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Year in review: Memorable Saskatchewan news stories of 2018
(Jonathan Hayward / The Canadian Press)
Published Monday, December 31, 2018 11:08AM CST
As 2018 draws to a close, CTV Saskatchewan looks back at five of the most memorable news stories to come out of the province.
Humboldt Broncos bus crash
It was a story that gripped the province, the country and the world.
On April 6, the bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos Junior A hockey team collided with a semi-trailer at the intersection of Highways 35 and 335. They were travelling to Nipawin for a semi-final matchup they never got a chance to play.
Sixteen people were killed in the crash. Thirteen others were injured. Some have made it back on the ice and others are still recovering from their injuries.
Support flooded into Humboldt in the immediate aftermath of the crash. Letters, phone calls and visitors descended on the city, all looking to help Humboldt move forward from an unthinkable tragedy.
A GoFundMe page for the team raised more than $15 million — and funds have since been distributed to the victims and their families.
The truck driver, Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, was arrested in July. He’s facing 29 total charges — 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death and 13 counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm. He will be back in court early next year.
The team decided in the months following the crash to rebuild and take the ice again for the 2018-19 season. The new Humboldt Broncos, with only two players on their roster from before the crash, were welcomed back to Elgar Petersen Arena on Sept. 12. An emotional ceremony after the game recognized everyone on the bus — with banners reminding everyone that the Broncos won’t be forgotten any time soon.
New faces in Saskatchewan politics
Former Premier Brad Wall’s retirement from politics left an opening at the head of the Saskatchewan Party.
Scott Moe took the reins as premier after a leadership convention in Saskatoon in January. He defeated leadership candidate Alanna Koch with 54 per cent of the vote on the final ballot.
In a fiery speech following his victory, Moe told supporters he would vigorously oppose the federal government’s carbon tax. He’s continued that fight and plans to take Ottawa to court in February.
The Opposition also saw a new face take over. The Saskatchewan NDP had been without a leader since Cam Broten lost his seat in the 2016 provincial election.
After two unsuccessful attempts at party leadership, Ryan Meili beat Trent Wotherspoon to take over the position in February.
Gerald Stanley acquitted in death of Colten Boushie
After 13 hours of deliberations, a jury in North Battleford found Gerald Stanley not guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Colten Boushie in February.
The verdict sparked racial tensions, including protests and rallies nationwide.
The trial began in the last week of January. The final decision was met with shouting, crying and gasps from many of the people in the courtroom.
Stanley, a 56-year-old farmer from the Biggar area, was charged in August of 2016 in Boushie’s death. Boushie was a Cree man from the Red Pheasant First Nation.
Stanley was rushed out of the back door of the court house by RCMP members after the verdict.
Boushie’s family expressed concern that the 12-person jury didn’t include a visibly Indigenous person. They’ve started a call for more Indigenous representation in trials with an Indigenous victim.
The family also took their concerns to the United Nations, hoping the organization would look into systemic racism in Canada’s justice system.
Justice for Our Stolen Children camp takes up residence on legislative grounds
Shortly after the verdict in Boushie’s death, a group settled on the grass in front of the Saskatchewan legislative building to call for change.
A tipi for the Justice for Our Stolen Children camp would stand at that spot for 197 days. The group faced off with political leaders and Regina police to fight for their spot in Wascana Park.
The tipi camp was briefly dismantled in June after police arrested some of the protesters. The tipi was set up again days later, and First Nations from across Saskatchewan added tipis to the display in solidarity with the protesters.
September saw the end of the camp, which was torn down after a court order.
The government met with protesters in Fort Qu’Appelle while the camp was still standing. The protesters said they want to continue to bring focus to the issues the camp brought forward.
On Oct. 17, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered on his campaign promise to legalize marijuana in Canada.
Each province was given the freedom to come up with its own laws under the umbrella of federal cannabis regulations.
Saskatchewan set its legal age to 19 and implemented a zero-tolerance policy on driving high. The province followed federal regulations for possession — 30 grams — and plants per household — four.
The province held a lottery for 51 marijuana sale permits. Six were handed out in Regina and seven in Saskatoon.
Stores are slowly opening across the province, with others aiming to celebrate their grand opening next year.