Local News Archives for 2015-01

Our Member of Parliament Has a New Appointment.

Churchill Member of Parliament Niki Ashton has been appointed to serve as the opposition critic for Aboriginal Affairs.  Ashton says this relates to her work not only in this constituency but nationally as well. She says it really is about holding the government to account on the commitment they have to First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities and really addressing the major gaps in terms of the standard of living and we know in our region there are communities that face extreme poverty that are doing everything to make a go of it but need a federal party at the table.


Ashton says she will also continue to call for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Children Can Celebrate Reading at the Library.

I Love to Read Month runs through February and is being celebrated at the Flin Flon Public Library. Administrator Cindy McLean says they’re doing something really fun for the children right now called Every Child Is A Reader at the Library so for the month of January and February all children who come into the Library receive a free book, a book bag, a treat bag and a book mark and will also get their name on the I Love to Read reading tree that they have at the Library.


McLean adds you can also enter your child’s name for a prize until the end of February.


Family Law Information is Available to Creighton Denare Beach and Other Saskatchewan Residents.

The Public Legal Education Association of Saskatchewan is officially launching Family Law Saskatchewan on Wednesday.  Described as a first of a kind in Canada, the new website will provide help for people dealing with the legal consequences of family breakdown without a lawyer as well as anyone needing information about family law in general.  It will be an essential resource for families who cannot afford a lawyer and do not qualify for Legal Aid.


The website will include comprehensive plain language information on a wide range of topics from grounds for divorce to child support guidelines, spousal support, parenting plans, separation agreements and how family property is defined and divided.  As well individuals who need to make or respond to a family law court application can use the free Form Wizard.  The website is www.familylaw.plea.org.

It’ll Be an Entertaining Night.

The Manitoba Theatre Center will be in Flin Flon next week with their performance of Armstrong’s War.  The Flin Flon Arts Council’s Crystal Kolt says it’s a heartwarming story about a young corporal Mike Armstrong who is recuperating at a rehab hospital and he’s ambushed by a girl guide who wants to earn her community service badge.  She says after their battle lines are drawn they become friends and allies to each other.


Armstrong’s War will be performed next Friday, February 6th at 7:30 in the Flin Flon Community Center with tickets available at Northern Rainbows End on Main Street.



Awards, Dinner and Dancing Will Highlight a Weekend Event.

The Creighton Branch of the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation will be holding an annual event this weekend.  Their President Kevin Rose explains on Saturday their branch will hold their annual Fish and Big Game Awards Banquet. He says their fund raiser will be a penny parade made up of donations from local businesses which they greatly appreciate.  Rose adds for ticket information you can call Mavis at 306-688-7809.


There will also be an opportunity to enter a draw for knives from Opasquia Custom Knives in The Pas.


Local Students are Going to Provincials.

 Superintendent Blaine Veitch reported to the Flin Flon School Board meeting this week the recent Heritage Fair hosted by Ecole McIsaac School was a success and seven projects were selected to compete in the Provincial Heritage Fair this spring.  These include Chloe Reitlo for the Flin Flon smoke stack, Lalain Bashir for the Laura Hannant-Human Rights Activism project, Rogan Bacon and Bryson Dumas for Jacques Plante, Hanna Clendenning for Ukrainian Immigrants Influence on Canada, Sarah Factor and Brooklynn Morin for Casa Loma, Grady Bedford and Brandon Abbott for Quest for the Northwest Passage and Allysa Richard for her project on the Fight for LGBT Rights in Canada.


Our Kindergarten Students are Doing Well.

Assistant Superintendent Dean Grove presented the current results of the Early Development Instrument finding before the Flin Flon School Board members last night. EDI is a questionnaire used to assess the school readiness of children in kindergarten.  Consisting of 104 questions the form is filled out every two years by teachers for each one of their kindergarten students.  The EDI was first piloted in the province in 1999 and today it is collected in all 37 public school divisions.  In summing up his presentation Grove stated the Flin Flon School Division is doing well compared to the provincial average, a direct reflection of the community’s awareness of the importance of preparing our children up to age five for school readiness.  For further information on the EDI visit www.gov.mb.ca/healtychild/edi/.

Families Can Dance The Night Away.

 The Creighton School Community Council is holding their annual family dance tomorrow night from 6 to 9.  School Coordinator Carol Sutherland says the dance will be held in the school gym and she invites you to come dance the night away with Amisk Sounds.  She says this is a free dance for the families of Creighton Community school students complete with door prizes and free snacks and you can dress in blue and white in support of their Frozen theme.  She notes the Kodiak bus will provide transportation to and from Denare Beach with pick up at the Band Hall at 5:45 and at the Alpine at 5:50. Sutherland adds the bus will return to Denare Beach at approximately 9 PM.

There’s Funding to Help With Summer Jobs.

Service Canada is reminding employers to apply for funding under Canada Summer Jobs 2015.  The deadline to apply is Friday.


Funding is available to not-for-profit organizations, public sector employers and small businesses to hire qualified young people aged 15 to 30 who are full time students and intend to return to school in the fall. Not for profit employers could receive up to 100 percent of the provincial minimum hourly wage and mandatory employment related costs.  Public sector employers and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees could receive up to 50 percent of the provincial minimum hourly wage.


  Employers can apply online at www.servicecanada.gc.ca/csj or visit the Service Canada Center for information.

Fibre Optics, Fund Raising and Membership Were All Part of the Chamber Meeting.

At their meeting yesterday the Flin Flon and District Chamber of Commerce formed a committee to approach MTS about bringing their fibre optic network into Flin Flon.  One of that committee’s members Dianne Russell said she understands one of MTS’s main concerns is dealing with our bed rock.  City Council rep Karen MacKinnon reported City Council has agreed to support the Chamber in their lobbying of MTS.  Russell also suggested approaching Sasktel about fibre optics for Creighton.


  In other business the Fund Raising and Membership Committee recommended the Chamber hold a 50-50 raffle over the summer to be drawn during Culture Days in September with a prize of 5 thousand dollars if all tickets are sold.  They also recommended the Chamber hold its annual radio auction in early June this year instead of the fall.  The Chamber agreed to both requests.


  And membership renewals have been sent out and if you haven’t received yours you can contact the Chamber office.

A Foundation is Looking for Board members.

The Northern Health Region is calling on residents of the region interested in improving health facilities.  Their Communication Director Glenn Hildebrand says they are accepting applications for the Northern Health Foundation Board.  He says what they’re looking for is individuals that are representative of the population that the Health Region serves so folks who have time on their hands but also skills and abilities as it relates to anything from fund raising to marketing to just an interest in the community and health care.


Hildebrand says the Foundation works on fund raising projects for the health region with members responsible for developing and executing fund raising strategies. Those interested should go to www.northernhealthfoundation.ca.


Information Sessions are Available on Dementia.

The Primary Health Care Center will be hosting three sessions in February presented by the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba.  Regional Community Health Developer Christa McIntyre says they are part of Telehealth Family Education For Those Experiencing Dementia.  She says on Tuesday, February 3rd the topic is medications and people with dementia benefits versus risks, on Tuesday the 10th its speaking up advocacy skills for family caregivers and the final session on Tuesday the 17th its I want to stay home – in-home solutions to maximize safety and independence.


The sessions run from 6:30 to 8 each evening.  To register online go to www.alzheimer.mb.ca or email cmignon@alzheimer.mb.ca or phone 1-800-378-6699 and use the reference code Flin Flon.

Development Continues at the Reed Mine.

VMS Ventures reports mining and underground development continues at the Reed mine between Flin Flon and Snow Lake.  They report in December mining activity concentrated on the copper rich lens of Zone 20, there was ore production of just over 37 thousand tonnes, development advanced 263 meters and safety performance has been good.


Chief Operating Officer Neil Richardson says as of the end of December they have had 223 consecutive days without a lost time accident.  He adds they have intersected two ore zones with development at the 210 meter level and high copper grades are expected as they see development of zone 10. He says their focus continues to be safety, ore production and driving the main decline below the 235 meter level.


The Crime Stoppers Program Continues to Bring Good Results.

January is Crime Stoppers Month.  Manitoba Crime Stoppers was formed in 1985 as a way for people to anonymously provide police with information about a crime.  The RCMP’s Media Relations Officer Tara Seel says the program depends on people providing information.  She explains every time a crime is committed it affects us all so Crime Stoppers is based on the simple principle that for every crime committed someone other than the criminal has information about it.  She says Crime Stoppers continues to be effective because of concerned community members throughout Manitoba who are doing their part to keep their streets safe.  Seel adds the total tips received for 2014 were 774 so that’s 774 people who called in to report something that they knew was going on in their community.


Flin Flon City Council recently made their annual donation to the program at ten cents per capita.


A Group of Workers Has Put in Thousands of Years.

Membership in Hudbay’s Quarter Century Club climbed on Friday night with the presentation of watches to 29 employees who have completed 25 years of continuous service with the Company.  M.C. Cal Huntley says this club probably represents close to 100 thousand years of service. Hudbay President David Garofalo congratulated the award recipients and all employees.  He says there are very few camps like the one they have here in northern Manitoba with the kind of continuity they have in their workforce, the multi-generational culture that they have here, the pride not only in their long service by their safety and their productivity.  He says it really is the heart and soul of the company.


Safety awards were presented to 28 employees with 25 years, 11 with 30 years and 15 with 35 years without a lost time accident and Province of Manitoba Long Term Service Awards were presented to two members of Hudbay’s Fire Department Ron Mendro and Allan Broughton.

You Can Celebrate Family Literacy Day at the Library.

The Flin Flon Public Library will be recognizing National Family Literacy Day tomorrow afternoon.  Administrator Cindy McLean says they are going to be offering all the families that come in coffee, cake and juice from 1 to 3 and she’ll be reading to the children at 2 o’clock, so as a way to celebrate Family Literacy Day come in for some juice, coffee and some book reading.


McLean says National Family Literacy Day encourages families to set aside fifteen minutes of family time for reading that day.  The Flin Flon Literacy Day Committee will hold another celebration of February 7th.


January is Alzheimer Awareness Month.

 The Alzheimer Society of Manitoba is calling on people to take action with their 72 percent campaign.  Their Program Director Norma Kirkby says 72 percent of Canadians living with Alzheimer’s disease are women.  She explains women live longer than men typically and because this is a disease that is related to aging it results in more women having the disease.  She adds what they’re saying to the public is everyone should know the warning signs because it might be that some woman in their family friendship network might at some point be impacted by this disease.


Kirkby says warning signs for Alzheimer’s disease include forgetfulness and disorientation.  She says early diagnosis allows for treatment and support so people can live as well as possible.  You can learn more on their website www.alzheimer.mb.ca.


Tolko Will Provide You With Information on Their Future Plans.

Tolko Industries is holding public information meetings next week.  Area Planner Mike Paddock says they will discuss their forest harvest and renewal plans for two years starting June 1st.  He says they’ll be presenting their proposed operating plan, gathering feedback and answering questions. He explains the operating plan covers proposed timber harvests, forest renewal, access construction and access decommissioning, so if you have an interest in what’s happening in the forest industry in your area you should come out to the meeting.


Meetings will be held Monday afternoon at 2 in the Cranberry Portage Legion Hall, Monday at 7 in the Flin Flon Public Library Rotary Room and Wednesday evening at 7 in the Sherridon Community Hall.

A Picket Line of Support Went Up Yesterday.

The United Steelworkers Local Union 7106 is in contract negotiations with Hudbay.  They are now negotiating non-monetary issues mainly language changes in the contract.  Union Recording Secretary Matt Winterton says the talks are reaching some impasses so some of their members decided to show support for the negotiating committee.  He says it’s a huge help to them as it gives them a bit of confidence because they’re trying to do this for our communities, they’re not doing it for their own selfish pig headedness.  He says they recognize that there’s a feeling within the whole community that change needs to take place.


Winterton adds the committee was really impressed by the show of support from the membership in trying to make that happen.

Your Help is Needed For an Annual Heart Month Campaign.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba is in need of volunteers for its annual door to door campaign during heart month in February.  Canvas Coordinator Amber Meszaros says they need canvassers across the province including Flin Flon.  She explains what they need their canvassers to do is go door to door in their community and ask for donations on behalf of the Foundation.  She says these volunteers also have information about the Heart and Stroke Foundation that they ask them to leave at each home just so that their message is getting out to the largest amount of people during heart month.


To volunteer for the February campaign you can call Amber at 204-571-4048 or email ameszaros@heartandstroke.mb.ca.

A Meal Program Can Use Your Help.

 Volunteers are needed for the Meals on Wheels Program in the Flin Flon area.  Volunteer Coordinator Brenda Veitch says they are looking for anyone who can spare some time.  She says the volunteers would deliver meals from the hospital to different seniors in the community.  She explains it takes approximately an hour to deliver all of the meals and they would have to picked up at the hospital at 11:45 AM so they would require their own vehicle to do this as well.


Anyone who can help out can call Brenda at 204-687-9315.


Checkstops Resulted in Several Charges.

Over the past weekend additional Manitoba RCMP officers were on the road for visibility and enforcement.  They paid particular attention to apprehending impaired drivers as well as those driving too fast for road conditions.


From Friday through Sunday 300 vehicles were checked.  Four people were charged with either impaired driving or driving over .08, two people were charged with possession of marihuana, six with alcohol related administrative suspensions, 2 with driving while disqualified and there were 172 other highway traffic charges laid.


The RCMP add road safety is for all seasons so checkstops are conducted year round, not just during the holiday season.

A Snowmobile Fund Raiser Was a Success.

 The Journey for Sight is a snowmobile ride that left Flin Flon last Wednesday finishing in Brandon Saturday to raise money for the Lions Eye Bank of Manitoba and Northwest Ontario.  Organizer Ian Mullin from the Bowsman Lions Club says due to a lack of snow they had to trailer the snowmobiles in a few areas in the south.  He says fund raising has gone well adding as of Saturday they had just over 42 thousand dollars raised there already with money still coming in from other places and they have their skidoo raffle that will be drawn next month so overall it should be a good weekend.


  The Journey for Sight raises around 100 thousand dollars a year for the Lions Eye Bank.

An International Film Can Be Seen Tomorrow Night.

 The Central Canada Film Group is presenting a Toronto International Film Festival film as part of the Films in the North series.  The group’s Collin Davis says Life’s a Breeze is a great family film about what happens after a mattress containing money is tossed out.  He says it’s an Irish film that tells the story about a family as they search for this lost fortune around the streets of Dublin. He adds it’s a great slice of life film that’s fun for the whole family and everyone’s encouraged to come out for this comedy.


The film will be shown tomorrow night at 7:30 in the Hapnot Collegiate theatre.

A Committee is Looking at Cross Border Issues.

At their meeting last night Flin Flon City Council received information on the development of the SaskMan Inter-jurisdictional Hub Committee in Creighton to look at Creighton Flin Flon services.   It explained the Hub Model is an evidence based collaborative problem solving approach that draws on the combined expertise of relevant community agencies to address complex human and social problems before they become policing problems.  Their interagency group has been meeting for 18 month to promote and create the SaskMan hub and includes RCMP, Justice, Education, Housing, Kids First North, Social Services and Health. They are hoping the interagency group will be more effective in providing services to our unique cross border community since what happens in one effects the other.


In other business Council agreed to apply to the Saskatchewan government for infrastructure funding for Hapnot Lake for a loop booster station. And Council agreed to move their next meeting from Tuesday February 3rd to Wednesday the 4th.

Exploration Continues West of Flin Flon.

Foran Mining has started a winter drill program focused on the Bigstone and Balsam properties in the Company’s Hanson Lake Camp. They report this camp covers over four thousand hectares of highly prospective ground for base metal mineralization including Foran’s McIlvenna Bay deposit 65 kilometers west of Flin Flon.


Their President Patrick Soares says following their strategy of developing and building a new base metal mining camp, they have commenced a winter program aimed at delineating additional deposits and zones of mineralization around McIlvenna Bay.


Their primary objectives are to drill test and continue to validate an historic mineral resource on the Bigstone property 25 kilometers west of McIlvenna Bay and conduct follow up drilling on the high grade copper discovery at the Thunder Zone on the Balsam Property 7 kilometers south of McIlvenna Bay.



You Can Be Part of a Coffee House.

The Northminster United Church is again holding one of their fund raising coffee houses on Friday February 13th.  Reverend Alex McGilvery says they are looking for performers interested in taking part in the coffee house that will support the local Habitat 53° Chapter of Habitat for Humanity.  He says they’re looking for anybody who’d come out and sing a few songs, a set at the coffee house is usually three or four songs and it’s an opportunity for people who haven’t played in front of an audience to come out and try it out in a safe way as they’re a really friendly group.  He adds since it’s on Friday the 13th he would be interested in somebody who has a song about triskaidekaphobia.


If you are interested in performing you can call the Church at 204-687-5822.

This Week is Set Aside to Help Small Businesses Cut Paperwork.

This week is the 6th annual Red Tape Awareness Week sponsored by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.  Their Provincial Affairs Director Elliott Sims says they are challenging all levels of government to commit to tackling the burden that red tape places on small businesses.  He say what Red Tape Awareness Week means is that businesses are having to spend a significant amount of time and money on regulations that simply don’t make sense and don’t provide any value to the general public but it does result in higher costs for businesses and ultimately higher costs for consumers.                                            


Sims says people who make regulations don’t realize the burden they’re placing on small businesses.  There’s more information on their website www.cfib.ca.


A Major Business in Creighton Has Closed.

The Prospector Inn in Creighton has closed its doors.  The business closed on Friday.


The owner didn’t offer any comments on the closure other than to confirm it is a permanent closure.

Exploration Will Take Place Close to Home.

Hudbay has released its exploration plans for this year.  They report exploration in Manitoba will focus on targets in Flin Flon and Snow Lake.  This includes testing down plunge exploration potential of the gold and copper zones at Lalor near Snow Lake from the underground exploration ramp.  In accordance with a recently entered into option agreement with Callinan Royalties underground exploration drilling at Callinan’s War Baby claim is also planned with the objective of extending the mine life of Triple Seven in Flin Flon beyond 2020.  Exploration programs are also planned at Constancia in Peru and Rosemont in Arizona.


They also report a greater than 270 percent increase in copper production over 2014 levels is expected this year due to planned production at all three new mines at Constancia, Lalor and Reed. Their capital expenditures budget is approximately 425 million this year down approximately 60 percent from last year.

Students Can Learn Trades Skills.

 Flin Flon School Division is offering an Introduction to Trades Program. Assistant Superintendent Dean Grove says skilled trades people are in demand so it will give students exposure to a number of trades.  He says they’re trying to get kids interested in the area of trades so as the name says it’s an introduction to trades to give them exposure to a few different trade options just to try and give them an idea what might be involved with that trade, give them a few basic skills to try and develop some confidence to says yes they could do that trade and also to try expose them to some of the people that are working in that area.


The program will be available to students in two slots each quarter.  You can register at Hapnot Collegiate.

You Can Enjoy the Boardwalk Again this Winter.

The Flin Flon Ski Club is again using their trail groomer to make the Flinty Boardwalk accessible this winter.  The Club’s Dave Price says they have been out there three times this season as we haven’t had much snow and with the wind lately the surface is quite hard packed and good for walking.  He mentioned the Lions have put up some funding to do this work which is great.


Price adds this is the second year they have done this with funding provided by the Flin Flon Lions Club.  He says the boardwalk is being well used again this winter.

A Sentence Has Been Handed Down.

 A local school worker accused of having a relationship with at 13 year old boy in Flin Flon has been sentenced to 90 days in jail to be served on weekends.


Kristina Richelle Lies who worked as a parent child coordinator at Flin Flon School Division was sentenced yesterday after pleading guilty to sexual interference.  Sexual assault and sexual exploitation charges were dropped by the crown.


Communities Will Benefit From Christmas Kettles.

  The Salvation Army reports thanks to contributions from donors, volunteers and community partners they raised 22 million dollars nationally during their 124th Christmas kettle campaign. They note donations to the campaign will remain in the local communities in which they were raised and will help the Salvation Army in the fight against poverty throughout Canada.


As we reported earlier the Christmas kettle campaign in Flin Flon raised 14,743 dollars which was just slightly below their goal of 15 thousand.


The Christmas kettle campaign is the Salvation Army’s annual fundraiser and the largest charitable effort of the year for the non-profit organization.

You Can Learn More About Christian Unity.

A week of prayer for Christian Unity will be celebrated next week.  Reverend Alex McGilvery of the Northminster United Church says it’s a chance to join together with people from different congregations. He says the idea is that people in churches all around the world set aside a week to pray for Christian unity, not so much structural unity as just the sense that we are all working towards the same object, members of the same kingdom.  He says it’s an opportunity to get inside different churches, hear different speakers and enjoy some fellowship.


Evening sessions will be held at 7 at various churches with guest speakers including Monday at the Catholic Church, Tuesday the Lutheran Church, Wednesday Mennonite Brethren Church, Thursday Salvation Army and Friday the Alliance Church. Saturday there will be a breakfast with the Mayors at 9 at the Anglican Church and it wraps up Sunday at 7 at the United Church.

Emergency Room Plans Are Moving Forward.

The third in a series of open houses was held last night to receive public input on major renovations to the Flin Flon General Hospital emergency room.  Northern Health Region CEO Helga Bryant says they are at the schematic stage which is placement of the rooms and will soon move into the design of the technology for the rooms.  She says the fund raising for the 2.2 million dollar community commitment to the 22 million dollar project is into some really key aspects and that’s the credits related to the Saskatchewan residents that use our emergency department and our First Nations patients.  She says there are conversations happening between the Manitoba and Saskatchewan government and there’s also some discussion beginning with the Federal government around the First Nations.  She says those will be credits or allowance and these will form quite an impressive portion of that fund raising piece.


Bryant adds fund raising will continue locally with some special events being planned including a second Bollywood sometime in the fall. Site preparation for the start of construction is expected to begin next January.

The Pas RCMP are Investigating Cocaine Trafficking.

 Last Saturday at a residence on Dorion Avenue in Opaskwayak police seized a quantity of cocaine, marihuana and money.  A 27 year old man from Opaskwayak was arrested on scene and has been charged with possessing cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, possessing the proceeds of crime and possessing marihuana.  A 22 year old man from Opaskwayak and a 22 year old woman from Cumberland House, Saskatchewan were also arrested on scene but were later released without charges.


Also on Saturday police seized a quantity of cocaine at an apartment on Edwards Avenue in The Pas.  A 50 year old man was arrested on scene and has been charged with possessing cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.


The Main Street Flowers Received Continued Support.

 At the Flin Flon and District Chamber of Commerce meeting Tuesday City Council representative Karen MacKinnon told members the city has agreed to support the Main Street flowers by covering one third of the cost up to two thousand dollars.  The flowers have also been supported by Hudbay and the Flin Flon Neighborhood Revitalization Corporation.


The Chamber was also advised nominations are open for the Manitoba Volunteer Awards which recognize individuals and groups who have made exceptional contributions to improve their community.  To nominate someone you can go to their website www.volunteermanitoba.ca.  The deadline is February 6th.


  And the Chamber renewed its membership in the Saskatchewan Chamber at a cost of 325 dollars.


Theres Information Available on Womens Health.

 A focus group of women’s chronic health will be held later this month.  Dianne Hallberg from Creighton Health says it’s a chance to meet others who struggle with similar health concerns.  She says what they’re finding at Creighton Health is that when people are diagnosed with a chronic illness their sense of self becomes lost, it gets distorted so their focus for this group is to find out what support and what services you need during this time.  She adds once they know what people identify as their experience then they want to move forward to provide that support for people.


The focus group will be held Monday, January 26th at 2 pm at the Wellness Clinic at Heritage Manor and at 7 pm in the Creighton Court Room.  You can contact Creighton Health at 306-688-8620 for more information.


There Was a Historical Change of Command.

Yesterday was a special day for the RCMP in The Pas as they saw a change of command.  Staff Sergeant Noel Allard handed down command of the detachment to his son Staff Sergeant Jeremy Allard.  This is the first time in the modern history of the force a father has handed the reins of a detachment to a son.  Jeremy says it was definitely special circumstances unique in so many ways.  He adds a lot of things had to happen over the last 12 years of his career for something like this to actually take place so it was special to get the keys from his dad and take command there from him.


As well Jeremy returns to the region.  He first signed up to be a mountie while living in Cranberry Portage and wrote his entrance exam in The Pas.  His father Noel will be joining the north district office in Thompson as an advisor.

Flin Flon Needs Improved Internet Service.

At yesterday’s Flin Flon and District Chamber of Commerce meeting Karen MacKinnon asked the Chamber of lobby on behalf of the community for improved internet service.  She says there are problems with the internet here and was told the best way to improve it is using fiber optics.  She says it has been installed in communities across the province including The Pas and Thompson and asked the Chamber to lobby MTS to get fiber optics into Flin Flon.  Members agreed to contact MTS and find out why Flin Flon has been left out and how we can get fiber optics.


Discussion was also held on gas prices and why they are lower in The Pas than Flin Flon.  Dave Kendall says he understands that suppliers tell the local stations where to set their prices.  He added there is also more competition in The Pas.  He said the price is not set by the local dealers.



Flin Flon Students Will Be Part of an International Test.

 Superintendent Blaine Veitch reported to the Flin Flon School Board meeting last night 42 Hapnot Collegiate students will be part of the sixth cycle of Programme for International Student Assessment testing which will be conducted from April 20th to May 29th.  He noted their randomly selected students born in 1999 will join students in more than 70 countries including over 900 in Canada and 112 in Manitoba schools. This year’s focus will be on science.


Veitch also reported alarms have been installed or upgraded at all entrance doors of their schools. Additional cameras will be added where deemed necessary.


  The Board added to their five year capital plan handicapped access to all floors at Ecole McIsaac School and Ruth Betts Community School as well as a bathroom downstairs at McIsaac where the classrooms for younger students are located. These are projects that can be financially supported by the Public Schools Finance Board.


The Arts Council is Ready for the New Year.

The Flin Flon Arts Council is planning a busy season for the new year.  The Council’s Crystal Kolt explains first off is the Crooked Brothers on the 16th and then there are still five seats left for their VIP vacation to Winnipeg at the end of the month to see the Manitoba Theatre production of Cabaret.  She says following that they have on February 6th the Manitoba Theatre Center here and then the big finale is the Flin Flon Community Choir’s production of Les Miserable which is going to be happening on May 1st, 2nd and 3rd.


Kolt adds there will also be a series of workshops and for information you can contact the Arts Council office or visit their website or facebook.


Volunteers Made Roads Safer All Across Manitoba.

  Operation Red Nose operated across the province through the holiday season for the 20th year helping people arrive home safely after their holiday gatherings.  The President of Safety Services Manitoba Judy Murphy reports this past holiday season 2246 volunteers gave 3765 rides in ten communities across the province and raised over 70 thousand dollars for youth sports programs.


  As we reported last week in Flin Flon the Rotary Club operates the program and they gave 250 rides raising 41 hundred dollars in donations from riders.

There’s a Special Display of Manitoba Crafts.

The Norva Center is hosting an exhibit from the Manitoba Arts Network called For the Love of Craft.  Manager Mike Spencer says the exhibit includes works by 15 different artists in a variety of mediums. He says it’s a group show compiled from the Manitoba Craft Council’s annual members show and these are selected pieces.  He says they’ve got everything from pottery, ceramic art, fiber art, some interesting photographs and prints, jewelry and even some glasswork.


The exhibit will be at the Norva Center on Green Street until the end of the month open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 to 5 and Sunday from 12 to 4.

School Boards Across the Province are Nominating Students for Special Awards.

Nominations are being accepted until January 23rd for the Manitoba School Boards Association Student Citizenship Awards.  Their Associate Director Heather Demetrioff says the awards are open to any student in full time attendance at a public school in Manitoba kindergarten to grade 12. She says they are not academic awards but citizenship awards so what they’re looking for are students who are making a real contribution to both their school community and the broader community in either a leadership role or sometimes they are initiating some sort of charitable endeavor, just showing what it means to be a good citizen in their school and community.


  Demetrioff says an award is given to a student in each of the Association’s six geographic areas and one provincial award for a student group.  She says the awards include a certificate and 500 dollars while students nominated but not selected receive a certificate and 100 dollars.  Several Flin Flon students have won this regions award in the past.

Snowmobilers are Heading South This Week.

The Lions Journey for Sight leaves Flin Flon Wednesday morning from the Victoria Inn for the annual snowmobile fund raiser for the Lions Eye Bank of Manitoba and Northwest Ontario.  Organizer Ian Mullin from the Bowsman Lions Club says about 30 snowmobiles will be traveling in the north.  He says if everything goes according to plan there’ll be group going out of Thompson on Tuesday coming down to Snow Lake and the rest of the riders will be arriving in Flin Flon Tuesday night.  He adds Wednesday morning the groups will leave Flin Flon and Snow Lake and meet up in Cranberry Portage and then continue down to The Pas where they will stay overnight.


The snowmobilers will leave The Pas Thursday morning and will be joined by others from across the province as they arrive in Brandon Saturday in a journey that raises around 100 thousand dollars annually for the Eye Bank.

You Should Test Your Home for Radon.

              One in four Manitoba homes have higher than acceptable radon gas levels so the Canadian Cancer Society is urging you to get your home tested for radon gas. Their Program Coordinator Kyra Moshtaghi-Nia explains radon comes from the break down of uranium in our soil and then it seeps into our homes through cracks in our foundation and around our plumbing.  She says it’s a radioactive gas that is invisible, odorless and tasteless so there’s no way to know if it’s in our homes unless we perform a test.


She adds eleven percent of homes in Northern Manitoba have above accepted levels of radon which is the second leading cause of lung cancer.  You can pick up a test kit from a hardware store, the Canadian Cancer Society or a radon testing professional.


We Recycled More Last Year.

The year end totals are in for last year at the Flin Flon Recycling Center and Administrator Deb Odegaard says they saw another increase.  She says that was 17 extra tonnes this year over last which was good, she was hoping for more but notes 17 is always something they can be happy about.  She says the other thing they know is that it’s evenly split between corrugated cardboard and other products and that means it’s not just from the businesses but more homes are also getting on board with it.


For information on recycling you can contact the Recycling Center at 204-687-6169.

This Month is for Fund Raising and Awareness.

The Alzheimer Society of Manitoba is holding its annual canvas this month.  Their Manager of Volunteer Events Trudy Mattey explains January is Alzheimer Awareness Month and during the month they have canvassers going door to door in areas throughout the province including Flin Flon collecting donations on behalf of the Society.  She says the money collected is used to provide programs and services for people with dementia and their families and caregivers.


If you can help with the door to door canvas or do a canvas online call 1-800-378-6699 or go to their website www.alzheimer.mb.ca.


Client Numbers Are Up At The Food Bank.

 The Lord’s Bounty Food Bank came through the Christmas season quite well.  Their Food Distribution Chair Dennis Hydamaka says it was a banner year.  He says they had a large number of food drives and a large number of cash drives but unfortunately the other side was also true.  He says in December alone they served 53.7 percent more people than they did in the same month last year and they handed out 41 percent more hampers.


  Hydamaka adds year over year as of the end of December they’re up 15.2 percent in the number of people fed and up 12 and a half percent in the number of hampers they’ve distributed.


A Multi-talented Group is Coming to Flin Flon.

 The Flin Flon Arts Council is hosting the Crooked Brothers next week.  The Council’s Crystal Kolt says the Crooked Brothers have a really unique style with everything from blues to stompin’ funk to country, a little bit of everything but they have this really distinct personality about them and their music is joyful yet it has this kind of ageless grace about it.


The Crooked Brothers will be performing at the Flin Flon Community Hall next Friday the 16th with tickets available at Northern Rainbows End on Main Street.


There is a Grant Program to Benefit our Youth.

Youth serving organizations in Manitoba can now apply for one of ten Manitoba Telecom Services Future First grants. These grants are valued at ten thousand dollars each and will be awarded to organizations focused on improving the lives of Manitoba’s young people.  Applicants must clearly identify how their project achieves the required results for youth under the age of 24.


Manitobans will help select the ten grant recipients from a list of 20 finalists through an online voting process in the spring.  Details on the application process are available on the MTS Future First website at www.mts.ca/futurefirst.


New Resources Will Be Developed in Thompson.

Vale has received a three year extension on the base-level industrial emission requirements compliance date for their smelting operations in Thompson.  Vale Manager of Corporate Affairs Ryan Land says the terms of the extension are yet to be set.  He explains they have always operated under limits that would be mandated by federal and provincial government regulations and going forward it’ll be no different.  He says establishing those limits is the subject of ongoing discussions with Environment Canada so that’s what they’re focusing on before they finalize the terms of the extension.


Land says the extension allows Vale to focus on accessing new resources.  The base-level industrial emission requirements were introduced by the federal government in 2012 and plants are expected to comply by January 1st, 2016.

Trafficking Charges Have Been Laid in The Pas.

On December 30th The Pas RCMP executed a controlled drugs and substances act search warrant at a residence in Opaskwayak Cree Nation.  During the search police seized more than one kilogram of marihuana and more than 15 thousand dollars in Canadian currency.  A 34 year old man from OCN was arrested and later released to appear in court in The Pas on March 3rd.  He is charged with possessing marihuana for the purpose of trafficking and possessing the proceeds of crime.  A 27 year old woman from OCN was also arrested in connection to the investigation but was later released without charges.


The Deadline is Approaching for You to Nominate a Business Owner.

 The Women Business Owners of Manitoba is accepting nominations for the 2015 Women Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.  Awards Committee Manager Lise Carbineau says it’s open to women business owners across the province.  She says the basic criteria for nominations is the business owner must be in business for at least three years, have at least a 50 percent or more ownership in the business and have the leadership role in the in the organization making major decisions.


Carbineau adds even if you’re not sure they meet the qualifications you can nominate them and the committee will check if the qualify.  You can submit a nomination at their website www.wbom.ca by January 24th.

It Has Been a Better Winter for the City.

      At the Flin Flon City Council meeting last night Mayor Cal Huntley echoed comments made by Councillor Leslie Beck in congratulating people on having a safe holiday season and making use of the Rotary Club’s Operation Red Nose in getting home safely.  He says Council is looking forward to a positive 2015. He reported the cold weather has not been affecting the city as it did last year when there were numerous frozen and broken water lines.  Administrator Mark Kolt says lot of credit goes to the program of replacing orifices in water lines which has been completed in 75 percent of the homes in the community. This increases the pressure in the water lines and keeps them flowing with equal pressure.  He says they plan to complete the replacement program in remaining homes this summer.


In other business Council renewed its membership for 2015-16 in the Federation of Canadian Municipalities at a cost of 1085 dollars. The Federation notes by working together they can make a real impact on federal scene.


Women Can Get A Break From the Winter Blues.

A Creative Muse Workshop for women is being held in Creighton January 24th.  Dianne Hallberg from Creighton Health says the three hour session is about finding your inner creativity that is sometimes set aside during our busy lives.  She explains they’re going to spend time using art and writing to connect with that creative muse that’s buried very deep within all of us and bring her out and get that experience of playfulness and joyfulness back into our lives.


The workshop is being held on Saturday, January 24th from 1 to 4 in the Creighton court room.  For information or to register you can call Dianne at 306-688-8620.


The RCMP Were Busy Over the Holiday Season.

The month long totals for the RCMP Christmas Checkstop Program show that 9512 vehicles were checked during 348 checkstops.  They report 93 people were charged with a criminal code impaired driving offence including impaired, over .08, refusal and impaired by a drug.  There were also 18 other criminal code driving offences, 45 charges for failing to wear a seatbelt, 29 liquor and gaming control act charges and 1428 other highway traffic act offences.  One person was killed in a traffic collision during the time of the checkstop program but the RCMP report impaired driving was not considered a factor.


A Lot of People Got Home Safety Over the Holiday Season.

Operation Red Nose wrapped up another season last week.  It started November 28th and ran every weekend in December as well as New Years Eve. The Rotary Club’s Committee Co-Chair Ted Hewitt says it was a record year.  He says this year they provided a total of 250 rides for those in the community to get their vehicles and themselves home safely.  He adds it was their most successful year for the number of rides and donations since he had kept stats for the last five years and likely since the Rotary started the service in 1999.


  Hewitt says they raised 41 hundred dollars in donations from riders along with donations from local businesses and their provincial sponsors MPI, Manitoba Hydro and MTS.  He adds last year they donated over 11 thousand dollars from Operation Red Nose to local youth activities.  He thanked all the groups and individuals who came out and helped this holiday season.

It Was a Busy New Years Eve.

 Operation Red Nose completed its final night of getting people and their vehicles home safely New Years Eve.  The Rotary Club’s Committee Co-Chair Ted Hewitt says they provided a total of 37 rides and they would like to thank all the people who volunteered to work that evening.  He says they had 22 volunteers which allowed them to provide the service and for those who called in requesting a ride there was very little waiting time.


Operation Red Nose began November 28th and ran on weekends through December as well as New Years Eve.

You Can Update Your Work Skills.

The Employment Links Development Center is beginning a new session of EWIN or Entry to Work in the North program next Monday.  The Center’s Barb Link explains they offer life skills, upgrades in your essential skills such as numeracy, reading and communication, computer use, thinking skills, working with others and they do certificate programs such as first aid, CPR, WHMIS and safe foods as well as life skills and a six week job placement.


Link says you can come into their office at 51 Main Street this week to do an intake and assessment and for information you can call them at 204-687-8791.


You and Your Family Can Enjoy Reading Together.

A new season of Read to Me is starting on Wednesday running Wednesday and Friday mornings for six weeks.  Coordinator Heather Jobes explains Read to Me is a family literacy program for children aged 2 to 5 and a caregiver or parent.  She says each morning has a theme with circle time, crafts, free snacks and some parent information sessions.


To register or for more information you can call Heather at 306-688-5818.

Your Support Helped the Salvation Army Have a Successful Christmas Season.

Salvation Army Major Debbie Allen reports they again had a successful Christmas hamper program in the Flin Flon area.  She says they gave out 92 hampers which is more than last year and that reflects 134 children that received gifts so it was very successful this year.  She noted five of those hampers went to people in Pugatawagan.


Major Allen adds the Christmas kettles fell just a little bit short of their goal of 15 thousand dollars raising 14,743 dollars.



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