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Regina mayor hopes for infrastructure, housing in federal budget

Regina’s mayor would like to see consistency out of the 2014 federal budget when it’s tabled from Ottawa Tuesday afternoon.

Michael Fougere said his top priority is to see steady, yearly transfers from the federal government to address issues like housing and infrastructure in the Queen City.

“Certainly we want some indication for the 2014 construction summer year and, beyond, what that is going to be,” he said.

The city has roads and bridges that are in dire need of repair and improvement, but Fougere insists there are limited options to help pay for them.

SGI looking for 5.2 per cent rate increase

Car insurance could get quite a bit more expensive in 2014 if SGI has its way.

The Crown insurance company is looking for an average 5.2 per cent increase in auto insurance rates. It announced that request is being submitted to the Rate Review Panel, which must approve any increase, on Tuesday morning. If it goes ahead it will be a rebalancing proposal: 84 per cent of drivers will see rate increases of an average $49; the other 16 per cent will either maintain the same rate or get a decrease of an average $12.

FSIN chief not giving up on casino deal

Chief Perry Bellegarde of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations isn't giving up on a deal to buy Casinos Regina and Moose Jaw from the government even though the sale appeared to be over before it began.

On Monday the Saskatchewan NDP broke the news that the government had reached a memorandum of understanding with the FSIN to sell the casinos.

NDP leader Cam Broten says the issue isn't with the deal itself, it is with breaking the Crown Corporation Protection Act.

Cameco backs away from production goals in unstable uranium market

The world's largest publicly-traded uranium company is backing away from its production targets, despite rising income in 2013.

That was the message from Cameco CEO Tim Gitzel during his fourth quarter update Monday.

The company is now scrapping its goal of producing 36 million pounds of uranium a year by 2018. At least for the short term, dwindling demand for uranium combined with steady supply is continuing to drive prices lower, Gitzel said.

Government hoped to reach deal for Casino sale

The NDP opposition and the Saskatchewan Party government are at odds when it comes to a deal to sell off two provincially-owned casinos.

150 workers on strike at Degelman Industries in Regina

A labour dispute over wages has led to 150 workers from Degelman Industries walking the picket lines in a minus 40 degree wind chill on Monday morning.

The United Steelworkers local 5917 served strike notice last Thursday after members failed to ratify a deal in early December.  Sonny Rioux is with the Steelworkers union and he said their demands come down to a higher wage increase.

“We asked the company if they wanted to go back to the bargaining table to see if we could increase the deal, there was no interest on their side,” he said.

RDBID cheering parking rate increase

A proposed increase to on-street parking rates in Regina may concern some businesses in the city's downtown, but it's an idea supported by the Regina Downtown Business Improvement District (RDBID).

"This increase is going to bring Regina in line with most of the major cities in western Canada," said executive director Judith Veresuk. "We believe that the parking rate increase will actually increase turnover of parking stalls."

City of Regina doesn't study affordability of tax increases: CTF

It seems the City of Regina doesn’t take into account whether its tax hikes are affordable for its residents—at least not as much as the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) would like.

According to the CTF, an access to information request was filed with the City in January asking for any study or analysis on the affordability of their last two tax increase which total at 8 per cent over the last two years. The cities response: they don’t exist.

Meetings planned to gain information on grain backlog

There may not be a strike at CN Rail, but it doesn't change the fact there's still a major backlog getting the record crop to port.

"That would have been the icing on the cake, wouldn't it have?" says a relieved Norm Hall, president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS), which is planning two symposiums later this month to gather the facts about this year's transportation issues.

"What we need to do is put some real numbers to the conversation that's happening at the coffee shop."

CN Rail and union reach tentative agreement

According to tweets sent out by Teamsters Canada, the union and CN rail have reached a tentative agreement that will keep some 3,000 conductors, yard workers and others from striking.

The Canadian Press has reported that CN Rail has confirmed the deal.

Strike notice was given by the union on Tuesday, prompting the federal government to start preparing back-to-work legislation.

More to come.

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