Tomorrow is Canada’s Birthday!
The City of Thompson has planned a day full of cultural performances and activities. Chris Sharpe, the Event Coordinator at the Thompson Regional Community Centre, comments on the day.
"It's all happening at the TRCC, the Thompson Regional Community Centre. We're using the Arena, we're using the side, we're using the lobby, we're using some of UCN. There are lots of rooms and lots of food. It's going to be great."
There will be dance performances featuring Aboriginal, Korean, Mexican, Indian, and Salsa-styles. The pancake and hotdog brunch kicks off the celebrations at 10 am and fireworks will end the night around 11pm. For more details call 677-7952
The Troy Anand Scholarship was given to R.D. Parker Collegiate student, Caylin Taylor, during a recent Chamber of Commerce meeting.
Caylin was chosen as the recipient for the one thousand dollar scholarship thanks to her involvement in school groups and her desire to learn. She has been accepted at the University of Saskatchewan and plans to work toward her Bachelor of Arts and Science. She hopes for a career in pharmacy back in Thompson. Taylor graduated with Honors with Distinction, and was this year’s Valedictorian.
The Youth Build grad took place this past Wednesday. Sixteen youth graduated from the program this year. Matthew Baker, the Executive Director at the Boys and Girls Club of Thompson, says it was a great turn out.
"It went off really well. It was our first year that we hosted it at the Boys and Girls Club. We had about 80 people show up. Families, friends, funders, people and organizations who've been involved with the program over the year. And we just so so happy to have everyone out and super proud of every Youth Build student who graduated."
The Youth Build Program is entering it's 11th year here in our city. The program focuses on providing different opportunities to young, under- employed or unemployed adults.
The participants go out in the community for 6 weeks prior to grad, applying the skills they learned with city-based organizations and companies. A big thanks goes to those companies involved in Youth Build this year.
The Federal Government announced changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program on June 20th.
The revamping of the program was done with the intention of protecting jobs for Canadian workers and curtailing abuse of the program. Reports in the past couple months highlighted cases in Alberta and B.C. where temporary foreign workers were allegedly not paid overtime and were subjected to other abusive labor practices.
According to Elliot Sims with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business in Manitoba, hotel, restaurant and retail businesses outside Winnipeg will no longer be able to access the TFW Program. One of the changes announced last Friday prohibits access to the program where there’s a higher than 6 per cent unemployment rate, which impacts most rural areas. Without temporary foreign workers some of these operations may have to reduce hours or, in worst-case scenarios, close their businesses. That will put more Canadians out of work than the TFW Program would.
Employers still wishing to access the program will have more hoops to jump through, as well as a price tag that has quadrupled. It will require much more paperwork and red-tape for employers, as they’ll have to provide documentation on all the interviews conducted with potential Canadian employees and reasons why they weren’t successful in obtaining the position for which they were interviewed.
Records show that since 2012 around 55-hundred temporary foreign workers have been employed in Manitoba. Three thousand were hired in Winnipeg, around 230 in Brandon and the remaining 23-hundred to work in rural Manitoba communities.
It’s time to spruce up your property. Judging for the Yard of the Week starts on Sunday. Yard of the Week has been a Communities in Bloom initiative since 2011. Judges look at each yard in Thompson, and score the greenery. Bea Shantz with the organization says there are four different categories they judge.
"They include design, plant material, accessories and maintenance. By design we simply mean looking at the arrangement of plants and trees and various things on the yard. The plant material...is it in good health? If there are accessories in the yard, do they enhance the appearance? And then, of course, maintenance to be sure everything is taken care of."
Judges will visit the different areas of Thompson throughout the summer. They begin on Sunday with Deerwood and Riverside, then with Eastwood and the townhouses after that. For more information on the categories or when your area will be judged call Bea at 677-3713. To volunteer as a judge contact the TRCC.
Michelle Rempel, the Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification was in Thompson yesterday for an announcement. During a press conference Rempel spoke about funding that was given to organizations in our area. She says it’s important that infrastructure is a main priority in western Canada.
"I think it's important when looking at making communities more liveable, when you want to attract and retain people to stay there to have that type of infrastructure. That's why we wanted to make sure that proponents that came forward with good solid projects, like the ones we saw today, received the funding."
The money was given to three organizations. The Thompson Humane Society, the Boys and Girls Club of Thompson, as well as Thompson Toddler Daycare Centre. Money was used for roofing, siding, insulation, heating and air conditioning costs.
With temperatures reaching the high 20s recently, sun safety should be on your mind.
Skin cancer numbers in Manitoba are higher due to many different reasons. Some include increased use of tanning beds, excess sun exposure, and an aging population. Shane McDonald, a registered nurse says to lower the number we must protect our skin. Here he talks about how sunscreen works.
"They work by absorbing or reflecting the Sun's UV rays away from the skin. Look for a product with a minimum SPF of 30 that protects against the Sun's ultraviolet B rays. The product should also contain ingredients that protect against ultraviolet A rays which penetrate more deeply into the skin and are responsible for premature aging and contribute to the development of skin cancer. So you're looking for a broad spectrum sunscreen that helps protect against both A and B."
People should be aware that the sun is brightest between 10am and 4pm. Sunscreen should be applied prior to sun exposure and reapplied every 2 hours.
McDonald says children under 6 months should not wear sunscreen. Children over 6 months should wear sunscreen, a hat and sunshades when outside. To learn more about how to protect your family from the sun rays listen to Thompson Today at 12:40 and 5:10 this afternoon.
The end of school means it’s time to register your kids for summer camps.
This year the City of Thompson is offering two types of camps; the Traveling Camps which are being held at different elementary schools, and speciality camps offered at the TRCC.
Speciality camps are themed, and have more one-on-one attention. Traveling camps will have access to school gyms and art rooms, which means a lot of fun activities.
Kids ages 6-15 can register for the camps, with camps running from July 2nd until August 22nd. To register your kids call the Thompson Regional Community Centre at 677-7952 or drop by the front desk for more information.
Manitoba First Nations families will receive literacy support.
RBC has announced a donation of 50 thousand dollars to the Dollywood Foundation of Canada to add a family literacy initiative to its signature program, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. The Imagination Library provides a new age-appropriate book each month to every preschool student enrolled in the program.
Currently the Foundation has secured financial support to provide the Imagination Library to all of the children in 61 of the 63 First Nation Communities in Manitoba. Partners include RBC, Frontier School Division, Manitoba First Nation Education Resource Center, Manitoba Community Services, Aseneskak Casino and the Provincial Government.
The RBC grant provides funding to provide family literacy training through Bookmates Incorporated in several communities and a broad public awareness campaign to encourage families to read daily to their children.
Boating season has started in the province and there are a few things to remember.
Many of the same rules for driving a car apply when driving out on the water. Do not drink and drive, respect speed limits and other boats, and make sure to have the proper safety equipment onboard. RCMP in Manitoba will be doing boat patrols throughout the summer. All boaters must have their Pleasure Craft Operator Card, as well as personal ID. If you are found operating a boat without the operator’s card,you could receive a 300-dollar fine. Other boating infractions start at 120 dollars.
There will be a guest speaker at the Women’s Wellness support group tonight.
The group is a partner with the Mood Disorder Association of Manitoba and the Northern Health Region. Jennifer Whalen, the promotions Director at the NRHA, will kick off the evening at 7 o’clock. Her focus is to let the public know what community mental health does and what support groups and programs are available. The Women’s Wellness support group is a group open to all moms dealing with post partum depression, but the event tonight is open to everyone.
For more information contact Ron Buchanan, the Outreach Manager for the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba, at 679-2324. The meeting is in the Administration building, beside the hospital.
Tonight at the Trojan Gym is the 29th annual Cabaret. The concert will begin at 7 o’clock and there is a $5 admission fee for adults and $3 for students. All proceeds go to the music program at RD Parker and will help support trips like the Banff music retreat.
The second concert will be Thursday evening at the Letkemann Theatre. There, the final concert bands will perform. Groups from grade 6-9 will take the stage starting at 7pm. Admission is free, and the public is welcome to attend.
If you or someone you know is living with diabetes attend a meet and greet hosted by the Diabetes Team tomorrow.
Kayla Thomas, dietitian & Diabetes Educator for the NHRA talks here about the diabetes program.
"The Diabetes Team in Thompson supports people living with Type 1, Type 2, gestational and pre-diabetes. We are part of the Northern Health Region Diabetes Team which works throughout northern Manitoba. Our team is made up of retinal screening nurses, foot care nurses, as well as dieticians and nurse educators. The Diabetes Program offers individual and group appointments."
The open house will be from 6:30 until 8 at the Clinic. The goal for the open house is to connect patients with available services. Throughout the evening you’ll hear about programs offered, learn about the retinal screening tool and meet the diabetes educators. Anyone is welcome to attend this free event.
The Graffiti Clean up project is under way in the city.
Since 2010, the Canadian Mental Health Association of Thompson has partnered with the City of Thompson to clean up graffiti. Three workers will spend the summer covering graffiti throughout the city. If you spot any graffiti please call the CMHA at 677-6058 with the location.
Citizens on Patrol are looking for more volunteers!
The group in Thompson currently has 5 members and is hoping to gain about 10 more. People in the program patrol the town, helping to prevent crimes from happening. They are an extra set of eyes and ears for the RCMP.
Anyone over 16 can be part of the Citizens on Patrol Program. Sixteen- and seventeen-year olds will need parental permission, and people over 18 will need criminal record and vulnerable person’s checks. If you’re interested in volunteering for COPP visit citizensonpatrol.mb.ca
A fire that threatened Channing on Saturday is under investigation.
Fire Chief Jim Petrie says the fire started in the bush near the Ski Lodge and was the second fire there within half an hour. He says the first fire was completely put out and the second is considered suspicious.
Petrie says the fire took off quickly because of the tinder dry conditions and high winds hitting the heavy area of pine trees which burned quickly and continued on. He says the ashes caused several spot fires in Channing which were quickly put out by the fire fighters on the scene.
He adds Darren Romo was in charge and did an excellent job with the Flin Flon Fire Department assisted by the Hudbay and Creighton Fire Departments. He says the helicopter with a water bucket fought the fire until the water bombers were able to make it in from another fire they were fighting elsewhere. He says Resources crews stayed on location overnight and Sunday assisted by the helicopter in fighting flare ups.
Petrie says without the excellent work of all the fire fighters half of Channing could have been lost and it’s a reminder of the dangers of living in a community so closely surrounded by forest.
An off leash dog park is coming to Thompson!
John Burrows, Director of Recreation, Parks and Culture for the City of Thompson talks here about the Baffin Park dog park.
"The City owns the park, it owns the land. It was a baseball diamond at one point. We've re-purposed it to develop the off-leash dog park, and we are working in conjunction with the Thompson Humane Society."
Animal Patrol as well as By-Law officers will patrol the area to ensure the safety of dogs and owners. Signs will be put up around the park with rules, bags for animal waste will be provided plus daily garbage disposal will occur.
Residents can call Animal Patrol or by-law officers at 677-7903 to report any concerns once the park opens. Burrows says they hope it will be open by the end of June.
The City of Thompson has launched their Downtown Strategy for 2014.
This is aimed at promoting a safe, clean and active downtown area. It will be led by a newly hired public safety manager and will include by-law officers working 7 days a week, ten hours a day.
Other initiatives are RCMP bike patrols, and a Downtown Ambassador Program. This is the 4th year the strategy has been used, as the city works on bringing our community together by giving residents a clean downtown
On May 30th, Bonnie Bishop, a researcher from Memorial University, will be in the city to continue work on a wolf study.
Alistair Bath, a wildlife researcher, previously visited the north. Here he talks about the questionnaire's purpose.
"That questionnaire takes about 10 minutes to do and it will ask questions about attitudes towards wolves, and beliefs about wolves, and fears about wolves. And also, ideas about tourism and whether residents support or oppose the idea of a "Wolf Capital" label."
Research will be collected from the city over the next two years. This information will affect future decisions in the city including projects like Spirit Way.
If you would like to express your opinions, join in the conversation. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Scott, General Manager of Vale presented an update to the Chamber of Commerce this week.
Here Mark Scott talks about how the mine compared in 2012 to 2013.
"Our Safe Production Program got us to where we are with a 40 per cent reduction in our injury frequency from 2012 to 2013. On the business end, in the production increase, it was the same thing. People were paying attention to details and making good decisions every day and the increase in the total output of the whole plant and the refinery was the result."
During the meeting, Scott said the Smelter and Refinery is still scheduled to close in 2015, although the company is working on another extended timeline, and is optimistic that it can be achieved.
He attributes the closure to two big issues. Sulfur dioxide emissions being the first, and volume of feed being processed and delivered being the second.
Luke Robinson is officially the first person to come forward in the run for mayor in this fall's election.
Earlier this month, Robinson stated that after just one term as councillor he is ready for a bigger role. Robinson says one thing Thompson needs for the future is more community involvement.
"I would like to see more community involvement as in, when we have discussions about things that are going on in the city, that the public should always have the first say. I believe that when we hold a council meeting, that should always be the first thing we do is ask the public their opinion if they have any ideas or any concerns."
Another priority for the potential mayor would be economic development. Robinson says Thompson is lucky to have Vale, but hopes the city can introduce more industries and businesses to the community. Current mayor, Tim Johnston, has yet to confirm whether he will be seeking a third term. Election Day is October 22nd.
Our Member of Parliament says education has to be a top priority.
Churchill MP Niki Ashton says this is an important time in the north with the opening of the new University College of the North Campus in Thompson. She says the new campus shows just how far we have come in terms of post secondary education in our region, giving people the option of continuing their education here in the north.
Ashton says despite progress there is much more to do. She says far too many schools in First Nations are overcrowded or in poor condition. Per student funding is far lower in First Nations Schools than the provincial average and because of the funding cap many students aren’t able to continue their post secondary education.
Ashton adds we have one of the youngest regions in the country and if we can provide the educational opportunities that people deserve we have almost unlimited potential. She calls on the Federal government to make a real commitment to education for northern and Aboriginal people.
RCMP in Thompson have arrested 28 people during a DART Deployment.
Kevin Lewis, Staff Sergeant for the RCMP, talks here about what the DART deployment is.
"The DART deployment is actually the Division Action Response Team which is a combined effort of resources within Manitoba between the RCMP and some of the Winnipeg Police Service members that are out enforcing outstanding warrants for individuals that are wanted."
Arrests were made on the spot and people were given a promise to appear. And others had to go to the station and speak to a justice of the peace.
As well as the DART Deployment, a controlled drug and substances act search warrant was executed. This resulted in a seizure of 20 grams of cocaine and cash. Charges are pending in that case.
The white whales are waiting in Churchill but the town’s mayor can’t nail down VIA Rail to get the tourists north to see them.
The last passenger train rolled south from Churchill May 31st. On June 2, thirteen cars carrying grain derailed just south of Churchill. Bad weather stalled repairs to the track and also prompted the cancellation of several VIA trains carrying tourists.
Freight service resumed June 11 following repairs. Omnitrax said it completed repairs to the Hudson Bay Railway line that day, and the line was "cleared in accordance with Transport Canada rules respecting track safety."
A VIA Rail representative said last night that the operational review is not complete, that passenger rail service to Churchill is not yet available and he didn't know when it will resume.