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Welcome back! This week we're coming to you from Canada's Energy City, Estevan, Saskatchewan! As usual, there are Daily Kos Canada diaries, a roundup of posts from the Canadian blogosphere, and plenty of pointless puppies-n-pooties! Feeling trapped at your desk? Take a break and come on down below the fold for your weekly dose of  News from the North!
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Daily Kos Diaries
The Maher Arar Saga continues. Sen. Leahy responds to torture inquiry by Randolph06 gives us the latest on Abu Gonzales' stonewalling.

Canada features in How they do Universal Health in other Countries (Health Care Thurs) by DrSteveB, a helpful overview of many different healthcare systems. Something for everyone to learn from this one.

Surprise, surprise--- DRUDGE continues global warming confusion .  Desmogblog reveals the true credential of a Canadian pseudo-climatologist.

And just for fun, check out CanadianBill's Back To The Land - Part 2 , a hilarious bit of personal writing about a Canadian farm and the starry-eyed young couple who tried to make a go of it in the 70s. Wonderful series.

Pointless Puppy Pic
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(I'm pretty sure that's CBC radio he's got on...)

The Northern Blogosphere
Be sure to check out these two stories from The Next Agenda. In Nobel Prize for a Noble Cause ,  zcaron looks at two environmentalists (maybe you've heard of Al Gore?) and their nominations.Thoughts on remembrance  
by MGK is a poignant reflection on why it is important to remember the names of the victims of violence, even when their numbers overwhelm.

Read between the lines about what's happening in Afghanistan. Our traditional ally is not happy with our other traditional ally by DAVE at The Galloping Beaver reveals U.S.-British tensions that are a tad under-reported in American news.

Green Answers - 1 asks–and answers–"Why did the environment suddenly become such a major issue? Something pushed it over the tipping point, but what?" Take a look and give some love to this great blog from Calgary Grit.

Featured Community: Estevan, Saskatchewan
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Welcome to the prairies! Estevan, the "Sunshine Capital of Canada," averages 2,536 hours of sunshine per year. It's also home to coal mining, power generation, oil, gas, and a population of  10,242, making it the eighth-largest city in the province. The Souris River runs nearby, connecting Estevan to the northern American Midwest (the border is only about 30 minutes away).The city is also the proud home of the  Estevan Bruins of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.

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Estevan's History from Wikipedia:

The first settlers in what was to become Estevan arrived in 1892, along with the expansion of the Canadian Pacific Railway. It was incorporated as a village in 1899, and later became a town in 1906. On March 1, 1957, Estevan acquired the status of a city, which, in Saskatchewan terms, is any community of 5000 or more....

Estevan was the site of a notorious coal miner's strike in 1931. Although most of the strikers were from nearby Bienfait, the strike is associated with Estevan because it was there that a demonstration was met by members of the RCMP, who killed three strikers in a subsequent clash that lasted 45 minutes. The coal miner's had been organized by the Communist Workers' Unity League.

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Culture and History in Estevan
Once you find a a place to stay, you'll want to enjoy the city's fascinating heritage. You can start with this free self-guided walking tour. Then you might consider checking out the Estevan National Exhibit Centrewhich "hosts travelling exhibits, creative workshops and classes, art appreciation lectures and "Meet the Artist" receptions." Near the the ENEC is a North West Mounted Police Barracks. This houses local historical artifacts and offers exhibits relating to the March West/Boundary Trail Commission Ride, the Whisky Trade and the Miner's riot. And don't miss the Souris Valley Theatre, which runs throughout the summer, and is held under a big top tent adjacent to Woodlawn Regional Park.

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(View from the Space Shuttle, 2001)

Other Events and Attractions
The Estevan Fair and Pro Rodeo will be held on June 18, 19 and 20 (fair) and July 5, 6 and 7(rodeo). You can also indulge the need for speed at the Estevan Motor Speedway, a IMCA- sanctioned 3/8 mile high- banked oval dirt track.
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Got golf? The Hidden Valley Golf Resort offers camping and go-karts as well as great driving ranges. There's also theWoodland Valley Golf Club to satisfy all your golfing urges. It's been home to the 2002 Saskatchewan Mid-Amateur Championship, the South East Provincial High School Championship, and many other regional and zone competitions.

The South East Saskatchewan Region offers lots more to do. There's Moose Montain Provincial Park, only about an hour's drive away where you can hike, ride the trails, play golf, camp, or ski. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
The White Bear First Nation Reserve hosts the Bear Claw casino, if you're in a gambling mood.

And be sure to visit Cannington Manor, where you'll get a close-up look at life on the Victorian prairie. Period buildings and historically attired staff bring the era to life.
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The Origins of the Name
I know you've been wondering. Estevan–sounds like that Emilio guy, right? Well, here's what the town's website says about the name:

Few people know the actual origin of the name "Estevan." Estevan was named to commemorate railway achievements.... Actually, the "Energy City" is named entirely after George Stephen - it is not a combination of the names of the two prominent CPR officials. "Estevan" was George Stephen's cable name, or his "registered telegraphic address."...

He was the president of the CPR from 1881 - 1888. Stephen has been referred to as the "organizer" of Canada's first transcontinental railway, as he turned the bankrupt St. Paul and Manitoba railway into the "Confederation Line" unifying the nation. Stephen provided the financial backing for the building of the CPR, which was known as "one of the greatest financing feats in its way that the world has ever seen."

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That's it for this week. Stay warm, and be sure to drop by The Next Agenda to satisfy your daily urge for progressive Canadian politics! See you next week!

Image credits:
Kitten photograph by by   Tim Avatar Bartel. Used under terms of Creative Commons and GNU.
Estevan street scene and The Pub photo by Karsoe. Used under creative commons license; may not be altered. Pumpjack and coalfields picture by intimaj. Used under creative commons license; may not be altered. All other images have been released into the public domain by their creators, or were created by an employee of the United States government, or have copyrights that have expired under United States copyright law (70 years plus the life of the creator.) They are therefore believed to be in the public domain.

Originally posted to aphra behn on Sun Feb 11, 2007 at 10:37 AM PST.

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