On the last provincial red tape report card, Manitoba scored a D.
Speaking at the Thompson Chamber AGM Wednesday night, CFIB Director for Manitoba, Elliot Sims talks about these red tape regulations.
He says Manitoba's PST regulation is burdensome. There are 62 tax bulletins, each one going through numerours pages of how and when to collect those taxes. He says this makes it difficult for a small business owner.
Red tape discourages people from starting their own small business.
Sims says the provincial government needs to look at the number of regulations business owners are faced with, and then look at reducing that number in order to boost economy.
MDS Aero Test has started cold-weather testing the biggest engine the GLACIER facility in Thompson, has seen.
A giant Rolls Royce XWB arrived in the City a few weeks ago, and will be tested to see how it copes with frozen rain by being constantly sprayed with icy water.
The massive state-of-the-art engine is around 20 feet in diameter and powers jumbo passenger jets.
The GLACIER facility is a popular cold weather testing facility for engines due to the sub-arctic temperatures seen in the area.
Thompson RCMP have an arrest warrant for Blake Benedict Clemons, 31, of Thompson.
He is wanted for assault causing bodily harm and failing to comply with court ordered conditions. He is also bound by multiple court orders and conditions all relating to violent related offences.
Clemons is believed to be hiding in Thompson. Police say he should not be approached.
Clemons is approximately 6’2 and 220 lbs. He has tribal art and barbed wire tattoos on his neck as well as scares on both eyebrows.
Anyone with information should contact Thompson RCMP at 204-677-7197.
Blake Benedict Clemons, 31
The 2nd annual Heavy Construction Expo North wraps up in Thompson today.
President of the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association, Chris Lorenc says the 3-day conference offers education and training for those in the heavy construction workforce to develop their skills.
Attendees had a chance to participate in training sessions that covered topics such as workplace hazardous materials information system, safe lifting, fatigue management, and first aid.
The Expo attracts close to 30 northern stakeholders.
The Early Development Instrument Report looks at how children in early education are developing in 5 key categories throughout the province.
The 2012/2013 report, which was recently released, shows Mystery Lake School Division is in line with the rest of the province when it comes to maturity and communication skills.
Areas of improvement include physical health and well-being, where we scored an 8.4 compared to the province average of 8.7. In language and thinking skills the school division got a 7.6 while the province is at an 8.2.
The report, run by Healthy Child Manitoba, is conducted every two years, to help communities identify their strengths and needs in early childhood education.
A traffic stop in Thompson on Monday resulted in the arrest of a Winnipeg man.
Thompson RCMP had been advised that drugs were being brought into the city by a male individual. The traffic stop on Mystery Lake Road resulted in the seizure of two cell phones, 14-and-a-half kilograms of marihuana, and a Chevrolet Silverado.
A Winnipeg man who was driving the vehicle has been arrested.
Charges are pending and the investigation is continuing.
It’s been almost 6 months since ground broke for the construction of Ecole communautaire La Voie du Nord.
Principal Remi Dellaire says construction is going very well. Progress has been continuing through the winter with no set backs so far.
The foundation, walls and roof are all complete, and now the focus will be on the interiors of the school.
The projected completion date is January 2016 with classes expected to be in session in the new building, the same month.
The new school, located near Norplex pool, will have a gym and multipurpose room in addition to a child-care and family resource centre.
Throughout the month of March, dieticians in the North will be promoting healthy eating for Nutrition Month.
Amanda Hamel, Dietician with the NRHA says this year's theme is eating health 9-5.
Dieticians will be on hand for cooking demonstrations and to answer questions at grocery stores in the City. On March 4 they will be at Safeway from 11-1 and on March 27 they will be at Family Foods from 11-1.
They will also be hosting a Nutrition Lunch and Learn on March 31 at 1pm at the Thompson Clinic.
An agreement between the Manitoba East Side Road Authority and Oxford House will help keep winter roads open longer.
The agreement will allow for the construction of approach roadways, bridge foundations, and two modular bridges at Hayes River and Laidlaw River.
Oxford House Chief Irvin Sinclair, says the projects will create good jobs within the community, and the training and mentoring that come with it will prepare workers for long-term work in the future.
Since 2009, the Manitoba East Side Road Authority has been responsible for maintaining the improving the winter road network along the east side of Lake Winnipeg.
Taxicabs in the city will be getting a technological upgrade.
A resolution passed by city council will see the cab’s 8 year old camera’s replaced with new VerifEye model G5 cameras.
The new VerifEye G5 cameras will have 14 day storage as opposed to the current 48 hours, and will also include a road view camera.
The cost for the new camera’s including installations will be around $1,200 per taxicab, which will be the responsibility of taxicab owners.
All taxicabs will have the new cameras installed by June.
New adult driver education training in Northern Manitoba is increasing employment.
In The Pas last week, Jobs Minister Kevin Chief said many entry level positions require applicants to have a valid Class 5 driver’s license, and this program has given people an opportunity to build their confidence and increase their employability.
Since being launched in The Pas and Thompson, two participants have obtained their full Class 5 driver’s license and 20 have obtained their class 5 learner’s license and are working on their in-vehicle practical training.
Minister Chief says the program will be expanded into Flin Flon in April.
The Thompson Trailbreakers are looking for riders to take part in their Cancer Awareness Ride on March 8th.
Event organizer Kelly Martens says the purpose of the ride is to promote awareness of prostate cancer. He says men typically don't talk about it and dont go to doctors to get a prostate exam. By promoting awareness, hopefully more people will go to their doctors to get tested. With early diagnosis, treatment has a much better chance of being successful.
The ride begins at 10am at the Quality Inn and Suites. Pledge forms are available there ahead of time or you can donate $20 before you ride.
For more on the Trailbreakers listen to Thompson Today at 12:40 and 5:10 this afternoon.
After a vacation out of the City, the last thing you want is to return to a home with frozen pipes.
That’s why the City has a reminder for those getting away.
Mayor Dennis Fenske is asking people to make sure they have someone who is checking their house, and running water for a minute or two as it doesn't take much to get for pipes to freeze.
Mayor Dennis Fenske recommends making arrangements if leaving your house for more than 24-48 hours.
The City has received a number of reports of frozen service lines.
The RBC Foundation is offering grants for after school programs.
Thompson Branch Manager Greg Erman, tells us RBC Foundation is offering the grant beause they want to work with different organizations, and provide funding where they see best fit. He says they're always looking for ways to give back to the community.
Any after school programs in the City are encouraged to apply at rbc.com/afterschool by March 16th.
For the past few years, both the Thompson Boys and Girls Club and Wapanock Community School have received funding totalling over $400,000.
Remote northern communities will be receiving funds to upgrade their recreational and social facilities.
The funds come from the province’s Community Places Program. It provides funding and planning assistance to communities for facility construction, expansion, or acquisition projects.
This year’s projects include upgrades to Norway House Cree Nation’s Education Division and developments to Halcrow Park at Cross Lake First Nation.
21 projects have been approved for 2015 for a total of over $660,000 in grant funding.
As we inch closer to Spring, frozen lakes and rivers will start to melt.
The Red Cross wants all Manitobans to be safe in, on and around the ice.
Red Cross Ambassador Kathleen Low says clear blue ice is strongest while grey is unsafe. She also reminds people to never go out on ice alone, and to tell someone who isn’t coming with you, where you’ll be.
You can hear more ice safety tips from Kathleen Low this afternoon at 12:40 and 5:10 during Thompson Today.
The Winnipeg Jets True North Foundation is doing their part to support mental health wellness.They’ve created a new program called Project 11.
The program puts students Gr. 5-8 through a 15 week program filled with activities that support their mental health wellness.
Coordinator Heidi Fingas says activities include laughing yoga, aboriginal dancing, and relaxation techniques.
Most of Thompson’s elementary schools are currently participating in the pilot run of the program, which takes place in 70 schools across the province.
The Manitoba government and Opaskwayak Cree Nation have signed a 20 year joint management agreement.
The agreement creates a framework for Manitoba and OCN to work together on sustainable resource management, new development opportunities and other issues.
It also identifies shared roles and responsibilities between the two groups.
Minister of Conservation and Water Stewardship, Gord Mackintosh says the agreement formalizes the government’s commitment to continue to work with OCN leaders.
Greyhound has pulled the plug on its day trip between Thompson and Winnipeg.
Regional Vice President for Western Canada, Peter Hamel says the decision came after continuous low rider ship on the day trips.
He says they need around 21 people on a trip to break even and are seeing as low as 5 people on some days. He added that the Winnipeg to Thompson day trip is probably their least travelled trip out of Winnipeg.
Greyhound will continue their overnight trip, and assure they will meet demands by adding a second bus overnight, when needed.
The last day trip between the two Cities is March 6th.
During last nights council meeting, council members passed the third and final reading of the amended school zone speed limit by-law with a vote of 6-3.
The new speed limit will see Thompson Drive near RD Parker at 50 km/hr at all times now. All other school zones will be 30 km/hr from 8am-5pm, Monday to Friday, September to June.
The change is not welcome by all. Students, parents, and school trustee members have spoken out against the amendment.
In the coming days, speed limit signs will be changed in the school zones to reflect the new speed limits.
Provincial Progressive Conservative Deputy Leader, Heather Stefanson is visiting Thompson today.
Joined by 5 other Conservative MLA’s, Stefanson says the purpose of the trip is to talk to people in the community. She says she believes people in the community know how to achieve certain goals best, and wants to know what issues and concerns people have in the community in order to work together to achieve goals.
The group will be attending and speaking at today’s chamber of commerce meeting as well as meeting with members from UCN.
One of Canada’s oldest winter festivals kicks off in The Pas tomorrow.
People from all over are coming to the 68th Northern Manitoba Trappers festival for its ice fishing competitions, queen and king trappers competitions and the dog races.
Chairperson Jenn Cook says the festival is important for preserving, sharing, and continuing northern traditions.
A full list of events can be found at trappersfestival.ca. The festival runs from February 18-22.
The deadline to apply for a grant from Our Foundation Thompson is this Friday.
President of Our Thompson Foundation, Liz Sousa says the non-profit organiziaton started in 1995, to raise money. They invest donations they receive into a savings account and use the annual revenue to fund worthy projects in the City.
Non-profit organizations looking for money to fund a project are encouraged to apply.
Application forms can be found at ourthompson.ca.
The Director of Provincial Affairs for Manitoba with the CFIB is coming to Thompson February 25th.
Elliot Sims will be here to speak at the city’s Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting.
Chamber President, Oswald Sawh, says Sims will provide a unique perspective of business.
Tickets are $60 for members and $70 for non-members. To reserve a ticket call Paula at 204-677-4155 before the 18th.
Plans are in full swing for Rogers Hometown Hockey.
The event, which takes place March 6-8th will see Ron MacLean broadcasting live on national television from Thompson. Numerous events will be taking place throughout the weekend, including Winterfest.
The Local Organizing Committee say they are currently looking for volunteers to help with the big weekend. Duties include greeting guests and helping with set-up and take-down.
People interested in volunteering can call Dayna Waring at 204-679-2973 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Northern Manitoba Winter road season is now in full swing.
Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Ron Kostyshyn announced yesterday that all winter roads are now open.
The winter road season lasts seven to ten weeks ending in March. Every year more than 2,000 shipments of goods are trucked to Northern Manitoba communities.
The approximately 2,200 kilometres of winter roads that span across Northern Manitoba serve 30,000 Manitobans in 23 communities.
The Poetry Institute of Canada is recognizing the work of a group of Thompson students.
Deerwood Elementary Gr.8 teacher Val Little has been submitting her students poetry to the Young Writers Contest every year for over 15 years. For the first time this year, she says every single student in her class was selected to be published in the Anthology of Poems.
Little says it’s very rare for each student from a class to be selected as poems are submitted from all over Canada.
Cyclists from cities all over the world will be biking to work tomorrow, and that includes residents in Thompson.
Bruce Krentz with the Active Transportation Committee says people can check out winterbiketowork.org to register or even just to see the people participating from all over the world.
Krentz says the event grew out of the Summer Bike to Work Day, and aims to create awareness about cycling and active transportation.
The Thompson Public Library and Steps to Success are calling for book suggestions for a Thompson wide book club.
Cat Cogle with Steps to Success says they are looking for a book that takes place in Northern Manitoba, is about Northern Manitoba or is written by a Northern Manitoba author
The chosen book will be used for the first ever “Thompson Reads”.
Book suggestions can be given to The Thompson Public Library or Steps to Success at the YWCA.
Students at Juniper Elementary are showing their appreciation for Veterans in a unique way.
Gr. 2 and 3 classes sent out handmade Valentine’s Day Cards to Veterans with warm wishes, love, and thanks for their service to our country. It’s all part of “Valentine’s for Veterans”, which is run by Veterans Affairs Canada.
Since 1989, individuals, organizations, and schools, have been encouraged to make a Valentine’s Day Card, to be sent to veterans in long-term care facilities across the country.
Gr. 2 teacher Julie Flett says the students were excited to make the cards, and each wrote a little message for the Vet who would receive the card.
The cards were send to Prince Edward Island at the end of January, and are expected to be delivered to Veterans this week.
Construction of a new sewage treatment plant at God’s Lake First Nation is complete.
The $10.7 million dollar project included a new sewage treatment plant which will serve close to 1,400 people living on the reserve.
The project is part of the federal government’s First Nations Water and Wastewater Action Plan. Since 2006, the Government of Canada invested $3 billion dollars to support First Nation communities in managing their water and wastewater infrastructure.
God’s Lake First Nation Chief Gilbert George Andrews says the wastewater treatment facility will improve the quality of life for those living on the reserve.
A death at Island Lake is being investigated as a homicide.
Last Saturday, at approximately 9:30pm, Island Lake RCMP responded to a call at Garden Hill Nursing Station. Upon arrival, they discovered a 21-year-old male with life-threatening injuries, who later died. The name of the victim has not been released.
RCMP continue to investigate.
A huge water main break on Thompson Drive is expected to be fixed today.
Wayne Koversky, Director of Public Works, says a water main popped open in the early hours of Saturday morning. This caused a road closure on Thompson Drive from Cree Road to Quartz St for a couple of days.
Koversky said they excavated the break yesterday and depending on utility clearances, everything should be corrected today. The break also affected water pressures throughout the city.
The public is being reminded to obey road signs and avoid roads experiencing water breaks.
The drive down to Winnipeg can be an unsafe one during winter.
The RCMP say several collisions occurred on Hwy 6 over the weekend. Motorists making the drive down this long weekend are being reminded to have working lights, and drive to the road conditions.
Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht from the University of Manitoba has a number of tips as well. He recommends driving with a sleeping bag, food, candle, and a flashlight in case something happens.
Dr. Giesbrecht is an expert on winter survival, and is commonly referred to as Professor Popsicle. You can hear more of his winter tips during Thompson Today at 12:40 and 5:10 this afternoon.
A 38-year-old Shamattawa man has been charged with second degree murder.
Last Wednesday around 6pm, 65-year old Louis Crane was found by RCMP in a home in Shamattawa. He had been stabbed to death.
Frank Thomas has been remanded in custody. He appears in Thompson Provincial court today.
The victim and accused were known to each other.
Mounties in Oxford House are now investigating the death of a 2-year-old boy as a homocide.
The boy was transported to a Winnipeg hospital from Oxford House on January 31 with life-threatening injuries.
He died a few days later on February 3.
RCMP aren't releasing anymore details about the child's identity or how he died.
The Thompson Festival of Arts provides a way for artists in the city to show off their work in front of a live audience.
They are currently accepting applications to performer. The disciplines showcased at the festival are dance, visual arts, piano, woodwinds, string, and vocals.
Applications can be found on Thompson Festival of the Arts facebook page, and can be dropped of at 75 Pike Crescent by this Friday.
The festival will be Thompson’s 49th, and will be running throughout April and May, with the highlights concert on May 19 and 20.
A new program that will change the way stroke patients are treated is now offered in Thompson.
Telestroke is a program that allows physicians in Thompson General Hospital to consult with specialists who are not normally accessible, such as stroke neurologists and radiologists.
Through videoconference call, Thompson physicians can share CT images so that specialists in Winnipeg can determine if a stroke has occurred, the type of stroke and appropriate treatment options.
Thompson is the fourth hospital in Manitoba to be able to provide the Telestroke program. The program has already treated 3 patients in the city.
Whether you’re a cancer survivor or know someone who has battled cancer, you’re invited to join Thompson’s Relay for Life event.
Bethany Rose, Chairperson for Team Registration says Manitoban teams raised an average of $2,800 last year. She says that money goes towards world class research, support for cancer patients, and initiatives to preventing cancer.
Registration will be available at the Relay kickoff on February 21st at the Quality Inn. You can also contact Bethany at 679-29-92 or go to cancer.ca.
Charges have been laid against a Thompson man in a 10-year old sexual assault case.
28-year-old Tyson Gabriel McKay, was charged by Thompson RCMP on Monday with aggravated sexual assault.
Back in August 2005, a 28-year-old Thompson woman was found violently beaten and sexually assaulted in a wooded area of the city. DNA evidence identified and lead to the arrest of the suspect.
McKay appeared in Thompson Provicinal Court yesterday.
The investigation continues.
With U.S. and now Canada confirming cases of Measles, Dr. Michael Isaac with the Northern Regional Health Authority, says procedures are in place but the risk of the disease finding its way in the province is fairly small.
Isaac says its recommended children receive 1 dose of the vaccination at the age of 1, and another dose shortly before starting school.
He reminds residents that it’s important to wash hands, practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette, and monitor your health in order to prevent the risk of spreading the virus.
Isaac says if anyone believes they might have contracted the disease, they should notify the clinic before going, so proper procedures could take place. Most people recover from the disease in 7-10 days.
The pedestrian crosswalk lights at Cree Road and Thompson Drive North are now in operation.
The crosswalk lights are the city’s first solar powered traffic lights.
Wayne Koversky with Public Works says the installation of the lights at the intersection, started in the fall of last year.
He says the department will keep an eye on the solar powered pedestrian lights for the next year, to determine whether they are a good fit for future crosswalks in the city.
The Province has denied the City’s request to have their annual income assistance contribution, waived.
The contribution is a legislative requirement under an agreement between the Province and Association of Manitoba Municipalities.
It requires the City of Thompson to pay $161,000 annually to fund Manitoba’s Employment and Income Assistance Program. The province came up with that amount by looking at the city’s income assistance costs over a span of a few years.
The City is arguing that the amount is well above what other cities of similar size are paying, and don’t believe it fairly reflects the city’s income assistance costs.
They are hoping to discuss the issue in detail with the province.
The City is another step closer to changing the school zone speed limits.
With 6 councillors voting in favour and 3 opposed, the second reading of the amended by-law was passed during Monday’s meeting.
The amendment would see Thompson Drive at RD Parker go back to 50km/hr at all times, and elementary school zones at 30km/hr, with the time restriction of 8am-5pm, Monday to Friday, September to June applied.
At the beginning of the meeting, parents, teachers and students asked council to make the speed limit at Thompson Drive in front of RD Parker the same as the elementary schools, but a motion to do so, didn’t pass.
The next meeting of council is on the 17th, during which time the third reading will take place.
A unique partnership that will allow high school students take university courses, starts today.
UCN and RD Parker have come together in a dual credit partnership. This partnership will allow Gr.12 students to take Intro to Psychology at UCN, with credits going towards both a high school certificate and university degree.
RD Parker Principal, Rob Fisher, says the course helps students differently. It will allow students who know they are going to university, to get ahead start, while giving students who are unsure if university is for them, a chance to test the waters.
There are over 15 students enrolled for this semester.
A man has been charged with manslaughter after Thompson RCMP responded to an incident over the weekend.
On January 31 at around 2:40am, RCMP got a call about an injured female at an undisclosed Thompson apartment. Further investigation determined that a 20 year old female, from Thompson, was the victim of a homicide. Police say the name of the victim will not be released at this time.
Ronald Lee Clark, 23, of Thompson has been charged with Manslaughter and appeared in court on Monday. He has been remanded in custody and is to appear at Thompson Provincial Court on March 6.
A recent Safety Audit shows the City of Thompson’s workplace safety practices continue to get better.
In 2014, the City obtained a safety audit score of 2.4 out of 4, which is an increase of 0.6 from the year before. The score is calculated by rating 19 different workplace elements, including risk management and job safety analysis.
The City contributes the better score due to the SafeOperations program which was provided by Vale and implemented in 2008. At that time, the City’s score was just 0.8.
City Manager, Gary Ceppetelli says better scores are also saving the City money. In the last year, the City has saved close to $60,000 in Workplace Compensation Board costs.
Mystery Lake School Board is ensuring their students are getting to and from school, and staying warm.
The Board was offering free public transportation for students throughout January, and will continue into February and March. Students simply identify the school they attend when boarding the bus and are able to ride for free.
RD Parker Principal, Rob Fisher, says they’re providing the free rides because of the cold temperatures at this time of year. He says they are thinking of offering the free rides for the entire 10 months, in future years, so students from low-income households have a reliable and free way to travel to and from school.
February is I Love to Read Month. The Thompson Public Library has events and contests to mark the month.
Amanda Sanders from the Library says one contest is called “Library-opoly” which is for older children who can read alone, and another is the "Tower of Books" which is geared for younger readers.
Story times are the library will also feature a special guest throughout the month, including a firefighter and CHTM's own Josh Cain.
More information on their I Love to Read month events can be found at thompsonlibrary.com.
RD Parker students and teachers have started a “50 after 5” campaign.
The campaign is in response to the first reading of the revised school zone speed limit by-law. The by-law would see Thompson Drive near RD Parker revert back to 50km/hr at all times. Students and staff however, want the speed limit to be 50km/hr after 5pm.
Principal Rob Fisher and 3 students have already reached
out to the School Board Trustees for support, and are expected to speak at tonight’s council meeting as well.
One of the student’s told trustees that the slower speed limit would only make someone’s drive about 45 second longer.
Fisher says he hopes that leaders of the community will side with safety.