Year in Review – May

Herald file photo. St. Michael Community School Grade 1 student Marcus Cook holds a duckling at St. Michael Community School on May 12, 2023. The students chose two to raise at the school before releasing them in Memorial Gardens in June.

Prince Albert hosts a conference on Missing and Murdered Indigenous People that sparks ideas for a Residential Support Network. More than 100 people attend the three-day long conference from May 3-5.

Buckland Fire and Rescue spends nine hours fighting a vegetation fire that spring up off Paddockwood Road on May 2. The crew faces extreme weather conditions with heavy winds. Members of the public assist with preventing the fire from spreading to nearby properties. Firefighters were forced into action again on May 6, when cars, vegetation, and three structures burned during a fire north of Spruce Home.

Prince Albert Second World War veteran Ed Laird celebrates his 100th birthday by donating his military medals to the Prince Albert Historical Society. Laird served with the Canadian forces during the Italian Campaign. He says the museum is a good home for the medals. “They are much better there than hanging in a dresser at home,” he says.

Surgery backlogs, physician wellness, and contract talks are on the agenda as the Saskatchewan Medical Association (SMA) president meets with local physicians in Prince Albert as part of the president and vice-president tour. SMA president Dr. Annette Epp says the COVID pandemic showed how important it was for physicians to take care of themselves. “We have to look after ourselves to be able to look after our patients,” she says. “The SMA is asking physicians, ‘how can we help you help others?’ I look forward to hearing from physicians.”

A Denesuline keyboard developer creates the world’s first Dene language computer keyboard. Chavez Ezaneh says the keyboard is designed with youth in mind. He’s hopeful it will help develop Dene language skills in northern students. “Whenever I say something in my language, it’s a direct connection to the past, (and) to my ancestors,” he says. “Not having your language means not having that connection to your cultural identity.”

Longtime NDP MLA Doyle Vermette announces that his current term in office will be his last. Vermette says he will not run for re-election in the constituency of Cumberland during the next provincial election. Vermette says being an MLA has been one of the greatest experiences of his life, but it’s time to try something new. “I have been in office since 2008 and now feel it is time for another to take the wheel and continue the fight for the people of our constituency,” he says.

The Public Complaints Commission (PCC) says Prince Albert police officers neglected their duty when they left 13 month old Tanner Brass at home with his father, Keij Brass, who was later charged with murdering the infant. The PCC report says the circumstances were tragic, but potentially avoidable.  Brass was found dead in his home on Feb. 10, 2022. The report was released in May 2023.

Prince Albert Police Chief Jon Bergen announces his retirement after a 25-year career. Bergen says escalating personal attacks and criticism from a specific group of current and former Prince Albert Police Service members led to the decision. Bergan announces his retirement after the PCC releases their report on the death of Tanner Brass.

Prince Albert teachers Remi Joncas and Connie Regnier are named Catholic Education Service Award winners for 2022-23. “I was certainly surprised to get the award,” Joncas says. “I was really surprised, but honoured,” Regnier adds.

School principal Darren Solomon defeats four other candidates in the Ward 8 by-election held on May 31. Solomon finishes with 214 votes, with Doug Erickson coming in second with 177. “I’m a little surprised,” Solomon says. “It was a close race. I wasn’t quite sure how things were going to shake out with five of us running, and I’m pleasantly surprised.” Solomon replaces Ted Zurakowski, who resigned to pursue a professional opportunity with the STF.


A nice mix of crowds returns for the Prince Albert Kinsmen Club’s fourth annual Fest-of-Ale at the Ches Leach Lounge. All funds raised go towards two community projects: the rink surface paving project at Carlton Park pickleball and basketball court, and the diamond conversion project at Crescent Acres.

The Mann Art Gallery is one of 75 arts organizations, artists, and training programs recognized for their work during the SK Arts Reception in Regina. The Mann receives credit for its gallery education program. Gallery educator Lana Wilson says it was exciting to be nominated. All nominees receive a $750 grant towards their art practice.