Local News

Three New Cases of a Variant of Concern Have Been Found in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan health reported 97 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the seven day average of new cases to 144.  They also reported one death in the Saskatoon zone. Of the new cases 50 are in Regina, 12 in Central East and only six in Saskatoon with similar low numbers in other zones including five in Far North East.

             

The Roy Romanow Provincial Lab is reporting an additional three confirmed cases of the B1.1.7 UK variant with two in the Regina zone and one in North West zone including the confirmation of the presumptive positive case reported February 23rd.  This brings the provincial total of confirmed variants of concern cases to nine.

             

Of the total 29,806 reported cases of COVID-19 1463 are active, 27,944 people have recovered and 140 are in hospital with 23 in intensive care.

Case Counts Continue to Look Better Across Manitoba.

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin reported 63 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to 3.5 percent.  He also reported one additional death in the Northern health region.

             

Of the new cases 36 are in the Northern health region and 25 in Winnipeg region with two in Southern health and zero in the other two regions. They noted there are now six active cases in the Flin Flon. Snow Lake, Cranberry Portage, Sherridon District.

             

Roussin noted while cases are still quite active in the North things are looking better across the province.  He says they’re seeing that continued down trend and where they are seeing transmissions still for the most part right now with these lower numbers are within household contacts although they see transmission in pretty much any setting where they see prolonged indoor contact.

             

Of the total 32,288 reported cases 1145 are considered active, 30,236 individuals have recovered and 164 are in hospital with 22 in intensive care.

             

Manitoba has expanded its vaccination program with the minimum age to book an appointment for the general public being dropped by five years to 60 and up for First Nations people and 80 and up for others.

The Guidance Nursery is in Need of Continued Funding.

The Flin Flon Guidance Nursery School is being affected by cuts in funding announced by the Manitoba government.  School Director Rhonda Boyd explains their government funded operating grant is being cut by fifty percent and some parents may not be able to pay the increased fees. She says to adjust for the upcoming loss in their operating grant they need to make cuts to all areas of their program and they are finding this just isn’t feasible.  She noted the Flin Flon Guidance Nursery has been an integral part of our community for over thirty years and it would be a great loss to children and families of our community if they have to close their doors.  She points out for now they will have to rely heavily on donations and fund raising in order to keep them open.

             

Boyd adds in the hope the government will change their plans they are now accepting registrations for the 2021-22 school year for children aged 2 to 6. For more information you can call 204-687-5117.

Gold Readings Have Been Found at a Drill Site Near Flin Flon.

Lake Winn Resources has received the assay results for its eight holes, 1683 meter, phase one drill campaign on the Cloud project 40 kilometers north east of Flin Flon.  Highlight results from one hole are 0.69 meters returning 26.54 grams per tonne gold from 179.7 meters to 180.39 meters.  A second drill hole showed 2 meters at 13.75 grams per tonne gold from 142 to 144 meters. They noted these two diamond drill holes are 175 meters apart and the high grade gold intercepts are hosted in bucky white quartz veins.

             

Lake Winn states they are encouraged by these high grade gold intercepts in the very first phase of exploration and plan to return to the project to conduct a further two thousand meters of drilling once the permit is received.

COVID-19 Has Returned to our Manitoba District while The Larger Saskatchewan Numbers Continue in Regina and Saskatoon.

Manitoba public health reported 122 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend bringing the five day test positivity rate to 3.3 percent.  They also reported three additional deaths all in the Winnipeg region.  Of the new cases 72 are in the Northern health region and 42 in Winnipeg with single digits in other regions. The district map indicates five cases in the Flin Flon Snow Lake Cranberry Portage Sherridon district with public health noting at least one confirmed case in Flin Flon’s Ruth Betts Community School on March 2nd.  All close contacts have already been contacted. Of the total 32,225 reported cases 1130 are active and 31,188 individuals have recovered.

             

Meanwhile Saskatchewan health reported 279 new cases over the weekend bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 152.  They also reported five additional deaths with three in Saskatoon and one each in Far North West and North West zones.  Of the new cases 108 are in Regina and 53 in Saskatoon with lower numbers in other zones including 17 in Far North East.  Of the 29,709 reported cases 1518 are considered active and 27,993 people have recovered.

 

More Doses of Vaccine are Arriving in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan public health reported 207 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 155.  They also reported two additional deaths with one in Regina and one in Saskatoon region.  Of the new cases 45 are in Saskatoon, 43 in Regina, 23 in Far North West and 20 in North West with lower numbers in other zones including 13 in Far North East. Of the total 29,432 reported cases 1507 are considered active, 27,532 people have recovered and 138 are in hospital with 20 in intensive care.

             

Saskatchewan will receive over 15 thousand doses of AstraZeneca vaccine next week with it going to Phase One priority healthcare workers under 65 years and residents aged 60 to 64 in selected cities.

A COVID-19 Outbreak in The Pas Has Been Declared Over.

Manitoba Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Jazz Atwal announced 53 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to three percent.  He also reported one additional death in the Winnipeg region. An outbreak at St. Paul’s Personal Care Home in The Pas has been declared over.

               

Atwal noted one confirmed case in the province to be the result of the B 1.351 variant of concern has been detected in the Winnipeg health region bringing the total reported to nine.  He explains he knows a number of these are related to travel and he believes those cases have been closed already or those investigations essentially and there’s still a couple of investigations pending so if anything comes out of those investigations that the public needs to know about they will provide that information to the public.

             

Of the new COVID -19 cases reported 33 are in the Northern health region and 14 in Winnipeg region with single digits in other regions. Of the total 32,104 reported cases 1133 are considered active, 30,067 individuals have recovered and 171 are in hospital with 24 in intensive care.

First Nations Communities in Manitoba will Soon be Receiving Vaccines.

The Public Health Lead for the First Nation Pandemic Response Coordination Team Dr. Marcia Anderson reports widespread first dose COVID-19 immunizations will begin in First Nations communities throughout the province, Northern Affairs communities and remote northern municipalities in mid March.  She noted these communities are more at risk of COVID-19 and at younger ages and many face emergency situations. She explains the sequencing plan takes into account the experiences of outbreaks and death within the communities.  She says we know that communities that have had higher fatality rates, outbreaks and lockdowns may be feeling pandemic fatigue more than others.  As such once the communities that are at the highest risk of evacuations due to flooding or fires are completed they will then move on to communities that have had the higher numbers of deaths and have had community outbreaks.

             

People living in Thompson, The Pas, RM of Kelsey and Flin Flon will continue to access COVID-19 immunizations at the super site in Thompson or at other mobile or pop-up sites that will be held in the future following provincial age based eligibility criteria.  For more information on the vaccine program visit www.manitoba.ca/vaccine.

It Was Budget Night For the School Division.

The Flin Flon School Board presented their budget plan for the 2021-22 school year at a virtual meeting last night.  The Division has planned a budget of just over 15.5 million dollars up from last year’s just over 14.9 million which is a 3.98 percent increase. The Manitoba government has requested School Divisions hold the 2021 special levy request to the City to the same amount as 2020 so the proposed mill rate is 24.28.  All requests for funding this year dealt with additional student support at a cost of 629 thousand dollars. Total School enrollment at September 30th 2020 was 948 compared to 987 for September 30, 2019. 

             

Funding from the province for 2021-22 is up just under 410 thousand dollars or four percent compared to the original budgeted amount for this school year of just over 9.5 million dollars. The budget did not include proposed restructuring with a decision on that coming at their March 9th meeting.  The budget will then be approved by the Board at their March 23rd meeting.                                     

             

Budget information will be posted on the Division’s website www.ffsd.mb.ca.

A Virtual Workshop is Available for Women in Business in Flin Flon.

The Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba and The Hub Flin Flon are presenting a free two part virtual workshop titled Flin Flon Strength in Community for women in business.  The Hub’s Krista Lemke says they have experts ready to talk about running your business.  She explains it’s a two part workshop where you’re going to be doing some one on one and some group problem solving peer support on topics like marketing, your finances, just bring anything that you find challenging to the table and chat it out with these ladies and you’ll get access to some experts that can help your problem solving and what not too.

             

The workshop takes place on two Saturdays March 13th and 20th from nine to noon.  To register email rradmin@wecm.ca.  For more information call Krista at The Hub at 204-687-6967 or go to www.flinflononline.com and click on the square at the bottom of the page.

Saskatchewan Will Be Delaying Second Doses of Vaccines.

Saskatchewan health reported 169 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the seven day average of new cases to 148.  They also reported two additional deaths with one each in the North East and South East zones. 

             

They also announced based on evidence from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization and its expertise in vaccine science they are recommending jurisdictions should maximize the number of people benefiting from the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by extending the interval between the first and second dose up to four months.  Health Minister Paul Merriman says implementing the new guidelines in Saskatchewan means that all residents should have access to their first dose of vaccine by the end of June speeding up both their administration of vaccines and their return to normal.

             

Of the new cases of COVID-19 46 were in Saskatoon, 41 in Regina and 27 in Far North West with lower numbers in other zones including 15 in Far North East.

 

Total Reported Cases of COVID-19 Have Topped 32 Thousand in Manitoba.

Manitoba public health reported 51 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to 3.2 percent.  They also reported two additional deaths with both in the Winnipeg region.  Of the new cases 26 are in the Northern health region and 22 in Winnipeg health with three in Southern health and zero in Prairie Mountain and Interlake Eastern Regions. Of the total 32,051 reported cases 1143 are active, 30,005 individuals have recovered and 181 are in hospital with 24 in intensive care.  There were no new variants of concern cases reported. High case numbers in Mathias Colomb Cree Nation have prompted the chief and council to ban public gatherings and require people to stay home except for shopping, medical care and work in essential services.

The Manitoba Government Has Been Made Aware of Issues Important to the City of Flin Flon.

The Minister of Indigenous and Northern Relations Eileen Clarke has responded to issues raised in a letter from Mayor Cal Huntley.  On the issues associated with cottage areas located close to municipalities the Minister pointed out property owners within cottage areas generally pay a cottage levy fee in lieu of property taxes that provide for operational services and support to these areas.  She noted her department is currently undertaking a system wide review of program delivery and applicable legislation impacting Northern Affairs communities including how services are provided and paid for in cottage areas.

             

Regarding health care she pointed out the Clinical and Preventive Services plan continues to identify innovative ways to improve service delivery systems and ensure northern Manitobans have access to appropriate care as close to home as possible. She agreed with Mayor Huntley that the pandemic has shown the benefits of delivering services virtually and will continue its use in a post COVID-19 world.  And regarding inter-provincial clinical record sharing between Manitoba and Saskatchewan Clarke noted while full and complete access referred to in his letter is not possible at this time there has been and will continue to be progress on this issue.

 

You Can Take Part Virtually in The World Day Of Prayer Tomorrow.

The World Day of Prayer tomorrow invites you to celebrate the beauty and stories of Vanuatu offered by the women of that country.  You can watch a video of the World Day of Prayer service online at www.wicc.org.  You can also attend a Manitoba wide service by registering at Eventbrite by going to www.eventbrite.ca, click on “Things to Do in Winnipeg then search World Day of Prayer to register.  If you have any problems with it you can email the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Winnipeg at Mileeswicc@yahoo.com.  You can also go to their website www.wicc.org to learn how to make a donation to the World Day of Prayer.  They note our shared prayers bring hope to a world in need of healing.

There Has Been a Jump in COVID-19 Cases in the Far North East Saskatchewan Zone.

Saskatchewan health reported this afternoon 121 new cases of COVID-19 bringing the seven day average of new cases to 154.  They also reported two additional deaths with one each in Regina and Saskatoon.  Of the new cases 40 are in the Far North East, 35 in Regina and 17 in Saskatoon with single digits in other zones.  Of the total 29,059 reported cases 1431 are considered active, 27,239 people have recovered and 153 are in hospital with 20 in intensive care.

 

Manitoba is Delaying Second Doses of Vaccines.

Manitoba public health reported 50 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to 3.8 percent.  They also announced three additional deaths all in the Winnipeg region.

             

Medical Lead for the Vaccine Implementation Task Force Dr. Joss Reimer announced they are delaying the second dose of vaccines allowing them to immunize eligible Manitobans sooner. She explained the reason for this decision at this time is based on what they’re seeing in real world conditions about the effectiveness of the vaccines that are currently authorized for use in Canada and around the world.  She noted the vaccines are providing a significant level of protection even after one dose which means there’s more of a clear advantage to getting more vaccine to people sooner.

             

Reimer added they will be making ongoing adjustments in their program with the next steps to be announced.

             

Of the new cases of COVID-19 30 are in the Northern health region and 15 in Winnipeg region with single digits in other regions. 

 

Three Bylaw Updates Were Given First Reading and Two Positions Filled at Last Nights Flin Flon City Council Meeting.

The first update was to the Library Bylaw which confirms the establishment of a Library Board and regulations for its conduct.  It noted the Library Board shall consist of seven members plus one alternate appointed by City Council with one being a member of Council and one each representing the  Town of Creighton and the Village of Denare Beach and four other members plus an alternate selected at large with reference to their fitness for such office.  The second a bylaw to establish standards of maintenance and occupancy for property and the third to adopt rules, regulations and tariffs for the maintenance of order and the proper care of public cemeteries.  One change this year will allow for personal columbariums. These bylaw updates require two more reading before being adopted.

             

Council also appointed Katy Anderson as the Senior Election Official for the purposes of Municipal and School Board Elections in anticipation of an upcoming Council by-election and appointed Nicole Hartman as Assistant Chief Administrative Officer with the expectation she will move to the Chief Administrative Officer position in the fall.

A Mine Site Near Leaf Rapids is Being Cleaned Up.

Work to remediate the abandoned Ruttan Mine in northern Manitoba is underway following the awarding of a 45 million dollar contract to a Manitoba firm.  This is part of an ongoing commitment to protect the environment and to clean up abandoned mine sites.

The Ruttan Mine located near Leaf Rapids has been closed since 2002. The remediation is being undertaken by Dauphin-based Strilkiwski Contracting and involves a collection of contaminated water, improved drainage and a diversion of clean water away from the site. Work is progressing to ensure all contaminated water at the site is directed to the open pit where it will be treated before it is discharged into the environment. The work also includes a covering of exposed tailings in tailings management areas.

Approximately 30 per cent of the entire project has been completed and 60 per cent of the covering material has been hauled and placed. The completion of SCL’s work is scheduled for the fall of 2022.

Vaccinations For Seniors are Going Well in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan health reported 134 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 144.  They also reported two additional deaths with one each in the North Central and Saskatoon zones.  Of the new cases 38 are in Regina, 28 in Saskatoon and 22 in Far North West with lower numbers in other zones including 12 in Far North East.

             

Premier Scott Moe says the vaccination program has gone well in long term care homes.  He reports they now have delivered first doses to every long term care facility in the province, 91 percent of long term care residents have received their first dose, the other nine percent either refused or were unable to get their shot right now for some other reason such as a health care issue and 53 percent of their long term care residents have now received their second shot and are now considered fully vaccinated.

             

Moe adds they expect the delivery of vaccine to pick up in April.

             

Of the total 28,938 reported cases 1492 are considered active and 27,059 individuals have recovered.

Variants of Concern Have Again Been Found in Manitoba.

Manitoba public health reported 56 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to four percent.  They also reported two additional deaths with one each in Winnipeg and the Interlake Eastern region.  Of the new cases 36 are in Winnipeg and 16 in Northern health region with single digits in other regions.

             

They also announced one additional confirmed case as a result of B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant of concern and two confirmed cases as a result of B.1.351variant of concern have been detected.  These cases are all from the Winnipeg health region.  That brings the total number of confirmed variants of concern cases of B.1.1.7 to six and B.1.351 to two.

             

Of the total 31,950 COVID-19 cases reported 1151 are considered active and 29,901 individuals have recovered.

Changes Will Come into Effect Friday for Manitoba Public Health Orders.

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin announced the province is proceeding cautiously with changes as they continue to protect Manitobans lives.  He lists some of the changes including choosing one of two options for households.  They can continue to designate two visitors to their home or households can designate a second household so the two households can visit each other, gathering limits at outdoor public or private places can increase to ten people including for outdoor non-organized sport or recreation activities, capacity sizes at places of worship will increase to 25 percent capacity or 100 people whichever is lower, capacity for retail stores, malls, personal services will increase to 50 percent capacity or 250 people whichever is lower and capacity for restaurants and licensed premises will increase to 50 percent with the requirement for tables to sit only with household members.

             

Roussin adds these changes come into effect Friday until March 25th and they will continue to evaluate the measures for further changes over that time.  Complete details on the changes can be found on their website www.manitoba.ca/covid19.

Your Children Can Help Name Future Police Dogs.

The RCMP are inviting young people across the country to help name thirteen German Shepherd puppies that will be born at the Police Dog Service Training Center.  Spokesperson Kim Mann says the rules are simple. You first have to live in Canada, they must between the ages of 4 and 14 years old, one entry per child and they must begin with the letter”P” and one or two syllables and the entry deadline is March 18th with the winners to be announced April 28th.

             

The thirteen children whose puppy names are selected will each receive a laminated 8 by 10 inch photo of the puppy they named, a plush dog called Justice and an RCMP water bottle.  For information on how to enter online only this year go to your favorite search engine and type in Name the Puppy Contest 2021.  Although there can be only 13 winners names not selected for the contest will be considered for other puppies born during the year.

The Womens Resource Centre is Celebrating International Womens Week Next Week.

The Centre’s Cindy Onabigon says their celebration of International Women’s Week will begin online on Sunday when they are going to be having an afternoon of art and music with performers at Johnny’s Social Club but it’s going to be recorded and then Karen Clark is going to be doing an art project at NorVa.  She adds Monday to Thursday every evening at 7 they’re going to have pre-recorded videos of different women in the community.  Monday night it’s Women in Health and Wellness, Tuesday night it’s Women in Arts and Creative, Wednesday is Women in Business and Thursday is Women in Environment for the Earth and on Thursday afternoon at 4:30 at the Rotary Wheel they are hosting a Women’s Drumming Circle and that’s for prayer and pounding drums for all the community.

             

You’re invited to view next week’s celebrations on the Women’s Resource Centre Facebook page as well as on the Flin Flon Arts Council, NorVa and Flin Flon Friendship Centre websites.  The event is being sponsored by the Flin Flon Neighborhood Revitalization Corporation.

 

The Average Number of New Cases in Saskatchewan Has Hit a Low.

Saskatchewan health reported 154 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 143.  That’s the lowest seven day average since early November.  There were no additional deaths reported. 

             

Of the new cases 53 are in Regina and 33 in Saskatoon with lower numbers in other zones. Of the total 28,801 reported cases 1551 are considered active, 26,865 individuals have recovered and 151 are in hospital with 21 in intensive care. They also noted to date just over 578 thousand tests have been processed in the province.

 

 

Information is Coming on Vaccines in Northern Manitoba.

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin reported only 35 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to 3.9 percent.  They also reported one additional death in Winnipeg region.

             

Roussin commented on vaccines and eligibility criteria noting appointments can now be booked for supersites in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson and Selkirk with eligibility criteria expanding to include individuals born before December 31st 1930 and First Nations people born before December 31st 1950.

             

Beginning this week several northern communities will use Vaxport to access immunizations at the nearby supersite in Thompson.  The first communities participating in this pilot phase include Wabowden, Herb Lake Landing, Snow Lake, Grand Rapids and Misipawistik.  Communities were selected based on their readiness and ability to travel for the vaccine.  Additional information on the strategy for the north will be released in the coming days.

             

Of the new cases 16 are in Northern health and 16 in Winnipeg region with single digits in other regions.  Of the total 31,894 reported cases 1171 are considered active, 29,827 individuals have recovered and 184 are in hospital with 25 in intensive care.

 

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