According to the Northern Health Region’s Medical Officer of Health, this current flu season has been quote moderate to severe.
Doctor Michael Isaac spoke to 102.9 CHTM, and said that while the peak season for Influenza "A" has passed, we’re still in the peak season for Influenza "B". He said that while Influenza "A" peaked between Christmas and mid-January, Influenza "B" usually peaks between February and March.
Dr. Isaac added that there have been 348 people hospitalized with the flu this year. Of those 348, however, only five have been hospitalized in the north.
He said that around 16% percent of people served by the Northern Health Region got the flu shot this year. The provincial number is slightly higher, and sits at just over 20%.
The School District of Mystery Lake will be getting a boost when it comes to Provincial funding.
The announcement, which was made recently by Education Minister Ian Wishart, indicated that the division will be receiving a 7.4% increase next year, which will amount to $2,294,884.00.
Thompson MLA Kelly Bindle said that the government is once again providing strong support for school divisions across Manitoba with an overall funding increase of $6.6M.
Read: Manitoba Liberals Give Government Failing Grade On Education
Bindle added that the government is taking a balanced approach to "repairing the provincial education system, while creating efficiency within it".
He said that the Progressive Conservatives are trying to ensure quality education for all, after what he called 17 years of mismanagement under the previous NDP government.
Grand Rapids RCMP are investigating following a fire in the community that claimed the lives of two people.
Officers responded to a report of a residential trailer fire early Saturday morning in the community. The trailer was destroyed by the flames and the bodies were discovered once the fire was put out.
Local officers, with help from the Office of the Fire Commissioner and Forensic Identification services, continue the investigation.
The provincial government has been giving a failing grade when it comes to education from Dougald Lamont and the Manitoba Liberal Party.
In a recent release, the Liberal Party says that the Pallister government has done nothing to improve Manitoba’s education system, and that they have failed Manitobans with cuts to 21 school divisions.
They added that the government has shown zero leadership on Indigenous education issues, with the graduation rates for Indigenous students sitting at 47.6%. The graduation rate for non-Indigenous students current sits at 86.2%.
The Liberals said that this is an issue about the future of the province, and that the Conservatives seem to think they can "cut their way out of problems".
A local entrepreneur has captured second in a Prairie-wide contest.
Donald Glenn, the owner of Shorty’s Upcycling Studio, placed second in the seasoned entrepreneur category of the annual “Just Watch Me” video contest that celebrates the success of entrepreneurs with health conditions or disabilities.
Glenn was in the contest for the second time, having won the start up category last year.
He will be presented with his prizes at a ceremony tomorrow afternoon.
Over nine thousand votes were cast during the contest.
The final results are below.
The Norplex Pool will be reducing their hours of operation starting on February 26th.
At that time, the pool will be open from 10:00am to 9:00pm weekdays, and 12:00pm until 9:00pm on weekends.
The reduction in hours is a result of City Council trying to reduce the City’s budget.
Mayor Dennis Fenske said that the decision was made in the interest of creating the largest savings with the lowest impact possible. He added that every decision to follow will be made with the same goal in mind.
More information can be found by contacting the City of Thompson's Recreation Department at 204-677-7952.
The board of trustees for the School District of Mystery Lake will meet tomorrow night at the school board office, starting at 7:00pm.
The agenda for the meeting includes a proposal for a field trip in 2020, and the districts expenditures as of January 31st. The full agenda can be found here.
The public is welcome to attend the meeting.
Premier Brian Pallister is being called out by a conservation watch dog after what the Wilderness Committee is calling "pipeline cheerleading".
The Premier announced yesterday that despite the current feud between British Columbia and Alberta, the Trans Mountain Pipeline project needs to move forward.
Pallister said that while he applauds the Prime Ministers early signals, his leadership and ongoing stewardship over the situation must be maintained.
The Wilderness Committee says that the Premier is weighing in on an issue which has nothing to do with Manitoba, and that the current Provincial Government has not shown any interest in being a leader when it comes to the environment.
The release from the committee went on to call the government "childish" for feeling the need to weigh in on the situation.
Local MP Niki Ashton says that the issues faced by the people of Northern Manitoba continue to be her top concern.
She said that while the Prime Minister was lecturing in Switzerland about inequality, trade deals, privatization and foreign takeovers are seeing jobs being taken away, the Port of Churchill shut down, and up to 90 percent unemployment in Indigenous communities.
Ashton added that she addressed the ongoing uncertainty of the region, specifically the loss of jobs, on the first day that Parliament was in session in 2018.
She concluded by saying that she will continue to be a voice for the issues in our region.
The final donation totals are in for Operation Red Nose 2017 in Thompson.
Almost $15,000 was donated by the people who used the free service, which gave them a safe ride home after enjoying a night out.
The PeeWee King Miners received the largest chunk of the procedes, with $5,000 going towards the organization.
Below is a full list of the recipeints for this year.
- Pee Wee King Miners ($5,000)
- Born to Dance ($3,000)
- Scouts ($2,500)
- Society of Manitoban's with Disabilities ($1,500)
- Pathways ($1,000)
- Wapanohk Community School Breakfast Program ($1,000)
- Albert Cader's Fund ($500)
- Troy Anand Fund ($500)
If you were looking to get away and enjoy the great outdoors, you'll be able to do so for less in February here in Manitoba.
The Provincial Government has announced they will continue the tradition of offering free park entry for the entire month of February.
Vehicle permits are not required in any provincial park this month but SnoPasses are still required for snowmobiles using groomed trails in the parks. Entrance fees still apply for National Parks.
In addition to free access to Provincial Parks, those who want to participate in this year’s Winter Family Fishing Weekend, which takes place from February 17 to 19, don't need a license. However conservation limits will apply and a Federal licence will still be required to fish in national parks.
Those looking to catch some fish are reminded to be sure conditions are safe before heading out onto the ice. For more information on fishing regulations, you can view the Manitoba Angler’s Guide at here.
The legal battle between Ottawa and OmniTrax isn't the only one that the Denver-based company will be fighting.
Recently, Manitoba NDP leader Wab Kinew announced that his party has filed a complaint with the Canadian Transportation Agency over OmniTraxs' failure to repair the rail line to Churchill.
Kinew, speaking in Winnipeg late last week, said that getting the rail line back is the number one issue for the people of issue, and that by filing the complaint, it shows that the party is taking concrete action to get the northern town reconnected with the rest of the province. He added that he NDP want to "do right" by the people of Churchill.
Ron Schuler, the Provincial Minister of Infrastructure, says that the move is just one to get attention. He added that making headlines in the media does nothing to resolve the issue, and that the government believes in real solutions.
The NDP complaint was originally opened back in October.
Pukatawagan RCMP are investigating following the death of a 32-year-old man.
The investigation started last Friday, February 2nd, when RCMP in the community received a report of an unresponsive man at a residence. He was transported to the local nursing station, where was pronounced dead.
Local RCMP, with assistance from the RCMP Major Crime Unit, the North District Crime Reduction Enforcement Support Team and Thompson Forensic Identification Services are investigating the death as a homicide.
Officers currently have 32-year-old Donovan Castel in custody. He has been charged with manslaughter and will appear in The Pas Provincial Court today.
At the last regular meeting, Thompson City Council voted to sign an agreement with the Thompson Trailbreakers to deal with an issue that had caused a bit of a divide.
The Thompson Trailbreakers started construction a building for a trail groomer, and the building was accidentally built in the wrong place.
Mayor Fenske spoke to 102.9 CHTM, and said that the issue has been resolved. The solution, which was agreed upon by both parties, is that the road will be redesigned.
He added that if and when the land is developed, the Trailbreakers will completely cover the cost.
The agreement was approved by a vote of 6-2 at the last regular meeting of Thompson City Council.
Councillor Duncan Wong abstained from voting, claiming a lack of information.
Local MP Niki Ashton is calling out the media coverage of a murder trial in Winnipeg.
Ashton said that the press coverage and headlines are re-victimising Tina Fontaine, who was killed in 2014.
She went on to say that "misleading headlines that focused on toxicology issues at the trial were offensive and disrespectful".
The MP added that the end of violence against Indigenous women and girls must start by honouring and respecting victims like Tina Fontaine.
Tomorrow is the start of WinterFest 2018.
The three-day event will take place over the weekend at the TRCC. The snow sculpture judging is the first event, which will start at noon.
The opening ceremonies will take place at the snow stage at seven, and the closing ceremonies will take place in the TRCC lobby on Sunday at noon.
Below is the full schedule for the weekend. Everything on the schedule is completely free of charge, except the hockey games. They are taking place in the TRCC during WinterFest, but are not technically part of the event.
The board of trustees for the School District of Mystery Lake is considering reducing the number of trustees from seven to five.
Board chairperson Don Macdonald spoke to 102.9 CHTM to explain why it’s being talked about. He said that at a time when budgets are getting tighter, it’s important to look at every option to save money.
Macdonald added that if they were to go to the five-person board, they would have to change their committee structure, possibly to a committee of the whole model. He explained that the current structure has three trustees per committee, which in a five-person board is a majority. The committee of the whole model would see all trustees sit on all committees.
Any changes would have to be made with a new by-law, which has to be voted on three times. It would then have to be approved by Ian Wishart, the provincial Minister of Education and Training.
The boards policy committee will be discussing the possible changes in the weeks, and months, to come.
Photo courtesy of the Thompson Citizen, Kyle Darbyson
Canada has broken another record when it comes to raising money.
$6,919,199.75 was raised this past Wednesday during the annuall Bell Let’s Talk day.
The chair of Bell Let’s Talk, Mary Deacon, said that together the country is changing attitudes and truly reducing the stigma around mental illness like never before. She added that she wants to thank the whole country for showing the way in taking mental health forward.
The over 138M messages, sent from coast to coast, is up over 5% from last years total. Bell reports that social media led the way this year with interactions on twitter, facebook, instagram and snapchat.
This year’s donation brings the total commitment of Bell Let’s Talk to over $93M.
The annual ride for dad, hosted by the Thompson Trailbreakers, is taking place this weekend.
The ride, which takes place all across the coutnry, is about raising awareness to get checked for prostate cancer.
Since the ride started, over $25M has been raised across the country to support prostate cancer research.
The ride will start on Sunday at 10am, and riders will leave from Rick’s Marine and ride the Moak Lake trail to the Moak Lake shelter.
Registration is available online here.
Those who want to participate are asked to collect pledges or donate $20.
For more information you can contact the president of the Thompson Trailbreakers, Kelly Martens, at 204-670-1014 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Tomorrow is RCMP Day here in the province.
Constable Sandy Deibert, from the Thompson RCMP detachment, spoke to 102.9 CHTM to explain how the day came about. She said that the day came as a result of a private members bill introduced in the fall of 2016 by Cliff Graydon, the P.C. MLA for Emerson.
Deibert added that it’s nice to have a day where all RCMP officers are recognized for the work that they do. She said that a lot of work that officers do is often referred to when something positive happens.
A local landmark is now enshrined on one of Canada Posts’ newest stamps.
Pisew Falls, Manitoba’s second highest waterfall, is one of nine locations across the country featured in the new “Far and Wide” stamp series.
Canada Post says that the Falls are featured on the one dollar stamp, which they say is a common one that will be used frequently across the country.
The crown corporation said that they think the name of the falls, being Cree, was a great story that the stamp advisory committee loved.
The “Far and Wide” series will run for at least three years.
Manitoba NDP leader Wab Kinew was recently in Churchill, and said that he wants to see the northern town become a medical hub for the north.
Thompson City Councillor Blake Ellis said that he applauds everyone involved for trying to bring more jobs to the north. He said that he thinks the idea of Churchill as a medical hub is a good one, but doesn’t want it to come at the expense of Thompson.
Councillor Ellis said that Thompson is already a regional hub for healthcare, and it is a pillar for groups like Thompson 2020 who are trying to expand the spectrum of services offered in the City.
Read: NDP, Mayor Call For Churchill To Become Medical Hub For The North
In addition to having the third busiest hospital in the province, Councillor Ellis pointed out that Thompson is uniquely situated to be able to provide support as it is connecte by air, land and rail.
He emphasised the point that he's not trying to say it's "us or them", or that turning Churchill to a hub is a bad idea.
Councillor Ellis added that the City will be requesting a meeting with Kinew to discuss how Thompson can be included in his vision for northern health care.
According to a recently leaked internal document, conditions in the medical laboratory in Thompson are unacceptable and post a danger to patients and staff.
The document singles out labs in both Thompson and Morris, saying that some of the issues faced include flooring held together with tape and exam rooms unable to accommodate wheelchairs or stretchers.
The report, from Diagnostic Services Manitoba, says that the lab in Thompson has become its top capital project. It says that it has infrastructure that is failing and has been in need of work for years.
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning, three of the biggest issues for the lab in Thompson, were approved for work and it is expected they’ll be up to standards in March.
Tensions rose to new heights Monday night during the regular meeting of City Council when a resolution was brought forward to rescind the letter of understanding between the City and Vale about the new Grant In Lieu.
The debated started at a fever pitch with Councillor Ron Matechuk, who brought forward the resolution. He said that the GIL wasn’t negotiated because the committee didn’t do their job.
He added that Councillor Byer said that she was in over her head, trying to push his point that he thinks the committee didn’t know what they were doing.
Councillor Byer responded later to his comments, saying that her words were taken out of context and abused by Councillor Matechuk. She added that no GIL has ever been truly negotiated, as Vale has an agreement with the Province as to how much they are obligated to pay.
Read: "Fenske: Grant In Lieu Never Has Been, Never Will Be A Negotiation"
The minimum amount the company is required to pay is based on the number of employees in Thompson, which makes the amount close to $1M. The amount, which Vale put on the table, would see $4.8M come in year one, a base of $3M in year two, and a flat $3M in years three and four.
Councillors Matechuk and Wong had to be warned by Mayor Fenske multiple times to be careful as the resolution to rescind the GIL with Vale was debated. The warnings came as the Mayor said that they were close to breaching the code of conduct that all City Councillors are held to. Councillor Wong was on the verge of being asked to leave Council Chambers after saying that City leadership had abused and manipulated the entire process.
Most of what was said by Councillors Wong and Matechuk was spoken to the public instead of the rest of council. The content of their comments was directed at the members of the GIL committee, Councillors Valentino, Smook and Byer, and was attacking the work that they did.
Read: "City Council Approves New Grant In Lieu With Vale"
Councillor Judy Kolada said that the early GIL's were more substantial even though Inco wasn't making a profit in Thompson at the time. Councillor Byer countered Councillor Kolada's remarks, saying that it's an attempt to delude people by saying that City always came ahead in previous GILs. She mentioned that she wrote the press release in 1999 for Inco, trying to spin the GIL where the City took a bigger hit than they are taking now.
Councillor Ellis said that by bringing this resolution forward, Councillor Matechuk, as well as Councillor Wong, are asking council to enter a “high stakes poker game” where they could lose the offer Vale has put on the table.
Councillor Foley echoed the thoughts of Councillor Ellis, saying that he hopes that the motion to rescind, as well as the debate, doesn’t “come back to bite the City”.
The resolution was defeated 6-3.
The Vale board of directors still has to approve the GIL before it becomes official.
The board of trustees for the School District of Mystery Lake will meet tomorrow night.
The agenda for the meeting includes a discussion on the number of trustees, as well as a report from the secretary-treasurer.
Also on the docket is a presentation on accessibility, a discussion on how presentations to the board are scheduled, and the regular reports from various committees and both superintendents.
The full agenda can be found here.
The meeting will get underway in the school board office, starting at 7:00pm.
The public is welcome to attend.
Thompson RCMP announced that they have taken more drugs off of the streets.
Officers executed two search warrants last week and seized over 300 grams of cocaine, 280 grams of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and cash.
Two teenagers are facing multiple drug-related charges.
Inspector Kevin Lewis, the officer in charge of the Thompson RCMP detachment, said that since November, there have been 15 separate warrants executed for drugs, and that they have taken over 1,500 grams of cocaine and over 2,700 grams of marijuana off the streets.
18 people have been charged with drug-related offences since late last year.
Thompson City Council will meet Monday night for the final time in January.
The agenda for the meeting includes a motion to rescind the Grant in Lieu, as well as a resolution to endorse Deputy Mayor Smook as part of the “Look North” steering committee.
Councill will hear a report from the LIGA (Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs) committee, as well as letters from Scott Fielding, the Provincial Minister of Families, and Doug Lauvstad, the President of UCN.
The meeting will start at 7:00pm in council chambers at City Hall.
Everyone is welcome, and encouraged, to attend.
The full agenda for the meeting can be found here.
The second "Feeding The Hunger" food drive will be taking place Saturday.
Non-perishable food items will be accepted at the Westwood Mall from 12:00pm until 4:0pm.
All food collected will go towards the food bank in Cross Lake.
For more details on the event, including a list of the food needed, you can check out the “Feeding The Hunger number two” facebook event page.
According to Manitoba Public Insurance, collisions in the month of December were down in 2017 from 2016.
Last month, MPI had over 13,531 claims, down from 15,734 from the same time in 2016; that’s down 14%.
MPI vice president Ward Keith said that the recent decrease is a positive step in making 2018 the safest year on Manitoba Roads.
Statistics released earlier this month say that 2017 was the second safest year on Manitoba roads over the past 35 years.
A Thompsonite is once again up for a prairie-wide entrepreneurial award.
Don Glenn won the start-up entrepreneur category in the “Just Watch Me” video contest for his business, Shorty’s Upcylcing Studio.
Glenn, or Shorty as many people call him, started his business back in 2016 when he could no longer provide for his family due to his disability.
Glenn has once again entered the contest, this time in the seasoned entrepreneur category. Since winning last year, Glenn has grown his brand in different ways, such as trade shows, a storefront and motivational speaking.
Shorty's video and entry, as well as all the other entries, can be found here.
In order to enter the "Just Watch Me" contest, you have to self-identify as a person with a disability or health condition and own or operate a business in a region serviced by Community Futures office.
Voting will start on February 1st, 2018. First prize is $1,000.
Wab Kinew, the leader of the Manitoba NDP, has started a push to make Churchill a medical hub for the north.
Kinew, who was recently in northern town, said that the Churchill Health Centre is a state-of-the-art facility with excellent staff.
He added that there is a real opportunity, and that the hospital has a unique ability to provide culturally sensitive care.
Churchill Mayor Mike Spence echoed Kinew’s thoughts, saying that the hospital is modern, big and ready for service but currently being under-utilized.
The Mayor went on to say that it was original built to service the needs of people in the region, including the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
He added that the operating room is currently only being scheduled for dental surgery.
The Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs committee will meet tomorrow afternoon at 3:45pm.
The committee, which is chaired by Deputy Mayor Smook, meets every Wednesday before a regular meeting of City Council.
The job of the LIGA Committee is to help form the agenda for the next council meeting, in addition to other duties.
The agenda for this afternoon includes a letter from the Provincial Minister of Families, Scott Fielding, as well as a letter from Jeff Wharton, the Provincial Minister of Municipal Relations.
The full agenda can be found here.
The Thompson Public Library is doing some creative things when it comes to programming, such as black-out poetry and a book tasting.
Leila Graham, from the Thompson Public Library, joined Chris Walker on the 102.9 CHTM morning show to talk about what blackout poetry is.
Graham said that to do blackout poetry, you take a book that you don't want anymore (or some pages from a basket at the library) and simply black out words to make the poem. An exmaple of blacout poetry is below.
Graham went on to explain that the book tasting involves everyone reading a different book, then discussing it with others to allow people to sample all of the books.
For more information on anything to do with programming at the library, you can call 677-3717.
The City of Thompson has officially started preparing for the next municipal election, which will be taking place in the fall.
At the finance and administration committee meeting earlier this afternoon, the committee discussed a new campaign expense by-law, a vote counting machine by-law amendment, and a by-law which would reduce the number of councillors.
The campaign expense by-law, which is required to be passed by City Council and in place 180 days before the election, lays out how much money a candidate can spend in the election, dependant on whether they're running for mayor or council. A memo, from City administration, recommends that the City use the same figures that were used in 2014; $10k for anyone running for mayor, and $5k for City Council.
The option to reduce the number of councillors, which have to take place at the next election, is one of the many suggestions that City Council brought forward to help the City save money in the face of the uncertain economic times.
The committee also looked at providing public transportation for free the Saturday of Winterfest.
None of the items discussed can be made official unless they are passed by Council.
The full agenda from the meeting can be found here.
The next regular meeting of Thompson City Council will take place on Monday at 7:00pm.
This week is red tape awareness week for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.
Jonathan Alward, the director of Manitoba affairs for the CFIB, explained that every small business owner is forced to go through a lot of government red tape, which takes up time from their business. He also said that many people find the government forms confusing, and thatthe support they can get to fill them out often comes in the form of poor customer service.
Alward added that the Manitoba Government is doing a lot to help small business in the province, having introduced legislation requiring two pieces of red tape to be removed for every new regulation.
The CFIB estimates that red tape costs small businesses in Manitoba over $360M per year.
There will be a public utilities board hearing tomorrow night.
The hearing will be on revised water and wastewater rates for the City of Thompson.
The hearing will start at 6:30pm at St Joseph’s hall.
Everyone is welcome to attend.
More information can be found by visitng the PUB website.
Cross Lake RCMP are once again asking for the publics help following the murder of a 19-year-old back in 2013.
Austin Monias, who family and community members remember as a talented hockey player who cared about the community, died after being stabbed in a fight five years ago.
The RCMP had initially arrested five people in connection, but all were later released.
Cross Lake RCMP say that they are still dedicated to getting answers for Austin’s family, and that anyone with any information should contact the detachment at 204-676-2600.
At the last regular meeting of council, a question was brought forward during question period about the CSO’s and their effectiveness, as well as their cost.
Mayor Dennis Fenske addressed the funding situation, which has been up in the air since the funding agreement with the province expired in May 2017.
He said that the province will make a one-time payment of $125,000 towards the officers, and that the City will foot the entire bill after that.
Inspector Kevin Lewis, the officer in charge of the Thompson RCMP detachment, was on hand to deliver a report, and explained that he usually sits at a desk and coordinates officers. He added that during the five weeks the CSO’s did not have any legislative power, even he was on the streets helping control intoxicated peopled.
According to our MP, Niki Ashton, the economy is a top concern for 2018.
In a recent release, Ashton said that the governments’ response to the uncertain economic times, specifically with Vale here in Thompson, is negligent at best. She went on to say that they (the Federal Government) are directly responsible in some cases, like the Churchill debacle.
She then criticized the Provincial government, saying that they put a great deal of effort into chasing jobs with Amazon, but do virtually nothing to help save jobs in the north.
Ashton concluded by saying that she will be calling for action in the region, and that the country, and region, needs an economic strategy and action to reverse job loss, support traditional industries, and create new jobs for young people today and tomorrow.
You can read the full report here.
The monthly cheque register for the City of Thompson was once again a contentious issue at City Council.
The should-be house-keeping resolution took over 10 minutes to discuss, with Councillors Wong and Matechuk each asking multiple questions.
City Manager Gary Ceppetelli once again asked council to ask question in advance, as to not put the City’s CFO, Jenny Krentz, on the spot during the meeting. The request was made by Ceppetelli as the register is usually well over $1M, and said it's unreasonable for Krentz to be asked to remember every single line.
Councillor Wong justified his questions by saying he wasn’t demanding an answer right away.
Councillor Kathy Valentino, the chair of the finance and administration committee, said that the register is gone through monthly at the committee meeting before it goes to council, and that everyone is welcome to attend the meetings.
Ceppetelli ended the discussion on the register, asking Councillors Wong and Matechuk specifically to email the cheque numbers that they have questions about in advance so the information can be made available.
The register was approved unanimously after the debate ended.
The Manitoba Historical Society is one again accepting nominations for the Lieutenant Governor’s Award.
The award recognizes people interested in the preservation and promotion of the province’s history.
The Society’s Gordon Goldsborough said nominations are open to anyone.
He added that the award is intended primarily for people serving in the promotion of Manitoba’s history, which includes things like writing books, art projects, running museums, and anything that has an aspect of preserving and promoting Manitoba’s history.
Nomination forms and more information are available at the Manitoba Historical Society website and the Lieutenant Governor's website.
The deadline for nominations is February 28th.
The Province has started to move from words to action with regards to the Look North report.
Municipal Relations Minister Jeff Wharton was recently in Flin Flon, where he announced the northern steering committee, which will help co-ordinate and oversee the implementation of the Look North action plan.
Wharton said that the steering committee will lead the next phase of work to develop more detailed strategies and action plans to help unlock the tremendous economic potential that exists in the north.
The committee is chaired by Chuck Davidson and Chief Christian Sinclair, the two people who oversaw the report.
The committee also includes a few Thompsonites, including Deputy Mayor Colleen Smook.
The full press release can be found here, and the list of committee members can be found below.
Thompson City Council met last night for the second time this year.
At the meeting, council received for information a report from the Councillor Dennis Foley, the chair of the recreation and community services committee.
The report outline activity from September first through December 31st.
It said that over one thousand people attended City events on November 18th which included the Santa Clause Parade and Christmas Tree lighting.
The report also said that around 75 people per day used to TRCC fitness area, and that the fee for lockers will be lowered this year.
In addition, councillors read a report from the RCMP with regards to the third quarter of the 2017-2018 fiscal year.
The report outlined activity statistics for the quarter, which were up in almost all categories.
The only category that was not up this year from last was the harm reduction actions, which was down from 806 to 712.
The report says that there are five pending incoming RCMP members, and six outgoing.
Mayor Fenske said that this quarterly report will be presented to council every time that it is out. The next report is expected around April.
The report was presented by Inspector Kevin Lewis, who is in charge of the Thompson RCMP detachment.
Both reports can be found in their entirety at Thompson.ca
UPDATE: Lucas has been found safely. (Jan. 16 @10:04am)
Thompson RCMP are asking for the publics assistance in the search for a missing teenage boy.
Lucas Soulier, 17, was last seen on January 7th and was reported missing on January 9th after not returning home.
RCMP believe Soulier is either in Thompson or Leaf Rapids.
The 17-year-old is described as Indigenous, 5'7" with a thin build. He has brown eyes and short brown hair.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Thompson RCMP at 204.677.6909.
Bellow is a photo of Lucas Soulier.
The Board of Trustees for the School District of Mystery Lake will meet tomorrow night for the first time in 2018.
The agenda for the meeting includes a field trip request from the RD Parker music department for their senior music tour in the spring, as well as a report from the board’s public relations committee.
In addition, the board will discuss the expenditures for the district for December 2017 as well as a letter from the City of Thompson with a request for a representative.
The meeting will take place at the School Board office starting at 7:00pm.
The public is welcome to attend.
The full agenda can be found here.
The RCMP continue to take drugs off of the streets here in Thompson.
On January 13th, officers executed a warrant here in the city.
Offiers seized 113 grams of cocaine and 170 grams of marijuana, in addition to drug paraphernalia and cash.
A 26-year-old male has been charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking. He has been relased pending a court appearance.
UPDATE: ROBINSON HAS BEEN FOUND. (January 23, 2018 @ 10:53am)
Thompson RCMP are asking for the public's assistance in the search for a missing teen girl.
15-year-old Judith Robinson was last seen on January 6th in Winnipeg. She was supposed to return to Winnipeg on the Greyhound on January 9th, but did not return.
She is described as Indigenous, 5'4", 122lbs, brown eyes and long brown hair.
Anyone with information should contact the Thompson RCMP detachment at 204.677.6911.
Thompson General Hospital was without general surgery coverage from December 24th through the 27th, and the 31st through January 2nd.
A spokesperson for the Northern Health Region spoke to 102.9 CHTM and said that there was no surgeon available to cover the area.
An internal memo from the Health Region, dated December 20th, said that anyone needing surgery during that time period would have to be transported to Winnipeg.
The Health Region would not comment on if anyone was transported to Winnipeg for surgery nor on if this would happen again.
Thompson City Council will meet Monday for the second time in 2018.
The agenda for the meeting includes a quarterly report from the RCMP, a letter from Rochelle Squires, Provincial Minster for Sustainable Development. The agenda also includes the approval of the December Cheque Registers, as well as a report from the recreation and community services committee, chaired by Councillor Dennis Foley.
The meeting will get underway in Council Chambers at City Hall, starting at 7:00pm.
Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.
The full agenda can be found here, or in hard copy at City Hall.
The new Grant In Lieu (GIL) with Vale was approved by the City at the last regular meeting of council, and is waiting for its final approval from the Vale board of Directors.
Mayor Dennis Fenske, speaking on City Beat on 102.9 CHTM yesterday morning, explained how the new GIL compares with the one that expired at the end of 2017. He said that the new grant in lieu is a reduction of 20% in the first year, and 50% in years two, three and four.
Mayor Fenske went on to say that the debate in Council two weeks ago shouldn’t have surprised anyone, and that some need to get their facts straight. He said that some councillors think the GIL was negotiated between Vale and the City, which is not the case. Multiple councillors were approached for a comment to no response.
Fenske said that Vale has an agreement with the Province that they only have to provide a dollar amount based on how many employees they have in the City. Anything over that base amount is up to Vale. He added that all the City can do is present its case and hope for the best.
Despite the success of the three major events Spirit Way was involved with in 2017, Aurora Fest and the Wolf and Carnivore Conference ended in the red.
According to a recently released report, Aurora Fest ran a deficit of $12,721.74 and the Wolf and Carnivore Conference came up $2,115.94 over budget.
In a letter to Mayor and Council, Spirit Way said that they had to scale back their UK promotion as they did not receive any official reply from the City.
In the letter, Spirit Way once again asked the City to donate $10,000 to help the organization stay in the black.
The UK promotion was the one event that ran a surplus.
If you’ve wanted to pick up some Manitoba Winter Games gear but haven’t been able to make it out to one of their pop-up stores, there’s good news for you.
Starting Saturday, the Games’ will have a store in the City Centre Mall in the old Peoples Jewellers location.
The store will be open from 10:00am-4:00pm every Saturday until the games. During the grand opening this Saturday (January 13th), the store will be open from 10:00am until 4:00pm. 102.9 CHTM will be live on location as well.
The store will have games gear for sale, as well as people (and iPads) on hand to help register people as volunteers for the games.
In addition to games gear, you can purchase tickets for two different draws. One draw is for a Winnipeg Jets package, which includes airfare to and from Thompson, tickets to a Jets game and a night in a hotel.
The second package you can enter to win is called "Thompson is where the Heart is". The package includes a hotel stay here in Thompson, airfare to and from, as well as meal coupons.
According to the Manitoba Liberal Party (MLP), Premier Brian Pallister and his Progressive Conservative government are ignoring a meth crisis in Manitoba.
Dr. Jon Gerrard, a member of the Liberal caucus and the MLA for the River Heights area of Winnipeg, addressed the issue in the legislature in October, asking why the Health Minister hasn’t responded to the issue since being named to his current role despite having called meth a "serious issue" when he was in opposition.
Gerrard added that the MLP has sources who say it's better to be arrested if you have an addiction to crystal meth, as they’ll get better treatment in jail
The release concluded saying that the government needs to follow up with meaningful action to ensure that the province has a system for treating addiction that is humane and safe.
Below is the three-step plan that the MLP has put forward to help combat this current crisis.
An investment of over $80M by the Provincial and Federal governments means that dozens of rural towns and remote Manitoba First Nations will soon have faster internet.
The announcement was made in Winnipeg this morning by federal Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains that the Government plans to improve high-speed access in 112 remote Manitoba communities.
Bains said that access to high-speed internet is not a luxury, but rather something that is essential.
Of the $83.9M invested in the project, $20M is coming from the Province.
Premier Brian Pallister said that developing the potential of the north, where most of the communities and First Nations are located, is a priority of the government. He added that to do that they need the tools to maximize opportunities.
48 of the 112 communities set to receive improvements are First Nations, 21 of which don’t have year-round road access.
Even though the Christmas season is over, the Canadian Mental Health Association is still looking donations.
Samantha Comeau, from the CMHA in Thompson, spoke to 102.9 CHTm and said that they are still looking for more coats and snowpants for their coats for kids program, as winter will last for a few more months
All donations can be dropped off at the CMHA office, located at 43 Fox Bay.
Comeau added that coats for adults can be purchased at Charlie’s Store, located at 43 Fox Bay. Coats for children are free.
OmniTrax and the Federal government started what is expected to be a long and drawn out court battle today.
The government is suing Denver-based OmniTrax for breach of contrac, after the company failed to maintain, and repair, the rail line to Churchill following flooding last spring.
In response to the lawsuit, Omnitrax said it was challenging Ottawa under the North American Free Trade Agreement, specifically the section meant to protect foreign investors from discrimination. They say that the government sabotaged efforts by the company to repair and transfer ownership of the line.
It’s reported that OmniTrax is seeking $150M in damages, while Ottawa is asking for $18M.
Despite the fact that an end to the situation is nowhere in sight, there are two rays of light for the residents of Churchill.
The first is that Toronto-based Fairfax Financial Holdings is still in talks with Missinippi Rail and One North with the intent being to buy the port and rail line. The second ray of light is that the winter road from Gillam to Churchill has now been open for over two weeks, allowing much need supplies to reach the community.
The fire at the Interior Inn is now put out, but the investigation into the blaze is just starting.
City of Thompson Deputy Mayor Colleen Smook spoke to 102.9 CHTM with the latest on the situation yesterday on City Beat. She said that the scene, now that the fire has been extinguished, has been turned over to the Office of the Fire Commissioner. The investigaiton is ongoing by the Fire Commissioner, with support from Thompson Fire and Emergency Services as well as the RCMP.
Deputy Mayor Smook added that even though the flames may be out from the New Years Day fire at the Interior Inn, City crews are still working hard to clean up the water run-off along Riverside Drive. Smook said that the intersection of Riverside Drive and Nickel Road is still closed, and asked everyone to respect the barricade regardless of position. She said that if one person drives around a barricade, others will follow.
Work is expected to continue to clear the area of water, ice and slush over the next week.
If you'd like more informaiton or have any questions on the work being done to clear the area, you can call the City of Thompson Public Works Department at 204.677.7970.
City Beat is a weekly program on 102.9 CHTM and Shaw TV Thompson, airing live every Thursday at 11:30am on 102.9 CHTM. If you have a question you'd like answered by the Mayor (or a representative from City Hall), you can email it to CHTMNEWS@ARCTICRADIO.CA
Parents of students at R.D. Parker no longer have to worry about their child walking to school in the freezing temperatures.
Students will be able to take the bus to and from R.D.P.C., from now until the end of February, free of charge.
Grade seven and eight students attending R.D.P.C. for practical arts will be able to take the bus in the morning, noon hour and at the end of the day for free as well.
The bus schedule and route maps can be found here.
If you own a Ram 1500 model year 2009 through 2017 or a Ram 2500 model year 2010 through 2017, it might be part of a recall.
The recall affects 290,200 trucks across the country that have a steering column gear shift.
Transport Canada, who issued the recall, says that the brake transmission shift interlock may become inoperative in affected vehicles, which could allow the steering column gear shift lever to be shifted out of park without the brake pedal being pressed or the key in the ignition.
To find out if your truck is affected, you can click on the link here, by calling Chrysler at 1.800.465.2001 or by visiting the dealer.
Below is a chart of model years affected.
The final numbers are in from the 2017/2018 check stop program in Manitoba.
From Christmas Day to New Years Day, there were a total of 1,366 vehicles checked during 22 check stops.
Of the vehicles checked, there were 21 people charged with a criminal code impaired driving offence, and 5 roadside suspensions. There were also 208 traffic related provincial statute charges laid, along with 130 warnings for various offences.
Over the season, 117 people were charged across the province and there was one traffic related fatality. In addition, there was 51 alcohol related roadside suspensions and 31 criminal code driving offences.
All of those numbers are down from last year.
Below is a chart comparing the numbers from this year to last year.
A bill which would have seen parental leave extended from 12 months to 18 months was recently defeated in the Provincial Legislature.
The bill, which was brought forward by the opposition NDP, did not receive support from the Progressive Conservatives.
Thompson MLA Kelly Bindle spoke to 102.9 CHTM and said that the 18-month leave is misleading. He said that while the extra six months sounds like a good thing, he noted that the parent taking leave would not get any extra income for the added time, and would be stretching their money even further. He also added that a persons income during parental leave is already at 55% of what they would earn while working.
Bindle went on to say that the government is opting to leave the decision with the employer and employee when it comes to the length of parental leave.
The move to an 18-month leave was recently mandated by the Federal government for all federally-governed work environments.
The numbers are in for Operation Red Nose 2017.
The free service, which donates all money raised to local youth-based organizations, was up in the number of rides given, number of volunteers, and the total amount of money raised.
Operation Red Nose gave a total of 380 rides this year, up from 313 last year.
In total, $9,364.50 was donated, ranking Thompson third in the province behind Winnipeg ($37,349.62) and Portage La Prairie ($13,498.05). A total of $95,483.61 was raised across Manitoba.
The money raised, all of which goes towards local youth-based organizations, is up almost three thousand dollars from last year.
City Council approved a new grant in lieu with Vale Tuesday night at the regular meeting of council.
The new agreement is now in place until 2021, with the previous agreement having expired at the end of 2017.
While the new grant in lieu is less than the previous one, Councillor Blake Ellis said that the deal was negotiated in good faith and was the best deal the City could have gotten.
Councillor Ron Matechuk opned up the debate, putting forward a motion to table the discussion, which was defeated 6-3. He then spoke against the agreement, saying that has said from the beginning of the negotiation process that he has had no confidence in the negotiating committee, and accused the committee of not doing their due diligence. That claim was quickly refuted by multiple councillors.
The numbers were revealed by City Manager Gary Ceppetelli, after Councillor Duncan Wong said that he thinks the public would like to know, while speaking to the public instead of addressing the rest of council.
The agreement will see Vale pay $4.8M in year one, a base of $3M in year two with the possibility of extra money, and a flat $3M in years three and four.
Councillor Wong also asked Ceppetelli for the definition of "in principal", and then asked why the deal is before council if the numbers are just in principal and haven't been finalized. The City Manager responded by saying that no where in the resolution does it mention "in principal".
Councillor Judy Kolada voted in favour of the grant in lieu, saying that a deal needs to be put in place as the old agreement expired at the end of 2017. She added that she would like to see the City look at transitioning into taxation for Vale in the future when this deal expires.
Councillor Kathy Valentino, the head of the City’s negotiation team, laid all the cards on the table, saying that the only other option would be the minimum, which would be around $1M per year.
Mayor Dennis Fenske, who joined the meeting via telephone, said that if Council doesn't vote to pass the resolution approving the GIL, the City will get the bare minimum from Vale. He added that he is currently in Winnipeg and is meeting with Blaine Pedersen, the Provincial finance minister, today to look for extra funding.
Councillor Penny Byer ended the debate, saying that the City needs to stop being so reliant on hand-outs from big corporations like Vale if it wants to be around and thriving in years to come. She added that the deal on the table from Vale is as generous as Vale in Thompson can afford to be at this point in time.
The debate lasted almost 40 minutes before it was passed 7-2.
Councillors Wong and Matechuk voted against in a recorded vote, which was requested first by Councillor Wong and then later by Councillor Valentino.
The new GIL will not be in efect until it is approved by Vale's board of directors and signed off by all of the parties involved.
A fire broke out at the Interior Inn yesterday afternoon.
The call came in to Thompson Fire and Emergency Services around four, and the fire was already starting to spread throughout the building when fire fighters arrived on the scene.
Thompson Fire Chief John Maskerine spoke to 102.9 CHTM and said that no fire fighters have been injured battling the blaze, and that everyone who was a registered guest with the hotel is accounted for.
He added that they are waiting for the Office of the Fire Commissioner to arrive in Thompson before they work together to determine a cause, if the conditions allow.
Chief Maskerine added that he hopes the situation will be under control in the next 36 hours.
There will be a regular meeting of Thompson City Council tomorrow night.
The agenda for the meeting includes 11 resolutions and one by-law, including the approval in principal of the Grant-In-Lieu with Vale and the City’s criminal record check and company vehicle policies.
The meeting will start at 7:00pm at City Hall.
Everyone is welcome to attend.
The full agenda can be found online here or in hard copy at City Hall.
A fire broke out at an apartment complex in the city over the weekend.
Chief John Maskerine says the fire started in the kitchen of an Ashberry Place apartment Saturday evening.
All of the residents of the three-story building kept warm in neighbouring buildings while fire fighters battled the blaze in the minus forty conditions.
Maskerine said that most residents were able to return to their apartments after the fire was put out, and those that couldn’t found places to stay here in Thompson.
The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation.
The RCMP are continuing to take drugs off of the streets here in Thompson.
Three search warrants were executed at three separate residences in the Eastwood area, and led to charges being laid against three people.
The first two warrants were executed on December 21st, leading to the seizure of an ounce of cocaine, drug trafficking equipment and a collapsible baton.
The second warrant was executed on the 22nd, and with the assistance of RCMP service dog Egan, 22.5 ounces of cocaine were seized in addition to drug paraphernalia.
Kevin Rutherford, Collin Burnett, and an unidentified woman all face charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking.
If you’re headed to the liquor store this weekend you might notice your bags are a bit more colourful than usual.
Constable Sandy Deibert from the Thompson RCMP detachment spoke to 102.9 CHTm and said that 2,000 bags were decorated by students in kindergarten through grade six, mostly with holiday messages.
Constable Deibert added that while most bags have holiday messages, others have messages not to drink and drive, and encouraging the use of Operation Red Nose.
Operation Red Nose will be in operation tomorrow night and Saturday night from 9:00pm until 3:00am.
You can use their service free of charge by calling 204-778-81-11
The Lutheran-United Church will be hosting the Blue Christmas service tomorrow evening.
The church is located at 52 Caribou Road, and the service will start at 7:30pm.
The Blue Christmas service is for those who find the holiday season difficult due to the loss of a loved one. The loss doesn't need to be a recent one, as everyone mourns differently and needs support.
Everyone is invited to attend, whether you are a regular at church or have never stepped foot inside one before.
The Thompson RCMP detachment have released the statistics from check-stop programs over the past week.
Constable Sandy Deibert told 102.9 CHTM that there were 15 tickets issued, two people were charged with impaired driving, and one person was given a 72-hour suspension.
She added that one of the two drivers charged blew three times the legal limit.
Constable Deibert said that there are no excuses when it comes to driving while impaired, and that are plenty of options, including a designated driver, walking, calling a cab, and operation red nose.
The Salvation Army Christmas Kettles have now entered their final week for 2017, and are still behind last years’ numbers.
Roy Bladen, the ministry director for The Salvation Army in Thompson said that if the Kettles don’t pick up, 2018 will be a hard year for the food bank.
There are four kettle locations; Safeway, Walmart, Shoppers Drug Mart and the Liqour Mart.
The Kettles will be out all of this week, until Saturday, from 11:00am unil 7:00pm.
All of the donations made stay here in Thompson, and go to fund the work of the food bank.
Donations can also be made online at FillTheKettle.com.
On City Beat last Thursday, Mayor Dennis Fenske spent the opening few minutes addressing councillor behaviour at the last regular meeting of City Council on December 11th.
Mayor Fenske said that unfortunately a few councillors took exception to the proceedings and one went as far as to personally attack another councillor, which is not allowed in any form.
Fenske added that there is a certain amount of decorum that is expected, and outlined in black in white, in the City’s Organizational By-Law, section 103. He said that if in the chairs’ opinion members of the council or general public are out of order, (the chair) has the right, and duty, to let the person know they are out of line and give them the chance to correct their behaviour. If there is no change in the behaviour, the chair of the meeting has the right to expel the person from the meeting.
The Mayor said that he offered the chance to Councillor Wong multiple times, and that Wong would have had to leave council chambers had he not somewhat apologized for his remarks towards Councillor Foley.
Mayor Fenske said the only punishment for Councillors who refuse to follow the rules is to publicly censor them, which Fenske said can only be done with a majority plus one vote of council.
The next regular meeting of City Council is scheduled for January 2nd at 7:00pm at City Hall.
If you have something you would like to ask the Mayor, email your question to CHTMNEWS@ARCTICRADIO.CA before Thursday.
City Council passed the third reading of a financial assistance by-law at Monday’s regular meeting of council.
The by-law is now in place to encourage business owners, who own the land or building where their business is located, to invest in large scale projects and improvements.
Councillor Kathy Valentino spoke in favour of the by-law, saying it’s about time third reading was given, and that this shows that the City is trying to help attract, and retain, businesses in the community.
The third reading passed unanimously.
The RCMP took more drugs off the streets of Thompson last week.
The police executed a search warrant in the Eastwood area on December 7th, resulting in the seizure of over two ounces of cocaine, various drug paraphernalia, and a small quantity of cash.
Two people were arrested, including a 16-year-old who was released on court imposed conditions.
He will appear in Provincial Court in the New Year, and face charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking and possession of property obtained by crime.
20-year-old Tyler Spence was also arrested and will appear in court before the 16-year-old.
Spence is facing multiple charges, including possession for the purpose of trafficking and possession of a controlled substance. He will reamin in custody until his court date.
Thompson RCMP are asking for the publics' assistance in the search for a missing woman.
Lisa Marie Donkey was last seen Thursday in the Brandon Crescent area wearing black sweat pants and a black sweater.
She is described as indigenous, 5'6" and 140lbs.
Anyone with information should contact the Thompson RCMP detachment at 1.204.677.6909.