The Pas Local News Archives for 2023-12

OCN Winter Wonderland Light Display

The Holidays are getting a little brighter.

 

The Opaskwayak Cree Nation Chief and Council are hosting the Third Annual Winter Wonderland Festival of Lights in Moose Park, and tonight is your final chance to take in the display.

 

Commuters can stay in their cars, drive around the park, and enjoy the lighting displays.

 

 The event runs from 4 to 10 pm and is free to attend.

Canadian Kraft Paper Statement

Canadian Kraft Paper released a statement on December 19th regarding the "black liquor" that was unintentionally leaked into the Saskatchewan River in 2019.

 

An unexpected incident at the mill caused black liquor - a by-product of the pulping process - to enter CKP's effluent treatment system.

 

The discharged effluent was only partially treated and did not comply with the regulatory standards set by the Fisheries Act and Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulations.

 

CKP promptly notified both federal and provincial regulators and collaborated with them to limit the impact of the discharge as much as possible.

 

An effluent treatment specialist was brought in to assist with system recovery.

 

After being informed of the release, federal regulators visited the mill to collect samples and conduct an inspection, to which CKP fully cooperated.

 

After conducting a root cause analysis, necessary corrective actions were taken.

 

To enhance the effluent treatment system and ensure better maintenance procedures, significant financial investments have been made since its release in 2019.

Canadian Kraft Paper fined $1 Million

On December 15th, a fine of $1 million was imposed on the local mill, which is owned and operated by Canadian Kraft Paper Industries.

 

The company pleaded guilty to a charge under the Federal Fisheries Act, admitting that in 2019, almost 181 million litres of black liquor, a toxic manufacturing by-product, was unintentionally released into the Saskatchewan River through a leaky pipe at its mill in The Pas.

 

This incident has caused severe harm to the river's ecosystem, which is home to various fish species and is also used by locals as a food resource.

 

As part of its penalty, Canadian Kraft Paper Industries must conduct an independent environmental audit within the next 12 months and provide recommendations on avoiding similar incidents in the future.

 

The fine will be allocated to the Government of Canada's Environmental Damages Fund and utilized to fund projects to improve the environment.

Holiday Events @ The Pas Regional Library

The Pas Regional Library has a handful of events to take part in over the holidays.

 

Take-home craft bags are available for kids starting today.

 

Game nights, story time, and play groups run weekly, but there will be a small gap in programming during the Christmas and New Year’s break.

 

On Friday, Pajama Tales will be running at 7 pm and is free to attend.

 

Then on Saturday night, the Library will host a Christmas movie night featuring the Grinch.

Mayor Report

The town’s 2024 budget was at the heart of the discussion during this week’s council meeting.

 

There is a plan to spend about 1.5 million dollars on paving in the community next year.

 

Planning the budget early will allow local contractors time to place bids for work.

 

Mayor Andre Murphy spoke about an increase in expenses to the RCMP cost.

 

Here, Mayor Murphy talks about a recent conference town employees attended.

 

"We did attend the Association of Manitoba Municipalities Fall Conference there in Brandon.  A few of us went down for that myself.  Bo, Jen, councillor Allen.

 

It's a great opportunity for us to actually sort of build some relationships with the new government.  We've had multiple meetings with ministers while we're down there."

 

Mayor Murphy went on to say that during this conference, they addressed some of the issues plaguing our community.

 

He also noted that it was an excellent opportunity to discuss issues with other provincial community leaders.

 

The next council meeting will be on January 9th.

TPCRC's Annual Santa Claus Parade

Join this weekend's fun with the TPCRC's Annual Santa Claus Parade.

 

This year's Parade theme is Christmas Zoo, and there is still time to register to participate.

 

The Parade is this Saturday; TPCRC event coordinator Holly Lajambe has more:

 

"So we're assembling at 4;30 then, of course, there's float judging and the parade actually moves at 5;30.  So it'll be going all the way from the GLMC to the Roy H. Johnston from 5:30 to 6:30.  And then our skate with Santa starts at 6:30 at the Roy H. Johnston.:

 

With a limited number of floats registered, there is a chance that the Parade has to be cancelled, so local businesses and organizations are being encouraged to take part.

 

To register floats, go to TPCRC.ca; you can also sponsor the event and make donations.

Endow Manitoba's Giving Challenge

Endow Manitoba's Giving Challenge was a huge success again this year across the province.

 

During the one-week challenge, the province raised more than 1.5 million dollars.

 

In The Pas, over 15 thousand dollars was contributed to the tri-community foundation, including a maximum of 4 thousand dollars from the Winnipeg Foundation and the Manitoba government.

 

The Thompson Community Foundation received just shy of 9 Thousand dollars.

 

Community foundations provide vital funding for local charitable projects and initiatives, especially during challenging times.

 

They rely on undesignated funds to respond to their communities' changing needs.

 

The Giving Challenge, coordinated by Endow Manitoba, supports local charities through grants.

Socks from Santa

For over ten years CJAR has been helping support the less fortunate in the community by helping provide warm winter wear, specifically socks.

 

Socks from Santa are continuing to run during the holidays and we are looking for donations to take to Oscar's Place homeless shelter.

 

The main goal is to help provide socks to those who spend numerous hours outdoors during the colder months.

 

Frostbite can set in fast depending on weather conditions and the protection provided by proper clothing.

 

Socks along with other warm winter gear can be dropped off at the CJAR Offices at 130, 3rd Street West, open Monday to Friday from 8:30 to 4:30.

Christmas Stores at Kelsey & Ecole Opasquia

The Kelsey and Ecole Opasquia Schools are hosting their annual Christmas stores.

 

Each year, the store gets set up so the children can buy and wrap gifts for family members and loved ones for only 25 cents.

 

Parents can get involved by donating new or gently used items to include in the store.

 

Things that can be donated include socks, mitts, gloves, toys, books, holiday-themed items and anything else that may be considered a gift.

 

There is also a need for wrapping paper, gift bags, boxes and tape.

 

Funds from the Kelsey Schools Christmas store will go towards turkeys and hampers that will be raffled off during the Christmas Concert, and the Ecole Opasquia will be doing draws for grub box gift cards.

 

The event runs at the Kelsey school on December 11th and 12th and at the Ecole Opasquia from the 18th to the 20th.

 

Donations can be dropped off at the Kelsey school before the 11th and at the Ecole Opasquia before the 14th.

Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth

The Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth has released annual statistics revealing unprecedented levels of youth suicide in Manitoba.

 

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs urgently calls for immediate and comprehensive measures to protect young people, especially those in care or aging out.

 

The higher risk of suicide in First Nations in Manitoba depends on many distinct factors, including mental health, substance use disorders, intergenerational trauma, and community-wide socioeconomic disparities.

 

The AMC recognizes the importance of First Nations having control over essential services like health, education, child protection, language revitalization, and policing, which plays a significant role in taking control over one's future.

 

The AMC also remains committed to working with federal, provincial, and First Nations Leadership to address this urgent crisis and calls for culturally relevant and First Nations-driven programming to ensure the well-being of our youth becomes a top priority.

The Pas Friendship Centre Holiday Activities

The Pas Friendship Center is hosting its annual Holiday Toy Drive.

 

Drop boxes have been set up at Red Apple, Shanes, Ace Hardware, Giant Tiger, and CJAR.

 

Donations are being accepted until this weekend, and a big event will be happening at Red Apple and Shanes this Saturday afternoon, where The Pas and OCN Fire departments will be handing out goodies and collecting donations; the event runs from 2-6 pm.

 

The Friendship Center is also collecting donations and accepting applications for their seniors hamper program.

 

Janet Lowther has details for seniors involved in the program.

 

"We're gonna be doing a shout-out for volunteers.  On Tuesday, December 12th, we'll be delivering the hampers to all the senior homes or the assisted living homes.  

 

"And then on Wednesday the 13th, anybody who's living in like their own little house or something, they're gonna have to do a pickup.  Unfortunately, we just don't have enough volunteers, to do deliveries.  It was kind of chaotic last year.  

 

"So this year we're just being like, we're reaching out to everyone that we possibly can."

 

The plan is to hand out 100 hampers to seniors in the community.

Holiday Checkstops

The 2023 Holiday Checkstop program was launched in Manitoba as a joint effort between the RCMP and Winnipeg police services.

 

Road safety is always a priority for police, but the rise in travellers, especially those celebrating the season, is why enforcement measures like Checkstops are necessary.

 

The number of fatalities on Manitoba roads in 2023 has been alarming, with a total of 109 people having died in collisions.

 

Impaired driving is the most common cause of these fatal collisions. In the last five years, in RCMP jurisdiction there have been 143 impairment-related fatal collisions.

 

Impaired driving, speeding, a lack of seatbelts, and distracted driving are among the behaviours being addressed.

 

Tools like Checkstops and mandatory alcohol screening are used to enforce this.

 

Checkstops are not just for impaired driving but also enforce all illegal and high-risk driving behaviours to ensure everyone's safety.

 

The Checkstop program will continue to operate throughout December.

Doctor from The Pas

A doctor who signed an agreement to work for 10 years in The Pas, Manitoba has left after just 16 months and is refusing to repay a 100,000 dollar interest-free loan, according to court documents.

 

Dr. Andrea Wilson signed the agreement with The Pas Community Development Corporation in 2019 and agreed to work full-time for 10 years in the area.

 

She left on Nov. 7, 2021, and moved to Vancouver, breaching the agreement.

 

The Northern Regional Health Authority cancelled her contract with cause, and The Pas Community Development Corporation demanded loan repayment by Dec. 31, 2022, which never happened.

 

According to a recent survey, over 90% of Manitoba's municipalities report doctor shortages.

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