More than 200 schools in Manitoba and Nunavut will be taking part in the first Red Cross Pink Day of 2017, which takes place on Tuesday February 22nd.
All elementary schools in Thompson are taking part in the event, which highlight the importance of bullying prevention and respectfulness.
Schools will be marking the day mainly with assemblies, and everyone is encouraged to wear pink clothing.
Provincially, the day will be highlighted by the third annual Canadian Red Cross Pink Day Film Festival, which will showcase videos made by students in Manitoba and Nunavut. The festival is being held in Winnipeg at the Park Theatre.
The provincial event starts at 10:30am on Tuesday, and can be live-streamed online at http://bit.ly/2knlw52.
The Canadian Red Cross has been the lead organization for Pink Day in the province since 2012 and recently helped bring two Winnipeg Blue Bombers to Thompson to present anti-bullying campaigns.
Everyone is encouraged to wear pink on the 22nd, whether you're a student or not, to raise awareness.
If you want to purchase an official Canadian Red Cross Pink Day shirt, you can do so online at www.redcross.ca/PinkMB_NU.
The second Pink Day of 2017 will take place on April 12th.
The Manitoba Historical Society is accepting nominations for the Lieutenant Governor's Award.
The Society's Gordon Goldsborough says nominations are open to anyone.
He explained the award is intended primarily for people who have done service in promotion and preservation of Manitoba history.
That includes activities such as writing books, various art projects or being involved with a museum.
Nomination forms and more information are available online at www.mhs.mb.ca
The deadline for nominations is February 28th.
According to a recent report, the number of mumps cases in the province has doubled and the outbreak is expected to continue for months.
Mumps is spread by direct contact with the saliva of an infected person such as coughing, sneezing, sharing drinks, or kissing.
The virus causes fever, headaches, muscle aches and swollen glands, often next to the jaw line in your cheek.
Most people who contract the disease will recover after one to two weeks.
Doctor Michael Isaac, the Medical Health Officer with the Northern Health Region, says that all health regions in the province have had cases of the mumps, including five confirmed cases here in Thompson since the start of 2017.
Doctor Isaac said that the best way to prevent mumps is immunization.
He added that other preventative actions that you can take include covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, as well as not sharing personal items.
For more information on the disease, head to http://gov.mb.ca/health/publichealth/diseases/mumps.html
Louise Hodder and Jessie Horodecki, local volunteers with the Red Cross, spoke at Wednesday’s Chamber of Commerce meeting about the two primary services the organization offers.
Personal Disaster Assistance covers small scale disasters such as house fires and provides emergency assistance for up to 72 hours. This covers such items as food, clothing and shelter. The Fire Department or family members activate the PDA by contacting the Red Cross.
The second service is the Emergency Response Team or E-R-T which is activated when a whole community is affected. Some communities which had the Red Cross help out last year were War Lake and Shamattawa when they faced water shortages. Long Plain, Dakota Tipi and Waywayseecapo First Nations all experienced tornados and received help from the Red Cross. A fire at Shamattawa and power outage at York Factory also brought in E-R-Ts from the Red Cross.
So far in 2017, the Red Cross has responded to two disasters in our northern region. The first was a sewer backup at a seniors residence at OCN and the second was an apartment fire in The Pas.
Horodecki and Hodder also addressed the desperate need for volunteers in our area. Here we have a breakdown of the numbers of volunteers in Manitoba.
“Currently in Canada the Red Cross has more than 25-thousand volunteers. Manitoba has the lowest number of volunteers. Winnipeg has just over 200 and we have 9. Brandon has 14. They just put a team together in Dauphin. But for us in Thompson - our 9 volunteers - we take care of Thompson and all the surrounding communities.”
Volunteers can be called upon to help with emergencies and disasters in our area, around the province and even across Canada. To apply go to red cross.ca.
A 15 year old has been taken into custody by Thompson RCMP following a stabbing in the city.
Police were responding to a call near the Southwood Plaza Wednesday night when the teen was arrested.
A 16 year old youth was treated for injuries.
The 15 year old has been charged and will remain in RCMP custody until his court date."
No names will be released as both are under aged.
No other information is available at this time.
This weekend is a free ride weekend on all trails thanks to Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries. The event starts on the 18th and runs until Louis Riel Day on the 20th.
This is the second year that Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries has hosted the weekend.
Those wanting to take part in the weekend need to head to www.snoman.mb.ca to register for a pass and then have that pass on their phone or affixed to their snow machine while they ride.
It's also "Sled Without Boarders" weekend, which is focused on encouraging riders from Ontario, Saskatchewan, North Dakota and Minnesota to ride Manitoba trails.
Thompson City Council met on Monday night and one of the topics addressed was the recent changes from the provincial government with regards to health care funding.
The province announced an investment of over $500,000 towards four projects in Thompson, specifically at the Thompson General Hospital.
The projects being funded are:
Assessing the scope of work needed to address mould in the hospital's crawlspace
Repairing and upgrading existing heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems in the hospital
Installing a dedicated year-round air-conditioning system for the lab at the hospital and upgrading existing heating, lighting and ventilation
Upgrading the operating room theatre surgical lighting, upgrading security for the seclusion rooms and upgrading the water booster in the hospital
Thompson city councilor Penny Byer said that while she's glad the money is coming to Thompson, it's not going to the right place.
Byer said that the root of the issue is a leaky roof, and that money is going to keep being spent doing these spot repairs until they fix the overlying problem.
Deputy Mayor Valentino spoke after Councilor Byer, and said that Thompsonites should be focused on the money that is coming to Thompson, rather than the loss of the Consultation Clinic and other projects that were cut.
She said that it's easy to focus on the negatives, but that the projects being funded are good for the city, and that the chemo ward is going to continue being funded and is nearing completion.
This morning, Statistics Canada started releasing the information gathered from the 2016 census.
This was the first 'data dump' by StatsCan following last May's national census.
The information, which focused on population, revealed that Thompson showed an increase of 555, or 4.5%, from 2011 to 2016.
Thompson city manager Gary Ceppetelli spoke to 102.9 CHTM and said that he was relieved by the numbers.
Ceppetelli said that the increase should mean additional funding for the city's budget.
He also added that he thinks the growth is sustainable, as Thompson is diversifying the economy in town.
Snow Lake and Churchill were two other northern regions that recorded population increases.
Despite the increase in Thompson , Churchill and Snow Lake, Stats Canada says that communities in northern Manitoba reported some of the largest population loses between 2011 and 2016.
The census concluded that the total population in Manitoba is up over 70,000 people to 1,278,365 from 2011.
Sandra Ross-Hitch and Murray Kissick have been appointed as the co-chairs for the 2018 Manitoba Winter Games host society.
Both have been heavily involved in many different aspects of Thompson and both were involved in the winter games when were last here in 1994. Ross-Hitch currently serves as the president of the Thompson Rotary Club, and was on the torch relay committee leading up to the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. Kissick has been involved in minor hockey, the Thompson Golf Club and the school district of Mystery Lake.
Mayor Dennis Fenske said that the co-chairs were selected for their continuing record of excellence in serving our community as leaders and organizers. He also added that they are confident that Ross-Hitch and Kissick will bring out the best in us as we move forward with the games.
Thompson was awarded the games after the town of Virden had to withdraw as a host due to lack of volunteer commitment.
The games are set to take place a little over a year from now and will include events such as archery and hockey among others.
If you are looking to get involved with the 2018 Manitoba Power Smart Winter Games or just to get more information, you can send an email to email@example.com
Operation Red Nose has released their final donation totals for the 2016 season in Thompson.
The program runs during the holiday season to make sure everyone (and their vehicles) can get home safely by providing a ride home for anyone who has either consumed alcohol or doesn’t feel fit to drive. The program here is coordinated by the City of Thompson.
The program is free, but donations are encouraged. All money collected in Thompson goes towards various youth programs in the area.
Below is a full list of where the 2016 donations are going:
Pee-wee A King Miner hockey: $4000.00
Born to Dance Committee: $2600.00
Thompson Area Scouts: $2500.00
Society for Manitobans with Disabilities: $1900.00
Albert’s Fund: $500.00
Troy Anand Fund: $500.00
Monday night, Canadian Kraft Paper Industries from The Pas will be holding a public information meeting here in Thompson in the Mary Fenske boardroom at the VRCC.
The meeting will start at 7:00pm and everyone is encouraged to attend.
Area planner Mike Paddock of Canadian Kraft Paper says they’ll discuss their forest harvest and renewal plans for the next two years starting as of June 1st. Discussions will include topics such as timber harvesting, forest renewal, road construction and road decommissioning.
They will also be updating the public on new initiatives that are being undertaken by the company.
Canadian Kraft Paper says that they hope people who have questions or information to share will come out and voice them at the meeting.
Canadian Kraft Paper Industries bought the Tolko paper mill in The Pas last November. Tolko had announced the closure of the mill in August, citing the inability to operate the company at a profit.
The Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life officially kicks off in Thompson tomorrow.
The kick-off event, which will be taking place at the Quality Inn and Suites between 12:00 and 2:00, will be an opportunity for people to meet the members of the Relay board and ask them questions.
Coral Bennett, the chair of the registration committee, told CHTM that if you can't make it out to the event, you can give her a call at (204) 679-2072 and she will be more than happy to pass on any information you require.
Bennett also said that Thompson has been more than generous in the past, with over $1,000,000 being raised through the Relay over the past 14 years going towards cancer research.
She also added that it's an important cause and every dollar counts, as every three minutes one Canadian is told they have cancer.
For more information on Relay for Life, head to www.cancer.ca/relay
Thompson MLA Kelly Bindle was the guest speaker at the Thompson Chamber of Commerce meeting today, which took place at the Meridian Hotel.
Two of the big things Bindle talked about were the state of health care in the province and the new carbon tax coming soon to the country.
As far as health care goes, the provincial government says that spending is the issue, not revenue, when it comes to health care.
Bindle said that the health care costs are too heavy at the top, like a water tower.
He added that two task forces working on the system. One is working on wait time reduction and the other on medical procedures. Their recommendations are due by June.
When speaking about the carbon tax, Bindle said that if the Province doesn’t have its own strategy to implement the tax by the end of the year, the federal government will implement one for them.
He also added that agriculture will be the hardest hit industry in the province and that most people will feel the tax at the pumps. He also added that that price of energy shouldn’t go up too much since Manitoba Hydro uses hydro to generate electricity rather than fossil fuels.
Last night's School District of Mystery Lake board meeting took place at Burntwood Elementary School.
The meeting started with a presentation from two Burntwood junior high students in the school's sensory room.
The presentation included information about different fundraisers, such as Movember and chocolate milk sales, as well as various programs and events at the school like their breakfast program and We Day.
The sensory room itself is relatively new to the school. It's a place for students to go when they need a break from the regular structure of the classroom.
The room features a tent, multiple sensory boards, various balls and blankets.
Burntwood vice-principal Jaynie Burnell added that they're looking to add an exercise bike or treadmill to the room if anyone wants to make a donation.
Monday was the first reading of the Municipal By-Law Enforcement Act Enabling by-law at Thompson City Council.
If passed during the second and third readings, parking tickets would become a strictly municipal matter.
Currently, tickets for parking by-law infractions can be argued in court.
Under the new system currently on the table, if you want to fight a parking ticket you would have to go to city hall and request the ticket be reviewed by a screening officer. The screening officer will be a new position at City Hall. John Maskerine, the City of Thompson Fire and Public Safety Director, said that in other Manitoba cities, like Winnipeg, they have hired retired police officers or upstanding citizens to fill the role.
If you want to dispute the screening officers’ decision, you will have to pay a $25.00 fee and submit a written request to have the ticket reviewed by a provincially-appointed adjudicator. The adjudicator’s decision is final and cannot be reviewed or overturned.
If the ticket is brought to the adjudicator and they rule that the ticket is valid, the fine must be paid immediately and the $25.00 goes to the city. If the adjudicator forgives the ticket, the $25.00 is reimbursed.
The municipal by-law enforcement act first came about in the Legislature back in 2013, in an attempt to provide an alternate approach for processing and resolving minor by-law (specifically parking) infractions.
At council on Monday, Maskerine said that the legislation is good for everyone involved and will free up the courts. He also added that Winnipeg has been using this new system since 2014, and has only had three cases go before an adjudicator.
The first reading was passed by all members of Council, with the exception of Councillor Penny Byer, who joined the meeting via telephone. Byer opposed the by-law out of protest as she feels the Province is dumping the costs from the provincial government to the municipal level.
The second (and possibly third) readings of the by-law are scheduled for the next Thompson City Council meeting on February 13th.
Nominations are now open for this years YWCA Thompson Woman of Distinction Awards. The annual event recognizes women in our community (any women north of the 53rd parallel) who go above and beyond to lead, be a role model or just make the community a better place to live, work and play.
Nina Cordell, the programs coordinator at the Thompson YWCA told CHTM that the awards are a chance to honour the achievements of women in the community, regardless of education or work experience. The only requirements to be up for the award is to consent to the nomination (as well as the publicity that comes with it) as well as be available to attend the awards dinner.
Cordell said that nomination packages are available online (www.ywcathompson.com), via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), by dropping by the YWCA Thompson reception desk (39 Nickel Road) or by calling Nina (204-778-1209).
The full eligibility list and addition information are available for review on the application.
The nominations are due by Monday April 3rd, while the awards dinner is on May 27th at the River Lodge place.
Last night at Thompson City Council, John Maskerine, the director of Fire and Public Safety, presented the new revision of the ambulance service purchase agreement.
The agreement, made between the city of Thompson and the Northern Regional Health Authority, has been in place for decades. Maskerine says that the agreement gives first responders in Thompson a mandate with regards to training and making sure that the care they provide is at the highest level possible.
Maskerine said that the only thing worth noting that has changed from the previous agreement is the price of an ambulance for those without private health insurance. He told CHTM that the cost had previously been going up every two to three years. Manitoba Health has said that over the next four years they want to see the cost reduced to $250 for those without coverage.
The last revision of the agreement came back in 2014.
The Manitoba Chamber of Commerce is asking Chambers and their members to write to their Members of Parliament.
It’s to ask them to oppose the Federal government’s proposal to tax employer paid health and dental benefits. Many fear a tax would cost employees hundreds or thousands of dollars a year, and result in fewer employers willing to provide coverage. The Thompson Chamber has provided its members with a letter to sign and send to Niki Ashton and federal Minister of Finance Bill Morneau.
Back in December 2016 the government had identified health and dental benefit packages as a possible source for additional revenue.
Starting February 1st, Stittco customers will be paying more for their propane.
The Public Utilities Board announced Wednesday that the price is being raised from 97 cents per cubic metre to $1.22 a cubic metre. The new rate is projected to increase the average residential bill by approximately ten per cent, depending on consumption.
The P-U-B says the propane rates will be reviewed again on May 1st of this year.
The Journey for Sight snowmobile ride left Flin Flon last Wednesday, finishing in Brandon Saturday.
The ride raised money for the Lions Eye Bank of Manitoba and Northwest Ontario. According to Committee Chair Brad Henderson, the Journey went well even though snow conditions were challenging.
Henderson says 31 snowmobiles from across the province wrapped up the ride in Brandon on Saturday, with riders raising approximately 39 thousand dollars at that point.
Thompson rider Kent Korzenowski took part in the event, raising $430.
When medical assistance in death became law in Canada last June, Dr. Brock Wright, Chief Medical Officer with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, was tasked with putting a provincial team of medical professionals together. He explains how that was done.
“We went to a number of organizations in Manitoba and asked them to go out to their members and help us identify individuals in those various professions who might be interested in participating in a medical assistance in dying team. People contacted us and based on that we put a team together.”
Increased demand for medical assistance in dying has resulted in an expansion of the provincial MAID team. Dr. Wright shares how it has grown.
“We started off with three part-time physicians, two nurses, two social workers and two pharmacists. Since then the interest in the service has increased substantially and so we’ve expanded the team to include seven physicians, three social workers and we still have two pharmacists, two nurses and we’ve added a speech-language pathologist.”
To date 109 individuals have contacted the program, with 25 receiving assistance. Twenty-eight people died unassisted, 17 are currently being assessed, 19 cases were declined and 20 were inquiries only.
For more on medical assistance in dying and the legislation that permits it, listen to Thompson Today for the first of a two-part interview with Dr. Wright this afternoon.
Tomorrow is “Bell Let’s Talk Day” in support of mental health. Catherine Pohjolinen from the Canadian Mental Health Association here in Thompson explains what “Bell Let’s Talk Day” is about.
“This means that for every text or call for Bell subscribers, 5 cents will be donated to mental health initiatives. Other than that every tweet or Instagram post with the hashtag “Bell Let’s Talk” and every snap on Snapchat sent with the “Bell Let’s Talk” geo-filter, they’re going to donate 5 cents to mental health initiatives - like CMHAs all across Canada.”
Do your part to support those living with mental health issues. Remember, tomorrow is Bell’s Let’s Talk Day. To find out more about it go to LetsTalk.bell.ca.
You have until January 31st to nominate a deserving citizen for this year's Order of Manitoba The Secretary for the Order of Manitoba Advisory Council, Dwight MacAulay, says each year up to twelve people receive the award. He explains virtually anybody can be nominated if they're living or have lived in Manitoba and have done something exceptional for their profession or community, the province or the country. Up to 12 awards are given out annually.
For information or to make a nomination visit the Lieutenant Governor's web site at manitobalg.ca
At Wednesday’s Chamber of Commerce meeting, Mayor Dennis Fenske addressed some of the changes that will affect Thompson’s work force when Vale shuts down the refinery and smelter in 2018.
“Vale employs currently around 1450 employees. And through the transition, retirees, and closure of the smelter and refinery, that work force will be reduced to roughly 900 to 950. There also will be an impact on contractors. Currently they employ somewhere between 400 and 500 contractors. That number will be reduced to around 125.”
Three main areas of work have been identified by the Thompson 20-20 working group as priorities for Vale and the city to date. Fenske highlights them here.
“The first bucket of work talks to the immediate impact of Vale employees. The second bucket of work talks about retirees - not only Vale – but any other person who’s retiring in our community and what we can do to retain retirees in our community. And the third bucket of work is business growth – existing and new business.”
Thompson is 20-20 a working group struck by Vale which has been tasked with ensuring the growth and development of the economy once the company goes to just a mining and milling operation.
Currently the members of Thompson 2020 are Mark Scott and Ryan Land from Vale, Tim Johnston with Community Futures North Central Development, Oswald Sawh from Communities Economic Development Fund (CEDF), Jackie Lagimodiere with the Province of Manitoba and Robert Allen, a designate from Service Canada.
At present, the search is on for a Project Manager as well as an Economic Development Officer for the City.
You have a project that could benefit the community, but you’re short of funds. If you’re part of a non-profit organization, the Thompson Community Foundation might be able to help. Right now they’re accepting applications for this year’s grant cycle. Local groups and projects have been awarded just over a million dollars since the foundation began operation. Grant applications must be in by February 17th with grants to be awarded in June. Projects must be completed by December 1st of this year. For more details email email@example.com. In 2016 almost 90-thousand dollars were awarded to 13 community groups in the city.
A Thompson resident will join the Lions Journey for Sight that leaves Flin Flon Wednesday morning.
Kent Korzenowski will take part in the annual fund raiser for the Lions Eye Bank of Manitoba and Northwest Ontario. Around 20 snowmobilers from across the province will leave from Flin Flon and carry on to The Pas in day one of the trip. Day two has them ending up in Swan River. On Friday the group splits up with some riders heading to the Roblin and Russell area while the rest will carry on through the Duck Mountains to finish up in Dauphin.
The snowmobilers will be joined by others from across the province as they arrive in Brandon Saturday afternoon. The Journey for Sight raised over 83 thousand dollars for the Eye Bank last year.
The Red Cross is extending funding for two extra days to help more than 85 people left homeless by an apartment fire in The Pas.
The fire broke out on the third floor of the three‑story building just before 3 a.m. last Friday.
More than 100 people were forced to leave their suites and the only known injury was to one person who broke a pelvis after leaping from a third‑floor balcony.
With only mild water damage to the first two floors, some people could be back in their suites within a week or two, but others could be out much longer, a fire official said on Friday.
The Office of the Fire Commissioner is investigating what caused the blaze.
Manitoba RCMP use naloxone kits for first time
Manitoba RCMP have used a nasal naloxone kit for the first time to save someone from an opioid overdose.
Last Friday, they responded to a call of a possible fentanyl overdose at a residence. Officers arrived and found an unconscious man with a very low pulse and severe breathing difficulties.
They administered the first dose of nasal nalaxone as they waited for an ambulance. While the victim improved, the breathing difficulties continued, and the officers administered two more doses in recommended intervals. The victim quickly stabilized and he was transported to hospital. He has since been released.
Suspected fentanyl was seized at the location.
To protect the identity of the victim, the RCMP will not be providing any specific details about the location of the incident.
If you’re 55 years old plus, Lions Manor 55 can provide a more carefree and secure environment for you as you age. Penny Byer, a member of the manor’s board describes it here.
“Lions Manor 55 is a housing cooperative for people that are 55 and older. And it’s going to be designed for what we call an ‘aging in place” concept. As you get older, maybe a little arthritis sets in, maybe you start needed a walker, maybe you need the wider doorways, the levered handles, that sort of thing. That’s all being designed into this property.”
The building will have 30 units. At this point 11 are spoken for but the board is hoping to have at least 5 more units committed to by January 31st so the project can begin this spring. Byer explains why it’s so important to get more people to step forward and commit to the project.
“One of the things that we have to satisfy with our lender is to show that there’s sufficient interest in these 30 units. And to do that we have to have these $500 deposits. We have to have more than half. We’re just under the halfway mark. Some people are interested but they’re reluctant to give that $500 deposit - even though it’s refundable - because they like to see that shovel in the ground.”
To see the plans or get more information about Lions Manor 55, contact Leanne Grenier at 677-0768 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Poor literacy skills can impact your health.
Surveys show about half of all seniors in Canada reported being in poor physical health. Further testing shows that they scored at the lowest level of reading proficiency. By not being able to understand the instructions on medications, they had a greater chance of mistakes and the need for medical interventions.
On the positive side, a 1% increase in the literacy rate would generate 18-billion dollars in economic growth per year. And investments in literacy programs have a 241 % return on investments.
Encourage literacy in your home with some fun and simple activities. Penny Brenton, the Futures and Babies’ Best Start Program Coordinator offers some ideas.
“When shopping with your children, do a Grocery Hunt. Make a list with your child and let your child or children find all the items in the store. It’s a fun way to include them in our shopping. Or spice up meal time and have kids create a menu by drawing food items or using grocery store flyers. Kids can take orders, too.”
This Saturday you’re invited to attend the Family Literacy Day event at the City Centre Mall just in front of the Wal-Mart doors. There will be a number of activities taking place that will help to promote literacy, as Brenton shares with us.
“There will be several activities to choose from but, of course, you’re welcome to do them all. There will be a bookmark making table, literacy craft and a book give away. As well, we will have stories read by guest readers promoting literacy, singing songs, and a healthy snack will all be provided free of charge. The Teddy Bear Clinic will also be happening so please make sure to bring your favorite stuffed animal so he or she can get checked out.”
Family Literacy Day is a national awareness initiative created by ABC Life Literacy Canada in 1999 and held annually on January 27th to raise awareness of the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family.
In Thompson the Family Literacy Day events run from 1 to 2:30 p.m. There’s no charge to attend.
Go for a walk and do some good for everybody’s heart. February is Heart Month in Manitoba and time for the annual door-to-door fund raising campaign for the Heart & Stroke Foundation.
Amber Meszaros, one of the Area Managers for the Heart and Stroke Foundation in Manitoba, explains here what organization does here in the province.
“One of our main goals is fund raising and the reason our main goal is fund raising is because the funds that are raised are helping us to support our researchers within the province and within the country. Without the researchers doing the research, making the medical breakthroughs and finding different medications to help peoples’ heart disease and stroke or different alternatives to some of the treatments that have been developed in the past, we wouldn’t be making the advancements that we have been making in the past several years.”
Started in 1951, the Foundation is not only an authority on heart disease and stroke, it has given over $55 million to research. That research has developed programs that in turn have cut the number of deaths from heart disease and stroke by 50 per cent.
Meszaros shares here one of the latest advancements in the treatment of strokes.
“One of the biggest advancements was something called TPA. It’s a clot busting drug that was developed. So when someone is having a stroke, you’re tested by a neurologist to see if you’re eligible for the TPA clot-busting drug. And then, if you are eligible, it’s something that definitely has save several lives.”
The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba has a number of fund raising activities throughout the year. Meszaros lists a few of them here.
“Some of our larger programs are our Big Bike Event, we have Jump Rope for Heart that takes place in the elementary schools across the province. Then our other largest fund raising event is our door-to-door residential campaign which takes place in February.”
Meszaros says that volunteers are always needed during the campaign. To volunteer for the door-to-door campaign in the Thompson area, contact Al Meston at 778-89-88.
Besides raising funds, canvassers also leave important information for residents regarding heart health and how to recognize the signs of stroke.
The Thompson Recycling Centre has continued to improve over the years. Billy Jo Thompson, manager of the centre, shares some facts and figures from last year.
“In 2016 for total, we had processed approximately 960,000 kilograms. We’re up this year about 20-thousand kilograms . So that’s great. Every year we’re just looking ot increase our numbers and that’s what we’ve been doing thanks to the community residents and the community recycling.”
Thompson says the automated sorting system has played a big part in contributing to these numbers. Almost 19-thousand kilograms of recyclable material is shipped from Thompson weekly. Some material actually generates money for the Recycling Centre as it’s considered a commodity.
Thompson shares more on how those shipments are funded.
“We’re funded through the Multi-Material Stewardship of Manitoba. So they would help us with those shipping costs to cover the shipping all the way from Northern Manitoba down to Winnipeg. Without that funding it would be very expensive. Also, we ship on back loads. Gardewine’s been wonderful and gives us a reduced price to ship our recycling.”
However, while every year the amount of recyclable material diverted from the landfill increases, there is room for improvement.
“We’re always looking at bringing our contamination levels down. Just educating the public, making them more aware of what’s recyclable and what’s not. We experience a lot of textiles - like clothing or bedding - in our recycling. It adds a lot to our contamination rates. People may think they’re putting it in the recycling bin because they’re donating it, but we don’t recycle clothing or any type of textiles, so it’s all going to the landfill.”
Check the bottom of any item you think is recyclable to see if the recycle symbol is on it. If you’re still not sure, contact the Centre at 677-7991. Get more information about the Recycling Centre by tuning in to Thompson Today at 12:40 and 5:10 this afternoon.
The Holiday Checkstop Program has officially come to an end, after four weeks of patrolling highways during the busy Christmas month.
Week Three of the program was a challenging with extreme cold weather and ice covered highways.
Thompson RCMP conducted roving check stops instead of stationary check stops, to ensure motorists’ continued safety.
The third and fourth week’s had two people charged with impaired driving, one charge of driving while texting, and several people with driving with open liquor.
Thompson RCMP would like to remind everyone to continue to drive responsibly throughout the year.
For the month of January, the City of Thompson will be picking up used Christmas Trees during regular garbage and recycling pickup.
If you would like your used tree picked up, just set it by the curb where your garbage and recycling bins will be.
The tree pickup will also include wreaths that you wish to get rid of as well. The program is for residential homes, apartments or housing units may have different rules for placing trees by their bins.
The program will run till the end of the month.
Overdose reversal kits will soon be available here in Thompson.
As of this week, those at risk of an opioid overdose will be able to access naloxone kits here in the city. With fentanyl overdoses on the rise in the province, Manitoba Health is providing communities here in the north with naloxone kits to help reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
Dr. Michael Isaac, the Medical Officer of Health for Manitoba, tells us about how the kits work.
“The kits themselves with come with 2 vials of naloxone and it will have also instructions on how to use the naloxone. There will be a syringe in there and also sterile needles as well.
Once naloxone is given, part of the training will be to do an assessment or re-evaluation of the person after they’re given the injection to see if they’ve had an improvement, especially in their breathing. That’s one of the main signs that the kit has worked.”
There will be 15 kits available in Thompson as of this week. Nurses at Thompson Public Health next to the hospital or at the Clinic in the Thompson Plaza will assess those asking for the kits and determine who’s eligible for one.
For more on the naloxone kits, listen to Thompson Today this afternoon at 12:40 and 5:10.
The Cold Weather Policy was in use for much of December as temperatures dipped to the minus thirties and even forties.
The Cold Weather Policy comes into effect when temperatures dip below minus 35 with the wind chill.
When that happens, the outdoor skating rink huts at Eastwood, Juniper and Southwood will all open up to those in need of shelter for the cold night.
There was only two nights in which the policy was activated but not utilized. Every other day brought in at least one person to one of the huts and at most six people came through the doors.
There was only one night when the Policy could have been activated but no staff was there to monitor the facility.
Operation Red Nose came to a close last weekend after the New Year’s festivities.
During a usual busy weekend for Operation Red Nose, it was not as busy in the Thompson area as 44 rides were given out and almost $750 was collected in donations.
For the whole season, Thompson was fourth in the province for donations collected as almost $7,000 was given to the organization.
Thompson also had the fourth highest volunteer rate with 185 volunteer spots taken over for the season. Those 185 volunteers created 44 teams and gave out 313 rides.
Thompson improved in every category from last year with the biggest jump in volunteers which only had 143 last year.
The busiest weekend was December 9th and 10th.
Responses from the ambulance and fire department have been on the rise this year from the year before.
Ambulance had seen a steady ascent during the 4th quarter with a 7.58% increase in September, 8.84% in October and 9.19% in November.
The use of the Fire Department has experienced a bigger jump in numbers with 15% increase in September, 15.32% in October and 15.65% in November.
None of the December numbers have been counted as of yet.
An old resolution will be brought back to the next council meeting after Councillor Duncan Wong rescinded resolution # 2016 250.
The resolution which was passed at the December 12th meeting approved the additional cost of just over $147 thousand to JR Cousin which was the project manager for Phase 4 work at the Waste Disposal Grounds.
The additional cost was paid out because of the extra excavation costs and management costs that were originally not considered in the project.
The extra costs come from the clay cut-off wall between Phase 1 and Phase 4 being twice as deep as anticipated.
Because of the rescinding, the resolution will once again be looked at the January 16th meeting, and will go through another vote.
A slow start to winter and large winds in autumn has left the snowmobile trails in the region inaccessible for the time being.
Groomer Operator Steve Grandbois says that not only is the organization waiting thick enough ice but also has to clear the trails from fallen trees from earlier this year.
Trailbreakers are asking anyone that can help to volunteer to help them remove debris from the trails so that they can open trails as soon as possible.
To get in touch with the Trailbreakers for volunteer opportunities, call 204-778-8913.
To hear more about the trails and how to volunteer for the Trailbreakers, tune in to Thompson Today at 12:40 and 5:10PM.
Thompson RCMP are asking for the public’s assistance in looking for a missing man.
Thompson RCMP received a report of a missing 67-year-old man from Thompson on December 19th. Campbell Hunter was last seen around November 10, 2016, in Thompson. He led an outdoor lifestyle, hunting and trapping in the wilderness, but did not stay out of touch for this long.
Hunter is described as indigenous; approximately 5’4” tall with a slim build. He has short black hair with grey in it and is missing his front teeth. He was last seen wearing a navy jacket, a baseball cap and big winter boots.
He is known to travel around the Gimli area.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Thompson RCMP at 204-677-6909 or call Manitoba Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.
With 2016 now in the history books, for Mayor Dennis Fenske it’s time to look forward to 2017.
When asked what the goal for the city was for the New Year, he responded by saying that he wants councilors to play a different role. He wants councilors to stick with making the bigger decisions and leaving small details to the administration.
He went on to say that this year will be a growing year for the city, as many projects have started and that this year will be spent on making sure to keep those projects on the scheduled timeline.
Finalizing the agreement for the Waste Water Treatment Plant, negotiations for the grant-in-lieu, and census numbers being announced are on the top of mind for Fenske.
The number of charges on Manitoba highways was down from last year during the holiday season.
1733 vehicles were checked across during 40 Checkstops, with 17 people being charged with impaired driving. There were 8 alcohol- or drug-related administrative roadside suspensions.
The charges were down from last year as 23 charges were laid in 2015.
8 alcohol or drug-related administrative roadside suspensions were given out.
The highest blood/alcohol was recorded by two individuals. The readings reached 3.5 times the legal limit.
There was one traffic-related fatality during the past week in Minnedosa.
Spirit Way received one of the seven grants from the Manitoba Government in part of the Star Attractions Enhancement Grant Program.
Spirit Way will receive almost 18 thousand dollars to upgrade the interpretive panels that are along the walkway.
They were one of the seven community organizations to receive a grant to help upgrade their star attraction.
The panels are placed strategically throughout the walkway to show interesting points of interest in the city of Thompson.
The upgrade project needs to be completed by the end of government’s fiscal year, which is March 31st of 2017.
The grants can only be used for 75% of the costs of the projects.
In the North, the town of Churchill was the only other organization or group who received a grant.
After a slow start for Christmas Kettles donations, the last ten days brought in a considerable amount of money for the Salvation Army to achieve a new record for donations.
Citizens of Thompson and area put $48,500 into Kettles over the holidays which smashes last year record of $42,000.
Roy Bladen from the Salvation Army said that the community put emphasis on sharing and caring as he noticed new people donating this year around.
The Salvation Army in Thompson has grown since Bladen moved up to Thompson. In 2014, the organization only collected $23,000.
The Salvation Army would like to thank all the donors over the past month.
The RCMP will be out patrolling snowmobile trails this year, when they are open.
Officers will be out looking for dangerous driving, lack of a Snopass, and even lack of clothing for travels.
Constable Sandy Deibert says that everyone should drive their snowmobile responsibly as if they were driving a car or truck.
She also says towing another vehicle behind a snowmobile is against the law except if the other vehicle is damaged or unusable.
To hear more about snowmobile safety, tune in for Thompson Today at 12:40PM and 5:10PM.
MKO Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson is welcoming the new changes brought on by the CRTC to declare broadband internet access an essential service across the country.
The aim for Canada’s telecommunications regulator is to ensure in the next 10 to 15 years that service providers will offer Internet to all households and businesses at least 50 megabits per second.
This will benefit smaller towns including isolated communities and reserves and help small businesses in remote communities.
North Wilson has been trying to push governments to help isolated communities and the people who live there feel connected to the world.
With the snowmobile trails getting ready, Snowmobilers of Manitoba wants to remind you to get your Snopass.
The Snopass is an orange license place that goes on the back of the vehicle that lets you on the trails in Manitoba and select areas in Saskatchewan, says Executive Director Yvonne Rideout.
A Snopass can be bought at any MPI office for $150. There is a fine if a conservation officer or RCMP officer is out patrolling the trails and sees no plate on the vehicle.
Also, Snowmobilers of Manitoba are offering one weekend though that won’t need the passes. February 18th to the 20th will allow anyone to try the trails in hope to get more snowmobilers in the future.
The ownership of the Port of Churchill and Hudson Bay rail line is about to change.
The process has begun to transfer the assets from OmniTrax Canada to a group of northern Manitoba First Nations, known as the Missinippi Rail Consortium.
A memorandum of understanding has been signed by the consortium and OmniTrax, which enables the new owners to negotiate with vendors ahead of the 2017 grain season, although the federal government must still approve the sale.
OmniTrax said in a statement, the sale of the rail line and port will promote economic development for northern Manitoban First Nations and guarantee the preservation of those assets for all of the communities serviced along the railway.
OmniTrax announced in July that the port was closing, about one in 10 Churchill residents worked at the port.
The last day to sign up to be a volunteer for Operation Red Nose is today before the last weekend of rides.
The last day to sign up is to make sure that you can a criminal record check from the RCMP. The criminal record check is mandatory to volunteer.
It’ll be the last on the roads for Operation Red nose when they are out for the 30th and New Year’s Eve.
New Year’s Eve is the busiest time for organization.
To pick up a volunteer form, come by the office of CHTM at 103 Cree Road or at the RCMP office.
The Salvation Army’s goal to $44 thousand is reachable once again after a week filled with donations.
Salvation Army’s Roy Bladen said that last week getting to the goal just wasn’t feasible, but after an “amazing” week, the organization is at $34,000.
Part of the gain was last Saturday’s kettles at Wal-Mart, which the store matched to achieve $1200 in donations.
Tomorrow will be the last day for donations to the Christmas Kettles and they can be found all over the city.
It is important to leave your house in a safe state when you leave for the holidays.
Director of Fire and Public Safety John Maskerine says the best thing to do is make it look like someone is in the house by leaving a couple lights on at all times.
He also says if you’re worried of water lines freezing, you should leave a little bit of a leak from the taps to keep water moving.
Maskerine continues to say that you should notify your neighbours that you will be gone for extra security.
You can also let the RCMP know of your absence, as they may keep an eye out for the area where you live.
The Community Christmas Dinner will run on Christmas Day at St. Joseph’s Hall and donations can still be delivered for the Dinner.
Christmas oranges, fresh fruit, stuffing, small toys, stickers, pencils, candy canes, nut free chocolate and monetary donations for any last minute costs are all welcome.
The aim is to reach out to the whole community and in particular the Homeless or those that aren't able to do their own Holiday feast. The dinner starts at 12PM.
If you are interested in donating you can take the donations to the Thompson Public library or reach Harlie Pruder at 204-939-0831.
It seems like year after year the winter roads are ready later and later, and this year will be no exception.
Manitoba Infrastructure says that contractors and department staff are prepared to get to work on the roads, which are 7-10 days behind schedule. Normal opening dates are around mid-January.
The recent cold snap has helped out after the warm autumn season caused the delays. Sustained cold weather will help with the schedule.
When the winter roads open, they will be open for approximately eight weeks. 2,200 kilometres of winter roads will be managed by Manitoba Infrastructure.
Operation Red Nose has two more weekends left and Thompson’s teams are on pace to break 2015 totals this upcoming weekend.
139 volunteers have been part of the season this year, only four less of last year’s total. 32 Teams have been put together; while last year’s total was 36.
This year only trails last year by almost $550 in donations. Thompson sits in fourth in the province with donations raised with just a little more than $5600 raised.
Operation Red Nose will only be out on the Friday as Saturday is Christmas Eve.
To volunteer, you can get an application sheet at CHTM at 103 Cree Road or at the RCMP office. The last day to sign up is the 28th. To call Operation Red Nose for a ride, call 778-8111.
The head of northern Manitoba chiefs says it's time an airline apologizes to travelers after weeks of delays and cancelled flights.
North Wilson said that Perimeter Aviation said it was the airline's errors, not weather, that contributed to the delays and cancellations.
MKO Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson met with representatives of Perimeter Aviation on Monday.
In just one community in November, 112 people either missed their medical appointments or had them cancelled because of the airline.
Last month the airline apologized to customers after “weather cancellations” caused a backlog.
North Wilson added she'll continue to meet with the airline.
The Fur Tables had a better showing than expected but still had a lower than average turnout than other years.
Due to the mild winter and the cancellations of flights this season, only 99 trappers came to Thompson for the Fur Tables.
Organizer Lane Boles says it was more than he expected but that it was still down from most years but overall says the event was a success.
$166,928 was exchanged during the two day event.
Boles said that another positive from the event was that 200 children from schools across the city came down to learn about the Fur Tables.
Thompson RCMP stopped approximately 100 vehicles last week in part of their Holiday Checkstop Program.
19 tickets were handed out while there was only Impaired Driving Charge this time around.
Among the issued tickets, failing to stop at a stop sign continues to be the most frequent offence. There were two tickets issued for having open liquor in the vehicle.
Thompson RCMP want to remind drivers that as it is dark early in the evening, to ensure that all of your vehicle lights are on when driving. This week coming up will see sunset at 4PM or earlier. Please take the time to ensure that your vehicle lights are in fact on and working properly.
A 53-year old man died on Saturday evening after being struck by a pickup truck on Provincial Road 280 18 kilometres west of Split Lake.
Thompson RCMP said the man was walking in the middle of the gravel highway at night when he was struck.
The 55-year old woman who was driving the pickup truck and her passengers weren’t injured in the collision. RCMP noted the driver was sober.
The RCMP’s forensic collision reconstruction team and the criminal crash investigate team are assisting the investigation.
Citizens on Patrol Program will be making its way back to Thompson after a couple year hiatus.
The program kicked off last weekend and the volunteers will be doing shifts during the evening. At the moment, the group has eight volunteers. To volunteer, you will need to have a criminal record check, which is paid by the COPP.
COPP coordinator Wail Mohammad explains why he decided to resurrect the program after finding out the program left Thompson a few years ago.
He also says that the COPP are quite different than the Community Safety Officers, as the COPP are just volunteers.
To hear more about the COPP, tune in to Thompson Today at 12:40 or 5:10PM.
One of the last Christmas concerts will be taking place tomorrow at the Letkemann Theatre.
The Old-Fashioned Christmas Concert will be front and centre on the stage.
The concert will feature singing, dancing, the Thompson Community band and even a special guest at the end of the night.
The concert starts at 6:30PM; it’s free with just donations for a charity encouraged. This will be the 8th annual Christmas Concert.
For more information, call Donna at 939-1576.
The Thompson Community Choir is looking for a revival, as one citizen is on her way to making it a reality.
Creator Delsie Jack has rounded up 15 participants so far to start up the choir once again, after it ended many years ago.
Jack says she already has a goal to perform for some of Thompson’s citizens, looking to do a show at the Spirit Manor.
Jack says she is now looking for a director that has education with prior choirs to teach the group.
The choir will look to have a practice once a week. To hear more about the Community Choir, tune in for Thompson Today at 12:40 and 5:10PM.
Members of the Nisichawayasihk Personal Care Home – Local 367 voted to ratify a new two-year collective agreement with the employer Friday.
The new collective agreement includes a ten percent wage increase in the first year of the agreement and a three percent wage increase in the second year.
MGEU President Michelle Gawronsky says she is proud of the members for standing up for what they believe in.
Gawronsky says she is just disappointed by the Federal Government who failed to give the band of Nisichawayasihk more funding.
She says that it is disappointing to see the Federal Government step away from their promises to give more resources to reserves.
Gawronsky says they are halfway to addressing the inequity in pay for Nelson House health care support workers.
With the new agreement ratified, members will be back on the job. During the strike, members only worked the minimum requirements.
World Vision Canada is urging you to join others in Manitoba in giving a gift from their gift catalogue. The Regional Rep for Manitoba Chris Schroeder says gifts can range from livestock to clean water to school and medical supplies for families in developing countries.
He says he has visited a community that received six goats from Canadians who responded to their gift catalogue and those six goats became twelve becoming twenty-four supporting more families. He says that the gifts can make some families self sustaining. Last year 23 hundred people in Manitoba gave more that 421 thousand dollars worth of gifts from their catalogue with 33 of those in the northern region giving more than 9,500 dollars. You can learn more at www.worldvision.ca/gifts.
The Community Christmas Dinner will be taking place on Christmas Day at St. Joseph’s Hall.
The aim is to reach out to the whole community and in particular the Homeless or those that aren't able to do their own Holiday feast for whatever reason.
Organizer Harlie Pruder says that just because it’s named Christmas Dinner, doesn’t mean it’ll just be limited to people who celebrate Christmas.
The Dinner starts at 12PM and goes till 3PM.
To hear more about the Community Christmas Dinner, tune in to Thompson Today at 12:40 and 5:10PM.
The City of Thompson and Vale representatives got together to officially sign the transaction agreement to transfer ownership of the Water Treatment Plant from Vale to the City.
Planning for the eventual transfer began in 2013, with more detailed discussions taking place over the past two years that included the signing of a letter of intent in April 2015.
Mayor Dennis Fenske says the water will be maintained by city employees.
Vice President Mark Scott says there is still a lot more work to do for the transition.
In 2018, the City will take ownership and operate the plant, with a 50-50 cost share. Full pro-rate cost sharing will be achieved in 2019.
Operation Red Nose wrapped up their third weekend, and the group once again continued to give out more rides.
89 rides were given out in two nights, with a season high of 55 rides on Saturday alone. Saturday broke other records for the season with six teams and 25 volunteers and donations around $1300.
Thompson falls third in the province behind Portage and Winnipeg in donations received. Almost $6200 has been collected during the Christmas season.
To call Operation Red Nose for a ride, call 778-8111. To volunteer, you can get an application sheet at CHTM at 103 Cree Road or at the RCMP office.
The City of Thompson is considering submitting a bid for the 2020 Manitoba Summer Games.
A letter was sent to Recreation committee which showed interest of Thompson bidding for the Games. A Question and answer phone conference is scheduled on February 8th. The committee will go through the first part of the process before committing on the bid process.
The 2016 Summer Games took place in Steinbach this past year, while the next scheduled Games will be in Virden in 2018.
The last time the Manitoba Games have come to Northern Manitoba was in 2002, when it was hosted by The Pas and OCN.
MKO chiefs and community representation from across Northern Manitoba went to the RCMP headquarters to discuss policing in Northern Manitoba.
Forum attendees met with investigators from Project Devote, received an update on the status of Fentanyl within the province and engaged with the Centre for Child Protection on Community Safety Plans.
MKO Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson said that the forum was an important step forward to improving communication, working towards safer communities and enhanced relationships between the first nations and the RCMP.
Assistant Commissioner Scott Kolody said that the forum was an important opportunity for the groups to discuss issues that are impacting First Nations communities.
This was a full day event which included a significant amount of time dedicated to open discussions about policing in northern First Nation communities.
The Wakefyre, Snatch Marauders and Army of the Sun concerts at the Army Navy last weekend raised $400for the Community Christmas Dinner.
Organizer Harlie Pruder says the money will go towards the care packages that she will be giving out at the dinner.
She is hoping the packages will include mitts, hats, Kleenex, candies and possibly gift cards. The packages will have nice but practical things.
The dinner’s goal is to reach out to the whole community and in particular the Homeless or those that aren't able to do their own Holiday feast on Christmas.
The RCMP were quite busy during their Holiday Checkstop Program, with it getting closer to Christmas.
In its second week of the program, Thompson RCMP stopped 250 vehicles, with only 60 of those vehicles receiving common offence notices, otherwise known as tickets.
Failing to wear a seatbelt and having open liquor in the vehicle were issued to a few drivers, while failing to stop at stop signs were the majority of the offences committed.
Three drivers were stopped and charged for Impaired Operation of a Motor Vehicle.
The Thompson RCMP would like to remind motorists that failing to stop at a stop sign could cause a collision, hit a pedestrian or cause more significant damage.
Council resolved that Mayor Dennis Fenske has been given the go ahead to attend a Mayor’s Forum in Pesco, Peru in January 2017.
The Mayor’s Forum is the second annual put on by the CISAL program. The main objective of the Forum is to advance knowledge about the role of local governments in maximizing and mitigating impacts of mining in communities.
The trip will be completely paid for by the CISAL Program, and the only cost will be out of the mayor’s vacation time.
The trip will take place between January 31st and February 3rd of next year.
MP for Churchill-Keewatinook-Aski Niki Ashton is urging the federal government to nationalize the port of Churchill, Man., which has been closed since last summer.
Ashton says the port is a strategic asset that shouldn't be at the mercy of a private American corporation.
This comes off the decision last summer by Denver-based Omnitrax not to open the seasonal port this year.
Ashton says the solution would be for the federal government to take back the facility and establish a port authority to run it. Omnitrax has been in talks to sell the port and railway, although no deal has materialized.
The government had announced $4.6 million from Western Economic Diversification Canada for development in the Churchill region earlier this year.
The City is using the Winter Weather Policy once again this year to make sure everyone has a safe place to call home for a night when temperatures dip.
The Winter Weather Policy takes affect when temperatures go to minus 35 and below with the wind chill. When that happens, the outdoor skating rink huts at Eastwood, Juniper and Southwood will all open up to those in need of shelter for the cold night.
The CMHA is the group that volunteers their time to keep the huts in good conditions for the night.
The Thompson Fur Tables will be taking place this weekend at St. Joseph’s Hall as Fur Traders from across Northern Manitoba will make the trip to the city.
Lane Boles, from the Manitoba Trappers Association says that participants will do a lot of shopping in Thompson over the weekend and even come back to businesses in other times of the year. The Fur Tables have helped businesses and helped grow the economy in Thompson.
The two day event, which takes place on Friday and Saturday, has up to 5 licensed fur dealers gather annually in one hall and inspect each trapper’s lot of fur. Each dealer provides a quote for the lot and the trapper selects the best price. In this way the trapper benefits from the on-sit4e competitive demand for their furs.
Everyone is invited to come down, as there are draws and games for family and tutorials about trapping throughout the two day event.