The Pas Local News

Kelsey Recreation and Wellness Centre Moffat Family Fund Applications

The Kelsey Recreation and Wellness Centre is once again accepting applications for grants from the Moffat Family Fund.

 

The overall goal of the fund is to improve the wellbeing of children and families socially, economically, and physically.

 

If you wish to apply or have questions regarding eligibility email kpaddock@townofthepas.ca

 

The deadline to apply is March 1st

Adopt a Fire Hydrant Contest

The Pas Fire Department is running an Adopt a Fire Hydrant Contest to encourage people to shovel snow away from fire hydrants in their neighbourhoods.

 

This will make it easier for fire crews to locate a fire hydrant during a fire. Participants are also asked to shovel a walking path to the hydrants as well.

 

The contest involves taking a photo of the fire hydrant before it is cleared and a photo of the cleared out fire hydrant. You would then send these photos to fpo@townofthepas.ca for a chance to win some prizes.

 

The contest will run from now until February 21st The first draw will be on January 17th. Updates on the contest will be posted on The Pas Fire department’s facebook page

Kelsey School Division Meeting January 10th

The Kelsey School Division held a regular board meeting on January 10th.

 

One of the agenda items was the superintendent’s report which stated that students are expected to return to in person learning on January 17th, masks will still be required for all staff and students and, test kits will be made available for kindergarten to grade six students. 

 

Due to certain COVID 19 restrictions the school board will not consider allowing school teams to travel until after January 31st.

 

People showing signs of illness are not permitted to enter the division office.

 

The meeting highlights can be found on kelseyschooldivision.ca

Retrain Manitoba Webinar

A free webinar about the Retrain Manitoba program will be held next week.

 

Retrain Manitoba was launched in November by the provincial government, the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, and Economic Development Winnipeg as a 12.5 million dollar grant program for businesses.

 

It allows businesses to be reimbursed by up to 25 hundred dollars per employee for any retraining and up-skilling required to keep up with the changing needs of business until the end of March.

 

Anyone with questions about the program is encouraged to attend, as organizers say it will provide an overview of it and answer those questions.

 

The webinar will be held on Tuesday from noon to 1.

 

 

https://www.eventbrite.ca/

Public Health Updates Contact Tracing, Case Management Guidance For Schools

Public health officials are updating guidance for contact tracing and case management in Manitoba schools as the omicron variant continues to spread across the province, Education Minister Cliff Cullen announced today.

“As public health officials study the omicron variant and continue to learn more about it, they advise we need to change how we respond to COVID-19 both in the community and in schools,” said Cullen. “The changes public health has recommended to case and contact management in schools will ensure continued monitoring of the risk in individual schools as we learn to live with the virus.”

Moving forward, schools will no longer provide close contact notification and notification letters on individual cases but will provide reports of absenteeism through their regular notification channels to their school community.

Schools will monitor staff and student absenteeism rates and self-reported COVID-19 cases. In addition, public health will continue to report confirmed cases through the online dashboard and monitor confirmed cases in schools for evidence of increased transmission above levels expected in the community. When there is increased COVID-19 activity based on absenteeism, case counts or operational concerns, public health will investigate and provide recommendations to school officials.

In situations where public health determines increased transmission may be occurring in a school, they may recommend the implementation of a period of rapid antigen testing or other preventive measures in school, such as reducing higher-risk activities. Where transmission continues to increase or where COVID-19 cases are affecting school operations, a seven-day period of remote learning for the class, cohort or school may be recommended by public health. 

“The omicron variant isn’t going to go away and we need to learn to live with the virus. This means adjusting our mindset from trying to contain the virus to trying to mitigate our risk,” said Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer. “Public health officials will also continue to monitor cases in schools and work with schools to track absenteeism rates for staff and students. This will help us target measures like rapid antigen testing programs and remote learning to specific schools as needed, rather than all having measures apply to all schools in a region.”

Students or staff who test positive on a PCR test or rapid antigen test, or suspect they have COVID-19, are required to follow public health isolation protocols and are strongly encouraged to notify the school. School staff and students should attend a test site if they have signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

Students and staff who are exposed at school can continue to attend as long as they are asymptomatic. Household close contacts who are exempt from isolation but have a case in their household are encouraged to use rapid tests to monitor for asymptomatic transmission, as household contact remains the highest-risk setting for transmission.

“The benefits of in-person learning can’t be understated, from mental and physical health to socialization and supports for families,” said Cullen. “Schools have done a tremendous amount of work and have measures in place to help reduce the spread of the virus and protect our children. Schools will continue to work with public health to help mitigate the risk of the virus and keep children where they need to be – in the classroom.”

The minister noted the announcement builds on a number of actions and investments to protect students and staff in schools including:

  • implementing a rapid testing program for asymptomatic teachers, staff and kindergarten to Grade 12 students at Manitoba schools experiencing high case numbers or high levels of absenteeism;
  • expanding rapid testing for symptomatic staff at schools to include vaccinated and unvaccinated staff;
  • moving schools to the Restricted (Orange) level on the Pandemic Response System to ensure enhanced cleaning measures are in place and schools are ensuring two metres of physical distancing to the greatest extent possible;
  • providing 500,000 rapid tests for students from kindergarten to Grade 6 to test for COVID-19 as they return to school;
  • providing $6 million for medical masks that meet Health Canada performance requirements as well as other personal protective equipment;
  • offering COVID-19 vaccinations at schools including after-school clinics for students, teachers and community members;
  • providing an additional $6.8 million in funding to support over 200 short-term operating improvements related to air purification, including filters, units and systems;
  • investing in mental health supports for students and staff; and
  • providing $45 million in the Safe Schools Fund to help address COVID-19 related expenditures in schools, of which $30 million has been allocated by school divisions to support learning impacts, mental health and well-being including hiring additional teachers, educational assistants and clinicians.

For more information on COVID-19 and measures in place to address the spread of the virus in schools, visit www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/schools/index.html.

Amanda Lathlin MLA Report

Tansi and Happy New Year everyone! I hope despite the recent challenges, you have all had restful holidays surrounded by some of your loved ones.

 

I want to thank the many folks in The Pas-Kameesak who have done their part to make our communities safer by getting vaccinated and getting their booster shots as well!

 

With the recent rise of COVID cases due to the Omicron variant, it is more important than ever for everyone to do our part to protect our own health and the lives of everyone we come in contact with.

 

I also want to share with you about my friend and NDP colleague, Danielle Adams, the MLA for Thompson. As you may have heard, on December 9th, Danielle Adams passed away in a car accident on her way to Winnipeg. Danielle worked tirelessly for her constituents to have equal access to quality health care and education in Manitoba’s northern communities.

 

She was a caring partner and mother of two boys, and she wore her heart on her sleeve. Danielle wasn’t afraid to think big, and she worked with her colleagues to imagine and plan for an accessible childcare system that worked for many thousands of Manitobans that have been left behind. I will truly miss her voice in the chamber and our NDP Caucus team will carry on with her work for Manitobans. She is deeply missed by her colleagues, community, friends, and family.

 

While the next legislative session is a couple months away, my NDP colleagues are busy preparing legislation that will help improve the lives of all Manitobans. During the last legislative session, I was proud to introduce Bill 231, The Employment Standards Code Amendment Act, that would extend paid leave to those who have experienced miscarriage or stillbirth.

 

This legislation, if passed, would allow an employee to take three days' paid leave if their pregnancy or the pregnancy of their spouse or common-law partner ends in miscarriage or stillbirth. Right now, in our province, parents have to cut into their sick leave, lose part of their paycheck, or risk their jobs just to take time off to heal after experiencing a miscarriage or stillbirth.

 

This forces many parents to have to choose between properly grieving their loss or putting food on the table, which is an impossible choice for many and can lead to longer term trauma if parents aren’t given enough time to grieve. I questioned the Minister of Finance about this matter this fall, and I intend to keep fighting for parents and families in the upcoming spring legislative session in March.

 

Once again, I want to wish you a Happy New Year. Please contact my office anytime at Amanda.Lathlin@yourmanitoba.ca  or 1-204-623-2034 if you have any questions or concerns about current issues you are facing. Kinanaskomitin.

The Pas and Area Animal Shelter Looking for Donations

The Pas and Area Animal Shelter is looking for donations.

 

They are in need of hard and soft cat and dog food, paper towel, litter, and cleaning supplies.

 

To arrange a drop off you are asked to call 204-623-2287

CLARIFICATIONS TO PUBLIC HEALTH ORDERS

Spectators for indoor and outdoor sporting and recreation capacity is reduced to 50 per cent capacity or 250 people, whichever is less.

While games and practices can continue, no tournaments will be permitted. No group activities outside of practice time or games, come ready to play and limit group time indoors (e.g. in dressing rooms).

Proof of vaccination is required for adult spectators and participants. Children 12 to 17 years of age may be admitted if they provide proof they have received at least one dose of a vaccine or proof of a recent (within 72 hours) negative test. Children under 12 are exempt from the requirement to show proof of vaccination.

Negative tests need to come from a participating pharmacy or nursing station as provincial testing sites should only be accessed by symptomatic individuals or those who are required to take a PCR test by public health.

(Clarifies previous wording related to proof of vaccination and corrects information about negative tests.)

Your Input is Needed on Provincial Park Improvement Priorities

As part of its commitment to improve the quality and sustainability of provincial parks the Manitoba government is inviting citizens to share their opinions about needed improvements and priority areas in an online survey. The government has created a 20 million dollar Provincial Parks Endowment Fund to support projects. 

 

The engagement plan seeks input from all provincial park visitors and users including day use visitors, overnight campers, cottagers and commercial businesses operating within provincial parks.  The public will have the opportunity to provide suggestions on specific park projects.

 

The public engagement questionnaire is available at https://engagemb.ca.

Funding is Available to Hire Young People for Summer Jobs

Canada Summer Jobs is a program under the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy.  It aims to provide services to help all young Canadians develop skills and gain paid work experience to successfully transition into the labor market.

 

The program provides wage subsidies to employers from non-profit organizations, the public sector and private sector organizations with 50 or fewer full time employees to create quality summer work experience for young people aged 15 to 30 years.

 

 Jobs will need to be full time with a minimum of 30 hours a week and duration of at least six weeks with jobs starting between April 25th and July 24th and ending by September 3rd. 

 

The deadline to apply is January 25th and the easiest way to find more information is to Google Canada Summer Jobs 2022 and click on funding Canada Summer Jobs overview.  The program aims to create up to 100 thousand full time summer job opportunities for young people.

The Pas and Area Crime Stats

The monthly crime stats for December have been finalized.

 

The town of the pas had mostly disturbance of the peace and mischief cases along with 113 prisoners held.

 

The RM of Kelsey had mostly provincial traffic violations and Cormorant only reported one offense.

The Pas RCMP Rescue Stranded Fishermen in Freezing Temperatures

On December 31, 2021, at approximately 12:17 am, The Pas RCMP received a report that a truck was stuck on Clearwater Lake. The three male occupants had been heading out to do some ice fishing when their truck broke down. They were stranded and ill-equipped for the plummeting temperatures. The temperature at the time was extremely cold, with a windchill factor of -38C.

 

The exact location of the stranded fishermen was unknown. It was determined that a search and rescue team – consisting of four RCMP officers, an off-duty paramedic, and a conservation officer – would attempt to locate the missing males, two aged 18 and a 19-year-old, from Steinbach.

 

After searching a large area of Clearwater Lake, the males were located in the northwest quadrant and transported back to safety. There were minor physical injuries to the stranded males and some of the searchers due to the extreme cold.

Moose Lake RCMP Investigating homicide

On January 4, 2022, at approximately 6:05 am, Moose Lake RCMP responded to a report of an injured male located outside of a residence on Portage Road in the community.

Officers, along with EMS, arrived at the residence to find a 28-year-old male with life-threatening injuries who was transported to the hospital in The Pas where he was pronounced deceased. His death is being treated as a homicide.

Moose Lake RCMP, along with Major Crime Services and RCMP Forensic Identification Services, continue to investigate.

The Pas Animal Shelter Looking For Donations

The Pas and Area Animal Shelter is looking for donations of traveling cages of any size.

 

If you have one that you wish to donate you can call 204-623-2287 or they can be dropped off at the shelter during business hours 8:00 to 4:30 on weekdays.

Manitoba and Saskatchewan RCMP Respond to Shooting and Homicide

At approximately 12:10am, on Saturday, January 1, 2022, a 911 call was received indicating that someone had been shot outside of a community hall on Main Street in Creighton, Saskatchewan. Officers from both the Creighton and Flin Flon RCMP detachments immediately responded.

 

Upon arrival, officers located a 24-year-old male from Cranberry Portage suffering from a gun shot wound. The male victim was transported to hospital in Flin Flon in stable condition.

 

As officers patrolled the area for the suspect, another report was received at approximately 1:05am indicating that a shooting had occurred at a residence on Bellevue Avenue in Flin Flon.

 

Officers attended and located a male suffering from gun shot wounds and a female who had also been shot. The 47-year-old male from The Pas was transported to a local hospital in stable condition. The 26-year-old female from Flin Flon was pronounced deceased on scene.

 

Officers at the scene confirmed that both incidents were targeted and linked to one suspect.

 

A large scale search for the suspect, identified as Xander Tardiff, an 18-year-old male from Flin Flon, was launched.

 

The Manitoba RCMP deployed a number of additional units and officers to the area to search for the suspect and to further the investigation. This included officers from its Emergency Response Team, Police Dog Services, Major Crime Services, Forensic Identification Services, Air Services and a number of officers from neighbouring detachments.

 

The Saskatchewan RCMP also deployed additional officers from nearby detachments and its Critical Incident Response Team to the scene.

Officers searched a number of locations in Denare Beach, Creighton and Flin Flon. At approximately 11:30pm, on January 1, officers located Xander Tardiff in the Aspen Grove area of Flin Flon. He was arrested without incident.

Xander Tardiff has been charged with the following:

  • 2nd Degree Murder (Flin Flon)
  • Discharge Firearm with Intent (Flin Flon)
  • Reckless Discharge of a Firearm (Flin Flon)
  • Possession of a Firearm While Prohibited (Flin Flon)
  • Discharge a Firearm with Intent (Creighton)
  • Possession of a Firearm While Prohibited (Creighton)

He has been remanded into custody and is scheduled to appear on January 4, 2022, in The Pas provincial court for charges related to the shooting in Flin Flon and in La Ronge provincial court for charges related to the shooting in Creighton.

University College of the North delays classes until January 10, 2022 and many courses will be delivered remotely

UCN’s first day of classes for the Winter Term will be one week later than initially planned. The first day of classes will be Monday, January 10, 2022.

 

UCN will also adopt remote delivery for most courses. While some courses that demand face-to-face learning will continue to be delivered in person, many others will convert to remote learning.

 

The decisions resulted from the Omicron variant, which Manitoba Public Health says poses a significant risk to our health and healthcare system.

 

"We know that remote learning is not the best for our students' academic success or mental health. However, remote learning is the responsible option we have before us given the circumstances," said Dan Smith, Vice-President of Academic and Research. "While UCN will seek to maximize stability and predictability for students, as circumstances warrant, UCN may consider a return to in-person learning for selected courses and programs."

 

University College of the North provides learning opportunities to northern communities while respecting diverse Indigenous and northern values.

RCMP Respond to Plane Crash

Last week The Pas RCMP responded to a report of an airplane crash at Grace Lake Airport.

 

It was reported that the plane was traveling from Pukatawagan and it landed on an unmaintained runway causing the aircrafts nose to hit the ground. The runway also had an excess build up of snow.

 

The pilot and the passengers did not suffer any serious injuries and the investigation is ongoing

Niki Ashton Letter Calling for Two Northern Health Centres to Reopen

Our MP Niki Ashton has sent a letter to the Federal Minister of Indigenous Services to do whatever it takes to reopen the Gilliam Hospital and the leaf Rapids Health Centre.

 

Ashton letter stated that these facilities provide care for people in nearby communities and their closure means people must receive care in Thompson which is over 3 hours away.

 

The letter also said that these communities need emergency staff until the facilities reopen as their closure is putting these communities at risk during this wave of the COVID 19 pandemic.

OMICRON VARIANT SPREADING IN MANITOBA, PUBLIC HEALTH ORDERS UPDATED

Reducing Gathering Sizes in Public Places,
Curtailing Alcohol Sales in Restaurants, Licensed Premises

The Manitoba government is updating public health orders to reduce the gatherings sizes and put limitations on the sale of liquor to help curb community transmission and protect the capacity of the health-care system as the omicron variant continues to circulate in Manitoba, Premier Heather Stefanson and Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer, announced today.

“Over the last week, case numbers have increased sharply, and we must again take steps to reduce the spread of the virus to help protect Manitoba’s health-care system,” said Stefanson. “As we approach the new year – a time that is usually filled with celebration – we are urging Manitobans to limit your close contacts at this crucial time in our fight against COVID-19. We all have a role to play, and we encourage everyone get fully vaccinated, including a third dose when eligible, follow the public health orders and focus on the fundamentals.”

The additional restrictions mean gatherings must not exceed 50 per cent of the usual capacity of the space, or 250 people, whichever is less. This includes:
• indoor and outdoor public gatherings;
• restaurants, licensed premises, food courts and socials;
• movie theatre and concert halls;
• performing arts venues and outdoor ticketed performing arts events;
• museums and art galleries;
• outdoor and indoor sporting and recreational facilities including dance schools and martial arts studios;
• gyms, fitness centres and yoga studios;
• indoor and outdoor ticketed sporting events;
• indoor recreational businesses;
• seasonal facilities and events;
• religious services and Indigenous cultural events; and
• bingos, casinos and businesses with VLTs.

The changes will affect capacity limits at these locations including gatherings where all attendees are fully vaccinated, have a medical reason not to receive a vaccine or people under 12 years of age.

In addition, liquor sales in restaurants and licensed premises must end at 10 p.m. daily. The changes will come into effect on Tuesday, Dec. 28 at 12:01 a.m. and will expire on Jan. 11, 2022.

“We know these changes will affect the plans of many people, but we must put them in place now to reduce the possible spread of the virus over the rest of the holiday season,” said Roussin. “Thousands of Manitobans have been vaccinated and continue follow the public health orders and we thank you for that, but these changes are necessary right now to reduce the risk of severe illness and to support our health-care system.”

The updated orders keep the Pandemic Response System at restricted (Orange) with schools at caution (Yellow).

All other public health orders remain unchanged. For more information on COVID-19 in Manitoba, visit https://gov.mb.ca/covid19

OCN Vaccination Clinic for Children

 

Children’s vaccination clinics are ongoing at the veterans hall in the Opaskwayak Cree Nation again today and tomorrow from 9am to 6pm.

 

Children ages 5 to 11 living on and off reserve are now eligible for vaccination and the Opaskwayak health authority is encouraging parents to get their children vaccinated.

 

Manitoba health cards are required and parents must sign the consent forms.

 

Parents are reminded that sharing the facts with children can be beneficial, and it will protect them from the covid 19 virus.

RCMP Report

On Sunday morning around 5,  The Pas RCMP received a report of a firearm being discharged at a residence located on Reader Street in the town.

The residence had been struck multiple times and while shots entered the residence, no injuries were reported to the five adult occupants.

The following investigation led to the seizure of a vehicle believed to have been used during this incident.

It is currently being examined by the RCMP Forensic Identification Services unit.

Anyone with information on this shooting is asked to call The Pas RCMP at 204-627-6204.

The Pas RCMP continue to investigate.

Norther Tourism

Tourism in northern Manitoba was hit hard by the pandemic but is starting to ramp up again

 

Arctic radio spoke with Northern Tourism Manitoba about plans to bring more visitors to the community.

 

John Goodyear Northern tourism consultant and his team have been speaking with operators in the area trying to try and promote tourism in various way, and find more ways to bring in tourists all year round.

 

Goodyear talked about tourism Manitoba’s goal of bringing the amount of money spent on tourism annually up with building back better a new program which is designed to help operators restart.

 

Good year added that part of it is letting owners and operators know what programs are available, and asking about what specific needs our.

The Pas Family Resource Centre 9th Annual Christmas Hamper Program

The Pas Family Resource Centre is seeking donations for their 9th annual Christmas Hamper Program and their gifts for kids program, programs that helps less fortunate community members to celebrate the holidays.

 

Monetary donations can be made via e transfer at tpfrcfinance@mymts.net or you can call 204-623-6343 for more information.

 

Cash and cheque donations will also be accepted.

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