The Thompson Local News

Invasive Plant Species harmful to local Biodiversity

The Nature Conservancy of Canada has joined with the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association to highlight the problem of invasive plant species in the province.

 

Rebekah Neufeld, the acting science manager for the conservancy in Manitoba, explains why keeping these invasive species in check is important.

 

“These species are among the most significant threats to our bio-diversity. They can also have direct economic impacts by affecting land use for agricultural production, for example. They can also impact our waterways and wetlands. Preventing the spread and keeping those areas free of these species is really, really critical.”

 

Together, the organizations have identified 5 species that are particularly harmful. They are leafy spurge, spotted knapweed, red bartsia, common tansy and scentless chamomile.

 

Neufeld encourages everyone to check their backyards and gardens for any of these plants and to contact the conservancy through the inaturalist app so they can map the locations where the plants have spread.

 

For more information on invasive plants, go to nature conservancy dot ca.

City of Thompson re-open public parks and playgrounds

Playgrounds and parks have officially re-opened in Thompson as of yesterday morning.

 

The city had to close down all city owned parks last month due to public health orders issued in response to COVID-19.

 

This includes most  city parks in Thompson, as well as basketball and tennis courts.

 

The city did advise that due to repairs, the skate park and Lowry Park will have to re-open at a later date.

 

Mayor and council stressed the importance of continuing to practice physical distancing protocols while visiting parks and playgrounds, and warm that playground equipment is not sterilized.

 

For more information on the re-opening of parks and playgrounds, call the TRCC at 204-677-7952.

Thompson Community Foundation accepting grant applications from community groups affected by COVID-19

The Thompson Community Foundation will be offering grants to community groups in and around the Thompson area.

 

Jimmy Pelk, the president of the organization, encourages all organizations to apply for the grant, even those that don't have a registered charity number.

 

The federal government has allocated $40, 000 for the Thompson Community Foundation to distribute, and because the cap on the grant is $75, 000, there is no limit as to how much a group can receive for the grant.

 

Organizations can apply for this grant online by visiting ourfoundationthompson.ca, and the portal for the applications closes July 6th.

 

For more information on the Emergency Community Support Fund, listen to Thompson Today at 12:40 and 5:10.

Norway House RCMP searching for missing male teen

Norway House RCMP are seeking the public's help in finding a missing teen.
 
On May 23 at approximately 4:00 pm, Norway House RCMP received a report of a missing 17-year-old male from the community.

Gabriel Chubb was last seen outside a residence in the Niska View area of Norway House on May 21, 2020 at approximately 11:30 pm.
 
He is described as 6 feet tall, slender, with short black hair, and has light birth marks on the right side of his face. He was last seen wearing black pants, black shoes, and a red “Crooks & Castles” hoodie. He is believed to still be in Norway House or may have travelled to Cross Lake.

Police and his family are concerned for his well-being. RCMP Search and Rescue, and Police Dog Services are in Norway House assisting with the search. Anyone with information is asked to contact Norway House RCMP at 204-204-359-6715, call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477, or secure tip online at www.manitobacrimestoppers.com.
 

Combined band performance for grads to take place June 26

While the class of 2020 may not get the same sort of fanfare as they move on to the next chapter in their lives, the band department at RD Parker Collegiate still want to do something special for the grads.

 

Kevin Lewis, a band director at the high school, says there will be a performance of O Canada and Pomp and Circumstance, which will be performed by a combined band of grade 9-12 students, community band members, and some RD Parker alumni.

 

Lewis explains that the performance will follow physical distancing measures.

 

Depending on the weather and what protocols are in place, Lewis says the aim is to have the performance on the evening of June 26th on the front Lawn of RD Parker, the day the convocation would have been held.

 

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

Man arrested, charged for allegedly stealing truck with youth inside

A man is facing a number of charges after allegedly stealing a vehicle with a youth still inside.

 

On Friday afternoon at around 3 p.m, the Thompson RCMP got a report of a pick-up truck that was stolen outside Shoppers Drug Mart with a youth still inside the vehicle.

 

Police learned the driver drove off with the youth and then dropped them off on the side of the road. The youth was uninjured.

 

Officers were able to locate the truck on Laval Place, with multiple witnesses saying the suspect had entered an apartment building.

 

As Police Dog Services was searching he building, the suspect appeared from a window and was arrested.

 

34-year-old Troy Jack Cameron McIvor of Thompson and Wabowden has been charged with Kidnapping, Robbery, and Theft of a Motor Vehicle.

Thompson Community Spring Cleanup kicks off today

This year’s community cleanup is starting today, and will be a social media challenge,

 

Thompson Mayor Colleen Smook says the city has been thinking of ways to boost volunteer participation for the cleanup, and figured a social media challenge would be a great way to get people motivated to help out.

 

Garbage bags and rubber gloves are available at the City Hall foyer, or you can call the Public Works office at 204-677-7970 to arrange a pick-up time.

 

Residents can submit their before-and-after pictures to communications@thompson.ca

 

The first week of the challenge is focussed on the downtown area, and bins have been placed at the Canadian Tire parking lot.

 

Visit thompson.ca to view the full five-week schedule for the community cleanup.

SDML give update on K-12 COVID-19 response plan

As the school year begins to wrap up next month, the school district is reminding students and their families about how the remote learning will wind up.

 

At Tuesday night’s school board meeting, Co-Superintendent Lorie Henderson says the district has been looking at families with limited access to technology, and says as of Tuesday 21 homes will have internet access.

 

Henderson adds that instead of running the internet for May and June, the district would instead have the internet access run through the summer so that students can continue their learning.

 

The district will be paying for the internet for July and August, and Henderson explains they hope families can pay for the service beginning in the fall.

 

When it comes to home work, the final assignments will be sent out by Jun. 1 and returned to teachers by Jun. 12.

 

Report card will be available on Jun. 29, and parents can call their child’s school if they need a paper copy.

 

Henderson also mentioned that the district is starting to work on a school re-opening plan and recently formed a committee to oversee that.

 

She explains that the province has been working on a frame work to assist school districts across Manitoba, which is expected to be released within the next week or so.

 

Henderson says the committee will wait for the province’s frame work to be released before the district actually begins their re-opening plan.

 

At this time, there is no set date as to when schools in the district will be open.

Manitoba RCMP provide update on demonstrations at the Keeyask Power Generating Station

There is information circulating online that the Manitoba RCMP will be arresting the Chief and Council of Tataskweyak Cree Nation tonight in relation to the demonstrations at the Keeyask Power Generating Station and on PR 280 near Tataskweyak Cree Nation. This is untrue.

 

The Manitoba RCMP is working very closely with Manitoba Hydro, the Chief and Council of the Tataskweyak Cree Nation, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. We are engaging avenues of mediation, consultation and dialogue in an attempt to find a resolution to the ongoing demonstrations.

 

As part of the consultation process, the Chief and Council of the Tataskweyak Cree Nation have been advised that the RCMP will be serving the community members at the blockades an Injunction Order this evening.

 

Manitoba Hydro sought the injunction and it was granted by the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench on May 18, 2020.

 

In these injunction decisions, the Court gives the Order, and then the police determine how to implement the Court's direction within a reasonable time. The RCMP has worked with Chief and Council to ensure that the serving of the Injunction Order is done in a respectful manner that is culturally sensitive.

 

The community members at the blockades have a lawful right to protest and companies have a lawful right to complete their mandated work.

 

The RCMP is working hard to protect both of these rights and ensure all parties and public are kept safe. The RCMP will continue to work with all stakeholders and provide assistance as necessary in maintaining peace and keeping everyone safe.

Injunction calls for removal of Manitoba blockade set up over COVID-19 concerns

SPLIT LAKE, Man. - A court injunction is ordering members of a Manitoba First Nation who are worried about the spread of COVID-19 to remove a blockade set up at a hydroelectric construction site.

 

Tataskweyak Cree Nation band councillor Nathan Neckoway says the blockade went up Friday at an entrance to the Keeyask Generating site over worries that incoming employees could be carrying the virus.

 

The northern area so far has no cases of COVID-19, and Neckoway says bringing workers in from all over the country is a risk they don't want to take.

Manitoba Hydro's Scott Powell says the Crown corporation plans to safely resume regular work rotations while protecting workers and neighbouring communities.

 

Over 500 employees and contractors have been at the site for eight weeks and Manitoba Hydro says they need to be rotated out.

The injunction gives the RCMP authority to remove the blockade.

Keeyask Project comes under fire from First Nations again

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

May 19, 2020 Manitoba Hydro Risks the Safety of all Northerners

 

TREATY FIVE TERRITORY, THOMPSON, MANITOBA –

 

Chief John Clarke of the Barren Lands First Nation and Chairperson of the Keewatin Tribal Council, extended his support to the four Cree Nations who all are within 75 kms of the Keeyask Project, a 695-megawatt hydro- electric generating station currently being built in their respective land use areas. The four Cree Nations involved in this matter with Manitoba Hydro are also affiliated with the Keewatin Tribal Council. There are 11 First Nations with a population of 18,000 affiliated with Keewatin Tribal Council.

 

At a time when Manitoba Health has reported one new Covid19 case in the last seven days, Manitoba Hydro is willing to risk a mass influx of workers from neighboring provinces that still report new cases and deaths due to Covid19 on a daily basis, noted Chief Clarke.

 

Chief Clarke said, “The hard work of all Manitobans, especially our communities in our region, to reduce the spread of the Pandemic will be for naught should new cases spark up once the out of province workers arrive at the Keeyask work site.”

 

The four Cree Nations of Tataskweyak, War lake, Fox Lake and York Factory have been forthcoming in their position for several months and have expressed their concerns that their members were in great danger by the actions of Manitoba Hydro. The four Cree Nations stand in solidarity over concern for the health and safety of their people and have erected blockades at the work site to support efforts to minimize the spread of COVID 19 in northern Manitoba.

 

“It is my opinion that all Manitobans should be very concerned that so little attention is given to the leaders of the four Cree Nations in their demand to have the project suspended until such time their fears and concerns have been thoroughly addressed, concluded Chief Clarke.

 

Chief Eric Redhead of the Shamattawa First Nation and Vice Chairperson of Keewatin Tribal Council, added, “There appears to be a double standard when it comes to the citizens of Manitoba and resource extractors. On the one hand, all citizens are told to stay home and respect social distancing orders and on the other, mining and hydro developments are allowed to place our health and safety at risk. This is not acceptable. Most of those who placate industry by bending rules and circumventing public health orders, do not reside in the north.”

Manitoba Court issues injunction ordering removal of road blockade at Tataskweyak

Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench issued an injunction yesterday ordering Tataskweyak Cree Nation to immediately remove their blockade of Provincial Road 280 and the Keeyask Generating Station construction site in northern Manitoba.


“This injunction further proves the plan we have to safely resume regular work rotations at Keeyask protects both our workers and neighbouring communities from COVID-19,” said Scott Powell, Manitoba Hydro’s Director of Corporate Communications.


“Our plan goes above and beyond the latest public health guidelines and was endorsed by Dr. Roussin, Manitoba’s Chief Provincial Public Health Officer.”


Manitoba Hydro sought the injunction to protect the jobs of Keeyask workers and its customers from significant cost increases due to delays in the construction schedule that could arise due to a blockade.


“Over 500 employees and contractor staff have been at the Keeyask site for eight weeks now and for their wellbeing, we need to rotate in replacement staff so work can safely continue,” Powell said.


“A blockade shutting down construction on the project will cause delays and cause tens of millions of dollars of unnecessary costs for our customers, plus the loss of employment for hundreds of workers.”
The injunction gives RCMP the authority to remove the blockade immediately.


The Keeyask Project is a 695-megawatt hydroelectric generating station being built by Manitoba Hydro in partnership with four Manitoba First Nations: Tataskweyak Cree Nation, War Lake First Nation, York Factory First Nation, and Fox Lake Cree Nation.


The project is currently tracking to meet its $8.7 billion budget and to have the first unit producing power by October 2020.

Police seize 12 grams of cocaine

A Thompson woman is facing trafficking charges after being found possessing cocaine and cash.

 

The 27-year old was arrested on Nelson Road on May 16 at around 8 p.m.

 

Thompson RMCP say she was found in possession of approximately 12 grams of coke and over $5, 600 in cash.

 

The suspect faces cocaine trafficking and proceeds of crime charges, and was released on an Appearance Notice for court at a later date.

Tataskweyak Cree Nation Implementing Lock Down in Response to Manitoba Hydro Operations

Treaty Five Territory, Thompson, MB Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO) is issuing this media release in partnership with the Tataskweyak Cree Nation to sound the alarm over issues related to Manitoba Hydro’s operation of the Keeyask construction site in Northern Manitoba.

 

“First Nations in Northern Manitoba are extremely concerned with the plans Manitoba Hydro has to bring in people from across Canada and the United States to the Keeyask construction site in a few days from now,” shared Grand Chief Garrison Settee. “I am disappointed that despite multiple and ongoing calls for action, Manitoba Hydro continues to ignore the concerns expressed by First Nations. I am urging leaders at all levels to work cooperatively with MKO to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus to Northern Manitoba. We must work together to protect First Nations people from COVID-19.”

 

MKO First Nations have been calling on Manitoba Hydro for the closure of the Keeyask construction site since March 2020. Manitoba Hydro plans to implement a shift transition starting on May 19, when they will allow 700 current employees at Keeyask to leave the site to return home. Manitoba Hydro will bring in 1000 to 1200 new employees to the site. Staff will come from various parts of Canada and the United States, including regions hit hard by COVID-19 such as Quebec and British Columbia.

 

“Despite the fact that we are future owners of the Keeyask site, along with current partners, we feel we are being completely ignored,” stated Chief Doreen Spence of the Tataskewayak Cree Nation. “Our community is right in the center of all this development as we are less than 50 kilometres away from the construction site. We also have community members working at this site. Manitoba Hydro has not abided by provincial public health measures since day one of the state of emergency in regards to operations at Keeyask. We are very frustrated here that Keeyask seems exempt from abiding by the state of emergency called in Manitoba and across Canada. Why is the Premier of Manitoba encouraging physical distancing but allowing this project to operate on a massive scale during a pandemic? We simply want to do all we can to protect Manitoba citizens who are vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus.”

 

The ongoing frustration expressed by Tataskweyak leadership is the reason why the community of 2500 people is shutting down the North and enforcing a lock down within their territory, with the aim of stopping the spread of the COVID-19 virus to their community.

 

“Our community is in an extremely vulnerable position at this point. Our school roof recently collapsed, and the school was being set up as our quarantine and treatment site in case anyone were to be diagnosed with COVID. We don’t have the infrastructure and resources to deal with an outbreak in our community,” stated Councillor Nathan Neckoway of Tataskweyak. “The whole point of our lock down is to keep COVID out of Northern Manitoba. We do not want a repeat of what is happening in La Loche, Saskatchewan. We are trying to do everything we can to protect the safety and wellness of our citizens. As a sovereign Nation, this is our right.”

 

“First Nations leaders have worked tirelessly to keep the COVID-19 virus out of the North in an aim to protect babies, children, youth, adults, and Elders. We are calling on Manitoba Hydro to do the same,” said Grand Chief Settee.

Police recover sawed-off shotguns in Thompson, Split Lake

On May 12, the Thompson RCMP recovered a sawed-off shotgun in both Thompson and Split Lake, respectively. 
 
In Thompson, a sawed-off shotgun was recovered in the Burntwood Trailer Court after being located by a residential property owner in their back yard. 
 
In Split Lake, a sawed-off shotgun was recovered along with shotgun ammunition from a residence in that community.  A 18 year-old man from Split Lake was arrested and faces multiple firearms charges as well as multiple breaches of a court order.  The investigation is ongoing.
 
Anyone with information on these sawed-off shotguns can call the Thompson RCMP at 204-677-6909 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477. Tips can also be submitted anonymously online at www.manitobacrimestoppers.com.

13-year-old boy found safe and sound

UPDATE: Dashon Mercer has been found safe and sound. Police thank the public for their assistance.
 
The Thompson RCMP are seeking the public's assistance in locating 13 year-old Dashon Norman Dion Mercer, who was reported missing to the Thompson RCMP on May 6 after last being seen in the Deerwood area on May 5 at approximately 1:30 PM.
 
Mercer was last seen wearing a blue hoodie, grey sweatpants and black Nike shoes.  He is described as being 5'5 and 90 pounds.
 
Anyone with information on Mercer's whereabouts can call Thompson RCMP at 204-677-6909 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477. Tips can also be submitted anonymously online at www.manitobacrimestoppers.com.

God's Lake Narrows Lake RCMP recover drugs and weapons during search

On Saturday, May 9, God's Lake RCMP, with the assistance of the North District Crime Reduction Enforcement Support Team and Police Dog Services, executed a search warrant at a residence located in the community of God’s Lake Narrows. The search resulted in the recovery of methamphetamine, weapons, Canadian Currency and drug paraphernalia.
 
Six adults, four males and two females from the community, were arrested and will face charges of Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking, Possession of Weapons for Dangerous Purpose and Possession of Property Obtained by Crime.

If anyone has any information regarding drugs or any other criminal activity, please contact your local police agency or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477, or submit a secure tip online at www.manitobacrimestoppers.com.

The RCMP remains fully committed to enforcing laws against illicit drugs to their fullest extent as those who produce and traffic illicit drugs destroy lives, homes and communities.

God’s Lake Narrows RCMP continue to investigate.

 

 

 

 

 

Police looking for two suspects who threw a rock at local church

Thompson RCMP are looking for two suspects who threw a rock at a local church.

 

On May 7, at 2:38 AM, the police received a report of a smashed window at the Thompson First Baptist Church on Westwood Drive.

 

Police attended and observed a smashed window at the location.

 

Video surveillance confirmed two men threw a rock at a church window and then ran off.

 

Anyone with information on the identity of these two males can call the Thompson RCMP at 204-677-6909 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.

 

 

 

 

Manitoba Insitute for Patient Safety focuses on harm reduction

If you can’t remember as much of your medical history as you’d like to or feel you should, consider developing your own health plan.

 

That’s a recommendation from the Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety, also known as MIPS. Better yet, they can provide resources to help you do it.

 

The Institute is a not-for-profit organization established in 2004. Their mandate is to support anyone seeking medical care with tools to help them be proactive in their health care.

 

Laurie Thompson, Executive Director of MIPS, tells us more here.

 

“Our organization puts a real spotlight on patient safety. Much of the harm that people do or can experience is preventable. Our vision is that patient safety is a priority. We have lots of connections through the province and we consider ourselves to be a go-to place for regions and organizations and healthcare providers to be able to come and we can assist them with their patient safety work and we can point them in the right direction.”

 

Thompson encourages anyone who is seeking medical treatment to ask questions and to write notes to make sure important details aren’t missed.

 

Also, if you’re not feeling well and medical appointments leave you with more questions than answers, a patient advocate can help you sort through all the information.

 

MIPS encourages the use of a patient advocate as a step in promoting a better health care experience for anyone involved in the medical system. Thompson details some characteristics an advocate should have.

 

“You need to choose somebody who can speak up, who can ask questions and is not afraid to do that. Obviously you want somebody who can keep your information in confidence. They would be somebody taking notes and keeping track of things. And they probably should be a good listener. That would be important if you’re having them involved in appointments and taking notes. It’s really somebody who has your best interests in mind.”

 

Thompson said the best way to make the most of your interactions with medical professionals is to ask lots of questions and to keep asking them until you get answers you understand.

 

The Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety has two websites. They are Safetoask.ca and MIPS.ca.

Thompson woman arrested after allegedly pointing hand gun at security guard

A Thompson woman is facing a number of charges after allegedly pointing a hand gun at a security guard.

 

The incident occurred on May 7 just before 11 a.m. outside the Liquor Mart by City Centre Mall.

 

The 25-year-old was arrested and police recovered an air pistol from her person.

 

The suspect has been charged with Pointing a Fire Arm, Possession of a Weapon Dangerous to Public Peace, and Weapons Possession Contrary to a Court Order.

 

No injuries were reported at this time.

Man suddenly died due to fall at house party, police investigation concludes

The investigation surrounding the sudden death of a 28-year-old man has found that the death was not a homicide.

 

In a news release, the Manitoba RCMP say the man died as a result of injuries sustained from a fall following a minor altercation at a house party on Apr. 25.

 

RCMP have determined that there is no criminal culpability in this matter and as a result, no criminal charges can be laid.

 

The investigation has now been concluded.

Poplar River RCMP seize drugs

On Wednesday, April 29th, Poplar River RCMP received information about several suspicious packages sent on a commercial flight from St. Andrews Airport to Poplar River.

 

Officers intercepted the packages upon their arrival in Poplar River and discovered approximately 109 grams of cocaine, hidden inside several hollowed out cans.

 

Officers have identified the suspect as 25-year-old Jennifer Fontaine and  obtained a warrant for her arrest.

 

Fontaine turned herself in to police.

Island Lake RCMP seize drugs and cash

On Thursday, April 30th,  Island Lake RCMP conducted a drug investigation involving a male passenger on a commercial flight to Island Lake from Winnipeg.

 

Officers arrested the male at the Island Lake Airport, and a subsequent search led to the seizure of 70 grams of methamphetamine, 230 Percocets, 65 grams of crack cocaine and cash.

 

Paul Beardy, 38, of Garden Hill First Nation, is facing charges of Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking x3 and Possession of Property Obtained by Crime.

 

Island Lake RCMP continue to investigate.

RCMP arrest 3 youth suspects in stabbing incident on Princeton Drive

Local authothorities have arrested three male youths in an alleged stabbing incident.

 

On Apr. 28 at approximately 9:30 p.m, Thompson RCMP responded to a report of an injured male on Princeton Drive. Officers arrived and located a 26-year-old-male with multiple stab wounds. The male was transported to hospital in serious condition and has since been upgraded to stable.

 

Witnesses reported seeing three suspects flee the scene to a nearby residence. Officers including a Police Service dog attended to this address and arrested three male youths.

 

The youths, ages of 16, 15 and 14, remain in police custody at this time and will face a charge of Aggravated Assault.

 

Anyone who may have witnessed this incident or may have information is asked to call the Thompson RCMP at 204-677-6909 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.

 

Thompson RCMP along with Forensic Identification Services continue to investigate.

Girl Guide cookies for sale in some Thompson retail stores

Girl Guide cookies are now on sale here in Thompson!

 

The cookies sales, which usually take place in March with Girl Guide members going door-to-door were put on hold due to concerns over COVID-19.

 

The organization reached out to Thompson Family Foods, Canadian Tire and Safeway to help sell the cookies. Now Thompson Family Foods is selling the chocolate mint cookies, while both Canadian Tire and Safeway are selling the classic sandwich cookies. N

 

adine Vokey, former Area Commissioner with the Thompson Girl Guides, says cookies are $5 a box and sales will continue while supplies last.

 

Money raised with cookie sales helps the local unit purchase supplies for crafts and program activities, badges, and helps towards the costs of sleepovers and camps.

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