The Pas Local News Archives for 2021-12

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

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


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


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


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


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

RCMP Respond to Plane Crash

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


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


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

Niki Ashton Letter Calling for Two Northern Health Centres to Reopen

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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All other public health orders remain unchanged. For more information on COVID-19 in Manitoba, visit

OCN Vaccination Clinic for Children


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


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


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


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

RCMP Report

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

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

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

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

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

The Pas RCMP continue to investigate.

Norther Tourism

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


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


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


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


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

The Pas Family Resource Centre 9th Annual Christmas Hamper Program

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


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


Cash and cheque donations will also be accepted.

NDP member of the Manitoba legislature Danielle Adams dies in car crash: NDP

The NDP member of the Manitoba legislature for Thompson has died.


The party says in a release that Danielle Adams died Thursday afternoon in a car accident near the northern Manitoba city.


NDP Leader Wab Kinew says her death is heartbreaking and she will be remembered as a young, caring mother who wore her heart on her sleeve.


Adams was first elected in 2019 and served as the party's critic for child care, housing, disability and poverty matters.


The party says she was particularly committed to advocating on behalf of the child-care sector and parents, pushing for child-care that was affordable, accessible and reliable across the province.


Adams is survived by her two young boys and her husband.

Northland Ford Teddy Bear Toss

Northland Ford is sponsoring a teddy bear toss that will take place during the first intermission of this Saturdays OCN Blizzard game at the GLMC.


Participants will toss stuffed animals on the ice and those toys will go to The Pas Friendship Centre.


Toy donations can also be dropped off at the Northland Ford Dealership.

Adult and Teen Challenge Presentation at Our Lady of Sacred Heart Cathedral

A special presentation will be held at the Our Lady of Sacred Heart Cathedral here in The Pas this Friday at 7PM


The presentation is being conducted by the Adult and Teen Challenge of Central Canada and participants will get to hear stories from people that overcame drug addictions.


Everyone is invited to attend and you can learn more by visiting

Amanda Lathlin's Christmas Hygiene Products Drive

Our MLA Amanda Lathlin has started a Christmas Hygiene Product Drive to provide Hygiene products for Aurora House clients.


They are in need of menstrual products, toothbrushes and toothpaste, hair brushes, and towels.


The items can be dropped off at 1416 Gordon Avenue from now until December 17th from 12PM until 4PM.


Call 204-623-2034 to arrange a drop off.


Lathlin has also been activity putting pressure on the provincial government to supply menstrual products for free in schools so they easily accessible.

The Pas Fire Department Receives Financial Assistance for Their Rapid Response Unit Vehicle

The Pas Fire Department recently received some financial assistance from the province and donations from The Pas Firefighters Association that they will use for a rapid response unit.


The fire departments rapid response unit vehicle is a Chevy 2500 that was converted to a response unit that can be used for any rescue operation and for fighting fires.


This custom built vehicle will allow fire crews to respond to emergencies quickly and save time and lives.

Petition Presented to Fix Provincial Road 224.

During the legislative sitting on December 1st our MLA Amanda Lathlin presented a petition to urge the minister of infrastructure to make repairs to Provincial Road 224.


The Road serves the communities of Peguis First Nation and Fisher River Cree Nation and surrounding communities and the road is currently in poor condition with potholes and uneven driving surfaces and without repair the road could put people that use the it on a regular basis at risk.


Lathlin and other concerned residents want the repairs to begin as soon as possible.

MLA Amanda Lathlin Displeased with the Premiers Throne Speech

During the legislative sitting on December 1st, our MLA Amanda Lathlin voiced her disappointment with Premier Heather Stefanson’s throne speech. 


According to Lathlin the throne speech did not address the issues faced by Northern Manitobans, including the cost of living and people that struggle to access mental health services.


Premier Stefanson did say however in her throne speech that her government is committed to helping the most vulnerable and they have committed to a winter homelessness strategy.


The house proceedings can be found here:

The Pas RCMP Looking for Missing Youth

On December 5, 2021, at approximately 1:30 pm, The Pas RCMP received a report that Shirley Ducharme, 17, had not returned home.


Ducharme was last seen at approximately 3:00 am on December 5, at a residence in The Pas with friends. She was wearing a grey fur-hooded jacket. She is described as Indigenous, 5’8” tall, 110 pounds, with a thin build, brown hair, and brown eyes.


RCMP and Ducharme’s family are concerned for her well-being.


If you have information, please call The Pas RCMP at 204-627-6204, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477, or secure tip online at

Niki Ashton Calls for Investments for All Weather Roads

Last week, our MP Niki Ashton stood in the House of Commons to urge the federal government to work with first nations communities in Northern Manitoba to build all weather roads so these communities can be easily accessed year round and allow for essential and lifesaving supplies to be delivered.


Many Northern First Nations communities rely on ice roads for a few weeks during the winter for deliveries but due to climate change these roads are disappearing.


Ashton stated that there are 18 communities in our region that depend on the ice road system.

Monthly Crime Stats for November

The monthly crime stats for November have determined that The Pas had mostly disturbance of the peace and mischief cases along with 84 prisoners held.


The RM of Kelsey saw six offenses committed ranging from mischief to breach of the peace and the community of Cormorant had mainly breaking and entering cases.

Paskwayak Business Development Corporation Announces Future Commercial Development Site

Opaskwayak, MB – Opaskwayak Cree Nation and the Paskwayak Business Development Corporation recognizes the availability of development-ready commercial sites on Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN) lands has not kept pace with continued growth in the region. The ON Commercial Strip Development along Highway 10 North has been a goal for many years which is now becoming a reality as the vision of Opaskwayak Cree Nation is carried forward.


This project involves a multi-year, multi-stage plan which will culminate in approximately 200 acres of developed commercial lots to be leased. Preferred tenants for leasing would include a manufacturing operation, light and heavy commercial businesses. Additional real estate would be leased to developers who are committed to building property suitable for retail space and office space. This land development is a one-to-five-year development for the first phase.


We welcome business ventures, retailers, warehouses, manufacturers that are looking for space to develop on First Nation Land that has Prime Highway Frontage. As well, we are developing an Industrial Park north of the weigh scales on Highway 10 as this is an important growing industry for our economy. Non-binding Letters of Interest will help project planning and determine future needs.

"This is an exciting time for our First Nation and our region. This development will create jobs, support business growth and provide diverse revenue streams and opportunities for our Fist Nation. This is not 'just' a land development project but this a significant investment for OCN, our people and our future generations. We're proud to be moving forward as a Progressive and Independent First Nation," Ginger Martin, Chief Executive Officer, Paskwayak Business Development Corporation Ltd.


For further information please contact Darryl Bauer, Economic Development Officer at PBDC 204-627-7200 or email at



Winter tire use results in fewer crashes: Manitoba Public Insurance

Vehicles equipped with winter tires are in fewer crashes than vehicles without winter tires, according to a Manitoba Public Insurance report issued last year. Based on analysis of winter month claims (November to March), winter tire use is estimated to reduce collision claim frequency by 6.3 per cent.


The analysis was based on collision claims over the insurance years 2011-12 to 2017-18. Frequency was measured by comparing claim frequency before and after a winter tire purchase for 111,872 vehicles.


Of the 111,872 vehicles, there were 13,925 winter-month claims occurring before winter tires were installed and 9,802 winter-month claims occurring after winter tires were installed, stated the report.


“This MPI study confirmed that the use of winter tires can prevent collisions by reducing braking distances and enhance vehicle handling on snow covered, icy road surfaces,” said Satvir Jatana, MPI’s Chief Customer Officer.


“Loss prevention strategies of this nature ultimately benefit our customers through lower rates achieved by reduced collision counts. Consumers are encouraged to educate themselves about the safety benefits to winter tires as we enter into the winter months ? a time frame where collisions typically rise due to poor driving conditions and less than ideal road conditions.”


Quick Facts:

  • The average loan term is 2.9 years
  • Average loan amount is $1,246
  • There are 767 participating retailers in the province ? 368 located in Winnipeg
  • Since its introduction seven years ago, 173,487 loans have been processed under the province’s Low-Interest Winter Tire Program which is administrated by Manitoba Public Insurance.
  • At temperatures just below freezing on dry pavement, winter tires have been shown to reduce stopping distances by as much as 30 per cent compared with all-season tires.
  • Winter tires offer significantly better traction on snow-covered or icy road surfaces at temperatures well below -30 C than all-season tires have at 4 C.


About winter tires

Winter tires have a cold weather rubber compound and tread patterns designed to perform on wet, snow covered and icy surfaces. Numerous road safety studies confirm that winter tires reduce braking distances by lessening sliding on ice and snow.


Winter tires are equipped with a special single-directional tread pattern that actually pushes away snow and ice. They also have a deeper tread depth than their all-season counterparts, for better performance in snowy road conditions.


About the loan program

The program provides loans of up to 48 months at prime plus two per cent up to $2,000 per vehicle. Participation is as easy as going to any one of participating winter tire retailers throughout the province to confirm eligibility and have the loan authorization processed.


Eligible tires display a snowflake symbol, as endorsed by Transport Canada. This symbol indicates that the tires have met specific snow traction performance requirements and are designed to be used in severe snow conditions.


Financing remains available to eligible customers for the purchase of winter tires in addition to associated installation costs including rims, tire pressure monitoring system, addition of studs to tires (some limitations apply), mounting and balancing, wheel alignment and shop supplies.


Customers interested in participating in the program are encouraged to visit Manitoba Public Insurance’s website at for more information on program rules and to select a participating retailer.

The Pas & District Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting 2021

The Pas & District Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting 2021

The Pas & District Chamber of Commerce, representing the Tri Community of The Town of The Pas, Opaskwayak Cree Nation and The R.M. of Kelsey, held its Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, November 30th, 2021.

Jill Wilkinson, a local businessperson, is a partner with husband Doug Wilkinson in the operations of Lakeshore Landscaping Ltd, is continuing as President of the Board. Jill stated “We had number of motions on the table for this AGM. The main motion on the table to change to the name of the chamber to “The Pas OCN Chamber of Commerce” The calls for action UNDRIP or United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Economic Reconciliation is a part of that call. As chamber we need to do are part in Truth and Reconciliation.  OCN is one of the most progressive First Nations in Manitoba, Canada, and an equal contributor to our local economy. We live in a unique area with multiple governances that need to be embraced. Our local chamber has two places of designation and a vast area of space with agriculture in RM of Kelsey. We also have many surrounding areas like Wanless, Rocky Lake, Clearwater Lake, Cormorant, and Moose Lake to represent as well. Therefore, we believe this collaboration will foster our knowledge to strengthen and grow our local economy attract businesses and industry.

“We will continue to communicate the chamber’s value and it’s potential in fostering partnerships and being collaborative for all industry sectors as well as with federal, provincial and our municipalities governments”.

Bobbi LaJambe Pich remains as board treasurer. She has been exceptional at keeping our books organized and helping with applying for grants.

Celeste Atchison Manager of MLLC and owner of Dutch Drive Inn and Darryl Bauer Economic Development Officer for PBDC were two terms last year and continuing as is Linda Markus our The Pas Community Economic Development Representative will continue for another year.

Shannon Goulet of CEDF was nominated for a 1-year term and accepted. Shannon brings along some great ideas, and enthusiasm. The chamber is excited to have her on board.

Appointed directors are Andre Murphy a Representative from the Town of the Pas. Jim Berscheid continues as the Representative from the R.M. of Kelsey.

Wilkinson noted “The key position is our Office Manager, plus all the volunteer work of our board. We would not have had many successes this year with out that office position.”

“All of the Chamber’s planning, inspiration and guidance, depends on our members who volunteer their time, our local business community and the involvement from our community as a whole.

Chamber is always looking for new initiatives for our community  We will be asking members and non-members to participate by attending meetings and or just engage in conversation. We would like input to develop our communities’ initiatives. Jennifer Rooks is our Chamber’s Office Manager in a


temporary part- term position. Please feel free to reach out to Jennifer with your business or organizations challenges”


Wilkinson commented that “future of course will continue to include actively working with agencies to promote or develop economic development for our area while maintaining an active roll in community programs and projects. Membership drive and hosting events are imperative to the sustainability of the office manager position. We need someone working to develop business tools and digital business supports as well as co-ordinating delivery of workshops, grants and funding intended to address business issues especially around employee training plus attraction and retention, succession planning, insurance, point of sales systems, bookkeeping and taxation will continue to be priorities.”

We are hoping to open an office shortly, however we are taking that at one step at a time. Jennifer is available to chat anytime in person, by phone or text our number is 204-623-7256 email

Plastic Shopping Bag Ban Reinstated in The Pas

The Pas Town Council voted in favour of reinstating the plastic shopping bag ban in the community, a ban that was lifted as a temporarily measure in response to the COVID 19 pandemic, in order to keep workers safe and reduce the chances of spreading the virus.


Local businesses will be given some time to get rid of the remaining plastic shopping bag stocks that they already have.


Under this new by law, compostable shopping bags will be permitted, this was not allowed when the old plastic shopping bag ban was in place.


The goal of the ban is to reduce unnecessary waste especially discarded single use plastics.   


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