The Thompson Local News

Public health advises of possible COVID-19 variant exposure at Thompson Walmart and Safeway

Manitoba Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Jazz Atwal announced 127 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon, bringing the five day test positivity rate to 5.1 percent.  Atwal also announced no additional deaths.


Of the new cases, 75 were in the Winnipeg region and 29 in the north, with lower numbers in other regions. 


Public Health is advising of a possible exposure to a variant of concern at the Thompson Walmart  between 3:30 and 5 p.m. on Apr. 6 and at the Thompson Safeway between 2 and 3 p.m. on April 10. Anyone experiencing symptoms since attending these sites should isolate immediately and go for testing.


An outbreak has been declared at the Flin Flon Personal Care Home and it has been moved to the critical level. 


The total number of variants of concern cases in the province is now 704 with 315 active. 


Atwal says they are reviewing current restrictions and they don’t want to have to introduce public health measures, but they are working on finalizing their plans and they’ll be sharing information on any new restrictions in the coming days. What they introduce will depend on the numbers they’re seeing and the epidemiology of the cases over the next short period of time.


Eligibility to be immunized has been expanded to include individuals age 57 or older and First Nations people aged 37 and older.


Information is expected next week on expanding to include first responders and all adults living in communities with the highest risk including people with frontline public facing roles in those communities.

NHR CEO urges Northerners to get ahead of third wave of the pandemic as province confirms first COVID-19 variant case in the region this week

Northern Health Region CEO Helga Bryant spoke to Arctic Radio to give an update on the current COVID-19 situation in the region.


Now that a variant COVID-19 case have been reported in the north, Bryant stresses the importance of continuing to follow the public health orders in place, even if you’ve been vaccinated.


She adds that Northerners have the opportunity to get ahead of the third wave of the virus given the size of our population, and encourages residents to get the vaccine once they’re eligible.


That way we can avoid another round of strict protocols that would be put in place on households, schools, workplaces, and businesses in the coming months.


When it comes to the vaccine rollout in the north, the CEO says while the limiting factor of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout has been the supply, their staff is skilled when it comes to carrying out that plan when said supply is available.


Bryant explains the three strategies to get residents vaccinated are the super site in Thompson, the pop-up clinics in Flin Flon and The Pas, and the teams they have deployed to communities across the north.


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



A new variant of concern is in Manitoba

Manitoba public health announced 149 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon, bringing the five day test positivity rate to 5.3 percent. 


They also reported one additional death in the Interlake Eastern region.


The province advised the first case of the P-1 variant of concern first identified in Brazil has been confirmed in Manitoba. The total number of reported cases of concern is 647, of which 288 are active.


Of the new COVID cases, 73 are in Winnipeg, 57 in Northern health, and ten in Interlake Eastern with single digits in other regions.  Active cases in the Thompson/Mystery Lake District are currently at 21.


Of the total 35, 688 reported cases, 1, 528 are considered active and 33,205 people have recovered.

Permits for mineral exploration aerial surveys to begin Apr. 16

Manitoba Parks is advising that aerial surveys for mineral exploration will be underway in the surrounding area.


The surveys will be conducted with a helicopter with a piece of equipment underneath, and are based out of the Thompson Airport and Sasagiu Rapids Lodge.


The areas being surveyed are Paint Lake, Pisew Falls, and Sasagiu Rapids, and the effect on the public will be minimal as it will be a standard exploration survey.


The permit starts tomorrow and ends May 30th.

A variant of concern found in Northern Manitoba

Manitoba public health reported 132 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon, bringing the five day test positivity rate to six percent. They also reported two additional deaths in the Winnipeg region. 


They reported the first case of a variant of concern in northern Manitoba without specifying where in the region. The total number of variants of concern cases reported so far in the province is 479.


Of the new COVID cases, 89 are in the Winnipeg region and 34 in Northern health, with single digits in other regions. Of the total 35, 459 reported cases, 1, 438 are considered active and 33,070 individuals have recovered.


In partnership with the Chief and Council from Mathias Colomb Cree Nation, provincial health officials have lifted the public health orders in place for that community.  All other general public health orders remain in effect for the community.

Manitoba could be looking at stronger restrictions as province announces 114 new COVID-19 cases

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin reported 114 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon, bringing the five day test positivity rate up to 6.2 percent.  He reported no additional deaths. 


Of the new cases, 62 are in the Winnipeg region, 36 in Northern health, and single digits in other regions. 


Roussin says public health orders must be followed to keep numbers down.  He explains they have seen the early stages of a wave, they’ve tried to message how important it is for people to follow the fundamentals to reduce the amount of contacts. But what they’ve seen in their contact tracing is just increasing numbers of contacts of cases, increasing issues with gatherings especially in private residences, increasing issues with returned travelers who don’t isolate as per the order now resulting in many other households as contacts.


Roussin adds we know what to do and if we don’t act now we’ll be back to much stricter restrictions very soon including possibly outdoor mask use and reduced gathering numbers. 


Confirmed cases now total 35 ,327, and 1, 370 are active with variants of concern case numbers not released today.

Local boy rescued after falling into sinkhole near Riverside School

A Thompson boy is being commended for keeping his cool after he was rescued from a muddy sinkhole over the weekend.


According to a social media post by his mother, Samuel Desjardins was walking home with a friend by Riverside School on Saturday


Both boys tried to avoid the muddy sidewalk, but ended up encountering a hidden sinkhole.


Thompson Fire and Emergency services were called to the scene, called members of the United Steelworks to assist them, and had to use the City of Thompson’s vacuum truck to extract the water and dirt surrounding the boy, and the rescue took about an hour.


Samuel’s mother Julie Desjardins states if he were a smaller child or the hole was deeper; there could have been a very different outcome.


She goes on to thank everyone who helped rescue her son, who was praised for maintaining a calm attitude through the ordeal.

CCS encourage Canadians to continue to support cancer research as a part of Daffodil Month

With nearly one in two Canadians diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, the Canadian Cancer Society is asking for support to continue the fight against the disease.


Spokesperson Brad Stevenson says for more than 70 years, the organization has been able to fund research, provide support systems for those who have cancer, and shape health policies thanks to their fundraising efforts.


A major fundraiser for CCS is the Daffodil Month campaign. This year, the organization is asking Canadians to donate and create a digital daffodil at


Learn more about the Daffodil campaign by catching Thompson Today at 12:40 and 5:10 this afternoon.

Thompson RCMP respond to man with knife inside business

On Apr. 8 at approximately 2:30 pm, Thompson RCMP received a report that a security officer at a local business was detaining a male who was in possession of a knife.


When officers arrived at the business on Mystery Lake Road in Thompson, Manitoba, they learned from staff and security personnel that a male had been holding a knife and chasing a person in the store. Nobody was injured and the knife was seized.


An 18-year-old male from Thompson was arrested and charged with Possession of a Weapon for a Dangerous Purpose.


The investigation continues.

City of Thompson has $3.6 million in construction projects on the go so far this year

2021’s construction season seems to be off to a strong start based on the number of permits already filed with the City of Thompson.


The city says that as of the end of March, 33 construction permits have been submitted to its Inspections department, with a total value of roughly 3.6 million dollars.


That’s three times the permits filed around the same time last year, with eleven permits filed valued at 1.8 million, most of which were submitted before Manitoba called a state of emergency to combat the spread of COVID-19.


The construction is entirely made up of investment from the local private sector, including one new business, and the city predicts more commercial permits will be filed later this year based on existing projects in the community.


Mayor Colleen Smook said while last year was challenging for local businesses, construction in the city continues to hold strong as residents and entrepreneurs continue to find new opportunities in Thompson.

Shamattawa RCMP investigate aggravated assault

In the early morning hours of Mar. 29, Shamattawa RCMP responded to a report of a male who was brought into the nursing station with serious injuries.


Officers attended and located an adult male who was being treated for substantial blunt force trauma. The 26-year-old victim was later transported to the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg where he continues to receive treatment for his injuries. 

The investigation continued with the assistance of RCMP Major Crime Services, along with the Thompson Crime Reduction Unit and Shamattawa Detachment. On Apr. 2, a 17-year-old male youth was arrested and charged with Aggravated Assault and remanded into custody. His next court appearance was scheduled for Apr. 7 in Thompson Provincial court.

Anyone who may have witnessed this incident or may have information is asked to call the Shamattawa RCMP at 204-565-2351 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.

Shamattawa RCMP, along with assistance from Major Crime Services, continue to investigate.

Manitobans can provide input on COVID-19 immunization program

Two telephone town halls focused on the provinces COVID-19 immunization campaign will be held next week. 


Participants will include Health Minister Heather Stefanson, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin and Dr. Joss Reimer and Johanu Botha from the Vaccine Implementation Task Force. 


The session for rural and northern Manitoba will take place Tuesday, April 13th at 6:30 pm.  Registration is open until noon on the day of the event. To participate you can register at


Meanwhile Manitoba public health reported 107 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to 4.8 percent.  They also reported one additional death in Winnipeg region.


Of the new cases 51 are in Winnipeg and 49 in Northern health with single digits in other regions.


They also announced 22 new variants of concern cases with 21 in the Winnipeg region and one from Prairie Mountain health bringing the total to 299.


Of the total 34, 656 reported COVID cases, 1, 294 are active and 32, 419 individuals have recovered.

Teen in custody following stabbing incident

A Thompson teen is in police custody follow an assault.


On April 6 at approximately 9:00 pm, Thompson RCMP received a report of a stabbing in progress at an apartment complex on Nickel Road.


When officers arrived on scene, there was a weapon found on the floor in the hallway of the apartment building, which was immediately seized.


Officers located the victim inside one of the apartments. A 54-year-old female from Thompson was found with multiple injuries, and officers began performing CPR until EMS arrived on scene.


Investigation led police to an apartment complex on Princeton Drive, where another disturbance involving the suspect was in progress. A 17-year-old female was arrested for Assault with a Weapon, but the charge was later upgraded to Aggravated Assault. She remains in custody.


The victim is in stable condition at this time.


The investigation continues.

The age for Pfizer vaccine may drop in Manitoba

Manitoba public health announced 71 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon, bringing the five day test positivity rate to 3.8 percent.


They also reported one additional death in the Winnipeg region.  Of the new cases 38 are in the Winnipeg region and 24 in the Northern health region, with single digits in other regions.


They also announced 17 new screened or sequenced cases of variants of concern have been detected with four in the Southern health region and 13 from the Winnipeg region, bringing the total to 267 cases in the province.


Medical Lead for the Manitoba Vaccine Implementation Task Force Dr. Joss Reimer says they are looking into the Pfizer announcement regarding using its vaccine in children as young as 12. 


She explains at the moment Pfizer is only approved for people over 16, with the other vaccines only being approved for people who are over 18.


However if Health Canada were to approve it in younger populations, the province would start to look at how they can start to roll out a campaign for younger Manitobans as well.


Of the total 34, 122 reported COVID cases, 1, 181 are considered active and 32, 006 individuals have recovered.

MKO, NRHA partner to address anti-Indigenous racism in northern health care

The Northern Health Region and Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak are formalizing their commitment to ending anti-Indigenous racism in health care in the region.


Grand Chief Garrison Settee says both organizations will work together to create an agreement outlining their goals and objectives, and MKO will provide advice, guidance, and support to the NRHA.


According to the 2016 Census, Indigenous people make up 70 per cent of the population served by the health region


NRHA CEO Helga Bryant says a first step in speaking their truth is to acknowledge the wrongs of the past with honestly and humility.


Bryant goes on to state the NRHA is committed to strengthening its relationship with Indigenous partners and communities.

Northern Juried Art Show accepting entries until May 1

The Northern Juried Art Show is accepting entries from residents across the region.


The nine categories artist can enter into include oil painting, drawing and print making, fibre art, and the youth category.


The contest, which is being hosted by The Pas this year, is open to artists who permanently reside north of the 53rd parallel in Manitoba, as well as those living in Creighton and Denare Beach, Saskatchewan.


Additionally, artists can submit up to three entries.


All entries must be in by May 1st, and more information can be found on or listen to Thompson Today at 12:40 and 5:10 this afternoon.

One death reported in NRHA during COVID-19 briefing

Manitoba Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Jazz Atwal announced 114 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon, bringing the five day test positivity rate to 4.4 percent. 


He also announced three additional deaths with one each in Interlake Eastern, Northern and Winnipeg health regions.


He also announced 46 confirmed cases of the B.1.1.7 variant of concern with 44 in Winnipeg and two in Southern health bringing the total confirmed variant of concern cases to 123.  


Of the new COVID cases 55 are in Northern health and 51 in Winnipeg with single digits in other regions. 


Of the total 33,810 reported cases 1169 are considered active, 31,709 individuals have recovered and 142 are in hospital with 31 in intensive care.



RCMP looking for missing man believed to frequent Thompson and Lynn Lake

The Thompson RCMP are seeking the public’s assistance in locating 22 year-old Kevin Andrew Maniel who was reported as a missing person to the Thompson RCMP on Friday, March 19th, 2021.  


Maniel is described as  being approximately 5’10 and 172 lbs.  Maniel is believed to frequent the city of Thompson as well as the Lynn Lake area. 


Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Maniel is asked to call Thompson RCMP at 204-677-6911 or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.

Thompson man arrested for possessing crack cocaine and cash

A man from Thompson was arrested after drugs and cash was seized at a traffic stop.


The RCMP conducted the stop with a taxi on Thompson Drive near Quartz Road as a part of a drug trafficking investigation, when the passenger fled the scene.


The 21-year-old suspect was then arrested after a short foot chase.


He was found in possession of roughly 23 grams of crack cocaine and approximately $1, 660.


The suspect faces multiple charges and was taken into custody.

MKO Grand Chief gets first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Winnipeg

MKO Grand Chief Garrison Settee got the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine alongside Manitoba’s top doctor Brent Roussin.


Settee got the Astra Zeneca shot in Winnipeg on Friday, which was administered by the medical lead for Manitoba’s Vaccine Taskforce Doctor Joss Reimer


A press release states MKO has been working closely with the province, and met with Health Minister Heather Stefenson about the ongoing distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to First Nations.


Settee says he got the vaccine because he wants to protect both himself and his community, and to help slow the pace of the virus.


He goes on to encourage MKO citizens to learn as much as they can about the vaccine, and to talk to health care providers should they have any questions.

Thompson RCMP make arrest in stabbing

On March 18, 2021, at approximately 4:15 pm, RCMP responded to a stabbing on Churchill Drive, in Thompson.


The 23-year-old victim had been stabbed by an unknown male at a different location and had walked to Churchill Drive. He was taken to hospital with serious injuries.


RCMP officers located the scene of the stabbing in front of a business on Mystery Lake Road, in Thompson. Surveillance video was obtained and officers were able to identify the suspect.


A short time later officers located the suspect and he was arrested without incident.


Darren Cook, 32, of Thompson has been charged with Aggravated Assault, Uttering Threats, Possession of a Weapon for a Dangerous Purpose and Failing to Comply x4. He was remanded into custody.


Thompson RCMP continue to investigate.

Total COVID-19 reported cases have topped 33 thousand in Manitoba

Manitoba public health reported 89 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to 4.7 percent. 


They also reported one additional death in the Southern health region. Of the new cases 42 are in the Northern health region and 33 in Winnipeg health, with single digits in other regions.


They also noted 12 additional confirmed cases of the variants of concern with nine in the Winnipeg region, two in Southern health and one in the Prairie Mountain health region bringing the total number of confirmed variants of concern cases to 76 in the province.  Case investigations continue. 


Of the total 33,085 reported COVID cases 1,089 are considered active while 31,078 people have recovered and 146 are in hospital with 23 are in intensive care.

Your input is needed as Manitoba considers reopening services and activities

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr Brent Roussin has announced the province is considering moving the restricted level from red to the orange level. 


Roussin says input is needed as they consider loosening restrictions province wide.


He explains possible changes include increasing outdoor gathering limits, expanding capacity at retail stores, expanding capacities for religious services, expanding indoor restaurant dining to include a household and their designated visitors. It would also allow organized team games at indoor sporting facilities, youth to not wear masks while taking part in indoor sporting activities such as hockey and soccer, enable indoor theatres, indoor concert halls, casinos, gaming centers to open at limited capacity levels and removing the requirement to self isolate for 14 days for interprovincial domestic travelers who travel for business reasons and do not have symptoms.


Roussin adds there is no time frame set for these proposed changes as they wait for public input on both the changes and the timing for making them. 


You can provide your input online at

Support coming for hospitality industry in Manitoba

The Manitoba government is investing $8 million for the creation of a new Hospitality Relief Sector Program. 


Premier Brian Pallister says the program will provide financial relief to Manitoba’s accommodation and tourism sector. 


He explains the Hospitality Relief Program will be administered by the Manitoba Hotel Association in cooperation with the Manitoba Lodge and Outfitters Association and it will be designed to provide support to hotels and to full time licensed resource tourism operators for fixed costs that have not been covered by other relief programs.


Grants will be provided as a reimbursement for a percentage of eligible expenses incurred. More information on the Program and how to apply will be available for eligible applicants shortly.

Canadians encouraged to talk about liver health this month

To commemorate Liver Health Month, the Canadian Liver Foundation is asking Canadians to learn more about liver disease.


Communications manager Morgan Davidson says the most prominent type of liver disease in Canada is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which affects more than 20 per cent of the population.


The Canadian Liver Foundation has launched its awareness campaign called “Just Ask”, where they encourage people to reach out to them with questions about liver disease to their panel of experts on social media.


Learn more by listening to Thompson Today at 12:40 and 5:10 this afternoon.


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