Nominations are now open for this years YWCA Thompson Woman of Distinction Awards. The annual event recognizes women in our community (any women north of the 53rd parallel) who go above and beyond to lead, be a role model or just make the community a better place to live, work and play.
Nina Cordell, the programs coordinator at the Thompson YWCA told CHTM that the awards are a chance to honour the achievements of women in the community, regardless of education or work experience. The only requirements to be up for the award is to consent to the nomination (as well as the publicity that comes with it) as well as be available to attend the awards dinner.
Cordell said that nomination packages are available online (www.ywcathompson.com), via email (email@example.com), by dropping by the YWCA Thompson reception desk (39 Nickel Road) or by calling Nina (204-778-1209).
The full eligibility list and addition information are available for review on the application.
The nominations are due by Monday April 3rd, while the awards dinner is on May 27th at the River Lodge place.
Last night at Thompson City Council, John Maskerine, the director of Fire and Public Safety, presented the new revision of the ambulance service purchase agreement.
The agreement, made between the city of Thompson and the Northern Regional Health Authority, has been in place for decades. Maskerine says that the agreement gives first responders in Thompson a mandate with regards to training and making sure that the care they provide is at the highest level possible.
Maskerine said that the only thing worth noting that has changed from the previous agreement is the price of an ambulance for those without private health insurance. He told CHTM that the cost had previously been going up every two to three years. Manitoba Health has said that over the next four years they want to see the cost reduced to $250 for those without coverage.
The last revision of the agreement came back in 2014.
The Manitoba Chamber of Commerce is asking Chambers and their members to write to their Members of Parliament.
It’s to ask them to oppose the Federal government’s proposal to tax employer paid health and dental benefits. Many fear a tax would cost employees hundreds or thousands of dollars a year, and result in fewer employers willing to provide coverage. The Thompson Chamber has provided its members with a letter to sign and send to Niki Ashton and federal Minister of Finance Bill Morneau.
Back in December 2016 the government had identified health and dental benefit packages as a possible source for additional revenue.
Starting February 1st, Stittco customers will be paying more for their propane.
The Public Utilities Board announced Wednesday that the price is being raised from 97 cents per cubic metre to $1.22 a cubic metre. The new rate is projected to increase the average residential bill by approximately ten per cent, depending on consumption.
The P-U-B says the propane rates will be reviewed again on May 1st of this year.
The Journey for Sight snowmobile ride left Flin Flon last Wednesday, finishing in Brandon Saturday.
The ride raised money for the Lions Eye Bank of Manitoba and Northwest Ontario. According to Committee Chair Brad Henderson, the Journey went well even though snow conditions were challenging.
Henderson says 31 snowmobiles from across the province wrapped up the ride in Brandon on Saturday, with riders raising approximately 39 thousand dollars at that point.
Thompson rider Kent Korzenowski took part in the event, raising $430.
When medical assistance in death became law in Canada last June, Dr. Brock Wright, Chief Medical Officer with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, was tasked with putting a provincial team of medical professionals together. He explains how that was done.
“We went to a number of organizations in Manitoba and asked them to go out to their members and help us identify individuals in those various professions who might be interested in participating in a medical assistance in dying team. People contacted us and based on that we put a team together.”
Increased demand for medical assistance in dying has resulted in an expansion of the provincial MAID team. Dr. Wright shares how it has grown.
“We started off with three part-time physicians, two nurses, two social workers and two pharmacists. Since then the interest in the service has increased substantially and so we’ve expanded the team to include seven physicians, three social workers and we still have two pharmacists, two nurses and we’ve added a speech-language pathologist.”
To date 109 individuals have contacted the program, with 25 receiving assistance. Twenty-eight people died unassisted, 17 are currently being assessed, 19 cases were declined and 20 were inquiries only.
For more on medical assistance in dying and the legislation that permits it, listen to Thompson Today for the first of a two-part interview with Dr. Wright this afternoon.
Tomorrow is “Bell Let’s Talk Day” in support of mental health. Catherine Pohjolinen from the Canadian Mental Health Association here in Thompson explains what “Bell Let’s Talk Day” is about.
“This means that for every text or call for Bell subscribers, 5 cents will be donated to mental health initiatives. Other than that every tweet or Instagram post with the hashtag “Bell Let’s Talk” and every snap on Snapchat sent with the “Bell Let’s Talk” geo-filter, they’re going to donate 5 cents to mental health initiatives - like CMHAs all across Canada.”
Do your part to support those living with mental health issues. Remember, tomorrow is Bell’s Let’s Talk Day. To find out more about it go to LetsTalk.bell.ca.
You have until January 31st to nominate a deserving citizen for this year's Order of Manitoba The Secretary for the Order of Manitoba Advisory Council, Dwight MacAulay, says each year up to twelve people receive the award. He explains virtually anybody can be nominated if they're living or have lived in Manitoba and have done something exceptional for their profession or community, the province or the country. Up to 12 awards are given out annually.
For information or to make a nomination visit the Lieutenant Governor's web site at manitobalg.ca
At Wednesday’s Chamber of Commerce meeting, Mayor Dennis Fenske addressed some of the changes that will affect Thompson’s work force when Vale shuts down the refinery and smelter in 2018.
“Vale employs currently around 1450 employees. And through the transition, retirees, and closure of the smelter and refinery, that work force will be reduced to roughly 900 to 950. There also will be an impact on contractors. Currently they employ somewhere between 400 and 500 contractors. That number will be reduced to around 125.”
Three main areas of work have been identified by the Thompson 20-20 working group as priorities for Vale and the city to date. Fenske highlights them here.
“The first bucket of work talks to the immediate impact of Vale employees. The second bucket of work talks about retirees - not only Vale – but any other person who’s retiring in our community and what we can do to retain retirees in our community. And the third bucket of work is business growth – existing and new business.”
Thompson is 20-20 a working group struck by Vale which has been tasked with ensuring the growth and development of the economy once the company goes to just a mining and milling operation.
Currently the members of Thompson 2020 are Mark Scott and Ryan Land from Vale, Tim Johnston with Community Futures North Central Development, Oswald Sawh from Communities Economic Development Fund (CEDF), Jackie Lagimodiere with the Province of Manitoba and Robert Allen, a designate from Service Canada.
At present, the search is on for a Project Manager as well as an Economic Development Officer for the City.
You have a project that could benefit the community, but you’re short of funds. If you’re part of a non-profit organization, the Thompson Community Foundation might be able to help. Right now they’re accepting applications for this year’s grant cycle. Local groups and projects have been awarded just over a million dollars since the foundation began operation. Grant applications must be in by February 17th with grants to be awarded in June. Projects must be completed by December 1st of this year. For more details email firstname.lastname@example.org. In 2016 almost 90-thousand dollars were awarded to 13 community groups in the city.
A Thompson resident will join the Lions Journey for Sight that leaves Flin Flon Wednesday morning.
Kent Korzenowski will take part in the annual fund raiser for the Lions Eye Bank of Manitoba and Northwest Ontario. Around 20 snowmobilers from across the province will leave from Flin Flon and carry on to The Pas in day one of the trip. Day two has them ending up in Swan River. On Friday the group splits up with some riders heading to the Roblin and Russell area while the rest will carry on through the Duck Mountains to finish up in Dauphin.
The snowmobilers will be joined by others from across the province as they arrive in Brandon Saturday afternoon. The Journey for Sight raised over 83 thousand dollars for the Eye Bank last year.
The Red Cross is extending funding for two extra days to help more than 85 people left homeless by an apartment fire in The Pas.
The fire broke out on the third floor of the three‑story building just before 3 a.m. last Friday.
More than 100 people were forced to leave their suites and the only known injury was to one person who broke a pelvis after leaping from a third‑floor balcony.
With only mild water damage to the first two floors, some people could be back in their suites within a week or two, but others could be out much longer, a fire official said on Friday.
The Office of the Fire Commissioner is investigating what caused the blaze.
Manitoba RCMP use naloxone kits for first time
Manitoba RCMP have used a nasal naloxone kit for the first time to save someone from an opioid overdose.
Last Friday, they responded to a call of a possible fentanyl overdose at a residence. Officers arrived and found an unconscious man with a very low pulse and severe breathing difficulties.
They administered the first dose of nasal nalaxone as they waited for an ambulance. While the victim improved, the breathing difficulties continued, and the officers administered two more doses in recommended intervals. The victim quickly stabilized and he was transported to hospital. He has since been released.
Suspected fentanyl was seized at the location.
To protect the identity of the victim, the RCMP will not be providing any specific details about the location of the incident.
If you’re 55 years old plus, Lions Manor 55 can provide a more carefree and secure environment for you as you age. Penny Byer, a member of the manor’s board describes it here.
“Lions Manor 55 is a housing cooperative for people that are 55 and older. And it’s going to be designed for what we call an ‘aging in place” concept. As you get older, maybe a little arthritis sets in, maybe you start needed a walker, maybe you need the wider doorways, the levered handles, that sort of thing. That’s all being designed into this property.”
The building will have 30 units. At this point 11 are spoken for but the board is hoping to have at least 5 more units committed to by January 31st so the project can begin this spring. Byer explains why it’s so important to get more people to step forward and commit to the project.
“One of the things that we have to satisfy with our lender is to show that there’s sufficient interest in these 30 units. And to do that we have to have these $500 deposits. We have to have more than half. We’re just under the halfway mark. Some people are interested but they’re reluctant to give that $500 deposit - even though it’s refundable - because they like to see that shovel in the ground.”
To see the plans or get more information about Lions Manor 55, contact Leanne Grenier at 677-0768 or email email@example.com.
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 with some fun and simple activities. Penny Brenton, the Futures and Babies’ Best Start Program Coordinator offers some ideas.
“When shopping with your children, do a Grocery Hunt. Make a list with your child and let your child or children find all the items in the store. It’s a fun way to include them in our shopping. Or spice up meal time and have kids create a menu by drawing food items or using grocery store flyers. Kids can take orders, too.”
This Saturday you’re invited to attend the Family Literacy Day event at the City Centre Mall just in front of the Wal-Mart doors. There will be a number of activities taking place that will help to promote literacy, as Brenton shares with us.
“There will be several activities to choose from but, of course, you’re welcome to do them all. There will be a bookmark making table, literacy craft and a book give away. As well, we will have stories read by guest readers promoting literacy, singing songs, and a healthy snack will all be provided free of charge. The Teddy Bear Clinic will also be happening so please make sure to bring your favorite stuffed animal so he or she can get checked out.”
Family Literacy Day is a national awareness initiative created by ABC Life Literacy Canada in 1999 and held annually on January 27th to raise awareness of the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family.
In Thompson the Family Literacy Day events run from 1 to 2:30 p.m. There’s no charge to attend.
Go for a walk and do some good for everybody’s heart. February is Heart Month in Manitoba and time for the annual door-to-door fund raising campaign for the Heart & Stroke Foundation.
Amber Meszaros, one of the Area Managers for the Heart and Stroke Foundation in Manitoba, explains here what organization does here in the province.
“One of our main goals is fund raising and the reason our main goal is fund raising is because the funds that are raised are helping us to support our researchers within the province and within the country. Without the researchers doing the research, making the medical breakthroughs and finding different medications to help peoples’ heart disease and stroke or different alternatives to some of the treatments that have been developed in the past, we wouldn’t be making the advancements that we have been making in the past several years.”
Started in 1951, the Foundation is not only an authority on heart disease and stroke, it has given over $55 million to research. That research has developed programs that in turn have cut the number of deaths from heart disease and stroke by 50 per cent.
Meszaros shares here one of the latest advancements in the treatment of strokes.
“One of the biggest advancements was something called TPA. It’s a clot busting drug that was developed. So when someone is having a stroke, you’re tested by a neurologist to see if you’re eligible for the TPA clot-busting drug. And then, if you are eligible, it’s something that definitely has save several lives.”
The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba has a number of fund raising activities throughout the year. Meszaros lists a few of them here.
“Some of our larger programs are our Big Bike Event, we have Jump Rope for Heart that takes place in the elementary schools across the province. Then our other largest fund raising event is our door-to-door residential campaign which takes place in February.”
Meszaros says that volunteers are always needed during the campaign. To volunteer for the door-to-door campaign in the Thompson area, contact Al Meston at 778-89-88.
Besides raising funds, canvassers also leave important information for residents regarding heart health and how to recognize the signs of stroke.
The Thompson Recycling Centre has continued to improve over the years. Billy Jo Thompson, manager of the centre, shares some facts and figures from last year.
“In 2016 for total, we had processed approximately 960,000 kilograms. We’re up this year about 20-thousand kilograms . So that’s great. Every year we’re just looking ot increase our numbers and that’s what we’ve been doing thanks to the community residents and the community recycling.”
Thompson says the automated sorting system has played a big part in contributing to these numbers. Almost 19-thousand kilograms of recyclable material is shipped from Thompson weekly. Some material actually generates money for the Recycling Centre as it’s considered a commodity.
Thompson shares more on how those shipments are funded.
“We’re funded through the Multi-Material Stewardship of Manitoba. So they would help us with those shipping costs to cover the shipping all the way from Northern Manitoba down to Winnipeg. Without that funding it would be very expensive. Also, we ship on back loads. Gardewine’s been wonderful and gives us a reduced price to ship our recycling.”
However, while every year the amount of recyclable material diverted from the landfill increases, there is room for improvement.
“We’re always looking at bringing our contamination levels down. Just educating the public, making them more aware of what’s recyclable and what’s not. We experience a lot of textiles - like clothing or bedding - in our recycling. It adds a lot to our contamination rates. People may think they’re putting it in the recycling bin because they’re donating it, but we don’t recycle clothing or any type of textiles, so it’s all going to the landfill.”
Check the bottom of any item you think is recyclable to see if the recycle symbol is on it. If you’re still not sure, contact the Centre at 677-7991. Get more information about the Recycling Centre by tuning in to Thompson Today at 12:40 and 5:10 this afternoon.
The Holiday Checkstop Program has officially come to an end, after four weeks of patrolling highways during the busy Christmas month.
Week Three of the program was a challenging with extreme cold weather and ice covered highways.
Thompson RCMP conducted roving check stops instead of stationary check stops, to ensure motorists’ continued safety.
The third and fourth week’s had two people charged with impaired driving, one charge of driving while texting, and several people with driving with open liquor.
Thompson RCMP would like to remind everyone to continue to drive responsibly throughout the year.
For the month of January, the City of Thompson will be picking up used Christmas Trees during regular garbage and recycling pickup.
If you would like your used tree picked up, just set it by the curb where your garbage and recycling bins will be.
The tree pickup will also include wreaths that you wish to get rid of as well. The program is for residential homes, apartments or housing units may have different rules for placing trees by their bins.
The program will run till the end of the month.
Overdose reversal kits will soon be available here in Thompson.
As of this week, those at risk of an opioid overdose will be able to access naloxone kits here in the city. With fentanyl overdoses on the rise in the province, Manitoba Health is providing communities here in the north with naloxone kits to help reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
Dr. Michael Isaac, the Medical Officer of Health for Manitoba, tells us about how the kits work.
“The kits themselves with come with 2 vials of naloxone and it will have also instructions on how to use the naloxone. There will be a syringe in there and also sterile needles as well.
Once naloxone is given, part of the training will be to do an assessment or re-evaluation of the person after they’re given the injection to see if they’ve had an improvement, especially in their breathing. That’s one of the main signs that the kit has worked.”
There will be 15 kits available in Thompson as of this week. Nurses at Thompson Public Health next to the hospital or at the Clinic in the Thompson Plaza will assess those asking for the kits and determine who’s eligible for one.
For more on the naloxone kits, listen to Thompson Today this afternoon at 12:40 and 5:10.
The Cold Weather Policy was in use for much of December as temperatures dipped to the minus thirties and even forties.
The Cold Weather Policy comes into effect when temperatures dip below minus 35 with the wind chill.
When that happens, the outdoor skating rink huts at Eastwood, Juniper and Southwood will all open up to those in need of shelter for the cold night.
There was only two nights in which the policy was activated but not utilized. Every other day brought in at least one person to one of the huts and at most six people came through the doors.
There was only one night when the Policy could have been activated but no staff was there to monitor the facility.
Responses from the ambulance and fire department have been on the rise this year from the year before.
Ambulance had seen a steady ascent during the 4th quarter with a 7.58% increase in September, 8.84% in October and 9.19% in November.
The use of the Fire Department has experienced a bigger jump in numbers with 15% increase in September, 15.32% in October and 15.65% in November.
None of the December numbers have been counted as of yet.
An old resolution will be brought back to the next council meeting after Councillor Duncan Wong rescinded resolution # 2016 250.
The resolution which was passed at the December 12th meeting approved the additional cost of just over $147 thousand to JR Cousin which was the project manager for Phase 4 work at the Waste Disposal Grounds.
The additional cost was paid out because of the extra excavation costs and management costs that were originally not considered in the project.
The extra costs come from the clay cut-off wall between Phase 1 and Phase 4 being twice as deep as anticipated.
Because of the rescinding, the resolution will once again be looked at the January 16th meeting, and will go through another vote.
Operation Red Nose came to a close last weekend after the New Year’s festivities.
During a usual busy weekend for Operation Red Nose, it was not as busy in the Thompson area as 44 rides were given out and almost $750 was collected in donations.
For the whole season, Thompson was fourth in the province for donations collected as almost $7,000 was given to the organization.
Thompson also had the fourth highest volunteer rate with 185 volunteer spots taken over for the season. Those 185 volunteers created 44 teams and gave out 313 rides.
Thompson improved in every category from last year with the biggest jump in volunteers which only had 143 last year.
The busiest weekend was December 9th and 10th.
A slow start to winter and large winds in autumn has left the snowmobile trails in the region inaccessible for the time being.
Groomer Operator Steve Grandbois says that not only is the organization waiting thick enough ice but also has to clear the trails from fallen trees from earlier this year.
Trailbreakers are asking anyone that can help to volunteer to help them remove debris from the trails so that they can open trails as soon as possible.
To get in touch with the Trailbreakers for volunteer opportunities, call 204-778-8913.
To hear more about the trails and how to volunteer for the Trailbreakers, tune in to Thompson Today at 12:40 and 5:10PM.
Thompson RCMP are asking for the public’s assistance in looking for a missing man.
Thompson RCMP received a report of a missing 67-year-old man from Thompson on December 19th. Campbell Hunter was last seen around November 10, 2016, in Thompson. He led an outdoor lifestyle, hunting and trapping in the wilderness, but did not stay out of touch for this long.
Hunter is described as indigenous; approximately 5’4” tall with a slim build. He has short black hair with grey in it and is missing his front teeth. He was last seen wearing a navy jacket, a baseball cap and big winter boots.
He is known to travel around the Gimli area.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Thompson RCMP at 204-677-6909 or call Manitoba Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.
The number of charges on Manitoba highways was down from last year during the holiday season.
1733 vehicles were checked across during 40 Checkstops, with 17 people being charged with impaired driving. There were 8 alcohol- or drug-related administrative roadside suspensions.
The charges were down from last year as 23 charges were laid in 2015.
8 alcohol or drug-related administrative roadside suspensions were given out.
The highest blood/alcohol was recorded by two individuals. The readings reached 3.5 times the legal limit.
There was one traffic-related fatality during the past week in Minnedosa.
With 2016 now in the history books, for Mayor Dennis Fenske it’s time to look forward to 2017.
When asked what the goal for the city was for the New Year, he responded by saying that he wants councilors to play a different role. He wants councilors to stick with making the bigger decisions and leaving small details to the administration.
He went on to say that this year will be a growing year for the city, as many projects have started and that this year will be spent on making sure to keep those projects on the scheduled timeline.
Finalizing the agreement for the Waste Water Treatment Plant, negotiations for the grant-in-lieu, and census numbers being announced are on the top of mind for Fenske.