Infinite Menus, Copyright 2006, OpenCube Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The Thompson Local News Archives for 2016-08

Library Getting Ready for Library Month

Library Month may be during October, but that won't stop the Thompson Public Library from getting a head start.


For October the Library is looking for community members who would want to be filmed reading children books. Filming would be done in September so the videos could get posted on the Library's YouTube page once a day during the month.


Library assistant Amanda Sanders says the library has been looking at doing this for Library Month for awhile now.


To hear more from Amanda and to get more information from the library, tune into Thompson Today at 12:40PM and 5:10 PM.


School Zones in Effect on Sept. 1

The RCMP will be out and watching the school zones, when they start up again tomorrow.

Every September 1st, school zones which are in front of elementary schools, drop the speed limit from 50 km/h to 30 km/h for the school year.


The first week of change is usually the toughest for drivers to get a grasp of, meaning there will be time to become accustomed to the change before school starts on September 7th.

The school zones will have the 30 kilometre limit from 8AM to 5 PM during weekdays all the way to June 30th


Fibe Network Comes to Churchill

Bell and MTS announced that broadband communications infrastructure will be expanding in the town of Churchill.


The two corporations which came together back in May also announced they would introduce next generation Gigabit Fibe Internet and Fibe TV Services for the town.

Bell's Group President Wade Oosterman said the new addition would keep Churchill engaged with the rest of the world.


Oosterman also said the upgrade in Churchill will make the town more sustainable and would add many positives to the Polar Bear Capital of the World.


The average internet speed will be 20 times faster than previous speeds which were currently offered in Manitoba.  


This has been the second announcement from Bell and MTS about the northern region. They also announced expansion broadband networks on highway 6 up to Thompson back in July.


Bell-MTS Set for Announcement in Churchill

Bell and MTS has announced that they will make a service announcement in Churchill today regarding improvements telecommunications services for Churchill.


The improve service will help residents and businesses, and will benefit the region's tourism industry.


The service announcement comes on the heels of the closure of OmniTrax in Churchill which employed 10% of the town's residents.


Bell and MTS announced earlier this summer that they would spend $1 billion over the next five years to help improve broadband services across the province. Also announced was Highway 6 would be receiving enhanced wireless coverage.


Fenske Shares His Thoughts on Tolko Closure

After the recent announcement of the closing of Tolko Industries, Thompson Mayor Fenske says the region is more prepared than ever.


Fenske says the devastating news would have left a greater impact 20 years ago, but the region has grown and has generated and developed new services that make northern communities more than a big business town.


Over 300 employees will be let go from Tolko by December 3rd but Fenske says that The Pas and the northern region is diversified enough to handle big hits from big companies.

Fenske added that there have been discussions with northern leaders on developing a strategy for the future.


He also says it's important for the people of the north to get a say in the strategy which will be laid out.


Bindle Says Hope is Not All Lost For The Pas

With the closure of Tolko being announced earlier this week, MLA Kelly Bindle says it is a great time for the province to find other ways for economic development in the north.

With the Port of Churchill and Tolko closing and Vale expected to close half of its operation in 2018, Bindle says the government must help the north with other opportunities for economic growth.


The government will be launching a new program to attract new businesses and companies to look at northern communities as a place for opportunities.


He also said that Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories is a good indicator that a city can get back on solid ground after a giant employer leaves a small town.


Yellowknife's largest revenue stream was tourism after the gold crashes in the late 1990's. Tourism is the largest renewable industry in the Northwest Territories.


City Hoping Second Application Successful for Handi-Van

The City of Thompson is hoping second time is the charm in regards for getting a grant to help purchase a new Handi-Van.


This will be the second time that the city will be applying for the grant in order for the purchase. The first one was denied and would've had the provincial government split the cost with the city 50/50.


The new grant would come from the Public Transportation Infrastructure Fund which would have costs shared between the federal, provincial and municipal government.


The city has set aside $125,000 to purchase the Handi-Van if the application is denied for a second time. The grant programs will be used in order for taxpayers to spend less.

The PTIF would have the federal government spend 50% of the costs, provincial with 25% and municipal with 25%.



Cruisin' The Dub

The Thompson Auto Club will be hosting its biggest event of the year along with A&W�s biggest event of the year tonight.


Along with the Burgers to Beat MS event which will be at the local A&W, in the parking lot will be full when the Thompson Auto Club puts on one of their show and shines.

This Show and Shine will a new aspect to the regular events as this one will be a competition for a coveted trophy, says member Matt Silva.


The Auto Club will be handing out the Kirk Husarki Memorial Show and Shine Plaque which will be given to the owner of the car with the most votes from the public.

The Auto Club chose to plan the vent around the Burgers to Beat MS day in hope to also promote the cause says Silva.


There is no cost to visit and look at the cars and no cost to vote as well. The Auto Club encourages everyone to come out to enjoy the lineup of cars and to donate money to the MS Society of Canada.


Tolko Closure Has Environmental Impact says Manitoba Wilderness Committee

With the Tolko closure in The Pas, Manitoba�s Wilderness Committee says it may leave more of an impact than we originally thought.


Along with the amount of job losses that will be take place with the closure, Grass River Provincial Park may take an environmental hit when Tolko leaves the area.


Logging roads have been built in the forests and will be abandoned when Tolko officially leaves which can create environmental damages says Campaign Director Eric Reder.


Animals become more vulnerable to predators and hunters with the log roads in place.

The Manitoba Wilderness Committee is hoping to enforce a decommission plan for the log roads will take place when Tolko leaves.


Construction Update

The Excavation process starts up today on Selkirk Avenue starting from the intersection of Selkirk and Cree Road.


The process will  leave Selkirk avenue closed off from the intersection with Cree Road all the way to the one way street, which will turn into a two way street during construction.

The process which will last until the end of September, won't leave the street closed off for the entire time, says Director of Planning Matt Boscariol.


The street will be barricaded off in sections during some times as well, but for the moment the entire street will be blocked off.

Also during the Cree Road construction, Doug's Source for Sports has had their access point blocked off. But as of now cars and trucks can now access the Doug's parking lot from Cree Road.


Director of Planning Matt Boscariol says that the construction crew was gracious enough to lay base on their project in front of the access point early during the project.

The conservative end date for that project would be the end of September. Weather can affect construction plans and will push the end date back.


Special Meeting of Council

A Special Meeting of Council was called by Mayor Dennis Fenske for August 24th  at the Council Chambers.


The meeting is scheduled for 4PM when councils will look for a resolution authorizing administration to submit an application for funding a Handi-Van through the Public Transportation Infrastructure Fund.


The previous Special Meeting of Council was on June 29th when councilors allowed Mayor Fenske to represent the city at an Ad-Hoc Meeting in Winnipeg.


The next Regular Meeting of Council is on September 6th.


Tolko Industries to Close Manitoba Operations

The forest producer Tolko Industries has announced that they will close Manitoba Operations.


Tolko has operations in The Pas and Winnipeg and has been in Manitoba over the past 19 years. The decision was based on the operation not being financially sustainable.

Vice President of OSB and Kraft Papers Jim Baskerville says they understand it will be a very difficult time for employees, contractors and the town of The Pas, but they can't sustain the losses at the operation.


Employees were given a 14-week notice and the last day of operations is scheduled to be December 2nd 2016. More information on the developments will be given on September 6th.  A small group of employees will continue to conduct closure activities into early 2017.


It will be followed by site security and environmental monitoring for the foreseeable future.


FFMC Not Ideal For Southern Fishers

In light of the Manitoba Government withdrawing for participation from the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corportation, MLA Kelly Bindle says fishers will still have the option to be part of the FFMC.


The Norway House Fisherman's Co-op is still choosing to maintain its relationship with FFMC after the government's decision, saying the corporation provided stability and security for their fishers.


Bindle says withdrawing from the FFMC is more helpful for the Interlake area because of the access they have with markets. Northern Manitoba needs the FFMC because of limited access.


The move is to help fishers find their own market, which was originally limited from the FFMC and even caused lawsuits in some cases.


Manitoba Withdraws From FFMC

The Manitoba government has announced that they will withdraw from participation in the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation.


The move is in hope that the province can achieve marketing flexibility for freshwater fishers in the province.


Sustainable Development Minister Caty Cox says this would be the first step toward allowing Manitoba Fishers to market their own products outside of Manitoba.


For the time being the Norway House Fisherman's Co-op will continue its relationship with the FFMC which has provided stability and security for their fishers.


Statistics show that commercial fisheries generate $21 million in direct income to fishers in Manitoba per year.


Party in the Park Makes Its Return

Party in the Park will make its return this Friday when the Thompson-based band Monolith headlines the evening event.


The party starts at 7:30PM at MacLean Park after a very successful event last year. This will only be the second edition of Party in the Park.


Event coordinator of the city Darlene Dick says the once in a year Party in the Park was the public's idea and it attracts almost four times the normal audience for the evening event.

Throughout the year, the usual Concerts in the Park show would bring in local acts to perform, which is a good way to expose regional artists, says Dick.


Monolith is a local four piece band with Mike and Mario Penton on Guitar and vocals, Keith Medwid on Bass and Vocals and Gord Medwid on Drums and Vocals.


If there is rain, the event will be pushed to the GB Arena at the TRCC.


Construction Update

Construction on Cree Road is going northbound, as the contractors will be excavating up by Doug's Source for Sports.


The construction originally would stop short of Doug's Source for Sports but the entrance way will now be blocked off as there were some drainage issues that were found further northbound.


The construction and drainage will take around a week, but after it is done it is expecting to help the road for when large amount of rain comes, says director of planning Matt Boscariol.


The drainage will help out the road in the future as water back-up has occurred when large amount of water has built up. Boscariol says water will now be able to drain more efficiently.


If you are in need to access any of the buildings that's access points are blocked off, you are recommended to use the runway behind the buildings that comes off of Hemlock Crescent.


CSO Program a Big Success

The two year pilot project of the Community Safety Officer Program has proven to be a success and has made a positive impact in the City of Thompson.


During the Regular Meeting of council, a 56-page report was shared about the CSO program expressing successes and challenges over the past two years.


The CSO Program was introduced in 2015 to be a two year pilot program, and was introduced to help deal with concerns that would prevent the RCMP to deal with criminal matters.


In the upcoming year the city will be discussing with the province about expanding the powers of the CSO's and addressing the issues of the first two years like upgrading vehicles and overtime concerns which used up more funding.


The businesses around the downtown area have especially been supportive during the two year program.


Since the introduction of the CSO's, Thompson's community ranking has improved in Canada. Thompson's Overall Crime Severity Value had a 19.5% drop from 2014 to 2015.




Another Fire at The Element

For the third time, the Thompson Fire Department was called to the boarded up building that housed The Element behind Commercial Place to put out another blaze.


The Department was called in for duty around 6PM Sunday to put out the fire. Not much damage was done, but Fire Chief John Maskerine says it was difficult to put out.

The Element has been closed for about four years.


The first two fires over the years were determined as accidental but the fire department says this one could be arson. The investigation is still ongoing


Recreation Plans

Fall is almost here and TRCC is getting ready for all the activities that will take place.

The hockey rink is getting created right now as it is expected to be complete before the 22nd of August when the conditioning camps start up.


The concerts in the park is still going to continue throughout the summer but director of recreation Andrew Hillaby says there is talks for concerts for the rest of the year.

Talks have discussed one concert per month until Christmas.


On September 6th, the Norplex pool will shut down for maintenance that will last around three weeks.


Contractors are getting signed and supplies are being bought for the maintenance shut down which will make some improvements.


Also the Thompson wading pools last day will be August 26th before it seasonal shut down.


Manitoba Quits

Practice makes perfect, and it can also win you some money if you enter in the contest that the Lung Association of Manitoba has been putting on.


For a 24 hour period, individuals must quit smoking to be entered in a contest that can win you up to $200 in cash prizes.


The reason for the 24 hour period non-smoking challenge is to help people practice before they quit for real. It is estimated that people take around 7 to 8 tries to finally quit.

75 per cent of Manitobans who smoke regularly say they would like to quit.


The next contest runs on August 24th and runs on the third or fourth Thursday of every month.


To register, go to


Bindle Pleased With New Funding Process

MLA for Thompson, Kelly Bindle says he is happy with the Manitoba Government's recent announcement of a new application process for cost-shared infrastructure funding. 


The process will reduce red tape and will be the first step of many to ensure that Manitoba municipalities have meaningful input into how infrastructure dollars are spent in the communities.


Bindle says that it is great for the northern communities to apply for funding for planned projects through a streamlined process.


The province is now accepting applications through a single-window intake for cost-shared infrastructure funding for four grant programs.


Streamlining the funding process for municipalities was one of the Conservatives campaign commitments during this year's campaign.


Road 280 Closed

Drivers are suggested not to drive on Road 280 today till 4PM as 3 large loads will be traveling along through the road from Thompson to Gillam.


Councilor Elijah Dick says smaller cars will be allowed to travel but will be inconvenienced by the larger vehicles who will take up more than half the road.


The road will be closed off for large commercial vehicles during the day.


Cree Road Construction

Residents that live on Cree Road may have to be aware of construction in the next week, if they don't want to lose valuable features from your home.


Cree Road is set to experience reconstruction from Deerwood Drive to Fox Bay starting next week and will be going on until October.


Some residents may have planted landscaping or fences or other features in the front of their home which are within city property limits. Because of that, citizens are asked to remove physical features on city property.


Traffic will be detoured down Ash Street and Hemlock Crescent along with the back lane of Deerwood drive.


Director of city planning Matt Boscariol says people will have to accept the detours for the city to grow and have better infrastructure.


Construction has been delayed for most of the summer, thanks in part to the wet weather all across the province.


Consultation Held in Advance of New Agreement

Thompson was home to one of four consultations that were to take place in Manitoba discussing areas in the workforce that need to be addressed in the future Labour Market Transfer agreements.


Thompson hosted the Northern Manitoba region to examine challenges of the workforce which has a unique situation compared to the southern areas in the province, says Education and Training minister Ian Wishart.


The region is unique because of the separation of communities to each other and the limited transportation and schooling that is offered.


Wishart says that greater training is needed for Northern Manitoba as residents don't traditionally leave and they only way to grow the workplace in the North is internally.

The main concerns that were brought up were flexibility and gaps in training. The consultations round the Province will be brought forward to the Canadian Government who will hear from all provinces.


RCMP Prevent Man from Jumping Off Miles Hart Bridge

The Miles Hart Bridge was closed for an hour and 10 minutes yesterday when police responded to a report that a male was standing on the outside of the railing of the bridge.

The Fire Department deployed the rescue boat as a precaution.


Police had managed to negotiate the male to the right side of the bridge.


Police would like to thank the public who were delayed on either side of the bridge for their patience and cooperation.



Salvation Army Asking For More Donations

The Salvation Army is asking for some more donations before the school year starts.


The Salvation Army said their Food Bank is very low on most things and any non-perishable food items of any quantity will be accepted.


To donate, you can drop off your items at the Thrift Store and in the box by Safeway.


McMaster Takes on Midwifery Program

After a summer of uncertainty, midwifery students who were left without a school to go to could be heading to Hamilton, Ontario.


The University of Manitoba reached an agreement with McMaster University and will accepting students who completed the first year of the program at the University of Manitoba.


The students will be able to transfer to McMaster under the guidance of the university and will also do clinical rotations in Manitoba communities.


First-Year students were told earlier this summer that the second year program was not going to offered at the University of Manitoba and the University College of the North.


Delays Will Not Cause Issues for Schools

The construction on a few schools this past summer have experience some delays but classrooms will be up and running when school starts on September 7th.


The Deerwood and Riverside schools have done significant construction over the past summer, working on exterior and interior upgrades, including a gymnasium addition for Riverside school.


The delays have been caused by the wet summer that has been experienced in the Thompson area.


The other schools have been experiencing smaller upgrades but all to make the buildings more accessible to the public, states facility manager Keith Doerksen.

Lighting for the parking lot and improvements for the pathways have also been on the list to upgrade.


Port of Churchill Meeting

A few municipality representatives met in Winnipeg on Wednesday to discuss the plan of action for the Port of Churchill after being told it would shut down last week.


Thompson Mayor Dennis Fenske was part of that meeting and said they discussed about saving the 2016 grain season and making a longer-term plan for the Port.


Fenske spoke highly of the mayor of Churchill Mike Spence, who has been pushing the town through this difficult time.


10% of the population of Churchill works at the port which is the biggest arctic Port in Canada.


In Thompson, Vale is the big company which employs a percentage of the population. But Mayor Fenske says that the city would still be okay as they are working towards making other services more important.


OmniTrax declared they would stop using the Port of Churchill last week, which also means that 10% of Churchill, who was employed at the Port, will be out of a job.


Construction Update

Selkirk Avenue is still under construction as the water-main renewal project is still continuing. Most of the street is open but barricades are still shielding open trenches from the public.


Once the holes are filled in, the paving program will commence on the corner of Cree Road and Selkirk Avenue and will continue to the professional building.


Yellow water was also discovered in taps last week in some residence in Thompson, but it did not come from the water-main renewal project. The water comes from the maintenance program done every year, when the city flushes lines.


Abused German Sheppard Recovering

The nearly paralyzed German Sheppard puppy from Easterville is making a nice recovery.

Asha, who was thrown into the air and nearly paralyzed, was brought to Winnipeg, where it is staying with foster parents and being monitored for injuries. She suffered injuries to her front right leg and left hind leg after the fall.


The video of her being tossed in the air was posted to Facebook and an RCMP investigation ensued.


18 year-old Jesse Young from Easterville was charged with causing unnecessary pain and injury to a dog and breach of undertaking.


August Long Weekend Safe On Highways

The Thompson area had a very safe August long weekend as a check stop was put on by Paint Lake this past weekend.


The check stops which are meant to prevent driving under the influence on major highways did their job as no criminal charges were laid over the course of the weekend. The RCMP did the check stop over a period of six hours.


High-Speed Internet Delivered to Isolated Communities

The Government of Canada has announced that high-speed internet will be coming to 63 Manitoba First Nations communities and 189 other communities around the province.


It's part of $4.2 million project that was announced last week that is hoping to improve quality of life on reserves and isolated communities.

The funding will support design and planning for the affordable, dependable and high speed internet.


Pimicikamak Cree Nation Chief Cathy Merrick says that times have changed and that reserves will no longer be behind in internet service.


The first phase of the project will be to extend Manitoba Hydro's existing fibre optic infrastructure to the communities, which will then be completed by the end of 2016-2017.

Once the first phase is completed, internet providers will be able to use the fibre optic infrastructure to deliver their service to the communities.


Skateboard Benches Installed

Individuals that aren't as athletically gifted at skateboarding now have the chance to watch instead, as park benches were placed at the Thompson Skate Park.


The benches were installed before last weekend's Straight Trashy Skateboard Championship that hosted many kids on the Sunday event.


Mayor Fenske said that park benches were set up to make the park more enjoyable for the kids that use the skate park.


The city is also in discussions to expand the park to make it more biker-friendly than it is at the moment.


Leaders Upset by Port of Churchill Closure

With the recent announcement with closure of the Port of Churchill, the MP for the Churchill-Keewatinook Aski region says the decision is both shocking and unacceptable.

Omnitrax made the decision last week to close the only deepwater link to Canada's arctic waters and the railroad, which employs 10% of Churchill's population and will affect other northern communities including The Pas.


Ashton says that it's time for the Federal Government to work with First Nations, the province and Churchill to bring the port back under Canadian ownership.


The Port was sold to the US-based private ownership of Omnitrax back in 1997 during the Chretien government.


Some observers think this could be a strategy from Omnitrax to leverage financial support from the public sector. Ashton responded saying if that is the tactic, It's a sick one.


Cliff Cullen, the minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade for the Manitoba government says, they will look at partnering with community and business leaders to attract investment assist entrepreneurs and facilitate expansion to provide a stronger economic future for the region.




Quick Pick



Visitor Poll

Are you concerned about forest fires in our area?
Yes. It's so dry and we're surrounded by trees.
Not really. One good rain and we'll be fine.
Add a Comment
(Fields are Optional)
Your email address is never published.
View Results

"Your" Calendar

LinkedUpRadio Envisionwise Web Services