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June

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    MPlib
    Lots of people all day at the African Food Festival in Regina - terrific cultural diversity, enriching our community.
    Jun 21, 2015 6:21 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Toasting "Good-Ale" in Regina with Niall O'Hanlon!
    Jun 20, 2015 6:30 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Now at O'Hanlon's across from Victoria Park in Regina. On tap they are featuring "Ralph's Good Ale" - Great Beer, great Pub!
    Jun 20, 2015 5:04 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Honoured to join Her Honour, Vaughn Solomon Schofield, Lieut-Gov of Sk, for today's awards ceremony of the Order of St John
    Jun 20, 2015 2:48 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    With Sk Roughriders' Gainer the Gopher - all set for 2015 QC Pride Festival Parade in Regina
    Jun 20, 2015 11:27 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Regina Police Service + RCMP well represented in this Year's QC Pride Festival Parade.
    Jun 20, 2015 11:27 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Regina's Hillberg+Berk are on exhibit at Bazaart today. They have designed pieces for HM Queen Elizabeth.
    Jun 20, 2015 10:25 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Some of the interesting crafts on display + for sale at this year's Bazaart - just outside Mackenzie Art Gallery.
    Jun 20, 2015 9:38 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Saturday is "Bazaart" craft sale at MacKenzie Gallery in Regina. Tonight, "Dimensions" Fine Craft Awards honour the artisans
    Jun 19, 2015 6:33 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Another Nat'l Aboriginal Day Grand Entry today in Regina - this one in North Central hosted by the Circle Project. Great celebration.
    Jun 19, 2015 3:18 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Murad Al-Katib says Transportation review should be done before year-end - among other things, Canada needs better Infrastructure.
    Jun 19, 2015 1:17 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Murad Al-Katib says federal cuts have gone too far in areas like Stats Canada (need good data), + the Canadian Transportation Agency needs more authority.
    Jun 19, 2015 12:50 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Murad Al-Katib says he's a well-known capitalist Conservative, but the Environment matters because it matters to our customers. This is point Justin Trudeau makes - apart from its moral imperative, Environmental integrity is a market access imperative too.
    Jun 19, 2015 12:44 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Regina Agi-entrepreneur Murad Al-Katib, speaking at Farm Progress Show in Regina - he's part of Emerson's review of rail transport
    Jun 19, 2015 12:24 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Some of the extraordinary new farm equipment at Canada's Farm Progress Show in Regina this week.
    Jun 19, 2015 12:17 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Now in Regina's Victoria Park, Elder Norma Jean Bird says a prayer to open more festivities honouring National Aboriginal Day
    Jun 19, 2015 11:21 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Saskatchewan is so proud of Terrence Littletent, world champion hoop dancer and today organizer of the National Aboriginal Day Pow Wow at Thomson School
    Jun 19, 2015 11:08 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Part of the Grand Entry today at a PowWow at Thomson School in Regina to cebrate National Aboriginal Day
    Jun 19, 2015 10:35 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    CONSERVATIVE HYPOCRISY ON “PAYROLL TAXES” In an attempt to vilify any proposal to expand the Canada Pension Plan, the Harper Conservatives try to make an argument that higher CPP premiums would constitute a “payroll tax”. And they’re against it. But the late Jim Flaherty said there was strong support for an enhanced CPP and called for a modest, phased-in, fully-funded expansion. Public opinion research suggests that 60% of Canadians quite readily agree. Mr. Flaherty’s successor, Joe Oliver, is incoherent on the topic. He admits that all the funds that go into the CPP do not belong to the government. They always belong to the pensioner as a long-term investment in retirement security, and the CPP Investment Board is getting “impressive results”. Still, a few weeks ago in the House of Commons, Mr. Oliver said this: “What we will not do is reach into the pockets of middle-class Canadians with a mandatory payroll tax…” Based on the government’s actual behavior, that statement is 100% false - because the Harper Conservatives have imposed massive mandatory new payroll taxes with respect to Employment Insurance. In 2011, they increased EI premiums and thus extracted some $600-million more in new higher EI payroll taxes. On top of that, in 2012, they extracted $600-million more. And in 2013, they extracted another $600-million more. So by 2014, this government was collecting close to $2-billion per year more through higher EI payroll taxes. They then froze the rates at that artificially inflated level, and they will remain frozen until 2017. The Parliamentary Budget Officer says they are at least $5-billion too high. The evidence is irrefutable. Between 2011-2016, the Harper Conservatives have, in fact, reached into the pockets of middle-class Canadians with a mandatory payroll tax. What Mr. Oliver condemns with respect to CPP, his government has implemented with respect to EI.
    Jun 18, 2015 5:44 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    I'm happy to join Justin Trudeau in sending this greeting to the large and growing Muslim community in Regina. https://www.liberal.ca/justin-trudeau-on-ramadan-mubarak-2015/
    Jun 18, 2015 4:32 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    As Parliament closes this week... The Harper government leaves $157-billion in new Conservative debt, $4400 for every man, woman + child. Harper government leaves 53 months of trade deficits + the worst economic growth record in 8 decades. There are 200,000 more jobless Canadians than before the recession - 24 OECD countries growing faster than Canada.
    Jun 18, 2015 12:07 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    The overwhelming majority of taxpayers calling-in for info, help or advice from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) get only a busy signal. In Question Period, the Minister says if taxpayers can't get decent service they should complain, but how can they if no one answers the phone? She also says the disgruntled can go to the CRA Ombudsman, but that position has been vacant for a year.
    Jun 18, 2015 11:52 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Growing evidence of NDP economic weakness, just about as weak as Mr Harper's record - worst on growth since 1930s, increased taxes by $10 billion since 2011. http://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2015/06/17/ndp-leader-mulcair-sows-confusion-over-promised-corporate-tax-hike/
    Jun 17, 2015 4:09 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    After a decade of Stephen Harper, Canadians’ faith in politics has never been lower. Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party have a plan for real change. http://www.realchange.ca/
    Jun 17, 2015 3:52 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Another Wed of bell-ringing for #MMIW at St Paul's Anglican, Regina. Sadly, the federal government today voted down a Motion for an Inquiry.
    Jun 17, 2015 1:22 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Finance Minister Oliver gets asked by a Conservative MP about "taxes on job creators". He falsely claims his govt has only reduced such taxes. Over past 5 years, Harper govt has increased the net tax burden on Canadians by a cumulative total of some $10 billion. One huge Conservative tax hike is EI payroll taxes, now frozen at excessively high level, raking in $5 billion too much from "job creators.
    Jun 17, 2015 12:16 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Conservative caucus erupts in gales of laughter when Justin Trudeau asks Mr Harper about sexual harassment in military. Women in Harper's ranks look very unhappy when he says Gen Lawson's remarks we're "unacceptable", but he won't take any action.
    Jun 17, 2015 11:42 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Thinking of all the brave women + men who serve in Canadian police services. And their families. RIP Constable Woodall.
    Jun 17, 2015 11:33 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    With colleague Carolyn Bennett, happy to meet today with Councillor Tim Bear + Elder Sam Isaac from Ochapowace First Nation
    Jun 16, 2015 3:22 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    HarperCons say ends justify means, so it's ok to break the law+cover up. That's what the Information Commissioner Court documents allege. In Court, the Commissioner is saying the government promised to keep key documents safe while secretly pushing the RCMP to destroy them illegally.
    Jun 16, 2015 11:49 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    In Question Period, Mr. Harper's fiscal record is a figment of his imagination. He claims growth, but through the first quarter of 2015 the Canadian economy shrank. Mr. Harper still claims world leading jobs+growth. But the OECD says 24 of their member countries will grow faster this year than Canada. Despite all Mr. Harper's boasting, Canada has not been at the top of the G-7 for jobs + growth in several years.
    Jun 16, 2015 11:47 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Justin Trudeau's bold new plan for a Fair+Open Government is available on-line. This is a great start. Let's hear all your further ideas! http://www.realchange.ca/
    Jun 16, 2015 8:20 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Liberal Caucus gathering for Justin Trudeau's "Fair+Open Government" announcements at 11am ET, livestream on liberal.ca
    Jun 16, 2015 7:45 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Lots of great speculation today about Justin Trudeau's open government + democratic renewal plan. It's coming at 11am ET on liberal.ca
    Jun 16, 2015 5:32 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Both the Cons and the NDP in Question Period talk hypothetically about balanced budgets. Libs actually delivered a decade of them. On healthcare, Cons claim credit for 6% escalating transfers to Provinces. But all those funds were in the 2004/05 Liberal budgets. On the economy, Liberals point out that the Harper government has run a $10B trade deficit so far this year, worst ever+no plan to do better.
    Jun 15, 2015 12:22 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    TIME TO REJUVENATE A DEBILITATED PARLIAMENT Within a week or so, this current 41st Parliament of Canada will adjourn for the final time. Sometime during the summer, the House of Commons will be "dissolved" for a national election on October 19th. I hope Canadians will make the renovation and renewal of how we govern ourselves a prime election issue! When Justin Trudeau won the Liberal leadership two years ago, more open, rejuvenated governance for Canada was a key part of his platform. And despite the disadvantages of being the "third party" in the House of Commons, he has still managed to move the yardsticks. His first step was to require all his MPs to pro-actively disclose all their travel and hospitality expenses. The information began to be posted quarterly on the Internet for anyone to scrutinize. Once the Liberal Caucus set this example, all other MPs followed suit and such regular disclosure is now in the rules of the House of Commons. Secondly, Mr. Trudeau presented a Motion and a Private Member's Bill to upgrade transparency in all government operations. For example, he wants the House of Commons' secretive management board (the "Board of Internal Economy", as it is called) to be made open to the public. Its deliberations on how the House of Commons is administered and how Parliamentary money is spent should not be kept behind closed doors. More broadly, across the whole of government, Mr. Trudeau wants much greater public access to all information and he wants the data to be available in accessible electronic formats. He would also give the Information Commissioner the authority to issue binding disclosure orders to all government departments and agencies. Letting the sunshine in would have a positive effect. Knowledge is power. Broad-based access to information is fundamental to democracy. It is the right of the governed to have as much knowledge and information as those who govern them. That's why we also need a competent, reliable national census. We need scientists and researchers who are unmuzzled and encouraged to discuss their work. We need the right to dissent, debate and disagree, free from intimidation or reprisals. In short, Canadians need to have all the facts, and we need to make decisions based on hard evidence, not guess-work, prejudice or ideology. Mr. Trudeau's third initiative was about the Senate. Given all the recent controversy, some Canadians are calling for Senate abolition. But the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled unequivocally that that would take unanimous provincial consent for a full-fledged constitutional amendment. At the very least, opening such a debate would embroil the country in a decade of constitutional turmoil, while other issues - the economy, jobs, the environment, healthcare - get pushed off the agenda. So what can be done without going down that rabbit-hole? Mr. Trudeau has committed himself to a new, transparent, objective process for selecting independent people of the highest quality and integrity to serve in the Canadian Senate - avoiding partisanship and patronage and thus making the Senate the genuine independent review body envisaged by Sir John A. Macdonald. And to show he is serious, Mr. Trudeau required every sitting Senator appointed by a Liberal Prime Minister to withdraw from the Liberal Caucus and serve out their terms as full independents. We have a strong example, in the Mike Duffy scandal, about why this is important. Part of that scandal is Mr. Duffy's obnoxious spending, but equally serious are the internal machinations in the Prime Minister's Office to try to cover-up and whitewash the whole affair. If Senators were truly independent - and not under the political thumb of the PMO - it would be far less likely that the Prime Minister's staff would be cutting $90,000 cheques and trying to meddle with a forensic audit. So on the disclosure of MPs' expenses, greater government transparency and Senate reform - Justin Trudeau has led the way in the current Parliament more than anyone else. For the future, he will build on these initial steps to accelerate the process of transformative change. The Parliament of Canada must earn the public's respect every day. It must be restored as a meaningful institution where the debates and votes really matter, where genuine responsibility is shouldered and accounted for, and where MPs are effective voices for their constituencies in Ottawa, not merely mouthpieces for Ottawa back home in their constituencies.
    Jun 15, 2015 7:01 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Pride Week launch at the Cornwall Centre in Regina
    Jun 14, 2015 1:57 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Happy to spend some time with great folks in Kronau Sk celebrating their Heritage Day - cemetery founded in 1890s
    Jun 14, 2015 12:04 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    A big thank you to all these sponsors who loyally support Regina's JDRF Walk every year - improving lives for kids
    Jun 14, 2015 11:32 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    "Squeeze of Scotch" warms up the crowd gathering for JDRF Walk in Regina this am - fighting Juvenile Diabetes!
    Jun 14, 2015 11:31 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Glad to be with Scott Brison last night in Halifax for a big, boisterous and very useful meeting of the Laurier Club!
    Jun 13, 2015 4:19 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    In Question Period, HarperCons contradict their own former Finance Minister Flaherty who said CPP should be enhanced on a fully-funded basis. HarperCons also contradict their current Finance Minister Oliver who points out that CPP premiums are NOT payroll taxes. The Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP) says "voluntary has failed", need comprehensive expansion of CPP - at least 60% of Canadians agree.
    Jun 11, 2015 11:44 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    In Question Period, I pointed out that the late Jim Flaherty said CPP was "central" to Canada's retirement income system + should be expanded. Finance Minister Oliver has also indicated that CPP premiums are NOT payroll taxes + CPP investments get impressive returns. So here's the key question - why not work with the Provinces and a strong majority of Canadians to enhance a comprehensive CPP?
    Jun 10, 2015 11:50 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    In Question Period today about the Canada Pension Plan, the Conservatives tell everything but the truth.
    Jun 09, 2015 4:00 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    In Question Period, HarperCons force Finance Minister Oliver to stay in his seat + not answer direct questions abt what he personally said about CPP. Oliver correctly confirmed last week that CPP premiums are NOT payroll taxes. They go solely to long-term personal security, not govt coffers. This govt should heed late Jim Flaherty's advice + work with Provinces on "a modest, phased-in, fully funded expansion of the CPP."
    Jun 09, 2015 11:37 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    GOOD TO HEAR OLIVER CONTRADICT HARPER ON CPP The Canada Pension Plan got support last Friday from an unlikely source - Conservative Finance Minister, Joe Oliver. In praising the CPP, Mr. Oliver contradicted two decades of abuse heaped on the plan by Stephen Harper. Now granted, Mr. Oliver did not INTEND to be supportive. Instead, he was trying to attack the policies of the Liberal Party. But his rant fell flat because the policies he was attacking were NOT Liberal policies. He just made them up, battling figments of his own imagination. So, all that was left were the nice things he said about the CPP. For example, Mr. Oliver said this: "The CPP Investment Board has posted impressive returns. Because of its focus on protecting Canadians' retirement savings, the Office of the Chief Actuary projects 75 years of sustainability." That's quite a compliment. And all that strength and success are a direct result of the essential restructuring of the Canada Pension Plan which took place in the late 1990's under the leadership of then-Finance Minister Paul Martin, in partnership with the Provinces. The vision and courage they mustered to save and bolster the CPP have paid huge dividends. But what was Stephen Harper saying back then? Here's a sample: "Take all the federal economic boondoggles that have ever happened and multiply them 100-fold, and you've got the CPP Investment Board." Mr. Harper was spectacularly wrong, but he never lets the facts stand in the way of prejudice or ideology. He has been relentless in trying to kill the Canada Pension Plan. In the 1990's, he called for it to be scrapped, in favour of private RRSPs. Failing that, in his infamous "firewalls" letter in 2001, he urged Alberta to withdraw from it. More recently, when the late Jim Flaherty proposed "a modest, phased-in and fully funded enhancement" of the CPP because there is "strong support for the Canada Pension Plan and the central role it plays in our government-supported retirement income system", Mr. Harper cut him off at the knees. To Mr. Harper any such "enhancement" is just a payroll tax. He refuses to recognize any value in comprehensively increasing the investment that Canadians make, through the CPP, in their own personal retirement security. But then, along comes Joe Oliver. Last Friday, he said: "Remember who that money (in the CPP) belongs to - not government, but pensioners and all those who will rely on the CPP in the years to come." So it's NOT a payroll tax. It cannot be, because the money does NOT go into government coffers. It's an investment. As Mr. Oliver said, it always "belongs" to the individuals who pay their premiums and who rely on the "impressive returns" of the CPPIB to make sure their defined benefits are secure for their retirement. Why is Mr. Harper so bent on falsely portraying CPP premiums as "payroll taxes"? Maybe it's to obscure the fact that he himself is the master of escalating payroll taxes. In 2011, he began a massive hike in Employment Insurance rates. They went up by more than $600-million that year, and then by another $600-million the next year, and then by another $600-million the year after that. And then, in 2014, he froze those rates at that unnecessarily high level until 2017. That means, not including any labour force or wage growth, Mr. Harper has raked in an incremental $10-billion in higher EI rates since 2011. The Parliamentary Budget Officers says that's at least $5-billion too much. So talk about payroll taxes - Mr. Harper's CPP complaints ring hollow and hypocritical.
    Jun 08, 2015 5:50 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Just a few of the graves of war veterans in Regina Cemetery, marked with flags today on this Decoration Day
    Jun 07, 2015 12:20 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Royal Cdn Legion Colour Party at the War Memorial in Regina Cemetery paying tribute to fallen comrades on "Decoration Day"
    Jun 07, 2015 12:19 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    The sign in front to St Paul's Anglican Cathedral in Regina - to remember and to seek a proper inquiry.
    Jun 07, 2015 9:11 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MPlib
    Last stop last night at Regina's MOSAIC 2015 was the Hellenic Greek pavilion - always a big draw, great food, music + dance
    Jun 07, 2015 7:56 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana

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Ralph Goodale

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