The problem is that a big chunk of the profession treats articling like a business decision when it is also meant to be a duty on members of the profession. There is a trade-off between having a monopoly on legal services and needing to act somewhat in the public interest.
I obviously don't have answers, but it is frustrating how much pressure we place on some segments of the profession (e.g. criminal defense lawyers) while allow others to exploit the situation.
I'd definitely make sure that your firm is paying the articling fees given that amount of weekly compensation. The firm I am articling for implied that they would be paying the LSO fees during OCI's, which did not turn out to be true (finding that one out was a tough day). Having OSAP repayments, 100K in bank loan repayments, articling in a pandemic (only 8 months of income instead of the 10 months) and having to shell out over a month's worth of salary to the LSO's pockets has been frustrating. Keep in mind those hidden costs.
I wanted to know what the relative strength of my Saskatchewan connection is. My mom was born in Saskatchewan and lived there for a few years before moving away from the province. Her parents were born there as well, and my great grandfather was born in Saskatchewan and my great grandmother moved from Europe to Sask when she was ~6.