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Story Time at the Thompson Public Library runs Thursdays and Saturdays at 10:30. Drop in for stories and a craft.
Pet Loss Support Group meets last Thurs. of every month 7 to 8:30 pm. Held at Thompson Veterinary Clinic, 40 Station Rd.
Steps to Success offers Keyboarding every Friday from 9 am - 4 pm. For info or to register call 677-5016.
Rummage Sale @ the St. Lawrence Hall on April 27th & April 28th
Thompson Health Auxiliary is looking for volunteers to help with the Hospital Gift Shop. Call 677-2717 for more info.
Juniper School will be hosting the 'WE walk for Water' on April 27. Walk starts at Juniper School at 1pm.
29th Annual CHTM Trade Show is May 4 - 6th at the TRCC. Call 778-7361 or email for a registration package.
Learn Job Search Skills with Steps to Success from 12:10- 12:50pm Monday to Friday @ the YWCA. These drop in classes are free. For info, call 204-677-5016.
The Thompson Local News

Pride North of 55 To Hold AGM On Saturday

Pride North of 55 will be holding their first ever annual general meeting this weekend.


Harlie Pruder, the chairperson of the group, spoke to Arctic Radio news and said that up until this year they were under the umbrella of Winnipeg Pride meaning that they didn't have to hold their own meeting. She added that now that they are their own, independent non-profit organization the meeting is required.


Pruder said that at the meeting, they will be reviewing the past year and looking at what they'd like to do this year. She added that they are looking to recruit new members to the group to get new ideas and new energy.


The meeting is scheduled for Saturday at the Thompson Public Library, starting at 1:30pm. Pruder said that everyone is welcome to attend the meeting even if they only come to get more information on the group.


According to Pruder, Pride North of 55 participates in various community events throughout the year making sure their presence is known. They also host the annual Pride Week here in Thompson, which includes a mini family festival and a flag raising at City Hall.


More information on the AGM, or on the group itself, can be found by visiting their Facebook Page.



Northern Juried Art Show Cancelled

The 42nd Northern Juried Art Show has been cancelled due to a lack of participation.


Leigh Hall, the president of the show's organization committee, said that the decision was difficult, but one that the committee was forced to make as holding the show this year is not viable. She said that there has been a decline in participants over the last few years, and that even though they extended the submission deadline a minimum number was not reached.


Hall added that the committee can "only hope that next year it can continue with renewed interest of the artists north of the 53rd" and that they will endeavor to work towards next year.


The committee said that all artwork and fees that were submitted will be returned promptly to the artists that did submit work and they can pick up their work at the artists' earliest convenience.


All donations to the show, either monetary or in kind, will be given back with thanks.


The show was scheduled to take place from May 18th through the 20th at the Thompson Regional Community Centre.



Province Launches Program To Help Manitoba Museums

Museums and archives across the province can now access funds from the new Manitoba Heritage Trust Program through a dollar matching system. 


Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Cathy Cox said that the new program will help heritage organizations build their own individual endowment funds to assist in their long term sustainability. She added that many museums serve as important icons and unique tourist destinations throughout Manitoba, and that the government wants to see those organizations thrive.


To participate, eligible organizations will be required to contribute a minimum of $2,500 to an established heritage trust. Working in partnership with the Winnipeg Foundation and other local community foundations, the province will then provide $1 for every $2 raised towards the organization’s fund. 


The province says they will guarantee support up to $25,000 to organizations that raise $50,000. There is a combined total of $5M available, which will be administered over the next three years.


Jeff Wharton, MLA for Gimli and Minister of Municipal Relations, said that small community museums and heritage organizations already face a number of challenges such as a small donor base. He added that program ensures all areas of the province will have access to provincial support, and that by partnering together museums and archives can continue to preserve local history while offering education opportunities.


Rick Frost, the CEO of the Winnipeg Foundation, said that "this is an exciting initiative for all of Manitoba. Working in close collaboration with the Manitoba community foundations, we look forward to building long-term support for these important provincial heritage organizations".


The Winnipeg Foundation will be holding an introductory information session for those organizations eligible for the program tomorrow at the Viscount Gort Hotel in Winnipeg.


There are over 200 museums and archives in Manitoba, with over 75% located in rural areas. More information on the program, including how to apply, can be found at the Endow Manitoba website.



Nine Students Participating In RCMP Foundation's "Kids, Cops and Computers" Program

Nine students here in Thompson have the chance to walk away with a new laptop to call their own at the end of the current school year, provided they complete the program they were selected to participate in.


The students, all of whom are currently in Grade Seven at Juniper School, were selected to take part in the RCMP Foundation’s “Kids, Cops and Computers” program. Those participating were chosen based on different criteria, including good citizenship and limited access to personal technology outside the classroom.


The students will meet with RCMP Constable Sandy Deibert at lunch once a week to talk about a wide range of topics. The things they will discuss include the Crime Stoppers program, the daily life of a police officer, thinking before hitting the “send button”, self-esteem, cyber bullying and staying safe online.


Constable Deibert said that if you provide students with the tools to succeed early in life, it can help build a positive relationship with police and help prevent criminal activity in the future.


Juniper principal Lucy Mayor, Constable Deibert and the students in the program will present what they’ve been doing, and learned, at a school board meeting before the end of the school year.



Niki Ashton, Federal NDP Advocate For Postal Banking In Canada

The Federal NDP has put forward a proposal to the Trudeau government, asking for a special committee to look at postal banking.


Niki Ashton is among those advocating for postal banking. She said that thousands of Canadians, including those in the Nor-Man region, don’t have access to regular banking services and that postal banking would allow for local service.


Ashton said that postal banking is a sustainable solution that would "offer services to Canadians across the country where banking services currently aren’t available and to those who can’t afford or chose not to use corporate banks."


She added that having banking services in post offices is something that has been proven successful in places around the world such as Switzerland, France, New Zealand and Italy.


According to our Member of Parliament, support for postal banking in Canada is widespread with small communities, poverty organizations and unions.


Niki Ashton said that postal banking is sustainable, profitable, equitable, and can provide service where the big banks have abandoned people.


Two Riverside Students Among NorMan Contingent Heading To 2018 National Science Fair

Three students from northern Manitoba will be heading to Carleton University in Ottawa next month for the Canada Wide Science Fair.


The Northern Manitoba Regional Science Fair took place here in Thompson at Ecole Riverside School last weekend, with students from grades four through eight competing in different categories. The categories included life, health, physical and environmental as well as computer, math and engineering. There was also a category for general projects.


Jarek Osika from Flin Flon, as well as Samara Green and Anaya Permanad from Ecole Riverside School, will be headed to the Canada Wide Science Fair to represent our region after their projects were named as this year’s best.


Osika's project, which was given gold in the grade seven and eight physical and environmental category, was titled "Exploring 1420 MHz". The project was set up to try and determine which shape of antenna worked best for communication. According to his results, a horn shaped antenna is more useful than a dish shaped antenna.


Green and Permanand worked together on their project, which attempted to determine how music affects the overall heart and blood pressure of a person. They were presented with gold in the grade seven and eight health category.


Below is the complete list of the top projects from this years' regional science fair:


Grade Four

Gold: Reese Beavis and Mackenna Steeves (General), David and Michael Hynes (Life)

Silver: Soliman El-Rennawi (Life), Paige Morin and Ava Halcrow (General), Hallie Eveleigh (General), Tieryn Fisher (General)

Bronze: Michelle Coleman and Kayla Bergeron (General), Max McRae and Conner Garson (General), Payton Kerfort (General), Mercedes Rowe (General), Brooke Merton (Life)


Grade Five

Gold: Adrianna Ouelette (General), Kaitlyn Krentz (Life)

Silver: Claire Hall (General), Nolan Merton (Life), Cashton Harmer (General)

Bronze: Davian Law (General), Egypt Cook (Life)


Grade Six

Gold: Harshan Sidhu and Malay Desai (General), Addie Neill (Life)

Silver: Kenneth Morris (General), Shayla McLellan-Boychuck and Chelsey Andrews (Life), Allie Thevenot (Life)

Bronze: Keerat Kaur Rai (General)


Grade Seven/Eight

Gold: Tori May (Life), Samara Green and Anaya Permanand (Health), Jarek Osika (Physical and Environment), Cooper Easthman (Computer, Math and Engineering)

Silver: Taylor Dundas and Cole Ledoux (Physical and Environment), Omran El-Rennewi (Life), MacKenzi Schwartz (Life), Madison Evenson-Bonnefoy and Hannah Kraychuk (Health), Luan Gouws (Computer, Math and Engineering)

Bronze: Ethan Portey and Madexx Long (Physical and Environment), Brazil Hasan (Life), Summer Korte (Life), Jazleen Kaur and Kirandeep Sawna (Life), Morgan Markham (Health, Computer, Math and Engineering)


Best Overall General Science (Grades 4-6)

Adrianna Ouelette


Best Overal Life Science (Grades 4-6)

Addie Neill


Best Overall Science (Grades 4-6)

Addie Neill


Best Overall Science (Grades 7-8)

Jarek Osika


Best In Fair

Jarek Osika



Photo courtesy of Kyle Darbyson, Thompson Citizen



Public Utilities Board Approves 2018 Water Rates

The 2018 water rates for the City of Thompson have been approved by the Public Utilities Board.


The new rates were approved on an interim basis near the start of the year, with the interim tag being removed by the PUB last week.


The board held a public hearing in January, where four people either gave a presentation or submitted a written letter hoping to convince them not to raise the rates.


There was also a petition submitted to the Public Utilities Board with 154 signatures, saying that they have concerns about the new rates being unaffordable.


The new rates represent around a 15% increase from last year.


Below is a table with the 2018 rates


LIGA Committee meeting Scheduled For Tomorrow

The Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee, which is chaired by Deputy Mayor Colleen Smook, will meet tomorrow afternoon.


The committee will be discussing and forming the agenda for the next regular meeting of Thompson City Council, which is scheduled for Monday at 7:00pm.


They will look at an invitation from the Association of Manitoba Municipalities to attend a workshop on asset management training, which is scheduled to take place here in Thompson on May 11th.


The agenda for the meeting also includes information on a Travel Manitoba branding session, which is set to take place on April 24th, as well as information from the Province on the recently announce 780 new child care spaces across the province.


The full agenda can be found here.


The meeting will start at 3:45pm tomorrow afternoon. The public is welcome to attend.


If you'd like more information on this or anythign else going on at City Hall, you can call 204-677-7910.


Boys & Girls Club Of Thompson Recieve Help For Wheelchair Access Project

The Boys & Girls Club of Thompson has gotten a little help when it comes to paying for their wheelchair accessibility project thanks to the Thompson Community Foundation.


The Community Foundation announced that the Boys & Girls Club was the recipient of $3,000 from the Moffat Family Fund at their 2017 Annual General Meeting, which took place last June. The funds were presented last week at the club by Paula Yanko (Grant Chair), Brenda Laycock (Treasurer) and Dave Moore.


The money will be used to cover part of the cost the Club will incur for railing and signage for the wheel accessibility project.


The Thompson Community Foundation announced $97,949.30 in grant money at their AGM last summer. Other recipients included Wapanohk Community School, Spirit Way, the Juniper Centre and the Northern Regional Health Authority.


There has been over $1M given out by the Community Foundation to local causes here in Thompson since the organization formed. The money given out by the Foundation comes from interest earned, which allows the grants given to grow every year.



Tension Rose As Council Debated Paying Bills

Tensions continued to rise in Council Chambers at City Hall last week, when Council debated two resolutions which stemmed from a water break in the Station Road area last October.


The resolutions were to approve payments to two companies, Water X and Eric’s Plumbing and Heating, with a total cost of $57,218.75.


Mayor Dennis Fenkse spoke to Arctic Radio News to clarify what happened, and why the City is on the hook to pay. He explained that the City, after conducting tests, original thought the water break was with the service line to Water X which made it their responsibility to fix. Water X then hired a contractor, Eric's Plumbing, to conduct the repairs.


While they (Eric's Plumbing) were working, it was discovered that it was in fact the water main that was the issue and not the service line. Since the water main is the responsibility of the City, Mayor Fenske said they (the City of Thompson) accepted responsibility, and told the contractor to continue with the repairs and provide the City with the bill.


Councillors Duncan Wong and Ron Matechuk led the charge against the first resolution, which was to cover the $23,931.80 that Water X paid for the work before the real cause of the break was discovered.


Both Councillors Wong and Matechuk questioned the competency of and the process followed by City staff. Both councillors said there was a lack of information. That claim was refuted by both Mayor Fenske and City administration, who said that everything to do with the resolutions was reviewed in detail by all of council two weeks prior to the meeting.


Councillor Penny Byer, who joined the meeting on the phone from Brandon, said that Council needs to focus on whether or not they’ll pay their bills, as the repairs have already taken place at the request of the City. Those thoughts were later echoed by Councillors Valentino and Ellis, as well as Deputy Mayor Smook.


Councillors Matechuk and Kolada, who voted against the resolution to pay Water X, voted in favour of paying Eric’s Plumbing and Heating. Councillor Kolada said that in this case she supports the resolution to pay the billed $33,286.94 as they were hired by the City.



RD Parker Collegiate Wants Your Old Phones

If you have old, damaged or unwanted cell phones, PDAs or pagers taking up space at home, local high school students want to take them off your hands.


The R.D. Parker Collegiate science department is collection old handheld electronic communications devices this month as part of the Recycle my Cell "Earth Month Challenge.” Devices can be dropped off at the front office of R.D.P.C. anytime until the end of the month.


Recycle My Cell, the group running the challenge, will give the school in each province that collects the most phones a prize of $500. All schools that collect the minimum, 20 phones, will be awarded $1 per phone collected. The maximum one school can received (combined) is $1,000.


According to the official rules of the challenge, they will accept all old, damaged and out-of-use cell phones, smartphones, wireless PDAs and pagers. They added that they will also accept rechargeable cell phone batteries and accessories, but these will not count towards the challenge. They say that they will nto accept cordless phones, walkie-talkies, non-wireless PDAs, MP3 players, any battery not commonly found in a cell phone, laptop computers or answering machines.


The complete set of rules can be found here on the official website.


Recycle My Cell is Canada's national recycling program for mobile devices and accessories. They have multiple year round drop-off locations here in Thompson, including the BellMTS store in The Plaza and The Source in the City Centre Mall. They also offer a pre-paid shipping label on their website if there is not a convenient drop-off location where you live.




Local Food Bank Running Low On Supplies

The local food bank is running low on food.


The food bank, which is operated by the Salvation Army, supports 52 families in our community, including over 200 children.


Roy Bladen, the Ministry Director for the Salvation Army in Thompson, spoke to Arctic Radio News and said that they are looking to the public for help, specifically asking for donations of canned fish and canned corn.


You can drop of non-perishable food donations at the Salvation Army Thrift Store in the Westwood Mall, Safeway, or make arrangements by calling Bladen at 204-307-2193. Monetary donations are also welcomed, as it allows the food bank to purchase food that might not be donated.



City To Elevate Discussion On Increased Truck Traffic On Highway 6 Following Humboldt

At the last regular meeting, Thompson City Council had a brief discussion on the increased truck traffic along highway six over the past year, which is a result of the ongoing OmniTrax situation.


The discussion stemmed from a letter Council received from Marc Garneau, the Federal Minitser of Transportation.


Councillor Kathy Valentino spoke on the topic, saying that in the wake of the Humboldt Broncos incident, the issue of increased trucks on the highway needs to be elevated. She said that it did not matter whether or not the collision in Saskatchewan had anything to do with OmniTrax, and that one collision on a highway is one too many.


Councillor Ron Matechuk shot back a response quickly at Councillor Valentino, saying that he thinks there should be more traffic. He said "I disagree with that (Councillor Valentino's remarks) totally. If we expect to get somewhere economically in this area we better have more traffic on the roads. That's what it's all about."


Speaking on City Beat later in the week, Mayor Dennis Fenske said that the City will be elevating their lobbying efforts on the issue.


He said that even though Thompson should continue to be a transportation hub for the region, this is an issue of safety that needs to be addressed.


Photo courtesy of Thompson Citizen, Kyle Darbyson.



Thompson Rural RCMP Investigation Collision On Provincial Road 280 South Of Split Lake

Thompson Rural RCMP are investigating following a collision south of Split Lake on Provincial Road 280 earlier this week.


A minivan with several people aboard crossed over the center line and collided with a grader travelling in the opposite direction.


The occupants of the van sustained non-life threatening injuries and were transported to hospital, while the operator of the grader was not injured.


The van was driven at the time by a 33-year-old man from Gatineau, Quebec.


The Mounties have said that alcohol was not a factor and that seatbelts were used.


The red pin on the map below indicates approximately where the collision took place.



USW 6166 Makes Donation To Deerwood School Music Program

Choral risers for the Deerwood School music program are a step closer to reality, thanks to United Steelworkers Local 6166.


A $250 cheque was presented to the school by steelworkers president Les Ellsworth, who will be stepping down later this year.


Peter Frigo, a music teacher at Deerwood School, said that the risers will give their choir members a chance to shine.


He added that it will help their sound project further, which would reduce the need for microphones.


The school still has around $4000 to go before they can purchase the risers, but are putting in applications to places like the Thompson Community Foundation in hopes of getting more local support.


Photo courtesy of Thompson Citizen, Kyle Darbyson.


Northern Juried Art Show Deadline Is Sunday

The deadline is Sunday for those wanting to submit work for the 2018 Northern Juried Art Show.


The original deadline was April 1st, but chairperson Leigh Hall said that they extended it in hopes of having a more successful show.


The artwork will be publicly displayed at the Thompson Regional Community Centre from May 18th through the 20th. The show has taken place in Thompson 10 times previously, with the last time being in 2014. Flin Flon hosted last year.


More information can be found by emailing Hall at


The drop-off date for art is one week today, April 20th.


Photo is from last years' art show in Flin Flon. Photo courtesy of Thompson Citizen, Jan Hall.


Councillor Kolada Delivers Public Safety Report

A report was delivered at Monday night’s City Council meeting by Councillor Judy Kolada, the chair of the City’s Public Safety Committee.


The report, which was for the period of January through March 2018, included information on the City’s cold weather policy, by-law and enforcement, as well as safe operations.


The report states that stats in 2017 for the Community Safety Officers decreased due to the fact they were not on the streets from May 24th until the end of June 2017.


When it comes to the City's cold weather policy, it was enacted 41 times this winter, with a total of 153 people using the facilities. Of those 153, 118 were male and 53 were female. There was no data from last winter provided, though data was provided for 2013/2014, 2014/2015 and 2015/2016.


Councillor Kolada added that city administration is currently looking at changing the building and property standards by-law, as it does not give the by-law inspector the power to issue a common offence notice when a business or residence is not in compliance with property maintenance.


The full report can be found here.



MADD Canada Brings Presentation To Schools In Thompson

Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada will be bringing a school assembly program to Thompson starting tomorrow.


The program includes a fictional story, as well as real-life examples, of the potentially devastating impacts of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.


The fictional story, titled The Pact, tells the story of Zoe who struggles to fit in at a new school and ends up in a car with someone who had been smoking marijuana.


The story will be accompanied by the real-life stories of three people; Carol Grimmond, Craig Watson and Maia Vezina. Gimmond lost her mother in an accident caused by impaired driving, Watson lost his life, and Vezina was seriously injured.


The presentation tomorrow will be at both Burntwood and Juniper schools, at Riverside on Monday, and Deerwood on Tuesday.


#JerseysForHumboldt Tomorrow

Tomorrow is jersey day across the country.


Everyone is encouraged to wear a sports jersey, or the colours green and gold, to show support for Humboldt.


The event started out as an idea from a group of self-described hockey moms in British Columbia, with the purpose of showing support for everyone affected by the collision.


The group is encouraging everyone to take a picture of yourself with the jersey on, and post it to social media using #JerseysForHumboldt.


Other ways that people have shown support since the crash on Friday evening include leaving their hockey sticks outside their door, which started when a Manitoba-based sports caster posted a picture on social media.


The Go Fund Me page, which is now the third highest campaign ever on the site, has surpassed $8M.



Library To Host Dental Presentation For Kids This Saturday

The Thompson Public Library will be hosting a dental presentation for kids this Saturday to wrap up dental hygiene week.


The event, which is set to run from 2:00pm until 4:00pm, will include learning about tooth-healthy food and cavities, as well as crafts, a colouring contest, a dental story time, learning how to brush and floss and give-aways. The presentation is for children eight and under and will be given by Dr. Gill and Amy.


There a maximum of 40 kids, and registration is required. You can register your child by calling the library at 204-677-3717 or by contacting the library on Facebook.



RCMP Arrest Two Youth Following Weapons Complaint

Two young people have been charged with possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and carrying a concealed weapon.


Thompson RCMP responded to a weapons complaint Tuesday, where it was reported that two youth were in possession of a handgun. Officers responded, and placed both under arrest. An air pistol was located in the waistband of one of the youth, and further investigation determined that both had been in possession. Both have been released.


Constable Sandy Deibert, from the Thompson RCMP detachment, spoke to Arctic Radio News and said "Everyone needs to be aware that BB guns are considered to be firearms under the Criminal Code if they are used in a criminal or negligent manner. If used improperly, the RCMP will lay charges. More importantly, it is very difficult for our officers to distinguish between a real or fake firearm, which could lead to a dangerous situation. We urge everyone to use and store all firearms, including BB guns in a safe and secure manner"


She added that officers will treat any incident of a weapon as a real weapon until proven otherwise.


Below is a picture of the gun that was seized by police.



Thompson RCMP Charge Four With Impaired Driving Over Weekend

Three men and one woman are facing charges of impaired driving following what was a busy weekend on the roads for the Thompson RCMP detachment. 


The first charge was laid on Friday evening, when a vehicle was pulled over by officers for speeding. The 20-year-old failed the roadside screening test, and blew twice the legal limit. The car was impounded and the driver will appear in Provincial Court in May.


A vehicle was stopped by Mounties Saturday evening after witnessing a near collision. The 37-year-old driver blew twice the legal limit when given the roadside test, and will appear in Provincial Court in June.


Later that night, Thompson RCMP responded to a report of an intoxicated 23-year-old male who had stolen a vehicle. Officers were able to locate the vehicle, and the suspect was arrested for operating a motor vehicle while impaired after blowing over twice the legal limit. Like the 37-year-old, he will appear in court in June.


The final impaired driving charge of the weekend came in the early hours of Sunday morning. RCMP officers had determined that the driver, who was pulled over at a traffic stop, had been consuming liquor. The 22-year-old was arrested at the scene after she blew twice the legal limit when the roadside screening test was administered. The driver will appear in Provincial Court next month.



Warren Luky Chosen As Next USW 6166 President

Members of United Steelworkers Local 6166 have chosen who they want to replace outgoing President Les Ellsworth and outgoing Vice-President Gord Medwid.


Polls were open at the Steel Centre from 8:30am to 8:30pm yesterday, in addition to the advanced polls on April 5th and 6th.


Warren Luky has been chosen to take over the mantle of Union President, while Tony Colborne will take over as Vice-President. Luky was chosen over James Crawley, while Colbourne beat out former City Councillor Luke Robinson.


Election results:

President: Warren Luky

Vice-President: Tony Colbourne

Recording Secretary: Travis Hart *

Treasurer: Baltazar Flores

Financial Secretary: Sheila Thompson *

Trustee: Jim MacIntyre, Randy Wischenewski, Todd Burnside

Inside Guard: Michelle Tomashewski

Outisde Guard: Glen Boxell *

Guide: Justin Lefebvre

Grievance Committee: Jim MacIntyre, Luke Robinson, Evan Bercier, Randy Wischenewski, Baltazar Flores, Glen Boxell, James Crawley, Travis Hart, Tony Colbourne




* By acclamation


Vigil Held At TRCC For Humboldt

A vigil was held here in Thompson last night to remember those affected by the tragic bus collision in Saskatchewan. 


The event took place at the TRCC, which was kept open after normal Sunday hours had ended to allow the sevice to ahppen. There was prayer from Elder Jack Robinson, and candles were lit in remembrance. There were also a few different people who spoke, including some who weren't schedueld but felt the need to say a few words.


One of the people who helped put things together spoke to Arctic Radio News, and said that it was important to hold a vigil in Thompson as what happened hits close to home. She said that it wasn't only the number of people that lost their lives, but also the fact that we live in a hockey community. She added that even if you aren't a hockey fan or invovled in any way, you know someone who is. 


Over 3,000 people attened the vigil that took place in Humboldt, which was broadcast on national television. They were also held across the province and the north, including The Pas, Norway House and Cross Lake.


A GoFundMe page was set up once the scale of the collision was announced, and donations are now nearing $6M as of 3:00pm today. The page says that all money raised will go directly to the families of those affected to help cover expenses. Donations can be made here.  


Photo courtesy of Kyle Darbyson, Thompson Citizen.


Province Announces 780 New Child Care Spots

Scott Fielding, the Provincial Families Minister, announced late last week that the Manitoba Government will be creating 780 new child care spaces across the province, including 12 new spaces here in Thompson.


Those new spots will be a $22.8M investment in child care, made through the Canada-Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.


Fielding said that the new spaces will be created through new construction, as well as funding for 621 existing spaces at 63 child care centres.


Of the 20 projects being announced, 10 are being developed within schools, which will produce around 424 new spaces. 10 projects developed in the community locations will result in 356 new spaces.


Thompson Children's World is the only centre in Thompson, and the north, that will see new spaces created. There will be an additional four spots for infants and eight for pre-school children for a total for 12 new spots.


More information on where the spots will be created can be found here.


Ford Recalling 350,000 2018 Model Year Vehicles

Ford has announced a recall notice for more than 51,000 vehicles sold in Canada.


The recall applies to 2018 F-150 trucks and 2018 Expedition SUVs that have a 10-speed automatic transmission, as well as 2018 F-650 and F-750 vehicles that have a 6-speed automatic transition.


The recall affects just under 350,000 vehicles across North America; 292,909 in the United States, 2,774 in Mexico and the 51,742 here in Canada.


Ford says that there is a clip that locks the gear shift cable to transmission in vehicles, and that in some of the affected vehicles, this clip is not firmly in place. They say it could result in the car shifting into a different gear from the one the driver has chosen.


They added that if that situation were to occur, there may be no warning light or chime to warn the driver that the vehicle is not in park when exiting the vehicle. Ford has said that it is aware of one reported accident and injury related to the issue.


Ford also issued a second recall, which affects less than 200 2018 F-150 trucks, Expedition SUVs, Mustangs, and Lincoln Navigators. The vehicles affected by the second recall have a missing transmission roll pin, which could cause the vehicles to fail to shift to park when the driver selects it.


The U.S.-based automotive giant says that they will inspect and fix the problem on affected vehicles free of charge. To check to see if your vehicle is affected, you can click here.



Northern Manitoba Syrup Being Served In New York

Syrup from northern Manitoba is now being served at a high-end restaurant in New York City.


The syrup is made by Alan and Johanna McLauchlan at their facility near Wanless, which is only accessible by snowmobile in the winter, and by quad or boat in the summer.


Their family-run company, Rocky Lake Birchworks, was started around a decade ago, and they now tap more than 1,500 trees on the shores of Rocky Lake.


The McLauchlan’s are one of two birch syrup producers in Manitoba, and have had their products go to every continent.


While their signature product is the syrup, they also produce wild rice, salves and tea.

Alan McLauchlan said that there are a lot of good things in the boreal forest that can be used, rather than going in and quote cutting it all down.


Rocky lake Birchworks can be found on their website, or on Facebook. A 250ml bottle of their birch breakfast syrup will cost you $20.


Defence Files Papers To Have Case Against Constable Abram Letkeman Dismissed

The lawyers representing Constable Abram Letkeman have filed paperwork saying that he acted in accordance with his police duties the night of November 21st 2015 when Steven Campbell was shot and killed, and his girlfriend Lori Flett was seriously injured.


Letkeman is currently facing charges of manslaughter, criminal negligence causing death, criminal negligence causing bodily harm, reckless discharge of a firearm and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.


In addition to the criminal charges stemming from the incident, both Flett and Campbell’s mother have filed lawsuits against the RCMP and Attorney General of Canada.


Read: RCMP Officer Facing Two Lawsuits


According to the defence, Constable Letkeman was authorized by the law to use the force that he did in protecting himself, and others, from the apparent threat posed by Steven Campbell.


The case is still before the courts, though the defence has requested that it be dismissed without costs.



MPI Giving $200k To Police To Combat Distracted Driving

Manitoba Public Insurance is giving money to police forces here in the province to help tackle distracted driving.


The crown corporation is providing around $200,000 to support enhanced police enforcement programs, which run throughout April.


Ward Keith, MPI’s VP of Business Development and Communications, said that this is the seventh consecutive year that MPI will be helping fund the program, which is a joint effort with various police forces across the province including the RCMP and Winnipeg Police.


He added that joint awareness and enforcement programs are a good example of how road safety partners can work together to send a powerful message that distracted driving will not be tolerated.


Distracted driving collisions here in Manitoba increased drastically from 2011 to 2016, from 2,415 to 11,086. The insurance associated with those collisions is estimated to be close to $70M per year.


New McDonald's Restaurant Full Steam Ahead

It’s full steam ahead for the proposed new McDonald’s restaurant here in Thompson. They are set to close their main restaurant in the near future so they can build a new bigger location.


Speaking to Arctic Radio News, City of Thompson Deputy Mayor Colleen Smook says that they’re the first group to take part in a new initiative from the City aimed at growing and attracting business. The program, which is the result of three years of planning and discussion, creates tax and service fee credits for businesses seeking to reinvest in their commercial or multi-family residential facilities.


Deputy Mayor Smook added that two pieces of legislation were passed at the last regular meeting to do with the project, one with regards to the number of parking stalls allowed and another to do with the sale of land from the City to McDonald’s.


The new restaurant is currently scheduled to be built, and fully operational, this year.


Thompson Writers Guild Looking For Submissions For Next Anthology

If you’d like to have your work published in the next Thompson Writers’ Guild anthology, now is your chance.


The guild is looking for submissions to be considered for their next anthology, which will be about “beloved recipes with a tale”. The submission should include a recipe and either a story or poem that talks about the recipe. No submissions will be considered if they are deemed to intentionally offensive or are not appropreate for anyone under a PG-13 audience.


The recipie should be a maximum of one page (font size minimum of ten) and can include a colour picture of the finished product. The story has a maximum length of 450 words (or one page), while the poem cannot be longer than a page.


They ask that in the submission email, you include your name (including pen name and email), word count of the finished manuscript, and a brief (less than 150 words) describing the recipe and writing. The single file containing the recipe and writing must be attached to the email, and be in DOCX, DOC, RTF or ODT format.


All submissions should be sent via email to The submission deadline is May 31st.



Camp Site Reservaiton Now Open

The time to act is now if you want to book your camp site, cabin or yurt for the summer.


Manitoba Parks officially opened their 2018 Parks Reservation Service for all areas this morning, including Paint Lake.


If you want to book your camp site, or find out more information about what is available, you can visit the Manitoba Parks website or give them a call at 1-888-482-2267.


Thompson RCMP Offers Tips To Keep Vehicles, Property Safe

With longer days and warmer weather on the way, there will be more people outside at all hours. This usually leads to an increase in break-and-enters, as well as vandalism.


Constable Sandy Deibert, from the Thompson RCMP detachment, spoke to Arctic Radio News with some tips for keeping your vehicle, and the things in it, safe. She said that you should remove any valuables from the vehicle (including money, electronics, keys, bags), park in a well lit area (with motion sensor lighting if possible), and to lock your vehicle.


Constable Deibert added that it is the same idea when it comes to protecting your property; making sure things are well lit and locked.


The full interview with Constable Deibert will be airing on 102.9 CHTM, as a Thompson Today, on April 13th.


If you want to report a crime, either as a witness or as a victim, you should call the Thompson RCMP Detachment at 204-677-6911.


LIGA Committee To Meet Tomorrow

The City of Thompson’s Legislative and Inter-Governmental Affairs (LIGA) committee will meet tomorrow afternoon.


The agenda for the meeting includes a letter from Chief Marcel Moody with regards to government to government relations, as well as a letter from the Federal Transportation Minster, Marc Garneau, with regards to the OmniTrax situation. Also on the agenda is a letter from Heather McClean in regards to designated heritage sites within the City, and an invitation to attend the Southern Chiefs’ Organization First Nations and Municipalities Business, Partnershpi and Additions to Reserve forum.


The meeting will start at 3:45pm at City Hall, and the full agenda can be found here.


The LIGA committee meets every week before a regular meeting of council, and part of their responsibility is to form the agenda for City Council.


Province Cuts Free Health Coverage For International Students

The Pallister government has come under fire recently from both opposition parties following the announcement that the Province will no longer provide health coverage for international students.


Students from outside of Canada were first granted universal healthcare by the NDP government in 2012, and is estimated to cost the Province $3.1M per year.


Thompson MLA Kelly Bindle says that the Province is under no obligation to provide health insurance to anyone who doesn’t live here permanently. Bindle added that Manitoba’s health insurance plan is financed by taxpayers who live and work here, and that they’re not in a position to finance addition coverage for those who don’t pay into the system.


International students represent about 18% of the student body currently at the University of Manitoba.


Niki Ashton Calls On Government To Show Leadership In Northern Housing Crisis

Niki Ashton says that the time is now to act on a housing crisis in our region.


Ashton recently brought up the subject in the House of Commons, and says the issue is something she heard repeatedly in recent visits throughout northern Manitoba.


She says that there is not only a shortage of housing, but that there is overcrowding in existing units and many of them are in poor shape.Our MP said that the time for action is now, as it is clear that things are getting worse.


Ashton concluded by saying that many communities are trying to make a difference, but the thing that is missing is leadership from the federal government.


Grad Dresses Available For All At RDPC Tomorrow

There is an opportunity for those getting ready to graduate from R.D. Parker to get a graduation dress, even if they can’t afford one.


The dresses are from a program called Gowns for Grads, and are being distributed here in Thompson with support from Kelly Bindle’s office.


Stacy Martin, the Constituency Assistant for Thompson, will be at R.D.P.C. tomorrow afternoon with the dresses from 12:00pm until 2:00pm.


She spoke to Arctic Radio news and said that if you can’t make it then, you haven’t missed out. Martin said that you can give her a call at 204-939-1383 to arrange a time to both view and try on dresses.


The program will run until they run out of dresses to give away.


Thompson RCMP Investigating Homicide

The RCMP are investigating a homicide in Thompson.


Officers received a report of an assault Monday night, and found a 51-year-old female severely injured when they arrived at the residence.


The victim was transported to hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries. A 39-year-old male was also taken to hospital, though his injuries were non-life threatening.


21-year-old Conan Lewis was arrested at the scene, and faces a charge of second degree murder. He is being held by the police, and will appear in Thompson Court tomorrow. Officers say that Lewis and the victim were known to each other.


RCMP Thompson Major Crime Services, with the assistance of Winnipeg Major Crime Services and RCMP Forensic Identification Services, continue to investigate.


Dougald Lamont Seeking Liberal Nod For St. Boniface By-Election

Dougald Lamont, the leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party, has officially announced that he is seeking the nomination to be the Liberal candidate for the currently vacant job of MLA for St Boniface.


Lamont was elected as the leader of the party back in October, defeating Burrows MLA Cindy Lamoureux.


The St Boniface riding has been vacant since March 7th, when former Premier Greg Selinger resigned.


Lamont said that the by-election is important, as it offers voters an opportunity for "much needed leadership and vision for St Bonificace, as well as the Manitoba Legislature".


Photo courtesy of Kyle Darbyson, Thompson Citzen.


Health Canada Recalling Over 1.5M USB Chargers

Health Canada has issued a recall affecting more than 1.5M USB chargers.


The federal agency has released a list, which can be found here, of more than two dozen chargers that quote pose an unacceptable risk of electric shock and fire.


Anyone who has one of the recalled chargers is advised to stop using the product immediately and throw it away.


Health Canada recommends consumers check that electrical products have a recognized certification mark before making a purchase. The certification symbol should be on the product itself and not just the packaging.


Thompson Public Library Changing Story Time

The Thompson Public Library will be making a change to their programming schedule starting on Tuesday (April 3).


Story time, which used to run every Tuesday morning at 10:30, will now be held Tuesday at 11:10. The library is encouraging everyone taking part to head down to the library at 10:40, when the doors open, to take time to look for books, explore the library and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea.


More information can be found by calling the library at 204-677-3717 or by visiting the Thompson Public Library on Facebook.


Niki Ashton Sits Through 21-Hour Parliament Session With Infant Twins

There was a marathon session of Parliament in Ottawa late last week that lasted 21 hours.


The session was extended to 21 hours by the Conservative Party, after the government defeated a motion to demand transparency from the government on the Prime Ministers recent trip to India, which included time with a convicted assassin.


Ashton said that while she and the rest of the NDP supported the original motion by the Conservative Party, she thought the tactics they decided to use were gruesome. She said that the reasoning behind the tactics, however, was straightforward and trying to increase government transparency.


Our Member of Parliament added that she had her infant twin boys with her in the House during a portion of the session. She said that she didn't have a choice when it came to bringing them into the House, as it was important to be there during the voting. Ashton added that it was a way to spend a little bit of time with them, being supported by her partner, family and friends behind the scenes.


She concluded by saying that as nice as it was to be able to spend time with them, the kinds of tactics used make life difficult for many MP's, and that she wishes there was a more straight forward to way to get to why they were there than 21 hours of voting. 


Ashton gave birth to her twin sons, Leonidas and Stephanos, on October 31st 2017. 


Environmental Watch-Dog Not Happy With New Manitoba Hydro Board

An environmental watch-dog says that the new board of Manitoba Hydro will put economics and business over the environment and community.


Eric Reder, the Manitoba campaign director for the Wilderness Committee, spoke to Arctic Radio News and said that northern Manitoba and Indigenous communities are more directly affected by the work of Hydro than those living in the south.


He said that going forward, Manitoba Hydro is an essential component in getting a handle on what he calls climate chaos and lowering fossil fuel use, though it has to be done right and in a just way for northern communities.


Reder added that with the immense destruction to the environment and way of life of the Indigenous people that call the territory home, it is concerning that the new board seems to be predominantly urban and business oriented.


Thompson Citizen Not To Publish This Week

As the result of two recent break-ins at the Thompson Citizen and Nickel Belt News office, the paper has announced that they will not be publishing papers this week.


Lynn Taylor, the manager of the papers, said that they are working diligently to be able to back to business as usual after Easter.


The offices were broken into last week, and again Monday evening. Multiple computers and cameras were stolen, and the culprits attempted to also break into the cash register and safe.


Thompson RCMP Respond To Multiple Break-Ins

Thompson RCMP have three young people in custody following a break and enter over the weekend.


Mounties received the call early Sunday morning, and it was determined that several youths had stolen a vehicle belonging to the business.


Constable Sandy Deibert, from the Thompson RCMP detachment, said that they were able to quickly find the vehicle and apprehend the youth thanks to cooperation from the business.


Three of the six youths, all of whom were charged, have remanded into custody, while the other three were released.



School Board Meeting Tomorrow

Tomorrow marks the last meeting of the board of trustees for the School District of Mystery Lake this month.


The board will discuss a youth homelessness research opportunity, as well as a report from the secretary-treasurer on the 2018 school budget outcome.


The agenda also includes a presentation from the Thompson Junior Bisons basketball program, which recently raised and donated over $4000 for the Hope North Recovery Centre.


The board will also hear reports from both superintendents and the various board committees.


The full agenda can be found here.


The meeting will start at seven at the school board office. The public is welcome to attend.


Holy Week 2018

Passion Week, also known as Holy Week, official kicks off on Sunday.


On the Christian calendar, the week marks the lead-up to Easter, and is celebrated here in Thompson with different churches joining together and hosting a service every night.


The first service will take place Sunday evening at the First Baptist Church with Roy Bladen speaking, followed by a service at The Salvation Army Monday, with Brent Denham giving the sermon. All services will start at 7:00pm.


The week leads up to Easter Sunday, when Nixon Solomon will deliver the message at the Thompson Pentecostal Assembly.



Thompson City Council To Meet Monday Evening

There will be a regular meeting of Thompson City Council Monday evening, the final meeting currently scheduled for March.


Before the regular meeting takes place, there will be a public hearing on a variation order, which will be later voted on by council.


The agenda, which can be found here, includes reports from the public works and communications committees.


There will be eight resolutions voted on, including the February cheque registers and a variation order to do with McDonald’s building their new restaurant.


The agenda also includes three by-laws. The water and wastewater utility by-law amendment and water and wastewater rates by-law amendment will both receive first reading, while the public reserve closing by-law will be read for a second and third time.


The meeting will start at 7:00pm in Council Chambers at City Hall. The public is welcome, and encouraged, to attend.


Photo courtesy of Kyle Darbyson, Thompson Citizen


USW 6166 Head To The Polls April 9th

2018 will be a year of changed for elected officials here in Thompson, not only at the municipal level but also with Thompson’s biggest union.


Members of United Steelworkers Local 6166 will be headed to the polls in just over two weeks to elect a new executive. Voting will take place on April 9th at the Steel Centre from 8:30am until 8:30pm, with advance polls taking place on April 5th and 6th.


With both President Les Ellsworth and Vice President Gord Medwid set to retire this year, there will be fresh leadership for the union. James Crawley and Warren Luky are running for Union President, while Tony Colbourne and Luke Robinson are running for the VP role.


Three positions have already been filled by acclamation; Sheila Campbell as financial secretary, Travis Hart as recording secretary and Glen Boxell as outside guard.


Below is a list of positions to be filled, as well as who is running.



James Crawley

Warren Luky


Vice President:

Luke Robinson

Tony Colbourne



Robert Ellsworth

Baltazar Flores


Inside Guard:

Chris Delay

Michelle Tomashewski



Harald Stadbauer

Justin Lefebvre


Trustees (three will be elected):

Jim Macintyre

Keith Compton

Todd Burnside

Randy Wischenewski

Graham Walker

Even Bercier


Grievance Committee (nine will be elected):

Jim Macintyre

James Crawley

Luke Robinson

Travis Hart

Even Bercier

Graham Walker

Randy Wischenewski

Robert Ellsworth

Baltazar Flores

Tony Colbourne

Glen Boxell

Harald Stadbauer

Todd Burnside


Thompson MLA Pleased With Carbon Tax Exemption For Mining Industry

Thompson MLA Kelly Bindle says that he’s pleased that the mining industry here in the province will remain competitive, while protecting the environment, thanks to provisions in the Province’s Climate and Green Plan Implementation.


Bindle said that the government understands that a strong mining sector is important to both the north and the Manitoba economy as a whole.


He added that by making exemptions for mining and prospecting operations, the government is making sure the industry stays competitive while they work to protect the environment.


The Climate and Green Plan Implementation Act, which was introduced by the PC government on March 15th, says that mining operations will be exempt from the carbon tax in certain situations. There will be an exemption when fuel is used for drying mineral ore concentrates, heating replacement air in an underground mine, or when operating an engine exclusively off-road and transporting ore exclusively off-road from a mine in Manitoba to a processing centre in Manitoba. In addition, prospecting operations will be exempt from the carbon tax when operating a boat and holding a valid prospector's licence.


More information on the Climate and Green Plan can be found here.


"March For Our Lives" Coming To Thompson

The “March for our Lives” is taking place Saturday here in Thompson, and all across the world.


The movement stemmed from Florida following the Parkland school shooting.


Students across the United States, and now around the world, are banding together to try and end gun violence and mass shootings in schools.    


More information on the Thompson march, which is being hosted by RD Parkers' Students Offering Support group, can be found by listening to Thompson Today at 12:40 and 5:10 tomorrow afternoon on 102.9 CHTM.


Thompson RCMP Looking To The Public For Help

Thompson RCMP are asking for the public’s help in the search for a wanted man.


30-year-old Donald Timothy Massan is wanted on two outstanding warrants.


The charges against Massan include breaking and entering with intent,assault with a weapon, possession of a weapon for dangerous proposes and uttering threats.


The RCMP say that Massan is known to be violent, and should not be approached.


Anyone with information should contact Thompson RCMP at 204-677-6909.



Niki Ashton Says Budget Is Disappointing

When it comes to the recently announced federal budget, our MP says it is disappointing.


Niki Ashton said that the budget is full of half measures on childcare and clean drinking

water for First Nations, while not addressing issues that the north is facing like the housing crisis, health care and education.


She added that the budget does not close stock option loopholes that benefit friends of politicians, and that the government has done nothing to go after tax havens that quote rob social services of well needed funds.


Ashton said that the budget is the same old policies with progressive language being used as a disguise.


MMIWG National Inquiry Wraps Up Thompson Hearing

Two days of hearings in the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls wrapped up yesterday in Thompson.


There were 24 family members and survivors who were registered to testify over the two-day public hearing at Riverlodge Place.


Family members and survivors travelled from near and far to attend the hearings and have their stories told, including one family member who drove from Tadoule Lake.


One common theme coming from the family members is that they say the RCMP isn’t doing their job properly.


Another theme that was brought forward was that young girls living on reserve and in small communities need to be taught that there is a difference when you move to the big city, specifically that you can’t trust everyone.


The sister of a missing woman told her truth, and said that she teaches her daughters that the bad people in the world won’t be wearing black clothes like in the movies, but will be the people you trust, and that Indigenous women have to look out for each other.


She added that the only way to properly deal with the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls is to continue talking about their loved ones, and not to wait for the government or the police.


This was the eight hearing by the Inquiry in 2018, and second in Manitoba in the past year.


Entire Board Of Manitoba Hydro Resigns

The entire board of Manitoba Hydro resigned earlier this morning.


Sanford Riley, the now former chair, said that the board and the province couldn’t agree on several issues.


He said that they had been attempting to meet with the Premier for over a year to resolve a number of issues, including Hydro’s relationship with Indigenous peoples and finances, but have not to been able to have meaningful dialogue.


Riley said the last straw was when the government told the board that they were going to remove him as the chair.


He said that after that announcement they determined that it was necessary to resign.


Manitoba Liberals Claim Government More Concerned With Profits Than Public Safety When It Comes To Cannabis

The leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party says that the government is trying to recriminalize cannabis before it becomes legal.


Dougald Lamont said that the legislation recently introduced will waste justice resources that would be better spent on dealing with more serious drugs, like meth and opiods, which he claims the government is "totally ignoring".


Lamont added that it has nothing to do with public safety, but rather with maximizing revenue for something that will be legal across the country.


The Progressive Conservative government has set the legal age to buy marijuana at 19, meaning that an 18-year-old with a joint, or plant, would face adult charges and a possible fine of up to one hundred thousand dollars or a year in jail.


Manitoba Outfitters are Asking The Province for a Carbon Tax Exemption

The Manitoba Lodges and Outfitters Association say the carbon tax announced recently in the provincial budget will substantially increase operating costs for provinces lodges and outfitters.


Paul Turenne, the Executive Director of the Manitoba Lodges and Outfitters Association, says that the outdoor tourism industry is a heavy consumer of fossil fuels as they use it to power generators, boats, planes and quads. He added that they buy fuel by the barrel.


He added that here in the north it’s going to cost the industry more to do business since there aren’t many options when it comes to electric motors and other environmentally-friendly power sources.


Turenne noted other industrial users of fuel such as commercial fishing, agriculture, mining and forestry are being exempted from the carbon tax


He believes the outdoor tourism industry should be included with that group, pointing out their contribution to Manitoba’s rural and northern economy.


RCMP Investigating Snowmobile Crash In Norway House

Norway House RCMP are investigating following a snowmobile crash over the weekend.


Sunday morning, officers responded to a report of a collision involving a snow machine near Harts Drive in Norway House.


When the Mounties arrived on the scene, they determined that a snowmobile, which was carrying a 24-year-old and 21-year-old, was traveling across a field when they collided with a snow bank and were thrown off the machine.


The 24-year-old suffered life-threatening injuries in the crash, while the 21-year-old suffered serious injuries. Both men were flown to hospital in Winnipeg.


The RCMP believes both alcohol and speed played a factor, and that neither man was wearing a helmet.


RCMP Ask For Drivers' Cooperation When Lights And Sirens Are On

Thompson RCMP say that they’re seeing more and more vehicles not knowing how to respond when an emergency vehicle approaches them with lights and sirens on.


Constable Carson Kennedy, from the Thompson RCMP detachment, spoke to 102.9 CHTM to explain the proper procedure. He said that when an emergency vehicle is approaching from either direction you should make sure the lane to your right is safe and pull over until they have passed. He added that you should use your signals, so that the emergency vehicle can see that you are responding to them.


Constable Kennedy added that if you don't pull over, you could face a $298 fine under the Manitoba Traffic Act.


Girl Guide Cookes In Season

It’s that time of year; local girl guides are selling chocolate and vanilla sandwich cookies.


Nadine Vokey, the area commissioner, spoke to 102.9 CHTM about where the money goes from cookie sales. She said that most of the money collected from cookie sales stays here in Thompson and goes towards the programming that Girl Guides offers.


Vokey added that Girl Guides will be canvassing the City over the coming week to sell cookies, and that if you’re missed, you can call her at 679-2744.


Cookies are $5 per box.


Former MP, School Board Chair Passes Away

Bev Desjarlais passed away over the weekend.


The former NDP Member of Parliament for the Churchill riding, and former School District of Mystery Lake board member and chair person, passed away at her home in Brandon at the age of 62. Desjarlais had been battling multiple system atrophy, a form of Parkinson’s disease, since 2013.


Her son, Kris, who is a City Councillor in Brandon, said that his mother will be remembered for having a ton of energy, a strong spirit, and staying true to her convictions.


Bev Desjarlais came into the national spotlight in 2005 when she broke NDP lines by voting against same-sex marriage.


She will be laid to rest in Brandon on April 7th.


What The 2018 Manitoba Budget Means For Thompson

The 2018 Manitoba budget was announced one week ago in the Manitoba Legislature by Finance Minister Cameron Freisen.


Thompson MLA Kelly Bindle said that some of the highlights of the document include increases for the healthy seniors and active living department promises to continue reductions in ambulance fees as well as the creation of 60 full-time paramedic positions. He added that they are boosting spending for the home cancer care program by $14M.


Bindle said that when it comes to Thompson, there have been recent announcements on investments at the Thompson Hospital and the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba facility. He added that there are investments in early learning, with more spaces being opened up in daycare and preschools in the City.


The PC MLA added that the government is stressing that the budget continues to reduce the provincial deficit by over $300M, while at the same time raising the personal exemption for income tax.



Councillor Wong's Motion To Rescind Fails

On Monday evening, City Council once again debated a motion to rescind a resolution that had been passed at a previous meeting.


The resolution that Councillor Duncan Wong was looking to rescind was a request to province, asking them to amend the Thompson Charter Act to remove any reference to the size of council.


Before the debate, Councillor Wong wanted to postpone the discussion on the rescintion since Mayor Fenske was not in attendance. He put forward a motion to table the discussion, which was defeated.


When the debate started, Wong said that while he’s not against opening up the Charter, he says they should make it "worthwhile if they do". He said that right now the Mayor just wants to change the section referring to the size of council, changing the specific number from eight to six. Wong also said that he'd like to see Vale taxed rather than a GIL system, and that the Thompson Charter was never discussed.


City Manager Gary Ceppetelli responded to Wong's claims, clarifying that the proposed amendment to the Charter removes any reference to the size of council entirely, giving council the freedom to either shrink or grow at their discretion.


Deputy Mayor Colleen Smook echoed Ceppetelli, saying that the proposed change doesn't mean council will reduce in size, but rather gives council freedom, both now and in the future, to change.


Councillor Ron Matechuk spoke in support of the motion to rescind, saying that amending the Thompson Charter is just a "knee-jerk" reaction. He said that the debate about The Charter of Rights and Freedoms went on forever, and the least council could do about amending the Thompson Charter would be calling a special meeting of council.


Wong once again chimed in, saying that the Thompson Charter Act was never brought up during budget talks, but that claim was quickly refuted by Councillor Penny Byer. Byer said that the Charter was brought up at least twice during budget deliberations, specifically during the discussion on the size of council. She added that while she's not against looking at the Charter as a whole, but that no one asked about it before and the idea should have come earlier.


The motion to rescind was defeated by a vote of five to three.


Photo courtesy of Kyle Darbyson, Thompson Citizen.



RCMP Asking For Help In Search For Wanted Man

Thompson RCMP is looking to the public in the search for a wanted man.


34-year-old Blake Clemons is currently wanted for four counts of assault and three protection orders from the assault. The police believe that he travels from Winnipeg to Thompson frequently.


Anyone with information is asked to call the Thompson detachment at 204-677-6911.



Union Gives Back To Churchill

The Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union is giving back to a community that it says is facing the perfect storm of economic instability.


Union president Michelle Gawronsky was recently in Churchill, where she met with community leaders and presented a $1,000 cheque to Duke of Marlborough School for their breakfast program.


Gawronsky said that they have many union members in Churchill, and they wanted to let them know that the union is with them during the difficult times that they are facing. She added that despite all the setbacks, she was inspired by the positivity in the community.


About one in every ten people in Churchill is a member of MGEU.


Photo courtesy of the MGEU website.


Friesen: Budget 2018 Provides Historic Reductions

Finance Minister Cameron Friesen says that the 2018 Manitoba budget is a continuation of the Pallister government’s moderate and balanced approach to restoring fiscal discipline while keeping promises they made to the province.


In a letter to the press, the provincial finance minister says that the 2018 budget reduces the province’s deficit by more than three hundred million dollars, and that the government is on a path to being able to deliver a balanced budget in their second term.


In a letter, the Minister said that the government is keeping their word on reducing the deficit while bringing the largest tax cut in Manitoba history.


The letter goes on to say that the previous NDP government is at fault for rising interest rates and rising hydro rates.


Friesen said that the budget provides historic reductions in personal income tax by increasing the basic personal exemption, meaning that every Manitoba worker will have over two hundred dollars more of their own money in their pocket in two years, and almost one thousand dollars more by 2029.


Friesen concludes that the government is keeping their promises with "real progress for Manitobans".


Photo courtesy of The Winnipeg Free Press


Snowmobile Safety Reminder

The RCMP want to remind everyone to be safe while riding snowmobiles.


Some tips for staying safe include knowing your abilities and riding within your limits, using caution and slowing down when operating on unfamiliar terrain, and always riding in groups while letting people know where you are going.


The RCMP also suggest wearing proper protective clothing including a helmet, being cautious of ice thickness, and never riding while impaired.


There have been six deaths in snowmobile related incidents since January 20th.


Nickel Days Declared Special Event By Council

Nickel Days is just around the corner, and at the last regular meeting, Thompson City Council voted to make the annual event a special event.


Councillor Dennis Foley explained at the meeting the importance of granting events like Nickel Days special event status. He said that special event status means that the individual out-of-town vendors do not have to buy a business license for the weekend.


The resolution was passed unanimously.


Nickel Days will be taking place June 21st through the 24th.


School Board To Stay With Seven Trustees

The board of trustees for the School District of Mystery Lake will be sticking with seven trustees.


The board discussed the possibility of reducing to five in an effort to save money, though only Trustee Ryan Land spoke in support of the reduction.


Trustee Guido Oliveira spoke against the resolution, saying that he currently cannot make a third of the scheduled committee meetings, and the reduction in numbers could mean he wouldn’t be able to make up to two thirds of the meetings.


Trustee Land responded to those comments by saying that attendance at committee meetings isn’t a luxury, but rather something that is expected when you’re elected by the public.


Vice Chairperson Janet Brady spoke against the reduction, saying all of the current trustees bring something different to the table, and that if they moved to five, they would lose valuable input.


Multiple trustees said they were on the fence when it came to the size of the board, though they voted against reducing as they said they weren’t ready to vote in favour.


Photo courtesy of Kyle Darbyson.


Flin Flon MLA Responds To Provincial Budget

Flin Flon MLA Tom Lindsey says the Manitoba budget is going to make life harder for Manitobans, particularly with the way that they’re introducing the carbon tax. 


He said that the big committers will get exemptions, but average Manitobans will pay more for gas, propane and diesel and that it will end up costing more.


Lindsey said that while in the budget Pallister talks about raising the personal exemption limit, it will help people who earn more than those with a lower income and that the people at the bottom who need help the most will get the least.


Lindsey added that they are waiting for more details on the budget, adding it talks about tourism, Look North and mining, but there were no specifics on what they are planning to do.


Thompson City Council Looks For Input On Size Of Council

Tonight marks the first of two regular meetings of Thompson City Council this month.


The meeting will start with a public hearing on a by-law which would see City Council reduced in number from eight to six. Everyone is encouraged to come out and voice their views and opinions on the topic.


The agenda includes a resolution to the attendance of Deputy Mayor Smook at the Look North round table meeting, as well as the second and third readings of the campaign expense by-law. Council will also vote on a resolution to declare Nickel Days as a special event, as well as the second and third readings of the vote counting machine by-law amendment.


Deputy Mayor Smook will not be in attendance at the meeting, as she will be in Winnipeg for the Provincial budget presentation.


The meeting will start at 7:00pm in Council Chambers at City Hall, and all are welcome to attend.


A link to the full agenda can be found here.


Norway House Cree Nation Elects New Chief, Councillors

Norway House Cree Nation held their election earlier this week, and four new councillors were elected.


Langford Saunders, Deon Clarke, Hubert Hart and James Dixon were all voted in, while Darlene Osborne and Anthony Apetagon were re-elected.


Larson Anderson was elected as the new Chief of Norway House, replacing Chief Ron Evans.


MKO Looking For MMIWG Inquiry To Be Restructured

The organization that represents 30 northern First Nations says that they can’t support an extension for the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls unless it is restructured.


MKO Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson said that she needs to see evidence of change before she can support extending the inquiry. She said that the commissioners must prove they are willing to amend the structure and process of the Inquiry before it receives full MKO support.


Chief Wilson said that the Chief Commissioner, Marion Buller, should step down and that the position of chief commissioner should be removed, with all commissioners sharing the responsibilities.


She added that even though there are a number of families and survivors that are happy with their experience sharing their stories, MKO must also advocate for those who say their needs have not been met.


The inquiry is scheduled to be in Thompson later this month.


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Thompson RCMP Lay Charges In Homicide

Thompson RCMP have laid charges following a fire and alleged assault in Thicket Portage late last week.


Officers received a call early in the evening on March 2nd reporting an assault in the community. While on their way to the scene, officers were told there was a fire at the residence they were heading to.


When they arrived on scene, local firefighters located one female inside the residence and two males outside with injuries. The 21-year-old female was transported to the local nursing station, where she succumbed to her injuries.


23-year-old Travis Munroe, who lived in the home, has been arrested and charged with manslaughter, arson with disregard for human life, assault causing bodily harm and two counts of assault. Munroe and the deceased woman were in a relationship. 


The fire is considered suspicious, and is currently being investigated by the Office of the Fire Commissioner, RCMP Major Crime Services and RCMP Forensic Identification Services. 



March Is Fraud Prevention Month

This month marks the 14th annual Fraud Prevention Month, which is an education and awareness campaign to help you recognize, reject and report fraud.


The Competition Bureau, a branch of the Federal Government, says the old saying is true; knowledge is power.


Avoiding fraud is all about knowing how to recognize the signs, reject the claims that seem too good to be true and reporting them to the authorities.


This year, the Competition Bureau has launched the second edition of the Little Black Book of Scams, a guide that exposes 12 of the most prevalent scams in Canada and features their six fraud fighting superheroes.


Consumers and businesses play a crucial role in the fight against fraud. By recognizing scams and reporting them you can protect yourself and assist the Bureau in stopping fraud.


More information on fraud prevention can be found on the Competition Bureau’s website.


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