The Thompson Local News

RCMP Investigating Possible Homicide In Nelson House

The RCMP are investigating a death in Nelson House.


Officers from the local detachment were called to a residence in the community earlier this week following several 911 calls.


The victim was pronounced dead at the scene when the police arrived.

The death is being investigated by the Nelson House RCMP detachment as a homicide.


The investigation is ongoing with assistance from the RCMP Major Crime Unit, as well as Thompson and Winnipeg Forensic Identification Units.


Work Underway To Plan Norplex Pool Replacement, Public Meeting Probable For Early March

There could be a public meeting about the Norplex Pool as early as the first week of March.


Speaking on City Beat, Deputy Mayor Kathy Valentino said that City Administration is working with the School District of Mystery Lake to book the Letkemann Theatre to hold a public meeting to present the findings on the Norplex Pool and the preliminary plans for an aquatics facility.


She said that they are tentatively planning for either March 6th or 7th, depending on venue availability.


When it comes to the actual planning work for a Norplex replacement, the Deputy Mayor said that City Council is planning the first internal Norplex Pool ad-hoc committee meeting, which was formed and discussed in camera at Council on Tuesday evening.


Valentino added that they will be setting the schedule and dates for opening up committee membership to the public, because it needs to be a community effort.


The Norplex Pool was permanently and immediately closed earlier this month, following an engineering report that found multiple critical safety issues that posed an imminent risk to the public and employees.

Boreal Discovery Centre Looking For Tall Fishing Tales

If you or someone you know has a fishing story that might not be 100 percent accurate, the Boreal Discovery Centre wants to hear from you.


Board member Penny Byer spoke to Arctic Radio News and said that as a part of the official opening of their sturgeon habitat, there is a tall fish tale contest taking place.


She said that they’re looking for people to submit a story that is 500 words or less to by Saturday, so they can hand out a prize to the winner at the official opening.


Byer added that there should be no shortage of tales to submit, as anyone who has gone fishing usually has at least one tall tale to tell.


The official opening is taking place on March 2nd at the Boreal Discovery Centre from 12:00pm until 6:00pm.


Nor-Man Mine To Become One Of Canada's Lowest Cost Gold Mines

A gold mine near Snow Lake is expected to soon become one of the lowest cost gold mines in the country.


Hudbay president Alan Hair spoke to Arctic Radio News and said that he expects an increase in gold production at the company’s Lalor Mine.


He said that as a result of their updated mine plan, gold production is expected to more than double once the New Britannia mill is refurbished.


Hair went on to say that the updated resource model at Lalor includes almost 6,000,000 tonnes of inferred mineral resources, which has the potential to extend the life of the mine beyond ten years.


The move also provides a significant additional upside for further gold and base metal exploration.


Province Set To Reshape Health System Starting In April

Big changes are coming to the health system here in Manitoba.


Around 12,000 staff across the province will see their employer or contracting organization switch to Shared Health at the beginning of April, a move that the Pallister Government says will simplify the health system and lay the foundation for improved access and better care.


Doctor Brock Write, the CEO of Shared Health, says that the transformation is rooted in the need to improve the quality, consistency and efficiency of the health care services provided in Manitoba.


He adds that Manitobans pay more per capita than any other jurisdiction for a health system that is extremely complex, and that the complexity increases costs and impacts the delivery of care.


Karen Herd, the deputy minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living says that standardized approaches to the delivery of health care will improve our system’s ability to deliver services to Manitobans regardless of where they live.


She adds that each health care organization and many of the staff who deliver and support care across the province have contributed their expertise to the affects and their input will allow them to address long-standing challenges.


Northern Health Region CEO Helga Bryant says that the reshaping of the health system will be of great benefit to patients in the north, and that as services are better coordinated and organized the changes will improve the patient experience.



Lamont: "Centralizing And Dictating From Winnipeg Isn't Effective Or Efficient"

The best way for you to stay healthy is to keep health services local.


That’s from Manitoba Liberal leader Dougald Lamont, who said that his party’s focus is local jobs, local provision of services, local education and local health care.


He said that it’s not efficient or effective to “centralize and dictate everything from Winnipeg”, as people need to have health care right in their community.


Lamont said that another big health care issue that needs to be tackled is the attraction and retention of primary care doctors.


He noted that there are surprisingly few in Manitoba and the country as a whole.

RCMP "Name The Puppy" Contest Back For Another Year

The RCMP is once again looking for help when it comes to naming their newest recruits.


The RCMP’s “Name the Puppy” contest is back for another year, with 13 German Shepherd puppies in need of a name.


To enter the contest, you have to be 14 or under, and you can only submit one name. The names have to begin with the letter “M” and cannot be longer than nine letters and two syllables.


The only other contest rule is that you have to live in Canada.


The deadline to submit names is March 26th, and the winners will be announced on April 30th.


Those 13 children who are selected to name a puppy will each receive a laminated photo of the puppy they named, a plush dog named Justice and an RCMP baseball cap.


The winning names will be chosen by the staff of the Police Dog Service Training Centre, and those names not selected will be considered for other puppies born throughout the year.


You can enter online by clicking here, or you can send a letter to the address below. If you mail in a submission, you need to make sure you include the child’s name, address, phone number and suggested puppy name.


Attn: “Name The Puppy Contest”

Police Dog Service Training Centre

Box 6120

Innisfail, AB

T4G 1S8


The RCMP adds that they encourage young people to get creative and submit a drawing or painting with their entry if they want to.

Thompson Festival Of The Arts Registration Day Set For Saturday

Saturday is the day for you to register for the 53rd Thompson Festival of the Arts.


Festival board member Terry-Lyn Gagnon spoke to Arctic Radio News to remind everyone what the festival is all about.


She said that the Festival honours and showcases many performers and artist, and those


participants benefit from adjudication in their chosen disciplines and then share accomplishments with families, friends, teachers, peers, and our community as a whole.


Gagnon said that the Festival believes in promoting opportunities for individuals to participate in arts, as well as growth in all areas including music, dance, speech, arts and visual arts.


When it comes to who can take part, Gagnon said that the Festival is open to anyone to participate in, though most entrants are children in kindergarten through grade 12.


Registration will take place between 10:00am and 2:00pm at the school board office.


Make sure to listen to Thompson Today tomorrow afternoon at 12:40 and again at 5:10 to learn more.





No Charges To Be Laid Following IIU Investigation

No charges will be laid following an investigation by the Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba into the possible perjury of an RCMP officer during a murder trial last year in Thompson.


During the trial, an officer was called in as a witness for the prosecution to testify to the accused level of intoxication while interacting with police.

The office described herself as a drug recognition expert, even though her certification had expired.


The police watchdog’s civilian director, Zane Tessler, says that even though the officer should have been clear that she was no longer certified, there was no indication that she intended to mislead anyone.


Tessler added that knowingly giving false evidence is not enough for a conviction, and that it would be “wholly inappropriate to authorize the laying of criminal charges in the absence of the required reasonable and probably grounds to support such authorization.”


The IIU investigates all serious incidents involving police officers in Manitoba, whether occurring on or off duty.



Lamont Says That Investing In Growth Is "The Way Out Of This Mess"

The north needs more economic assistance.


That’s what Manitoba Liberal Party leader Dougald Lamont told Arctic Radio News during a recent tour of the north.


Lamont said that if people are losing jobs, then the government needs to step in and make sure that if they can’t get the kind of work they want there is re-training options available.


The Saint Boniface MLA said that his party is committed to investing in growth, which he believes is “the way out of this mess.”


Lamont went on to say that there needs to be more of a focus on developing the north, as there is a lot of potential that doesn’t have to be centred around mining.


He added that creating a new Manitoba-based business development bank is one idea, as it would help local businesses with investments to get off the ground and create jobs.


Free Fishing Weekend Starts Saturday

If you like ice fishing, you’re in for a treat this weekend.


The Province has brought back their free fishing weekend, which will run from Saturday until Monday.


What that means for you is that you don’t need a fishing licence to get in on the angling action.


You do, however, have to follow all other fishing regulations including conservation limits.


A federal fishing licence is still required if you want to cast your line in a National Park.


Manitoba Sustainable Development reminds all anglers to make sure that the conditions are safe before heading out on the ice, and to always let someone know where you are fishing.


Regular vehicle permits aren’t needed to enter Provincial Parks in February, though SnoPasses are required if you want to use groomed trails.


More information on the weekend can be found here on the Government of Manitoba website.


Norplex Pool Closed Permanently

You'll have to do without access to a pool for the foreseeable future.


The City of Thompson announced this morning that the Norplex Pool is permanently closed, effective immediately.


The decision was made by City Council last night after an engineering review revealed critical safety issues with the pool's infrastructure that posed an imminent risk to employees and the public.


Those issues include serious structural problems with changing room ceilings and the water slide support beams, electrical vulnerabilities in the change rooms and other parts of the facility, as well as urgent ventilation issues.


Mayor Colleen Smook said in an open letter that Council will be organizing an open house for the public to voice their opinion on the situation.


She added that the City is already starting to work on plans for a new pool facility.


Those who worked at the pool will be offered new jobs within the City of Thompson, and everyone who has paid for use of the pool will receive a refund within 30 days.


RCMP Arrest 29-Year-Old On 11 Charges

A 29-year-old man is in custody here in Thompson after threatening a woman in her residence twice this week.


That’s according to the RCMP, who says that the Thompson detachment was called to the residence Sunday morning after the suspect had allegedly kicked in the door but had fled before officers arrived.


Mounties received a call to the same address early the next day, and were told that the suspect had returned, kicked in the door once again, and was still inside. This time, however, officers were told the victim’s children were also in the home.


When the police arrived they were met by the suspect, who was armed with a knife and started urging officers to shoot him. The RCMP says that members eventually used a taser device several times before the suspect was subdued taken into custody.


The suspect faces 11 charges; two counts of break and enter, two counts of assault with a weapon, two counts of assault on a police officer with a weapon, uttering threats, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, resisting arrest, mischief and theft.


Neither the victim nor her children were injured.

Lamont: School Board Amalgamation Might Not Result In Savings

There might not be much in terms of savings if the Pallister Government decides to dissolve locally elected school boards and replace them with one provincial board.


That’s according to Dougald Lamont, the leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party and MLA for Saint Boniface.


Lamont spoke to Arctic Radio News on a recent trip to northern communities, and said that previous attempts to use an amalgamated school board did not result in much money being saved or a real improvement in the quality of education provided.


He said that the focus when it comes to education needs to be on how to help the students learn rather than funding.


Lamont added that education is vital to invest in as it is about future generations of Manitobans.


Schuler: Winter Roads All Good To Go

The winter roads here in Manitoba are all good to go.


That’s the message from Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler, who recently announced that all northern communities now have access to the winter road system.


Schuler says that the Pallister Government will be spending $4.5M to provide 22 communities access to the winter road network this year.


He says that the roads not only facilitate the hauling of freight to northern and remote communities, but also allows residents of those communities with temporary access to the rest of the province.


SDML Footing Bill For RDPC Students To Get To Class

If you or your child attends RD Parker Collegiate, you don’t have to worry about getting a bus pass.


Following the restoration of transit within the city, the School District of Mystery Lake has announced that they’re footing the bill for high school students to make sure they get to class.


RDPC students, as well as grade seven and eight students who are attending classes at RD Parker, will be able to get to and from class during regular school days until the end of March.


The school board said that they want to thank Maple Bus Lines for providing transit services free of charge to their students prior to transit starting up again.


The full bus schedule can be found here, or in the pictures below.

Juniper Students Hosting Book Drive For Moose Lake

If you have any books at home that aren’t being used, the students at Juniper School want to hear from you.


The Juniper Student Council is spearheading a book drive for the month of February, which is “I Love To Read” month. The books will be delivered to the community of Moose Lake at the end of the month.


Brooke Marofke, a grade eight student and one of the key organizers, spoke to Arctic Radio News and said that they decided on a book drive “because all kids should be able to read”.


She said that the drive is part of their WE school projects, and that they are helping to create change around literacy and to help improve the future of other students by allowing them to have better literacy skills.


Brooke said that they chose Moose Lake after learning about the community and the fact that they did not have a lot of books. She said that they spoke to the principal of the school there, and that he’s excited to get the books once the drive is over.


The goal for the book drive is to collect 1137 books; one for every person who lives in Moose Lake.


Donations can be dropped off at Juniper School during school hours.


If you’d like to learn more about the book drive, tune in to Thompson Today on 102.9 CHTM this afternoon at 12:40pm and again at 5:10pm.

Ashton Pushing For Ottawa To Extend EI Sick Leave

Your Member of Parliament is hard at work every day holding the Trudeau Government to task.


Niki Ashton recently spoke in the House of Commons on a Liberal motion that would study the issue of Employment Insurance sick leave benefits, which currently sits at 15 weeks and hasn’t been extended since the 1970’s.


Ashton said that while she’ll join her NDP colleagues in supporting the motion, Ashton said that she is disappointed that the government is more focused on looking like their doing things rather than actually doing them.


In her statement she went on to talk about Natalie Thomas, a cancer survivor who was forced back to work early after battling breast cancer as her EI sick benefits had run out.


Ashton also spoke about Marie-Helene Dube, another cancer survivor forced back to work early even though she wasn’t ready. Dube has presented a petition to the Federal Government to extend the benefit from 15 weeks to 50, and collected over 600,000 signatures.


Ashton said that almost 40% of Canadians who use EI sick benefits are maxing them out, and that once they do they have no choice other than to return to work while still injured or leaving their jobs.


She said that the motion represents four years of Liberals refusing to fix the problem, and almost half a decade of successive Liberal and Conservative governments ignoring the issue.

Break From Deep Freeze Helping Spirit Of Thompson Come Through

There’s no shortage of good things happening here in Thompson if you know where to look.


Mayor Colleen Smook recently spoke to Arctic Radio News and said that there were three major conferences in Thompson this week, including two that would normally take place down south.


“MKO had a human trafficking and exploitation conference at the Ma-Mo-We-Tak centre with about 150 people in attendance. Then we had one at St Joseph’s Ukrainian hall that was on education for the north; it was a small but robust group in attendance for that. Then even in the TRCC there was a three-day conference on waste management and recycling. This is the second year they’ve actually held that in Thompson and again you’ve got about 150 people from all the outlying communities”


Mayor Smook said that with the at least temporary break from the deep freeze that the spirit of Thompson is starting to come through.


She added that everyone is “all gung-ho about making Thompson a great place once again.”  


Bindle: New Ambulances Part Of Continuing Work To Improve Healthcare For All Manitobans.

The recent announcement of 65 new ambulances from the Pallister Government is part of their continuing work to improve healthcare for all Manitobans.


That’s according to Thompson MLA Kelly Bindle who said in his recent MLA report that the new ambulances, which are expected to be delivered to all five health regions in Manitoba later this year, will modernize the provincial fleet.


Bindle said that improvements like the new ambulances and the $5M annual investment for 60 full-time rural paramedic positions will build capacity, equip staff and bring in more skilled professionals to Manitoba’s system.


In the report, he also took time to thank two different classes at École Riverside School, Madame Oster’s grade 4 class and Madame Carrigan’s grade 3-4 class, for having him in to read to the students.


Bindle says that he also talked to the classes about the provincial political system and answered any questions that they had.


Ashton Once Again Calls For Action On Conditions In First Nations Communities

Our Member of Parliament is continuing to push Ottawa when it comes to living conditions in First Nations communities.


After calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to act on the housing crisis Wednesday, Niki Ashton spoke again yesterday in the House of Commons and said that the PM’s answers were “nothing more than platitudes”, and that urgent action is needed now.


Ashton said that the Federal Government is ignoring communities like Garden Hill that don’t have running water, and that 500 students in Mathias Colomb can’t go to school because of mould.


Saint Boniface MP Dan Vandal, who serves as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services, said that all children deserve a safe and healthy environment to learn in and that work is already underway to remediate mould at the school.


Vandal added that he looks forward to working with Ashton moving forward.


Lieutenant Governor's Award Nominations Open

Nominations are now open for the 2019 Lieutenant Governor’s Award.


The award is for those who help with the preservation and promotion of Manitoba’s history.


Gordon Goldsborough, from the Manitoba Historical Society, says that nominations are open to anyone.


He said that people who help promote the province’s history through things like writing books, art projects or running museums would qualify to be nominated.


The nomination deadline is March 1st.


If you'd like to nominate someone, you can find the forms at either the Manitoba Historical Society website or the Lieutenant Governor's website.

New Waste Water Treatment Plant Set To Be Commissioned In Late April

The new waste water treatment plant is scheduled to be commissioned at the end of April, meaning that the project is a few months behind schedule.


Despite the delays, there will not be any addition costs to the City of Thompson.


That’s because of a lump sum contract, which means that if the work isn’t substantially done by the agreed upon date, the City, and its partners, could enact a penalty clause for every day the work falls behind.


On a recent tour of the construction site, Mayor Colleen Smook said that the plant feels like a “whole new world” from when she first visited.


She added that the City is excited to commission the plant come spring time and commit to preserving our environment.


The City’s bill for the project sits around $12M, which represents one third of the total cost.


That money will be paid for with a combination of frontage fees and water rate riders over the next 25 years.


Photo courtesy of Kacper Antoszewski, City of Thompson


RCMP Looking For Applicants For Aboriginal Pre-Cadet Training Program

If you’re a young First Naitons, Metis or Inuit adult, the RCMP has an opportunity that could be for you.


They’re currently looking for candidates to take part in the Aboriginal Pre-Cadet Training Program, set to take place in Regina from May 13th until the 31st.


The program is open to Canadian First Nations, Metis or Inuit people between the ages of 19 and 29, and offers transportation, meals, accommodation, a uniform and three weeks of training pay.


Other requirements include being in good physical condition, a Canadian high school diploma or equivalent, and a valid Canadian driver’s license.


The program itself, which aims to provide an inside look at the life of a police officer, will include focused teaching in areas such as collaborative problem solving skills, law enforcement, public speaking and cultural diversity.


There will also be elements of physical fitness and drill included, which help promote teamwork while providing those in the program with long-term strategies to meet personal fitness goals.


If you’d like to apply for the program, or would like more information, you can call Sergeant Barry Ledoux at 639-625-4221. Alternatively, you can email Sgt Ledoux by clicking here.


The application deadline is February 22nd.

Maple Bus Lines Set To Take Over City Bus Services Until June 30

You’ll soon be able to take the bus to work, school or appointments once again.


Thompson City Council has approved a resolution to finalize and enter into a transit contract with Maple Bus Lines, who will provide transit services within the city until the end of June.


Seven of the eight members of council voted in favour of the resolution, with Councillor Duncan Wong making the choice to abstain from voting all together rather than voting against.


Wong was the first councillor to speak on the resolution and started off by thanking City administration for their hard work in getting this resolution to council, specifically City Manager Anthony McInnis and CFO Jenny Krentz. Wong then said that he wants to make it clear that he’s not against transit, but is concerned with the cost to the taxpayer on this short-term agreement. He said that he had suggested a different approach to transit, but that that his colleagues “don’t have the appetite” to entertain that issue.


Councillor Earl Colbourne spoke in favour of the resolution saying that this isn’t the final answer to transit, but rather paves the way to a long-term solution.


Councillor Judy Kolada, who also spoke in favour, said that while transit is needed in a city the size of Thompson, council and administration might need to consider raising transit fees to help offset the cost.


Councillor Les Ellsworth spoke just before council voted on the resolution, and said that the City needs to look towards the future rather than living in the past. Ellsworth also said that he spent “many sleepless nights” thinking about all of the students who missed school because of the lack of transit.


The City has been without municipal transit since Greyhound left western Canada at the end of October, though Maple Bus Lines has been providing some service along the Eastwood bus route to SDML and UCN students throughout the winter months.



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