Section 2 2.1 Map of the Province of Saskatchewan PAGE 33-35 2.2 SASKATCHEWAN Saskatchewan is a Western Canadian province commonly referred to as one of the Prairie Provinces, the other prairie provinces being Manitoba and Alberta. The name Saskatchewan comes from the Cree Indian word “Kisiskatchewan” meaning “swiftly flowing”, a term first applied to the province’s largest moving body of water, the Saskatchewan River. Saskatchewan occupies 651,036 square kilometers of which more than 12% is lakes and rivers mainly in the northern half of the province. The province contains portions of two major natural regions: The Canadian Shield in the North and the interior plains in the South. Saskatchewan is the fifth largest Canadian province located between Manitoba to the East, Alberta to the West, the Northwest Territories to the North and the USA (Montana and North Dakota) to the South. The capital city of the province is Regina and Saskatoon is the largest city in the province. Other major cities include Moose Jaw, Lloydminster, Prince Albert and Swift Current. Among the Canadian provinces, Saskatchewan ranks sixth with a population of approximately one million people. The population of Saskatchewan is of mixed ethnic origin. More than 40% of the people trace their ancestry to the British Isles. The next largest ethnic groups claim German, French, Ukrainian, Aboriginal, Métis (people of mixed indigenous and European ancestry) and Scandinavian ancestry. The original inhabitants of this region included the Cree, Blackfoot, Chipeweyan and Assiniboine Indian nations. Today aboriginal people account for over 17% of the province’s population. Between 1896 and 1905, Canada introduced its first large-scale immigration policy to populate the West. Farmers from the United States, Great Britain and all over Europe were encouraged to emigrate and settle in this region of Canada. Many central and Eastern Europeans came to Saskatchewan in search of prosperity and a new life. When the railroads were constructed in the 1880s, people began settling the flatlands of central and southern Saskatchewan. The excellent soils of the southern prairies enabled Saskatchewan to become the largest producer of wheat in Canada. Known as the “Breadbasket of Canada”, Saskatchewan produces more than 60% of all the wheat grown in the country, along with many other crops. Saskatchewan joined the Confederation of Canada in 1905. The provincial motto is “From many peoples, strength”, which reflects the cultural diversity of the province. The provincial emblems are the white birch tree, the prairie sharp-tailed grouse (a bird), and the western red lily flower. The official flag was adopted in 1969. The provincial shield of arms is in the upper left corner and the floral emblem is on the right. The upper half is green, representing the northern forests and the lower half is gold, symbolizing the southern grain areas. The economy of Saskatchewan has always depended on primary products. The first one was fur from 1774 to 1821, followed by the rapid expansion of agriculture from about 1880 to 1930. In the 1950s, economic growth was driven by oil, natural gas, uranium and potash mining. By the 1960s, a strong mining industry and expanding levels of agriculture helped bring economic stability to the province. The service sector, including such activities as banking, finance, insurance and real estate, also expanded rapidly at this time. Prairie Sharp-Tailed Grouse The Carlton Trail Region in the East central part of the province of Saskatchewan, Canada, currently consists of the City of Humboldt, 17 rural municipalities, 10 towns, and 14 villages but plans are being made to expand it to more communities (see map of region). This well-known region is often referred to as the “Iron Triangle” because of the prominence of large manufacturing businesses that supply both the domestic and export markets in one triangular shaped area. Other major industries in the region include potash mining and several facets of agriculture, including hog and cattle production. Worthy of mention is the cluster of many small meat processing businesses and facilities throughout the region specializing in various types of sausage and other cuts of meat. From an agricultural perspective, the Carlton Trail Region is often referred to as the “sure crop district.” Crops commonly grown in the region include canola, barley, wheat and oats. Specialty crops include peas, flax, canary seed, and mustard. The average grain farm consists of 10 or more quarters of land. In addition to crop production, there are several livestock producers, two large feedlots, bison and elk farmers as well as many other commercial livestock producers. The Carlton Trail Region is home to several large hog producers. Residents of the Carlton Trail Region enjoy a high quality life, excellent access to health care, education and a broad scope of work or career options, with major employers located within easy commuting distance. The City of Humboldt is the main regional trading center and is also the site of the regional hospital. Humboldt was one of the first communities in the province to be designated a safe community. The scenic Carlton Trail Region provides an abundance of sunshine and blue skies, wildlife and countless recreational and leisure opportunities, But for those wanting amenities of a larger urban center, the communities within the region are just a short driving distance to Saskatoon (known as the City of Bridges) and Regina, the capital of Saskatchewan, as well as home of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police training depot and memorial museum. PAGE 36-39 2.3 HEALTH & FAMILY SASKATCHEWAN HEALTH CARE Most residents of Saskatchewan receive free basic health care services. In order to receive free health care services, residents must apply for a health card. Permanent residents and other persons who are in Canada because of education or temporary work and who have Canadian authorization to be here, are provided benefits from the date they come to Saskatchewan but must register to be eligible. A health services card must be presented whenever medical services are required. Each family member will be required to present his/her own card. Under the health plan, Saskatchewan residents do not have to pay for most visits to the doctor, hospital stays, physiotherapy, surgery, maternity care, cancer treatment and x-rays. However, things like doctors notes, crutches, and splints require a fee. Saskatchewan Health Services Card applications are available from: Saskatchewan Health Insurance Registration 3475 Albert Street Regina, Saskatchewan S4S 6X6 Tel: 306-787-3251 Toll Free: 1-800-667-7551 Applications are available by contacting the Government of Saskatchewan in the blue pages in the telephone directory under Health Service Cards, or online at www.gov.sk.ca. Other services are not covered under the Saskatchewan Health Care Plan including routine eye examinations, chiropractic services, extra cost of private and semi-private rooms during a hospital stay if chosen by the patient, in-city ambulance costs, cosmetic surgery and dental work. EXTENDED HEALTH CARE SERVICES Anyone can apply for extended health care benefits from in Saskatchewan from such organizations as “Saskatchewan Blue Cross.” After working for an employer in Saskatchewan for more than three months, employees may be eligible for extended health care benefits through the employer benefit plan; however, not all employers have employee benefit plans. An extended health care services program does not generally cover the cost of a medical examination required for getting a passport or visa, employment or pilot license. PRESCRIPTION DRUG SERVICES Cost of prescription drugs are not covered under the Saskatchewan Health Care Plan. However, if people purchase an extended health care plan, a portion of the cost will be covered. If an individual requires medication but can not afford it, a provincial Drug Benefit Review Committee can review the request and may help. More information about this service is available from the Prescription Drug Services Branch, 1-800-667-7581. HOW TO FIND A DOCTOR There are physicians in several communities in the Carlton Trail Region. Most people have a general physician, or a family doctor, whom they see whenever they have health problems. A family doctor will sometimes refer patients to a medical specialist. See the “Emergency Services” section of this handbook for contact information of medical clinics where doctors are available. It is also wise to talk to other people in the community about their doctors to find out which one would be the most suitable for you. It is usually necessary to telephone the doctor’s office to make an appointment, however, some doctors may take “walk in patients” as well. Always present your health services card when making an appointment or requesting treatment for yourself or a family member. If the patient cannot speak English, have someone come along to help translate information for the doctor and patient. HOSPITALS People are admitted to hospital by a doctor’s referral. Hospital gowns are provided but many people take their own sleep wear and robes. There is no charge for food served in the hospital. Patients can rent small televisions on a fee for service basis. Hospitals establish rules for visiting hours and the number of visitors allowed at one time. Young children may not be allowed to visit in some parts of the hospital. Hospitals also have social workers who can help patients with non- medical problems. Hospitals have emergency departments, open 24 hours a day. If someone has been injured at work or has been in a severe accident, a fall, a fight, or is suffering from a heart attack, poisoning or some other serious medical problem, he/she should be taken to the emergency department immediately. In the Carlton Trail Region, telephoning 9-1-1 will get an ambulance quickly. There is a list of hospitals and medical clinics listed in the Emergency Services section of this handbook. Telephone directories have space inside the cover for important emergency numbers. Write the local ambulance telephone number there, for fast and easy reference. It is also a great idea to have a list of emergency numbers beside the telephone for easy access. PUBLIC HEALTH Medical centers provide information on health problems and services such as immunization, family planning and pre-natal care. Free immunizations are offered for children two months to 14 years of age at health clinics in Saskatchewan. These immunizations protect against such diseases as polio, measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus and diphtheria. Contact the local public health office for clinic dates and times; contact information can be found in the Emergency Services section of this handbook. MEDICAL CENTERS Many communities within the Carlton Trail Region have a medical center. In this facility, there may be a variety of medical professionals such as doctors, nurses, nutritionists, counsellors, physiotherapists, pharmacists and other health professionals. Some medical clinics offer X-ray services, a pharmacy, and may have a lab where blood tests can be done. See the “Medical Services” section of this handbook for telephone numbers and addresses of all medical centers in the Carlton Trail Region. MENTAL HEALTH Family counsellors, psychologists and psychiatrists help people with emotional problems such as depression, anxiety, stress, domestic violence and loneliness. For more information, talk to a family doctor or in emergencies call 1-306-655-7950 (Mental Health and Addiction Services). FAMILY AND OTHER SERVICES The following preventative programs may be offered through Saskatoon Regional Health Authority at 1-306-655-3300 - alcohol and drug addiction rehabilitation, - AIDS information, - help for victims of sexual assault, child abuse, family violence and self-help groups dealing with a wide range of issues. For more information regarding these services, contact Partners For Rural Family Support located in Humboldt, at 306-682-4135 or toll free 1-866-682-4135. This organization helps people who are having family problems, such as marital difficulties, parenting difficulties or individual concerns. Partners For Rural Family Support usually offers services at low cost or no cost. Parent’s Help Line If people have concerns about their children or questions about parenting in Saskatchewan, call 1-888-603-1900. A professional counsellor is available to assist in a confidential/private manner. They will also be able to provide parents with information about other local agencies that are able to assist and support parents who are struggling, or needing information about developing a positive relationship with their children. Disciplining Children In Canada, parents are encouraged to find different methods of disciplining children rather than spanking. TIPS FOR DISCIPLINING CHILDREN: 1. If parents do not want children to hold or touch a certain object, replace that object with something that feels safe and acceptable, 2. If parents are in a heated argument with a child and the parent feels like slapping or spanking the child, go to another room and ask the child to talk when he/she feels calmer, 3. If the children are being too loud in the car, pull the car over and tell them that the car will not move until they settle down. Acknowledge children when they behave. Do not only focus on them when they misbehave, and 4. Take time each day to spend time with the children. Talk with them and give them special time and attention Abuse and Bullying Abuse can be verbal, emotional, physical or sexual, used by someone in order to gain power and control over another person. Regardless of ethnic background, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disabilities, marital, financial or employment status, no one has the right to hurt anyone. If any of these things happen to an individual, talk to someone who can help. Call: 24 Hour Abuse Line 1-800-214-7083 or Partners for Rural Family Support at 306-682-4135 or Mental Health at 306-655-7950 PAGE 40-41 2.4 FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS SOCIAL ASSISTANCE The Saskatchewan Assistance Plan is designed to help unemployed people or people who cannot meet their basic financial needs on their own. Assistance is provided to help with basic living needs, special needs, health services and welfare services. When receiving Social Assistance, a recipient must try hard to support himself/herself and his/her family. Recipients are also expected to look for work or accept training if it is available. To apply for assistance, a person would first call the Community Resources and Employment Call Centre, 1-866-221-5200. Before calling, have all necessary documents ready. You will need identification cards for each member of the family and expense receipts. After taking your application by phone, the worker will advise you what to do next. It is important to follow the policy guidelines in order to maintain eligibility for assistance. For assistance, contact your local settlement agency. PROVINCIAL TRAINING ALLOWANCE The Provincial Training Allowance (PTA) is designed to help people who are unemployed and underemployed. Assistance is provided to help with basic living needs, special needs and health services. PTA is provided through training institutions approved by the department of Community Resources and Employment. To be eligible for PTA, applicants must meet criteria set out by the department. To apply for PTA or for more information, contact the Student Financial Assistance Branch at: 306-787-0923. SASKATCHEWAN EMPLOYMENT SUPPLEMENT The Saskatchewan Government provides supplementary income for low income working families to help with the cost of raising children. Under this program, families are also eligible to receive extra medical coverage. For more information about this program, please call: 1-877-696-7546. CHILD TAX BENEFITS This program was implemented to address child poverty and the problems associated with it. Through a shared commitment with provincial and territorial governments, the Federal Government provides financial assistance to low income families to improve living standards of children. Eligibility is based on family income. For more information speak to employer or contact the Service Canada agent at: 1-800-622-6232. GST CREDITS Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a tax you pay on most goods and services provided in Canada. If you are 19 years of age or older, you may be eligible for a GST credit based on your previous year’s income. The GST credit is a tax-free quarterly payment that helps individuals and families with low and modest incomes to offset a part of the GST that they pay. To apply, you have to file an income tax and benefit return, in March or April each year, even if you have no income to report. For more information call: 1-800-622-6232 (toll free) or go to the website www.cra.arc.gc.ca/menu-e.html. PAGE 42-45 2.5 COMMUNICATION TELEPHONE SERVICE IN SASKATCHEWAN Newcomers can apply to SaskTel at www.sasktel.com or call 1-800-727- 5835 to have a telephone connected in their new home or place of business. It usually takes only a few days to have a telephone installed. Subscribers will have to pay a deposit for the first Saskatchewan telephone. Once the telephone is connected, subscribers will receive a telephone bill each month. The first bill will have an installation charge on it. The telephone bill will also list any long distance calls an individual or anyone using the telephone has made, the date those phone calls were made, the length of each phone call, and the cost of each call. There will also be a charge for telephone equipment rental, and taxes. There is no charge for local calls. This bill must be paid each month or the service will be disconnected. There are lower long distance rates for calls made after 6 p.m. and before 8 a.m., as well as all day Saturday and Sunday. The telephone directory will list these rates. It is easy to make a long distance telephone call to anywhere in the world; simply dial 011 + Country Code (2 or 3 digits) and Routing Code (1 to 5 digits) + local number (5 to 10 digits). If someone want to call anywhere in Saskatchewan the area code is 306. It is important to notify the telephone company about one month before moving so that the service can be disconnected and reconnected in the new home, if necessary. USING THE TELEPHONE BOOK The white pages in the telephone book list numbers and addresses of individuals, businesses and organizations. Blue pages list numbers and addresses of municipal, provincial and federal government offices. These listings are in alphabetical order. There is no charge for listings in the white pages. Names are automatically listed when telephone service is connected, unless an individual requests an unpublished number. There is an extra monthly charge for this service. The local telephone book may also include: city maps, area codes and postal codes. The yellow pages list businesses which have chosen to advertise. There is a charge for businesses to use this service. Businesses are listed in alphabetical order according to the nature of the business, such as Restaurants, and then by the business name. Emergency numbers are listed on the front inside cover of the telephone directory. UNWANTED PHONE CALLS Another thing to be aware of is prank phone calls. Prank phone calls usually happen in the evening or during the night. They are a form of harassment or a practical joke committed over the telephone. One can call SaskTel and pay a monthly fee to have ten telephone numbers blocked. Unwanted calls can also be reported to SaskTel. They can give options to make the calls stop. PUBLIC TELEPHONES With the invention of cellular telephones, there are very few pay phones located in public places anymore, such as restaurants, libraries and municipal buildings. Local telephone calls on a pay phone cost 35 cents. It is important to read the instructions on the phone before making a call. If the line is busy, or no one answers, the money deposited will be returned through the coin return slot. Long distance calls can be made by dialling “0" for Operator. Many coins are needed to pay for a long distance call. The operator will come on the line when necessary to request more money. Long distance calls may also be charged to a calling card, which is applied for at the SaskTel office or purchased at a local convenience store. These cards are “pre-paid” and generally a better value for your money. ANSWERING MACHINES & VOICE MAIL Some people and businesses have answering machines connected to their telephones, or subscribe to a voice mail service to record any messages while they are away. Leave your name and telephone number on the machine, usually after the sound of a beep/tone and the person you are calling will return the call. ANSWERING SERVICES Some businesses and individuals hire an answering service to take their phone calls when they are away from their telephone. The answering service will contact the person trying to be contacted, but cannot give out any info or answer any questions. MAIL SERVICE IN CANADA Canada Post is the federal Crown Corporation responsible for postal service in Canada. Most communities in the Carlton Trail Region have a post office. It may be one building or the postal services may be located within a store or some other business in the community. At most post offices, it is possible to mail letters and parcels, buy stamps and money orders and receive information about postal rates and services. Sending & Receiving Mail In the Carlton Trail Region there is no door-to-door mail delivery. People pick up their mail at the local post office. To mail a letter, it is necessary to place a stamped, addressed letter in a mail box, which is located at post office. When mailing an item, the item must have the proper postage and be correctly addressed. Both the complete mailing address and return address, including postal codes, are required. Letters and parcels may be weighed at any postal outlet to ensure proper postage is affixed. Items without enough postage may be returned to the sender. When addressing a letter or parcel, your name, address and postal code are written clearly in the upper left hand corner. Then postage is placed in the upper right hand corner and the mailing address should be written in the centre of the letter or parcel. There are many ways to send letters. Letters may be sent by standard mail, special delivery or priority post courier. Registered mail provides proof of mailing and delivery. Parcels may be sent in various ways also: Parcel Post, Expedited Parcels and by Priority Post Courier, depending on the speed of delivery and security required. Airmail Special airmail paper and envelopes are available at most stationary stores. The Post Office also has Air Mail stickers which can be put on an ordinary envelope. The Post Office will tell the sender how much it costs to send a letter to another country. This is a great way for a person to send letters, cards or any important information to their loved ones and families in home countries. Internet/Email Local libraries provide free internet access to the public. Using the internet provides the opportunity to search for information. It also allows people to open an email account with Hotmail, Netscape or Yahoo, etc. Through email people can communicate with family and friends around the world. Several Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide Internet service to local subscribers. Before applying for internet service, individuals must have a computer with a modem or Ethernet card and a browser such as Netscape or Internet Explorer. There is a monthly fee for this service. Choosing your services try to buy “high speed” over “dial up” if possible. It is a faster service. If setting up an email account, be aware of junk mail. Unwanted email is a widespread problem. Here is some advice on how to recognize the various sorts of junk mail. If people receive harassing or offensive mail that is directly addressed to them, ignore it. If it continues contact the email website and they will help. Chain mail is the email equivalent of paper chain mail. Chain mail may be distinguished from other junk mail if it was sent by a friend or acquaintance and includes a request to forward the mail to as many people as possible. Typically this comes from an address that the person does not recognise, is addressed to an address that the receiver does not recognize and has a subject which suggests that it might be junk mail, for example get rich quick schemes, advertisements for bulk emailing people, advertisements for pornographic sites or direct selling. Most computers now have a program that offers a scanning program which helps filter out junk mail. PAGE 46-53 2.6 EMPLOYMENT & LAW THE LABOUR MARKET Saskatchewan’s labour market is very different from what it used to be. The types of jobs available have changed quite dramatically. To qualify to work in most jobs, workers are expected to have more education and skills than in the past. Within the time period from 1994-2003, there has been a decline of about 28,000 agriculture related jobs. At the same time, there has been an increase of about 60,000 non-agriculture related jobs. It is also important to note that by the year 2011, all of the net labour market growth in this province will come entirely from immigration. LOOKING FOR WORK The Saskatchewan job market is competitive. Individuals who want to work must actively seek out appropriate training and then apply for suitable jobs. Most available job positions will be found in local newspaper (“Help Wanted” or “Employment” Sections), on Internet sites, posted in store windows, or by word of mouth. Job advertisements usually give a brief description of the job, skills and experiences required and where to apply. Once a job seeker discovers a job, it is up to him/her to prepare a cover letter and resume (see definitions below) and to submit these to the employer in order to be considered for the job. In order to submit the resume, the job seeker can mail it to the Human Resources department of the company. Some jobs can be sent by email or fax, depending on what the job advertisement asks for. It is often best to call the company and ask to schedule an appointment with the human resources coordinator and then drop off the resume directly to the employer. This allows the employer to get to know who the job seeker is. After submitting the resume and cover letter, an employer will telephone the job seeker if the employer is interested in finding out more about the person’s skills and abilities. The employer will ask to set up an interview with the individual. The interview will be held at the employer’s office. If all goes well, the employer will ask the job seeker to provide him/her with references. References are names and contact information of people who know the skills and abilities of the job seeker. Within one to two weeks of the interview, the employer usually sends a letter or calls the job seeker to let him/her know if he/she has been successful in getting the job. Definitions In order to work in Canada, a Social Insurance Number (S.I.N.) is necessary. This number is an important piece of identification, and is required by all employers and the government. Social Insurance Numbers are applied for at Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). You will need to show proof of permanent residence. Non-permanent residents will be required to present one of the following documents: • visitor record • employment authorization • permit to enter or stay in Canada • extension of permit • foreign birth certificate translated into English or French • student authorization It may take a few weeks after application is made before the plastic card arrives in the mail. However, a receipt can be issued upon request, proving a S.I.N. has been applied for, allowing the applicant to begin work immediately. The Resume is a summary of an individual’s education and work experience. It tells an employer: • who you are (your name, address, telephone number) • what experience you have (names, addresses and job descriptions of past work experience, including volunteer experience) • education you have taken (schools, certificates, licenses, etc.) • what skills you have obtained • reference information of individuals who know you Government agencies such as Can-Sask will help newcomers to prepare resumes and cover letters. Can-Sask is located in the Carlton Trail Regional College building on 7th street in Humboldt. The Cover Letter accompanies a resume. It explains why you are interested in working for that particular company, and why you would be a good person for the job. Please be aware that Can-Sask offers full support to job seekers. In addition to assisting with the preparation of resumes and cover letters, the employment service will help individuals in the following ways: • provide lists of jobs available locally, provincially and nationally • provide interviews with counselors regarding work skills and training • provide information on training courses or English classes • give referrals to employers You can also ask about available work at Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) and Canada Saskatchewan Career & Employment Services: 306-682-6772. HRSDC is operated by the Federal Government, and Can-Sask is operated by the provincial government. One of the newest services offered is the Job Bank on the Internet. The location of this website is: http://www.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca. Another good resource is found at: www.sasknetwork.ca. Training Programs Training programs are offered through Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), Immigrant Settlement Agencies, SIAST, community colleges and private colleges. EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS Wages In Saskatchewan, the minimum wage is $8.25 per hour as of January 1st, 2008. In most job situations, employees are entitled to at least three hours of wages each time they are asked to work, even if their shift is less than three hours long. Hours of Work If employees work more than 160 hours a month (which averages eight hours per day or 40 hours per week), they must receive overtime pay at the rate of one and a half their regular wage or time off instead. Termination or Lay-off If an employee decides he or she wants to quit his or her job and has been with a company for at least three months, the company is entitled to at least one week’s written notice (if employed less than one year) and at least two week’s written notice if employed more than one year but less than three. It is the same in the event of a layoff: if proper notice is not given, the employee should receive pay in lieu of notice, unless termination was for “just cause”. There are also minimum standards for holidays, leaves of absence, pay administration and special provisions for those working in hospitals, hotels, restaurants, nursing homes and institutions. For more information, contact your local Labour Standards Office. GETTING PAID By Saskatchewan Labour Standards, employees must be paid at least twice per month unless they are on a monthly salary. Usually the employer issues a pay cheque to the employee, which can be cashed at the employee’s bank. The employer will take certain deductions off the pay cheque to pay the government. Employees must receive a slip showing their earnings and deductions. Expect deductions from the government to be quite high (approximately 30%) on all pay cheques. Canada Pension Plan (C.P.P.) These are mandatory deductions from your salary to help the government pay a pension to anyone who has contributed to the plan and has reached the age of 65 years. Income Tax The Canadian government collects taxes to help pay for government services. Income tax is deducted from the employee’s salary and forwarded to the Canadian government to help pay for provincial and federal programs. Annually, employers provide each employee with a form (T4), stating the amount earned and taxes already paid. Although income tax is deducted from income cheques, sometimes not enough has been deducted and the employee may have to pay additional income tax. Sometimes the amount deducted is too much and a refund is issued. Information provided for Income Tax may also be used to determine your eligibility for some programs, such as GST and Child Tax Benefits. Failing to file an Income Tax return may disqualify the individual from receiving benefits to which they may be entitled, and is against the law. Other Deductions Some companies may deduct union dues, parking fees, health or dental fees, if such programs are offered through the business. EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE (E.I.) Employment Insurance Premiums (E.I.) are deducted from each pay cheque. This money is deducted and used to pay a person while they are unemployed and looking for other work. The employer must also make a predetermined contribution to the government. Benefits are based on a percentage of the claimant’s earnings during the past 52 weeks. A person cannot collect E.I. if fired for just cause, or if he/she quits without a good reason. To apply for Employment Insurance, a Record of Employment from every place the individual has worked in the last 52 weeks is needed. This form shows earnings, the length of time employed by that company, and the reason for leaving work. A percentage of the earnings rated on the Record of Employment is paid to the individual as benefits. Take your Record of Employment to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). It is necessary to fill out an application form and a Social Insurance Number is also needed. There are people in the office who are able to help complete the form. The application is reviewed and a decision made about eligibility and benefits within a few weeks. There is also a waiting period before anyone eligible to receive benefits. The length of the waiting period may depend on the reason the individual left the last job and the amount of holiday pay or compensation that was received. Generally, it is usually a period of two weeks. To be eligible for benefits, the person must have worked a certain number of weeks during the last 52 weeks, depending on the unemployment rate in the region and other factors. The same rules apply to the length of time benefits will be paid. Once the application has been approved, the individual will begin to receive report cards in the mail. These report cards must be completed carefully and according to the instructions on them to avoid a delay in payments. This can also be done by telephone or online. If there cards are not filled out carefully, it could lead to loss of benefits. While collecting Employment Insurance, applicants are expected to look for work. Applicants must also report any work carried out, any earnings made during a report period, or any training courses attended. It is against the law to give false information on the employment insurance claim. The HRSDC office is located in the Canada building in downtown Saskatoon on 1st Avenue. WORKING AND RESETTLEMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM Anyone who is on the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) must report any employment earnings to his/her settlement counsellor. At Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the RAP client is allowed to earn 25 percent of his/her monthly budget before money will be deducted from his/her benefits. If he/she finds full time employment, RAP is discontinued. Full time continuous employment is defined as being a job which is not of a temporary nature, but which has prospects of continuity and in which the individual has been employed for a minimum of twenty (20) consecutive working days. If he/she loses that job before he/she has earned enough weeks to apply for Employment Insurance, he/she will be referred to Social Services for assistance. LEGAL SYSTEM Canada has two main legal systems, criminal law and civil law. They each have different penalties and methods of settlement. CRIMINAL LAW These laws protect the individual and include areas of theft, fraud, assault and murder. Penalties include a fine paid to the government, imprisonment and probation. The penalty is issued because the Criminal Code of Canada has been broken. CIVIL LAW These laws look after the rights and duties between people and organizations. Money or “damages” are paid by one party to another as compensation. Penalties are assessed when there is a loss of income, property, possessions, and mental or physical injury. Court costs are paid by the individuals involved. Usually a lawyer handles the issue. FINDING A LAWYER A lawyer will represent an individual in court. They are listed in the telephone directory’s yellow pages under Lawyers. There is also a Lawyer Referral Service available by calling toll- free: 1-800-667-9886. Legal Aid provides legal service to those who can’t afford to pay for similar services. Legal Aid provides assistance in criminal law and family law. Information on a wide range of subjects is also available. Legal Aid is paid by the provincial and federal governments. There are 13 offices in Saskatchewan. For more information call the Saskatchewan Legal Aid Commission office in your community. GOING TO COURT People go to court because they have been accused of a crime, have witnessed a crime, or have been arrested by the police when evidence indicates they have committed a crime. It is wise to have a lawyer if he/she had been accused of a crime. A summons or notice of the court date is issued. It is against the law not to obey this summons. Anyone charged with a crime is entitled to a fair trail by judge and jury, or by judge alone. The person charged is called “the accused”. Two lawyers are present at a trial. One represents the accused and the other represents the government, also called “the Crown”. It is against the law to lie in court and anyone testifying must take an oath before speaking. POLICE In the Carlton Trail Region, policing is the responsibility of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The purpose of the RCMP is to protect the public. The RCMP patrol rural areas including small towns and villages as well as the City of Humboldt. Police officers are on duty 24 hours a day, every day of the week. The police sponsor crime prevention and community awareness programs and often speak to school children. Parents teach their children not to be afraid of the police. The police help prevent and stop crime, and enforce traffic laws to keep streets safe for pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers. They can be called in any emergency. In the Carlton Trail Region 9-1-1 is the emergency number to help contact the police, fire department or ambulance quickly. Help can also be found quickly by dialling “0" for an Operator and calmly stating your name, address and telephone number, and the problem. The police also have a direct phone line which is listed in the telephone directory. It is illegal to try and bribe a police officer. This is a serious offense in Canada and could result in a prison sentence. HUMAN RIGHTS The Canadian Human Rights Act protects the fundamental freedoms of speech, thought, religion, freedom of expression, freedom of association, and fundamental rights. Equality rights protect people from discrimination because of race, country of origin, religion, color, sex, age, mental or physical disability. Legal rights include the right to contact a lawyer, the right to be protected against the police entering a person’s home without legal consent, the right to a fair trail and the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in court. Mobility rights, which include the right to travel, live and look for work anywhere in Canada, are also protected. (If a person on the Resettlement Assistance Program chooses to move, his/her settlement counsellor can re-assess his/her eligibility for assistance.) THE SASKATCHEWAN HUMAN RIGHTS CODE The Code guarantees fundamental freedoms and rights, such as freedom of expression and assembly. It protects equality rights in the areas of housing, employment, public services, education, contracts and publications. Anyone who disobeys the Code may be responsible for any damages which result from a discriminatory act, such as lost wages or humiliation. THE SASKATCHEWAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION The Commission consists of members of the public appointed by the provincial Minister of Justice. The Commission looks after inquiries and complaints, research and education, approval of affirmative action programs and the granting of exemptions from certain provisions of the Code. HOW TO FILE A COMPLAINT Complaints may be filed at the Saskatoon or Regina office. A human rights officer will investigate the complaint, interview anyone who may have information and examine relevant records and documents. If it is determined there is enough evidence to support the complaint, an attempt is made to settle it in a way that is satisfactory to both sides. If a settlement can not be reached, the Commission will ask the Attorney General to appoint a board of inquiry. This independent board will hear evidence, decide whether the Code has been violated and determine what damages should be awarded. For further information, or to file a complaint, contact: Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission 8th Floor, 122 3rd Avenue North 3rd Floor, 1942 Hamilton Street Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7K 2H6 Regina, Saskatchewan, S4P 3V7 Toll Free: 1-800-667-9249 Toll Free: 1800-667-8577 SASKATCHEWAN OMBUDSMAN An Ombudsman is a person who is an independent officer of the Legislature. He/she investigates complaints made by Saskatchewan residents when they feel they have been treated unfairly by a provincial government department or agency. There is no charge for this service. Telephone or write the Ombudsman at: Suite 150, 2401 Saskatchewan Drive Regina, Saskatchewan, S4P 3V7 Toll Free: 1-800-667-7180 or rd 344 3 Avenue North Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7K 2H6 Toll Free: 1-800-667-978 PAGE 54-58 2.7 TRANSPORTATION BUSES Provincial People can take a bus from one city to another or one province to another. There are two main bus companies offering service in Saskatchewan: Greyhound Lines of Canada and the Saskatchewan Transportation Company (STC). To contact the Greyhound Lines of Canada call 1- 800-6618747 and the Saskatchewan Transportation Company is 1-800-663-7181. Larger cities have bus depots, but in smaller communities in the Carlton Trail Region, depots are located in other businesses, such as a hotel or service station. Schedules and fees are available from the local bus depot. People can also send parcels by bus. To send something on a bus, take the parcel to the bus depot and have it weighed. Make sure the parcel is packed securely and well-wrapped. Be sure to take the parcel to the bus depot at least one hour before the bus is due to depart. TAXI SERVICE There are very limited taxi services in the Carlton Trail Region. A meter in the taxi monitors the time and distance of each trip and charges accordingly. If you are in a city that you are not familiar with, do not get into a taxi without a meter. (Sometimes there are ‘fake taxis” who rob people) A taxi provides direct door-to-door service. There may be a wait for a ride, especially during cold weather and busy hours, when people may be taking taxis to work. Taxi companies in the cities are listed in the yellow pages of the telephone book. The two local taxis in the Carlton Trail Region are located in Humboldt. To contact Al’s Taxi call 306-231-8555 or City Taxi and Delivery call 306-231-8600. TRAINS AND AIRPLANES Points of service, schedules and fares are given by travel agents, train station employees and airline companies. Travel agents and airlines are listed in the yellow pages of the telephone directory. Train information is also listed in the white pages under Canadian Pacific (CP Rail) or VIA Rail Canada Inc. The toll-free numbers are: CP Rail: 1-800-704-4000 VIA Rail: 1-800-561-8630 DRIVING AN AUTOMOBILE In order to drive an automobile in Saskatchewan, it is necessary to have a valid Saskatchewan driver’s license (part of the license includes a photograph of yourself). There are different classes of licenses for different types of vehicles, such as cars, big trucks, motorcycles, ambulances, buses, and taxis. To drive a car or small truck in Saskatchewan, a Class 5 license is required. The basic cost of a Class 5 license is $25.00. This fee is collected by the Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) for the provincial Department of Highways to use for road and highway maintenance. Some drivers may be charged more for a license if they have traffic convictions. GETTING A DRIVER’S LICENSE A valid driver’s license from another Canadian province or an International driver’s license approved by Canada, can be used in Saskatchewan for up to 90 days. The holder of either license can obtain a Saskatchewan license by passing an eye examination and written test. If an individual does not hold a license and is 15 years of age or older, he/she can apply for a learner’s license (Class 7 license). This permit allows a person to drive only when accompanied in the front seat by someone who has a valid driver’s license. To qualify for a learner’s permit, the person must write and pass an examination and writing test. If an immigrant has a driver’s license from another country their license is usually valid for three months. After three months the license expires so it is best to deal with soon after your arrival in Canada. Drivers’ licenses must be renewed once a year, before the end of the driver’s birth month. A renewal form will be sent in the mail. This can be renewed by mail or in person. It is so very important to notify Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) of any change of address or change of name. VEHICLE REGISTRATION Vehicles must be registered and have valid Saskatchewan license plates. The cost of registering a vehicle depends on the model and year. Purchases of license plates automatically give insurance coverage after a set deductible amount. This insurance provides coverage for vehicle damage, injury, death, and liability. Additional insurance, which lowers the deductible and provides additional insurance coverage, can be purchased from an insurance agent. To register a vehicle, the issuer will need to know the year, make and model, serial number and wheelbase of the vehicle. Proof of ownership is also required. If the vehicle has been previously owned, the last owner will have a bill of sale on the correction stub of the registration certificate. This is proof of ownership when transferred. To register a new vehicle, it is necessary to supply the New Vehicle Information Statement (NVIS) provided by the dealer. Drivers have the option of paying for the license plates on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis. A renewal application is sent to the owner each year by mail in the month before the vehicle was previously registered or 11 months after date of issue. This form can be taken to a Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) Motor License issuer for renewal. Newcomers should ask his/her employer or inquire at the local municipal office where the local SGI issuer is located. The driver will be given new stickers to put on the license plates. These stickers tell when the registration will expire again. If the driver does not receive a renewal form in the mail, take the old registration certificate to the issuer. IN CASE OF AN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT If involved in an accident, there are several steps to be taken: 1. Use emergency action (call police and/or an ambulance) or apply first aid if necessary, 2. Turn ignition off in damaged vehicles to reduce fire hazard, 3. Have someone warn and direct oncoming traffic, 4. Do not move damaged vehicles, 5. If injury has occurred, or if the damage is more than $500, report the accident to the police immediately, 6. Get the names, addresses and driver’s license numbers from all involved, and of any witnesses, 7. Do not admit fault, make payments, or accept money unless the claim is not going to be reported, 8. Make a claim to Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) agency as soon as possible. SEATBELTS AND CAR SEATS FOR CHILDREN By law, adult passengers in a vehicle are required to wear seatbelts. The driver must also wear a seatbelt and is responsible for any children in the vehicle under the age of 16. Anyone not wearing a seatbelt may be fined. Children of certain age/size must be strapped into a car seat or booster seat. Children should ride in the back seat only. Infants must be placed in a rear-facing child safety seat. Lap belts secure the seat to the vehicle. Children 20 to 40 1bs (9 to 18 kg) can face forward in a child’s car seat, secured to the vehicle. Children 40 to 60 lbs (18 to 36 kg) can be moved into a high- back booster seat secured by regular seat belts. These are guidelines only-it is important to read the instructions that come with the child’s safety seat for proper installation and use. DRIVING IN WINTER STORMS AND ICY ROAD CONDITIONS Traveling by automobile during Saskatchewan winters can be dangerous. It is important to listen to weather reports or to call the Highway Hotline, 1-888-335-7623, which is listed in the telephone directory, in the Government of Saskatchewan blue pages under Highways. The vehicle should be “winterized” and snow tires or all season tires are needed. It is a good idea to have a winter storm kit in the vehicle: shovel, sand bags, tow chain, flashlight, compass, warning lights, extra clothing, emergency food, axe, ice scraper and brush, booster cables, road maps, first aid kit, candles, blankets, fire extinguisher, and methyl hydrate for fuel lines and windshield de-icing. Drive with caution and stay on main roads. In winter time it is a good idea to always keep the car’s gas tank half full. If stopped or trapped by a blizzard, remain calm and stay in the vehicle. Open a window a bit to keep fresh air moving in the car. Beware of exhaust fumes. Do not run the vehicle unless a window is open. Make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked by snow. If carbon monoxide enters the vehicle, exposure can lead to death. Set out warning lights, exercise limbs, hands and feet. Stay in the car because it provides shelter. BUYING A CAR New Cars New cars can be purchased only from a car dealer. It is best to compare prices at several dealers before buying. It is also important to take a friend along who knows something about cars, to help shop for a new vehicle. If possible, try to find out about the reputation of the dealership. Prices vary and some bargaining is expected. New cars come with a warranty. A warranty is a document which says that certain parts of the car can be repaired or replaced without cost to the owner. A warranty usually covers a period of one year or more. Buying a Used Car from a Dealer If an individual wants to buy a used car from a dealer, try to find out about the reputation of the dealer. Prices vary widely and bargaining is expected. Most used cars do not have a warranty. However, ask the car dealer if there is a written warranty. Buying a Used Car from Another Person When buying a used car from a person who does not work at a car dealership, always make sure that the car does not have a lien on it. When the car has a lien on it, the car has not been paid for in full by the seller, which could make the buyer liable. This could result in extra cost to the purchaser. To find out if the car has a lien on it, you should call the Vehicle Registry office at: 1-306-683- 2382 or 1-800-667-9868. For more information, look in the blue or white pages under Government of Saskatchewan, Driver’s Licences & Motor Vehicle Registrations. The buyer will need to provide the car’s year, make (type of car) and serial number. There is a small fee for a lien search. Shopping Tips for Used Car Buyers • Talk to someone who has had experience buying used cars. Look for rust or damage to the car. Test drive the car with a person who knows a lot about cars. Check the car to see how many miles or kilometers have been driven. If a dealer makes promises about the car, make sure the promises are written down on the warranty. • Never give the dealer or person selling the car any money until you are certain about buying the car. • Have the car checked by a mechanic. This will cost between $50 and $100.