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They're an unlikely group of calendar centerfolds -- one owns a pharmacy and another a grocery store -- but these pinups have come together to raise awareness about a pressing issue: potholes.

Eleven men and one woman from Leader, Sask., have bared all in the 2007 Highway 32 Pothole Calendar.

One man is pictured riding in a canoe in a pothole, another plants potatoes in a pothole and a third has a strategically placed hubcap.

In the background a sign reads "Lost: Highway Paving Crew. Last seen 10 years ago."

It's a humorous approach to a serious problem, calendar organizer Gordon Stueck said in a phone interview yesterday.

"Highway 32 from Leader to Swift Current was so bad . . . you were driving all over the road trying to avoid these potholes," he said.

It was so difficult to travel, Mr. Stueck said, that ambulances were forced to take alternate, longer routes.

"You couldn't transport patients that were cardiac patients or fracture patients. You just couldn't transport a patient on that."

Saskatchewan Highways Minister Eldon Lautermilch said a nude calendar won't solve the problem.

"They're very creative people," Mr. Lautermilch told reporters after seeing the calendar at the provincial legislature.

"But I don't think a calendar is going to rebuild a road. I think recommendations from my department in terms of priority will probably be a fairer gauge." He also insisted the condition of Highway 32 had not escaped government notice.

The province converted a portion of it to a safer gravel surface instead of a TMS (thin membrane surface) road with potholes, the minister said.

"The ultimate solution there is pavement," Mr. Lautermilch said.

"It's $400,000-plus a kilometre and it's not the only area in the province that needs that kind of attention."

Mr. Lautermilch could not say when Highway 32 would be paved, only that the final determination will come in next spring's budget when the government announces its road program.

The calendar is the latest in a string of efforts the community has made in hopes the province will take action.

Earlier this year, it sold $5 bumper stickers that read: "I survived Sask Hwy 32."

The proceeds go to the Leader ambulance "because every time they went down that road, when they did go down it, something would break," Mr. Stueck said.

Funds from the $20 pothole calendar will go to the Leader Lions Club for community projects.

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