The Pas Local News Archives for 2020-03

Seven Additional Cases of COVID-19 Identified in Manitoba

Public health officials advise seven additional cases of COVID-19 have been identified as of 9:30 a.m., bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 103 at this time.

The data also shows:
•    three individuals are currently hospitalized including two in intensive care,
•    four individuals have recovered from COVID-19, and
•    the total number of deaths reported in Manitoba remains at one.

Public health officials have also confirmed that a staff member at Selkirk Regional Health Centre has tested positive for COVID-19.  This individual worked in the health centre’s emergency department and medicine ward from March 19 to 23.  Public health, occupational health and infection prevention and control staff are working together to investigate this case and followup with all identified close staff and patient contacts.

Public health will directly contact people who had prolonged (more than 10 minutes), close (within two metres) contact with the individual when symptomatic.  These individuals will be required to self-isolate for 14 days from the date of last exposure and monitor for symptoms.

Dates and times of possible exposure include:
•    March 19 from 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Selkirk Regional Health Centre Emergency Department;
•    March 20 from 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Selkirk Regional Health Centre Emergency Department;
•    March 21 from 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Selkirk Regional Health Centre Emergency Department;
•    March 22 from 11:45 p.m. to March 23 7:45 a.m. in the Selkirk Regional Health Centre Emergency Department.

Cadham Provincial Laboratory performed 378 tests Monday.  As of March 31, a total of 8,914 tests have been performed.

Public health is also advising that people remain within or close to their home communities.  This includes limiting travel, even within Manitoba, to essential trips only.  Services at smaller health centres could be strained if seasonal visitors become ill.

MANITOBA SUSPENDS CLASSROOM LEARNING INDEFINITELY AMID COVID-19 PANDEMIC

At the advice of the chief provincial public health officer, Manitoba is suspending classroom learning for kindergarten to Grade 12 students indefinitely for this school year to help ‘flatten the curve’ and reduce the impact of COVID-19 throughout the province, Premier Brian Pallister and Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced today.

“We must do everything we can to flatten the COVID curve and protect the health and well-being of all Manitobans,” said Pallister. “The decision to suspend classroom learning in school indefinitely for this school year is the easiest decision to make because it protects our children and their education – it is the right thing to do.”

The suspension of in-school classes follows the province’s announcement on March 13 that they would be suspended at all kindergarten to Grade 12 schools through April 10.  This new step to extend the suspension is being taken with the interests of students, educators and all Manitobans in mind, the premier noted.

No student will be held back due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but students must actively engage in learning.  All students on track to graduate will do so.  Teachers will teach remotely, assign work, conduct assessments and prepare final report cards.  For students in Grade 12, provincial exams will be cancelled, but teacher assessments will be implemented.  For students in early and middle years, provincial assessments are complete for the current school year, but other assessments will continue.

“The efforts and success Manitoba teachers and educators have displayed during this public health pandemic have been inspiring,” said Goertzen.  “I join all Manitobans in asking educators to continue doing all they can to use remote and innovative methods to teach students through the remainder of this school year.  Our government is asking for an all-hands-on-deck approach, with their assistance and with that of parents, caregivers, principals, trustees and superintendents for the benefit of all students.”

Child-care centres located in schools will continue to operate under the current conditions set out by the chief provincial public health officer.  The overall plan is oriented toward the future and we will learn how to modernize education through our response to this situation, Goertzen said.  The combined efforts are geared toward the reopening of classrooms, as well as toward multifaceted ways to teach and to learn after COVID-19, he added.

The province continues to rely on the recommendations of the chief provincial public health officer and encourages all Manitobans to engage in good social distancing protocols, including practising the 3Ps – protect yourself, protect your loved ones and protect your community.  For more information visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19.

MLA Amanda Lathlin on COVID 19 Epidemic

Our MLA Amanda Lathlin spoke to Arctic Radio to talk about a letter that she will be sending to the Minister of Health containing items of concern brought to her attention regarding the COVID 19 Crisis.

 

One concern is information about COVID 19 testing, Lathlin says information about the number of completed tests and the number of samples waiting to be tested needs to be shared with the public locally so residents feel better about their situation and their overall health.

 

The letter also asks for protective equipment for workers in our region not just front line health workers but for all workers.

Niki Ashton Calling on Minister of Indigenous Services to keep First Nations Safe

Our MP Niki Ashton recently called on the Minister of Indigenous Services to do more to keep First Nations people safe from COVID 19.

 

Ashton stated that First Nations are not getting support they need as some communities have had doctors pulled, many are not able to do testing, and others need field hospitals urgently.

 

Ashton has echoed the calls of indigenous leaders to increase the supply of doctors and other healthcare professionals for First Nations and she urges the Federal Government to follow the lead of other countries and mobilize graduating medical students and nurses and retired doctors to offer assistance.

Half of Manitoba Businesses Facing Financial Strain

A survey conducted by the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce and Leger Marketing found that half of Manitoba Business leaders say they are facing financial impact amid the COVID 19 pandemic.

 

Chuck Davidson, the President and CEO of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce stated in a news release that the survey results are very concerning since 98 percent of the Canadian economy is generated by Small to medium sized enterprises and those that work for them.

 

Financial management is already a major challenge for small to medium sized enterprises and cash flow will be their downfall if the situation worsens and three in ten of these business leaders say they feel the epidemic may put them out of business.

 

Almost half of the leaders in Manitoba’s medium to large sized businesses say they consider COVID 19’s impact to be low at this point and they are focused on maintaining operations well enough to be able to serve their customers.

COVID-19 Northern Manitoba

Manitoba’s Chief Public Health Officer says there is currently one confirmed-presumed positive case of COVID-19 in the north.

 

Doctor Brent Roussin confirmed the case during yesterday afternoon’s COVID-19 update.

 

He adds that the case is under a public health investigation, and details surrounding the case have not been confirmed at this time.

 

A spokesperson from the Northern Health Region says positive cases will be not be reported by the community they reside in, but by the regional health authority.

Manitoba COVID 19 Update

Public health officials advise 24 additional cases of COVID-19 have been identified as of 9:30 a.m., bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 96 at this time.

The data also shows:
•    four individuals are currently hospitalized,
•    one individual  is currently in intensive care,
•    the total number of deaths reported in Manitoba is one, and
•    two individuals have recovered from COVID-19.

 

 

The public is reminded that under The Public Health Act, the following measures will be in place, effective 12:01 a.m. on Monday, March 30:
•    Public gatherings will be limited to no more than 10 people at any indoor or outdoor place or premises.  This includes places of worship, gatherings and family events such as weddings and funerals.  This does not apply to a facility where health care or social services are provided including child-care centres and homeless shelters.  
•    Retail businesses including grocery or food stores, shopping centres, pharmacies or gas stations must ensure separation of one to two metres between patrons assembling in the business.  
•    Public transportation facilities must also ensure that people assembling at the facility are reasonably able to maintain a separation of one to two metres.

Other restrictions first introduced in a public health order issued on March 20 remain in effect.

Public health officials continue to strongly advise all Manitobans, including health-care providers, to cancel or postpone any recreational, tourist or non-essential international or domestic travel.  In addition, anyone who returns from international or domestic travel must self-isolate and self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days following their return.

This does not include:
•    workers involved with the commercial transportation of goods and services;
•    workers who live in a neighbouring jurisdiction and travel to Manitoba for work;
•    health care workers who travel to work from outside the province;
•    normal personal travel in border communities.

A community testing site will open Monday in Pine Falls at École Powerview School at 33 Vincent St.  Hours of operation will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday.  There are 15 community testing sites in Manitoba, including six drive-thru locations, with plans to open in more communities in the next week.  The public is reminded that a referral to these sites is needed and they are not walk-in clinics. Information on locations and hours of operation are available at www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/locations.html.

Any person concerned about their exposure to or risk of having COVID-19 should call Health Links–Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or toll-free at 1-888-315-9257 to be screened to see if a test is required.

For more information and to access the online screening tool for COVID-19, visit:
www.manitoba.ca/covid19.

The Importance of Supporting Small Businesses During the COVID 19 Outbreak

Local businesses are facing the challenges of social and physical distancing, reduced hours, and outright closures due to the COVID 19 Pandemic.

 

President of the Chamber of Commerce up in Thompson, Charlotte Larocque spoke to Arctic Radio about the importance of keeping local businesses open, even if how they operate has changed for the time being.

 

She says that small and micro businesses are often the only sources of income for families that own them and economic growth is dependent on keeping our money in the North and attracting others to invest in our businesses and economy.

 

Big box stores and online shopping doesn’t provide financial benefits to communities. 

Niki Ashton Statements on COVID 19 Epidemic

Our MP Niki Ashton spoke to Arctic Radio to address the COVID 19 crisis.

 

Ashton believes that there has been a lack of Provincial and Federal leadership when it comes to dealing with the epidemic, outlining that our region is particularly vulnerable especially indigenous communities and urban areas.

 

Ashton acknowledged that the wage subsidy for small businesses introduced by Prime Minister Trudeau for small businesses is something the NDP has pushed for and is a good first step but that we need mandated shutdowns to slow the spread of the virus across Canada and the province.

Manitoba Highway Checkpoints

The Manitoba government will establish five highway checkpoints and provide information in airports to help inform travellers about the public health measures in place to slow the spread of COVID-19, Justice Minister Cliff Cullen and Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler announced today.

“We must do everything we can to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and on our health-care system,” said Cullen.  “This approach will help ensure travellers know they must self-isolate, what the province’s state of emergency means to them and other important public health information.  By being informed, we can reduce the risk to Manitobans and help keep our communities healthy and safe.”

Travellers will receive information about Manitoba’s current state of emergency, public health orders issued under The Public Health Act, and the need to immediately self-isolate for 14 days after travel in Canada or internationally.  If Manitobans need assistance with groceries, prescription pickup and other services, they are encouraged to go to www.HelpNextDoorMB.ca

Cullen noted this kind of proactive measure to inform travellers and help slow the spread of COVID-19 is critical.  

Checkpoints will be located at the:
•    Ontario border:
     -  Trans-Canada Highway East (West Hawk Lake/Falcon Lake);
•    Saskatchewan border:
     - Trans-Canada Highway West (west of Kirkella/Elkhorn/Virden);
     - PTH 16 (west of Russell);
     - PTH 5W (west of Roblin); and
     - PTH 2 (west of Sinclair/Reston/Souris).

“We expect these checkpoints to be operational this week, staffed by provincial employees,” said Schuler.  “Drivers can expect to see roadside signage to help direct them to the checkpoints and support traffic safety.”

These checkpoints are established under the authority of The Public Health Act.  No one will be denied entry into Manitoba at these locations.

Signage will also be placed at the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport and the Brandon Municipal Airport to ensure people arriving on domestic flights have similar information.

The province continues to rely on the recommendations of the chief provincial public health officer and encourages all Manitobans to engage in good social distancing protocols including practising following the 3P’s – protect yourself, protect your loved ones and protect your community.  For more information, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19.

PROVINCE LAUNCHES PROGRAM TO HELP MANITOBANS COPE WITH ANXIETY RELATED TO COVID-19

The Manitoba government is investing in the mental health of Manitobans by introducing a program to help address anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.

“Pandemics bring about a high level of stress and anxiety, and the health and well-being of Manitobans continues to be our priority during this uncertain time,” said Pallister.  “Many of us are feeling concerns over whether we will get sick, the health of our families, the security of our jobs, being isolated from our loved ones and many other variables.  As part of our emergency response to COVID-19, we are introducing an easily accessible virtual option to help support Manitobans.”

To help Manitobans experiencing mild to moderate anxiety due to COVID-19, the province is partnering with Morneau Shepell, Canada’s leading provider of technology-enabled HR services, to launch an internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT) program free of charge to all Manitobans 16 years old and over.  The province will spend $4.5 million to provide these services to Manitobans for up to a year.

Morneau Shepell launched this digital therapy program last week in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. T he new program is guided by professional therapists and addresses anxiety symptoms related to the uniquely challenging aspects of pandemics: uncertainty, physical isolation, caring for family and community members, information overload and stress management.

“We know many Canadians are struggling with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their mental health,” said Nigel Branker, president, health and productivity solutions at Morneau Shepell.  “With the requirements to self-isolate and practice physical distancing, we are offering a convenient, digital program that can be accessed with any smartphone or tablet.  Our goal is to facilitate access and provide support to as many people as possible across the country."

Morneau Shepell’s national network includes thousands of therapists experienced in dealing with the psychological impact of various traumatic events.  Program participants also have access to live crisis counsellors who are available 24-7 if any risk of harm or crisis is identified.

The program will be available in English and French in the coming weeks at www.manitoba.ca/covid19.

Pallister noted this is an additional resource to supplement a number of mental health organizations funded by the Manitoba government.  Existing organizations that provide crisis support via phone, text and video conference will continue to provide support through the pandemic.  

Province Calls in Federal Government For Health Care Support Amid COVID 19 Pandemic

The Manitoba Government is calling on the Federal Government to better support heath care by lowering borrowing costs.

 

Premier Brian Pallister says Manitobans and Canadians are facing a historic pandemic that poses significant public health and economic challenges, adding that this is a time to unite and a chance for the Federal Government to help the province obtain investments needed for Public Health Care Services.

 

Pallister wants the Federal Government to establish an emergency credit agency to borrow on the provinces behalf as this would save Canadians billions of dollars a year.

Justin Trudeau COVID 19 Emergency Measures

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the nation yesterday to give an update on the COVID 19 outbreak and how they will be providing assistance to those that are facing financial challenges. 

 

The Federal Government launched the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit which will provide $2,000 a month for up to four months to people who are not getting paid.

 

This will replace the two benefits announced last week to make is easier for people to get help. An application portal will be launched as quickly as possible and people should start receiving money within 14 days of applying.

 

The Federal Government will be boosting the Canada Child Benefit for families in May, they will be supplementing the GST credit which is sent to low income Canadians every few months, and they will be putting a six month interest free moratorium on Canada student loans.

 

You can find more information on what else is being done by the federal government during the COVID 19 crisis and how to access benefits at canada.ca

 

Trudeau would also like to warn Canadians of a text scam going around on the new emergency response benefits and that the government’s website is the best source of information.

 

Danielle Adams on Manitoba Budget

In response to the provincial budget that was tabled last week, Thompson MLA Danielle Adams says it doesn’t work for the north.

 

Adams told Arctic Radio News that the budget made cuts to areas such as healthcare and education, and that it -quote- “doesn’t deal with what’s going to be the reality” after COVID-19.

 

When asked about the NDP stalling the budget, Adams says the party wasn’t delaying the budget, and adds that they gave the PCs an opportunity to present their budget to Manitobans, but didn’t want certain bills to go through that would have -quote- “devastating effects” on northern Manitobans.

 

The NDP did put forward recommendation for the budget, but those were not taken into account, such as a province-wide breakfast program.

 

 

Testing for COVID-19 Will Expand in Manitoba

Manitoba Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin says they have developed a priority list that will expand as their capacity for testing for COVID-19 increases. 

 

He says some of those priority lists would include any symptomatic health care workers regardless of travel, anybody symptomatic in a closed area such a long term care facilities regardless of travel and then as they move down that list it should be just any community individuals with symptoms but he notes remember there’s a lot of focus on testing but testing is not the only answer here, if we have someone in the community right now who is ill the advice is to stay home.

 

Roussin adds if you stay home you are drastically decreasing the chances of transmitting the virus.  If you have flu like symptoms and have related travel call Health Links at 1-888-315-9257 to be referred for testing.

Cleaning Kits to Be Delivered to Opaskwayak Cree Nation Members Soon

Opaskwayak Cree Nation members are reminded to clean their homes as much as possible during the COVID 19 crisis using cleaning products that kill viruses.

 

It is especially important to sterilize items in your home that have been touched frequently.

 

OCN originally planned to deliver cleaning kits to members on Monday but the deliveries were delayed as the equipment wasn’t available.

 

Cleaning kits will be delivered to those on dialysis’ and elders as soon as possible and the rest of the members will receive their kits once the cleaning supplies are available.

 

Off reserve kits will only be delivered those members living in The Pas and the RM of Kelsey at this time.

 

If you have any questions regarding these cleaning kits you can call Cynthia Young at 204-978-0211.

Niki Ashton Calling for Support for Transportation Workings Amid COVID 19

Our MP and NDP Transport Critic Niki Ashton is calling on the federal Government to implement measures to ensure safe operations and financial supports to transportation workers and the self employed during the COVID 19 epidemic.

 

Government support is needed for workers in the transportation industry to help them cope with an economic downturn.

 

Ashton acknowledged that while self isolation is important the government needs to support the transportation industry so that people can leave their homes to access things that they need and for truckers to deliver essential goods including food and medical equipment.

Snowmobilers of Manitoba Closing Trail Operations Effective Today

Due to the COVID 19 pandemic the Snowmobilers of Manitoba’s board of directors decided to cease trail operations and grooming throughout the province effective today.

 

They want to do their part to reduce the spread of the virus. The club thanks you for understanding and hopes that you continue to stay healthy and safe.

Steps to Follow When Entering General Hospitals

Northern Health Region CEO Helga Bryant says due to COVID-19 they have set up protocols for entering hospitals. 

 

She says they have screeners at their doors so a screen is done on people that need to come into the hospitals, they have limited visiting hours across the province, there’s really no visitors allowed except in unusual circumstances or for compassionate reasons.

 

Bryant reminds you if you are experiencing flu like symptoms and have a relevant travel history contact Health Links at 1-888-315-9257.  If testing is indicated you will be referred to the testing site.

COVID-19 Numbers are Climbing in Manitoba

Manitoba Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin announced this morning there are 14 new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba bringing our total to 35 confirmed and presumptive cases. 

 

He explains the public health investigation of these cases is continuing to confirm the details and at this point most of the new cases are connected to travel or through contact with previously announced cases.  He confirmed that one individual a woman from Winnipeg in her 60’s has been committed to hospital in critical condition in intensive care.

 

Roussin says other areas are seeing increasing numbers so Manitoba has been preparing so these are not unexpected.  He adds most people will have only mild symptoms and can recover at home.

In Saskatchewan there are 72 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 3 in the north.

 

For accurate up to date information go online to www.manitoba.ca/covid19

NRHA COVID-19 Update

The Northern Health Region says they have been preparing should COVID-19 cases arise in northern Manitoba.

 

Helga Bryant, the CEO of the NRHA, says hospitals in Thompson, The Pas, and Flin Flon do have self-isolation spaces available should multiple COVID-19 cases begin appearing in the three hubs.

 

She says the authority is confident that there will be enough medical staff at their health facilities across the region should COVID-19 reach northern Manitoba.

 

Bryant explains that critically ill patients will need to have assessments done in case they need to be transferred to Winnipeg, and adds that Life-Flight air ambulances are prepared to handle transfers for COVID-19 patients.

 

Bryant adds that while she couldn’t confirm the number of ventilators in northern Manitoba hospitals, there are many ventilators across the province, and Health Minister Cameron Friesen has said Manitoba has more on the way.

 

Bryant reminds northern Manitobans that the testing sites in Thompson, Flin Flon, and The Pas are open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., but they do require a referral.

 

If you fit the criteria for COVID-19 testing, call Health Links at 1-888-315-9257.

 

Kelsey School Division Sets Budget for 2020/2021 School Year

The Kelsey School Division approved their budget for the upcoming school year at Monday night’s board meeting.

 

According to a media release from the school division the budget is set at over 20 million dollars but they face a shortfall in revenue of about $300,000

The board will have to make some cutbacks to school programs for the upcoming school year.

 

The swimming program for students in Kindergarten to Grade 5 will have to be curtailed.

 

After two years of no salary increase the government will allow a 0.75 increase for teachers.

Niki Ashton Urging Liberal Minister to Ramp up COVID 19 Testing in Our Region

Our MP Niki Ashton recently sent a letter to Liberal Minister Patty Hajdu about testing for COVID 19 in our region.

 

According to the letter, the ability to test, quarantine, and isolate people in indigenous and other northern communities will be critical to prevent the spread of the virus, as the housing crisis and a lack of healthcare infrastructure will worsen the transmission of the disease.

 

Ashton states that laboratory capacity in Winnipeg is overwhelmed and we need to be ready to offer testing as the virus circulates.

 

Minister Hajdu announced on Facebook that they are funding around 100 research teams to develop effective methods to diagnose, treat, and manage those that have COVID 19.

COVID 19 Actions in the Kelsey School Division

The Kelsey School Division sent out a press to release to give an update on the COVID 19 epidemic.

 

Teachers will do what they can to provide direction and support to parents and students from home and they encourage parents to engage their children in learning opportunities.

 

As of now there are no confirmed or presumptive cases of the virus among Manitoba students and action is being taken to ensure students receive an education.

 

The COVID 19 response planning working group is working with stakeholders to consider separate assessment options for Kindergarten to Grade 8 students and credit attainment options for students in Grades 9 to 12.

 

Manitoba Education is also working to develop a strategy for students without access to computers and special needs students.

 

A decision on provincial exams is expected to be made over the next few weeks.

Opaskwayak Cree Nation Closing Office Doors to the Public

In order to prevent the spread of COVID 19 Opaskwayak Cree Nation will be closing seven of their branches to the public, effective immediately.

 

These include Infrastructure, Lands and Natural Resources, Government Services, Operations, Child and Family Services, Education Services, and Business Enterprises.  

 

The Beatrice Wilson Health Centre will remain open for emergencies and they want to ensure members that essential services will continue to be provided.

Important Changes to Canada's Postal Service

Canada Post understands the important role the postal service plays and is committed to serving Canadians while taking action to keep our people and our communities safe. To do so effectively in these challenging times, we will continue to review and quickly adapt our approach with health and safety as our primary goal. 

 

Canada Post has initiated the following changes to our delivery operations and retail postal network:

 

Changes to our retail Post Office network

 

Hours of Service: In many post offices operated by Canada Post, we will reduce hours of service, opening one hour later and closing one hour earlier to clean, restock and provide some relief to employees. As well, for the first hour of each day, we will offer priority service to those whom are at a higher risk (the elderly or people with compromised immune systems). Franchise operated post offices will follow the measures put in place by franchise operators. 

 

We are working to keep our post offices open, but some may close due to building closures beyond our control and some smaller locations may close due to personnel reasons. In these cases, we will direct customers to the nearest operating post office.

 

Social & Physical Distancing: We are asking waiting customers to please space themselves 2 metres (6 feet) apart. We are working on signage and floor decals for larger post offices. For smaller offices, we will look to limit the number of customers. We are also working on clear barriers for the counter to increase safety.

 

Transactions: We will continue to accept cash, but are encouraging customers to pay by using the “tap” function on their debit or credit cards where possible.

 

Parcel pick-up: Parcels left at the post-office for pickup will not be returned-to-sender until further notice. We’ve suspended our normal 15-day hold period. We ask that customers who are feeling ill or self-isolating, to please delay their visit to the post office and to pick up their parcel when it’s safe to do so. Further changes to our parcel delivery process are below.

 

Changes to how we deliver

 

Parcel Delivery:  To eliminate customer interactions at the door, reduce post office customer traffic and support social & physical distancing, we have implemented a Knock, Drop and Go approach. Delivery employees will knock or ring, choose the safest location available to leave the item and then depart for the next address. This change eliminates the need for signatures at the door and greatly reduces the number of parcels sent to our post offices for pick-up.

 

Items that require Proof of Age, ID or Customs payments will be sent directly from our depots to a retail post office for pick-up with no restrictions on when customers can pick up the item. Customers will receive a Delivery Notice Card in their mail letting them know which post office is holding their item for pickup.

 

Service guarantees:  Our goal is to continue providing timely and reliable service. But to be safe, give our people time and manage potential challenges, we have suspended on On-time Delivery Guarantees for all parcel services, until further notice. 

 

Help with Social Distancing

 

We please ask you to respect social and physical distancing with our employees who you may see out in the community. This will further support the social distancing initiatives we’ve implemented in our plants, depots and post offices. Like other organizations providing important services, our people are working hard under difficult circumstances. 

 

During delivery: Please give our employees space and avoid opening the door or greeting them personally when they are at the door to deliver, or filling a community mailbox.

 

In post offices: When in a retail post office, please practise social distancing and the other measures that have been implemented. 

 

While we all support social and physical distancing efforts to keep our communities safe, social interaction from a distance is still very much appreciated by our people. A simple smile and wave through the window to your delivery agent, a supportive thumbs-up to the driver of the Canada Post truck as they go by or patience and a thank you to the person working at the post office all go a very long way these days.   

 

We thank Canadians for their patience and support during this period of significant change. We continue to follow the guidance of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) when it comes to creating new safety measures in our plants, depots, post offices as well as in our communities.

Community Organizations Now Have Until March 30th to Apply for Public Safety Crime Prevention Funding

Karen Driedger from the Fourward Thinking organization is leading a crime prevention and community well being initiative in The Pas and area.

 

The Town of The Pas was awarded with a Federal Government Grant from Public Safety Crime Prevention and funding will be allocated to some community groups.

 

You now have until March 30th to submit a 1 to 2 paragraph idea for an opportunity that would help people that are in need of support in the Tri Community.

 

If you have an idea or if you want more information, you can call Karen Driedger at 204-624-5050 or 403-797-2155, or email karendriedger@gmail.com

 

The deadline was extended in response to the COVID 19 crisis.

Climate Action Toolkit

Every business has its role to play in trying to reduce the impact of climate change.       

 

That’s why the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, in partnership with the International Institute for Sustainable Development, have released the Climate Action Toolkit.

 

The toolkit provides the means to evaluate your small or medium-sized business and includes advice on how to reduce its impact on the climate.

 

Davidson adds that even little things like changing the type of light bulbs you use in your offices and recycling are positive steps in managing climate change.

 

The toolkit is available at jointhechamber.ca 

Niki Ashton Raising Concerns About Keeyask Construction Site

Our MP Niki Ashton raised major concerns with the CEO of Hydro Manitoba regarding the Keeyask construction site amid the COVID 19 outbreak.

 

Ashton sent a letter to Manitoba Hydro saying at a time when governments and the medical community are calling for strict measures to control the spread of the virus, she urged Manitoba Hydro to take further steps to do their part in preventing the spread of the virus including halting the construction at Keeyask.

Help Next Door MB a Tool to Assist Those that Can't Leave their Homes

A provincial online tool called Help Next Door MB is available to assist Manitobans that are unable to leave their residence.

 

Volunteers will purchase groceries and other essential items for those that can’t leave their homes and they can also help with other tasks such as snow removal.

 

If you would like to start an account, become a volunteer, or to find out more about the program visit helpnextdoormb.ca

Opaskwayak Cree Nation Delivering Sanitary Kits to Members Today

Opaskwayak Cree Nation declared a state of emergency in response to the COVID 19 epidemic and sanitary kits are being delivered to members today.

 

The kits will be delivered to elders first and then to those members with chronic conditions and disabilities. Once they have been taken care of, other OCN members will receive their sanitary kits.

 

The package contains wipes that should not be flushed down the toilet otherwise you could cause sewage back up.

 

Using proper cough and sneeze etiquette, social distancing, and frequent hand hashing are highly recommended at this time.

 

OCN will continue to keep members informed during the epidemic.

University College of the North Resuming Course Work Today

The University College of the North will be resuming course work starting today.

 

They are still taking measures to keep students safe and to reduce the number of students on campus during the COVID 19 Pandemic by having instructors use alternative delivery methods to provide work to their students.

 

If you’re a student and if you have any questions on your course you are asked to contact your instructor.

 

For updates visit ucn.ca/covid19

Manitoba Metis Federation Invests One Million Dollars in Emergency Funds

The Manitoba Métis Federation is taking necessary steps to protect the health and well being of Manitoba Métis during the COVID 19 crisis.

 

MMF will be investing one million dollars to assist Métis Elders, Entrepreneurs and employees that have been impacted by this pandemic.

 

MMF president David Chartrand says they commend Prime Minister Trudeau and his ministry of staff for taking immediate action and committing to a partnership with the Métis Nation.

 

Métis elders and employees in need of assistance can call 1-800-665-8474 and Métis businesses and entrepreneurs are asked to call 1-800-387-6004

Additional contact information can be found at mmf.mb.ca

Effective Immediately! Missinippi Airways Suspending Services

Missinippi Airways will be suspending its scheduled flight from Grace Lake to Pukatawagan effective immediately.

 

This is due to the COVID 19 outbreak and a series of measures are being taken by the airline to control the spread of the virus.

 

 

State of Emergency Declared in Manitoba

The Manitoba government is declaring a provincewide state of emergency under The Emergency Measures Act to protect the health and safety of all Manitobans and reduce the spread of COVID-19, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.

“This decision was not made lightly.  However, we must continue to use every tool available to ‘flatten the curve’ and reduce the spread of COVID-19 on our communities and our health-care system,” said Pallister.  “Our government is focused solely on the health and safety of all Manitobans.  This move will enable us to react more quickly on a broad range of supportive measures to stop the spread for COVID-19 and ensure that essential services are available for all Manitobans during this global health pandemic.”

A state of emergency has been declared by the powers set out in Section 11(1) and 11(2) of The Emergency Measures Act to enable to province to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In addition, the Chief Provincial Public Health Officer is issuing orders under The Public Health Act as approved by the Minister of Health Seniors and Active Living.

“With this declaration, the biggest roles for all Manitobans to play right now, is to protect yourself, your family, your friends and your community”, said Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer.  “I cannot emphasize this enough – this is the time for action.  We must change our day-to-day lives, and think about your role in protecting ourselves and all Manitobans.”

As authorized under The Public Health Act, the following measures will be in place, effective immediately, for a period of 30 days:
1.    Limiting public gatherings of more than 50 people at any indoor or outdoor place or premises.  This includes places of worship, gatherings and family events such as weddings and funerals.  This does not apply to a facility where health care or social services are provided.  Retail businesses including grocery or food stores, shopping centres, pharmacies or gas stations must ensure separation of one to two metres between patrons assembling in the business.  Public transportation facilities must also ensure that people assembling at the facility are reasonably able to maintain a separation of one to two metres from others assembling at the facility.
2.    Limiting hospitality premises where food or alcohol is served or any theatres offering live performances of music, dance and other art forms as movies theatres to 50 people or 50 per cent of the capacity of the premises, whichever is lesser.  These establishments must be able to ensure social distance of one to two metres between customers.
3.    Immediate closures of all bingo and gaming events.
4.    All wellness centres offering physical activities, gyms, fitness centres and athletic clubs and training facilities

“This is a time to support our friends, families and communities,” said Pallister.  “The situation is constantly evolving and changing rapidly.  Enacting a state of emergency will further our province’s ability to be nimble, act swiftly and support Manitobans when they need it most.”

Christian Sinclair Discusses Opaskwayak Cree Nation State of Emergency

Opaskwayak Cree Nation declared a state of emergency in response to the COVID 19 Outbreak.

 

Chief Christian Sinclair spoke to Arctic Radio and said over 60 percent of OCN’s population has diabetes and other chronic diseases, a care home with long-term residents, and overcrowded homes.

 

The state of emergency was declared with these people in mind and to protect all members from the virus.

 

As part of this preventive measure Opaskwayak Cree Nation will be providing sanitary kits to households on reserve and to members living in the Tri Area the deliveries will be carried out on Monday starting with the elders homes.

 

OCN has also set up an emergency line at the Beatrice Wilson Health Centre, 204-627-7043 Nurse Michelle Stoltz is monitoring the line.

Protect Yourself and Others with Credible Information

Manitoba Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin says our preparedness and the use of credible information are vital right now. He urges you to go to the government of Manitoba website as there’s a lot of information there about the Coronavirus.

 

He advises if you haven’t changed the aspects of the way you live your day to day life, you’re not thinking about the role you can play to protect yourself, the people around you and our province at large so now is the time to implement those distancing strategies

 

He added that we will be able to get back to our normal day to day living but right now we need Manitobans to focus on what they can do to limit the spread of this virus in our communities.

 

Roussin notes there is no need for panic buying to stockpile food as Canada has a very efficient food chain.

Niki Ashton Calling for More Measures to Prevent the Spread of COVID 19

MP Niki Ashton is calling on the federal government to take more measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Northern Manitoba workplaces.

 

Ashton says Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller needs to address three key issues to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the north.

 

Those are having broader access to testing sites in the region, addressing the need for equipment, and infrastructure for self-isolation.

 

Ashton also touched on the report by a Winnipeg newspaper that Manitoba Hydro has flown at least five possibly symptomatic employees out of the Keeyask construction site as a precaution, which has surrounding First Nations communities calling for construction to be suspended.

 

A press release from Manitoba Hydro has stated that they are scaling back work and have suspended travel in and out of the Keeyask site, which is to be completed tomorrow.

 

The company adds that for employees who remain at Keeyask, it is continuing to follow the measures outlined by the provincial and federal governments and the World health Organization.

 

Ashton states social distancing is a key practice in slowing the spread of the virus.

 

Manitoba’s chief medical health officer Doctor Brent Roussin says the government has sent out their strong recommendations from Public Health to all Manitobans.

 

Roussin goes on to say that if the government gets word of major issues arising from individuals or organizations, Public Health will follow up with them.

RCMP Have Updated Information on a Flin Flon Home Invasion

At around 3 AM Tuesday morning RCMP responded to a report of a break and enter in progress at a residence on Hapnot Street in Flin Flon. 

 

Officers went to the residence and were advised two men, one armed with a firearm and one with a hockey stick as well as a woman had entered the home and left in a dark colored vehicle with a television.  One of the suspects was arrested without incident while walking down Hapnot Street.

 

A search warrant was issued at a residence located on Ross Street where officers arrested the two remaining suspects.  A search produced a BB gun, an airsoft gun and a large sum of Canadian currency.

             

Charges will be laid against a 37 year old woman and a 19 year old man both from Flin Flon and a 21 year old man from Sherridan.  All three remain in police custody while Flin Flon RCMP continue to investigate.

Opaskwayak Cree Nation Declares a State of Emergency

Opaskwayak Cree Nation has declared a state of emergency in response to the COVID 19 epidemic. According to a statement OCN wants to keep those in the elder and disabilities care home safe, and the community has severe overcrowding of homes making self isolation more difficult.

 

Chief Christian Sinclair wants to assure members that they are doing the best they can to address this crisis with all resources available.

 

Our region is considered a low risk area for COVID 19 and as of now no cases of the virus have been reported in Northern Manitoba. The virus has already made its way to Northern Saskatchewan meaning there is still a possibility that it could reach our region.

 

The Otineka Mall will remain open for members to purchase supplies though some stores will be closed but public gathering at the mall will not be permitted during this time and the food court sitting area will also be closed. Food Court vendors will remain open for take out orders  only and Scotiabank will be open on reduced hours 10AM to 3PM.

 

 

 

Bill Bannock Ice Fishing Derby Cancelled

Due to the corona virus pandemic the Rotary Club of The Pas has cancelled this year’s Bill Bannock ice fishing derby.

 

Tickets can be returned to Petes Pro Tackle or Rubi’s for a refund.

 

If you have any questions you can call Rick Hubbs at 204-624-5616

Ashton raises alarm over the potential spread of COVID-19 in workplaces in Our North

THOMPSON – Today, NDP MP Niki Ashton (Churchill Keewatinook-Aski) called on the federal government to take action to limit the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces and communities in Northern Manitoba, one of the areas in Canada that are most at risk. While Manitobans are being told to engage in social distancing and to stay home as much as possible, many workplaces remain open leaving workers at risk of catching the virus.
 
“Schools, colleges, universities and many retail stores have been shut down. Casinos have been shut down. Travel has been restricted,” said Ashton. “But workers are still concerned about the potential spread of the virus in workplaces where necessary preventive measures have not been adopted.”
 
Serious concern has been expressed regarding Manitoba Hydro’s Keeyask construction site where reports found five possible cases of COVID-19. Northern First Nations have called for the shutdown of the construction site and the need for mass testing for COVID-19 for their workers.
 
“We need immediate action to protect workers even if it requires shutting down the Keeyask construction site as First Nations are saying,” said Ashton. “There are 1300 workers on site. Their health should be a top priority and we must ensure that the virus does not spread beyond the camp into Northern communities.”
 
“People are also concerned that employers such as Vale are unable to apply strict social distancing and other protective provisions for their workers,” added Ashton. “People are also worried about the lack of support available, including paid leave for parents who now need to stay home and take care of their children.”
 
“Provincial and federal governments must work with employers in Northern Manitoba and across the country to ensure working people have financial supports in the weeks to come,” added Ashton. “We must all be in this together to keep each other safe.”

Town of The Pas Office Closed to the Public Until Further Notice

The Town of The Pas Office at 81 Edwards Ave. will be closed to the public until further notice in response to the COVID 19 epidemic.

 

Town staff will still be working at the office. If you have any questions or concerns call 204-627-1100 or email info@townofthepas.ca

Northern Manitoba COVID-19 Update

No Northern Manitobans have tested positive for COVID-19 at this point.

 

A testing site for the virus has been set up in The Pas at the Guy Hall.

 

Lanette Siragusa with Manitoba Shared Health stressed at a press conference yesterday that the testing sites are referral only.

 

If individuals are experiencing flu-like symptoms, they can use the new COVID-19 screening tool as an initial step, which can be found on the Shared Health website.

 

You can also call Health Links at 1-888-315-9257 if you’re displaying signs of COVID-19, where a clinician will determine whether they will refer you to a testing clinic.

NCN COVID 19 Response

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak and the seasonal flu virus also being widespread, Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation says it’s taking the proactive steps to ensure safe and healthy workplaces for its employees.

 

NCN is following the province’s protocol by asking employees to practice good hygiene habits and social distancing.

 

Chief and council say it’s critical that employees do not report to work while they’re experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, or runny or stuffy nose.

 

At this time, NCN does not offer arrangements to work from home, but will consider requests on a case-by-case basis as not all positions are conducive to working from home.

 

If NCN residents are feeling unwell, they are asked to take the COVID-19 self-assessment on the Government of Manitoba website.

Niki Ashton's Statement on the Corona Virus Epidemic

Our MP Niki Ashton spoke to Arctic Radio to make a statement on the COVID 19 epidemic. 

 

She has continued to call on the federal government to take the voices of First Nations and Northern Residents seriously in preparation for COVID 19 and that we need to do whatever we can to slow the spread of the virus.

 

Ashton acknowledged that the province of Ontario has taken drastic measures to slow the spread of the virus and she believes Manitoba needs to implement the same measures.

 

Ashtons Constituency office’s are also closed to the public as a precaution but you are invited to contact Ashton if you have any questions or concerns.

 

When asked how the COVID 19 epidemic differs from other outbreaks like SARS and H1N1 Ashton stated that COVID 19 is a new virus with no vaccine, and that some jurisdictions have taken too long to react causing the virus to spread rapidly which is why extreme measures are being taken and people are self isolating.      

Niki Ashton Facebook Town Hall at at Noon Wednesday

MP Niki Ashton will be having a Facebook town hall live stream on Wednesday at 12 noon on the Corona Virus outbreak.

 

Ashtons Constituency office will also be closed to the public but if you have any questions or concerns you can call 1-866-669-7770 or 1-866-785-0522

Testing Site for COVID 19 in The Pas

The Pas now has a testing site for COVID 19. It will be openned from 9AM until 4PM at the Guy Hall .

 

Call 1-888-315-9257 for a refferal if you are experiencing flu like symptoms.

Rotary Exchange Students Visit The Pas Fire Hall

The Pas Fire Hall had Rotary Youth Exchange Students visit last week.

 

The students had a chance to learn how to use the Jaws of Life and they dressed up in firefighter gear and used the fire hose.

 

The students were from countries in Europe, Asia, and South America and the purpose of the exchange program is for them to experience life in Canada.

Opaskwayak Cree Nation Official Statement on COVID 19 Epidemic

Opaskwayak Cree Nation released their official statement on the COVID 19 epidemic and they are informing residents that the risk for COVID 19 remains low in the region but precautions are being taken.

 

They have suspended all non essential travel for leadership and staff and they will be cancelling all non essential community events and non essential meetings held in Opaskwayak Cree Nation for the next four weeks.

 

Cleaning supply kits are being prepared for those receiving in home care services, The Rod McGillivary Care home has increased the screening of visitors, and nurses will be giving regular updates to the community once the information becomes available.

 

Joe A Ross School, Oscar Lathlin Collegiate and the Hilda Young Child Care Centre will also be closed from March 23rd until April 10th in line with Manitoba Education Recommendations.

 

The complete statement can be found on the Opaskwayak Ininew Facebook page.

The Pas Awarded With Federal Government Grant for Public Safety

Karen Driedger from the Fourward Thinking organization is leading a crime prevention and community well being initiative in The Pas and area.

 

The Town of The Pas Was Awarded with a Federal Government Grant from Public Safety Crime Prevention and funding will be allocated to some community groups.

 

The next step is to connect with organizations, businesses, and individuals that have an idea on how to make the community safer and overall and better place to live.  

 

You are invited to submit a 1 to 2 paragraph idea for an opportunity that would help people that are in need of support in the Tri Community.

 

If you have an idea or if you want more information, you can call Karen Driedger at 204-624-5050 or 403-797-2155.

 

You are asked to email your idea to karendriedger@gmail.com by midnight on March 23rd.

Town of The Pas Closing Recreation Facilities in Response to COVID 19

In response to the COVID 19 epidemic The Town of The Pas has announced that recreation facilities including the pool, the arena, the wellness centre, and the Sam Waller Museum will now be closed until further notice.

 

Other municipal services including water and sewer services, fire services and public works will continue operating.

 

Town council and staff appreciate your patience and understanding.

The Pas Handi Van Pledge Show Results

Last week’s radio pledge show for The Pas Handi Van surpassed its fundraising goal of $14,500 and a total of $14,535 was raised.

 

Val Miron the office manager for The Pas Handi Van was very happy with the results and would like to thank everyone for their donations.

 

The Pas Handi Van provides transportation to those in the community that have limited mobility.

Manitoba Public Insurance Customers Welcomed to Re-schedule Appointments and Pay Online

Manitoba Public Insurance is asking customers who are feeling unwell not to attend its service centres in response to the World Health Organization declaring COVID-19 a pandemic.

 

Instead customers are encouraged to use MPI’s online services instead mpi.mb.ca for making payments and bookings.

 

Road tests have also been cancelled until further notice.

Kelsey School Division Schools Closing Starting Next Week

Vaughn Wadelius the chair of the Kelsey School Division spoke to Arctic Radio News  with a message for students and parents in response to the announcement that schools in Manitoba will be closed in response to the COVID 19 epidemic.

 

He wants to assure parents that the schools are safe, and that is why schools will be open next week before closing for a three week period starting March 23rd which includes the spring break. All teachers and support staff will be expected to be at work on these days to prepare lessons and daycares within the schools will remain open.

 

For this week there will be no noon hour or after school activities and the schools will operate on an 8:30 to 4:00 PM schedule with no one admitted outside these hours.

 

Water Fountains will be closed so students will need water bottles which can be refilled at the water dispensers, and extra cleaning is happening at the schools and on school buses.

Accident Involving ATV on Cornelius Bignell Bridge

An investigation has been launched by the RCMP into a vehicle accident on Wednesday morning.

 

It was reported that the accident occurred near the south side of the Cornelius Bignell Bridge where an ATV rolled to its side and the driver was thrown from the vehicle.

 

The victim was sent to hospital with life threatening injuries and his condition is not known as of news time. The driver was wearing a helmet and alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the accident.   

Canada Red Cross Door to Door Donations

TNI Door to Door Canvassers will be in The Pas from now until March 15th to collect donations on behalf of The Canadian Red Cross Society.

 

The Canvassers will be wearing photo ID badges to identify themselves.

 

Canadian Red Cross Society is a humanitarian organization dedicated to improving situations of those that are most vulnerable in Canada and around the world.

 

Canvassers will ask you to donate using Red Cross Donations Forms.

Niki Ashton Continues to Pressure the Government to Ensure First nations Are Safe from the Corona Virus

Our MP Niki Ashton spoke in the House of Commons recently about the potentially negative impact that COVID 19 could have on First Nation’s communities and has put pressure on the government to do something about it.

 

Ashton says First Nations Communities like those in the Island Lake Region don’t have running water, a hospital, nowhere to self isolate and get treatment, and overcrowded houses, and Ashton believes that the Government is using First World responses for a third world reality. She says these communities need urgent action before the winter road season ends.

 

When Ashton asked what the Government will do to take the COVID 19 epidemic seriously when it comes to first nations communities Minister of Indigenous Services Marc Miller said In light of the COVID 19 Virus they will be providing temporary isolation facilities and additional health staff for communities as needed.

The Pas Community Development Corporation Presentation to Mayor and Council

The Pas Community Development Corporation conducted a presentation to The Pas Mayor and Council on Monday Evening.

 

They talked about what they accomplished in the past year and the things they have planned for 2020.

 

The CDC put in a proposal to Manitoba Housing to gain access to funding to provide low to moderate income families with a percentage for a down payment on their first home.

 

They are expected to find out whether or not they will receive that funding by the end of the month.

 

The CDC’s other goals for this year involves working with developers to determine how to provide more housing and working with immigration services with the goal of attracting more immigrants to the community.

 

You can keep up to date with the CDC on their Facebook page.

Niki Ashton Address Potential Crisis of Corona Virus on Indigenous Peoples

MP Niki Ashton addressed the possibility that an outbreak of the Corona Virus could have a negative impact on indigenous communities. 

 

The government advises regular hand washing and self isolation to prevent the spread of the virus, but Ashton believes that these measures are not possible when many indigenous communities still lack clean drinking water and many people share a single house in these communities.

 

When Ashton asked how the Governments Corona Virus committee is working to support indigenous peoples Marc Miller the Minister of Indigenous Services stated that the Liberal Government invested 79 Million Dollars over five years to prepare for health emergencies.

 

He acknowledges that First Nations and Inuit are more susceptible and more vulnerable to the Corona virus and they are ready to act.

Town of The Pas Financial Plan for 2020

The Pas Mayor and council discussed the financial plan for 2020 at Monday night’s committee of the whole meeting.

 

Nothing in the plan is set in stone as of now but it will be ready by April 24th.

 

The public budget meeting will be held on April 27th at council chambers on  at 5:30 PM to give those a chance to ask questions or raise concerns on the plan.

Bonnie Meadows Seeking Assistance with the Stray Dog Situation and Volunteers

Bonnie Meadows from The Pas Precious Pet Kennels spoke to The Pas Mayor and council on Monday evening to talk about the situation with Stray Dogs in the area.

 

She suggested using the towns dog pound to accommodate strays and to have it open as often as possible

 

Meadows also requested funding for a spay and neuter clinic to reduce the number of strays in the community. Another problem she faces is having to deal with too many stray dogs.

 

Meadows is also required to have strays vaccinated before she can take them. It’s not known at this time how the town will address this issue.

 

She is looking for volunteers to assist with rescues and fundraisers.

 

Meadows would like to invite high school students that are looking to get community service hours.

 

If you are interested in volunteering you can call her at 204-623-3608

Treaties in School Curriculum

The Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba is tasked with providing the public with information about the 7 numbered treaties in the province.

 

One of their recent projects included developing education support materials for K to 12 students in Manitoba schools.    

             

Loretta Ross from the commission says while the support materials aren’t mandatory for classrooms, she hopes that one day they will be included in the education curriculum.

Jimmy Jackfish Derby 2020 Results

Another Jimmy Jackfish Derby is in the books. Despite the snow fall warning in effect the bad weather managed to hold off and around 550 people attended.

The winner of the $20,000 grand prize was Harvey Mclaughlin with an 80 CM fish, he also won the pop up tent prize with a 67 CM fish. The winner of the $7,000 prize was Cory Merasty, and the $3,000 prize went to Lee Sinclair.

A complete list of winners can be found at the Jimmy Jackfish Fishing Derby
Facebook page.

Jordan's Principle Poster and Essay Contest

Jordan’s Principle is having a “What I Love About Me” poster and essay contest.

 

The goal is to give children an opportunity to express what they like about themselves.

 

Children 7 to 11 are invited to make a poster about themselves, and those aged 12 to 17 can write an essay or poem of at least 250 words in Cree or English.

 

The prizes for both categories are a bike and helmet for first place and 100 mall bucks for second.

 

The deadline for entries is March 25th at 4PM and the winners will be announced on the 31st.

 

Submissions can be dropped off at the Beatrice Wilson Health Centre.

Call 204-627-7410 for more information.

Deadline to Nominate Someone for Special Tourism Awards is this Friday

Midnight this Friday is the deadline to nominate people or events for the Northern Manitoba Tourism Awards. 

 

There are five categories for nominations including the Award of Distinction which is an ambassador award, the Event of The Year, Indigenous Tourism, Innovation of the Year and also Partnership of the Year. 

 

You can nominate a person or event online at www.manitobatourismawards.awardsplatform.com.  The awards dinner will be held April 15th at the River Lodge Place in Thompson.  Last Year, Opaskwayak Indian Days Tied with Wapusk Adventures for the Indigenous Tourism Award

MP Lenore Zann on the Housing and Drinking Water Crisis

Liberal MP Lenore Zann who is a strong advocate for Indigenous Peoples spoke to Arctic Radio News last week about how she is working to make things better for Indigenous Peoples.

 

She talked about her private members bill that would address environmental racism especially when it pertains to indigenous communities.

 

Many Indigenous peoples in Northern Manitoba and across the country are either homeless or live in homes that are not safe to live in.

 

Zann feels that Canadians that have a place to call home stand a better chance of having a good life, and that having access to safe drinking water is a human right.

Northern Health Region Fischer Avenue Clinic

The Northern Health Region has a new clinic located at 320 Fischer Avenue.

 

The Fischer Avenue Clinic opened on March 2nd and they will be seeing patients by appointment.

 

For more information call 204-627-6468.

February Monthly Mayor Reports

The monthly Mayor reports for February showed that The Town of The Pas had mostly disturbances of the peace, index checks, and mischief cases along with 42 prisoners held.

 

The RM of Kelsey continued to have mainly provincial traffic violations 20 in total.

 

The only offence committed in the Community of Cormorant was one assault. 

Niki Ashton Calling for Lower Cellular Fees and Better Internet Coverage in Northern Manitoba

Niki Ashton’s latest MP report outlined the importance of affordable cell phone fees and better internet coverage in our region and across Canada.

 

According to her report Canadians pay some of the highest prices in the world for their cell phones and for internet access and many people in our region have little to no coverage.

 

Her report also said service providers charge Canadians 30 percent more on average then people in other countries such as France.

 

Ashton believes more must be done to make these services more affordable and accessible since cell phones and the internet are needed for businesses and everyday communications.

MP Leah Gazan Presents Private Members Bill to Address Climate Change

NDP MP Leah Gazan has introduced private members Bill C-232 the Climate Emergency Action Act.

 

The bill is considered a roadmap for the Government of Canada to address the climate crisis while respecting the fundamental rights of indigenous peoples and investing in a green economy that supports Canadian workers.

 

Gazan says indigenous peoples and all Canadians are at the forefront of the climate disaster.

 

The bill passed its first reading last week and was seconded in the House of Commons by NDP critic for Environment and Climate Change Laurel Collins.

 

Photo from ourcommons.ca

A Film about Colton Boushie to be Screened at the Storytellers Film Festival

The Storytellers film Festival is taking place next Saturday and one of the films is about Colton Boushie an indigenous man shot to death in Saskatchewan.

 

The film is called a “We Will Stand Up” a depiction of what happened to Boushie and how his family and other people reacted to the incident.

 

People will be onsite to assist those that may be affected by the film with emotional support.

 

The fest will take place at the Oscar Lathlin Collegiate Gym.

International Woman's Day Celebration

Aurora House is having an International Woman’s Day celebration this Sunday at the Wescana Basement.

 

According to Aurora Houses Executive Director Donna Pritchard, the origins of International Woman’s Day go as far back as the early 1900’s when the woman’s labour movement was very active in creating a 40 hour work week and holiday pay and ultimately created a better life for workers, and she believes that its important to acknowledge this history.

 

The celebration will run from 1-3 in the afternoon and have a variety of speakers, along with refreshments, a raffle and a photo booth.

Admission is free but donations will be accepted.

New Temporary Art Exhibit Coming to the Sam Waller Museum

The Sam Waller Museum will have a new art exhibit featuring the work of artist Linda Munroe.

 

The exhibit is called “Mainly Manitoba” and it will be open to the public this Saturday.

 

The exhibit will feature a variety of Munroe’s artwork and it will be on display until May 30th.

The Pas Helping Hands 4H Club Public Speaking Competitions

Cheryl Antonio a volunteer member and Head Leader of The Pas helping Hands 4H Club spoke to Arctic Radio to talk about their recent public speaking competition.

 

She stated the event was fantastic and they had five youth members take part in the competition as well as judges to give them feedback on their speeches.

 

The Club is planning to attend the Valleys North Area Communications competition in Swan River on March 21st.

Private Members Bill Introduced to Address Environmental Racism

Liberal MP Lenore Zann introduced private members Bill C-230 that would address environmental racism in Canada to determine how communities are being affected by environmental hazards.

 

The hope is to have the Environment Minister in consultation with provinces, indigenous governments, and municipalities do a study to see where environmental racism is occurring and to see what socioeconomic effects this has had in communities.

 

The next step would be to bring a report to parliament with advice on how to address the environmental racism.

 

Zann stated that if drinking water in indigenous or other Northern Communities was affected by an industrial or toxic pollutant these studies would hopefully work to help resolve the issue.

 

There are approximately 1,409 contaminated sites in Manitoba 79 of which are of high priority and many are found in or near first nations communities.

 

Zann hopes to visit and learn about Northern Manitoba communities in the near future.

 

Photo: From Facebook

Opaskwayak Cree Nation Comprehensive Community Plan Vote

Opaskwayak Cree Nation members attended a community meeting last Saturday to vote on the Comprehensive Community Plan to provide feedback on where funding should be spent in the community.

 

An online survey was posted to give those that weren’t able to attend the meeting a chance to vote. The survey closed last night.

 

The results of the votes are still be finalized.

The Pas Arts Council to Receive $10,000 for Manitoba 150 Celebrations

The Pas Arts council announced that they will be getting $10,000 worth of funding for Manitoba 150 celebrations.

 

$1500 will be provided to the local film festival on March 14th, and $500 dollars will go towards advertising Theatre 53’s upcoming production Drinking Habits.

 

Most of the funding $3000 will go towards a Manitoba 150 Celebration that will showcase local performers, and traditional foods and clothing. This project is in the planning stages with a date to be determined.

 

$2000 Dollars will also be put towards the Northern Juried Art Show.

KJHL Expansion

Northern Manitoba Communities that don’t have their own hockey team and have always wanted one now have a chance to make it a reality.

 

The Keystone Junior Hockey League is once again accepting applications for expansion teams.

 

Ed Albert the league president believes that Thompson would be a good community to have an expansion team and communities like Easterville, Sandy Bay, and Sagkeeng have shown interest.

 

Applications need to be made at least 15 days prior to the annual general meeting which is expected to be held either on May 2nd or 3rd in Winnipeg.

 

The application fees include a performance bond of $1,500 and franchise fees of $6,500 which are non refundable.

 

Albert hopes to have at least 8 teams in the league and representation from other parts of the province.

 

You can contact Albert at celalb@mymts.net or call him at 204-359-4729 if you are interested in applying.

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