Thompson Local News

Vision health organization raising awareness for glaucoma as country's population continues to age

While Canada contends with an aging population, an organization focused on vision care says more needs to be done to support strategies to address gaps in the healthcare system.


Glaucoma, a disease of the optic nerve, is the leading cause of blindness around the world.


While there’s no cure for glaucoma, the Canadian Ophthalmological Society says medication and surgery can help people live with the disease and slow its progress if caught early enough through regular eye exams.


COS along with other eye care organizations are advocating for a Vision Health Desk at the Public Health Agency of Canada to address age-related eye diseases that can cause blindness.


It says this initiative would support eye health and work with provinces and territories on strategies on eye health, vision care, and the full integration of post-vision loss rehab therapy into the healthcare system.


For more on Glaucoma Awareness Month, listen to Thompson Today at 12:40 and 5:10 this afternoon.

Two Memorandums of Understanding signed in order to expand winter weather testing opportunities in Thompson

Two Memorandums of Understanding were signed earlier this week at the Winter Weather Testing Campus at the local airport in Thompson.


The first was between SubZero North and the Transport Canada Innovation Centre to solidify their partnership in continuing to help fund and test new innovations, with SubZero North opening itself up as one of their testing hubs.


There was also a signing between University College of the North and Mohawk College, which is based in Hamilton, Ontario.


Mohawk College was up in Thompson this week testing drones for Skygauge Robotics, and also trained a few northern Manitobans to be drone pilots as a way to expand the types of technology that can be weather-tested in the area.


This comes as SubZero North bought the testing facility from Ford late last year.

Thompson RCMP arrest youth following alleged bomb threat at RD Parker Collegiate

On January 25, 2023, at approximately 12:15 pm, Thompson RCMP responded to a bomb threat at R.D. Parker Collegiate, in Thompson.

A note containing a bomb threat was found at the school and the school was evacuated.

Officers attended and consulted with the RCMP Explosives Disposal Unit (EDU). Officers along with Thompson Fire Department searched the school for any suspicious packages. Nothing was located. At approximately 3:15 pm the school was cleared and students and staff were allowed to return.

Further investigation led officers to identify a suspect, who is a student at the school.

This morning, the youth was arrested at his residence. He is currently in custody and is facing charges of Uttering Threats and Public Mischief.

Thompson RCMP continue to investigate.

Bell holds annual Bell Let's Talk Day to raise money for local mental health initiatives

It’s Bell Let’s Talk Day, and this year the telecom company is committing to a lump sum of ten million dollars towards its commitment of funding mental health programs across Canada.


The company would previously donate five cents for every digital interaction.


Bruce Krentz with the Northern Health Region shares how Bell Let’s Talk Day gives back to northern communities.


“In the past, our life promotion and suicide prevention networks have benefited directly from financial support from Bell. After the Bell Let’s Talk Days happened and they raised some money and put some money towards mental health, we applied for it. The biggest benefit to us, I think, was through our Help North forums. We had a number of forums where we had different speakers, activities, and workshops. We brought people from across the North into Thompson to focus on mental wellness, recovery and on mental health.”


Bell has a goal of contributing 155 million dollars towards mental health programs in Canada, and has so far committed over 139 million to the cause.


For more on Bell Let’s Talk Day, catch Thompson Today at 12:40 and 5:10 this afternoon.

God's Lake Narrows RCMP investigating homicide case in community

God’s Lake Narrows RCMP is investigating a homicide case in the community.


A press release from Manitoba’s police agency states local authorities got a report of an altercation at a home in the First Nation early yesterday morning, with an injured man taken to the nursing station.


When officers arrived at the nursing station, the 51-year-old was pronounced dead.


In addition to God’s Lake Narrows RCMP, the RCMP Major Crimes Services and Forensic Identification Services are looking into the incident.

MKO hosts public engagement session for it's On the Right Track project this Tuesday

Thompson residents are encouraged to stop by the On the Right Track community engagement session tomorrow.


Hosted by MKO in partnership with Transport Canada, the project has been visiting communities located along the Hudson Bay Railway to learn about people’s experiences, economic development opportunities, and the future of the railway.


Once the data has been collected, it will be compiled into a final report for the communities and local leadership to find areas of improvement of the railway, in addition to assessing the viability of a trade corridor in northern Manitoba.


Currently, Thompson is the last community to take part in the sessions, which have been held in other northern communities since the fall.


It will be at the Ma-Mow-We-Tak Friendship Centre tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Catch Thompson Today at 12:40 and 5:10 this afternoon for more information.

MKO local food bank hopes to be able to serve all Thompsonites in need by end of March

The MKO Food Bank says it hopes it’ll be able to serve all Thompsonites who need help with food insecurity by the end of March.


Shyanna Lynxleg, the Urban Initiative Manager with MKO, says the food bank has been working towards assisting clientele of all demographics since the Salvation Army Food Bank closed last June.


MKO has used grant funding from Indigenous Services Canada in order to run the food bank, which stipulates that it serves off-reserve Indigenous clients.


Lynxleg explains the organization has been helping some residents who don’t fit that description, noting they’ve assisted Ukrainian refugees who’ve relocated to Thompson.


She adds MKO recently created a Memorandum of Understanding with Harvest Manitoba to help towards achieving their goal, which Lynxleg says MKO feels positive will become a reality.


For more information, listen to the full interview this afternoon at 12:40 and 5:10 on Thompson Today.

Manitoba Lung Association runs challenge to encourage people to quit smoking in honour of National Non-Smoking Week

The Manitoba Lung Association says it wants to support residents who’re looking to quit tobacco.


This comes as the organization commemorates National Non-smoking Week, an awareness campaign dedicated to educating people about the dangers of smoking and helping them quit.


Hailey Coleman, a certified tobacco educator who runs an online support group with the association, says they’re currently running a challenge for those looking to quit smoking.


“People can still sign up right up until the end of January. We have cash prizes and quit kits to hand out. It’s such an amazing support when we can chat every day in our Facebook group.”


According to the Canadian Community Health Survey, smokers are more likely to quit in January than any other month.


To learn more about the resources the Manitoba Lung Association offers, tune in Thompson Today at 12:40 and 5:10 p.m.

Requests to fast track staff from out-of-country to work at local vet clinic approved by Manitoba's Immigration Ministry

The City of Thompson says efforts to fast-track staff from out-of-country to work at the local vet clinic have been approved by the province’s Immigration Ministry.


This came to light at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, which addressed a letter from Doctor Keri Hudson Reykdal [wreck-dahl] advising the city that services would be significantly reduced beginning January 31st.


Hudson Reykdal explained her contract with her lab equipment provider was terminated due to not having access to RVTs and vets as well as vet assistants, meaning her clinic will no longer provide x-rays or blood work in-house for patients.


City manager Anthony McInnis told council that staff is available in other countries but they require assistance in immigrating to Canada. The province will then step in to vet and fast-track them to Thompson.


McInnis adds the province is currently waiting for interested staff to put their names forward.


Hudson Reykdal says that if she’s unable to adequately staff her practice soon, she plans to close the clinic by June.

Nelson House RCMP investigate hit and run

On January 13, 2023, at approximately 8:00 pm, Nelson House RCMP responded to a report of a possible collision involving a pedestrian.


It was reported that an injured woman was found laying on the road on Otetiskiwin Drive, on Nisichawayaihk Cree Nation. It is believed she was struck by a vehicle which fled the scene.


The woman, a 45-year-old from Norway House, was taken to the nursing station, where she was pronounced deceased.


Officers contained the scene and a traffic analyst was deployed to the community to assist with the investigation.


RCMP are looking for help from the community.


If you witnessed the collision or have information on the incident please call Nelson House RCMP at 204-484-2837, call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477, or secure tip online at

Survey finds only 1-in-3 Canadians setting financial goals in 2023

With Canadians still setting New Year Resolutions and keeping up with their goals, a certified financial planner spoke to Arctic Radio about financial goal-setting for 2023.


Contending with high inflation and interest rates can lead to anxiety about being able to put those goals into action.


However, spokesperson Jackie Porter says setting smaller goals can still make a big impact in the long-term.


“The thing about a budget is that it’s important for you to see how much you have to work with, especially if you are trying to pay off debt and trying to save for an emergency fund. See where you can cut back, see those leaks, then you can use that money, free it up. Even if it’s only $25 dollars a month or $50 dollars a month, what’s great about doing these small steps is that it helps to set you up for a better future. That is really what financial planning is all about, it’s taking those small actions that can create a better tomorrow for you.”


Tune in to Thompson Today at 12:40 and 5:10 this afternoon for the full interview.

Thompson Seniors Community Resource Council hopes to see long term sustainability of their food hamper program in 2023

The coordinator of a local seniors organization says she hope to see long-term sustainability of their food hamper program become a reality this year.


Penny Byer explains the weekly hamper program relies on grant funding and donations to stay afloat, and that it currently is good to run until the end of June,


However Byer hopes that the program can get the resources it needs to run five to ten years and beyond, as food insecurity for seniors and elders isn’t something that’s going to go away.


When the program launched almost two years ago, it assisted eight clients to start off.


The number has grown to 18 clients, with twelve more on the wait list.


Residents interested in helping out the program or who would like to learn more about it can call 204-677-0987.


Catch Thompson Today at 12:40 and 5:10 this afternoon for the full interview.

University of Manitoba's Northern Social Work Program applications available until March 1st

People interested in applying for the University of Manitoba’s Northern Social Work Program have until March 1st to do so.


The program can be completed anywhere between four to nine years, which program director Lee Anne Deegan says provides flexibility for students who’re working or have families.


Deegan adds jobs pertaining to social work will continue to be in demand, saying many of their graduates stay in the north as they pursue their careers.


She cites 460 people have graduated from the program since 1988, meaning around ten to 15 students graduate from the program in a given year.


To learn more, catch Thompson Today at 12:40 and 5:10 this afternoon.

16-week tuition-free program for women pursuing welding as a career being offered by the MITT

The Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology is offering a tuition-free program that starts next month for women interested in pursuing welding as a career.


The Women of Steel: Forging Forward Program is being offered in partnership with the CWB Welding Foundation as a way to fill gaps in the industry.


Interim President and CEO Bev Stuart adds women make up only four per cent of the workforce, and hopes the program provides an opportunity to a segment of the population who may not otherwise be able to access it.


The 16-week program runs from February 27th to June 23rd.


There will be an info session next week Monday to Wednesday, which will be virtual.


To learn more about this opportunity, hear the full interview on Thompson Today at 12:40 and 5:10 this afternoon.

Thompson RCMP look for missing woman

On January 5, 2023, at approximately 12:40 pm, Thompson RCMP received a report of a missing woman.


Kayla James, 31, of Thompson, has not been seen since November 8, 2022. Officers have been actively looking for Kayla since she was reported missing, but have not been able to locate her.


Kayla is described as 5’5” tall, 199 pounds, with long black hair and brown eyes. It is believed she could be in Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation or Thompson.


Police are concerned for Kayla’s well-being. If you have information, please call Thompson RCMP at 204-677-6909, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477, or secure tip online at


Photo attached.


Half of Canadian workers plan to look for a new job despite economic uncertainly according to recent survey

The increased demand of contract talent and workers considering working for a past boss may be part of the reason why many Canadians are considering job searching in the first half of this year.


A survey by business consulting firm Robert Half indicates 29 percent of workers are thinking of quitting their jobs to pursue a full-time contracting career.


It adds returning to a previous employer may also be in the cards for some if given a salary equal to or higher than their current pay.


Spokesperson Mike Shektman says workers on the younger end of the spectrum were among those most likely to say they’re looking to make a career move this year.


“We found that the Gen Z and Millennials were the largest cold war of folks that were motivated to make the move and that was actually at 56 percent. We also saw that employees who have been with their companies typically for 2 to 4 years actually were 61 percent of respondents as well. Finally, working parents are looking strong at 55 percent as individuals who may be motivated to make a move as well.”


Hear the full interview on Thompson Today this afternoon at 12:40 and 5:10.

Northern Manitoba NP Niki Ashton calling on Liberals to invest in all weather roads

MP Niki Ashton says the need for infrastructure that addresses the impact of climate change in the north is paramount.


Ashton explains climate change has a disproportionate impact on northern communities, pointing to the shortening ice road season.


She says the governing Liberals need to invest in all-weather roads, adding that she put forward a private member’s bill to address this.


“We covered a lot of ground and fortunately it didn’t pass but we were able to push the Feds to recognize that they are not doing enough on this front. Unfortunately Justin Trudeau and the Liberals are travelling the world, and also here in our own country, pretending that they are taking the action we need on the international stage when it comes to climate change. We know, and the auditor general reported this, that First Nations, for example, are not receiving the support they need from the Federal Government when it comes to infrastructure in the face of climate change. We know here in our communities that we need a lot of support.”   


Ashton adds that there are benefits to bettering infrastructure as it creates jobs and improves road connectivity in the north.

Mall of the Arts released a documentary highlighting Northern Artists on Youtube

Mall of the Arts documentary highlighting Northern Artists now available to view on Youtube


The Mall of the Arts’ recently released documentary highlighting northern artists has been well received so far.


The organization’s co-founder Andria Stephens says the 38-minute documentary was almost three years in the making, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic added challenges to production.


“We have an amazing documentary on Andre Brandt and he would have to come from The Pas and when we went through restrictions and that, there was nowhere to film. We had to take our time with it but we knew it was worth it so we worked around whatever hurdles we had to work around and got it done. The final filming was at the end of the summer where there weren’t any restrictions so we were able to pull it together, tie up the final pieces and he did a phenomenal job.”


The documentary, which was released last month, can be found on the Mall of the Arts YouTube channel.


The full interview will air this afternoon on Thompson Today at 12:40 and 5:10.

Functional Fitness, Aging Fitness Programs among top trends for 2023

Functional fitness is at the top of fitness trends predicted for this year.


According to canfitpro’s annual report on the industry, 43 per cent of fitness professionals and business owners find Canadians doing bodyweight training, balance stability training, and primal movement training will carry over into this year.


It explains equipment-free workouts are likely more popular due to the residual effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Additionally, fitness training and programs for older adults is expected to increase as more options for lower impact activities are offered at fitness centres and online.


For those looking to keep up their fitness goals for 2023, canfitpro’s COO Mo Hagan says keeping goals small and attainable and experimenting until you find a workout or activity that works for you are key.


Catch the full interview on Thompson Today at 12:40 and 5:10 this afternoon.

The FECS program at Awasis Agency will be hosting a round dance this Saturday

The Family Enhancement Cultural Services program at Awasis Agency is hosting a round dance this weekend.


Coordinator Molly Okema says the idea for the round dance came about as an opportunity for the community to socialize after COVID-19 public health measures were lifted last year.


In addition to the round dance, the event will also feature a pipe ceremony, a workshop about the round dance, and a lunchtime feast.


The round dance is free to attend and will be at the Legion Hall starting at 9 a.m.


Hear the full interview about this event on Thompson Today this afternoon at 12:40 and 5:10.

Alzheimer Society Manitoba highlights its First Link Program during this year's Alzheimer Awareness Month

More than 18 thousand Manitobans are living with dementia today, and that number is expected to reach over 39 thousand by 2050.


Alzheimer Society Manitoba has launched its annual awareness campaign to highlight the resources available to help support families with a member living with the neurological disease.


Senior Manager of Regional Services, Liz McLeod, encourages northerners to reach out to learn more about the society’s services.


“We do serve the North but we do not have offices in the North which is something we would like to move towards. They can call any of our offices. The Winnipeg office is 204-943-6622 and if they call that number, they can be referred out to somebody in the region who has time to sit down with them over the phone and talk about what the important things that they need to know are. Or they can just call any one of our offices and they can find that on our website,


Listen to Thompson Today at 12:40 and 5:10 this afternoon for the full interview.

Mayor Colleen Smook says construction for the new pool should begin in Spring of 2023

With 2022 coming to a close this weekend, Mayor Colleen Smook says the tender package for the new aquatic centre is expected to be finalized in early 2023.


Smook adds that once that has been done, construction for the new pool should begin sometime this May or June and would be expected to be completed in late 2024.


When the government funding was announced earlier this year, the new pool was originally slated for late 2023, but the mayor acknowledged that finalizing the design and tender took longer than expected.


Aside from the new developments with the pool as well as the ongoing road, water, and sewer renewal, Smook says another major project city council will be working towards in 2023 is improving the local fire house and expanding healthcare in Thompson.

IIU is looking into serious injuries sustained by suspect during an arrest in Shamattawa First Nation

The Independent Investigation Unit is asking witnesses or people with video footage to come forward after a man suffered a hip injury during arrest in Shamattawa First Nation.


Last Thursday at approximately 9 p.m, RCMP received a service call in the First Nation.


Upon arrival, officers located the 18-year-old suspect who tried to run away on foot.


As he was fleeing, the suspect slipped and was taken to the ground by one of the officers.


The man told police afterwards that he was injured, and was taken to the nursing station where he was diagnosed with a dislocated hip.


He was then taken to Thompson General Hospital for treatment.


Anyone with information is asked to call the IIU at 1-844-667-6060.

Recent survey suggests working Canadians with disabilities more likely to report employer doesn't value diversity and inclusion

LifeWorks says work still needs to be done to make sure people are taking care of their mental health.


Their Mental Health Index score for November is at 64.3 out of one hundred points, a slight decline from October.


Additionally, the report finds marginalized Canadian workers were more likely to report that they believe they’re being judged at work and were more likely to receive negative comments from their managers.


70 per cent of workers with disabilities responded that they don’t feel that they’re valued at work and were twice as likely to say that their place of employment doesn’t value diversity and inclusion.


That contrasts with what Canadians without disabilities reported, with 74 per cent saying that their employer does value diversity and inclusion.


For the full interview, listen to Thompson Today at 12:40 and 5:10 this afternoon.

Thompson MLA Eric Redhead provides an update on what he's been working on in his latest report

Thompson MLA Eric Redhead wrapped up the year with a recap of his time as MLA in his latest report.


With him being elected in June in the by-election to succeed former MLA Danielle Adams, the former Shamattawa First Nation Chief’s first legislative session began in late September.


Redhead says he specifically raised concerns about the current state of healthcare in the north, citing staffing and funding shortages in the region have been a severe problem.


He also noted that he pushed repeatedly for the foot care clinic in Thompson to be brought back and for LifeFlight to be de-privatized, which Redhead says he will continue to push for in 2023.


The MLA goes on to wish constituents a happy holiday season and new year.


The full report can be found on


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