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Estevan Mercury Year in Review: March 2021

Estevan MercuryYear in Review: March 2021
Year in Review: March

ESTEVAN - March was a month that put the southeast region in the spotlight, in more ways than one. And a popular annual tradition made its return at the end of the month, even if it was a different fashion than normal.

The St. Joseph's Healthcare Auxiliary presented a cheque for $85,057.20 to St. Joseph's Hospital on March 5. With the payment, the auxiliary paid off the 38 new beds that it purchased for the hospital's long-term care ward in 2019. The beds had a total cost of $255,057.

Popular Saskatchewan travel writer Ashlyn George, who operates the Lost Girl's Guide to Finding the World blog, was in Estevan in early March to explore the best the Energy City has to offer at that time of year. She was invited to explore the area by Tourism Estevan. She saw some of the Estevan area's most well-known sites and hidden gems, and on her Instagram account, said "Estevan is a mecca for those who love the outdoors!" 

Estevan photographer Mary Jacobs took the top spot in the wildlife category at the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation's (SWF) annual photography contest, for a photo of a couple of pheasants in a field. She is well-known locally for her skills with a camera, and she chaired the Estevan Exhibition Association's domestics show for many years.

As a result of an ongoing investigation into allegations of a sexual assault and other offences, the Estevan Police Service announced March 18 it had laid charges against two people, Andrew James Young, 39, and Lindy Erin Darling, 37. Both were charged with sexual assault, assault and forcible confinement, and Young was also charged with sexual interference, administering a noxious substance and uttering threats. They were also facing charges in connection with a drug bust in November 2019.

Covenant Energy, a southeast Saskatchewan-based company, announced plans on March 18 to build a renewable diesel fuel processing plant in southern Saskatchewan. It would produce 6,500 barrels a day and have 300-325 million litres per year of production capacity. Finished fuels would include renewable diesel, arctic-grade renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel.

A rally was held in downtown Estevan March 20 that attracted about 40-50 people who were looking to see an end to pandemic-related lockdowns and restrictions. They toted signs and waved at passing motorists as part of what was labelled as a freedom rally.

The Estevan Fire Rescue Service received a surge of calls on March 22. They were called to an electrical motor fire in central Estevan, a residential fire alarm, a significant shop fire west of Estevan and smoke in a restaurant in central Estevan.

The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League's (SJHL) proposal to resume play under a bubble format was denied by the Saskatchewan Health Authority, ending the 2020-21 season, which had a few games in November 2020. The league created a return to play committee, which was tasked with creating a plan to have the season resume. Games would have been played in Weyburn, with the Estevan Bruins one of seven teams that would have participated.

Estevan saw its last mobile blood donor clinic on March 23. Many other communities across Saskatchewan and all over the country have had their mobile clinics discontinued. The decision to cut the number of mobile clinic destinations was made on the federal level by Canadian Blood Services.

In a 6-3 decision on March 25, the Supreme Court of Canada voted to uphold the federal carbon tax. The governments of Saskatchewan, Alberta and Ontario had taken the federal government to court regarding the feds' ability to impose a carbon tax on those three provinces, but the Supreme Court sided with the federal government, to the chagrin of many in the southeast.

Emde Land and Cattle was presented with the prestigious Farm Family of the Year Award on March 30 at the Emdes' farm outside of Midale. The Emdes were selected to win the Farm Family honour in 2020, but the presentation was shelved due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emdes have enjoyed a long and successful history of farming in the southeast, with a fourth generation now involved with the farm.

The United Way Estevan celebrated the support it received from the community at its annual general meeting on March 31. The meeting had in-person and virtual components. Audited financial statements showed the United Way had $387,237 in donations and pledges for the year ended Dec. 31, 2020.

SaskPower's carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility at the Boundary Dam Power Station attained another milestone March 30, as it eclipsed more than four million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) captured since operations began in October 2014.