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The Thompson Local News Archives for 2015-01

Alzheimer Society Reaching out to Rural Communities

Over 20 thousand Manitobans have Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia.


The Alzheimer's Society of Manitoba is reaching out to their family members and care givers, thanks to Telehealth Family Education seminars. Since starting the seminars 2 and a half years ago, the number of locations participating in them has grown from 16 to 33. They include northern communities like the Pas, Flin Flon, Thompson and Gillam.


The next Telehealth Session takes place Feburary 3rd and is called "Medications and People with Dementia: Benefits versus Risks". For this and other upcoming sessions go to to register.



Manitoba Quits Contest Back for 5th Year

Smokers wanting to quit can get some motivation with the Manitoba Quits contest.


Run by the Manitoba Lung Association, the contest allows smokers to register to either quit for 4 weeks, a week, or even committing to reducing their smoking by 50%.


At the end of the contest, prizes valued of up to $1,000 are given to select participants. 


To register go to before the March 1st start.


Niki Ashton Promoted to Aboriginal Affairs Critic

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair has been arranging his team ahead of the next federal election. In the changes, Churchill MP, Niki Ashton has been promoted to Aboriginal Affairs critic for the federal NDP shadow cabinet.


Previously the critic for the status of women, Ashton says she is excited and honoured for her new role, as it’s an area that is close to her heart. She says she looks forward to working with First Nations, Metis and Inuit people, and speak out for fairness and justice in her riding and across Canada. 


Ashton’s riding, which includes Thompson, has the largest First Nations populations of any in the country.


Mystery Lake School Board Expanding Gr.4 Swim Program

Gr.4 students will be getting a better grasp on water safety, thanks to the expansion of a swim program being offered by the School Board and the City.


Superintendent of Educational Services and Programming, Lorie Henderson, says there used to be a swim program offered many years ago. Trustees talked about bringing it back and after a successful pilot at Deerwood, all elementary schools will now have the program for their Gr.4’s. 


Henderson says that Gr.4 was chosen because it’s an ideal age for children to start learning how to swim.


Thompson YWCA Looking for Women Leaders

If you know a woman who has made outstanding contributions to the community, the YWCA wants to know about her. They are currently accepting nominations for their Woman of Distinction Awards.


They are looking for women who are leaders and role models within the community. Someone, whose outstanding activities and achievements, contribute to the well-being and future of the community.


Brittany Lamb, with the YWCA says she knows there are lots of women in the community doing good and encourages people to nominate a woman they know.


Nomination packages can be found at and are due March 13.


NDP Have Saved Manitobans $8.5 million in Taxes

The Manitoba NDP government is accusing PC Leader, Brain Pallister of misleading Manitobans about the economy.


Using findings from The Conference Board of Canada and former Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge, the NDP claim they have saved Manitobans $8.5 billion in taxes since first forming government.


In 2015 alone, Manitobans will save $539 million in personal inco

me taxes and $369 million in property taxes compared to 1999. If Manitobans went back to the PC government tax rates of 1999, they would pay almost $1 billion more in taxes than they do now.


The Manitoba NDP say they will stimulate the economy, grow exports, and create opportunities for Manitobans while continuing to keep life affordable for families.


Thompsonites Encouraged to Celebrate Winter Manitoba Style

Residents are being called on to gather co-workers, family, or friends and get active.


Bruce Krentz with Active Transportation says the Jack Frost Challenge encourages people to get into teams of 5, and log in a combined total of 130km together.


Krentz says people can log in the distance with any outdoor activity such as walking, biking, skating, skiing, or snowshoeing.


To register, go onto The Jack Frost Challenge runs from Feb 7-13.


Theresa Oswald Promising Education and Transportation in the North

Theresa Oswald, one of the candidates in the running to become leader of the Manitoba NDP, says she will work on transportation in the North if she becomes Premier.


Oswald says she thinks the province should ensure that there are strong partnerships with existing providers, but that there are ways government can look at incentive programs, to ensure new opportunities that could come to the north for transportation.


Oswald also says she will focus on making education even more accessible in the North.


Oswald is up against Steve Ashton and Premier Greg Selinger in the NDP leadership vote that takes place March 8th


Thompson RCMP seeking public's assistance

Thompson RCMP are seeking the public assistance in locating a prolific offender.


Kenneth Christopher Cook, 33, of Thompson has been wanted by the Thompson RCMP since 2010. He’s wanted for Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking Cocaine and Possession of Marihuana. A Canada-wide warrant has been issued for his arrest.


Police believe he could be residing in the Edmonton, Alberta area. He’s described as 5’11 and approximately 220 pounds.


Anyone with information is asked to call Thompson RCMP at 204-677-6909 or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.


Kenneth Christopher Cook


Operation Red Nose donating money to charities

Having raised over $5,000, Operation Red Nose is spreading the love.



The Boys and Girls Club of Thompson, Riverside Daycare, and the Royal Canadian Legion will be receiving $2,000 each.


JRB Basketball, Albert Cater’s Fund, Troy Anand’s Fund, and the Society of Manitoban’s with Disabilities are receiving $500 each.


The money comes from donations received from residents who used Operation Red Nose services.


Northern Health Foundation accepting board member applications

The Northern Health Foundation is seeking board members.


The Foundation, an arm of the Northern Health Region, works on fundraising projects for the health region. Board members are responsible for developing and executing fundraising strategies.


Glenn Hildebrand, Communications Director for the NHR says they are looking for people who have time on their hands, and skills and abilities such as fundraising, marketing, or even just interest in improving the community and health care.


Residents, who are interested in applying, should go to


New water and wastewater rates passed

New water and wastewater rates take into effect this New Year.


Council officially passed the second and third reading of the revised water and wastewater rate by-law last week.


The new rates mean a 44% increase in quarterly service charges, from last year to this year. The new rates also mean a 44% increase in water costs per cubic meter, and a 25% decrease in wastewater costs per meter.


The new rates will allow the city to meet revenue requirements with an additional $2,000,000 annually for capital projects such as replacing underground infrastructure.


Family Literacy Day

Poor literacy skills can impact your health.


Surveys show about half of all seniors in Canada reported being in poor physical health.   Further testing shows that they scored at the lowest level of reading proficiency.   By not being able to understand the instructions on medications, they had a greater chance of mistakes and the need for medical interventions.


On the positive side, a 1% increase in the literacy rate would generate 18-billion dollars in economic growth per year.  And investments in literacy programs have a 241 % return on investments.  


Encourage literacy in your home by attending the Family Literacy Day event tomorrow from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the City Centre Mall. 


The Salvation Army sees increase in donations

The Salvation Army raised $22 million dollars nationally during their 124th Christmas Kettle Campaign.


Here in Thompson close to $32,000 was raised, which is a $4000 jump from the year before. Roy Bladen with the Thompson Salvation Army thanked everyone who opened their hearts, and says the money will go towards their services.


Currently, he says they accepting food donations, which can be dropped off at a box setup near Safeway.


Premier Greg Selinger meets with Thompson City Council

Some hot topics were discussed between Premier Greg Selinger and Thompson City Council.


In the North for his apology tour, Selinger made a stop in Thompson yesterday and council members met with the Premier to discuss some issues. Deputy Mayor Penny Byer says one area of discussion was the potential transfer of the water treatment plan from Vale to the City.


Councillors also talked about the waste disposal grounds transfer from the LGD to the City, as well as northern development strategies.


Byer says there will be ongoing discussions between City and Province administrators moving forward. 


Snowmobilers reminded to ride safe during Snowmobile Safety Week

This week is snowmobile safety week.


Yvonne Rideout with Snoman says snowmobilers should wear proper equipment at all times including a helmet.


She encourages riders to stick to designated trails as they are the safest place to ride. Trails also have shelters along the way, which Yvonne says riders should use periodically to rest and warm-up.


Every year several lives are claimed due to snowmobile accidents. Snowmobile safety week runs from January 17-25.


Crime on the decline in Thompson

Thompson experienced a 5 year low in crime last year.


In a report presented to Council during Monday’s meeting, Constable Will Tewnion showed councillors policing statistics for various crimes in the last 5 years.


The report shows that in 2013 the detachment attended to 846 assaults while last year saw over 100 less. Mischief reports saw a decrease of over 300 from 2013 to 2014, and disturbing the peace offences saw a decrease of close to 600 from 2013 to last year.


Tewnion attributes the significant decreases in crime, to the detachments focus on repeat offenders, as well as establishing priorities which he says they plan to continue into 2015.


Premier Greg Selinger makes stop in Thompson

Premier Greg Selinger arrived in Thompson last night, as part of his apology tour.


He will be meeting with Chiefs from Northern Flood Agreement reserves to apologize for the damage hydro-electric development has done to their land.


Deputy Principal Secretary for the Premier, Paul McKie says the apology is not only to Cross Lake, who protested the hydro dams last October, but to all reserves that have been affected.


McKie says the Premier will also be meeting with Thompson City Councillors to discuss some issues concerning the City.


Selinger’s tour wraps up later today as he leaves for Winnipeg in the evening.


Teachers at Deerwood Elemntary promoting active living by walking the walk

Teachers at Deerwood elementary are showing their students how to stay active while having fun.



They’ve been sporting pedometers and tracking their distance to various locations.


Teacher Todd Harwood tells us students are learning more than just physical education as teachers an incorporating the challenge into subjects such as Math and Geography.


Todd says the students have loved the challenge, and some have even joined in by tracking their own daily distances.


Teachers are currently working on getting to Las Vegas after meeting their original goal of getting to the Winnipeg Human Rights Museum.






Home Routes Concert Series back for another year

For 6 years, Thompson residents have hosted musicians in their homes for an evening of live music as part of the Home Routes Concert Series.


Next month, Tim Cameron will have Matt Byrne perform in his living room for night of live music in an intimate setting.


Tim says Matt will be performing at his home on February 6 at 7:30pm. It’s $20 to attend, with all the money going to Matt Byrne.


To reserve a spot call Tim at 677-3574.


Council takes first steps in changing school zone speed limits

With a vote of 5-3, council carried the first reading of an amendment to the speed limit school zone by-law.


This new by-law would see the school zone on Thompson Drive near RD Parker back to 50 km/hr, 24 hrs a day, 365 days a year. All remaining school zones would be 30 km/hr from 8am-5pm, Monday-Friday, September to June.


The by-law amendment will have to go through 2 more readings before it comes into effect. Currently, the speed limit at all school zones is 30 km/hr at all times.


Decrease in impaired drivers charged during RCMP Holiday Check Stops

The RCMP performed 23 check stops in Thompson during the month of December for their holiday check stop program.


During the check stops, 535 vehicles were checked. There were 12 charges of impaired driving, and 33 highway traffic act offences.


Province wide, 9500 vehicles were checked during the month-long program. 93 people were charged with a criminal code impaired driving offence and 1428 Highway Traffic Act offences.


Last year, the RCMP made 110 impaired driving charges, showing a decrease in impaired drivers on the roads.


Heart and Stroke Foundation looking for volunteers

The Heart and Stroke Foundation is calling on residents to open their hearts for heart month.


Throughout the month of February, volunteers will be canvassing the city to raise money. For the last 6 years, Thompsonites have raised over $116,000 during heart month.


Anyone interested to volunteer and canvas are encouraged to call Al Meston at 778-8988.


NHR offering free healthy living classes

Keeping those New Years resolutions can be tough, but you don’t have to do it alone.


The Northern Health Region is offering free healthy living classes.


Health Promotion Coordinator, Lynn Watkins says other topics covered include setting goals, staying on track, and overcoming challenges.


The classes start this Wednesday, and run every second Wednesday until March 11. To register give Lynn Watkins a call at 677-1788.


Drivers reminded to stay safe on roads

Motorists are being reminded of the effects winter has on the roads.


The RCMP were out this past weekend, focusing on drivers going too fast for road conditions. They say blowing snow, and icy conditions can cause a potentially tragic situation if people are not driving to those conditions.

Meanwhile Mayor Dennis Fenske is reminding drivers to take their time.


He says snow removal and repairs are taking place on a few streets, and residents need to be aware of surroundings and drive cautiously when passing equipment. 


Mystery Mountain Winter Park celebrates World Snow Day

Mystery Mountain Winter Park officially opened last week, but the real celebrations will be happening this weekend.


Sandy Little with Mystery Mountain says they will be participating in World Snow Day- a world wide event started by the International Ski Federation 4 years ago. 


Events will include lessons, races, a potluck, and indoor games all day tomorrow.


You can hear more about the event this afternoon at 12:40 and 5:10 during Thompson Today.


Steve Ashton hoping to unite province

Admitting it would cost money, Steve Ashton is promising to hold a referendum for the sales tax hike, if he is chosen as leader of the NDP.


Ashton says with a provincial election happening in early 2016, he is hoping that costs from a referendum, could alleviate the costs of the provincial elections but he’s not sure yet. Ashton also hopes to make sure all parts of Manitoba, including Northern Manitoba, participate in everything we do as a province if he becomes Premier.


Steve Ashton is running against Theresa Oswald and Greg Selinger in the NDP leadership contest being held March 8.


YWCA offering free training for women

The YWCA is hosting Blue Prints Empowerment Training for the third time.


Blue Prints Empowerment training focuses on mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional development. The training is geared towards women re-entering the workplace after a hiatus, or entering for the first time. 


Organizer Nina Cordell says the sessions will be every Monday throughout the month of February. Transportation and childcare is provided for free.


To register give Nina a call at 204-778-1209. You can learn more about the YWCA and the event, at 12:40 and 5:10 this afternoon during Thompson Today.


Thompson teenager named Manitoba Athlete of the Year

A local track and field athlete has been awarded the 2014 Manitoba Athlete of the Year Midget Boys award.


School board trustee Leslie Tucker presented Jack Kennedy with the award during this week’s school board meeting.


The RD Parker student made finals in the 300m last year at the National Youth Track and Field Championships. He also set a new provincial record in the 300m with 36.91 seconds.


The award is given annually to the top track and field athletes in Manitoba. Trustee Tucker said the award is an amazing accomplishment.


The Pas RCMP celebrated a change of command

While a change of command ceremony is always special for RCMP detachments, this one had an added twist.


For the first time in the modern history of the Force, a father handed over the reins of a detachment to his son. Staff Sergeant Noel Allard signed over command of The Pas RCMP Detachment to his son, Staff Sergeant Jeremy Allard. Making the event even more special was the fact it was a personal homecoming for the younger Allard, who first signed up to be a Mountie while living in Cranberry Portage and wrote his entrance exam in The Pas in 2001.


As Staff Sergeant Jeremy Allard took over The Pas RCMP yesterday, his father moves to the North District office in Thompson in an advisory position.


Staff Sergeant Jeremy Allard with father Staff Sargeant Noel Allard.


South Comes North Basketball Tournament this weekend

High school basketball teams from Winnipeg, Portage, Stonewall, and Flin Flon are making their way to Thompson, to face the RD Parker Collegiate team for “South Comes North” Basketball tournament.


This is the third time in 8 years the tournament is being hosted. It gives our local teams the opportunity to face southern teams they normally would not get to play against.


All the action will be taking place starting tomorrow, until January 17 with each team playing 4-5 games throughout the 3 –day tournament.


Residents of Northern communities more likely to develop seasonal depression

Depression during the winter season can be more than just winter blues.


Seasonal depression, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, usually affects people who live in the North. Dr. Hal from the University of Manitoba says symptoms are similar to depression.


Treatments include exposure to Seasonal Affective Disorder therapy lamps. In Thompson residents can rent one from Ron Buchman, from Moods Disorder Manitoba at 679-2324.


Learn more about Seasonal Depression this afternoon at 12:40 and 5:10 during Thompson Today.


Alzheimer Society Manitoba raising awareness

January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.

Alzheimer Society Manitoba is calling on people to take action with the 72% campaign. Program Director Norma Kirkby says 72% of Canadians living with Alzheimer’s disease are women.


Kirkby says warning signs for Alzheimer’s includes forgetfulness and disorientation. She says early diagnosis allows for treatment and support so people can live as well as possible.


People are encouraged to go to to learn the warning signs and reduce their risk of developing dementia.  


Manitoba School Board Association accepting nominations

Some lucky students in Thompson might be rewarded for their efforts in the community.


The Manitoba School Boards Association is currently accepting nominations for their Student Citizenship Award. Associate Director Heather Demetrioff says they are interested in students involved in their community in a leadership role, or simply showing what it means to be a good citizen.


The award is open to any full-time student from kindergarten to grade 12. There are seven awards given each year. One to a student in each of the 6 geographic region, and 1 student for the province.


Our Foundation Thompson enters 20th year

Thompson’s very own “savings account” continues to grow.


President of Our Thompson Foundation, Liz Sousa says the non-profit organization was started in 1995 by a group of committed citizens in Thompson to raise money, She says they raise money, invest all of the money and only spend the interest from the money.  The interest goes towards worthy charitable organizations here in the community.


They are currently accepting grant applications from organizations in the City. The deadline to apply is February 20 at 4pm. Application forms can be found at To find out more, tune into Thompson Today at 12:40 and 5:10 this afternoon. 


Manitoba seeing increase in flu cases

Manitoba is seeing an increase in flu cases this season.


Michael Routledge, Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer says there are 480 lab-confirmed cases of influenza, and 9 confirmed influenza related deaths in the province. He says Manitoba, like most of Canada, is currently experiencing a peak in flu cases.


Manitobans are being reminded to wash hands regularly, practice good cough and sneeze etiquette, and get the flu shot in order to prevent spreading.


In Thompson, residents can get a flu shot at Thompson General Hospital from Monday to Friday 2-3pm.


Kin Club looking for more members

Though they only have 5 members currently, the Thompson Kin Club continues to do a lot of good work for our community.


Shannon Johnston, the President of the Kin Club says they participate in numerous activities in the City. Every year they help with Salvation Army Kettle Drive, they donate toiletries to the Crisis Centre, and donate school supplies to the Boys and Girls Club.


If you’re interested in finding out more about the Kin Club drop by the Come and Go event at the Quality Inn and Suites.   It runs from 7 to 9 pm tonight. You can listen to Thompson Today this afternoon at 21:40 and 5:10 to learn more.




Couple travelling world make stop in Thompson

A couple from Brazil are doing a 360 degree trek around the world the hard way.


Ben Weber and Natalia Almeida are attempting to be the first expedition to travel around the world on the polar axis.


Ben says they are doing the trek with human powered transportation such as bikes and skiis. They have spent the last couple of weeks travelling North and spent the last two days in Thompson. Today they continue their journey from Gillam to Baffin Island.


You can learn more about their journey at



City Open House at TRCC tomorrow

The City’s celebrating its new identity in a big way.


Residents are invited to an Open House where they can learn about the Thompson Identity, and place branding. There will be free admission to the TRCC fitness centre and hockey games, and the City will also be collecting canned goods.


Communications Officer, Dawn Sands says the new brand better reflects the Thompson of today.


The Open House is tomorrow at the TRCC from 1-9:30pm.


Winter Fest 2015 to coincide with Hometown Hockey

This year the City will see a Winter Fest like none before.


With all eyes on Thompson for Hometown Hockey in March, organizers have decided to move the winter festival to coincide with the big hockey event.


John Burrows, Director of the TRCC, says by joining the two big events, he is hoping Thompson will see the biggest and best Winter Fest yet.


The big weekend will be March 6-8.


Clean Environment Commission coming to Thompson

Residents can have their say next week.


The Manitoba Clean Environment Commission is coming to Thompson to host a meeting regarding water levels on Lake Winnipeg.


Kathy Johnson with the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission says the meeting will focus on the projects at Jenpeg station at Cross Lake.


It will be held at the Juniper Centre on Monday, January 12 from 3:30pm-5pm and at 6:30pm-8pm. You can register to attend at


Fewer fatal collisions in 2014

Motorists are being asked to slow down, buckle up, and drive sober.


Manitoba RCMP released fatal collision stats for 2014, and although there was a decrease, they say many of the collisions were preventable.

Impairment by alcohol or drugs was involved in 43% of the collisions, with the average blood alcohol content of tested drivers being two and a half times the legal limit.


There were 68 fatal collisions last year in the province that resulted in 73 deaths. Here in Northern Manitoba, there were 12 fatal collisions that resulted in 13 deaths. 


Thompson Recycle Centre hits goal

The Thompson recycle centre has reached a milestone.


In 2010, when the recycle centre moved to an automated system, they set a goal to divert 1 million kilograms of material from our landfill in one year. In 2014 they achieved it.


Manager Billy Jo Thompson says in 2013 they were just short of their goal, having processed 912,000 kilograms.


The recycle centre thanks residents for their efforts towards waste reduction. Billy Jo says in 2015 they will be focusing on reducing the amount of contaminated material they receive.


New year, new look for the City

The City of Thompson revealed its brand new identity at last night’s council meeting. 


The new brand was developed as part of the Thompson Economic Diversification Working Group after it was decided that the brand was outdated. They held 16 focus groups which gathered the experiences of visitors and residents in Thompson.


City Manager Gary Ceppetelli says community input was vital to developing an identity that represents the community.


The brand includes a new logo, and identifies Thompson as a welcoming and friendly place, where "potential is unlimited".


VALE BLIERs compliance date granted

Thompson VALE is one of Canada’s leading emitter of sulphur dioxide.


With new federal base-level industrial emission requirements (BLIERs) rolling out by the federal government, VALE requested for an extension of the compliance date, which has been granted by 3 years.


VALE Corporate Affairs Manager, Ryan Land says VALE has been investing in reducing emissions, but their focus is on developing the Thompson mine to access new resources to support a mine mill future.


The BLIERs were introduced by the federal government in 2012 and plants are expected to comply by January 1, 2016. 


2014 Operation Red Nose season wraps up

For a fifth year in a row, Operation Red Nose has raised over $4,500 in a season.


The non-profit organization is reaching out and thanking everyone who helped them this year, whether by volunteering, using the service, or providing support.


This year they drove over 2,000km and provided 279 rides during the one month span of operation.


They will be hosting a wrap-up party for volunteers on the 24th. More information will be emailed to the 124 people who volunteered this year.


City collecting Christmas trees

Getting rid of your Christmas tree usually marks the end of the holiday season.


The City has started accepting Christmas trees behind the Rec Center at the Ball Field, and will be doing so until mid-January. They say you can also leave your tree at the curb on regular garbage day, and they will pick it up as well.


New sidewalk and multiuse path guidelines

Active transportation is being embraced in Thompson.


The last council meeting saw guidelines for multiuse pathways passed. Mayor Fenske says there were no guidelines before.


Guidelines include a speed limit of 20km/hr on the multiuse paths, and cyclists must have front and rear reflectors now. The guidelines came from the citizen advisory group that was formed in the fall.


Thompson News Year baby

A local couple started the New Year by becoming parents.


Rachel Simpson gave birth to Thompson’s first baby of 2015 on January 1 at 3:44 am at Thompson General Hospital. The baby boy has been named Jaden Xavier Simpson Muminawatum and weighed 7 pounds 15 ounces.


This is the couple’s first child. Dad Tobin says everyone is doing ok and other than low-sugar levels, the new born is healthy.


A couple in The Pas might have everyone in the province beat. Their baby boy was born on New Years Day at 12:07am, and is reported to be Manitoba’s first baby of 2015.


Another Thompson Fur Tables for the books

211 registered Trappers visited Thompson for the annual Thompson Fur Tables last month.


Lane Boles, Manitoba Trappers Association Director at Large says with challenges faced by Trappers this season, he was pleased with the turnout.


Lane says furs were selling for higher than people had anticipated.  Martin hide went for about $50 each. Other furs harvested and brought in, included mink, otter, lynx, wolverine, and wolves.


Some of the furs brought in by Trappers at the Thompson Fur Tables.


Manitoba Historical Society accepting nominations for award

People Interested in Manitoba History Can Receive a Special Award.


The Manitoba Historical Society is accepting nominations for the Lieutenant Governor’s Award. 


The award recognizes people interested in the preservation and promotion of the province’s history.  The Society’s Gordon Goldsborough says nominations are open to anyone.  He explains what they are looking for is people who have been involved in their community for a long period of time promoting the history of the community. 


Nomination forms and more information on the award are available on their website  Nominations close on February 27th.


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