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The Thompson Local News

City Taps Director Of Development Services As Next City Manager


The City has named their choice to replace Gary Ceppetelli.

 

A resolution was passed earlier this evening by City Council to officially appoint Anthony McInnis as the next city manager. McInnis is currently the Director of Development Services, and will start in his new role in September 4th.

 

McInnis grew up in Thompson, and spent his first year of post-secondary studies at UCN. He graduated with an undergraduate degree from the University of Manitoba in Environmental Sciences, and later earned a PhD from the University of Vermont.

 

The former Riverside Ram said when he was brought on by the City in his current role that his first priority was to understand the needs for the community in the coming years.

 

McInnis spent time with Manitoba Indigenous and Northern Affairs before coming back to Thompson, working as a technical and public works consultant, assisting northern communities implementing public infrastructure and capital projects.

 

Photo courtesy of Thompson Citizen

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Workforce Adjustment Services Hold Sessions Tomorrow, Thursday


If you’re set to be impacted by layoffs at Vale next month, there are sessions tomorrow and Thursday for you.

 

The information sessions will take place tomorrow morning at 8:30am and then at 8:30pm at the United Steelworkers hall.

 

They will also be run Thursday (June 21st), again at 8:30am and 8:30pm at the union hall.

The sessions are designed to help workers through the first steps of unemployment, as well as the transition to a new job.

 

Representatives from Vale and Steelworkers Local 6166 will be in attendance to answer questions.

 

The sessions are intended for Vale employees and Vale-affected contract workers.

 

If you’d like more information, you can call 204-778-6052. 

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City Pays Out over $800, Waives Over $4000 In Fees To Kick-Off Clean Community Month


Thompsonites saved a lot of money by getting rid of trash during waste disposal weekend.

 

$4350 in fees was waived for 375 regular loads of residential waste that were brought to the landfill between June 1st and 3rd.

 

As part of the annual Clean Community Day on June 2nd, people picked up 279 bags of trash from the streets, and traded in them in for $3 cash each. In total, $838 was paid out on that day.

 

Those numbers are down from 2017, when the City of Thompson paid over $1200 for the over 400 bags turned in. The amount for tipping fees that were waived are also down from last year by around $6000.

 

Mayor Dennis Fenske says that it is encouraging to see so many people out to help clean the community, especially in the rain that came down on the 2nd.

 

He added that he, and everyone else at City Hall, encourages everyone to carry the clean community spirit throughout the summer to help keep the streets fresh and litter free.

 

Community Clean-Up month runs until June 22nd, and the City says that there is still time to raise some money for your group or organization by helping clean up Thompson.

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Man Facing Seven Charges Following RCMP Investigation In The Pas, OCN


What started as an investigation of suspected meth trafficking has led to charges sexual exploitation charges.

 

OCN and The Pas RCMP started investigation Eric Leonard Richards on June 12th, suspecting that he was trafficking methamphetamine. During a traffic stop, RCMP members found and seized meth as well as items related to the trafficking of the narcotic.

 

Further investigation led offers to determine that Richards was involved in the sexual exploitation of multiple youth, and attempted to obtain sexual services from minors in exchange for drugs and alcohol.

 

The 64-year-old is facing seven charges, and remains in RCMP custody.

 

Below is a list of the charges that Richards faces:

 

  • Sexual exploitation of a young person (x3)
  • Obtaining sexual services for consideration from a person under 18 (x2)
  • Possession for the purpose of trafficking
  • Failure to comply with an undertaking.

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New City Manager To Be Appointed At Council Monday


The next city manager for Thompson will be announced Monday.

 

Thompson City Council is set to meet Monday evening, and the first resolution on the agenda is the appointment of a new city manager.

 

Current city manager Gary Ceppetelli has served as Thompson’s city manager since 2011, and has been a municipal employee since 2008. He is set to retire in October.

 

The agenda also includes a resolution to approve the May cheque register, as well as a report from the public works committee.

 

This could be the last cheque register to be passed by resolution, as the finance and administration committee has recommended that future cheque registers be submitted to council as information.

 

The meeting will start at seven in Council Chambers at City Hall.

 

The full agenda can be found by clicking here.

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Changes May Be On The Way For Public Education In Manitoba


There may be major changes coming to the education system in Manitoba.

 

When asked if the Pallister Government was planning on doing away with school boards and trustees, Ian Wishart, the minister of education and training, did not say no.

 

Despite Burrow MLA Cindy Lamoureux asking for a yes or no response, Wishart said that the government has committed to do a full review of the K-12 system next year, and that they are looking forward to listening to the thoughts of Manitobans on changing the design of the education system.

 

A release from the Manitoba Liberal Party said that they are deeply concerned that the Pallister government isn’t being open with Manitobans when it comes to their plans for education.

 

Lamoureux said that the current government is known for its “lack of transparency and lack of consultation.”

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Pedersen Clarifies Mining Community Reserve Fund Decision


Despite conflicting reports, the Province said that there isn’t enough money in the Mining Community Reserve Fund (MCRF).

 

Blaine Pedersen, the Provincial Minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade spoke to Arctic Radio News to explain why Thompson isn’t getting any money from the MCRF.

 

He said that money from the fund cannot be allocated if there is less than $10M in the balance, which is the current situation. He added that Flin Flon, who had also made a request to access the MCRF, will not be receiving any money.

 

Read: Province Says City Won't Get Funds From Mining Reserve Fund

 

Pedersen said that NDP leader Wab Kinew didn’t provide the complete picture when he said there was $12M in the current balance. The Minister said that Kinew’s figures did not take into account accounts payable that are set to come from the funds, as well as other previously allocated money. Pedersen said that once that money is taken, the MCRF will be just below the $10M threshold that is required.

 

The Minister added that the work currently being done by Thompson City Council should have "been done years ago, as the City has known about the closure of the smelter and refinery for a long time."

 

To hear more from Minister Pedersen, make sure to listen to Thompson Today on Monday afternoon at 12:40pm and again at 5:10pm.

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Province To Study Proposed Changes To Thompson Planning District


It may be a while before the Thompson Planning District votes on whether or not to add Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (NCN) and Tataskweyak Cree Nation (TCN) as voting members of the board.

 

Despite now having written support from the Pallister Government, Mayor Dennis Fenske told Arctic Radio News that the Province wants to study the proposed changes.

 

Fenske added that the proposal to add both NCN and TCN to the planning district will affect not only Thompson, but other planning acts and First Nations across Manitoba.

 

The study is being done by the the provincial government as it is their legislation that would need to be amended.

 

The resolution to add the two First Nations as voting members of the Planning District has been on the agenda for the last two meetings, though it was tabled both times.

 

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Top RCMP Member In Thompson Supports Bill 229


The top cop in Thompson says that he’s behind Bill 229 which would see an expansion to the Intoxicated Persons Detention Act

 

Inspector Kevin Lewis, the officer in charge of the Thompson RCMP detachment, said that he is in favour of Liberal MLA Cindy Lamoureaux’s bill, which would see the Act expanded to allow law enforcement officers to detain people who are under the influence of drugs.

 

Read: Liberal MLA Proposes Amendment To Intoxicated Persons Detention Act

 

Lewis added that the legalization of marijuana will create a new burden on both the justice and health systems, so any extra tools for front-line workers will help make sure there is a smooth transition.

 

The Manitoba Court of Appeal said in the 1980’s that the act only applies to intoxication by liquor.

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Thompson RCMP Search For Missing Teen


Thompson RCMP are asking for the public’s help in the search for a missing teen.

 

14-year-old Claudette Feather Redhead was reported missing to the Mounties on Tuesday morning. Her family says that is believed to have left her residence between 12:30am and 6:30am that morning.

 

Redhead is described as Indigenous, 5’3” and 126 lbs with brown eyes and long brown hair.

 

Anyone with information should immediately call the Thompson RCMP detachment at 204-6776-911 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

 

Alternatively, you can text TIPMAN and your message to 274637, or submit a tip online on the Manitoba Crime Stoppers website.

 

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RCMP Says Some Numbers Up, Some Down In Most Recent Stats Report


The RCMP recently released their quarterly report to City Council.

 

The report is made up of statistics, outlining member activity and crime in the city.

 

Inspector kevin Lewis, who is in charge of the Thompson RCMP detachment, said that the RCMP saw a decrease in some serious and aggravated assault categories, but that they don’t know why.

 

He added that when it comes to numbers for traffic tickets, impaired driving charges and drug charges, increases are a good thing.

 

Inspector Lewis will join 102.9 CHTM on June 19th and 20th for a Thompson Today speaking about the report.

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Job Vacancy Rate Rising In Manitoba


The number of open jobs here in Manitoba is growing.

 

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) have released statistics that say there is 11,500 vacant jobs in the private sector here in the province, which translates to 2.7% of all jobs in the province.

 

Those numbers are up from the same period last year, which saw only 2.3% of jobs open.

 

According to the CFIB, the labour shortages have been putting pressure on wages, with companies looking to higher expecting to offer a higher average increase in pay over those who don’t have vacancies.

 

British Columbia currently has the highest percentage of jobs vacant with 3.8%, while Ontario has the highest number of vacant private sector jobs with 163,100.

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Province Says City Won't Get Funds From Mining Reserve Fund


The City of Thompson has been told they’re not getting any money from the mining reserve fund.

 

According to a letter from Dave Dyson, the Deputy Minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade, the balance of the Mining Community Reserve Fund is currently under $10M, which means that the legislation governing it does not allow any money to be given out.

 

The letter, dated June 1st, is on the agenda for tomorrow afternoon’s LIGA committee meeting, and is expected to be on the agenda for Monday’s regular meeting of Thompson City Council.

 

The correspondence contradicts a previous report, which said that the Pallister Government would not be allocating any money from the fund since the City has not submitted a long-term plan.

 

Minister Blaine Pedersen told Mayor Dennis Fenske that he did not have time to meet with Council when the Minister was in town in April, and Thompson MLA Kelly Bindle told Arctic Radio News later that the meeting did not take place as “there would not have been anything new to discuss”.

 

The Mining Reserve Fund was created to assist mining communities that are affected by partial or complete mine closures, and is funded by provincial mining tax revenues.

 

The full letter can be found here.

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RCMP: Facebook Isn't The Right Place To Report Crime


No one should be surprised when the RCMP does nothing about things people report on Facebook.

 

Inspector Kevin Lewis, the officer in charge of the Thompson RCMP detachment, spoke to Arctic Radio News and said that social media isn’t the best way to go when you’re looking for action to be taken. He added that when someone posts on Facebook about crime, it stays there and doesn’t go to the RCMP.

 

Inspector Lewis said that when people do report crime, it helps the RCMP better combat the issues. He added that when crime is reported to the detachment, they can look at hotspots and identify trends.

 

He said that without reports being made directly to the detachment, they can’t use the information in their strategies.

 

Inspector Lewis said that all crime should be reported to the detachment, whether it’s an assault or vandalism.

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Thompson Teachers Association Holds March, Rally To Protest Cuts


The Thompson Teachers Association (TTA) held a march and rally Saturday, saying that the Province is making cuts to the education system despite recent announcements to the contrary.

 

Kathy Pellizzaro, the president of the TTA, spoke to Arctic Radio News and said that the day as a whole went very well. She said that there were around 100 people in attendance, including teachers, parents, students and members of other local unions.

 

In an MLA Report published last month, Thompson MLA Kelly Bindle said that the Pallister Government is investing $1.3B for public schools in Manitoba next year, including a 7.4% ($2.3M) increase locally for the School District of Mystery Lake.

 

Pellizzaro told Arctic Radio News that she spoke with administration at the SDML office after hearing the news, and said that the increase is incorrect. The TTA president said that with increased enrollment, there is in fact up to a 2% decrease in funding for public schools here in Thompson.

 

United Steelworkers Local 6166 was out in full force for the event, with both President Warren Luky and Vice-President Tony Colbourne in attendance.

 

Luky spoke after the rally was done, and said that it’s important to support the teachers as they are facing a big challenge when it comes to the current provincial government. He added that it’s disappointing that the Pallister Government did not consult teachers, and haven’t had the best interest of children in mind.

 

Luky said that the message needs to be sent to Bindle, Education Minister Ian Wishart and Premier Brian Pallister to make sure that the cuts are reversed, and that they still have the chance to give appropriate funding to education.

 

A video of the march and rally can be found on the 102.9 CHTM Facebook page.

 

Photo courtesy of Kyle Darbyson, Thompson Citizen.

 

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Letkemann Theatre Hosts Year-End Concerts


Tomorrow night is the first of two year-end concerts for musical groups from the School District of Mystery Lake.

 

The first concert, on June 12th, will feature the junior high choir and junior choir as well as the junior and intermediate jazz ensembles.

 

The final concert of the year will be Wednesday night, and will feature the junior high bands as well as the R.D.P.C. junior concert band.

 

Both concerts start at 7:00pm in the Letkemann Theatre at R.D. Parker Collegiate.

 

Admission to both concerts is free.

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Annual Gutsy Walk Raises $8000


It was another good year for the Gutsy Walk here in Thompson.

 

Despite the rain, local organizer Dave Moore said that around $8000 was raised for Chron’s and Colitis research. Moore said that there were 15 people participating, while 20 were there in support.

 

He said that there is still time to make a donation, as they still hope to reach their fundraising goal over over $10,000.

 

Donations will be accepted until the end of the month, and if you’d like to donate you can call Dave Moore at 204-679-5732.

 

The Gutsy Walk helps raise money for Crohn’s and Colitis research.

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Fenske: Nothing Would Really Happen If Council Votes Down Resolution Approving Cheque Register


Despite fierce debating seemingly every time it comes up, nothing would really happen if the City’s cheque register was voted down by City Council.

 

Mayor Dennis Fenske spoke to Arctic Radio News, and said that it’s just a housekeeping item when it comes up every month. By the time the resolution comes before Council to approve the register, it has already been passed by finance and the cheques have already been paid out.

 

He added that the cheque register resolution is very similar to the annual audit resolution, in that it’s housekeeping to say that Council has seen it.

 

Fenske said that the only real thing that could be done would be to go ask the people or organizations for the money back.

 

He added that they are considering not putting the register in the agenda as a resolution, but rather just for information.

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Bindle Blasts NDP, Says Manitobans "Punted Them Out"


Our MLA did not mince his words when he spoke recently in the Manitoba Legislature.

 

Kelly Bindle said that he recently had breakfast with a group of retired Thompsonites who now live in Winnipeg. He said that they know that trust and working together was crucial to building up Thompson and the north.

 

Bindle then turned to his NDP counterparts and did not mince his words. The former Inco employee blasted the opposition, saying that they broke their word and that the current session is extended because of it.

 

He added that not telling the truth was one of the reasons that Manitobans “punted” the NDP from power two years ago.

 

Bindle said that nothing has changed when it comes to the Manitoba NDP, and that those who do not have a close relationship with the truth need to be challenged.

 

The Pallister Government says that there was a deal in place with the NDP when it comes to the opposition asking questions about the budget, as well as an interim supply motion (pays for government operations until the budget is implemented).

 

P.C. House Leader Cliff Cullen said that it was the NDP that broke the verbal agreement, though opposition leader Wab Kinew said that the only deal that was ever in place was to due with the interim supply motion.

 

Kinew responded to Cullen’s accusation, saying that he is “misrepresenting the situation” and that it seems like “somebody is trying to cover up the situation to try and look good for his boss”.

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Camp Day 2018 Surpasses 2017 For Money Raised


Camp Day 2018 was a resounding success here in Thompson.

 

$5978 was raised, with $3500 coming from coffee sales alone.

 

One hundred percent of all coffee sales from 12:00am until 11:59pm Wednesday went towards the Tim Horton’s Children’s Foundation.

 

The foundation will help send over 14,000 kids to camp this summer who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford to go.

 

There was just over $4600 raised locally in 2017.

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Cross Lake RCMP Seize Cocaine


Cocaine is off the streets of Cross Lake thanks to tips from the public.

 

Cross Lake RCMP made an arrest last week following several reports that several people were selling drugs in the community.

 

Officers arrested 27-year-old Tessa Joy Monias at the Cross Lake Inn, and she was found in possession of around eight grams of cocaine and a large amount of cash.

 

Monias was taken into custody on charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking and possession of property obtained by crime. She was scheduled to appeared in court this past Monday.

 

The investigation is ongoing.

 

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Thompson RCMP Seize Drugs, Cash And Weapons


There are mroe drugs and weapons off of the streets thanks to the RCMP.

 

Thompson RCMP executed three search warrants almost a week ago, and seized over 150 grams of cocaine, 84 grams of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, cash, and weapons.

 

Five people were arrested, including a 16-year-old and an 18-year-old.

 

Four of the five were released, and are set to appear in provincial court next month.

 

The fifth person arrested, a 31-year-old-man from Eastwood area, remains in custody.

 

All five face charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of a controlled substance, and other criminal code charges.

 

The investigation is ongoing.

 

 

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Pedersen: The North Matters


Blaine Pedersen says that the north matters to Manitoba as a whole.

 

Pedersen, who currently serves as the Provincial Minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade, spoke to Arctic Radio News on a recent visit to Thompson and said that the north has been a priority of the Pallister Government since they were elected.

 

Pedersen added that he has been to Thompson more in the past eight months than some communities in his own riding.

 

To hear part one of the three part interview with Minister Pedersen, tune in to 102.9 CHTM tomorrow afternoon at 12:40pm and again at 5:10pm.

 

Photo courtesy of Thompson Citizen.

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Tomorrow Is Tim Horton's Camp Day


If you chose to get your daily cup of joe at Tim Horton’s tomorrow, you’ll be helping send a kid to camp.

 

June 6 is Tim Horton’s Camp Day, where 100% of proceeds from hot coffee sales go towards the Tim Horton’s Children’s Foundation (THCF).  

 

THCF uses the funds from Camp Day to help youth from low-income homes go on a “life-changing experience” at a Tim Horton’s camp.

 

According to Tim Horton’s, THCF runs programs that are designed to help kids think differently about themselves and their future opportunities.

 

Camp day started 25 years ago, and more than $175M has been raised with over 257,000 kids being sent to camp with the funds.

 

There are six Tim Horton’s camps in Canada, including one in Pinawa, Manitoba.

 

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RCMP Receive Call About Rock Attack On Mystery Lake Road


Thompson RCMP says things are being blown out of proportion.

 

Officers received a call Monday night that people were putting logs in the middle of the road, and that rocks were thrown at the vehicles that were forced to stop. According to the RCMP, all suspects fled once the members arrived at the scene.

 

The incident was reported to have happened on what is known as the 70 stretch of Mystery Lake Road, between the Heritage North Museum and Robin’s Donuts

 

Multiple people took to FaceBook following the incident, prompting comments calling once again for a curfew.

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33rd Annual Cabaret Tomorrow Night


Tomorrow night is the R.D. Park Music Department’s 33rd annual Cabaret.

 

The performance will feature the senior music ensembles from R.D. Parker, and serves as a celebration of the 25 soon-to-be graduates from the program.

 

The concert is scheduled to start at 7:00pm in the Letkemann Theatre, and the theme for this year is a tribute to the great villains of stage, page and screen.

 

General admission tickets are available at the door for $5.00, while students get in for free.

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North Star Air Sets Up Shop Here In Thompson


There is now a new option for shipping cargo to and from Thompson.

 

North Star Air is set to partially move in to the airport on June 11th, though their $5.5M hangar isn’t scheduled to be fully finished until closer to the end of the month.

 

The airline says that they’re only going to be operating cargo flights, but have left the door open for passenger transportation down the road.

 

Tom Meilleur, the Vice President of North Star Air, spoke at a recent Thompson Chamber of Commerce meeting and said that North Star currently has 20 local full-time employees, with plans to add more within the next few months.

 

The Thunder Bay-based airline was acquired by the North West Company back in April 2017 in hopes of stabilizing food costs in the north.

 

Photo of Tom Meilleur at the Thompson Chamber of Commerce, courtesy of Kyle Darbyson, Thompson Citizen.

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City To Revamp Community Contact List, Develop Online Profile


The City of Thompson is looking to refine and expand their presence online.

 

Kacper Antoszewski, the City of Thompson’s Communications Officer, spoke to Arctic Radio News and said that the community contact list is something that needs work.

 

He said that the list hasn’t been on Thompson.ca since the new site was launched in December, and that they have many requests from the public for more information about what is going on in town and where they can find things.

 

Antoszewski said they’re hoping to update the list and create “a more targeted framework”, where you can find everything you need to know for everything from sports leagues to support groups.

 

Another thing on the radar for the Communications Officer is the development of both a comprehensive community profile and comprehensive investment profile.

 

Antoszewski said that the work would be done in conjunction with Thompson 2020 and its partners. He added that the goal is to paint a more complete picture of Thompson, as what you see when you Google Thompson is “very one-dimensional”.

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New Neighbourhood Watch Forms Here In Thompson


There is a response to recent crime and mischief in the works that is being put together by ordinary citizens here in Thompson.

 

A neighbourhood watch group known as Peace and Prevention Community is currently in the development stages, though they say their first patrol is planned for this weekend.

 

Stephanie Third, one of the group’s main organizers, said that their goal is to be as visible and approachable as possible, adding that that might help some people that aren’t able to request help or feel comfortable doing so.

 

One of the main principals of the group is that they will not be using an aggressive approach, but rather focusing on safety and compassionate outreach.

 

Third clarified that the group is not a vigilante group, and said that they will never physically engage anyone.

 

She said that they are still looking for recruits who are willing to contribute “in whatever way they can”, and that more information is available on their Facebook page.

 

Photo courtesy of Kyle Darbyson, Thompson Citizen

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CFIB Says Business Optimism Is Down


Small business optimism here in Manitoba is now below the national average.

 

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) recently released their monthly Business Barometer, which saw Manitoba drop from 59.9 to 59.3. The national average currently sits at 62.5.

 

The figures are on a scale of 0 to 100, and the results are based on responses from members of the organization.

 

Jonathan Alward, who serves as the CFIB’s Director of Manitoba Affairs, said that the CFIB is concerned that state-of-business health dropped significantly from April to May, with only 32% of business owners saying their businesses are in good shape. That number is down from 53% at the start of 2018.

 

Alward added that only 16% of small businesses are planning on hiring in the near future, with 12% planning layoffs.

 

The CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members from coast to coast, including 4,800 in Manitoba.

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Monday's Council Meeting Looks To Be A Short One


Thompson City Council is set to meet Monday night, thought it shouldn’t take long.

 

As always, the meeting will include an opportunity for the public to ask Council questions following the adoption of minutes.

 

The only other item on the agenda on the agenda is a resolution to approve the April 2018 cheque register.

 

The document did not make it to Council last month, as it was reviewed by the Finance and Administration Committee on May 28th after their regular mid-month meeting did not take place.

 

The register contains 200 cheques, representing $2814,941.77.

 

The meeting is scheduled to start at 7:00pm in Council Chambers at City Hall.

 

All are welcome to attend.

 

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Commuter Challenge Starts Monday


The 2018 Commuter Challenge starts on Monday.

 

The challenge is a week-long friendly competition during Canadian Environment Week to celebrate active and sustainable transportation.

 

Carmen Ho, from the Northern Regional Health Authority, spoke to Arctic Radio News and said that that anyone can register and take part, representing both where they live and where they work.

 

To participate, your workplace must be registered before Monday.

 

You can register online by clicking here.

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Annual Gutsy Walk Sunday


The annual Gutsy Walk for Crohn’s and Colitis is taking place on Sunday.

 

The Gutsy Walk has been taking place since 1996, and has raised over $35M in Canada for research and patient programs.

 

Local organizer Dave Moore spoke to Arctic Radio News, and said more education is needed on Crohn’s and Colitis as many people don’t like talking about them due to their nature.

 

Crohn’s and Colitis are the two main forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). They are autoimmune diseases that cause the body to attack itself, leading to inflammation of all or part of the gastrointestinal tract. Those with IBD experience abdominal pain, cramping, gas, bloating, fatigue, frequent and urgent bowel movements, internal bleeding and unintended weight loss.

 

When it comes to what happens to the money raised, he said that 65% of goes towards research, with 20% going to education and the final 15% to administration costs.

 

If you’d like to take part in the walk but haven’t signed, Moore asks that you give him a call at 204-679-5732 either today or tomorrow.

 

The walk has been going on here in Thompson for many years, and has started to be recognized across the country. The 2016 Thompson Gutsy Walk was the best per-capita in Manitoba (in terms of funds raised), while the 2017 walk was the best per-capita in Canada.

 

Over 250,000 people have IBD here in Canada, with an estimated one person being diagnosed with either Crohn’s or Colitis every hour.

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Ashton Blasts Trudeau Over Pipeline Purchase


Our Member of Parliament is not happy with the Federal Government’s decision to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline.

 

Niki Ashton spoke in the House of Commons earlier this week, and asked the Prime Minister why it took so long for ‘government’ to help the people of Little Grand Rapids escape a forest fire earlier this month. She also asked why the Liberals are investing in the pipeline rather than spending that money on all-weather roads and “improving the lives of First Nations people in this country”.

 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded to the remarks, saying that the two issues (the government’s investment in First Nations and the pipeline) have nothing to do with each other. He added that it would be easier for the government to invest in First Nations if the country wasn’t “losing $15B every year because we can’t get our resources in any other market than the United States for our oil”.

 

The Federal Liberals announced Tuesday that they had reached a deal with Kinder Morgan for the proposed Edmonton to Vancouver pipeline at a price tag of $4.5B.

 

The purchase of the pipeline came under fire from both the Conservative Party and the NDP after the deal was announced.

 

You can watch Niki Ashton's question and Prime Minister Trudeau's response by clicking here.

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Feds Announce Deal For Churchill Railway And Port


Repairs are expected to be underway in the very near future following an announcement by the Federal Government that OmniTrax has reached a deal to sell the port of Churchill and the only land connection the northern community has to the south.

 

The Denver-based corporation has stuck a deal with a group which includes Missinippi Rail and One North. Jim Carr, the Minister of Natural Resources, said that "the people of Northern Manitoba have long understood the value of the rail line" and that "this agreement allows those most affected to have a direct stake in the future and long-term interests of their communities".

 

The deal was reached in principal, with legal issues that have to been sorted out before repairs can start. 

 

According to the release, the agreement includes the participation of 30 First Nations and 11 non-First Nation communities here in the north, as well as seven Kivalliq communities in western Nunavut. 

 

The specifics of the deal have not yet been announced. 

 

 

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Vice Chairperson Janet Brady To Step Down From SDML Board At End Of School Year


There will soon be an empty chair at School District of Mystery Lake trustee meetings until the new board is elected in October.

 

At the last board meeting, Vice Chairperson Janet Brady announced that she will be resigning as a trustee at the end of the current school year.

 

Her retirement from the board coincides with her retirement from the University of Manitoba Northern Social Work program.

 

Brady spoke to Arctic Radio News and said that the she felt she should wait until the end of the year, as it would cause the least amount of disruption with no board meetings during the summer and only a few meetings in September before the October election.

 

She added that one of her favourite memories from her years as a trustee was going out to the schools and reading to classes during “I Love To Read Month” every February.

 

Brady said that one of the things she plans on doing in retirement is attending a Winnipeg Goldeyes game, as she says they’ve always been out of town whenever she was in Winnipeg.

 

 

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World No Tobacco Day Tomorrow


World No Tobacco Day is tomorrow, May 31st.

 

The day was created by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1988, and focuses on the health risks associated with tobacco use. The day is also used to advocate for the reduction of tobacco use.

 

Carmen Ho, from the Northern Regional Health Authority, spoke to Arctic Radio News and said that the focus for World No Tobacco Day 2018 is the impact that tobacco has on the cardiovascular health of people worldwide.

 

According to statistics from the WHO, tobacco kills up to half of those who use it. Over 7,000,000 (over 6,000,000 through direct use, just under 900,000 through second hand smoke) people die annually around the world due to tobacco, while over 2,000,000 lose their lives due to tobacco-caused cardiovascular diseases.

 

Around 80% of the world’s 1.1B smokers live in low and middle income countries.

 

More information on World No Tobacco Day can be found by clicking here, while a fact sheet from the WHO on tobacco can be found by clicking here.

 

The WHO was established in 1948, and serves as the United Nations' health agency.

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City Waiving Tipping Fee For Landfill This Weekend


If you have garbage that you’re planning on hauling to the dump, this weekend is the time to do it.

 

The City of Thompson will once again be waiving the fees for those wanting to drop off 1/2 ton, single and double trailer loads of residential waste.

 

Fees will be waived on Friday (June 1st) from 8:00am until 5:45pm, and on Saturday and Sunday (June 2nd and 3rd) from 8:00am until 3:45pm.

 

The fees are only being waived for residential waste. The regular charges for commercial dumping and any fees for special waste (mattress, fridge/freezer, propane tanks) will still apply.

 

Anyone with questions is encouraged to call Public Works at 204-677-7970.

 

The waiving of the tipping fee is a part of the City’s annual community clean-up.

 

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Mini-Carnival Raises $600


The mini-carnival that took place at MacLean Park last weekend was a success.

 

$600.00 was raised by those in attendance, who had the chance to throw a pie in the face of public figures, such as City Councillors and 102.9 CHTM's own Max Healey.

 

The four-hour festival was put on in the wake of the tragic death of three boys just outside Nelson House at the end of April. 

 

The money will be used for a memorial to honour the victims of the car crash, as well as helping to build a new bike path and to get extra lighting along the road.


NCN Council member Bonnie Linklater accepted the funds at the end of the carnival, and said that she thanks everyone for their support from the bottom of her heart, and that it's “beautiful as everyone comes together as a community for our youth”.

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Liberals Say NDP "Don't Care" About Justice, Municipalities


According to the Liberals, the Manitoba NDP are ignoring serious issues.

 

Figures recently released by the Manitoba Liberal Party suggest the NDP has spent 100 hours asking questions of the Pallister government, with less than half an hour spent on justice, and no time spent on municipal relations.

 

Liberal house leader, Jon Gerrard, said in a release that Manitoba has court backlogs, jails are overcrowded and cases are being thrown out but the NDP doesn't seem to care.

 

Dougald Lamont, the leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party, said that actions speak louder than words. He added that the NDP have “made it clear that justice, municipalities and agriculture aren't even on their radar”.

 

The statistics say that the most time has been spent on health, seniors and active living, followed by executive council and finance.

 

Below is a breakdown of the time alloted by the NDP to each topic, as reported by the Liberal Party.

 

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Over $160M Investment Projected For Thompson In 2018


2018 is set to be a big year when it comes to construction here in the City of Thompson.

 

Councillor Penny Byer, the chair of the Development Review Committee, spoke at the last regular meeting of City Council and said there is a lot of work already done, with much more on the way.

 

Byer said that there are many major projects scheduled for this year, including the new McDonald’s restaurant and the reconstruction of the Interior Inn. Below is a list of the projects included in the report.

 

The City has eight capital projects in the works for 2018, which include the expansion of the multi-use path system along Princeton Drive and road renewal work along Station Road.

 

 

The total construction value for work done up to May 22 is just north of $8M, while the projected development investment for 2018 is sitting at over $160M. Of that, $120M is projected to come from private sector investors.

 

Byer said that those figures show the faith that investors have in the local economy. 

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Council Requests AMM Lobby Province To Change Mining Tax Act


Thompson City Council has said that changes need to be made to the Province’s Mining Tax Act.

 

Council passed a resolution last week asking that the Association of Manitoba Municipalities lobby the Pallister government to amend the Mining Tax Act (MTA) to both increase the percentage of the tax that is allocated to the Mining Community Reserve Fund (MCRF), as well as to clarify the process for mining communities to access those funds.

 

Councillor Blake Ellis spoke in support of the resolution, saying that the process needs to be clarified. Ellis said that he questions why the MCRF exists if the largest mining community in the province, which is facing a large job loss, can’t access the funds.

 

Councillor Penny Byer spoke in support, saying that the MTA and MCRF were set up a long time ago, so a review isn’t a bad idea. She added that changing the MTA to clarify the process would go along with the Pallister government’s red tape reduction efforts.

 

Councillor Ron Matechuk voiced his opposition to the resolution, saying that the City “can’t expect the Province to prop us up when we sign off on bad deals” and that “the wording is quite clear; if we don’t qualify, we don’t qualify”.  

 

The resolution passed by a vote of six-two, with Councillors Matechuk and Wong voting against.

 

Mayor Dennis Fenske, speaking on City Beat late last week, said that money in the MCRF needs to be accessible to those communities that need it. He added that the Province is unwilling to change the legislation that is currently restricting communities who want to access the fund.

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Planning District Tables Resolution For Second Time


The Thompson Planning District is sticking with its current voting members for now.

 

Before the last meeting of Thompson City Council, the Planning District held a meeting with one item on the agenda; a resolution which would request that the Province make the amendments needed to include Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation and Tataskweyak Cree Nation as voting members of the district.

 

Mayor Dennis Fenske said the he recommends that the resolution be tabled, as there had not yet been any official documentation from the Pallister government indicating that they support the proposed changes.

 

Mayor Fenske said that he had attempted to meet with both Jeff Wharton (Minister of Municipal Relations) and Eileen Clarke (Minister of Indigenous and Northern Relations) while he was in Winnipeg the week before, though neither meeting took place. He (Fenske) said that the meeting with Minister Clarke had to be cancelled at the last minute due to an emergency vote in the Legislature while Minister Wharton had assigned the meeting to his special assistant.

 

The Mayor added that in previous dialogue, both Clarke and Wharton had given their support, and Wharton had said he would provide official written support. No confirmation was received at the time of the meeting, though Councillor Penny Byer said it might take several weeks for the papers to arrive. Byer was in Winnipeg to attend Vision Quest, and went with Fenske to meet Minister Wharton’s assistant.

 

Fenske added that “it’s a moot point if we want to move this ahead if the Province isn’t willing to change [the] legislation”.

 

The motion to table was brought forward by Byer, and was passed unanimously. The resolution was first brought forward on April 23, though it was tabled.

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RCMP Look For Assistance In Search For Missing Woman


Thompson RCMP are calling on the public for assistance in the search for a missing woman.

 

60-year-old Dianne Mae Bignell was reported missing to the Thompson RCMP detachment on May 20th, and was last seen in the Juniper area around 8:30am on May 17th.

 

Bignell is described as Indigenous, 5’4”, a heavy build, tan complexion, grey shoulder length hair, brown eyes and wears glasses.

 

Anyone with information is asked to call 204-677-6911.

 

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RCMP Provide Tips On International Missing Children's Day


Today is International Missing Children’s Day, and the RCMP in Manitoba have a few tips for parents to help keep their children safe.

 

The Mounties say that while child abductions are rare in Canada, no one should ever have to say that their child is missing. They added that by engaging with and speaking to children, everyone can ensure that no child goes missing again.

 

Below are some tips that the RCMP feel are important.

 

 

More information and resources for parents can be found online at MissingKids.ca.

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Moose Lake RCMP Seize Drugs, Make Arrest During Assault Investigation


RCMP in Moose Lake have seized over 30 grams of illegal narcotics following what started out as an investigation into an assault.

 

Officers received a report last Saturday of an assault with a weapon in the community, and when they arrived on the scene they were told that a 20-year-old man had been sprayed with bear mace.

 

The victim was transported to the hospital for decontamination, while no other injuries were reported.

 

The Mounties located the suspect later in the day at a nearby residence, where he was arrested for assault with a weapon. During a search of the accused, the police found around 33 grams of cocaine in addition to a large sum of cash.

 

20-year-old Michael Campbell has been charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of property obtained by crime, and resisting arrest. He was released, but will appear in Provincial Court early next month.

 

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First Responders Deal With Several Fires Last Night


Thompson Fire and Emergency Services had their hands full last night.

 

Speaking on City Beat this morning, Mayor Dennis Fenske said that in addition to a fire just north of the Yale area, fire fighters were called to seven trash can fires.

 

Fenske said that 30-minute evacuation notices were given to some residents early this morning, though no one was evacuated and the fire is now being “mopped up”. Fenske added that if they had been forced to evacuate, they would have been directed to the TRCC.

 

Fenske said that as the conditions are extremely dry after the heat the City has experienced the past few days, everyone should use extreme caution and keep their eyes open.

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RCMP Report Highlights Increase Interaction Between Officers And Young People


The CSO program here in Thompson is something we should be proud of.

 

That’s what Mayor Dennis Fenske said during Tuesday’s regular meeting of council following a report from the RCMP.

 

Inspector Kevin Lewis, the top cop here in Thompson, joined City Council to go over their statistics, which were for the RCMP’s fourth quarter for the 2017/2018 year.

 

Councillor Duncan Wong asked Lewis why there was a drastic rise in youth engagement events, as there were 336 events for the fourth quarter of 2017/2018 while only 110 for the same period of the 2016/2017 year.

 

Inspector Lewis responded by saying that the increase is a result of the community relations officers scheduling more events, before Fenske clarified that the rise in that statistic is a good thing.

 

Mayor Fenske said that the CSO program was brought up at national meeting he recently attended in Ottawa. He said that the new RCMP Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner told the room of officials from across the country that the CSO program we have works and that it should be used as an example.

 

He added that both the new Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of the RCMP have a Thompson connection. Commissioner Brenda Lucki served at the Thompson detachment as a partner to Inspector Kevin Lewis, while Deputy Commissioner Kevin Brosseau was the commanding officer for “D” Division in Manitoba from 2012 through 2016.

 

The full report can be viewed by clicking here.

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Public Safety Committee Agendas And Minutes Now Available To The Public


The agendas a minutes for the City’s Public Safety Committee were missing from the City’s website until earlier this week.

 

City administration was asked Tuesday why the minutes or agenda were not there and haven’t been since November.

 

The agendas and minutes were posted the next day, and the City said the responsibility for posting the documents falls to the committee that holds the meeting.

 

The agendas and minutes for can be found here. The Public Safety Committee meets every second Thursday of the month at 4:00pm.

 

Councillor Judy Kolada has chaired the committee since Mayor Dennis Fenske appointed her in November, with Councillor Dennis Foley serving as her second.

 

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Council Approves Amended Waiving Of Fees Policy


At Tuesday evening’s meeting, Thompson City Council approved the amended waiving of fees policy, which now says that a maximum of 50 percent of fees can be waived if the group holding the event meets the criteria.

 

The idea of not fully waiving all fees was brought forward a few months ago in a council meeting by Councillor Duncan Wong, and was a part of the City’s cost saving measures in the recently passed budget.

 

Even though he brought up the subject months ago, Wong said that he suggested starting at 20% not being waived, and potentially increasing the percentage gradually on an annual basis.

 

After Councilors Wong, Matechuk and Byer spoke against the resolution; Mayor Fenske said that he was astounded by the comments as the topic had been discussed many times in the past.

 

He added that the City waived around $90,000 last year, resulting in a 1% tax increase for rate payers in Thompson.

 

Fenske said that the recommendation to waive up to only 50% has already been put in place at the recommendation of council, and that he’s astounded that some councillors are changing their opinion after the Relay for Life and Knights of Columbus Track Meet have already paid.

 

Wong, Matechuk and Byer were the only councillors to vote against the resolution, which passed by a vote of 5-3. Councillors Kolada, Valentino and Ellis as well as Deputy Mayor Smook and Mayor Fenske voted in favour.

 

Remembrance Day will be the only event going forward that will have the fees fully waived.

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RCMP Kept Busy During Road Safety Week


Even though Road Safety Week is over, that doesn’t mean that it’s no longer a priority.

 

Constable Sandy Deibert, from the Thompson RCMP detachment, spoke to Arctic Radio News and said that road safety is always a top priority for the RCMP and that they are committed to eliminating impaired driving and the tragedies that are associated with it.

 

During road safety week, which ran from May 15th through the 20th, officers here in Thompson checked over 100 vehicles, conducted two sobriety check stops and issued 26 traffic tickets.

 

Officers arrested two people for impaired driving on May 19th, which happens to be National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day.

 

One was arrested for refusing to provide a breath sample, while the other is facing charges of blowing over three times the legal limit. Both are scheduled to appear in court.

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Province To Combat Low Test Scores, Attempt to Centralize Collective Bargaining For Teachers


In addition “investing more than ever before” in the Manitoba public school system, the Pallister government says they are also prioritising improving test scores and centralizing collective bargaining for teachers.

 

Ian Wishart, the Provincial Minister of Education and Training, was recently in Thompson and spoke to Arctic Radio News about how the Province will be looking at improving the test scores.

 

Wishart said that they will be “rolling out a literacy-numeracy strategy very shortly”. He said it was a very consultative process, which involved talking to educators, parents and even industry members, as “[the province] needs to be producing what they need”. The Minister said that this isn’t something that can be “turned around overnight”, and even though the scores come out every two years, there shouldn’t be an expectation that there will be a drastic improvement.

 

Wishart also spoke about the government’s plan to centralize collective bargaining for teachers across Manitoba. The plan would replace the existing 38 agreements, all of which were negotiated locally, with one Manitoba-wide agreement. He said having one deal would put Manitoba in line with the rest of the country and that it would benefit teachers as much as anyone else, as it would introduce uniformity and equity. The Minister added that a lot of time is put in to doing “the same thing” 38 times, and that it results in a cost to the government.    

 

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Bindle: Minister Pedersen Didn't Meet With Mayor And Council Due To A Lack Of New Information


Blaine Pedersen did not meet with Mayor Dennis Fenske and the rest of Thompson City Council when he was in town at the end of April to discuss the Mining Reserve Fund because he felt he had all the information that he needed.

 

That’s according to Thompson MLA Kelly Bindle, who serves as the Legislative Assistant to the Minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade.

 

Mayor Dennis Fenske spoke at the May 7th council meeting before the 2018 Financial Plan was passed, saying that Pedersen would not meet with Mayor and Council to discuss the Mining Reserve Fund despite being in Thompson. Fenske added that the City has not received any commitment from the Pallister government with regards to monies in the Mining Reserve Fund.

 

Speaking to Arctic Radio News, Bindle said that Pedersen had met with Fenske three weeks previously in Winnipeg, and that “he believed he had all the information he required from the City at the time regarding the GIL (Grant-in-Lieu)”.

 

Bindle added that the Minister flew to Thompson that morning and left in the evening, and that the purpose of Pedersen’s visit was to attend the Economic Development Summit,

 

Bindle said that during the last meeting between Fenske and Pedersen, which Bindle was in attendance for, Minister Pedersen brought up a conversation that he (Pedersen) had been told about between Jeff Wharton (the Minister of Municipal Relations) and Mayor Fenske with regards to both the Province and AMM (the Association of Manitoba Municipalities) offering to “help the City (of Thompson) go over the budget and find efficiencies”.

 

Mayor Fenske addressed the suggestion of budget help during the regular meeting of City Council last night, and said that it was AMM who offered the help through the Province. Fenske said “as a member (of AMM) this council should take great offense to that suggestion...that the lobbying organization that we pay membership dues can better manage our budget and better identify budget priorities than we can as councilors”.

 

Mayor Fenske added that he made that point to Minister Pedersen, saying that the suggestion of AMM being able to do a better job than council on the budget for Thompson was short of offensive, and that the Province didn’t offer support through the Mining Reserve Fund. Fenske said that he was told by other government staff other funds could potentially be accessed.      

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Commission Proposes Combining Two Northern Electoral Districts


There may only be one MLA representing both Flin Flon and The Pas following the next provincial election.

 

The Manitoba Electoral Division Boundaries Commission recently released an interim report, which included proposed changes to the current electoral district map. Though all ridings have a proposed change, the report suggests the merger of the Flin Flon and The Pas areas.

 

The Commission said that based on 2016 Census data, all current northern electoral districts are below the established population quota. The report suggests that the Thompson riding be changed to include Gillam and Nelson House, while grouping most First Nations into two electoral districts.

 

The Commission suggested that Winnipeg should receive an addition region, as the population growth in the provincial capital is higher than anywhere else. The report says that the Commission did not want to add any new districts, leading to the proposed merger of Flin Flon and The Pas. 

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iChurchill Pulls Offer For Rail Line And Port


The rail line to Churchill is no closer to being repaired, reopened or sold by OmniTrax than it was this time last year.

 

A consortium of Manitoba First Nations and the iChurchill group had announced earlier this month that they had entered into an agreement with the owner to acquire the port and rail line. The release, which came from Peguis First Nation, said that the deal would be concluded in June, while a request for proposals to fix the line would be out in the days following their release.

 

iChurchill officially announced yesterday that they have officially pulled their offer, and now claim that the federal government never took their bid seriously and were “unwilling to engage in meaningful dialogue”.

 

Louis Dufresne, the CEO of iChurchill, said that when the group met with the government’s negotiator he made “made it clear that the government is willing to deal only with one specific company, a Toronto-based financial firm”. He added that the Government of Canada was willing to make a financial contribution to repairing the railway, but that “such a contribution is only available to the financial firm at this time”.

 

iChurchill, through a news release, went on to say that they had signed a letter of intent with OmniTrax back in March, and that the Denver-based company had notified the government that they had come to terms with a perspective buyer. OmniTrax was not mentioned by name in the Peguis First Nation press release which came out May 3rd, though it was mentioned this time.

 

Dufresne said that once OmniTrax told the government negotiator, Wayne Wouters, about the signed letter, they were told that the government was “pressing ahead with another firm” and that he (Wouters) indicated to OmniTrax that he had no interest in meeting with the iChurchill group.

 

The rail line, which serves as the only landline to Churchill, has been out of service since May 2017 after sections were washed out due to flooding. 

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Ribbon Officially Cut For New Northern Workforce Development Centre


The Northern Workforce Development Centre is now officially open at UCN here in Thompson.

 

The ribbon was officially cut by Thompson MLA Kelly Bindle, UCN President Doug Lauvstad, Vale’s Manager of Corporate Affairs and Human Resources for Manitoba Operations Ryan Land, and the Provincial Minister of Education and Training Ian Wishart.

 

Wishart spoke at the ceremony and said that the centre brings both industry and workers together to create direct paths for training, leading to employment. He added that in today’s environment of technological change and industrial restructuring, workforce development and redevelopment has never been more important than it is now. Wishart said that a skilled, adaptable and productive workforce is essential in Manitoba’s ability to compete, especially here in the north.

 

The Minister added that of the over $250,000 invested in the project the Pallister government contributed over $140,000, and that the centre supports the priorities of the Look North Report and Action Plan.

 

Land spoke before the ribbon was cut, and said that even though there are challenges for Vale over the next few months as the corporation closes the smelter and refinery. He said that the centre will ensure there are opportunities in the form of training pathways to employment. Land said that he is confident that down the road, people will look back and find that the needs of northern employers were met and northerners were able to find work thanks to the Northern Workforce Development Centre.

 

He added that discussions on the centre started years ago, and that he’s excited to see it finally come to fruition.

 

A letter of intent was signed by both Land and Lauvstad on behalf of Vale and UCN, saying that the two will work together to provide initial training and re-certification training to 1000 new and existing Vale employees.

 

The full ceremony can be found by visiting 102.9 CHTM on Facebook.

 

Photo courtesy of Kyle Darbyson, Thompson Citizen.

 

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Thompson City Council To Meet Tomorrow


Thompson City Council is set to meet tomorrow night.

 

The meeting will start shortly after seven, following a meeting of the Thompson Planning district. Planning District members will be voting on a resolution which if passed would pave the way for Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation and Tataskweyak Cree Nation to become voting members of the committee.

 

During the regular meeting, council will hear reports from the RCMP as well as the development review committee.

 

They will also vote on 11 resolutions, including one to approve the amended waiving of fees policy.

 

The council meeting agenda can be found here, and the Planning District agenda can be found here.

 

The meetings will take place at City Hall, and the public is welcome to attend.

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Sustainable Development: No Issues Currently With Wildfire Situation


Despite an increase in the number of fires across the province, Manitoba Sustainable Development says that they have had no issues containing the wildfires reported so far this year.

 

Gary Friesen, the Wildfire Program Manager with Sustainable Development, spoke to Arctic Radio News and said that those who are out in the forest need to be extra careful due to the dry conditions.

 

He said that those who are out on ATV’s should stick to established trails and routinely check the exhaust and engine areas of their machines to make sure there is no build up of debris that could cause a fire to start. He also added that a small ax, small shovel and fire extinguisher should be with you any time you ride.

 

Friesen said that the conditions are especially dry in the north, as it takes plants and trees longer to turn green due to colder temperatures and potential overnight frost.

 

There have been multiple fires in northern Manitoba so far in 2018, including one that reached a size of 221 hectares just west of Cross Lake.

 

Friesen said that there have been a total of 115 fires reported so far this year, which is higher than the average of 87. According to Sustainable Development, there are only around 45 active fires currently in the Province and they are not having issues controlling any of them.

 

If you spot a fire, you're asked to call 1-800-782-0076.

 

 

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Long Weekend Reminders


Tomorrow marks the start of the Victoria Day long weekend and the unofficial start of summer.

 

It also marks the start of road safety week here Manitoba.

 

Constable Sandy Deibert, from the Thompson RCMP detachment, spoke to Arctic Radio News and said that drivers need to pay attention while they're on the roads. That includes making sure you're not on your phone and have your complete focus on the road.

 

She added that if you are caught driving under the influence, your vehicle will be impounded, and you will be fingerprinted and arrested before heading to court.

 

Constable Deibert added that the same rules, and punishment, applies to those caught operating a boat while under the influence.

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Parkinson Canada Making Education Tour Stop In Thompson


Parkinson Canada is on an educational tour this spring and summer, which includes four stops here in northern Manitoba.

 

Donna Greening from Parkinson Canada, as well as Kelly Williams from the Movement Disorder Clinic in Winnipeg, will be making a stop here in Thompson on May 31st.

 

During the day they will be meeting with doctors and service providers, before an evening event open to the public.

 

Greening said that the evening event, which will take place at the Northern Health Region Building beside the hospital, will start at 6:30pm and is open to the public. Registration is request before the event, though she said that they will not turn people away.

 

The evening session will cover topics such as maximizing your life with Parkinson's, building yoru Parkinson's team and Parkinson Canada resources.

 

If you'd like to register for the event, you can do so by emailing Greening at donna.greening@parkinson.ca.

 

Greening will join 102.9 CHTM for Thompson Today tomorrow afternoon at 12:40pm and 5:10pm with more details on the event and information on Parkinson's disease.

 

 

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Bindle Announces $1.3B Investment By The Province In Public Education


The School District of Mystery Lake (SDML) will be getting a boost in funding for the 2018-2019 school year.

 

Thompson MLA Kelly Bindle spoke in the Provincial Legislature earlier this week, outlining what the Pallister government is doing to support public schools here in Manitoba.

 

Bindle said that the government is investing $1.3B in Manitoba Public Schools for the upcoming school year, which is an increase of $6.6M. He added that the SDML will be getting an additional $2.3M, which is a 7.4% increase.

 

Bindle, who serves as the Legislative Assistant to the Minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade, went on to say that the investments being made to point the Province in the right direction after what he called 17 years of mismanagement under the previous NDP government. During that time, Bindle said that the high school dropout rate was second highest in Canada, and math, science and reading scores were the lowest among the provinces.

 

Bindle said that part of their new approach is to have one collective bargaining agreement for teachers, rather than local deals being reached in each school district. He also added that the NDP are trying to “dupe teachers with fake news” about the government’s public sector wage freeze.

 

Bindle added that the current Progressive Conservative government is investing more in education than their NDP predecessors ever did.

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Liberal MLA Proposes Amendment To Intoxicated Persons Detention Act


A Liberal MLA is looking to have the Provincial Government amend the Intoxicated Persons Detention Act and give clarity to law enforcement officers.

 

Bill 229 was introduced at the Legislature yesterday during Question Period by Cindy Lamoureaux, the Manitoba Liberal Justice Critic and MLA for the Winnipeg riding of Burrows.

 

The proposed amendment would allow law enforcement officers to detain people who are under the influence of drugs in addition to alcohol.

 

Lamoureaux said that the Manitoba Court of Appeal said in the 1980’s that the act only applies to intoxication by liquor, and that the law hasn’t been updated despite new and dangerous drugs like crack an meth.

 

She said that the current act is outdated, and puts the police, general public and even addicts at greater risk. Lamoureaux added that law enforcement officers need to be given the tools necessary to protect Manitobans.

 

According to a release, the Manitoba Liberals have been working closely with addictions service providers and those dealing with the addictions, who expressed a need for changes to the act.

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Dry Conditions Lead To Spike In Grass Fires


Thompson Fire and Emergency Services say that have seen a spike in grass fires in recent weeks.

 

Deputy Fire Chief Mike Bourgon spoke to Arctic Radio News and said that this is normally the time of year where there is a spike in fires, though conditions this year are dryer than normal.

 

He said that Thompson Fire and Emergency Services are working with Sustainable Development to make sure that the City is fire smart. Bourgon said that if anyone doesn't know what that means, or if they don't know how to make their homes fire smart, they can come to the Fire Hall or give them a call at 204-677-7915.

 

Bourgon said that if you see any suspicious behaviour where kids, or anyone, are playing with fire in the school yard, tree line, Millennium Trail or elsewhere in the City you are encouraged to call the fire department. He added that they want to make sure things are handled properly, and that people aren’t creating fire threats that don’t need to be there.

 

There have been a few fires in the Thompson area already this year, including one near the airport and one in the Juniper area. There are also three wildfires current south of Thompson, and one to the west near the Saskatchewan border.

 

The interactive Manitoba Sustainable Development Wildfire Map can be found here.

 

There is not currently a burn ban in the City of Thompson.

 

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LIGA Committee To Meet Tomorrow


The Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs (LIGA) Committee will meet tomorrow.

 

The committee meets every second Wednesday, and is tasked with not only assembling the agenda for City Council meetings, but also with coordinating the City’s lobbying efforts. The LIGA committee also serves as the representative for the City on the School Board/ City Liaison Committee.

 

The agenda for the meeting includes two proposed resolutions from the City of Thompson for the Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM). The first resolution requests that AMM lobby the Provincial government to amend the mining tax act. The resolution states that the City would like the Province to increase the percentage of mining tax that they allocate to the mining reserve fund to ensure that the fund remains sustainable, as well as clarifying the process for municipalities to access the funds.

 

The second resolution requests that the Province be lobbied to provide the "appropriate funding to municipalities" when it comes to increased costs to waste disposal grounds.

 

The meeting is open to the public, and will take place at City Hall, starting at 3:45pm.

 

The full agenda can be found here.

 

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Recreation and Community Services Committee To Meet Tomorrow


Thompson’s Recreation and Community Services committee is set to meet tomorrow.

 

The agenda for the meeting includes discussion on a dog park water station, national health and fitness day, free bus passes for active riders and the waiving of fees policy.

 

There will also be information on the annual community cleanup, and the recent Sport Manitoba wrestling clinic.

 

The meeting is scheduled for 12:00pm in the Mary Fenske Boardroom at the T.R.C.C. The public is welcome to attend.

 

The full agenda can be found here.

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Information Sessions Tomorrow For Those Coping With Job Loss, Uncertainty And Instability


There is an event taking place tomorrow for those who are coping with job loss, uncertainty or instability.

 

The joint Vale/United Steelworks Local 6166 Workforce Adjustment Committee, in partnership with the Northern Manitoba Sector Council, is hosting three information sessions at the Steelworks Local 6166 Union Hall.

 

The event is for those who are feeling worried, overwhelmed or are having difficulty coping with their current work situation and those who support them.

 

The sessions, which are completely free, will feature presentations from local service providers. Below is a list of those who will be presenting:

  • Sam Comeau (Canadian Mental Health Association)
  • Mary Demare (Thompson Crisis Centre)
  • Jennifer Whalen (Northern Regional Health Authority)
  • Stephanie Third (Mood Disorders Manitoba)
  • Leslie Allard (Addictions Foundation of Manitoba)
  • Gina Brightnose (Vale EFAP / Horizons)

 

There will be a morning session at 8:00am, an afternoon session at 2:00pm and an evening session at 8:00pm.

 

The sessions are open to anyone who wants to attend and do not require pre-registration.

 

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Councillor Valentino Clarifies Cuts And Reductions To City Programs


Despite what some people may have heard, there will be things to do for kids here in Thompson this summer.

 

As part of the City’s $470,335 spending reduction, there will be no day camps at the T.R.C.C. this summer.

 

Speaking on City Beat late last week, Councillor Kathy Valentino told Arctic Radio News that it’s just the City-run summer camps that are not happening.

 

She said that if you’re looking specifically for a summer day-camp there are other organizations, such as the Boreal Discovery Centre and Ma-Mow-We-Tak Friendship Centre, which will be offering them.

 

Valentino clarified that it is just the day camps that will not be running. She added that the staffed wading pools, Rotary Park splash pad, skateboard park, Norplex Pool and events like drop-in basketball have not been impacted at all.

 

Valentino added that the reductions at the T.R.C.C. are just to the hours that the front desk is staffed, and do not affect the building or activities taking place.

 

The City has confirmed that the front desk will be staffed from 9:00am through 10:00pm on weekdays, which is a reduction in two hours at the start of the day. Weekend hours remain unaffected. Even though the front desk will not have anyone there, gym members can still swipe in with their cards and start their work-outs at 7:00am

 

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RD Parker Students Heading To Texas For Competition


A team of students from RD Parker, known as the Spirit Wolves, will be representing not only Thompson, but all of Canada at the F1 in Schools U.S. National Championship in Austin, Texas next month.

 

Ashutosh Agarwal, the Spirit Wolves team manager, spoke to Arctic Radio News and said that there’s more to the F1 in Schools program than just building and racing cars.

 

In addition to building and racing the car, they also have to promote themselves so they can get sponsors to help through both cash and in-kind donations.

 

To learn more about the Spirit Wolves and the F1 in Schools program, make sure to listen to Thompson Today on 102.9 CHTM Monday afternoon at 12:40pm and 5:10pm.

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Keethan Lobster, Mattheo Moore-Spence And Terrence Spence Remembered In Ottawa


The three boys who lost their lives just over two weeks ago were honoured earlier this week in the House of Commons.

 

Niki Ashton delivered a member’s statement, in which she called on everyone to work together with First Nations to build communities that kids can be safe in from bike paths to lights on roads.

 

Ashton said that the boys were like any other kids across Canada, enjoying one of the first days of warmer weather, and faced challenges that are quote all too common on First Nations.

 

She said that not only were the boys on a gravel road with no lighting, but that one of the boys lived in a trailer with 17 other people after his mother committed suicide last year.

 

Ashton concluded her statement by saying that everyone will work to build safer communities for kids like Keethan, Mattheo and Terrence across the country.

 

The video our of Member of Parliament speak in the House can be found here.

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Tensions Rising Between City Hall And Provincial Government


Tensions appear to be rising between City Hall and the Provincial Government.

 

While commenting on the 2018 Financial Plan at the last regular meeting of Thompson City Council, Mayor Dennis Fenske said that Blaine Pedersen, the Provincial Minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade, would not meet with Mayor and Council to discuss the Mining Reserve Fund when he was in Thompson on April 30th.

 

Mayor Fenske said that they have not received any monetary commitment from the Province from the fund, despite facing the largest job loss in the mining industry since inception of the Mining Reserve Fund.

 

The Mining Reserve Fund was created to assist mining communities that are affected by partial or complete mine closures, and is funded by provincial mining tax revenues.

 

Fenske added that the City will continue to lobby the Province for assistance.

 

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CMHA To Wrap Up Mental Health Week Tomorrow


The CMHA will be wrapping their celebration of Mental Health Week 2018 tomorrow afternoon.

 

Everyone is invited to join them at MacLean Park for their "Play at the Park" event. It is scheduled to start at 1:00pm and is expected to wrap up around 3:00pm. Baaco's Bar and Grill has been listed as an alternate location should the weather not cooperate.

 

There will be live music from groups such as Poetry in Motion as well as the prize draws for the CMHA’s “Beat the Blues by Finding the Clues” contest.

 

For more information, you can call the CMHA at 204-677-6051.

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Oxford House RCMP Investigating Murder


RCMP are investigating following a death in Oxford House.

 

Mounties received a report around 7:30am yesterday morning of a man who was en route to the local nursing station as the result of an assault with a weapon. The 30-year-old man succumed to his injuries. 

 

30-year-old Margaret Chubb has been charged with second degree murder and is scheduled to appear in Thompson Provincial Court tomorrow.

 

Officers say that the accused and victim were known to each other, and wer both residents of Oxford House. 

 

Oxford House RCMP, as well as the RCMP Major Crime Unit, are still investigating. 

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Niki Ashton Pushes For National Pharmacare Program


Niki Ashton and the Federal NDP are once again calling for a national pharmacare program.

 

Ashton said recently that while medicare covers many critical health services, there is more that needs to be done.

 

She said that too many cannot afford the medication to treat their medical condition, and that a national program would save the medical system money.

 

Ashton added that the country "needs national leadership on this key issue", and that there is no coverage for dental care and not enough in place for mental health services.

 

She concluded by saying that it’s time to complete the original vision and intent of universal health care, starting with a national pharmacare program.

 

Universal healthcare was brought in during the 1960’s and was pioneered by Tommy Douglas and the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) in Saskatchewan.

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Council Votes Down Resolutions To Rescind


There was once again a heated debate in Council Chambers as to whether or not two local businesses should be paid for work they did to repair a water main last fall.

 

Councillor Ron Matechuk brought forward a resolution to rescind the approved payment to Water X, who submitted an invoice to the City for almost $24K.

 

Matechuk questioned once again who was responsible for paying the bill, and went as far as to say that there is a possibility that Water X deliberately disrupted the main.

 

Councillor Penny Byer spoke against rescinding the resolution and payment, saying that the City has an obligation to make sure that all bills get paid, especially when not paying could make the difference whether a company can continue to do business.

 

Councillor Duncan Wong brought forward the motion to rescind payment to Eric’s Plumbing and Heating, claiming that there is a cover-up taking place.

 

Councillor Matechuk spoke in favour of this second rescintion, saying that the companies now have "a shortcut to City Hall".

 

The resolution to rescind payment to Water X, as well as the one to rescind payment to Eric’s Plumbing and Heating, were defeated.

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Students From South Indian Lake Looking To Participate In Manitoba Marathon


A group of students from South Indian Lake are looking for support to help them attend the Manitoba Marathon.

 

Elena Paun, a teacher at Oscar Blackburn School in South Indian Lake, is looking to take eight students down to Winnipeg in June for the second year in a row to take part in the run.

 

Paun said that there is a lack of activities for the youth in the community, and that training for and taking part in the race gives them not only physical activity, but also a goal to work towards.

 

She added that they need to raise funds to cover all the costs of the trip, including transportation and accommodation and that they are currently planning on having the students visit the science gallery and take in the Red River Expo while they are in the city.

 

Paun said that they are holding fundraisers locally in their community, and have a GoFundMe page set up so they can easily receive donations from outside the area.

 

The goal for the GoFundMe campaign is to raise $5,000.00. 

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