The Pas Local News

COVID-19 BULLETIN #101

Public health officials advise one new case of COVID-19 has been identified as of 9:30 a.m. today. The total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba is 298.

The data also shows:
•    no individuals in hospital or intensive care;
•    nine active cases and 282 individuals who have recovered from COVID-19; and
•    the number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at seven.

As of yesterday, an additional 824 laboratory tests were performed. This brings the total number of tests performed since early February to 45,923.

Community testing sites in Dauphin and Swan River have moved to new locations and have revised hours of operation. In Dauphin, a drive-thru testing site is now located in the parking lot at the Dauphin Community Health Services Building, 625 Third St. SW and will be open Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Swan River drive-thru testing site has been relocated to the parking lot at the Swan Valley Primary Care Centre, 1000 Main St. and is open Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For a full list of community testing sites and their hours of operation, visit:
www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/locations.html.

Hospitals and health centres will begin allowing expanded visitor access for inpatients as part of Phase Two of the Restoring Safe Services plan. The gradual easing of visitor restrictions will occur at individual sites across the province beginning as early as Friday. These changes will allow patients to see loved ones in person while measures remain in place to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in health facilities. For more information, go to https://news.gov.mb.ca/news/?archive=&item=48384.

A comprehensive list of Manitoba government COVID-19 measures can be found at:
https://manitoba.ca/bg/2020/04/covid19.html.

Arrest Made in Connection to a Stabbing in Cranberry Portage

The RCMP have arrested Aaron Cook in connection to a stabbing at a residence in Cranberry Portage.

 

In the early morning hours of May 23rd the RCMP responded to the report of a stabbing and a 26 year old male and 40 year old female had been stabbed and taken to hospital

 

The RCMP would like to thank the public and the media for their help.

Flin Flon MLA Tom Lindsey is Demanding Action on Paid Sick Leave Benefits

Flin Flon MLA Tom Lindsey is Demanding Action on Paid Sick Leave Benefits

 

In the Legislature last week Lindsey raised the issue of paid sick leave proposed to the provinces by the federal government.

 

He stated paid sick leave provisions are governed by provincial legislation noting on this side of the house we are ready to debate legislation that would ensure these benefits for Manitobans now not sometime after a fall sitting. 

 

Premier Brian Pallister didn’t make that commitment but noted government members have shown their solidarity with working people, frontline workers and vulnerable people across the province by taking a voluntary pay cut while not one member of the other side has done that.

Niki Ashton Urging Federal Government to Work with Commercial Fisheries in Manitoba

Our MP Niki Ashton recently brought up concerns she had with Manitoba Fisheries during question period, she stated that import markets for Manitoba fish have dried up and fishers are desperate for support.

 

When she asked if the Federal Government will work with inland fishers and the fresh water fish marketing corporation to develop and deliver an emergency package that works for them and find ways to redirect products to domestic markets including communities facing food insecurity,

 

Bernadette Jordan Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard responded by saying she recognized how hard the COVID 19 pandemic has hit Canadian fishers, pointing out that the harvesters benefit allows all harvesters to take advantage of a grant contribution to help them through this difficult time.

 

Fishers can now qualify for EI benefit based on previous seasons.

She added that they are continuing to look at ways to address challenges in the fishing industry.

COVID-19 BULLETIN #100

Public health officials advise two new cases of COVID-19 have been identified as of 9:30 a.m. today. The total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba is 297.

The data also shows:

  • no individuals in hospital or intensive care;
  • 12 active cases and 278 individuals who have recovered from COVID-19; and
  • the number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at seven.

The province has worked with the Manitoba Trucking Association to develop information for truck drivers about asymptomatic testing. For more details, visit the transportation, communication and storage section at
www.manitoba.ca/asset_library/en/coronavirus/restoring-asymptomatic-testing-for-truck-drivers.pdf

Thompson RCMP looking for missing youth

On May 21, 2020, at 10:15 pm, Thompson RCMP received a report of a missing 15-year-old male from the community who was seen leaving his residence at 6:30 pm. Officers have received information that Clinton Adam Miles was last seen on May 27, 2020, near Laval Place.

 

Miles is described as 5’7”, 135 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a black hat, black shirt and black pants.

 

The RCMP are asking anyone with information to call the Thompson RCMP at 204-677-6909, call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477, or secure tip online at www.manitobacrimestoppers.com.

Opasquia Trails Receives Funding from Province

The Province of Manitoba will be providing Opasquia Trails with $50,000 in support for building the Grace Lake Boardwalk.

 

Board member Al MacLauchlan stated in a news release that fund raising for the project was delayed due to the COVID 19 pandemic hence the announcement is good news.

 

Opasquia trails has retained the HTFC planning and design from Winnipeg to complete a master plan for the interpretive boardwalk and trail which will start at the Kelsey Watershed District Office and end about 400 metres north at the Boreal discovery trail.

 

The trail will provide outdoor opportunities such as bird watching once completed.

Opaskwayak Cree Nation Events Cancelled

Opaskwayak Cree nation announced that their National Cree Gathering, pow wow, Big Eddy Sports Days, and Opaskwayak Indian Days have all been cancelled for this year.

 

The decision was made to help prevent the spread of COVID 19. Chief Christian Sinclair stated that he hopes to gather once again in the future to strengthen cree traditions.

Boreal Wetlands Conservation Codes of Practice

The provincial government released their Boreal Wetlands Conservation Codes of Practice.

 

Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Blaine Pedersen states these management practices will provide guidance on how to avoid, minimize, and offset impacts to boreal wetlands that result from resource and access roads and crossings.

 

In a news release, Pedersen says this approach will reduce red tape for industry, supporting sustainable development of natural resources, and supporting the conservation of Manitoba’s boreal wetlands.

 

The minister goes on to explain that the codes of practice provide certainty for resource developers by providing guidance about where and how to operate within and around boreal wetlands on Crown lands.

The Boreal Wetlands Conservation Codes of Practices can be found on the Government of Manitoba website.

There are Three New Members of the Northern Health Region Board

Manitoba Health Minister Cameron Friesen has announced new appointments and reappointments to the boards of five regional health authorities.  New appointments made to the Northern Regional Health Authority Board include Linda Markus of The Pas, Dianne Russell of Flin Flon and Kelly Bindle of Thompson.  Reappointments to the Board are Angela Enright of Snow Lake and Mary Head of The Pas OCN.

 

The Boards of regional health authorities are responsible for directing the management and affairs of the region to ensure the delivery and administration of health services.  Friesen notes regional boards are crucial to ensuring the provision of safe, quality care and guide how we move forward to ensure consistent, reliable health services across the province.

COVID-19 BULLETIN #99

Public health officials advise no new cases of COVID-19 have been identified as of 9:30 a.m. today. The total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba remains at 295.

The data also shows:
•    no individuals in hospital or intensive care;
•    10 active cases and 278 individuals who have recovered from COVID-19; and
•    the number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at seven.

As of yesterday, an additional 806 laboratory tests were performed. This brings the total number of tests performed since early February to 44,692.

As of today, the province is entering Phase Two of the Restoring Safe Services plan. More information, including workplace guidance for businesses, can be found at:
www.manitoba.ca/restoringsafeservices.

A comprehensive list of Manitoba government COVID-19 measures can be found at:
https://manitoba.ca/bg/2020/04/covid19.html.

Niki Ashton COVID 19 Pandemic Update

Our Local MP Niki Ashton spoke to Arctic Radio to talk about the work she has been doing during the COVID 19 crisis.

 

When asked about how she felt about restrictions being lifted in Manitoba Ashton says that we must continue to be vigilant when it comes to lifting the Northern Manitoba Travel ban and that we need to continue to make people aware of how vulnerable our region is as we don’t’ have the same access to health care that the south does.

 

You are invited to contact Niki Ashton’s office should you have any questions or concerns. She is also planning to do more question and answer sessions on Facebook later on.

 

https://www.ourcommons.ca/members/en/niki-ashton(36037)#contact

 

 

Cranberry Portage RCMP Searching for Male Wanted in Double Stabbing

On May 23, 2020, at approximately 3:40 am, RCMP responded to a stabbing at a residence in Cranberry Portage.

A 26-year-old male and a 40-year-old female were stabbed and taken to hospital.

RCMP are currently searching for 25-year-old Aaron George Cook, who is wanted in connection with this incident.  He has been charged with Aggravated Assault, Assault with a Weapon, Assault Causing Bodily Harm and Possession of a Weapon for Dangerous Purpose.

If anyone has information on his whereabouts please call Cranberry Portage RCMP at 204-472-4040, call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477, or secure tip online at www.manitobacrimestoppers.com.

MKO Phase Two Statement

With Phase Two of the province’s re-opening plan beginning on Monday, including the removal of the travel restrictions to northern Manitoba, MKO’s Grand Chief says many northern First Nations communities will continue to keep their borders closed.

 

Garrison Settee explains that while the organization will support the ability of Manitobans to travel to northern parks, campgrounds, resorts, lodges, and cabins, they are asking the province to continue prohibiting people from outside the province from travelling to northern Manitoba.

 

Settee says that way; we can prevent COVID-19 from moving into communities from COVID hotspots across the country.

 

Other measures include increasing child care occupancy and day-camp group sizes to 24 children plus staffing, and resuming sports, arts, and cultural activities for children and adults.

 

Settee stresses all Manitobans must stay vigilant, as we can expect to see a second wave of COVID-19 infections in the province.

Online Job Tool Students Jobs MB

A new online tool called Student Jobs MB was launched to help students obtain summer jobs, something that premier Brian Pallister says is very important for youth to have to pay for their education and to build life skills.

 

The Economic Development and Training Minister stated in a news release that as services are being restored students can be an important source to help employers as they reopen.

 

For more information visit studentjobsmb.ca

COVID-19 BULLETIN #95

Public health officials advise two new cases of COVID-19 have been identified as of 9:30 a.m. today. The total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba is 294.

 
The data also shows:
no individuals in hospital or intensive care; 
14 active cases and 273 individuals who have recovered from COVID-19; and
the number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at seven.
 
As of yesterday, an additional 725 laboratory tests were performed. This brings the total number of tests performed since early February to 41,191. 
 
On Monday, June 1, Manitoba will enter Phase Two of the Restoring Safe Services plan. More information, including workplace guidance for businesses, can be found at www.manitoba.ca/restoringsafeservices.
 
A comprehensive list of Manitoba government COVID-19 measures can be found at:

Opaskwayak RCMP lay charges in Three Year Fraud Investigation

On March 27, 2018, Opaskwayak RCMP received a report of a potential fraud that had occurred at Opaskwayak Education Services (OES).

The Manitoba RCMP worked closely with the OES and undertook a three-year investigation which included a forensic audit of OES finances. It was determined that between March 1, 2017, and March of 2018, the OES was defrauded of over $450,000, by four suspects, who were all employees of the OES. 

On May 20, 2020, RCMP laid charges of Fraud against;

Marie(Christine) Campbell, 50, from Opaskwayak Cree Nation

Wilfred Harris, 59, from Opaskwayak Cree Nation

Carmen Zolinski, 37, from Opaskwayak Cree Nation

Anita Ballantyne, 51, from Opaskwayak Cree Nation

“This was a very long and complex investigation,” said Corporal Sheldon Martens of The Pas General Investigative Section. “These four accused were in control of the financial department of OES and we believe they used their positions of authority within the organization to purposefully commit fraud. By working together and through the use of a wide variety of financial trickery and deception, over $450,000 was siphoned from the OES.”

Anita Ballantyne, Christine Campbell and Wilfred Harris, have been arrested and charged, and will be appearing in court on August 11, 2020.

Carmen Zolinski is still outstanding and has a warrant for her arrest. She is currently residing in another province.

The RCMP would like to thank Opaskwayak Cree Nation for their assistance on this investigation.

Town of The Pas 2020 Financial Plan

A public hearing was held on Monday evening for the 2020 Town of The Pas Financial Plan.

 

One of the budgets highlights will be a tender to spend up to 1.6 million dollars on rehabilitation of the roads.

 

The funding will not come from tax payer dollars but from the gas tax fund.

The first reading to approve the financial plan was passed and it’s expected to pass the other two readings at the next meeting.

 

You can find out more about the financial plan at townofthepas.ca

Jobs Available During the COVID 19 Pandemic

Hundreds of thousands of Canadians lost their jobs during the COVID 19 pandemic but Federal Government assistance is available for the unemployed to assist them with finding work.

 

Simply visit jobbank.gc.ca where you can search for jobs that are available locally or anywhere in the country.

 

Yesterday Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that 45,000 jobs are available for young Canadian workers.

A Port in the Storm Closing Permanently

A Port in the Storm will be permanently closing its doors this summer.

 

A news release from the organization’s president and CEO Rob Elder states it will operate until July 31st.

 

Elder says the reason for the closure is due to the occupancy decline because of the increased access to medical treatment in northern and rural Manitoba, in addition to more accommodation options available in Winnipeg.

 

He adds that A Port in the Storm was unable to find a permanent space that was close to Winnipeg hospitals.

 

In the past eight years, A Port in the Storm provided support for more than a thousand people seeking medical care in Winnipeg.

COVID-19 BULLETIN #94

Public health officials advise no new cases of COVID-19 have been identified as of 9:30 a.m. today. The total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba remains at 292.

The data also shows:
•    no individuals in hospital or intensive care;
•    14 active cases and 271 individuals who have recovered from COVID-19; and
•    the number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at seven.

As of yesterday, an additional 1,145 laboratory tests were performed. This brings the total number of tests performed since early February to 40,466.

Earlier today, it was announced that effective Monday, June 1, Manitoba will enter Phase Two of the Restoring Safe Services plan. More information, including workplace guidance for businesses, can be found at www.manitoba.ca/restoringsafeservices.

A comprehensive list of Manitoba government COVID-19 measures can be found at:
https://manitoba.ca/bg/2020/04/covid19.html.

SECOND PHASE OF RESTORING SAFE SERVICES PLAN TO BEGIN JUNE 1

Based on feedback from Manitobans and current public health data, the Manitoba government has finalized the draft Phase Two plan and will implement measures effective June 1 to continue safely restoring services and opening additional businesses while ensuring physical distancing, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.

“I want to thank Manitobans for their input, and as a result of these discussions and advice from public health experts, we are in a position to move forward with phase two of our plan to safely restore our services,” said Pallister. “I also want to thank Manitobans for continuing to respect physical distancing guidelines and ask everyone to keep taking steps to protect themselves and others as we continue to ease restrictions.”

As of June 1, limited access to educational facilities, where physical distancing can be maintained, will be allowed for additional tutorial days, such as one-on-one learning, assessment and specific programming. Manitoba Education will continue planning and consulting with school divisions and other education stakeholders, the premier noted.

The plan for Phase Two was revised from the original draft document, released May 21, based on input from the public and businesses, as well as additional input from public health officials. Changes include:
•    detailed guidance for post-secondary educational institutions and vocational colleges;
•    removing occupancy limits for therapeutic and health-care services;
•    detailed guidance for senior’s clubs;
•    additional details on requirements for the safe operation of splash pads;
•    updated guidance for community centres;
•    the reopening of arts and cultural activities, such as dance, art and theatre;
•    clarifications on the opening of bars, beverage rooms, brew pubs, micro-brewers and distilleries to allow sites that do not serve food to open, as well as updated guidance from public health that all patrons must be seated at tables and stand-up service is not allowed; and
•    detailed public health guidelines for film productions.

A number of measures initially outlined in the draft plan for Phase Two can resume effective June 1 including:
•    increasing child-care centre occupancy to up to 24 children plus staffing;
•    increasing day camp group sizes to 24;
•    resuming sports, arts and cultural activities for children and adults;
•    lifting occupancy limits at outdoor recreation facilities and golf courses outdoors, as long as physical distancing can be maintained and allowing limited access to indoor spaces;
•    allowing direct travel to northern parks, campgrounds, cabins, lodges and resorts while ensuring physical distancing;
•    allowing public/private swimming pools, spas, fitness clubs, gyms and community/service centres to reopen with some limitations;
•    allowing religious or other organizations to hold outdoor services or events without limitation on numbers if people stay in their vehicles;
•    reopening manicurists and pedicurists, tattoo parlours, estheticians, cosmetologists, electrologists and tanning parlours at 50 per cent capacity;
•    allowing restaurants to reopen indoor spaces at 50 per cent capacity and continue to offer patio services at that capacity level; and
•    allowing bars, beverage rooms, micro-brewers and similar businesses to operate patio service at 50 per cent of site capacity and to reopen indoor spaces at 50 per cent capacity.

No changes will be made to the requirements for reopening museums, galleries and libraries, and parks, campgrounds yurts and vacation cabins.

Detailed information on the plan for Phase Two of service restoration and steps people can take to reduce their risk and workplace guidance for businesses can be found at:
www.manitoba.ca/restoringsafeservices.

Other changes that came into effect on May 22 included increasing gathering sizes to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors, and allowing professional sports teams to resume practicing.

“Case numbers and positive test rates continue to be low and other key factors are also positive,” said Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer. “These additional steps to safely restore services will help ease the impacts on Manitobans and ensure the health system continues to be able to respond if case numbers increase slightly.”

Mass gatherings such as concerts, festivals and major sporting events will not be considered before September 2020, Roussin noted. He also noted that it is key for people to stay home if they are sick to further reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Roussin continued to encourage businesses to take steps to help staff, patrons and visitors stay safe including:
•    ensuring people are able to reasonably maintain two metres of distance;
•    only conducting necessary and brief exchanges within two metres of others;
•    applying enhanced cleaning protocols, especially in common areas like washrooms;
•    maintaining physical distancing and food-handling protocols in workplace areas including lunch and common areas;
•    staying home when feeling sick; and
•    following personal risk reduction measures.

Manitoba businesses can submit questions about how the plan applies to them by visiting https://engagemb.ca.

Maintenance to be Conducted on the Hudson Bay Railways Reimer Building

A special conference call with senior leaders at Arctic Gateway Group the owners of Hudson Bay Railway were held during Monday night’s committee of the whole meeting regarding the Hudson Bay Railway Reimer Building on 4th Street West.

 

The building is in rough shape and it has been a constant issue of concern for residents in the area and the Town has been trying to get together with Arctic Gateway Group to determine the future of the building.

 

An agreement was reached with the town and Arctic Gateway Group on some short term maintenance on the building, the building will repainted and cleaned and the next step is to come up with a plan for some longer term goals for the building.

 

 

Summer Fire Safety

The Pas Fire Chief Randy Manych spoke to Arctic Radio to talk about forest fire season.

 

Manych says that despite the late start we had to spring we are expected to have a dry fire ridden season in Western Canada.

 

He added that people discarding cigarettes in areas with tall dry grass likely started most of the grass fires that occurred in May.

 

Now that more people have campfires this time of year Manych encourages residents to visit the towns website townofthepas.ca for local regulations on campfire pits if you plan to have a fire.

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