Thompson Local News

Heavy-Duty mechanic apprenticeship program to start at UCN next year

University College of the North is spearheading the delivery of a comprehensive Heavy-Duty Mechanic Apprenticeship program in Thompson.

It will be designed to help Northern and Indigenous students achieve their Red Seal and become Journeypersons by completing Levels 1 to 4.

UCN will provide significant support to the apprentices during the program, especially in the first two levels, to help ensure their success.

It will work closely with Apprenticeship Manitoba, Assiniboine Community College, Economic Development Investment and Trade Manitoba, Indigenous communities and associations, industry partners, and the Northern Manitoba Sector Council.

UCN has enlisted the help of Rob Penner, who previously served as the Associate Vice-President of UCN Community & Industry Solutions, to coordinate these partnerships.

The program is expected to start in Thompson beginning in September 2024.

Northern Health Region implements new policy to address Indigenous specific racism in health care

The Northern Health Region has developed and implemented a new policy to address indigenous specific racism.

It acknowledges that racism exists in our health system and will provide guidance and direction to health care staff and anyone who witnesses or experiences racism.

Bruce Krentz with the NHR explains how the policy came about.

“There is a declaration to eliminate all forms of Indigenous specific racism that went out about a year ago and it was signed by the Northern Health Region, by Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakinak and Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin, or KIM. This is something that came out of that declaration in 2022 and we are just so happy that we keep moving forward on this.”  

Krentz directed anyone who wants to know more about the policy to review it on their website at or their facebook page.

Thompson Chamber of Commerce hosts lunch next week for anyone wanting to ask questions to city representatives

The community is invited to join the Mayor and other city representatives for lunch next Wednesday.

The Thompson Chamber of Commerce is hosting lunch at the Legion on December 6th with guest Mayor Colleen Smook.

Here, Smook tells us about what you can expect.

“We’ll have more administration staff, myself there, and councillors. We can update them even on a lot of the things that have happened and we’ll be there for them to ask us questions and hold us accountable.”

If you wish to attend you must register ahead of time.

Contact Debra at 204-677-4155 or email commerce AT my mts DOT net.

CIB and Thompson Regional Airport close $52 million in financing for large-scale airport redevelopment project

THOMPSON, MB, Nov. 28, 2023 /CNW/ - The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) and Thompson Regional Airport Authority (TRAA), announce financial close on a $52 million investment towards the redevelopment of Thompson Regional Airport. The airport is a hub providing essential passenger and cargo services to communities in northern Manitoba and western Nunavut.


Located six kilometres northwest of the City of Thompson, the redevelopment of the Thompson Regional Airport includes:  


  • the replacement of the air terminal building, which is sinking into the discontinuous permafrost;
  • non-airside-related infrastructure, including extension of sewer lines from new terminal to expanded lagoon, parking lots and service roads; and
  • airside-related infrastructure, including new apron and taxiways, and expansion of existing apron and related infrastructure.

Following project completion, the airport will continue supporting long-term access to critical goods and services, including retail trade, medical, social, educational and fire suppression. The project also ensures the airport's operational safety as well as supporting the region's critical mineral mining opportunities, growing cargo and passenger travel needs.

Absent CIB financing and other government support, the existing airport terminal building would eventually be made inoperable due to climate change.


The airport serves as a regional catchment area for 37 northern communities which includes many First Nations – 15 of which are accessible only by air and the ice road – serving a market area population of approximately 65,000 people. 


The redevelopment of the Thompson Regional Airport is being financed through the CIB's Indigenous Community Infrastructure Initiative, which lends to projects delivering a direct bene?t to Indigenous communities.

Cross Lake RCMP respond to serious assault

On November 26, 2023, at approximately 1:05 am, Cross Lake RCMP received a report of a serious assault and were advised the victim was currently at the nursing station.


Officers attended the nursing station and located the victim, a 56-year-old male, with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.


Officers identified a suspect and he was located at a residence in the community. When officers were placing him under arrest, he became combative and began kicking the officers and other residents. He was placed in the rear of the police vehicle and threatened the officers, screamed and spit at them.


Further investigation led to more charges against the suspect as it was reported he had threatened several people earlier that morning.


Gino Ross, 23, has been charged with:


Aggravated Assault

Assault on a Peace Officer

Resisting Arrest

Uttering Threats x6

Possession of a Weapon for a Dangerous Purpose

Fail to Comply x2


He was remanded into custody.

Canadian Ophthalmological Society advises regular eye exams for people with diabetes due to risks of diabetic retinopathy

As Diabetes Awareness Month comes to an end, the Canadian Ophthalmological Society encourages people with diabetes to keep up-to-date on their regular eye exams.


Roughly 5.7 million Canadians are currently living with diabetes, and with it can come vision-related complications including diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to vision loss if left untreated.


Ophthalmologist Doctor Phil Hooper explains how diabetics with the condition can help themselves.


“Having a diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy made, it’s very important to tighten up the diabetic control and tighten up control of blood pressure. Studies have shown that by doing that, by getting both of those factors in good control, the progression of diabetic retinopathy can be slowed if not stopped.”


Once the disease has been diagnosed, three or four eye checkups a year should be the norm to track the condition.   


Hooper says only about 27 per cent of diabetics that should be screening are actually being screened and monitored at the appropriate frequency.


He added that many diabetics delay vision screening because of their fear of hearing bad news about their sight.


For more on diabetic retinopathy, its causes and treatments, listen to Thompson Today at 12:40 and 5:10 this afternoon for the full interview.

2-1-1 Manitoba provides aid for those looking for help navigating programs and services they need

Whether you’re looking to access provincial or regional services, if you’re not sure where to turn, 2-1-1 Manitoba can help.

Launched in October 2020, 2-1-1 Manitoba offers 24-7 help, 365 days a year in almost 200 languages.

The Director of 2-1-1 Manitoba, Daniel Leonard, has more.

“2-1-1 is a phone line, it is a website, you just pick up your phone and dial 2-1-1. You will get to one of our trained service navigators and you say “I’m struggling with my mental health, I’m struggling to find food or I’m trying to navigate this government program and I don’t understand it.” We can help you to get the information you need or to find a program that will assist you.”  

Leonard says that since the service began, they have had over 45-thousand phone calls or approximately 1300 phones calls per month.

To access the service just dial 2-1-1 on your phone or go to their website at

Catch the full interview with Leonard this afternoon on Thompson Today at 12:40 and 5:10 to learn more.

Vigil to be held in honour of Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women at TRCC

December 6th is the Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

A vigil will be held by the YWCA, the Thompson Crisis Centre and the U of M Social Work program in the Multi-purpose room from 10 am to noon that day.

Margaret Ballard, a student with the Social Work program, tells us about what lead to this vigil.

“On December 6th, 1989, a man went into an engineering class at the École Polytechnique school. He then separated the men from the women, he told the men to leave and then he shot and killed the women in the class. These women were young and aspiring engineering students and they were killed simply because they were women.”

Ballard went on to add that across Canada and globally women and gender-diverse people still face discrimination and violence and the Day of Remembrance is to bring awareness to this fact.

More than 4 in 10 women have experienced some form of intimate partner violence in their life time.

All are welcome to participate in the vigil at the TRCC.

Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakinak's Santa Express returns this December

Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakinak’s Santa Express is back for 2023.

Grand Chief Garrison Settee made the announcement yesterday in Winnipeg.

The program began in 2007 as a way to ensure youth in remote and rural areas have an opportunity to visit with Santa Claus.

Around 12-thousand Christmas treat bags are prepared for distribution to northern MKO first nations on December 13th and 14th.

This year, a group of volunteers from the youth pre-employment program at Shawenim Abinojii donated their time to help fill those treat bags which include candies and small toys.

Eczema Society of Canada develops seal of acceptance program to help those suffering with eczema

Every minute of the day can be focused on the itching and discomfort that comes with eczema for those with the condition.

The Eczema Society of Canada has developed a seal of acceptance program with their expert panel of dermatologists.  It applies to products that eczema sufferers can use and not irritate their condition.

Amanda Cresswell-Melville, Executive Director of Eczema Society of Canada, has more.

“The program includes personal care products and laundry products whose ingredients and clinical testing data have all been evaluated to see if they meet the seal criteria. That’s a really great place to start for people to look for products that are suitable for eczema.”

See the list of approved items by going to

You will also find other resources on the site, including trigger avoidance and the various treatment options currently available.

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

16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence begins this Saturday

This Saturday marks the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence.  It is also the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Bruce Krentz with the Northern Health Region talks about the campaign.

“As part of those 16 days, we always remember the women who were murdered during that tragic mass shooting at Polytechnique in Montreal on December 6th, that was in 1989. So this is 16 days that goes from International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women to Human Rights Day on December 10th.”

Globally, an estimated 736 million women have been subjected to physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or both, at least once in their life.

Alarmingly, data shows the commitment to counteract violence against women and girls remains glaringly sparse.

For instance, just 5% of government aid is focused on tackling the problem, and less than 0.2% is directed to its prevention.

Free National Child Day event follows Santa Parade this Saturday

The Hello Parents Network is hosting the National Child Day event this Saturday, starting at 2:30. 


It follows the Santa Parade which begins at 1 pm at the Thompson General Hospital and winds up at the TRCC, where the National Child Day celebrations will be held.     


Penny Brenton with Marymound explains the purpose of the day.


“National Child Day is based on the document the United Nations adopted in 1989 called the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It lists 54 articles or rights that children are entitled too. Some examples include children have the right to be loved and protected from harm, children have the right to food, clothing and a safe place to live, and children have the right of a good quality of education.”


Activities at our National Child Day event include a scavenger hunt, mini putt, Christmas crafts, karaoke plus more.


This is a free, family-friendly event.   All are welcome. 

Thompson RCMP responds to armed robbery

A man was arrested Sunday evening and charged with possession of a weapon and robbery.

A man entered a business on Mystery Lake Road, stole several items, then threatened employees with a screwdriver when confronted by security.

He then fled the scene.

He was located outside another business nearby. When told multiple times he was under arrest, he ignored the commands and a conducted energy weapon was used.

Craig Francois, 24, of Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation, was arrested and was remanded into custody.

Mayor confirms Community Christmas Dinner to take place this year

The Community Christmas dinner is on! Mayor Colleen Smook confirmed that on City Beat on Thursday.

It will take place at the Legion Hall from 11 to 3 on Christmas Day and everyone is welcome to come enjoy a traditional Christmas dinner and some entertainment.

But if you’re not able to make it out to the Legion, you can still enjoy a holiday dinner.

Smook explains here.

“People can actually order a meal if they are not able to come out that day, if you are shut in or you just can’t come out, we have delivered meals.”

Volunteers are needed to pull off such a huge job.

From picking up the food before hand, to peeling potatoes and making salads, to manning the serving tables on Christmas Day, if you have some time to help out reach out to Sharon Cordell at 204-679-5119.

Operation Red Nose starts for another year this weekend

This Friday marks the start of Operation Red Nose in Thompson.

The volunteer-run free ride service gets you and your vehicle home safe during the holiday season as a way to reduce impaired drivers on the roads.

The Chairperson of the local committee, Terry-Lyn Gagnon, says they’ve made it easy to access the service.

“So not only will we take pre-bookings, we offer a ride voucher program where you can plan ahead and get ride vouchers for your guests. If you are having a party, big or small, let us know and we will have a team drop by and hand out candy and our number.”

The number to call is 778-8-triple one or you can email operation red nose DOT com to pre-book rides or the guest vouchers.

If you can’t donate your time to volunteer, you can donate snacks and gas cards for volunteers.

Or you can also give a monetary donation which will go towards local youth groups.

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

Fox Lake Cree Nation stands behind community members in calling for the removal of school official

Parents of a 12-year-old girl are calling for the removal of a high ranking school official after an incident last week.

Last Wednesday,  a school official approached three young girls in the bathroom and accused them of vaping.

The students were sent to the office and asked to empty their pockets and take off their boots. When the search came up empty, two of the students were released and one was told to stay.

The 12-year-old girl was then ordered to pull down their pants. The child refused and was told  once again to “pull down their pants:” to which the student then complied.

The student was then released, and parents learned about the incident later that day.

Attempts to speak with the school and Frontier School division were shut down after they refused to remove the official while the investigation was ongoing.

The RCMP has been contacted.

A peaceful protest was held yesterday.

Northern Health Region recommends blood testing for Diabetes for those at risk

With almost one-third of Manitoba’s population dealing with a form of diabetes, it’s time we get informed about the condition and get serious about preventing it.

There are many risk factors for diabetes, including family history, ethnic background and age, especially if we’re over 40.  

Jenn Freeman, Diabetes Program Coordinator with the Northern Health Region, says to know for certain if you have the condition you need a blood test.

“The best thing that someone can do is get tested and this means a blood test done at the lab. It’s typically a fasting blood sugar and something we call a hemoglobin A1C. If a person is living with risk factors for diabetes or if they have any signs or symptoms of diabetes, I would strongly encourage them to get tested.”

There are also certain health conditions that can contribute to diabetes such as having gestational diabetes, a history of pre-diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, gout, or HIV, to name a few.

Find out more about diabetes, it’s risk factors and common signs and symptoms - tune in to Thompson Today this afternoon at 12:40 and 5:10.  

City Council sets $27 hourly fee to use EV charging station

City Council has set a  $27 hourly fee to use the Level 3 EV charging station at the south end of the TRCC parking lot.

The charging fee was added to the City of Thompson’s Fee and Fine Schedule during their November 14 meeting.

Mayor Colleen Smook said that having the charging station available benefits Thompson businesses and residents who use EVs around town, even if a lack of chargers along Highway 6 makes longer trips impractical or impossible.

Once the hourly rate is set by FLO, the manufacturer of the charging station, it will be available for the public to use.

To use the station, EV drivers will have to download the FLO app and purchase charging time.
The fees paid to FLO for the use of the charger are then transferred to the City of Thompson.

CMHA and Thompson Crisis Centre holds Winter Clothing Give Away this Saturday

There will be a winter clothing give-away this Saturday from noon to 2 pm at the Wapanohk School Elementary Gymnasium.

It’s being held by the Canadian Mental Health Association and Thompson Crisis Centre and is available to men, women and children.

You will find items including jackets, ski pants, socks, mitts, hats, scarves and more.

There will also be free hot dogs, snacks and bottled water available.

The CMHA will continue their Coats for Kids campaign throughout the winter, and are accepting donations for items of all sizes.

Items can be dropped off at their location at 43 Fox Bay, Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 4:30.

Car dealerships partner with local non-profit to provide families in need with holiday hampers

With the impact of the departure of the Salvation Army still being felt, two local car dealerships are teaming up for a second year to help local families by preparing and delivering holiday hampers.


Twin Motors and Rock Country GM have partnered with Futures – Babies Best Start for the hampers this year.


The dealerships are contributing five thousand dollars towards the hampers, and will match the value of all donations up to an additional ten thousand dollars.


People are encouraged to donate gift cards, cash, non-perishable food items, clothing, and toys.


They can be dropped off at Rock Country or Twin Motors until December 13th.


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

Tim Horton's Holiday Smile Cookies fundraiser on until Sunday

Cookies and kittens go hand in hand in the lead up to the holidays.

That’s because Tim Horton’s is selling Holiday Smile Cookies until this Sunday, with 50 per cent of proceeds going toward the Thompson Regional Humane Society.

You can help lost, abandoned and abused animals in Thompson and the surrounding area as well as your own pets.

Funds raised through the cookie promotion will help buy health-related equipment and supplies for the THS Animal Health and Wellness Centre for their ongoing spay and neuter, vaccination and health clinics.

The other 50 per cent of cookie sales will still go towards children’s camps.

Thompson Community Foundation's Endow Manitoba Giving Challenge starts this week

The Endow Manitoba Giving Challenge is now underway, and the Thompson Community Foundation is hoping local residents will help them with this fund raiser.

For every five dollars donated to the challenge, The Winnipeg Foundation and provincial government will chip in a dollar each, essentially turning your five dollars into seven.

The money raised will go towards funding community projects as decided upon by the Thompson Community Foundation.

For details call 204-281-3110 or email

Thompson RCMP investigating discharge of firearm

Thompson RCMP were called to a residence on Cree Road last Wednesday where it was reported someone shot at the home earlier in the morning.

Officers arrived and found that the front door had been damaged as well as an interior wall located near the door. No injuries were reported.

RCMP are asking anyone with information about this incident to contact the Thompson RCMP at 204-677-6909 or Crime Stoppers anonymously.

Thompson RCMP continue to investigate.

Fall Prevention Month theme is move, improve and remove this year

This is Fall Prevention Month and this year’s theme is Move, Improve, Remove.

Marguerite Oberle Thomas, a registered nurse and Consultant Liaison with Parachute Canada, a charity that looks to eliminate needless accidents and injuries, explains the theme.

“Move involves us being physically active so we can maintain strength, balance and flexibility. Improve is to take measures to keep ourselves as healthy as possible and remove is to eliminate as many household, outdoor and public hazards as possible.”

Thomas said falls are the number one reason for injury-related deaths, hospitalization and ER visits for older adults.

And, while seniors are more at risk of serious injuries in event of a fall, every age group should be on the look out for hazards.

For more on Fall Prevention Month and where you can find more resources, listen to Thompson Today this afternoon at 12:40 and 5:10.

No Stone Left Alone Memorial Foundation provides youths opportunities to honour veterans in their area

Preparations for Remembrance Day services tomorrow are taking place all across the country.

But there’s a group that’s taken those services to the cemeteries where many of our veterans are buried.

Randall Purvis, Vice Chairman of the No Stone Left Alone Memorial Foundation explains how they provide youth with the opportunity to learn about and honor veterans in their area.

“We get children, they come out to the cemetery and they place a poppy at the base of the headstone. They say the name of the solider and wherever possible, they say their rank, and they say thank you. That’s a simple act of No Stone Left Alone, we have done this for thirteen years and over the years, we have placed over five hundred thousand poppies.”

Youth from all types of organizations are invited to participate, including schools, sports teams, Guides and Scouts, and more.

To learn how the foundation began and how to participate in 2024, go to their website at

You can also listen to Thompson Today this afternoon at 12:40 and 5:10.


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