Tuesday September 02, 2014

Support for Terriers reaches fever pitch


The Yorkton Terriers are SJHL champions for the second year in a row and for a period of a little more than a week, it felt like the Terriers were on par in popularity with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. It was amazing to see tickets for games one and four sell out in a matter of minutes.  Heck, I was getting reports of people trying to scalp their Terrier tickets.  The interest has never been greater in my time living here (since 2001) and I’m not sure if it will be ever at that kind of a fever pitch again. I will never forget driving back in to Yorkton from Melville last Wednesday night and seeing the city completely empty on the streets.  Many folks were still in Melville celebrating with the team, while others were inside watching on television.

I wish that when there is that much interest in Yorkton Terrier hockey, we could see a regular crowd of 1500 or so for Terrier games during the regular season.  Clearly, the entertainment value is really good and when people are programmed to feel like they are missing something if they don’t go, they aren’t afraid to make time on their busy schedules to attend.  Jay Boyd and I went for wings after each game during the finals and the restaurant we went to was busy both nights.  It’s great for the economy to have people interested in the Yorkton Terriers.  Hopefully the team can capitalize on the momentum and keep the turnstiles moving when the 2014-15 season begins.

I bumped into Randy Atkinson this week at his new job and it struck me that times are changing in the radio business.  It used to be that when an announcer quit working at the radio station, you moved away and worked for another radio station.  But, Yorkton is a great city and people like it here.  Between myself, Randy, Ron Rimer, Craig Stein, Brennan Richards, Keith Andrews, Lee Thomas, and there may be others, there are quite a few former radio announcers kicking around and making a good living in the Yorkton area.  They are all quality employees who have been picked up by smart businesses, who recognize the value of having someone who gives it his all no matter what the job is.

In the past, I have criticized Canadian workers for not being overly dedicated to their jobs and that’s why you have started to see more and more foreign workers in the service industry.   Unfortunately, some businesses appear to have taken the matter too far and are finding loopholes to fire the more expensive Canadians in favor of foreign workers who don’t cost as much to employ.  This is disheartening and should not be allowed by government.  In 2002, the feds instituted a program whereby employers advertise available positions in hopes of finding Canadian candidates.  If no Canadians want the job, they can hire temporary foreign workers after applying for a Labour Market Opinion, a process intended to demonstrate there are no Canadian workers available.  There have been a number of news stories emerging about businesses, who are displacing Canadians who want to work and using temporary foreign workers instead.  I can only speak for what I’ve seen in Yorkton, and I feel this program has, drastically, improved the quality of service for the customer.  I’m unaware of any of these questionable displacement tactics being used in Yorkton and I hope that’s never the case.  I would like to think employers here value good work, regardless of nationality.  I’d also like to think, as customers, we appreciate good work and great service as well.

Air Canada was in the news last week as someone shot a video of baggage handlers dropping carry-on items several metres to a waiting cart.  These are bags that could, realistically, have computers and other fragile items inside them and are stowed for safe keeping, away from the rough handling of luggage that gets ushered away at check-in.  After the exposure, Air Canada came out and said the workers had been fired, then backed off and said they were ‘definitely suspended’.  I have a fairly close connection to the airline industry and was told more than once that those employees who work in baggage handling will sometimes play a game where they see which suitcases are the toughest.  One former employee told me a story of a bag being dropped off the cart while on its way to the plane.  The driver circled back and ran over the bag, presumably on purpose, and the pressure resulted in the bag exploding and all the belongings strewn about the tarmac.

A Regina man who posted a nine second video of himself standing in front of a train in Peru is about to make a caboose full of cash.  The guy was standing so close to the train that someone  who was on the train stuck out his leg and kicked the tourist in the head.  Now, a company says they will pay the guy anywhere from $2 to $16 per thousand views, which means he will get a cheque from somewhere between $30,000 to $250,000 for being clueless and, unknowingly, risking his life all for the sake of a nice cool selfie.  No word on if the person who delivered the kick will get any money or not.    

Nice person mentions this week to Darryl Flunder, Cody Bruvold, Steve Kirzinger, Craig Geisler, and Shelly Krupski.



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