Local News Archives for 2021-01

Health Care Workers are The Priority For the Start of the Vaccine Center in the North.

Manitoba public health reported 285 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend bringing the five day test positivity rate to 7.9 percent.  They also reported six additional deaths with three in the Southern region and one each in Winnipeg, Interlake Eastern and Northern health regions. Of the new cases 118 are in the Northern region, 74 in Winnipeg and 61 in Interlake Eastern with lower number in other regions.  The active cases in the Flin Flon, Snow Lake, Cranberry Portage, Sherridon district are listed at six.

             

On Friday the Medical Lead for the Vaccine Implementation Task Force outlined their priorities when the vaccine center opens in Thompson.  She explained with Thompson the eligibility is the same as the rest of the province and the goal there is to reach people who live far away from Winnipeg and Brandon where it’s not feasible to expect them to come to the other two Super Sites and so health care workers are the primary targets for Thompson, The Pas and Flin Flon but of course going forward when they have more supplies they will be expanding in the north like they are with the rest of the province as well.

             

Of the total 29,564 reported cases 3503 are considered active and 25,232 individuals have recovered. An outbreak has been declared over at the Lynn Lake Hospital.

 

Recoveries in Saskatchewan Have Topped 21 thousand.

Saskatchewan health reported over the weekend 496 new cases of COVID-19 bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 241. They also reported 12 additional deaths with three in Saskatoon, two each in Regina, North West and North Central and one each in Central East, Far North East and South East zones.  Of the new cases 127 are in Saskatoon, 79 in Regina, 69 in North West and 48 in Far North East with lower numbers in other zones.   Of the total 23,864 reported cases 2534 are considered active, 21,026 have recovered and 203 are in hospital with 31 in intensive care.

 

New Covid Case Numbers Have Climbed Again in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan health reported 328 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon with the seven day average of new cases now at 247.  They also reported eight additional deaths with three in Regina, two in North West and one each in Saskatoon and North East zones.  Of the new cases 90 were in Saskatoon, 58 in Regina, 30 in Far North West, 27 in North West and 25 in Central East with lower numbers in other zones including 16 in Far North East.  Of the total 23,366 reported cases 2499 are active, 20,575 individuals have recovered and 218 are in hospital with 33 in intensive care.

 

New COVID Numbers Remain High in the Northern Region While an Outbreak Has Been Declared at a School in Thompson.

Manitoba public health reported 152 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to 7.5 percent.  They also reported three additional deaths all in Winnipeg. Of the new cases 81 are in Northern health, 29 in Winnipeg and 24 in Prairie Mountain with lower numbers in other regions. An outbreak has been declared at Wapanohk Community School in Thompson which has been moved into the critical or red zone.  

             

Medical Lead for the Vaccine Implementation Task Force Dr. Joss Reimer noted all residents of licensed personal care homes who chose to be vaccinated for COVID-19 will receive their first dose by the end of the day tomorrow.  She says they did it in three weeks fully one week ahead of schedule and that is due to the partnership and support they had from all of the teams from the Regional Health Authorities and Personal Care Homes so please accept her huge thank you to everyone who was involved in this incredible effort.

               

Of the total 29,280 reported cases 3490 are considered active, 24,697 individuals have recovered and 272 are in hospital with 39 in intensive care. 

Far Resources is Preparing to Meet The Demand for Lithium.

Far Resources Limited has announced its upcoming spring drilling program at their Zoro Lithium Property 20 kilometers east of Snow Lake.  At the Far Resources Dyke one they have completed just over 85 hundred meters of drilling to date, spent just over five million dollars on technical and drilling of the project, reported compelling lithium grades in the 180 to 220 parts per million range and the asset holds exceptional byproduct minerals and credits.

             

President John Gammack states with the demand for lithium ever increasing Far Resources is well positioned to meet such demand.  He adds this maiden resource which covers part of Dyke one indicates they have a base on which to build and in addition to the other seven dykes that are not included in this resource the Company has numerous untested geological and geochemical targets at the Zoro Property that they intend to pursue this spring.

Bylaws and Committee Recommendations Were Part of the Creighton Council Meeting.

Creighton Town Council met earlier this week and carried a motion regarding Bylaw 1-2021 to establish rates for the supply and consumption of water and use of the sewer main collection and disposal system.  The Environmental, Public Health and Environmental Development Committee recommended they tender to demolish two buildings obtained through tax enforcement which was also carried with tenders closing on February 23rd and the lowest or any tender not necessarily accepted.  The General Government Services Committee carried the recommendation to increase administration fees for Lotto license applications from five dollars to twenty five dollars effective this year.  The Transportation, Utility Services and Landfill Committee carried the motion to transfer the old rescue truck diesel cab van to Public Works to use as a utility truck for transport of tools for work on broken and frozen lines.

 

This week is Red Tape Awareness Week for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

Director for the Prairies Jonathan Alward gives an example of red tape that many business owners may have had to deal with. He explains one of the ones for him that always drives him absolutely crazy is trying to find information on the government website and everyone’s been dealing with COVID-19 over the past year or so and he thinks a lot of people can relate to this.  He says as new rules come in and change which they seem to be doing just about every single day trying to get that information as clear and concise as possible and it could be health programs that sound exactly the same so it’s trying to figure out what’s actually available to your business, it could be just trying to figure out the right link for the right updated information.  He notes a lot of these documents tied to COVID-19 prevention orders are all written in legalese and government speak which is another layer of red tape as it’s really difficult to understand what they’re getting after.

Alward says Manitoba had been doing well when it comes to reducing red tape, noting the province has the processes in place to review red tape and track how it’s growing.

The Number of Deaths Dominate the Manitoba and Saskatchewan COVID-19 Updates.

Manitoba public health reports 132 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to 8.7 percent.  They also report an additional eight deaths with six in Winnipeg and one each in Interlake Eastern and Southern health.  Of the new cases 61 are in the Northern health region and 29 in Winnipeg with lower numbers in other regions. Of the total 29,128 reported cases 3456 are active, 24,851 individuals have recovered, 277 are in hospital with 37 in intensive care and deaths now total 821.  An outbreak has been declared at St. Paul’s Personal Care Home in The Pas which has moved to the critical or red zone.

             

Meanwhile Saskatchewan reports 244 new cases bringing the seven day average to 244.  They also reported eleven additional deaths with four in Regina, three in Saskatoon, two in the Far North East and one each in North Central and North West.  Of the new cases 70 are in Saskatoon, 54 in Regina and 25 in the Far North West with lower numbers in other zones including 14 in the Far North East.  Of the 23,038 total cases reported 2478 cases are active, 20,275 have recovered and 208 are in hospital with 37 in intensive care.

 

Hapnot Students Are Sharing Some Special Projects Virtually This Year.

A group of grade nine students at Hapnot Collegiate took part in 20 Time Projects again this year.  Teacher Libby Stoker Lavelle says due to COVID-19 restrictions they needed to come up with an alternative format to the usual 20Time Showcase for students to share their projects with the public in order to have an authentic audience for their independent projects.  She explains what the students did is they each recorded a slide show and embedded their webcams in their slide show so they did a four minute video to deliver their presentation and then they uploaded all their videos onto a video sharing platform called Flipgrid and they have a private link that they are able to share with parents and staff and anyone interested in seeing those presentations.

             

Lavelle adds the students worked on their projects Fridays through the semester and the projects are as varied and unique as the students themselves.

             

Student presentations are live now on the Virtual 20Time Showcase on Flipgrid and you can gain access to them by emailing Libby at lstokerlavelle@ffsd.mb.ca or contact the school for the password.

 

Students Are Preparing for February.

This past Tuesday evening the Flin Flon School Board reported high schools will be closed Friday.  February 1st will mark the first day of the second semester for Hapnot Collegiate and the first day of the third quarter for Many Faces.  Report cards will be sent home for high school students.  Board Chair Murray Skeavington reported February is Read to Me Month and encourages parents to read to their child or have them read to you. The Board also announced the latest remote learning numbers with 24 at Ruth Betts and 18 at Ecole McIsaac.  Kindergarten registration is going well and if parents have any questions they can contact the School or Division office.  They note the safety of students and staff remains the top priority for the Division and if parents have any concerns feel free to contact any Trustee, the Superintendent or your child’s school.

Cranberry Portage RCMP Are Searching for a Driver Wanted in a Fatal Collision.

Around 11:20 AM last August 9th Cranberry Portage RCMP responded to a single vehicle rollover on Sherridon Road about nine kilometers from the intersection of Highway Ten.  A vehicle with four occupants went out of control, entered a ditch and rolled.  The driver from Swan River, a girl from Flin Flon, a man from Pukatwagan and a man from The Pas were taken to hospital.  They report alcohol was suspected so officers began an impaired investigation.  On August 14th the RCMP were notified the passenger from The Pas had succumbed to his injuries.  On October 5th they obtained a warrant for the arrest of the driver wanted on numerous charges including operation of a conveyance while impaired causing death.

             

Cranberry Portage RCMP are asking for your assistance in locating Jesse Aaron Campbell.  He is described as six feet tall, 185 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.  A picture is posted at www.flinflononline.com.  If you have any information on his whereabouts call the RCMP at 204-472-4040, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477 or on the secure tip line www.manitobacrimestoppers.com.

 

New COVID Cases are Down to Single Digits in Most Saskatchewan Zones.

Saskatchewan health reported 149 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 242. They also reported six additional deaths with five in the Saskatoon zone and one in North Central.  Of the new cases 48 were in Saskatoon, 15 in South East and single digits in all other zones including the Far North East with three.  Of the total 22,794 reported cases 2527 are considered active, 19,993 individuals have recovered and 220 are in hospital with 36 in intensive care.

             

34,615 vaccine doses have been administered but the province is almost out of vaccine.

 

The Manitoba Vaccine Program Plan is to Expand to the General Population in March.

Manitoba Public Health reported 94 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to 9.6 percent.  They also reported four additional deaths with two each in Winnipeg health region and Southern health.  Of the new cases 44 are in Winnipeg and 43 in Northern health with single digit numbers in other health regions.  Of the total 28,996 reported cases 3456 are considered active, 24,727 individuals have recovered and 281 are in hospital with 36 in intensive care with deaths totaling 813.

             

Medical Lead for the Vaccine Implementation Task Force Dr. Joss Reimer says the province plans to offer vaccines to a broader range of health care workers and all Manitobans over 95 by March and the minimum age will quickly be reduced by one year increments and people in their 50s could be eligible by April or May.

A Community Projects Grant is Available to Numerous Local Organizations.

Community Futures Greenstone is offering a Community Projects Grant of up to 25 hundred dollars to groups and organizations in the communities of Flin Flon, Cranberry Portage, Snow Lake and Sherridon.  General Manager Becky Cianflone explains they’ve established a grant program over the next little while that’s going to help with projects that have to do with COVID relief and recovery, economic development, tourism, events, marketing, quite a broad category in sense of who can apply but they’re intending to help support projects in the region that are going to help further diversification and to support the community.

             

More information and the application form can be found on the Community Futures Greenstone Facebook page or their website.  The application deadline is 4pm Friday, February 19th.

January is Alzheimers Awareness Month and The Alzheimers Society of Manitoba Continues to Shed Light on the Disease.

Alzheimer’s is a progressive, degenerative brain disease, and is associated with aging.

 

The Program Director at the organization Erin Crawford says the Society is focusing their awareness campaign this year on the theme “I Live With Dementia”. She explains there is still a lot of stigma people tell them with a dementia diagnosis and what she means by that is they feel nervous or worried about people’s reaction to them, they know that people are not sure how to interact and support somebody with dementia so the idea behind this campaign is really to say here’s some stories of people who are living this experience who can tell you about what it’s like and once you see some faces associated with it it demystifies things for people and if we can make our communities more comfortable and supportive and embracing of people with dementia it really increases those people’s ability to continue to engage in their community.

For more information on the campaign and Alzheimer’s in general visit www.alzheimer.mb.ca.

Saskatchewan Public Health Orders Have Been Extended While Manitoba New Cases Have Dropped Below 100.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe reported this afternoon the current public health orders in the province are working so they will be extended by three weeks until February 19th.  Public health reported 232 new cases of COVID-19 as well as 14 additional deaths with six in Saskatoon, three in Regina and two in North Central with one each in three other zones.  Of the new cases 47 were in Saskatoon, 46 in Regina and 45 in North West with lower numbers in other zones including 4 in Far North East.  Of the 22,646 reported cases 2665 are considered active and 19,219 have recovered.

             

Meanwhile Manitoba public health reported 92 new cases with 41 in Winnipeg and 36 in Northern health region with lower numbers in other regions including zero in Interlake Eastern.  They also reported five additional deaths with four in Winnipeg and one in Prairie Mountain.  Of the total 28,902 reported cases 3492 are active and 24,601 have recovered.  The number of active cases in Flin Flon, Snow Lake, Cranberry Portage Sherridon is listed at 12. Starting Friday Manitobans who return home from travelling anywhere outside the province including western Canada will have to self isolate for two weeks.  There are exemptions for people who regularly travel to and from communities near the border for essential purposes.

 

The Flin Flon and District Chamber of Commerce has Written to Provincial and Local Governments and Other Officials About Code Red Restrictions.

The letter states the Chamber is standing against the continued Code Red restrictions imposed on all communities in the Northern Region announced January 19th. They are adding their voice to the calls for change from other northern Chambers noting after countless meetings, calls and conversations over the past months and with their connections through both the Chamber network and government they have repeatedly expressed their concerns over the broad use of restrictions for the entire Northern Region. The letter notes they do not agree with the use of existing health region borders to administer these rules with no recognition for the actual state of the pandemic in communities separated by several hours of travel distance adding prolonging the harshest restrictions in these areas without any additional aid programs does irreparable harm to small businesses and community members.

             

They conclude we have done the difficult work for months in keeping the virus in check in our communities and believe we have earned the opportunity to get back to business safely and with all precautions in place.

A Winter Drill Progam is Underway at Two Properties Near Snow Lake.

Rockcliff Metals Corporation has announced an affiliate of Kinross Gold Corporation has started a winter drill program at Rockcliff’s Laguna Gold Property and Lucky Jack Gold Property in Snow Lake.  The drill program will focus on areas below high grade surface gold mineralization and northeast trending structures identified in previous work programs.  Approximately 14 holes totaling approximately 26 hundred meters are planned.  Drilling has started at Lucky Jack immediately south of Laguna where seven holes are planned in the vicinity of surface gold mineralization in quartz veining along strike of the historical Zona shaft and at the historical Lucky Jack showing.  The highest grade assay from Zona was 32.9 grams per tonne gold and the best result from the Lucky Jack area was 4.4 grams per tonne gold.

 

You Can Provide Input on the Next Manitoba Budget.

The provincial government is inviting Manitobans to participate in virtual and telephone engagement sessions and an online survey to help shape Budget 2021. Due to COVID-19 public health orders that restrict gathering sizes Finance Minister Scott Fielding will host four telephone town halls and four virtual engagement sessions in late January and early February and invites submissions online and written feedback.

             

The telephone town hall for the north will be held this Thursday evening at 6:30 and the virtual meeting Wednesday February 3rd at 7:30 pm.  The government has also launched an online budget survey through EngageMB and invites Manitobans to complete the survey and register for the virtual meetings and telephone town halls at engagemb.ca/budget-2021.  You can also email comments and ideas to budget2021@gov.mb.ca or mail written submissions to Manitoba Finance c/o Budget Consultations, 103-450 Broadway, Winnipeg, MB  R3C 0V8.  You can find those addresses in this story at www.flinflononline.com.

Northern Health Region CEO Helga Bryant says the public needs to pay attention to COVID-19 public health orders.

Bryant says the surge in cases is because people gathered over the holidays despite public health orders advising against it.

 

She acknowledges many people may feel worn out by the pandemic noting she knows that everyone of us wherever we work wherever we live is wearying of COVID and COVID fatigue is really setting in for all of us and she’s saying that as a citizen of northern Manitoba not necessarily as her role as CEO but she thinks all of us as public are wearying of this as it’s been a long long road.  She adds the vaccine is not a panacea, we must remain vigilant in our behaviour and on our travelling about and following those orders continues to be critically important.

 

Bryant goes on to say while the vaccine signals the beginning of the end it’s not the end in and of itself.

New Cases of COVID-19 were in the Four to Five Hundred Range in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Manitoba public health reported 438 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend bringing the five day test positivity rate to 10.6 percent.  They also reported six additional deaths with five in Winnipeg and one in Prairie Mountain health.  Of the new cases 233 are in the Northern health region and 111 in Winnipeg with lower numbers in other regions. The total number of active cases in the Flin Flon, Snow Lake, Cranberry Portage and Sherridon district is listed as 14.  Of the total 28,697 reported cases 3521 are active, 24,377 individuals have recovered and 278 are in hospital with 42 in intensive care.

             

Meanwhile Saskatchewan health reported 534 new cases bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 272.  They also reported six additional deaths with two each in Regina and Far North East zones and one each in North Central and Far North West.  Of the new cases 123 are in Saskatoon, 93 in North West, 83 in Regina and 76 in Far North West with lower numbers in other zones including 19 in Far North East.  Of the total 22,177 reported cases 3251 are considered active, 18,673 individuals have recovered and 196 are in hospital with 32 in intensive care.

Some COVID Related Numbers are Lower in Manitoba While Saskatchewan Numbers Are Up Again.

Manitoba Acting Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Jazz Atwal announced 171 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to 9.3 percent.  He also announced two additional deaths with one each in the Winnipeg and Southern health regions. Of the new cases 64 were in the Northern health region, 56 in Winnipeg and 33 in the Interlake Eastern health region with lower numbers in other regions. The number of active cases in the Flin Flon, Snow Lake, Cranberry Portage, Sherridon district is down to 17 from 20 Thursday. Of the total 28,260 reported cases 3261 are active, 24,204 individuals have recovered and 274 people are in hospital with 39 in intensive care.

             

Meanwhile Saskatchewan health reported 312 new cases this afternoon bringing the average of daily new cases to 275.  They also reported eight additional deaths with six in Regina and one each in the Central East and Saskatoon zones.  Of the new cases 88 were in Saskatoon, 47 in Regina and 39 in North Central with lower numbers in other zones including 14 in the Far North East.  Of the total 21,643 cases reported 3196 are considered active, 18,200 individuals have recovered and 177 are in hospital with 30 in intensive care.

Two Previously Postponed Workshops Will be Available Free Online.

Community Futures Visions North reports two workshops cancelled in Creighton last April because of COVID are now going online.  Visions North Executive Administrator Jean Powell says they will be held January 28th and February 11th.  The first one is Katrina German and her presentation will be on how to make social media and tech tools your best friend and it can be for business women, for homemakers, she makes the workshop suitable to everybody.  Powell adds their second speaker is Jami Young and her workshop is the art of connection, how to inspire, influence and impact and it’s how to cultivate more dynamic relationships within life and business so you don’t have to be in business to attend these workshops, they can be for everybody.

             

There is no cost for these workshops. The Katrina German workshop runs from 2 to 4:30 January 28th and the Jami Young workshop February 11th from 1 to 3:30.  To register email visionsnorth@visionsnorth.com or call 306-425-2612.   When registering provide your name, email address and phone number and which workshop you are registering for.

Callinex is Really Impressed with Results at Their Rainbow Discovery Near Flin Flon.

Callinex Mines has released results on their recent exploration campaign to expand the Rainbow Discovery at their Pine Bay Project 16 kilometers from Flin Flon.  Their technical team working in conjunction with Koop Geotechnical Services on an Electromagnetic survey has identified four highly conductive anomalies located near surface and along strike to the south of the Rainbow Discovery. The identified anomalies expand the strike extent of Rainbow over one kilometer to the south.

             

Founder of Callinex Mike Muzylowski says he believes the Rainbow Discovery may become one of the more significant discoveries he’s been a part of in his career exploring the Flin Flon Greenstone Belt. 

             

Plans are underway to immediately initiate a drilling campaign to test the four conductive bodies in tandem with continued drilling to define the Orange and Yellow zones of the Rainbow Discovery.

 

Recoveries from COVID-19 Hit 18 Thousand in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan health reported 227 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the seven day daily average to 286.  They also reported thirteen additional deaths with eight in Saskatoon, two in North Central and one each in Far North Central, Far North East and South East zones.  Of the new cases 62 were in Saskatoon, 50 in Regina and lower numbers in other zones including seven in Far North East.  Of the total 21,338 reported cases 3,099 are considered active, 18 thousand individuals have recovered and 197 people are in hospital with 31 in intensive care.

             

Almost 30 thousand people have received the vaccine including a range of communities across rural and northern Saskatchewan completing the administration of the first dose for long term care homes in more than 40 communities.

Non-Essential Items and Visitors Are Still Not Available in the North.

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin announced updates to COVID-19 restrictions this afternoon but not for us. He explains the new orders would apply to Winnipeg, Southern health, Interlake Eastern and Prairie Mountain regions however because of the current case counts and test positivity in the north and many First Nations they’re going to not have this loosening of the restrictions apply to the north including Churchill.

             

The main change from the proposals presented earlier this week is the two family or friends allowed to visit your household have to be two designated people only.  The new orders come into effect Saturday and run until February 12th.  Other changes allow for the elimination of the essentials list in stores with 25 percent occupancy and barber shops and hair stylists can open also at 25 percent occupancy.

 

COVID New Case Numbers Continue to Climb in the North.

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin announced 196 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to 9.2 percent.  He also announced five additional deaths with two in Southern health and one each in Winnipeg, Prairie Mountain and Northern health regions. Of the new cases 105 are in the Northern health region and 54 in Winnipeg with lower numbers in other regions. The total number of active cases in the Flin Flon, Snow Lake, Cranberry Portage, Sherridon district now stands at 20.

             

Of the 28,089 reported cases 3205 are active, 24,091 individuals have recovered and 268 are in hospital with 34 in intensive care.

 

Semester Change is Underway Next Week for Hapnot Students.

Hapnot Collegiate is nearing the end of their first semester.  Vice-Principal Jordy Dumenko explains exams start on Tuesday and run until Thursday and the exam schedule is posted in each cohort area along with on their Hapnot Collegiate Facebook page, their reminds and their website.  Students on their designated day will enter through their cohort area and write their exams in the appropriate rooms that have been assigned.  He adds they have Admin Day on January 29th so their school will be closed that day for report card writing and getting their final grades ready and then their second semester starts on February 1st and their report cards will be available online February 1st.

             

Any new students and students wishing to change their semester two timetable can email Mrs. Garinger or call the office to set up an appointment.

The beginning of 2021 is still bleak for many business owners across Manitoba who are trying to make it work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

That’s according to Jonathan Alward, a regional director for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.  He explains in terms of how many businesses are fully open right now in the province just 45 percent of small businesses consider themselves fully open, just about 38 percent give or take of Manitoba’s small businesses consider themselves fully staffed and less than 30 percent of businesses right now in the province are earning normal revenues or better for this time of year so it’s very bleak to say the least.

                                                        

Alward goes on to say the Federation has been advocating for easing of certain restrictions, which the province says they are considering after polling Manitobans this past week.

 

However, due to the high COVID-19 case counts in northern Manitoba and First Nations any proposed changes will most likely not apply to the region.

 

The Average of Daily Cases in Saskatchewan is Below 300.

Saskatchewan health reported this afternoon 234 new cases of COVID-19 bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 298.  They also reported four additional deaths with one each in Regina, North Central, Saskatoon and South East zones. Three past deaths have been removed as it was determined they were not COVID-19 related.  Of the new cases 66 were in Saskatoon, 39 in the North West and 27 in the Far North West with lower numbers in other zones including 18 in the Far North East.  Of the total 21,112 reported cases 3702 are considered active, 17,184 individuals have recovered and hospitalization numbers were not available.

More Information is Available on Vaccines in Manitoba.

Manitoba Acting Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Jazz Atwal announced 153 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to 9.5 percent.  He also reported six additional deaths with five in the Winnipeg region and one in Prairie Mountain health.  Of the new cases 70 are in the Northern health region and 48 in Winnipeg with lower numbers in other regions. The total number of active cases reported in the Flin Flon, Cranberry Portage, Snow Lake, Sherridon district has dropped two to 18.  Of the total 27,893 reported cases 3137 are considered active, 23,968 individuals have recovered, 273 are in hospital with 36 in intensive care.                

             

A member of the Manitoba Vaccine Implementation Task Force Dr. Joss Reimer reported a new online vaccine dashboard has been launched and it shows how many doses they have received, how many have been given to eligible Manitobans, how many doses are scheduled to be given to Manitobans in the next 28 days and a breakdown of the age and sex of those Manitobans who have been immunized.

             

It can be found at www.manitoba.ca/vaccine.html.

Homelessness and Hiring Were Part of Last Nights Flin Flon City Council Meeting.

At their meeting Council received a letter from Flin Flon MLA Tom Lindsey on homeless people in our community.  It notes last year it was estimated there were approximately 100 homeless people in Flin Flon.  He asked if Council would be interested in attending a Zoom or some sort of distance meeting to discuss how to make a homeless shelter happen in our community.  He added they hope to get a committee established with many stakeholders interested in exploring the opportunity to help the individuals who are homeless including if they require short term or long term solutions and services needed.  Council or any other groups interested can contact Tom Lindsey at 204-687-3246 or email flinflon1@yourmanitoba.ca.

             

Council referred to the Finance Committee a request from the Flin Flon Station Museum Board for a renewal of the grant of 15 thousand dollars from the city for the fiscal year 2020-21

             

Council also approved the agreement to hire Bernardo Pasco as Director of Works and Operations for the City effective February 1st.  It was noted he has an engineering technology background as well as with sewer and water services.

A Drill Program is Underway on the Tower Property.

Rockcliff Metals Corporation has initiated a drill program on their Tower Property 126 kilometers south of Wabowden in the Flin Flon Snow Lake Greenstone Belt.  The focus of the drill program will be on a highly prospective, buried, untested, geophysical anomaly termed T3 located about 12 hundred meters north of the copper rich Tower Deposit where a recently completed preliminary economic assessment highlighted positive economics.

             

President Alistair Ross says their development rates and costs proposed in the assessment indicate that should T3 provide encouraging grade and size the cost schedule of reaching that area will fit very well inside the current intent of extending the proposed mine life of the Tower Property adding they are examining their Rail Property near Snow Lake for similar opportunities.

 

Saskatchewan COVID Case Numbers Can Come Down.

           

Saskatchewan health reported 309 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the daily average of new cases to 300.  They also reported six additional deaths with two each in Regina and South East zones and one each in Central West and Saskatoon zones. Of the new cases 69 are in Saskatoon, 43 in Regina, 30 in North Central, 29 in North West with lower numbers in other zones including 18 in the Far North East. 

             

Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab says you have to follow public health orders to see restrictions lifted.  He notes our current measures if they are complied with universally are sufficient to bring case numbers down, we saw that happen very dramatically in the middle of December and even now whenever we see transmissions its almost always lack of compliance with current measures.

             

Of the 20,871 reported cases 4156 are considered active, 16,490 individuals have recovered and 207 are in hospital with 31 in intensive care.

 

A COVID Outbreak is Over at a Care Home in The Pas.

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr Brent Roussin announced 111 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to 9.9 percent.  He also reported 11 additional deaths with seven in Winnipeg, two in Southern health and one each in Interlake Eastern and Prairie Mountain health regions. The outbreak is declared over at St. Paul’s Personal Care Home in The Pas. Of the new cases 52 are in Winnipeg and 33 in Northern health with lower numbers in other regions.  The total number of active cases in the Flin Flon, Snow Lake, Cranberry Portage, Sherridon region is listed as 20.  Of the total 27,740 reported cases 3,088 are active, 23,869 individuals have recovered and 279 are in hospital with 37 in intensive care.

 

Proposed Changes to Manitoba Public Health Orders May Not Apply to the Northern Region.

Following the advice of public health officials and input from tens of thousands of Manitobans the government is considering modest changes to public health orders. They include allowing two additional people to visit a household, outdoor visits of up to five people plus members of a household on outdoor private property, retail stores open for sale of all products and current requirements to maintain physical distancing with occupancy limits in place, the elimination of the essential items list and barber shops and hair stylists to reopen at 25 percent capacity with adequate physical distancing.

             

It was noted with the high case counts in northern Manitoba and First Nations any proposed changes would most likely only apply in the Winnipeg, Southern heath, Interlake Eastern and Prairie Mountain health regions.

             

The province encourages input from Manitobans on the proposed changes that could come into effect Friday by going to engagemb.ca.

 

People Interested in Manitoba History Can Receive a Special Award.

The Manitoba Historical Society is accepting nominations for the Lieutenant Governor’s Award.  The Society’s Gordon Goldsborough says nominations are open to anyone interested in the history of the province.  He explains the award is intended primarily for people who have done service in the promotion of Manitoba’s history, so pretty much anyone who has done things like writing books, various art projects, running museums, anything that has an aspect of preserving and promoting Manitoba’s history will qualify.                                                                         

 

Previous recipients have included Flin Flonners Don Peake and Gerry Clark who received this award in 2018 for their work in preserving and promoting the history of Flin Flon.

             

Nomination forms and more information are available on the websites of the Manitoba Historical Society www.mhs.mb.ca or the Lieutenant Governor at www.manitobalg.ca.  The deadline is February 19th. 

 

A Flin Flon Man Has Been Charged Following a Robbery.

Around 1:10 last Thursday Flin Flon RCMP responded to a robbery at a financial institution on Main Street.  A man entered the business and demanded cash stating he had an explosive device in his bag and was carrying a firearm.  He stole cash, left his bag and fled on foot.  When RCMP attended they determined the bag did not contain an explosive device nor had anyone seen a firearm.

             

The RCMP later identified the suspect after talking with witnesses and the following morning Creighton RCMP arrested a male suspect at a residence in Denare Beach. Marcel Sewap of Flin Flon has been charged with robbery and uttering threats and was remanded into custody as RCMP continue to investigate.

 

Saskatchewan Continues to Have High Rates of Active COVID cases.

Saskatchewan health is reporting 290 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 291.  They also reported four additional deaths with one each in the North East, Far North West, Saskatoon and Far North East zones.  Of the new cases 55 are in Saskatoon, 45 in Far North West, 41 in North West, 33 in North East and 25 in Regina with lower numbers in other zones. Of the total 20,562 reported cases 4265 are considered active, 16,078 individuals have recovered and 210 are in hospital with 30 in intensive care.  They also report 22,618 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the province to doctors and nurses working with COVID-19 patients and staff and residents of long term care homes.

Work Continues to Control COVID Cases in the North.

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin reported 118 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to 10.6 percent.  He also reported four additional deaths with three in Winnipeg and one in the Northern health region linked to the outbreak at the Rod McGillivary Memorial Care Home.  Of the new cases 46 are in the Northern health region and 45 in Winnipeg with lower numbers in other regions. Roussin says they are still seeing outbreaks in northern and First Nations communities and so there’s a lot of work on the ground with the rapid response teams, rapid testing, a lot of work right now on alternative isolation accommodations because it’s very important to get those cases of contact isolated to break the chain of transmission. He adds they see the numbers today showing a slight downturn but they’re still concerned about the outbreaks in the remote settings.

             

Of the 27,629 reported cases 3,108 are active, 23,748 individuals have recovered and 289 are in hospital with 35 in intensive care. It was noted that the delay in Pfizer vaccine distribution will have no affect on the commitment of Moderna doses made to First Nations communities.

The Salvation Army is More Prepared to Help Those in Need.

The Salvation Army Flin Flon church is now the owner of an emergency disaster vehicle known as a Critical Response Vehicle.  Major Al Bain says their focus includes any disasters in the north. He explains they will be using it to deliver bag lunches throughout the community Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and it could be used to provide food and beverages at community functions outdoors and be available for emergency disasters, fires or floods in northern Manitoba to provide food and beverages to victims, volunteers and disaster services personnel.

             

Major Bain adds the Salvation Army is providing free training courses on Zoom for those who choose to volunteer their services related to emergency disasters.  Anyone interested can call them at 204-687-7812.

 

There are Lessons to Learn From this Pandemic.

As the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic into 2021 the Director of the Centre of Professional and Applied Ethics at the University of Manitoba Arthur Schafer says it’s not too early to learn from this pandemic.  He says it should teach us how to be better prepared should a similar situation arise in the future.  He explains we live in a globalized world where there’s a hell of a lot of mobility and people are travelling and every country is vulnerable and new viruses can move from remote parts of the world and they’re going to be here.  He adds we’re living now in an age where the threat of pandemics and all the deaths and harm they do is going to be ever present and ever with us so we’ve got to be prepared and in Manitoba the emergency preparedness committee was shut down over the summer to save money and that makes no sense as we’ve all got to have such committees in place.

 

Schafer says another lesson to learn from this is for countries to work with the World Health Organization to better monitor and act quickly when a new virus is discovered.

 

The Lynn Lake Region is a COVID Concern while Saskatchewan Numbers Remain High.

Manitoba public health reported over the weekend 369 new cases of COVID-19 bringing the five day test positivity rate to 10.4 percent.  They also reported ten additional deaths with eight in the Winnipeg region and one each in the Southern and Northern regions.  Of the new cases 164 are in the Northern region and 148 in Winnipeg with lower numbers in other regions. Of the total 27,511 reported cases 3081 are active, 23,661 have recovered and 292 are in hospital with 39 in intensive care.  The Lynn Lake region reports a total of 127 active cases and on Saturday an outbreak was declared at the Lynn Lake hospital which has been moved to the critical or red zone.

             

Saskatchewan health reported 557 new cases over the weekend bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 308.  They also reported five additional deaths with three in Regina and one each in the Far North West and North Central zones.  Of the new cases 162 are in Saskatoon, 84 in Regina and 70 in the North West zone with lower numbers in other zones including 25 in the Far North East.  Of the total 20,272 reported cases 4121 are considered active, 15,936 individuals have recovered and 203 are in hospital with 33 in intensive care.

 

COVID Case Numbers Continue to Climb in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan health reported this afternoon 382 new cases of COVID-19 bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 320.  They also reported four additional deaths with two in South East and one each in Saskatoon and North East zones.  Of the new cases 88 are in Saskatoon, 46 in Far North West, 45 in North West, 42 in Regina, 38 in North Central and 36 in North East with lower numbers in other zones. Of the total 19,715 reported cases 4,010 cases are considered active, 15,495 individuals have recovered and 210 people are in hospital with 35 in intensive care.

             

As of January 15th 14,017 doses of vaccine have been administered in Saskatchewan.

 

Work is Being Done Following Reports of Increasing COVID Numbers in Some Northern Communities.

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin announced 191 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to ten percent.  He also reported five additional deaths with three in the Winnipeg region and one each in the Southern and Northern health regions. Roussin noted the current restrictions are making a difference explaining they looked back at the modeling numbers on the trajectory we were on in early November and looking back at that they’ve figured that from November 12th to January 3rd these red level restrictions have likely saved 17 hundred lives.

             

Of the new cases 84 are in the Northern health region and 71 in Winnipeg region with lower numbers in other regions. Roussin says a lot of work is being done in northern communities including Lynn Lake, Thompson and Garden Hill First Nation experiencing high case numbers.  Of the total 27,145 reported cases 2907 are active, 23,478 individuals have recovered and 284 are in hospital with 35 in intensive care.

Our Recreation Departments Encourage You to Get Into Cross Country Skiing.

The Flin Flon and Creighton Recreation Departments are offering an intro to cross country skiing.  Creighton Recreation Director Channa Senyk says they are sponsoring ski equipment rental and trail fees from the Flin Flon Ski Club for families who wish to give cross country skiing a try.  She explains they are inviting people to bring their families and try out the sport of cross country skiing and all they need to do is give Dennis Whitbread a call and arrange for rental of the equipment they need and the trail permit fees as well.  She adds they are offering it for six weeks and hope the good weather keeps up and people get out and try a new sport and enjoy the winter.

             

You can call Dennis at 204-271-4522 and make sure you tell him it is under Flin Flon or Creighton Rec. They also recommend you download the TrailForks app so you will be able to pinpoint your location on the trail at any point in your ski. 

 

A Property Near Flin Flon is a Priority for Callinex mines.

In a year end news letter to shareholders Callinex Mines President Max Porterfield reports expanding their Rainbow Discovery 16 kilometers from Flin Flon is their highest priority.  He says exploration at Pine Bay will continue to expand the mineralization to surface as well as test high priority targets along the productive horizon that hosts the Rainbow Discovery.

             

He explains the Discovery is made up of copper, gold, silver and zinc and since the initial discovery hole in August their team has focused on delineating the Rainbow Discovery which is emerging as a much more shallow discovery than the Triple Seven and Lalor mines which are currently producing in the province.  He notes due to the high grades intersected in the two zones to date they believe the Rainbow Discovery has the potential to extend the rich mining history of Flin Flon.

 

New Restrictions Will Come to Saskatchewan Without Lower Case Numbers.

Saskatchewan health reported 312 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 313.  They were no new deaths to report.  Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab says we really have to stay the course with the public health measures. He explains if we continue to see cases as high as this week he will be speaking with the Minister of Health Mr. Merriman about additional measures which may be required next week and this is really a critical time for us so really try to bring our numbers down just as we did in December.

             

Of the new cases 99 are in Saskatoon, 51 in Regina and 39 in North Central with lower numbers in other zones including 29 in Far North East.  Of the total 19,329 cases reported 3859 are considered active, 15,264 have recovered and 206 are in hospital with 33 in intensive care.

 

COVID Case Numbers Continue to Climb in the Northern Health Region.

Manitoba public health reported 259 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate back up to ten percent.  They also reported two additional deaths with one each in the Winnipeg region and Prairie Mountain region.  Of the new cases 139 are in Northern health, 75 in Winnipeg and 23 in Prairie Mountain with lower numbers in other regions. Of the 26,954 reported cases 2866 are active, 23,313 individuals have recovered, 290 are in hospital with 37 in intensive care and deaths now total 755.

             

Support from public health is being provided in Lynn Lake after they reported an outbreak with a total of 144 active cases being listed.

 

Outdoor Activity Restrictions Are Being Enforced in Manitoba.

The Manitoba government has provided an update on ongoing enforcement effort to protect Manitobans from the spread of COVID-19.  A total of 249 warnings and tickets were issued the week of January 4th to 10th including 33 – 1296 dollar tickets to individuals for various offences, eight tickets to individuals for failure to wear a mask in indoor public places and six five thousand dollar tickets for businesses. 22 of the 33 – 1296 dollar tickets were in relation to gatherings in private residences that were reported on the tip line.

             

They advise with the unseasonably warm January temperatures enforcement will maintain an ongoing presence at outdoor recreation venues to ensure compliance with public health orders adding do not gather in groups of more than five and maintain a separation of at least two meters unless you reside in the same residence.

             

Since enforcement efforts began in April a total of 2211 warnings and 720 tickets have been issued resulting in more than one million dollars in fines to businesses and individuals.

 

Students are Back to School Activities Following the Christmas Break.

The Flin Flon School Board held their regular meeting Tuesday night. Board Chair Murray Skeavington welcomed everyone back from a restful break and mentioned students in grades 7 to 12 are scheduled to return to in class learning on January the 18th.

In school news parents who are opting for remote learning in kindergarten through grade 8 will be asked to commit to it until Spring Break. Prior to Spring Break they will evaluate whether to continue to offer remote learning for the remainder of the school year.

Ruth Betts School is excited about a new t-shirt design that has been added for Pink Shirt Day, an Indigenous pink shirt.  Ruth Betts is putting in a staff order in February so they will have them in time for April.

McIsaac school is reporting the grade 7 and 8 students are doing extremely well with remote learning and have been actively participating in online sessions.

Hapnot will hold their first set of exams January the 26th through the 28th and parents are asked to check the Hapnot web-site for the dates your child will be writing.

Many Faces reported their interactive events with Reel Canada went well. They were physically distanced for two sessions in the gym. Food was served to their seat as students watched the documentaries and met interactively with the producers of the documentaries. Supplementary lessons spilled over into the classroom after and Reel Canada has provided pathways for students interested in acting, directing or producing.

Reported COVID-19 Cases Have Topped 19 Thousand in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan health reported 247 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 316.  They also reported two related deaths with one each in the North Central zone and the Saskatoon zone.  Of the new cases 82 are in Saskatoon, 27 each in North Central and North East and 23 in Regina with lower numbers in other zones including nine in Far North East.

             

Of the total 19,017 reported cases 3748 are active, 15,063 individuals have recovered and 205 people are in hospital with 36 in intensive care.

 

COVID-19 New Case Numbers are Up In the North.

Manitoba Acting Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Jazz Atwal reported 155 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to 9.6 percent.  He also reported five additional deaths with three in the Winnipeg region and one each in Prairie Mountain and Northern Health regions.  Atwal says we are heading in the right direction but if we let up now all the hard work for the past several weeks could be for nothing, we could go back to where we started in November. He says we need to do this in order to bring our numbers down further and reduce the strain on our health care system noting despite lower case number we’re not back to normal so we have to keep focusing on the fundamentals to protect ourselves, our loved ones, our neighbors and our co-workers.

             

 Of the new cases 61 are in Winnipeg and 70 in the Northern health region with lower numbers in other regions. Atwal noted the numbers include new cases reported in a couple of northern Manitoba communities with 37 in Lynn Lake and 14 in Thompson related to larger households and among households and steps are being taken to contain the spread of virus in these communities as well as around 15 in First Nations communities.

A Small Business Grant Program Will Include More Small Businesses.

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister has announced the Manitoba Bridge Grant application deadline has been extended to January 31st.  The program offers support to small businesses, charities, not for profits and home based businesses affected by public health orders.  He reported it has now expanded to include more businesses such as hotels, resorts, lodges and outfitters, travel agencies, janitorial services companies and owner/operators of licensed passenger transportation businesses can apply and they too will be eligible not just for the Bridge Grant  for this year, the five thousand dollars, but they’ll be eligible to apply and if qualifying they will be eligible retroactively for the previous five thousand.

             

For complete information go to www.manitoba.ca/covid19, click on programs and then Manitoba Bridge Grant.

 

The Manitoba Chambers of Commerce reflected back on 2020 and how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted businesses across the province.

President and CEO Chuck Davidson says many businesses had to close their doors at various points throughout the year which hit some industries harder than others. He says they’ve done surveys regarding this and they know that the hospitality and the tourism sectors have been significantly impacted with having to operate at limited capacity, having to do so with limited staff, having to do so with limited consumers being able to come in so that’s been the real challenge for specific sectors in Manitoba that have been challenged more so than others and the north would be a perfect example of that noting obviously tourism is a big component of the northern economy.  He adds with the north being closed off to the rest of the province at various times over the past year that proves problematic.

 

Davidson explains the chamber has information for businesses on the different aid programs available to them and will be holding an information session to help answer questions business owners may have.

 

For more information, visit www.mbchamber.mb.ca.

Saskatchewan COVID Public Health Orders Have Been Extended.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has announced based on the current COVID-19 transmission rates the public health orders issued effective December 17th will remain in effect until January 29th.  He explains private indoor gatherings will remain limited to immediate household members only with very limited exceptions for people who may be living alone, care givers and support services.  Private outdoor gathering can be up to ten people provided physical distancing can be maintained, most retail locations and personal services are operating at reduced capacity of 50 percent and large retail locations reduced to 25 percent capacity, restaurants continue to be limited to four customers per table and three meters between tables for in person dining and places of worship, concert venues and theatres remain limited at 30 people.

             

Moe adds since Christmas case numbers have been on the rise so the orders will be re-evaluated in two weeks.

 

New COVID-19 Cases Reported in Manitoba Have Dropped Below One Hundred and Saskatchewan Numbers Have Dropped.

Manitoba public health reported 90 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon with a five day test positivity rate of 10.1 percent. They also reported eight additional deaths with five in Winnipeg region and one each in Interlake Eastern, Prairie Mountain and Northern Health regions. Of the new cases 44 are in Winnipeg region, 22 in Prairie Mountain health and single digits in other regions including nine in the Northern health region.  Of the total 26,540 confirmed cases 3100 are active, 22,692 individuals have recovered and 302 are in hospital with 35 in intensive care.

             

Saskatchewan health reported 248 new cases this afternoon bringing the seven day average of new cases to 321.  They also reported five additional deaths with two in Regina and one each in the Far North West, North West and South West zones. Of the new cases 53 are in Saskatoon, 37 in Regina, 30 in North West, 26 in North Central and 20 in Far North East with lower numbers in other zones.  Of the total 18,770 reported cases 3752 are considered active, 14,814 have recovered and 191 are in hospital with 21 in intensive care.

Hudbay Can Move Ahead With Their Peru Mine Development.

Hudbay Minerals has announced that in accordance with Peru’s Consulta Previa law additional consultation between the Peruvian government and the local community of Chilloroya has been completed with community support.  Upon completion of the process the Peruvian regulators granted Hudbay the final mining permit for the development and operation of the Pampacancha deposit. The company is working toward completion of the remaining individual land user agreements to allow for full site access for development at Pampacancha.  The company has started limited pre-development activities including haul road construction and site preparation work.

             

Hudbay President and CEO Peter Kukielski says this milestone demonstrates the strong relationships with their local communities and they are grateful for their support as they pursue the development of Pampacancha for the benefit of all their stakeholders.

 

Protect Yourself by Ensuring Safety on Ice This Winter.

With the fluctuating temperatures the Government of Saskatchewan reminds you to make sure ice is safe and thick enough before walking, snowmobiling or driving on it.  They note ice thickness depends on the particular water body and local conditions adding it does not freeze at a uniform thickness and ice strength can vary considerably from one area to another. 

             

To be sure they point out check the ice thickness before you travel on it and as a guideline you need at least 10 centimeters of ice to walk on, 20 to drive a snowmobile or ATV on, 30 to drive a car or light truck on and more than 30 centimeters to support a heavy truck adding clear hard ice is the only ice recommended for travel.

             

They also suggest avoiding ice that looks slushy, has thawed and frozen again, is near moving water, is layered caused by sudden temperature changes or has structures in it such as pressure ridges.

             

For information about ice fishing you can visit www.saskatchewan.ca/fishing to view the Saskatchewan Angler’s Guide.

COVID Case Numbers in Saskatchewan Remain High in Several Zones.

Saskatchewan health reported 412 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the seven day average of new cases up to 307.  They also reported eight additional deaths with two in Regina and one each in six other zones.  Of the new cases 142 are in Saskatoon, 102 in North West, 95 in North Central, 88 in Regina, 80 in Far North East, 47 in South East, 33 in Far North West and lower numbers in other zones. Of the 18,522 reported cases 3735 are considered active, 14,588 individuals have recovered and 197 are in hospital with 31 in intensive care.

             

The government reports they have purchased 18 thousand face shields and four million disposable masks which are being shipped directly to the province’s 27 school divisions and 26 independent schools throughout this week.

New Covid Numbers Continue to go Down in Manitoba.

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin reported 133 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon with a five day test positivity rate of ten percent.  He also reported three additional deaths with one each in the Winnipeg, Prairie Mountain and Northern health regions.  He explains today’s numbers are encouraging, they definitely want to see this trajectory continue and these numbers are a testament to the hard work of Manitobans following the very tough restrictions that are in place but necessary and we see some of the benefits from that at this point.  He adds we’re certainly not out of the woods but they are seeing the trajectory that they wanted to see.

             

Of the new cases 47 are in the Winnipeg region, 34 in Northern and 28 in Prairie Mountain region with smaller numbers in other regions.  Of the 26,450 reported cases 3414 are considered active, 22,295 individuals have recovered and 316 are in hospital with 37 in intensive care.

The Minister of Education Must be Reminded of the Importance of Local School Boards.

The President of the Manitoba School Boards Association Alan M. Campbell has issued a statement reminding Flin Flon residents of the importance of a local voice when it comes to education.  He states your right to elect local school trustees ensures education in your community remains focused on the community.  He adds….

             

“As one of the many Manitoba communities whose schools have shifted to restricted response level under the Pandemic Response System, you have borne firsthand witness to the tremendous commitment to education that has so amply been demonstrated by school leaders and staff at the FlinFlin School Division. With very little advance notice as shifts in response level have occurred throughout2020, these leaders and their staff stand as an example of the kind of courage, resiliency and adaptability that make our schools so successful each and every day. But I would invite you to take time to pause and reflect on what things would look like right now, if thecommunity did not have these local school divisions. If decisions about how schools would operate and how families could best be accommodated, depended on decision-makers located outside of yourcommunity.”

            

  Campbell urges you to write to Education Minister Cliff Cullen letting him know the autonomy of local school boards is a must..

 

 

The Approved COVID-19 Vaccines Are Safe.

A Medical Officer of Health for the Northern Health Region Doctor William Libich has spoken on the current COVID-19 Vaccines.  He wants ensure everyone the vaccines currently approved are safe and explains the reason behind vaccine hesitancy. He says people want to make the best decision possible to protect themselves and their families, they want to feel comfortable that a health intervention such as immunization is safe and they want to know that the vaccines will also help them, that it’s necessary so when you have a new vaccine for a new disease that is always going to leave some individuals with some doubt and when people have doubt they choose to do nothing.  He emphasizes no serious safety concerns related to the vaccines have been found so far, there are common side effects that are to be expected with any vaccine including these and serious allergic events are very rare so its one of the reasons that after the immunization they monitor them.

             

He adds complete information on Manitoba’s vaccination program can be found by Googling Manitoba COVID vaccine.

Manitoba COVID New Case Numbers were Down Sunday While Saskatchewan Still Faces High Numbers.

Manitoba public health reported 394 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend with a five day test positivity rate of 10 percent.  There were 203 new cases Saturday and 151 Sunday.  Of the new cases 158 were in Winnipeg and 98 in the Northern health region with lower numbers in other regions.  They also reported 12 related deaths with 11 in Winnipeg and one in Southern health.  Of the 26, 317 confirmed cases 4792 are considered active, 20,850 individuals have recovered and 322 are in hospital with 36 in intensive care. On Saturday an outbreak at Rod McGillivary Memorial Care Home on Opaskwayak Cree Nation was declared over.

             

Saskatchewan reported 643 new cases over the weekend. They also reported seven additional deaths with four in Regina, two in South East and one in North Central zone.  Of the 336 new cases reported Saturday 57 were in Saskatoon, 52 in Far North East, 46 in North West and 41 in North Central with  lower numbers in other zones.  Zone breakdowns were not available for Sunday.  Reported cases total 18,110 with 187 in hospital and 31 in intensive care.

 

Concerns Over High COVID Numbers Continue in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Manitoba public health reported 221 new case of COVID-19 this afternoon with a five day test positivity rate of 10.1 percent.  They also reported nine additional deaths with five in Winnipeg, three in Prairie Mountain and one in the Northern health region. Of the new cases 97 are in the Winnipeg region and 69 in the Northern health region with lower numbers in other regions.  Of the total 25,963 confirmed cases 4582 are active, 20,655 have recovered, 315 are in hospital with 35 in intensive care and related deaths total 726.

             

Saskatchewan reported 336 new cases this afternoon bringing the seven day average of daily cases to 262.  They also reported seven additional deaths with four in Regina, two in South East and one in the North Central zone.  Of the new cases 57 are in Saskatoon, 56 are in Regina, 52 in Far North East, 46 in North West, 41 in North Central and lower numbers in other zones.  Of the 17,474 reported cases 3,053 are active, 14,237 individuals have recovered and 180 people are in hospital with 26 in intensive care.

 

Manitoba Public Health Orders Have Been Extended With One Adjustment.

The Manitoba government has extended public health orders from January 8th until January 22nd. The existing Critical or red level restrictions have been extended by public health order with a minor modification to allow exemptions for professional hockey.  The updated orders will extend current exemptions to all professional hockey teams but will allow games to be played as well as training.  The teams will be required to follow strict protocols.            

             

Premier Brian Pallister says while we are starting to bend our COVID curve in the right direction now is not the time to let up.  He urges Manitobans to follow the fundamentals, stay safe at home and limit your close contacts as much as possible.

             

The public health measures which continue in place close down non-essential businesses and limit close contacts with people to people within the same household. Public health will consult with Manitobans starting next week on what changes should be made to the restrictions.

 

It Was Another Successful Year of Recycling.

The year end totals are in for last year at the Flin Flon Recycling Centre.  Administrator Deb Odegaard says it’s great to have another increase in the number of tonnes they recycle.  She reports they recycled 18.7 more metric tons than in 2019 so a total of 538 for this year and most of that was corrugated cardboard.  She adds they also recycled 25 tonnes of electronics, 46 boxes of household batteries which is equal to about 896 kilograms and hazardous waste they have at the landfill and they have paint and fluorescent bulbs at the Recycling Centre so they sent 12 tubskids of paint, 13 barrels of other hazardous material and 96 boxes of fluorescent bulbs.

             

For information on recycling you can contact the Recycling Centre at 204-687-6169 or visit their website www.flinflonrecycling.org.

A swimming school in Winnipeg is offering free online babysitting classes to kids across Manitoba including here in the north.

The owner and instructor at the Aqua Essence Swim Academy Rishona Hyman explains the Red Cross Babysitting Course is for youth ages eleven to 15 and is taught using Zoom with four two-hour classes

 

Hyman states participants will learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies, meet the needs of children of different ages, and promote themselves as a babysitter.

 

She says the online Red Cross classes were made possible thanks to the province’s Safe at Home Manitoba grant which allows her school to give free online babysitting courses to 370 Manitoba Children.

 

To learn more about the babysitting classes visit www.aquaessence.ca.

 

 

The Test Positivity Rate Has Dropped Below Ten Percent in Manitoba While Saskatchewan New Cases Topped 300.

Manitoba public health reported this afternoon 201 new cases of COVID-19 lowering the five day test positivity rate to 9.9 percent.  They also reported 12 additional deaths with eight in Winnipeg, two in Prairie Mountain and one each in the Northern and Southern health regions.  Of the reported new cases 105 are in Winnipeg and 60 in the Northern health region with lower number in other regions.  Of the total 25,742 reported cases 4506 are active, 20,519 individuals have recovered and 319 are in hospital with 35 in intensive care.

               

Personal Care Home residents will soon be able to welcome loved ones for visits in the new COVisitation spaces which are being installed at 125 PCHs and other sites in the province.  Visits will be by appointment only with more details available from individual PCHs in the coming days.

             

Saskatchewan Health reported 334 new cases this afternoon bringing the seven day average of daily cases to 254.  They also reported three additional deaths with two in Regina and one in the North Central Zone.  Of the new cases 83 are in Saskatoon, 65 in North Central and 49 in Regina with lower numbers in other zones.  Of the total 17,138 reported cases 2947 are considered active, 14,014 individuals have recovered and 176 people are in hospital with 29 in intensive care.

 

Some Incidents Involved Smoke But No Fire.

At their meeting Tuesday night Flin Flon City Council received the Fire Chiefs report of December indicating seven incidents during the month.  On December 7th they received a report of smoke and alarms sounding at a Hill Street residence. There was a malfunction to the furnace with no smoke or fire damage.  On the 19th they were called to another Hill Street residence and found a burst water line had created a short in an electrical outlet causing a small amount of smoke.  On the 28th they received a report of smoke coming from a Green Street building but found no smoke or fire and on the 29th an alarm on Hapnot Street resulted from a smoke detector activated by burnt cooking.  On December 4th they assisted EMS on a call as well as on the 15th when a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle on Callinan and on the 19th they extinguished a fire in a vehicle on Highway 10 A.                            

             

Later in the meeting Councillor Ken Pawlachuk expressed his concerns about our Member of Parliament Niki Ashton travelling to Greece to visit a sick relative over New Years while public health is recommending people not travel due to the spread of COVID-19.  Mayor Cal Huntley noted disappointment in the lack of leadership it showed considering what a lot of people are enduring right now to follow recommended restrictions.

 

A COVID-19 Outbreak is Over in Thompson While More Vaccines are Coming to Northern Saskatchewan.

Manitoba public health reported 167 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon with a five day test positivity rate of 10.4 percent.  They also reported ten additional deaths with eight in Winnipeg health region and one each in Interlake Eastern and Northern health regions.  Of the new cases 109 are in the Winnipeg region and 31 in the Northern region with lower numbers in the other health regions.  Of the total 25,541 reported cases 4460 are considered active, 20,376 individuals have recovered, 329 are in hospital with 37 in intensive care and related deaths now total 705.  An outbreak at the Thompson General Hospital MSP ward has been declared over.

            

 Saskatchewan health reported 277 new cases this afternoon.  They also reported nine additional deaths with three in Regina, two each in Saskatoon and South East and one each in North Central and Central West zones.  Of the new cases 70 are in Regina, 44 in Saskatoon and 32 in Far North East zone with lower numbers in other zones.  Of the total 16,804 reported cases 2893 are active, 13,737 individuals have recovered, 172 are in hospital with 29 in intensive care and the seven day average of daily new cases is 233.  The government also announced all remaining Moderna doses received to date will be allocated to the Far North East and North East zones to be shipped as soon as possible with priority given to residents and staff of long term care and personal care homes and front line workers.

All Personal Care Home Residents are to be Immunized in a 28 Day Campaign.

 Premier Brian Pallister has announced to protect vulnerable Manitobans who are at greatest risk from COVID-19 Manitoba will launch a 28 day campaign to immunize all eligible personal care home residents at 135 sites across the province with the first doses of the vaccine.  He noted that by mid-March every single eligible PCH resident will have received both doses and the fullest protection they can provide them with against this deadly virus.

             

The PCH immunization campaign begins on Monday and over the week focused immunization teams will visit seven locations in every regional health authority across the province to immunize 1157 people.  The only location mentioned for the week in the Northern Health Region is St. Paul’s Residence in The Pas.  Locations are selected by vulnerability of the site based on the number of residents as well as the percentage of shared bed spaces.  The province has developed a week by week plan to immunize an estimated 9834 people living in PCHs across the province with schedules release weekly. Pallister also reported 53 hundred doses of the first Moderna Vaccine received will be sent to First Nations communities based on a plan developed with First Nations partners.

Rate Renewals and Funding Requests Were Part of the Council Meeting Last Night.

At their meeting Flin Flon City Council approved the 2021 recreation fee schedule with the exception of the Whitney Forum rates which are reviewed separately. The fees cover the RH Channing Auditorium, rooms and offices, Camp Whitney, Tourist Bureau, Rotary Wheel and ball diamonds with a general increase of four percent.  Details can be found at City Hall.

             

 Council received a membership renewal request from the Hudson Bay Route Association at a cost of 300 dollars.  They note their support is very important in ongoing endeavors to put Churchill in the forefront as a major Arctic shipping port for western Canada. Request referred to the Finance Committee.

             

Council also received a request from the Flin Flon Station Museum Board to cover the installation cost of the Christmas display this year and in coming years noting the cost of installation this year is 2115 dollars.  They point out there were major upgrades to the display this year covered by very generous grants and donations totally 11,600 dollars. Total volunteer time for the refurbishment will amount to 150 to 160 hours. Request referred to Committee of the whole Council.

             

Mayor Cal Huntley noted he is impressed by the number of people taking advantage of the numerous outdoor activities we have available in this area.

Manitobans Continue to Face Fines and Warnings.

The Manitoba government has issued an update on enforcement efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  They report a total of 279 warnings and 55 tickets were issue for the week of December 28th to January 3rd including 49 – 1296 dollar tickets to individuals for various offences and six tickets to individuals for failure to wear a mask in indoor public places. They advise that 41 of the 55 – 1296 dollar tickets were in relation to gatherings in private residences.

             

Since enforcement efforts began in April a total of 1962 warnings and 672 tickets have been issued resulting in more than 984 thousand dollars in fines to businesses and individuals.  In addition to the 298 dollars fine for not wearing a mask in indoor public places fine amounts for violating public health orders have been set at 1296 dollars to individuals and five thousand dollars for tickets issued to corporations.  Manitobans are reminded to adhere to all current public health orders and stay home.

A COVID Outbreak Has Been Declared Over in Flin Flon and Vaccinations are Taking Place in Far North Saskatchewan.

Manitoba public health reported 130 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon with a five day test positivity rate of 10.7 percent.  They also reported seven related deaths with six in the Winnipeg health region and one in Southern health.  Of the new cases 77 are in the Winnipeg region, 19 in Northern health and 17 in Interlake Eastern with single digits in other regions. Of the total 25,374 reported cases 4427 are active, 20,252 individuals have recovered and 339 are in hospital with 40 in intensive care.  The outbreak at the Northern Lights Manor in Flin Flon has been declared over.

             

Saskatchewan health reported 153 new cases this afternoon.  They also reported five related deaths with two in the Regina zone and one each in North Central, North East and South Central zones.  Of the new cases 39 are in Regina, 33 in Saskatoon, 14 in North Central and 13 each in North West and Central East with single digits in other zones.  Of the 16,520 reported cases 3,057 are considered active, 13,298 individuals have recovered and 166 are in hospital with 31 in intensive care.  Vaccination of long term care residents and health providers began in the Far North West and Far North Central zones yesterday.              

Manitobans are Advised Not to Travel Out of Province While International Travelers Must be Tested.

With the increase in cases of the new COVID-19 variant in Canada Manitoba public health officials are reminding all international travelers to be tested for COVID-19 immediately upon arriving in Manitoba. This is regardless of if they are displaying symptoms and whether they are visiting the province or are returning from out of the country.  Travelers should self isolate immediately upon arrival back in the province for the full 14 day self isolation period regardless of symptoms and test results.

             

They note at this time while early data suggests the new variant may be more transmissible there is no evidence the variant causes more severe symptoms of COVID-19 or affects vaccine effectiveness. Manitoba public health officials strongly advise that travel out of the province should be limited to essential purposes only.

 

Area Residents in Both Saskatchewan and Manitoba Are Seeing New Tax Savings.

All Saskatchewan income tax brackets and tax credit amounts will once again be indexed this year.  It will save the province’s tax payers an estimated 15 million dollars.  The level of indexation in 2021 will be 1.0 percent matching the national rate of inflation.  Saskatchewan families with children enrolled in sports, arts and culture activities will be able to claim the Active Families Benefit once again on their 2021 taxes.  It will provide a non-refundable tax credit of 150 dollars per year to eligible families. Families who are planning to renovate their homes may also be able to claim the recently announced Saskatchewan Home Renovation Tax credit on eligible expenses incurred between October 1st, 2020 and December 31st 2021.

             

Manitobans will also see a number of tax savings. Personal income tax brackets and the basic personal amount will increase by 2.2 percent for the 2021 taxation year as they are indexed to the Manitoba Consumer Price Index.  As a result an estimated 33 hundred taxpayers are expected to be removed from tax rolls.  Manitoba will also begin phasing out the Education Property Tax this year and eligible seniors who have not received their 200 dollar Seniors Economic Recovery Credit in 2020 are able to claim it when filing their 2020 personal income tax return this year.

The Daily Average of COVID-19 Cases Has Jumped in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan health reported 286 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon.  They also reported two additional deaths with one each in the Far North East and the North East zones.  Of the reported cases 63 are in North Central, 48 in Regina, 46 in the Far North East and 41 in Saskatoon with lower numbers in the other zones.

             

Of the 16,367 reported cases 3,027 are active, 13,180 individuals have recovered and 180 are in hospital with 35 in intensive care.  The seven day average of daily new cases is 209 up from 181 on Sunday.

             

Moderna vaccinations are beginning this week in the Far North West and Far North Central zones for eligible health care staff as well as long term and personal care home residents.

Restriction Changes in Manitoba Depend on Holiday COVID Numbers.

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin announced 118 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon with a five day test positivity rate of 10.7 percent.  He also announced five additional deaths all in the Winnipeg health region.  He explains they are starting to see our case numbers come down and while our restrictions are due for review we need to ensure that this is not a time that we relax our efforts against the virus.  He notes our test positivity rates are still high, our hospitalization and ICU numbers are still high and it’s also too early to know the effects of gathering over the holidays will have on our numbers.            

 

Roussin added the impact of those numbers will be part of their review of the current restrictions.

             

Of the new cases 80 are in the Winnipeg region and 19 in Southern health with single digit numbers in other regions.  Of the reported total 25,244 cases 4423 are considered active, 20,133 individuals have recovered and 340 are in hospital with 41 in intensive care.

A Vancouver Gold Company Working Near Flin Flon Completed Two Drill Holes Before Their Christmas Break.

            

Lake Winn Resources has completed two drill holes totaling 406 meters on the Cloud Project 40 Kilometers north east of Flin Flon.  The ongoing drill program is on Christmas break and the drill crew will return to the property and continue drilling more targets early this month.

             

In the first drill hole numerous quartz veins were intercepted approximately every ten meters. They report the veins look similar to the high grade gold bearing quartz veins in the surface pits of the Bachnick gold showing.  These drill holes are designed to test this gold showing and the adjacent resistivity anomaly.  The second drill hole was also designed to test this gold zone further along strike.  Similar rocks with sulphide bearing quartz veins were intersected however it is noted the quartz veins are less sulphide rich.  Samples from the drill holes are being sent to the TSL labs in Saskatoon for assaying.

 

A Northern Saskatchewan Committee Has Celebrated 25 Years.

The Northern Saskatchewan Environmental Quality Committee celebrated its 25 year anniversary near the end of last year.  The Committee is a partnership between the provincial government, northern municipalities, First Nations, Metis communities and the mining sector.  It is intended to foster mutual understanding of mining developments in the region with a focus on the environmental protection efforts.

             

The Minister responsible for First Nations, Metis and Northern Affairs Don McMorris notes by creating strong communication links between communities, regulators and industry the Committee has been able to create a forum for northern residents to share their views and traditional knowledge resulting in greater trust and stronger relationships among stakeholders.

             

Mining particularly of uranium is a key economic driver in the region as well as the provincial economy with northern Saskatchewan being the source of one quarter of the world’s known uranium supply.

An Outbreak in The Pas, a Possible Exposure in Flin Flon and a Jump In Cases in Saskatchewan Were Part of the COVID-19 Reports over the New Years Weekend.

Manitoba Public Health reported 428 new cases of COVID-19 over the three day weekend.  They also reported 16 related deaths with 11 in Winnipeg, three in Southern and one each in the Northern and Interlake Eastern regions.  Of the new cases 277 are in the Winnipeg region, 64 in Northern, 45 in Southern and 21 each in Interlake Eastern and Prairie Mountain. Of the 25,126 reported cases 4461 are active, 19,982 individuals have recovered and 339 are in hospital with 41 in intensive care.

             

An outbreak was declared at St. Anthony’s General Hospital Acute Care Inpatient Unit in The Pas moving it to the critical or red level.  A possible exposure was reported at Flin Flon General Hospital Emergency Department waiting room December 20th between 6:41 and 7:45 pm, the 22nd between 6:51 and 7:51 pm and the 23rd between 3:33 and 4:06 am

             

Meanwhile Saskatchewan Health reported 723 new cases over the three day weekend.  They also reported three related deaths with one each in Regina, Saskatoon and North Central zones.  Of the new cases 129 are in the Far North East, 118 in North Central and 101 in Regina with lower numbers in other zones. Of the total 16,083 reported cases 13,084 have recovered, 2842 are active and 152 people are in hospital with 32 in intensive care.

             

49 hundred doses of Moderna vaccine have arrived in Far North Central and Far North West zones with vaccines for priority populations starting this week.

 

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