Kasper Transportation has confirmed that they will be putting their planned bus route from The Pas to Winnipeg on hold.
Kasper Transportation was one of the first bus companies to come forward after Greyhound announced that they would be pulling out of Northern Manitoba earlier this year but other bus companies have come forward to provide transportation as well.
Mahihkan Kelsey Bus Lines 2014 and Maple Bus Lines will still provide transportation for The Pas and Thompson Bus Lines has listed The Pas as a future destination.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas with all the snow on the ground and that means it’s time for children young and old to visit Santa and tell him what they want for Christmas. But visiting Santa can sometimes be overwhelming for children on the autism spectrum.
This is why local autism mom Melanie Young had decided to arrange a “Sensitive Santa” which will be taking place at Northland Fords showroom here in The Pas on November 25th from 1 until 3 in the afternoon. This way children on the autism spectrum can visit Santa in a sensory friendly environment with no flashing lights, no loud music, and Santa won’t be as loud.
Pople attending the sensitive Santa will not have to wait in line as this is also something that children on theP spectrum often struggle with.
There will also be a photographer available to take photos. You must register ahead of time in order to attend and you can sign up by calling Young at 204-623-3187 The event is sponsored by Northland Ford and Autism Society Manitoba.
Last week the University College of the North In partnership with the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce and Look North held a two day conference at the Kikiwak Inn Called Linkages in Northern Economic development.
UCN President Doug Lauvstad told Arctic Radio News that the idea behind the conference is to link governments, communities and organizations together and have a conversation about northern economic development for the future of Northern Manitoba. Lauvstad believes that there is potential for people to start small businesses here in the north.
The conference featured guest speakers including the CEO of AGT Foods Murad Al Katib where he said he had an optimistic view of how the north would benefit from the Port of Churchill including the shipping of western Canadian food products.
Opaskwayak Cree Nation Chief Christian Sinclair and Minister of Growth Enterprise and Trade Blaine Pederson also spoke at the conference.
Members of Parliament Niki Ashton and Georgina Jolibois are joining community efforts to save the obstetrical delivery program in Flin Flon, as it will force many Northern mothers and families to drive several more hours to access services in The Pas or in Prince Albert. Ashton says the closure of the obstetrics ward is shutting down a vital community service for an entire region adding instead of spending money on consultants, the provincial government should do what's necessary to reopen the obstetrics ward immediately.
Jolibois expressed concerns over the impact this interruption in services will have on mothers and families from northwest Saskatchewan from Pelican Narrows to Denare Beach noting First Nations and all communities in our region are some of the youngest in the country and they need access to birthing services in Flin Flon.
Jolibois and Ashton are joining a community based effort, as well as Manitoba MLA Tom Lindsay and Saskatchewan MLA Doyle Vermette, in calling for the Manitoba government to save these birthing services immediately. The service will be temporarily suspended by the Health Region November 18th after a clinical study showed issues dealing with volume, increasing gaps in service and resulting patient safety.
The winners of The Pas and District Chamber of Commerce, long service volunteer award and the citizen and business of the year awards have been announced.
The citizen of the year award winner is Christine Anderson for cleaning garbage off the streets of The Pas without ever being asked to do so and she volunteers to take care of the towns cross country ski trails, donates to the homeless shelter, and is the organizing force behind many local projects.
The long service volunteer award went to Saint Paul’s personal Care home resident Anita Fulmore for dedicating 40 to 45 years of volunteer work to the community and the Business of year award went to the Wescana Inn.
The awards will be handed out at the Wescana inn event centre November 24th from noon to 2 in the afternoon. Tickets for the ceremony are 15 dollars and are available at Paper Works Plus, The Opasquia Times, 102.9 CJAR, or from any Chamber of Commerce Board Member.
Five new members were appointed to the License Suspension Appeal Board last week. According to Infrastructure minister Ron Schuler the License Suspension Appeal Board works to grant conditional driving privileges with the public’s best interest in mind.
One of the newly appointed members is The Pas’s Jeffray Stepaniuk a senior instructor in natural resources management technology at the University College of the North. His responsibilities have included co coordinating and maintaining contact with other natural resource related organizations.
Schuler said he was very pleased to see the appointment of the new members and he expressed his appreciation to the outgoing members.
The Government of Manitoba and Canada have entered into an agreement to purchase and install directional highway and community boundary signage for Manitoba’s First Nations. Both governments will provide $200,000 each for the project.
Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler says the project will upgrade or replace highway signage for first nation’s communities located on Manitoba’s all weather highway network and the new signage will improve community visibility from our major highways.
Jane Philpott stated that it’s important to note that the new signs will be designed in consultation with elected leadership from these First Nations. A community review to determine the sign type and locations is expected to be conducted over the next year.
The RCMP would like to remind residents to be ice smart when heading onto the ice for winter activities. They note simple precautions can prevent winter fun from becoming tragic.
They remind you to be safe around lakes, rivers, creeks and open bodies of fast moving water by being aware of ice thickness. Ice should be 15 centimeters thick before you walk or skate on it, 25 centimeters before snowmobiling on it and at least 30 centimeters thick before you drive a vehicle on it.
Clear blue ice is strong while white or grey colored ice is not as strong. Stay away from ice that looks slushy, has thawed and refrozen, is near moving water or near a pressure crack. When snowmobiling wear proper gear, avoid alcohol or drugs, don’t go on the ice alone and carry safety gear like ice picks, poles and ropes as well as a first aid kit that includes cold weather supplies like a thermal blanket.
Correction: an earlier version of this story read on air said 15 metres instead of 15 centimetres.
As part of National Diabetes Month the Opaskwayak Health Authority will be screening “That Sugar Film” at the Beatrice Wilson Health Centre on November 22nd beginning at 6:30 in the evening.
Shawn Yaremko learning circle facilitator for the Opaskwayak Health Authority says the film is a fun and comical approach to learning about the impact that sugar has on chronic diseases such as type two diabetes and the impact that sugar has on our health.
A dietitian will be available to answer questions after the screening of the film and there will a draw for a chance to win a 50 dollar healthy food voucher.
Space is limited so if you would like to see the film you are asked to call Yaremko at 204-627-7410.
Yesterday was a historic moment for Opaskwayak Cree Nation when they opened the first legal recreational cannabis store on a First Nations land in Canada.
The store is a Meta Cannabis Supply Co. outlet and it’s located at the Otineka Mall and it's a partnership with National Access Cannabis and Opaskwayak Cree Nation. The outlet will be staffed with trained OCN members that will ensure the safe and secure distribution of cannabis.
OCN is one of the biggest share holders of National Access Cannabis and Chief Sinclair who is also a NAC board member sees this investment as an economic breakthrough for the community and the goals of the investment will involve getting OCN out of debt and to invest in infrastructure and education.
The Grand opening of the store took place late yesterday morning with some speeches and an official ribbon cutting.
Opaskwayak Cree Nations Child and Family Services in partnership with the Beatrice Wilson Health Centre is having a sobriety dinner on November 30th from 5 until 9 in the evening and an AA Roundup on December 1st beginning at 9AM.
The sobriety dinner is held annually and they recognize people that have been sober and they give these people certificates for their sobriety. Chief Christian Seinclair will be a special guest at the dinner.
The dinner will be followed by a family fun dance with music by DJ Derek. Both events take place at the OCN veteran’s hall and there is no cost to participate. To sign up call 204-627-7157 or 204-627-7410
The Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation held a grand opening for their first women’s shelter on Tuesday.
Executive Director Susan Kobliski said it will house women facing family violence issues.
The shelter will serve women in Nelson House and those living in surrounding areas like Tadoule Lake, Lac Brochet, Churchill and Lynn Lake.
The women will have access to counselling and programs with an Indigenous focus, including smudging and medicine picking.
The shelter has hired nine people from the community, including two support workers, security staff and a child care worker.
The shelter will collaborate with other community services like the NCN Medicine Lodge, Nursing Station and NCN Family and Community Wellness Centre to ensure families receive the support they need to successfully move forward and break the cycle of abuse.
The Flin Flon General Hospital will be temporarily suspending obstetrical delivery services beginning at 8 am November 18th. Health Region CEO Helga Bryant says this is happening as their priority is patient safety for expectant moms and their babies after a study recommended this step be taken due to only occasional services being available by obstetricians and anesthesiologists.
She explained they had a recent external review of obstetrics in Flin Flon done and there were a number of issues that had been raised to the Chief Medical Officer as well as herself around their volume and their increasingly frequent gaps in service. She said this review was conducted by an esteemed obstetrician from the Health Sciences Center and nurse expert from Winnipeg and they concluded the service should be temporarily suspended.
Bryant says some deliveries will take place in The Pas where they have full services available or moms can make other arrangements with their care provider. She says pre-natal and post-partum services will continue to be available here. She adds the will again look at the provision of services once a clinical services plan is completed by the province next year.
Residents of The Pas and area are reminded that this week is collection week for operation Christmas child a program that gives children in third world countries shoe boxes full of Christmas gifts.
You can get shoe boxes at the Northern Lights Dollar Store, The UCN bookstore, The Grub Box and The Pas Regional library.
The filled boxes can also be dropped off at the Library and The Grub Box and The Pas Alliance Church will be open on November 10th and the 11th to collect boxes from 1 until 4 in the afternoon.
November 11th is the deadline to drop off boxes and additional information on the program can be found at samaritanspurse.ca or by calling 204-620-6811
The Province of Manitoba has been listed as one of the top ten regions to visit in 2019 by Lonely Planet, a well known travel authority and publisher of guide books. Alan McLaughlin who works as a consultant for Travel Manitoba on The Northern Tourism Strategy says that this will mean big things for Manitoba in the coming year like the possibility of increased tourism for the province.
Lonely Planet outlined a lot of the popular tourist attractions that Manitoba has to offer including the town of Churchill and the Northern Manitoba Trappers Festival and Manitoba was the only Canadian Destination included in Lonely Planet’s Travel destinations lists for 2019
McLaughlin says we need to get tourism ready for the province by thinking like tourists and thinking about what they would want to do and see if they visit our region and to give them the best experience that they can have.
The University College of The North in partnership with the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce and Look North is hosting the Linkages in Northern Economic Development Conference at the Kikiwak Inn on November 7th and the 8th.
During the conference participants will engage in interactive discussions of northern economic development strategies, how to thrive in a time of change, innovation, and connecting the north to the rest of the world.
The conference will also have a number of guest speakers including Blaine Pederson, Minister of Growth Enterprise and Trade, and Opaskwayak Cree Nation chief Christian Sinclair.
For a full program of the conference visit ucnlinkages.ca
The Manitoba Métis Federation celebrated the completion of two new housing units here in The Pas last Friday with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
The new duplex on Bignell Avenue includes a 2 bedroom and 3 bedroom unit and this is the fifth housing project completed by the MMF since partnering with Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation back in 2013 to develop affordable housing for Manitobans.
Will Goodon MMF Minister of Housing and Property management said it has been years since they saw the need to starting building more affordable housing for citizens and these two new houses will benefit two Métis families living in the area
This Saturday, there will be a Red Cross standard first aid course from 9 AM until 5PM offered here in The Pas.
The course is known as “a new approach to standard first aid” and it will give participants the certification they need in a one day course instead of a two day course. Although it is a new course it is not a new certification.
The entry fee is $130 dollars a person and if you would like more information call 204-381-1311.
While in Churchill last week to celebrate the restoration of rail service, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took time to address climate change and what that will mean for Manitobans.
Trudeau said that communities like Churchill know firsthand what climate inaction looks like, and that starting in 2019 Manitobans will directly receive a climate action incentive.
He said that the incentive will help Canadians adjust to an economy in which pollution isn’t free, and that the average family of four in Manitoba will receive around 339 dollars per year,
The Prime Minister added that the rest of the money collected will be used for energy efficiency projects in schools, hospitals businesses and Indigenous communities.
He said that this will allow the country to protect the environment while continuing to strengthen the local economy.
A special meeting was held for Opaskwayak Cree Nation members at the Kikiwak Inn last Friday to give members information about proposed changes to their election code.
One of the biggest of these proposed changes to the election code is that the OCN chief and council would hold office for a two year term instead of a three year term if the changes were approved.
If you couldn’t make the meeting and you want to find out more about the proposed changes there is going to be another meeting at a later date but there is no set date for this meeting right now.
A document containing these proposed changes can be obtained from any band member on OCN and the referendum on these proposed changes is set for November 28th at the Otineka Mall from 9 AM to 8PM.
Contact an election board member at 204-627-7016 or 204-620-6158 for more information.
Local MP Niki Ashton released her latest MP report where she addressed Health Care issues in Northern Manitoba as well as her visit to the annual general meeting of the Northern Manitoba Regional Health Authority in Flin Flon to follow up on the health concerns of our region.
Ashton says we are very fortunate to have so many dedicated healthcare professionals in our region but these workers and their patients face many challenges.
People in our region have trouble accessing healthcare in ways that other Canadians don’t and this is due to the fact that many medical services are not available in our communities requiring people to travel long distances for treatment.
Ashton also talked about Abraham Donkey a heart Patient that died on a bus while going to a medical appointment and was not able to get an escort. She asked Prime Minster Trudeau to follow up with an investigation to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
The long term solution is to have more medical services available in our region and there are signs of progress particularly with the announcement of the new hospital in Norway House.
Ashton Concluded by saying that there is still a long way to go and she will continue to fight for improved health care in Northern Manitoba.
Flin Flon MLA Tom Lindsey questioned Health Minister Cameron Friesen last week about changes to the Northern Patient Transportation Program asking him stop the cuts.
He tabled a freedom of information request that he says shows that this government cut one million dollars from the NPTP escort subsidor and knows this decision was made at the Cabinet table because the information comes from a Department of Health funding letter.
Lindsey added the same freedom of information request shows the NRHA was forced to find an additional 450 thousand dollars in savings from the Northern Patient Transportation Program by making it harder for northern Manitoba patients to get escorts.
Friesen replied they became aware of all kinds of abuses to the program which is why the rules must be enforced to make sure the program continues to be able to have the capacity to respond to those who legitimately need the travel subsidy.
While in Churchill late last week following the arrival of the first train in 17 months, the Prime Minister announced funding for the community.
Justin Trudeau said that his Federal Liberal government is putting more than three point eight million dollars towards 40 projects that will increase tourism, provide skills training, and help offset the freight costs stemming from the rail closures.
He said that Ottawa is also committed to investing 43 million dollars over the next ten years to make sure that the rail line continues to operate properly.
Prime Minister Trudeau added that by opening the railway, Churchill is open to outside investments from companies like Bell.
The town of The Pas’s newly elected mayor and council will get down to business this evening at 6PM. There is no regular council meeting tonight but there will be two public hearings.
The first public hearing will begin at 6PM regarding an amendment to the zoning bylaw to permit an animal shelter in a commercial industrial zone and a conditional use application to permit an animal shelter at 63 16th Street West. The other hearing is about a variation application to permit the construction of a residence on a 33 foot lot.
The hearings will be followed by a committee of the whole meeting.
November is Crime Prevention Month and RCMP Constable Kruzer will be talking more about the campaign on the morning wake up tomorrow morning on 102.9 CJAR.
The interview is scheduled to air at 8:15 AM
The Pas Citizens on patrol group received the outstanding group award at the annual C.O.P.P conference in Winnipeg. The Pas C.O.P.P chairperson Paulette Aamot says the group has been active for the past 25 years, and this year they had a total of 3454 patrol hours , 3951 volunteer hours, and they are the eyes and ears for local law enforcement to keep the community safe. These are the reasons why she felt that the group won the award.
Aamot is hoping that the group will have more of a visible presence in the future so that residents know that they are still active and she hopes that more people will become members as well.
If you are interested in joining The Pas C.O.P.P you can call Aamot at 204-620-1369 or you can attend one of their meetings which take place the first Tuesday of every month at the RCMP Office at 6PM.
Photo Courtesy of http://www.citizensonpatrol.mb.ca/
The Monthly Mayor reports for the month of October have been released for The RM of Kelsey, The Pas, and Cormorant.
The Town of The Pas had mostly Index Checks a total of 155, along with 97 prisoners held, 85 disturbances of the peace cases, 83 mischief cases, 32 assaults and a handful of other cases.
The RM of Kelsey saw mostly provincial traffic violations a total of 65 and Cormorant had two disturbances of the peaces cases, one assault, one case of theft, and one mental health act case.
A memorial fund for Mary Claire De Guzman has been set up on gofundme.com. De Guzman was a migrant worker from the Philippines that worked at the Tim Hortons on Opaskwayak Cree Nation with a plan to have her family settle in Canada.
De Guzman suffered a stroke last month and was airlifted to Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Centre for treatment but passed away on October 23rd.
Her family would like to have a funeral to commemorate her so any donations to her memorial fund will be greatly appreciated. The fundraising goal is $8000
The Pas RCMP received a call from the Wescana Inn on the afternoon of October 26th and it was reported that an unknown male pulled a knife on one of the employees in the VLT lounge. No one was injured and the suspect fled the scene before the police attended.
The RCMP later found and arrested 24 year old John McPherson and charged him with assault with a deadly weapon, carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, uttering threats, failing to comply with an undertaking, and forcible confinement.
Video surveillance of the incident was obtained and McPherson appeared in court on October 29th.
The Province of Manitoba is reminding seniors that the high dose influenza vaccine is once again available for residents of long term care facilities that are 65 years of age and older.
Health, seniors, and active living minister Cameron Friesen says the high dose vaccine is being made available free of charge for seniors at long term care facilities that have a higher risk of suffering from complications of the flu and the goal of offering this vaccine is to further mitigate the health risks that come for Manitobans living in these care facilities when flu outbreaks occur and he encourages everyone eligible to get this vaccine.
The flu vaccine and the PNEU P-23 vaccine which helps protect against Pneumococcal Disease is available at local public health offices, nursing stations, doctors offices, and access centres.
There will be a flu vaccine clinic here in the pas at the Roy H Johnston Arena on November 5th from one in the afternoon until 5:30.
Kelsey Bus Lines 2014 is beginning bus and fright service from Flin Flon to Winnipeg today and one of the stops on the route is The Pas.
The bus will stop in The Pas at 336 Fischer Avenue at 9:05 in the evening and depart around 9:30 before arriving in Winnipeg at 6:50. The bus from Winnipeg will arrive in The Pas at 6:20 in the morning and leave at 6:40 on the way to Flin Flon.
Kelsey Bus Lines 2014 is part of Aseneskak Casino Limited and it will soon be renamed Mahihkan the cree word for wolf.
More information on the routes and can be found at kelseybuslines2014.com The Flin Flon to Winnipeg and Winnipeg to Flin Flon Routes will now be running seven days a week.
Corrections: An earlier version of this story had the incorrect web address listed
Manitobans are reminded that stricter penalties for distracted driving come into force today. Infrastructure minister Ron Schuler says the growing threat of distracted driving has led the government to take important action.
Drivers will be subject to a three day roadside license suspension for the first time that they are caught using a cell phone or another hand held electronic device and a seven day suspension for a subsequent occurrence within 10 years.
Suspended drivers will also be required to surrender their licenses at the roadside.
Officers that charge a driver with careless driving will immediately notify Manitoba Public Insurance to review the driver’s record and to determine if further penalties are required.
Schuler added that by public education, legislation, and enforcement that they are working together with Manitoba Public Insurance to change the public perception and make distracted driving as socially unacceptable as impaired driving.