavily on the talents and expertise of our talented members to thrive as an organization, and we’re grateful that Edna has given so selflessly of her time and efforts. Being a longtime member of Harmony, Inc. lends itself to great rewards to people like Edna and we celebrate with her on this notable anniversary.” It is clear that Procter has a love for both music and all the ladies in the Barbershop

Harmony Style Organization since she joined the group back in 1975. “I joined the group 43 years ago because I just like to sing,” Procter jokingly added. “That was a long time ago. It is a very friendly group and I get such a nice feeling there. I like to learn to do things well and I think that I do with the help of the director.”  The non-profit organization’s mission is to empower all women through education, friendship and acapella singing in the barbershop style. The women want to keep the barbeshop style going along with putting their own twist on modern songs. “We like to give pleasure to other people from singing,” explained Procter. “We think that we accomplish this sometimes when we sing our songs. We choose a subject every year for our show and we try to think of the songs that will go with it. One year we had the theme ‘imagine if’ and then another year we had vacation.”  Procter currently lives in Lion’s Manor in Brandon, Manitoba and has no intentions of retiring anytime soon; she says that as long as she is able to sing she will be a part of the group. “As long as my voice doesn’t throw off anybody else I will continue to sing with the ladies,” continued Procter. “I think it is a great group of girls. I think anybody that wants to join would really enjoy themselves if they enjoy singing. It is a fun group and we do work hard to get things right but it is still in the very happy sort of way.” 

Diversify Your Investments ... But Consolidate Your Providers



Submitted by Perry Doull


ou have probably heard that diversification is a key to investment success. So, you might think that if diversifying your investments is a good idea, it might also be wise to diversify your investment providers – after all, aren’t two (or more) heads better than one? Before we look at that issue, let’s consider the first half of the “diversification” question – namely, how does diversifying your investment portfolio help you? Consider the two broadest categories of investments: stocks and bonds. Stock prices will move up and down in response to many different factors, including good or bad corporate earnings, corporate management issues, political developments and even natural disasters. Bond prices are not immune to these dynamics, but they are usually more strongly driven by changes in interest rates. To illustrate: If your existing bond pays 2 percent interest, and new bonds are being issued at 3 percent, the value of your bond will fall, because no one will pay you full price for it. (Of course, it may not matter to you anyway, especially if you planned to hold your bond until maturity, at which point you can expect to get your full investment back, providing the bond issuer doesn’t default.) Here’s the key point: Stocks and bonds often move in different directions. If you only own domestic stocks, you could take a big hit during a market downturn, but if you own domestic and international stocks, bonds, GICs and other types of investments, your portfolio

may be better prepared for market volatility.. (Keep in mind, though, that even a diversified portfolio can’t prevent losses or guarantee profits.) So, it clearly is a good idea to diversify your investment portfolio. Now, let’s move on to diversifying financial service providers. Why shouldn’t you have one RRSP here and another one there, or enlist one advisor to help you with some types of investments and a different advisor assisting you with others? Actually, some good reasons exist to consider consolidating all your investment accounts with one provider. For one thing, you’ll keep better track of your assets. Many people do misplace or forget about some of their savings and investments, but this will be far less likely to happen to you if you hold all your accounts in one place. Also, if you have accounts with several different financial service providers, you might be incurring a lot of paperwork – and many fees. You can cut down on clutter and expense by consolidating your accounts. But most important, by placing all your accounts with a single provider, possibly under the supervision of a single financial advisor, you will find it much easier to follow a single, unified investment strategy, based on your goals, risk tolerance and time horizon. You won’t get conflicting advice and you’ll receive clear guidance on important issues, such as the amounts you can afford to withdraw each year from your retirement accounts once you do retire. Diversification and consolidation – one is good for building an investment portfolio, while the other can help you invest more efficiently and effectively. Put the two concepts together, and make them work for you.


Helping you make sense of wealth management strategies In your neighbourhood Call or visit your local Edward Jones advisor to help you determine the appropriate wealth management solutions for your family: rWealth Preservation rBusiness Succession Planning rCharitable Giving rEstate Planning rInvestment Management rAnd more Edward Jones, its employees and Edward Jones advisors are not estate planners and cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult a qualified tax specialist or lawyer for professional advice regarding your specific situation.

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APRIL 2018

Community Focus:

Virden I

f you haven’t been to Virden in a while, it’s time. Did you know that people travel from far and wide to enjoy the “special somethings” they can only find here? Sports Tundra Oil & Gas Place opened its doors in 2011 and the MJHL Virden Oil Capitals moved in the next year. The 1,200 seat arena has been a community gathering place ever since. The big outdoor swimming pool is a focal point in summer and plans are in the works for a Skateboard Park and Spray Park. Architecture and history Virden is a walker’s delight, with heritage buildings and houses everywhere you stroll. The CPR Historic Centre, which is the refurbished railway station, is a good starting point. As you explore, enjoy the tree-lined residential areas and famed flower gardens. Be sure to save lots of time for the

Prairie Life

It’s Time for a Visit!

Virden Pioneer Home Museum and the Manitoba Antique Automobile Museum in Elkhorn. Shopping Oh the shopping! From the huge new Co-op food store to unique shops, boutiques and eateries, to ag and vehicle dealerships, you’re sure to find that special something to bring home with you. Outdoors The Virden area has two golf courses, one of them located a stone’s throw from town and the other at Oak Island Resort to the east, which also has a beach, camping, fine dining, and a thriving residential community. And did you know we have a desert 15 minutes east of Virden? The Cactus Hills are tucked in behind Aspen Grove Campground just off the Trans-Canada Highway. Drive half an hour to the west to visit an exotic animal zoo

and plant nursery. Kids and adults alike find Westwood Ranch and Garden Centre unforgettable. The Arts The Art Gallery in the CPR Historic Centre is a great place to start your exploration of the vibrant and varied visual arts and crafts scene in Virden. The attached gift shop sells local wares from handmade soaps to jewelry to quilts. Try to time your visit to coincide with a musical at the historic Auditorium Theatre or a pow wow hosted by a neighbouring First Nations community.

Denise Longfield and her barrel racing horse enjoying some downtime between events at the fairgrounds Dancers compete at a pow wow at Canupawakpa Da- Highland dancers at Culture Days, held every fall at the during the Virden Indoor Rodeo. kota First Nation south of Virden. CPR Historic Centre in Virden.






Virden’s downtown is an important stop on the Station Master’s guided tour. For years, long-time resident Kelvon Smith has been giving historical tours to visitors, sharing his knowledge and love of Virden.

Prairie Life

APRIL 2018

Virden Trivia


How well do you know Virden?

Virden acquired an MJHL hockey team in 2012 when a group of investors purchased the Winnipeg Saints, renamed them the Virden Oil Capitals, and moved them to a brand new recreation complex that also hosts grads, weddings, banquets, figure skating and many other community events.

1. What is Virden’s nickname? 2. What is the nickname of Virden’s beloved Auditorium Theatre? 3. Most of Virden is nestled between two small waterways. What are their names? 4. One of the stars of the TV show Dragon’s Den was born and raised in Virden. Who is it? Bonus point: He visited Virden a few years ago for the opening of a new restaurant. Which one? 5. The inventor of a popular jukebox came from Virden and named the machine after himself. What was his name? 6. Before oil was discovered in the Virden area in the ‘50s, what was its primary industry? 7. Virden has a beautiful, historic train station. Name one of the purposes it serves now that trains no longer stop there? 8. Fill in the blank: In 1996, the Communities in Bloom committee dubbed Virden “The Most ___ Town in Canada”. 9. Westwood Ranch and Garden Centre, west of Virden, is considered a family day trip destination because it has a what? 10. The town of Elkhorn, near Virden, has a unique museum with over 100 what?

Nobody expects to find an exotic animal zoo in the middle of oil country, but that was the dream that Mark and Jill Humphries brought with them from England to the prairies. Westwood Ranch Garden Centre west of Virden is home to zebras, ostriches, wallaroos, donkeys, alpaca, tropical birds, lemurs, peacocks and more. Virden’s Auditorium Theatre almost didn’t survive the wrecking ball but in the ‘80s a handful of dedicated citizens raised the funds to save it. Now it’s a beautiful, acoustically-perfect setting for plays, concerts, musicals and recitals.

Every August, people travel from across the prairies to attend the famed Virden Indoor Rodeo and Wild West Daze. Calf roping, bull riding and barrel racing are among the highlights of this award-winning event. Virden’s rare fieldstone railway station was built in 1906 and is still in service as a culture and art centre.

Trivia Answers: 1. The Oil Capital of Manitoba 2. The Aud 3. Gopher Creek and Scallion Creek 4. Jim Treliving. Boston Pizza. 5. David Rockola 6. Agriculture 7. Art Gallery, Gift Shop, and offices 8. Beautiful 9. A zoo 10. Antique autos

It was once home-sweet-home to one of Virden’s first businessmen. Now the Pioneer Home Museum keeps the Victorian era alive with each room in the home restored to authentic period style. Costumed tour guides complete the journey back in time.

12 Manitoba Bull Power Goes South APRIL 2018

Prairie Life

Americans bid high for Manitoba product

By Anne Davison


hen Merv Nykoliation put together a spring bull sale catalogue, the Lenore cattle producer never dreamed so many yearling bulls would be heading south. A strong U.S. dollar favoured American buyers who were in the mood to import Canadian bull power. “I think with that low Canadian dollar, they came north for superior genetics.” The sale average was $8,100, making it one of the top four or five Charolais sales in Canada this spring. While the top bull brought $15,000 - not an unusually high top end - it was the

consistently strong sales that put the family-owned business TRI-N Charolais Farms’ sale average near the top. Now in their 32nd year, Merv and Joanne work with their son Jesse and his partner Jessica to gain a reputation among Charolais breeders, developing the red factor coloured cattle. Buyers from Canada - Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and BC - were bidding against cattle interests from North Dakota, Montana, Iowa, Oregon, Utah, Kansas and Texas. The volume buyer of the sale was Ron and David

Berry, of Montana, buying five bulls. Canadian cattle attractive “The Canadian cattle are actually bigger, they’re hardier and they’re different. Different bloodlines than what is normally seen in the United States,” says Nykoliation. TRI-N sold 34 yearling bulls weighing from 1450 to the biggest yearling at 1745 pounds bound for Texas. It’s also about the colour. “We’ve got the “red factor”. They’re really crazy for red Charolais down there. That’s what we sell.” While a typical Charolais is white, the red factor

genetics cross well with black and red cows to turn out a consistently red calf; uniformity is a prized commodity when it comes to selling calves. Social media also played a strong role in getting the bulls in front of distant buyers. “The cattle were in the ring live, but we also do professional videos where [potential buyers] can view them on the internet before the sale.” With buyers driving to the sale from places like Montana, others bid online or by phone. “The guy from Texas, I’ve done business

with him before. He’s not new to me. He liked the genetics so he came back and repurchased.” The sale was advertised locally and drew buyers from Elkhorn, Strathclair, Russell and Cartwright as well. Along with TRI-N, three other cattle operations were included in the Tri-N Charolais and Guests Multi-Breed Bull Sale, making 61 lots in total. Squirrel Creek Angus (Austin) and Silver Creek Farms (Angusville) sold black and red Angus. EHR Simmentals from Wawota, SK were also guest consignors.

“It’s just a good old fashioned bull sale with everybody represented. They’re all young people just starting. It’s their first sale,” said Nykoliation. He also explained that the reason they were invited to the sale is it can be tough to get started selling purebred cattle. “I like to give these young people a chance to get their bulls out in front of the people. Far too often the young ones that are trying to get a go, they can’t get a foothold.” He said the multi breed sale also brought more community involvement.

This is a red factor Charolais yearling bull. TRI-N East Bound and Down 739E sold to One of a number of bulls sold at the TRI-N Charolais Farms & Guests Bull Sale, sold at Natchez Farms, Moody, Texas. PHOTOS/SUBMITTED the Virden Heartland Auction facility, March 31; TRI-N Reload 5109E sold to Brasher Charolais, Huntington, Utah in the USA

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Southeast Saskatchewan/Southwest Manitoba Oil Industry Update

April/May 2018

904 East Avenue • Weyburn, SK Phone: (306) 842-7487 Fax: (306) 842-0282 E-mail: production@weyburnreview.com Internet: www.weyburnreview.com

Optimism building in oil industry Inside this edition: 

• OPINION: Oil industry caught in a bind • Oil revenues forecast to rise in 2018 • Oil-gas rights sale raises $2.9M

Review Photo 5774 — Greg Nikkel

Photo — Bill Allen

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PAGE 2 April/May 2018 « BLACK GOLD

Saskatchewan oil revenues forecast to rise in 2018

The Saskatchewan government tabled a budget on Tuesday that predicts oil and natural gas revenue to rise for the 2018/2019 fiscal year. Oil and gas revenue of $700.1 million for 2018/2019 would be higher than the $661.2 million forecast for the 2017/2018 fiscal year that ended on March 31, 2018.

Crown land sales are expected to be flat year-over-year at $63.9 million, compared to $64.5 million. Total non-renewable resource revenues are estimated at $1.48 billion compared to $1.42 billion the previous fiscal year. The deficit for 2018/2019 is estimated at $365 million.

The Saskatchewan government tabled a budget on Tuesday that predicts oil and natural gas revenue to rise for the 2018/2019 fiscal year. Oil and gas revenue of $700.1 million for 2018/2019 would be higher than the $661.2 million forecast for the 2017/2018 fiscal year that ended on March 31, 2018.

DUSTIN DUNCAN, MLA Weyburn - Big Muddy

Crown land sales are expected to be flat year-over-year at $63.9 million, compared to $64.5 million. Total non-renewable resource revenues are estimated at $1.48 billion compared to $1.42 billion the previous fiscal year. The deficit for 2018/2019 is estimated at $365 million. The 2018/2019 budget will see significant enhancements to the province’s petroleum and mineral resource sectors. The Ministry of Energy and Resources’ budget of $45.8 million in-

cludes an increase of $665,000 (1.5 per cent). The increased funding will contribute to the following initiatives: • $750,000 for a new fouryear Mineral Development Strategy to create an incentive program to encourage mineral exploration and to increase the amount of geophysical data available. • An additional $1 million (total budget of $1.5 million) to continue the enhancement of the Integrated Resource Information System (IRIS) for

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BLACK GOLD » April/May 2018 PAGE 3

Licence numbers down from last year Governments across Canada licensed 2,196 new wells in the first quarter of 2018 — down eight per cent from 2,384 licences approved in the first three months of last year. Permitting levels during the quarter on a year-over-year basis were flat in Alberta and Manitoba, up in B.C. and down in Saskatchewan, with licensing counts also down in the three most western provinces in March. Saskatchewan approved 734 new wells in the quarter, off 27 per cent from last year’s 1,007, but up from Q1 2016 when 341 wells were permitted. The year-over-year permit count increased in British Columbia to 222 wells compared to 144 in the first quarter of 2017, and from 81 wells approved in January to March 2016. In Q1 of 2014 and 2015, B.C. approved 284 and 259 wells, respectively. Manitoba approved 45 wells to the end of March compared to 47 a year ago, and 39 two years ago. Industry licensed 1,731 horizontal wells in the first three months of 2018, down from last year’s 1,944 horizontal permits. There were no oilsands evaluation wells licensed last month compared to only one in March 2017. Through the first three months of the year, producers have permitted 184

oilsands evaluation wells, up from 64 in the year-prior period. Excluding oilsands evaluation and experimental permits, the top five operators securing licences in the first quarter were: Canadian Natural Resources Limited (227), Crescent Point Energy Corp. (172), Raging River Exploration Inc. (92), Tourmaline Oil Corp. (89) and Teine Energy Ltd. (87). The top five licensees, including oilsands evaluation wells and experimental permits, were: Canadian Natural (242), Crescent Point (172), Syncrude Canada Ltd. (150), Raging River (92) and Tourmaline (89). Operators licensed 483 wells across Canada in March, down from 651 permits approved in March 2017, but up from 242 licences in March 2016. There were 277 permits issued in Alberta last month compared to 326 in March 2017 (down 15 per cent), while in neighbouring Saskatchewan there were 148 new licences versus 260 a year ago (off 43 per cent). B.C. approved 43 new wells in March compared to 52 a year ago (down 17 per cent). Manitoba saw a rise in year-over-year permit counts last month, with 13 approvals in March 2018 compared to 12 a year ago.

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» Editorial

PAGE 4 April/May 2018 « BLACK GOLD

Crude prices to strengthen through 2019

By Vincent Lauerman, Daily Oil Bulletin International benchmark crude prices played out basically as expected by Geopolitics Central (GPC) in the first quarter of the year, with a few interesting twists on the market fundamentals front and growing signs of ongoing Russia-OPEC co-operation encouraging us to maintain our current short-term outlook – albeit with an adjustment to the trajectory of crude prices through the end of 2019. GPC is forecasting spot WTI to average US$65/bbl in 2018, compared to roughly US$63 in the first quarter, and US$70/bbl next year. In our last quarterly update, we argued strong oil market fundamentals and widespread geopolitical concerns would drive spot WTI to US$70/bbl by mid-year, before the focus of market players shifted to the scheduled unwinding of the 1.8 million bbl/d OPEC/non-OPEC pact and potential implications of rapidly rising U.S. light tight oil (LTO) production. WTI was projected to drop back below US$65/bbl by the end of the year, before increasing to US$75/bbl through 2019 on rising geopolitical disruptions to supply and solid market fundamentals. The primary reason for GPC’s relatively bullish short — and medium — term oil price outlook has been our expectation of ongoing oil market co-operation between Saudi Arabia and Russia, on an as need basis. OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia needs relatively high crude prices for a successful initial public offering (IPO) of a five per cent stake in Saudi Aramco in late 2018 or early 2019 and to help finance the kingdom’s economic transition under Vision 2030 thereafter. Non-OPEC kingpin Russia needs higher crude — and crude-indexed natural gas — prices to finance its junior partner role in the New Cold War against the West. In late February (Future Of OPEC And Oil Prices), for example, GPC wrote: “Saudi Arabia and Russia — formerly arch-foes, especially in the days of the godless USSR — have forged a strong diplomatic and economic relationship, including numerous bilateral investment agreements in the oil and gas sphere, since the original agreement between OPEC and 12 non-OPEC countries to cut crude production in December 2016. This new relationship between the two oil kingpins likely foreshadows ongoing co-operation between OPEC, Russia and some other significant non-OPEC oil exporters in an attempt to maximize crude prices and revenue as the world gradually transitions to a low-carbon world.” But, frankly, GPC was surprised by the timing of Crown Prince Mohammad’s announcement of potential long-term oil market co-operation between Saudi Arabia and Russia, which in turn has impacted our outlook for the trajectory of crude prices in the short term. On March 26, during an interview with Reuters, Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader said Riyadh and Moscow had agreed in principle to a 10 to 20-year arrangement to control world oil supplies, with the details still to be determined. Two days later the Secretary General of OPEC, Mohammad Barkindo, acknowledged that the cartel is seeking “very longterm” co-operation with other crude exporters. This was confirmed on April 3, when Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said OPEC and non-OPEC exporters may set up a joint organization for co-operation once current oil output curbs expire at the end of this year. GPC is now forecasting international benchmark crude prices to gradually increase between now and the end of 2019. In terms of interesting twists on the fundamentals front, U.S. oil production growth was stronger than anticipated by GPC in the first quarter and the collapse in Venezuelan crude output even more precipitous. Based on preliminary data, U.S. oil production — including NGLs and biofuels — gained a whopping 1.71 million bbls/d year-on-year to a record 16.41 million bbls/d in the first quarter, with growth stronger in March than January. This has led us to increase projected growth in U.S. oil output for the year to 1.90 million bbls/d, compared to our previous forecast of 1.34 million bbls/d — and a record annual increase of 1.75 million bbls/d in 2014 that led to Saudi Arabia’s 2014-16 oil price war in an ill-fated attempt to discipline U.S. LTO producers. Growth in U.S. oil output for next year is held steady at 1.54 million bbls/d. Despite these adjustments to U.S. oil production and Venezuelan crude output, GPC is continuing to project global oil consumption to exceed global supply by 500,bbls/d in 2018, pushing global inventories below “normal” levels, and the world oil market to be in balance next year. Global oil consumption is expected to increase a robust 1.52 million bbls/d to 100.02 million bbls/d this year, and another 1.22 million bbls/d in 2019. If not for the budding trade war between the U.S. and China, and its potential negative impact on global economic growth, GPC would have upped our projection for global oil consumption growth, especially for next year. Non-OPEC supply is now forecast to increase 2.14 million bbls/d in 2018, and OPEC supply to decline by 570,000 bbls/d — compared to 1.58 million bbls/d and 160,000 bbls/d previously — with Venezuela accounting for most of OPEC’s decline and Saudi Arabia cutting more than its agreed 486,000 bbls/d to make up the difference to provide additional support for crude prices. Next year, OPEC supply is forecast to increase 240,000 bbls/d, whether the cartel’s 1.2 million bbls/d production pact comes to an end or not, and non-OPEC supply to increase 1.48 million bbls/d. GPC is continuing to assume 1 million bbls/d of additional OPEC crude will go offline for political reasons, with Venezuela now accounting for half this amount. As a result, OPEC’s unplanned outages will total 2.95 million bbls/d in 2019, and spare capacity a mere 1.28 million bbls/d, leaving relatively little crude available in case of emergency, and hence, upside risk to our crude oil price outlook.


Oil industry caught between rock and hard place


he Western Canadian oil and gas industry is caught between two ideologies as the ongoing saga of the TransMountain pipeline continues, without resolution, and the industry will end up being the losers as the parent company, Kinder Morgan, seemingly is giving up (for the time being, anyway). The ideologies in question range from the uber-left-wing NDP government of B.C., which is heavily influenced by their Green Party components to ignore all common sense, the economy and even the federal government and the National Energy Board in their obstinance, to that of the federal Liberals, who are at odds with their left-wing brethren in insisting the pipeline is going to be built, somehow. The Liberals seem to want to placate their environmental brethren, and also the petroleum industry and the western provinces which are governed by an odd mix of NDP in oil-rich Alberta and the conservative Saskatchewan Party in Saskatchewan, and the Progressive Conservatives rule in Manitoba. Most curious of all is the fight between the two NDP governments in B.C. and Alberta, who are butting heads over the pipeline project, mostly because Alberta stands to lose a

lot without the pipeline, and therefore a lot of oil revenue if the province’s oil sector takes a major hit as a result of the obstinance of the B.C. government. The oddity of this situation deepens as one realizes that the right-wing Saskatchewan party is backing the Notley government in Alberta as they push for a positive resolution in the pipeline issue. The Trudeau government is the one that holds the hammer, so to speak, and has the federal power to make the pipeline happen. Their regulatory body has approved the pipeline, as have the Liberals, so it is up to them to actually step forward and act like they are actually the ones in charge. If they do not, the effect will be a shift in the balance of power that may impact on many other levels and in other sectors, if a province can show themselves able to supercede the authority of the federal government. This is not how Canada’s system of government is set up, where a province can refuse a federally-approved project from going ahead. There are ways for the federal authorities to mitigate the concerns of the B.C. government, but most importantly, this project needs to go forward, for the good of this country.

Volume 2

Issue 2

Rick Major, Publisher Andrea Corrigan, Advertising Sales Manager Black Gold is published by the Weyburn Review and issued at the office of publication, 904 East Avenue, Weyburn, Saskatchewan. Mailing address: Box 400, Weyburn, SK S4H 2K4. The Weyburn Review is owned and operated by Prairie Newspaper Group LP, a subsidiary of Glacier Ventures International Corp. The Weyburn Review is a member of the Canadian Community Newspapers Association, the Saskatchewan Weekly Newspapers Association and Canadian Media Circulation Audit.

Greg Nikkel, Editor NEWS DEPARTMENT Phone 306-842-6955 Email: editor@weyburnreview.com ADVERTISING DEPARTMENT Phone 306-842-7487 Email: production@weyburnreview.com


BLACK GOLD » April/May 2018 PAGE 5

» INDUSTRY NEWS BRIEFS Canadian producers ‘back in black’ Following three years of steady losses, Canada’s oil industry will return to profitability with pre-tax profits expected to reach $1.4 billion this year, says the Conference Board of Canada in a new report released on April 12. But the pace of profit and production growth will be curtailed as constrained pipeline capacity and limited capability to expand export markets are jeopardizing Canada’s competitiveness as an oil producer, according to board’s Canadian Industrial Outlook: Oil Extraction. “Certainly we’re not seeing the profit you saw [prior to the downturn] right now. We’re kind of back in the black but margins are very, very low compared to what we would historically expect for the industry and based on the capital needs of the industry,” Michael Burt, the board’s director, industrial economic trends, said in an interview. With the future of Kinder Morgan Canada Limited’s proposed Trans Mountain expansion project very much up in the air, crude transportation issues continue to be top of mind. But Burt is hopeful that egress concerns will eventually be ironed out. “If Trans Mountain doesn’t go ahead,

hopefully we do see Enbridge [Inc.’s] Line 3 and Keystone XL go ahead. That would probably go a long way to addressing some of these bottleneck issues,” he said. Canadian natural gas stocks fall 5.2% A Canadian Enerdata weekly survey of Canadian natural gas in storage showed a total of 310.9 bcf of gas in storage for the week ended April 6, 2018, down 5.2 per cent from a revised 327.8 bcf the previous week. In the United States, working gas in storage was 1.335 tcf as of April 6, according to Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates. This represents a net decrease of 19 bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 725 bcf less than last year at this time and 375 bcf below the five-year average of 1.71 tcf. At 1.335 tcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range. Demand for Canadian oil growing on Gulf Coast Canadian oilsands heavy crude producers can look forward to growing demand for their oil on the U.S. Gulf Coast, with demand rising to 1.2 million bbls/d by 2020, from an estimated 800,000 bbls/d now, but the authors of a new report predicting that growth say the stalled Trans

Mountain pipeline expansion is still essential. Kevin Birn, Calgary-based executive director of IHS Markit, who heads its Oil Sands Dialogue and who was the lead author, said in an interview with the DOB that, despite the fact the U.S. Gulf Coast provides a “secure and growing market” for Canadian heavy crude, Canadian producers need to diversity their market access. “The reality is that Canada — the 5th largest oil producer in the world — maintains an almost singular reliance on one market,” Birn said. “Such a situation is unique in the world and will always carry associated concerns.”. Enbridge project may start in mid-June. Enbridge Inc.’s Line 21 pipeline from Norman Wells, Northwest Territories to Zama, Alberta could be back in operation by the end of September 2018 following the replacement of a 2.5-kilometre segment of the pipeline on an existing right-of-way. In a filing with the National Energy Board (NEB), the company says it is planning for HDD (horizontal directional drilling) under the Mackenzie River east of Fort Simpson as early as mid-June with a leave to open application in mid-September.

Kinder Morgan suspends spending on pipeline project Daily Oil Bulletin — Kinder Morgan Canada Limited announced that it is suspending all non-essential activities and related spending on the Trans Mountain expansion project. KML also announced that under current circumstances, specifically including the continued actions in opposition to the project by the province of British Columbia, it will not commit additional shareholder resources to the project. The company will consult with various stakeholders, however, in an effort to reach agreements by May 31 that may allow the project to proceed. The focus in those consultations will be on two principles: clarity on the path forward, particularly with respect to the ability to construct through B.C.; and, adequate protection of KML shareholders. “As KML has repeatedly stated, we will be judicious in our use of shareholder funds. In keeping with that commitment, we have determined that in the current environment, we will not put KML shareholders at risk on the remaining

project spend,” said KML chairman and CEO Steve Kean. The project has the support of the federal government and the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan but faces continued active opposition from the B.C. government. “A company cannot resolve differences between governments. While we have succeeded in all legal challenges to date, a company cannot litigate its way to an in-service pipeline amidst jurisdictional differences between governments,” added Kean. KML had previously announced a “primarily permitting” strategy for the first half of 2018, focused on advancing the permitting process, rather than spending at full construction levels, until it obtained greater clarity on outstanding permits, approvals and judicial reviews. Rather than achieving greater clarity, the project is now facing unquantifiable risk, the company said. Previously, opposition by the province of British Columbia was manifesting itself largely through B.C.’s participa-

tion in an ongoing judicial review. “Unfortunately, B.C. has now been asserting broad jurisdiction and reiterating its intention to use that jurisdiction to stop the project,” the company said. “B.C.’s intention in that regard has been neither validated nor quashed, and the province has continued to threaten unspecified additional actions to prevent project success. Those actions have created even greater, and growing, uncertainty with respect to the regulatory landscape facing the project.” In addition, the parties still await judicial decisions on challenges to the original Order in Council and the B.C. Environmental Assessment Certificate approving the project. “These items, combined with the impending approach of critical construction windows, the lead-time required to ramp up spending, and the imperative that the company avoid incurring significant debt while lacking the necessary clarity, have brought KML to a decision point,” the company said.

PAGE 6 April/May 2018 « BLACK GOLD

Oil-gas rights sale raises $2.9M

The first public offering of Crown petroleum and natural gas rights for the 2018-19 fiscal year raised $2.9 million in revenue for the province on April 10, which is approximately double the amount raised in the April public offering in 2017. “There are clear indicators of renewed activity taking place in Saskatchewan’s oilpatch, which is home to some of the most cost-effective plays in North America,” Energy and Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre said. “Predictable policies and accessible resources make this province an attractive destination for the oil and gas industry, and we intend to keep working to make it even better.” Saskatchewan’s petroleum sector continues to demonstrate clear signs of growth. The value of the province’s total oil production for 2017 significantly increased over the value for 2016, rising from $6.9 billion to $9.2 billion. As well, there was an estimated $4 billion of investment in new exploration and development by the oil industry for 2017. This was up 42 per cent from the previous year’s figure, and is an indicator of sustained interest and confidence from the industry, as well as market optimism. Year-over-year employment in the sector has also grown: there were almost 34,000 direct and indirect person-years of employment in the upstream oil and gas industry forecast for 2017, up seven per cent from 2016. In the Fraser Institute’s Annual Global Petroleum Survey in 2017, Saskatchewan ranked seventh out of 97 jurisdictions in the world, and second in Canada, in terms of overall attractiveness for oil and gas investment, and has consistently been among the top 10 over the past six surveys. The oil and gas industry is responsible for an estimated 15 per cent of Saskatchewan’s gross domestic product. One lease north of St. Walburg received a bonus bid of $1,111,916.78 for 129.500 hectares. This lease was purchased by STOMP Energy Ltd. and is prospective for oil in the Mannville Group. One of the exploration licences, located north of Shaunavon, was prospective for oil in the Upper Shaunavon while the other, located near Consul was prospective for gas in the Second White Specks. Both exploration licences in southwest Saskatchewan received bonus bids totalling $540,831.52.

One-third of crude oil production refined here While Canada has a strong refining industry, it processes only 30 per cent of its own crude oil production, according to the National Energy Board’s (NEB) first Canadian Refinery Overview – Energy Market Assessment report. Canada has 14 full refineries and two asphalt refineries with a total refining capacity of 1.9 million bbls/d, ranking 11th in the world in terms of refining capacity, according to the report. The majority of the capacity (782,000 bbls/d) is in Quebec and Atlantic Canada, followed by Western Canada at 682,000 bbls/d and Ontario at 390,000 bbls/d. Production of refined petroleum products, which includes gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and home heating oil, is primarily for domestic consumption, with some exports mainly from Atlantic Canadian refineries. Most refineries, including those in Canada, do not operate at 100 per cent capacity. This is mostly due to planned/unplanned maintenance and outages. In 2017, Canadian refineries operated at 84 per cent of their capacity. The fact that only a fraction of Canadian crude oil is processed by Canadian refineries is due mainly to the size of Canada’s refining industry compared to the resource size, the location of its refineries and the lack of crosscountry pipeline connectivity, says the report. Due mostly to planned/unplanned maintenance and outages, most refineries, including those in Canada, do not operate at 100 per cent capacity. In 2017, Canadian refineries operated at 84 per cent of their capacity. Most of the refineries in Canada were built when there were abundant supplies of light crude oil and were not configured to process growing volumes of heavy crude oil from the oilsands, the report notes. In 2017, over half of the crude oil processed in Canadian refineries was light conventional crude oil. Slightly over one-third of refinery receipts was crude oil from the oilsands (either bitumen or synthetic) .The rest is conventional heavy oil. While bitumen accounts for almost40 per cent of Canadian production, it accounts for less than 10 per cent of total crude oil refined in Canada with most Canadian bitumen exported to the United States. And while Canadian refineries are processing more Canadian crude than ever before, Central and Eastern Canadian refineries will still import crude oil to meet their refining needs. Most Canadian refineries are owned by vertically integrated companies, which have crude oil production, refining and product marketing. Because the refineries in Western Canada have access to western Canadian crude oil production, domestic crude oil supplies meet all of their feedstock needs.

Carrying out wellsite maintenance

Photo 5783 — Greg Nikkel

A service rig from Key Well Servicing was set up on a wellsite in the Weyburn Field to carry out some maintenanace in the first week of April, before road bans came back on. The well was part of the field that is part of the Whitecap Resources area near the Goodwater plant.


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13 Brandon addiction group offers support to many Prairie Life

APRIL 2018

By Brandi Pollock


randon resident, Danielle Lalonde could never have imagined how big the Westman Families of Addicts support group would be just after a few months of bringing it to light. Lalonde started the group, as her family was having a hard time finding support, resources and services. It didn’t take long for her to notice that there were others in the same boat as well. The group started in June 2017 and became a non-profit organization in December 2017. What Lalonde believed would just be a coffee group with a couple of other “Mama Warriors”, very quickly became a large non-profit support group of approximately 160 families in the area. “Our son has been battling a life threatening illness (Neurofibromatosis) his whole life which turned into drug addiction after dealing with isolation, severe pain, seizures and illness. I thought for the longest time we were just stressed out and not coping, and that the complications of addiction we had to keep hidden, and that we were alone...I was so wrong. My ex-employer told me that my son’s disease and addiction should have no bearing on my job or life after I asked for three weeks stress leave, and that became somewhat of a catalyst to find others dealing with lack of support and understanding.” With the constant growth of the non-profit organization, there will eventually be a website unveiled with resources for families and addicts. Along with the everchanging mission to support families and friends dealing with loved ones drug addictions, trying to build a healthier future and community. Custom Grain & Fertilizer Hauling “We have become in306-421-3381 · panthertrucking@sasktel.net volved with public educa-

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tion to increase awareness and decrease stigma, and we currently have a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for precisely that along with training some members in Recovery Coaching,” added Lalonde. “The coaches would free up resources and finances for both the ER and BPS and would then follow the addicts along “coaching” them on their journey, and working with the existing agencies to come together.” The brand new group helping families and addicts also do not feel alone in the world, already with more highlights than they would ever have thought, in such a short time. “The highlights are almost too many to mention. The Public Forum in January was successful with about 160 in attendance, and 12 panelists helping out,” said Lalonde. “The support within the group has been amazing; so many struggling families in different stages of drug addiction; active use to full recovery— all offering help, and resources along the way. I feel we have decreased stigma in the community by using our voices, sharing, and showing the community we are from all walks of life. We cross every socio-economic and cultural boundary.” She also reminds there are always ways that someone can help, even if it is just as simple as lending a compassionate ear to those who are struggling. “By contributing to our GoFundMe campaign; as much as we would like to be self-sufficient, we do need help to manage with the size of the group, and the public request. We also need funding to get the Recovery Coaching off the ground. We are building up a resource library, bringing in guest speakers and experts, working on harm reduction strategies and looking into being a part of a possible detox program in Brandon.” Community members are encouraged to attend the support group meetings, which are held every second Tuesday of the month at the Brandon ReFit, which is sponsored by Global Market from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. “You can share as much or little as you like. We are very much looking for fundraising help at this time as well, and welcome any help/input (you don’t need to be affected by addiction), added Lalonde. “We are always looking for folks in the Westman area to share their passions or talents with different modalities of therapies like art, reiki, music to name a few. Guest speakers dealing with mental health and addiction are always welcome too!”

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Prairie Life April 2018  

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