Local News Archives for 2021-02

The Test Positivity Rate in Manitoba Continues to Fall and the Average of New Cases Has Dipped in Saskatchewan.

Manitoba health reported 138 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend bringing the five day test positivity rate down to 3.7 percent.  They also reported six additional deaths all in Winnipeg region.  Of the new cases 58 are in the Northern health region and 55 in Winnipeg region with single digits in other regions.  Of the total 31,859 reported cases 1194 are active, 29,770 individuals have recovered and 192 are in hospital with 26 in intensive care.

             

Meanwhile Saskatchewan health reported 303 new cases over the weekend bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 146.  Of the new cases 71 are in Regina, 61 in Saskatoon and 43 in Far North West with lower numbers in other zones including 19 in Far North East.  Of the total 28,647 reported cases 1543 are considered active, 26,719 individuals have recovered and 154 are in hospital with 19 in intensive care.  They reported five deaths on Saturday with three in Regina and one each in Saskatoon and South East with none reported yesterday.

 

`Vaccine Totals are Approaching 70 thousand in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan health reported 153 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 156.  They reported no new deaths.  Of the new cases 50 were in Regina, 31 in Far North West, 18 in Saskatoon, 17 in Central East with lower number in other zones including eight in Far North East.  Of the total 28,344 reported cases 1510 are considered active, 26,454 individuals have recovered and 156 are in hospital with 16 in intensive care.

             

The total number of vaccines administered is 69,451.

Manitoba is Expanding the Age of People Eligible for Vaccination.

Manitoba public health announced 64 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate down to 3.9 percent.  They also reported one additional death in the Southern health region.

             

Medical Lead on the Vaccine Implementation Task Force Dr. Joss Reimer reported eligibility has been expanded for vaccines.  She explains for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines they are continually reviewing how many appointments they have open and how many phone calls they’ve been getting through their booking system and they’ve decreased the age of eligibility as they see those opportunities remain open so they have already decreased it to 94 and 74 for First Nations individuals and their team is going to continue to look at that every day and right now their estimate is going to be by next week they are going to be able to reach people who are over 90.

             

Of the new cases reported 33 are in Northern and 26 in Winnipeg region with single digits in other regions.  Of the total 31,721 reported cases 1197 are considered active and 29,635 individuals have recovered.

 

A Winter Drill Program is Planned on a Property near Snow Lake.

Far Resources recently announced plans for a winter drilling program on its Zoro lithium property near Snow Lake. The company intends to carry out up to 5000 metres of diamond core drilling on several lithium-bearing pegmatites on the property. Approximately 2500 metres is targeted on testing for additional mineralisation on Dyke 1a portion of which hosts an inferred resource of 1.074 million tonnes grading 0.91percent lithium oxide and another 2500 metres on outside targets particularly the newly discovered Dyke 8.

They point out there is a surging demand for cheaper electric vehicle batteries from China which is supercharging a rally for one key raw material – lithium carbonate. The largest maker of electric vehicles on the planet Tesla already is feeling the effects of the shortage of products needed to make products in batteries.

FAR Resources states it is stepping up its exploration to meet future demands and are excited to be a part of the green new deal initiative.

You can Enter a Fishing Derby Online Anywhere in Northern Manitoba.

The committee’s Al McLauchlin reports the Jimmy Jackfish Ice Fishing Derby will be going ahead this year but it will be done virtually.  He explains you go on your Smartphone and you download an app called Fish Donkey and then what you do starting at the first of March until the 14th of March is you catch a fish and you take some pictures of it against a bunk board, you take a video of it being released and then you enter that fish on the Fish Donkey app and then you see where you sit on the leader board.

             

It costs 40 dollars to enter the Derby and it has been expanded to include all fishing areas north of the 53rd parallel.

 

Public Input Will Determine the Lifting of Some Restrictions in Manitoba.

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin reported they are looking at proposed changes to public health orders while continuing to monitor COVID-19 variants of concern.  He lists some of them being considered for implementation in two phases over a six week period beginning March 5th and again on March 26th  including allowing households a choice of continuing to designate two visitors to their home or designating a second household to visit each other, increasing gathering limits at outdoor places to ten people including outdoor non-organized sports and other rec activities, increasing the capacity size at places of worship for regular church services to 25 percent with a cap of one hundred people, expanding the capacity limit for retail stores, malls, personal services to 50 percent capacity and keeping that cap of 250 persons max and expanding restaurant and licensed premises to 50 percent capacity but again with the requirement to seat only members of the same household.

             

The province remains at level red.  You can find out more and provide your input online at engagemb.ca.

The Manitoba Government Continues to Support Schools as New Case Numbers Remain Low While Saskatchewan Numbers Have Jumped.

Manitoba public health reported 67 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to 4.3 percent.  They also reported one additional death in the Winnipeg region.  Of the new cases 31 are in Winnipeg region and 30 in Northern health with single digits in other regions. Of the total 31,657 reported cases 1206 are considered active, 29,563 individuals have recovered and 196 are in hospital with 26 in intensive care.

             

The Manitoba government has projected spending of over 154 million dollars from the Safe Schools Fund during the 2020-21 school year to help bolster staffing, prioritize health and safety and support learning and technology.

             

Meanwhile Saskatchewan health reported 211 new cases this afternoon bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 155.  They also reported one death in the North West zone.  Of the new cases 80 are in Regina, 37 in Saskatoon and 24 in Far North West with lower numbers in other zones including three in Far North East.  Of the total 28,191 reported cases 1493 are considered active and 26,318 have recovered with 156 in hospital and 18 in intensive care.

Wolfden Has Been Awarded a Grant for Exploration in the Snow Lake Area.

Wolfden Resources has been awarded a 230 thousand dollar grant from the Manitoba Mineral Development Fund to support a 23 hundred meter diamond drill program.  The focus of the drill program is to expand the mineral resources of the Rice Island nickel, copper, cobalt deposit with step out drill holes and to explore for similar mineralization within the Project area. The deposit is located near the Town of Snow Lake.

             

Manitoba Chambers President and Chair of the Manitoba Mineral Development fund says the project is consistent with the Fund’s priority and objective to jump start mineral exploration initiatives in Manitoba that could capitalize on existing mineral assets and infrastructure in an effort to strengthen and diversify economic opportunities especially in the northern part of the province.

             

Wolfden President Ron Little says it demonstrates the importance of the mineral extraction industry in creating jobs and other associated economic benefits for the community of Snow Lake and the surrounding area adding Wolfden will more than match the funds of the grant in the coming drill program.

 

A Lot of Interest is Being Shown in a School Board Proposal.

Flin Flon School Division reported as of last Thursdays virtual town hall regarding proposed changes affecting K to 8 students they had over one hundred participants and were hoping to have just as many this past Tuesday.  The Division says they are there to listen to public concerns at all times keeping in mind that students needs are the number one priority.  A decision has not yet been made as the gathering of information continues to be looked at. An early March decision could be announced but the date is not set in stone as it will be related to the upcoming public budget meeting.  That meeting takes place virtually March 4th at 6:30.  The Board would like to thank everyone who participated in the town halls and filled out the surveys found of the Division website www.ffsd.ca.

 

Saskatchewan Reports its Lowest New Case Count in Months.

Saskatchewan health reported only 56 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 146.  They also reported three additional deaths with one each in Saskatoon, Central East and North West zones.  Of the new cases Regina had 16 and Far North East 15 with single digits in other zones.  Of the total 27,980 reported cases 1425 are considered active, 26,176 individuals have recovered and 165 are in hospital with 17 in intensive care.

             

The province has administered 63,345 doses of vaccine to date.

Manitoba is Starting to Vaccinate People in the General Population.

Manitoba public health reported only 39 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to 4.6 percent.  They also reported one additional death in Winnipeg. 

             

Manitoba’s Medical Lead in the Vaccine Implementation Task Force Dr. Joss Reimer announced appointments for vaccines can now be made by people over the age of 95 and for First Nations people over 75.  She explains appointments can be made on the phone but this can be challenging for some people so they’ve made sure that the call centre is aware they are now allowing caregivers to make appointments as well as to accompany their loved ones to the clinics to provide support.  Those calling will need to provide the numbers on their health card and people who are eligible can call 1-844-626-8222 to make an appointment.

             

Of the new cases reported 23 are in Winnipeg and ten in Northern health with single digits in other regions.  Of the total 31,590 reported cases 1196 are considered active and 29,507 individuals have recovered.

Flin Flon RCMP Made an Arrest After an Armed Robbery and Continue to Look for Another suspect.

At approximately 5:55 pm February 11th Flin Flon RCMP received a report of an armed robbery at the Manitoba Liquor Mart on Hapnot Street. Two males entered the store. One male used a machete to threaten a female employee in an attempt to get money from the cash register while the other male stood watch. No money was obtained but they left with bottles of alcohol. Nobody was injured during the incident. 

The suspects were wearing very identifiable clothing and with the assistance of Creighton RCMP, officers were able to quickly locate the male with the machete and take him into custody.  He remains in custody and is facing charges of Robbery with Offensive Weapon, Uttering Threats Against a Person, Possession of a Weapon for Dangerous Purpose, and Carrying Concealed Weapon.

Police continue to look for the other male. He was wearing a black “Hustlegang” sweatshirt, a dark New York Yankees baseball cap, a black facial covering, and grey boots. If you have information call the RCMP at 204-687-1423, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477, or secure tip online at www.manitobacrimestoppers.com.

The Manitoba Government has Provided an Update on Ongoing Enforcement Efforts to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19.

A total of 155 warnings and 27 tickets were issued for the week of February 15th to 21st.  That includes twenty- one 1296 dollar tickets to individuals for various offences, five 298 dollar tickets to individuals for failure to wear a mask in indoor public places and one 5150 dollar ticket to an individual for violation of the Federal Quarantine Act.  Officials advise that nineteen of the twenty-one 1296 dollar tickets were in relation to gatherings in private residences or outdoors.

             

Since enforcement began in April 2020 a total of 3142 warnings and 992 tickets have been issued resulting in more than 1.3 million dollars in fines to businesses and individuals.

Getting Vaccinated is an Important Part of Reducing COVID-19 Cases.

In order to save lives and protect others during the pandemic Medical Officer of Health from the Northern Health Region Dr William Libich recommends people receive COVID vaccines once they are available for everyone. He explains after the first dose it’ll take about two weeks for that protection from that dose to kick in and after the first dose the protection is roughly 50 percent and so you really need the two doses that are spaced 28 days apart in order to get full protection and your full protection will occur two weeks after your second dose.  He points out one of the reasons that as many people as possible need to get immunized is there are going to be some people who don’t respond as well as we would like and even those who still get COVID after being immunized its anticipated we’ll have fewer hospitalizations and fewer deaths.

Libich emphasizes the number of people vaccinated will not determine whether or not restrictions will be lifted as that will depend on case numbers.

A COVID-19 Outbreak in The Pas is Over While New Variants Have Been Found in Saskatchewan.

Manitoba public health reported 68 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to five percent.  They reported no additional deaths.  The outbreak has been declared over in the dialysis unit at St. Anthony’s General Hospital in The Pas.

             

Of the new cases 47 are in the Winnipeg region and 21 in Northern health with single digits in other regions.  Of the total 31,551 reported cases 1212 are considered active, 29,453 individuals have recovered and 216 are in hospital with 33 in intensive care.  The total number of confirmed B.1.1.7 variants of concern is up one to five with no details released on the new case.

             

Meanwhile Saskatchewan announced 122 new cases this afternoon bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 156.  They also reported four additional deaths with three in Regina and one in Saskatoon zone. Of the new cases 37 are in Regina, 25 in Saskatoon and 16 in Far North East with lower numbers in other zones.  Of the total 27,923 reported cases 1530 are considered active, 26,017 have recovered and 174 people are in hospital with 16 in intensive care. They have also identified their first two cases of a more contagious strain of COVID-19 with no known links to travel found in Regina.

Hudbay Has Released its Full Year 2020 Financial Results.

Hudbay reports a net loss of 144.6 million dollars for 2020 compared to a net loss for 343.8 million in 2019.  The 2019 net loss was mainly caused by an after tax impairment charge of 242.1 million recorded in Hudbay’s interest in the Rosemont Project in Arizona.  President Peter Kukielski says for the full year they met the guidance for all of their metals.  He explains copper production was lower year over year as a result of lower grades at Constancia and the impact of the eight week production interruption however consolidated gold production increased by nine percent over 2019 levels as significantly higher gold production from Manitoba more than offset lower production in Peru.  He noted this allowed them to capitalize on gold prices this year as they saw a 24 percent increase in Manitoba’s gold sales volume in 2020 compared with 2019 adding they exited the year with 439 million dollars in cash and equivalents which positions them well to pursue their strategic growth initiative investments in 2021.

             

Hudbay expects to publish updated mine plans for each of its Constancia Peru and Snow Lake Manitoba operations at the end of March.  They predict increased exploration spending this year to drill promising targets in Arizona, Peru and Snow Lake.

The Manitoba Government Has Expanded Safe at Home Programming.

Culture Minister Cathy Cox reports due to high demand and the success of the initial launch of Safe at Home Manitoba the province has invested an additional two million dollars bringing the total to five million to help Manitobans stay actively engaged while adhering to public health orders. She explains they had over two thousand applications for this program and a great deal of interest and it really provides all Manitobans from all four corners of the province the opportunity to enjoy this made in Manitoba entertainment with many projects, crafts and things for children and seniors to enjoy and they got a lot of interest as well from individuals who took the time to create the wonderful content and they are just absolutely thrilled to be able to participate.

             

For more information on the various online programming visit their website at www.safeathomemb.ca.

New COVID Cases Remain Below One Hundred in Manitoba While Vaccine Numbers are up in Saskatchewan.

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin reported 97 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to 5.4 percent.  He also announced two additional deaths both in the Winnipeg region.  Of the new cases 54 are in Winnipeg and 36 in the Northern health region with single digits in other regions.  Of the total 31,483 reported cases 1219 are active, 29,378 individuals have recovered and 206 are in hospital with 32 in intensive care.  Roussin noted there are no new confirmed cases related to the COVID variants of concern other than the four recoveries related to travel previously reported.

             

Meanwhile Saskatchewan health reported 177 new cases this afternoon bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 158.  Of the new cases 58 are in Saskatoon, 42 in Regina and 20 in North West zone with single digits in other zones including five in Far North East.  Of the total 27,797 reported cases 1652 are considered active, 25,733 individuals have recovered and 177 are in hospital with 15 in intensive care.  Eighty-one percent of residents in long term care homes in the province have now received one dose of vaccine while 43 percent have received the two recommended.

Flin Flon RCMP Have Seized Drugs, Cash and Firearms.

At approximately 3:00 Saturday morning Flin Flon RCMP with the assistance of the RCMP Emergency Response Team, Cranberry Portage RCMP and Creighton RCMP officers executed a Controlled Drugs and Substances Act search warrant at a residence in Flin Flon 

The search resulted in approximately six grams of cocaine, an undisclosed amount of Canadian currency, drug trafficking paraphernalia, various electronics, and five firearms, including a sawed off shotgun and two handguns with readily accessible ammunition. 

Two Flin Flon men and a 41-year-old female were arrested at the residence without incident. The males are facing charges of Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking, Possession of Proceeds Obtained by Crime over 5000dollars and multiple firearms offences. They remain in custody. The female was released without charges. 

The investigation continues.                

Northern Manitoba Produced Good Results for Hudbay Last Year.

In their 2020 year end report Hudbay President Peter Kukielski stated the Manitoba business unit had strong operating performance.  He explained in March they announced the second phase of their Snow Lake gold strategy which saw a 35 percent increase in their Snow Lake gold reserves, a 41 percent increase in the life of mine gold production at Lalor and increased annual gold production at Lalor to over 150 thousand ounces at lowest quartile cash costs and sustaining cash costs.  In May they funded the New Britannia refurbishment project with a timely gold pre-pay transaction, they’ve advanced the project to 73 percent completion to date and they ungraded the NI43-101 resource estimate at the 1901 deposit and increased the size of the base metal resources while defining a new gold rich inferred resource.

             

Hudbay continues to implement improvements to the legacy Flin Flon tailings impoundment area in line with the higher industry wide standards for tailings dam safety spending approximately 20 million dollars per year from 2020 to 2022.  The company is also engaged in discussions with labor unions in each jurisdiction as it works towards renewing the collective agreements that expired on or about December 31st.

 

Keeyask Generating Station Has Produced its First Electricity For the Manitoba grid.

The first unit at the Keeyask Generating Station went into commercial service Tuesday.

Construction of the 695-megawatt station on the Nelson River in northern Manitoba began in 2014. When complete Keeyask will have seven units in service producing an average of 4400 gigawatt hours of electricity annually making it the fourth largest generating station in the province. The energy produced by Keeyask will be integrated into Manitoba Hydro’s electric system for use in Manitoba to help drive economic growth and to meet the utility’s current export commitments.                     

The Keeyask Generating Station is a collaborative effort between Manitoba Hydro and four partner First Nations – Tataskweyak Cree Nation, War Lake First Nation, York Factory First

Nation and Fox Lake Cree Nation known collectively as the Keeyask Hydropower Limited Partnership.

Approximately 600 people are currently working at the site to bring the other six units into service over the next year.

Intensive Care Cases Are Going Down in Saskatchewan and Up Slightly in Manitoba.

Manitoba public heath announced 153 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend bringing the five day test positivity rate to 5.3 percent.  They also reported five additional deaths with four in Winnipeg and one in Southern health.  Of the new cases 84 are in the Northern health region and 55 in Winnipeg with single digits in other regions.  Of the total 31,386 reported cases 1180 are active, 29,322 individuals have recovered and 208 are in hospital with 31 in intensive care.

           

Meanwhile Saskatchewan health announced 375 new cases bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 153.  They also reported seven additional deaths with two each in Regina and North West and one each in North Central, South East and South Central zones. Of the new cases 134 are in Regina and 74 in Saskatoon zone with lower numbers in other zones including 32 in Far North East.  Of the total 27,620 reported cases 1670 are considered active, 25,578 individuals have recovered and 176 are in hospital with 13 in intensive care.

Vaccines Administered Have Topped 53 Thousand in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan health reported 146 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 157.  They also reported three additional deaths with one each in the North West, Regina and South Central zones.  Of the new cases32 were in Saskatoon, 30 in Regina, 26 in North Central and 16 in North West with lower numbers in other zones including nine in Far North East.

             

Of the total 27,245 reported cases 1582 are considered active, 25,298 individuals have recovered and 172 are in hospital with 19 in intensive care.

             

The number of vaccines administered in the province has reached 53,030.  They remain in Phase One of vaccine delivery targeting residents and staff of long term and personal care homes, residents 70 years and older and residents 50 and older in remote and northern Saskatchewan.  Eligible populations will be contacted directly to receive their vaccinations.

A COVID Variant Has Again Been Found in Manitoba.

Manitoba Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Jazz Atwal announced 90 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to 5.7 percent.  He also report two additional deaths both in the Winnipeg region.  Atwall noted three confirmed cases of a variant of concern related to international travel. He explained this is a variant first identified in the United Kingdom and brings the total number of variants of concern in Manitoba to four adding all three cases have recovered and have completed their self-isolation requirements. The number of contacts for the cases range from four to twenty-four.  He also notes these are not connected at all to First Nations communities and there is no evidence of further spread in Manitoba related to the variants.

             

Of the 90 new COVID cases reported 50 are in the Northern and 35 in the Winnipeg health region with single digits in other regions.  Of the total 31,235 cases reported 1169 are considered active, 29,187 individuals have recovered and 213 are in hospital with 27 in intensive care.

Millions of Batteries Continue to be Recycled.

The Flin Flon Recycling Center continues to collect dry cell batteries which are sent to Call 2 Recycle Canada for recycling.  Call 2 Recycle reports Canadians recycled a record 4.1 million kilograms of household batteries last year.  Manitobans recycled 98 thousand kilograms which is a slight decrease compared to 2019.  Flin Flon Recycling Center Administrator Deb Odegaard says battery recycling here continues to go well.  She explains last year was another record year for battery recycling in Flin Flon as they did 896 kilograms about 25 kilograms more than the year before and it’s working really well.  She encourages people to be sure to put them inside a small plastic bag or some other container and it works better if they have a lot of batteries at once rather than one or two at a time.

               

Since its inception in 1997 Call 2 Recycle has diverted 26 million kilograms of batteries from Canadian landfills ensuring these items which contain valuable resources are responsibly recycled to create new batteries and other products keeping potentially hazardous materials from entering the waste stream.

 

A Drill Program is Underway in the Flin Flon Mining District.

Callinex Mines has started its 2021 drilling campaign at its Pine Bay Project 16 kilometers away from Flin Flon.  The campaign will start with the completion of two drill holes for 15 hundred meters of the 30 thousand meters budgeted for this year. The drilling will test recently identified highly conductive anomalies along strike to the south of their Rainbow Discovery. The four untested anomalies each have a strike extent of 300 meters and start within 200 meters of surface. Drilling will also focus on continuing to define the orange and yellow zones of the Rainbow Deposit.

             

Callinex notes the three major base metals discoveries in the Flin Flon Snow Lake Greenstone Belt with tonnages ranging between 25 and 70 million tonnes have a strike length over one kilometer adding based on the recent survey the Rainbow Discovery has a strike length of at least a kilometer with potential growth further along strike to the south.

There are No Reported Cases of COVID-19 in the Flin Flon District as New Case Numbers Climb in Both Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Manitoba health announced 138 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate up to six percent.  They also reported two additional deaths both in the Winnipeg region.  Of the new cases 75 are in the Northern region and 52 in the Winnipeg region with single digits in other regions. Although numbers continue to be high in some parts of the north the current district map indicates there are no cases in the Flin Flon, Snow Lake, Cranberry Portage, Sherridon district. Of the total 31,145 reported cases 1153 are active, 29,114 individuals have recovered and 224 are in hospital with 27 in intensive care.

             

Meanwhile Saskatchewan health reported 146 new cases this afternoon bringing the daily average of new cases to 164. They reported no additional deaths. Of the new cases 41 are in Saskatoon and 34 in Regina with lower numbers in other zones including five in Far North East.  Of the total 27,099 reported cases 1516 are considered active, 25,221 have recovered and 178 people are in hospital with 23 in intensive care.

 

The Deadline is Approaching to Apply for a Grant that Protects and Enhances Community Services.

The Building Sustainable Communities Grant Program to support community development projects application intake deadline is coming up February 28th. Eligible applicants for the Program include non-profit organizations, charitable organizations, municipalities and northern affairs community councils.

             

The 2021 program intake has been expanded to include support for large scale capital projects including a maximum grant contribution of 50 percent of eligible capital project costs up to 300 thousand dollars.  The current maximum grant contribution of 50 percent of eligible project costs up to 75 thousand dollars will continue to apply for all other project categories.

             

Municipal Relations Minister Derek Johnson states their streamlined grant program is flexible and more responsive to community needs, reduces red tape and enhances the project outcomes.

             

For more information on the program or to submit an application visit www.manitobago.ca.

You Can Enjoy Manitoba Talent While Staying at Home.

The Manitoba Arts Network will be presenting their online Stay Safe at Home Festival beginning this weekend.

 

The Executive Director at the Network Rose-Anne Harder says the Festival will feature talent from across Manitoba. She explains their performances are every Sunday and Wednesday from February 21st to March 31st and you can watch for free on the Manitoba Arts Network Facebook page at 7 pm.  She notes they really wanted to make the Festival unique so they really strived for diversity and inclusion among the twelve performances so they have theatre, dance, circus, music, something for everyone and lots of family friendly shows.  She adds the performances also feature nine Indigenous artists from across the province and nine emerging artists from two of the mentorship programs they ran this year.

                   

The Festival was supported through funding from the provincial government’s Safe at Home grant.

Total Reported Cases of COVID-19 Have Topped 31 Thousand in Manitoba.

Manitoba public health reported 75 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to 5.9 percent.  They also reported one additional death in the Winnipeg health region.  Of the new cases 44 are in the Northern and 23 in the Winnipeg health region with single digits in other regions. Of the total 31,007 reported cases 1555 are active, 28,576 individuals have recovered and 231 people are in hospital with 28 in intensive care.

             

To date 56,707 doses of vaccine have been administered in the province. An announcement is expected next week on opening up vaccine appointments for elderly Manitobans beginning with those over 95 with expansion of that program as more doses arrive in the province.

Total Recoveries From COVID Have Topped 25 Thousand in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan health reported 124 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the seven day average of new cases to 160.  They also announced five additional deaths with two each in Regina and Saskatoon and one in the North West zone.  Of the new cases 48 are in Regina, 16 in Far North West, 14 in North West and 12 in North Central with single digits in other zones including five in Far North East.  Of the total 26,953 reported cases 1541 are considered active, 25,050 individuals have recovered and 178 are in hospital with 23 in intensive care.

             

The total number of vaccines administered in the province has reached 50,326.

Not a Lot of Positive Information Came from the Manitoba Families Minister.

Mayor Cal Huntley received a reply to his and Councils request for information on housing and infrastructure issues in Flin Flon from Families Minister Rochelle Squires.  Regarding the funding application for the Aqua Centre the Minister noted this matter is with the Department of Finance.

             

Regarding the need for senior’s housing in the community she reported Manitoba Housing does not have funding identified in the current budget to develop new housing directly suggesting they contact staff regarding the development of a co-operative housing development.

             

And regarding their concerns with the maintenance and care of Manitoba Housing properties in the community Squires wrote they do recognize the frustration with no local employee to provide service and they will continue to try to fill this position.  In the meantime she noted they do have a contractor making weekly visits to maintain the property and have recently added additional garbage bins to help address the cleanliness of the grounds. The letter was referred to the Committee of the Whole Council.

             

Councilor Karen MacKinnon noted newly tabled federal legislation would allow municipalities to ban handguns through bylaws but she feels the Feds should still be responsible for this.  Mayor Huntley agreed stating to have more uniform legislation it should be handled provincially if not federally.

 

Food Has Been Shared with Northern Babies.

Harvest Manitoba reports they continue to see a great need in our communities and often demand is greater than available food supply. Earlier this month in partnership with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, Gardewine and The North West Company they delivered nearly 16 thousand pounds of baby food to northern First Nations communities in Manitoba.

             

Each community received special Harvest Hampers containing organic baby food pouches, jarred baby food and liquid baby formula.  They note these items and other nutritious fresh foods are often inaccessible to northern and First Nations Communities in Manitoba due to transport costs so they were excited to be able to feed just over 24 thousand babies that they could not normally feed.

             

Assembly Grand Chief Arlen Dumas stated many families have experienced challenges during this pandemic especially with food security and they are pleased to be able to partner to ensure families receive baby food to help keep little ones healthy and safe.

Current Public Health Orders in Saskatchewan Have Been Extended.

Saskatchewan health reported 136 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 167. They also reported three additional deaths with two in the Far North West and one in the North West zone.  Premier Scott Moe announced they are extending current public health orders for another four weeks until at least March 19th. That includes no guests over to your household, outdoor gatherings limited to ten people with physical distancing, all places of worship reduced to 30 people and retail services at 50 percent capacity.

             

Of the new cases from Monday and Tuesday 69 were in Saskatoon, 62 in Regina and 44 in North West with lower numbers in other regions.  Of the total 26,829 cases 1611 are considered active and 24,861 individuals have recovered with 184 in hospital with 20 in intensive care.

 

Variants of Concern Tested So Far Have Shown Good Results.

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin announced 166 new cases of COVID-19 from Monday and today this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to 5.9percent. He also reported four additional deaths all from the Winnipeg region. He also commented on test results from suspected variants of concern from across the province.  He explained they received the sequencing of seven of those samples and the sequencing shows they are not cases of the B117 variant of concern.  The screening works to find similar mutations that are present in the variant of concern but they’re certainly not diagnostic and so when sequenced out they needed finger printing of this genome and they find that this is very comparable to other genomes in the community, the province and the country and not the UK variant.

             

Of the new cases reported 93 are in the Northern health region and 51 from Winnipeg with lower numbers in other regions. Of the total 30,932 reported cases 1625 are considered active, 28,432 individuals have recovered and 230 are in hospital with 26 in intensive care.

You Can Bust the Winter Blues Again This Year.

The annual Bust the Winter Blues Festival is being celebrated from home this year.  The Committee’s Channa Senyk says you can get involved virtually.  She explains they have provided six activities with instructions on the Creighton and Flin Flon recreation pages to keep you and your families busy and to enjoy our winter weather.  She says they’re asking you to make a bird feeder, do a Swedish snow lantern, animal tracking, make snow ice-cream, build a snow maze and colored ice globes and once you have completed your task they ask you to take a picture and enter it in to mediarelations@flinflon.ca and you’ll be entered to win a winter activity prize package.

             

Senyk adds they will be picking a winner during their usual Festival week the first week of March.

 

People and Businesses in the North Need Support in this Digital Age.

Manitoba Chambers of Commerce President Chuck Davidson told the Flin Flon and District Chamber of Commerce last week there needs to be significant investments in digital infrastructure.  He explains more people are working from home, more kids are learning from home, more businesses are forced to do everything online to be able to continue to have their business operational.  He says we need to make investments in digital infrastructure, we need to provide grants for businesses to upgrade and have their businesses have more of an online presence as well and to have them scalable so it’s not one size fits all for all businesses.

             

Davidson adds this is one of the things that will be key to being sure our economy starts heading in the right direction.

Your Input is Needed on a Proposal for Flin Flon Elementary Schools.

The Flin Flon School Board is looking for community input on a proposed change affecting our K to 8 Schools.  They note following their Strategic Plan, academic success, student engagement and mental wellness played a huge role in their discussions.  Now public input is being requested through two town halls and a public survey.  Currently Ruth Betts Community School would remain a K to 8 school and Ecole McIsaac School would also remain a K to 8 school and the only dual track English and French immersion school.  The alternative proposed would see Ruth Betts become a K to 3 school while McIsaac would become a 4 to 8 school with both being dual track.

             

Details can be found on a poster on the School Division website www.ffsd.mb.ca or their Facebook page. Town halls will be held virtually this Thursday at 6:30 and February 23rd at 7:30 and the link can be found on their website calendar.  A public survey will be posted there as well from February 19th to 28th or a paper copy can be obtained by calling 204-687-3424.




 

 

COVID Issues Are Being Dealt With in Cross Lake Manitoba While Vaccines Administered Approach 50 Thousand in Saskatchewan.

Manitoba public health reported 178 new cases of COVID-19 Saturday and Sunday bringing the five day test positivity rate to 5.2 percent.  There will be no report sent on Monday. They also reported four additional deaths with five in Winnipeg and one in Interlake Eastern.  Of the new cases 83 were in the Northern region and 73 in Winnipeg with lower numbers in other regions.  Of the total 30,766 reported cases 1619 are active, 28,276 individuals have recovered and 226 are in hospital with 26 in intensive care.  Public health, Chief and Council in Cross Lake are working to address concerning number of cases in the community.

             

Meanwhile Saskatchewan reported 405 new cases bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 163.  They also reported four additional deaths with two in Saskatoon and one each in Central East and North West.  Of the new cases 118 were in Saskatoon, 86 in Regina and 46 in North West with lower numbers in other zones included 16 in Far North East.  Of the total 26,550 reported cases 1864 are considered active, 24,330 people have recovered and 183 are in hospital with 19 in intensive care.  The total number of vaccines administered is 49,645.

 

Be COVID Safe Over the Long Weekend.

Saskatchewan health reported 195 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the average of daily new cases to 170.  They also reported two deaths with one in Saskatoon and one in the Central East zone.  Of the new cases 54 are in Saskatoon, 27 in Regina, 21 in Far North West and 19 in North Central with lower numbers in other zones including nine in Far North East.  Of the total 26,145 reported cases 1900 cases are considered active, 23,895 individuals have recovered and 182 are in hospital with 23 in intensive care.

             

They also remind you to stay safe this Family Day weekend by keeping your plans within your immediate household.  If you are headed outdoors you may gather in groups of ten with two meters of physical distancing between household groups. Food should not be shared between non-household members.  Stay close to home as non-essential travel is not recommended at this time.

Testing Continues for COVID Variants in Manitoba.

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin announced 81new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to 4.8 percent. He also reported four additional deaths all in the Winnipeg region. Of the new cases 28 are in Southern Health, 25 in Northern health and 20 in the Winnipeg region with single digits in the other regions.  Roussin noted they continue to screen for variants of the virus so he can confirm that with all of their screening and sequencing to date they have only discovered the one case of a variant of concern.  He added they have limited contacts to that case, household contacts, none of which have developed symptoms or tested positive and all those contacts have been tested twice at this point.

             

Of the total 30,588 reported COVID cases 1582 are considered active, 28,140 individuals have recovered and 240 people are in hospital with 29 are in intensive care. 

You Can Take Part in a Smaller Denare Beach Winter Festival Next Week.

The 42nd annual Denare Beach Winter Festival runs through next week.  Recreation Director Mel Durette says they are going ahead with a few events highlighted by the Walleye Fishing Derby.  She explains it’s going to be a seven day fishing derby from February 15th to the 21st.  First prize is a thousand dollars, second prize is six hundred, third prize is four hundred and then they got two donations, Ruby’s donated an ice auger and T&D Cabins donated a kids prize for the biggest fish by a kid under 15 and Ruby’s prize will go for the biggest Pike caught for the ice auger and a fishing package.

             

Durette adds they will also have an ice sculpture contest and some events at the Youth Center.  More information including how to register for the Fishing Derby and on entering an ice sculpture can be found on their website www.denarebeach.net, on the Denare Beach recreation Facebook page or contact the Village office.

 

Lights, Retirement, Snow and Signs Were Brought Up At the Creighton Council Meeting.

At their regular meeting earlier this week the Town of Creighton receive a letter requesting lighting be erected at the far two ends of the walking oval to make it feel safer.  Council moved to send the request to Recreation and Cultural Service for further discussion.  Council also moved to accept the letter of retirement from Wayne Patience effective this coming July 31st.  Wayne has been with the Town for twenty-nine years.  Council thanked him for his service and loyalty to his community.

             

The Town foreman’s report for January was accepted.  The report included the installation of no parking signs on First Street East across from the provincial building, ongoing snow removal from streets and sidewalks, removal of snow piles along the freeway, repairs to equipment and Stittco repairing the unit heaters at the Water Treatment Plan and Centennial Building.

             

In closing Council approved the hiring of two supervisors for the BMX and rollerblading programs at the Sportex.

Yesterday We Told You About Saskatchewan and today Manitoba is Announcing their Free Winter Family Fishing Weekend.

Manitobans will be able to try their luck ice fishing at many of the provinces lakes and rivers during this year’s Winter Family Fishing Weekend.  From tomorrow through Monday anglers may fish without a licence throughout the province except in national parks where a federal angling licence is still required.  Anglers may retain up to a conservation licence limit of fish. All other angling regulations apply during the weekend.

             

Anglers are encouraged to check ice conditions before travelling onto the ice and it is important to let someone know where you are fishing and wear appropriate clothing.

             

Families are also encouraged to explore one of the province’s provincial parks as vehicle permits are not required for visitors this month but Snopasses are still required for snowmobiles using groomed trails.

             

For information on all provincial fishing regulations refer to the 2020 Manitoba Angler’s Guide at www.manitobafisheries.com and remember COVID regulations on outdoor gatherings of five and masking and physical distancing.

Local Businesses Need Your Support.

That was a message from Manitoba Chambers President Chuck Davidson when he met on Zoom with members of the Flin Flon and District Chamber of Commerce Tuesday.  He stated we need to continue to support

shopping local and it’s not just retail and it’s not just restaurants it’s everything local noting how do we support the local mentality with people throughout Manitoba, how do we get people in those businesses that have done okay to look for supply chains, to look at how they procure various elements, is there a local element that can be taken into consideration.

             

Davidson added to ensure local businesses have the support they need to continue to move forward as they come out of COVID restrictions the Manitoba Chambers has distributed grants provided by the provincial government to the province’s Chambers to help local businesses with shop local components and will continue to do that.

The Manitoba Test Positivity Rate And The Saskatchewan Daily Average Have Both Dropped.

Manitoba public health reported 90 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to 4.9 percent.  They also reported three additional deaths with two in Winnipeg and one in Southern health region.  Of the new cases 43 are in the Northern health region, 23 in Winnipeg and 13 in Interlake Eastern with single digits in other regions. Of the total 30,507 reported cases 1582 are active, 28,063 individuals have recovered and 244 are in hospital with 32 in intensive care.  An outbreak has been declared at the Grass Roots Early Learning and Child Care Centre in Thompson which has been moved to the critical or red level.

             

Meanwhile Saskatchewan health reports 114 new cases bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 182.  They reported no new deaths.  Of the total 25,957 reported cases 1935 are considered active, 23,694 individuals have recovered and 187 are in hospital with 24 in intensive care.  Just over 46 thousand vaccines have been administered in the province.

 

The Province is Purchasing a Made in Canada Vaccine to Protect Manitobans.

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister has announced the government has agreed to purchase two million doses of a new Canadian researched and Manitoba produced mRNA COVID-19 vaccine currently undergoing clinical trials.  He says we are reliant on the federal government buying vaccines from pharmaceutical companies located offshore with the result Canadians receive needed vaccines slower than 50 other counties.  He noted this vaccine will provide insurance against COVID, insurance against sickness, its insurance potentially against death, insurance against COVID closures, insurance against COVID economic loss, insurance against another pandemic, insurance against another year like we just went through.

             

The first clinical trials are underway with the second round anticipated to begin this spring and Health Canada approval is expected later this year.  The agreement will ensure Manitoba receives the first 200 thousand doses as soon as it is approved for sale in Canada.

 

You Can Enjoy Fishing in Saskatchewan This Family Day Weekend.

Saskatchewan’s winter free fishing weekend runs Saturday through Monday.  Saskatchewan residents and visitors can fish without a licence on any of the province’s public waters that have an open sport fishing season. You’re reminded to observe all physical distancing restrictions and to put safety first when going out on the ice.  Before you leave always tell someone where you’ll be fishing and when you plan to return and dress for the weather. Be aware of ice thickness with a minimum of 10 centimeters of good ice required for walking and 30 centimeters for light vehicle travel.  All other fishing regulations remain in effect for the free fishing weekend including possession limits and reduced limits on some lakes and rivers.  As well free fishing weekend does not apply in national parks and anyone planning to take fish out of province must purchase a licence.

             

More information can be found in the Anglers Guide wherever fishing licences are sold or online at www.saskatchewan.ca/fishing.

 

Upcoming Events Were Part of the Flin Flon School Board Meeting.

Superintendent Tammy Ballantyne reported earlier this week students will be off next week Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  Division staff are excited to be participating in a virtual professional development session with former NHL star and now motivational and inspiring speaker Theoren Fluery as well as Kim Barthel who is a much sought after speaker, best-selling author and an award winning occupational therapist.

             

This week is staff appreciation week and the Board extends a thank you to all who work within the Division for your dedication in providing a learning opportunity for the students.  Board Chair Murray Skeavington reminds parents who have children going into kindergarten to register with your school as soon as possible.  As February is I Love to Read Month for those on Facebook McIssac School is doing a reading every night with one Trustee already reading and another coming up.  The Division has just started working on preparing for the public budget meeting.  Parents are asked to keep tables on the Division’s social media pages for ways to have input when the day comes for the meeting.

 

New Case Numbers are Up in Some Saskatchewan Zones.

Saskatchewan health reported 180 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 210.  They also reported two additional deaths both in the Saskatoon zone.  Of the new cases 58 were in Regina, 43 in Saskatoon, 22 in Far North West, 19 in North Central and 17 in North West with single digits in other zones.  Of the total 25,843 reported cases 1968 are considered active, 23,527 have recovered and 196 people are in hospital with 28 in intensive care.

             

Just over 45 thousand vaccine doses have been administered to date in the province.

A Death Related to COVID-19 Has Been Reported in The Pas.

Manitoba Acting Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Jazz Atwal announced 57 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to 5.2 percent.  He also reported six additional deaths with four in Winnipeg, one in Southern health and one in the Northern region a man in his 70s linked to outbreaks at St. Paul’s Personal Care Home and St. Anthony’s General Hospital dialysis unit in The Pas.  Of the new cases 31 are in the Northern region and 21 in Winnipeg with single digits in other regions. Of the total 30,417 reported cases 1573 are considered active, 27,985 individuals have recovered and 255 people are in hospital with 34 in intensive care.

             

Focused immunization teams expect to immunize approximately 26 hundred residents of personal care homes this week with their second dose of vaccine.  All personal care home residents are expected to be fully protected against COVID-19 with a second dose by the end of the month.  You can calculate where you fit into the priority list for vaccine at www.manitoba.ca/vaccine.

Northern Issues Were Under Discussion Yesterday Afternoon.

Twenty members of the Flin Flon and District Chamber of Commerce met on Zoom yesterday afternoon with the President of Manitoba Chambers Chuck Davidson.  Davidson reported he continues to advocate on behalf of local Chambers by holding virtual meetings with them and passing their information on during meetings with a variety of government ministers such as convincing them to drop the essentials only list in the north to re-open businesses while COVID numbers were high only in eastern part of the region and pushing to split the northern health region along highway six for restrictions.  He says the north health region is bigger than the rest of the province’s regions combined and you can’t necessarily lump them together that if you have an outbreak in the far northeast it doesn’t impact Flin Flon, it doesn’t impact Snow Lake and caseloads have been low enough that we can justify that and he thinks they will continue to push that.

             

Other issues Davidson added are the importance of people supporting businesses by shopping locally as they recover from COVID and the need for significant investment in digital infrastructure in the north.

 

Saskatchewan is Preparing for The Next Phase of their Vaccination Program.

Saskatchewan health reported 80 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 203. They also announced five additional deaths spread across the various zones.  Health Minister Paul Merriman outlined phase two of their vaccination program. He explained age is the number one factor in determining severe outcome from cases of COVID-19 so their mass vaccination will be done by age starting with their oldest residents first.  He noted right now they’re in phase one which includes everyone over the age of 70 so in phase two they’ll be vaccinating people over 60, then people over 50 and so on until everybody that wants to be vaccinated can be.

             

Clinically extremely vulnerable adults will also be included a priority in Phase 2. Phase two could get underway as early as April depending on supplies.

             

Of the new cases 34 are in Saskatoon and North West 13 with single digits in all other zones including Far North East with seven.  Of the total 25,654 reported cases 2026 are considered active and 23,282 individuals have recovered.

A Variant of COVID-19 Has Been Found in Manitoba.

Manitoba public health reported 71 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to 5.4 percent.  They also reported three additional deaths with two in Winnipeg and one in Prairie Mountain health region.  Of the new cases 51 were in Winnipeg and 16 in the Northern region with single digits in other regions. Of the total 30,360 reported cases 1597 are active, 27,910 individuals have recovered and 266 are in hospital with 33 in intensive care.

             

They also advised a case of the COVID-19 variant first identified in the United Kingdom has been identified in Manitoba.  The case was related to international travel and the individual has since recovered.  An outbreak has been declared over at Northern Spirit Manor in Thompson.

 

Manitoba is Moving Forward With the Next Step in Opening Up the Economy.

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin  says the province can move forward cautiously with changes in public health orders including restaurants and licensed premises to open at 25 percent capacity with patron groups limited to members of the same household only, outdoor rinks to re-open for casual sports and organized practices with individual instruction but no multi-team tournaments will be allowed, indoor sporting facilities such as rinks, gymnastic clubs , martial arts studios could re-open at 25 percent capacity, places of worship to hold regular services at 10 percent capacity or 50 people maximum whichever is lower, museums, art galleries and libraries to re-open at 25 percent capacity and personal services businesses to re-open at 25 percent capacity.

             

The province remains in the critical or red zone. The changes come into effect at 12:01 am Friday and last for three weeks. Complete details can be found on their website www.manitoba.ca/covid19.

 

Foran Mining Corporation Reports the Start of their Largest Drill Program to Date.

Foran Mining reports their 30 thousand meter winter diamond drilling campaign is underway with three drills at their McIvenna Bay deposit 65 kilometers west of Flin Flon. 

             

Executive Chair Dan Myerson states McIlvenna Bay is already one of the largest undeveloped VMS deposits in Canada and this program has been designed to both reinforce and significantly enhance the existing value.  He adds they believe they are on the cusp of a commodities super cycle which will dramatically increase demand for metals such as copper and zinc as we move towards a greener future adding McIlvenna Bay is the first of what could be several outstanding deposits developed within the Hanson Lake district.  He says they plan to develop a central mill at McIlvenna Bay fed by nearby satellite deposits and fully powered by renewable energy, culminating in clean zero carbon copper, zinc, gold and silver production for generations to come.

The Red Dress Project is Going Virtual This Year.

The Women’s Resource Centre is holding their annual Red Dress Project Sunday afternoon.  The Centre’s Cindy Onabigon says the live streaming event will take place at Eagle Rose Healing and Teaching Lodge to honor Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and families.  She explains they’re going to start with an opening prayer from Elder Margaret Head Steppan and then they want to do the Red Dress presentation so that’s where they will be going live with all the red dresses and doing a ceremony around the dresses.  She continues after that she’s invited a guest speaker and she’s waiting to hear from her then they’ll also be doing some drumming and presenting murdered and missing Indigenous women from Manitoba.

             

The event can be seen on the Women’s Resource Centre Facebook page starting at three Sunday afternoon.  They also have a call out for Red Dress and Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls pictures of support and you can learn how to take part also on their Facebook page.

 

Flin Flon RCMP Made an Arrest at an Armed and Barricaded Call.

At approximately 5:40 Sunday afternoon the RCMP received a report of a man inside an apartment with a firearm and not letting a female and infant leave.  Officers quickly surrounded the residence and were joined by officers from surrounding communities on a minus 44 degree afternoon. A hostage negotiator was on scene to attempt to make contact with the 19 year old suspect.

             

The suspect was arrested when he left the apartment and then tried to re-enter.  The RCMP report the suspect assaulted one of the arresting officers causing a minor injury.  The female and infant were not injured.

             

The man faces numerous charges including use of a firearm in taking a hostage, unlawful confinement, assaulting a peace officer and several firearm related charges.  The suspect remains in custody.

 

COVID-19 Recoveries are Over 23 Thousand in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan health reported 171 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 223.  They also reported two additional deaths both in the North West zone.  Of the new cases 43 were in Regina, 34 in Saskatoon with lower numbers in other zones including 11 in Far North East.  Of the total 25,574 reported cases 2204 are considered active, 23,029 individuals have recovered and 214 are in hospital with 30 in intensive care.  The number of doses of vaccine administered to health care workers and seniors in long term care homes is approaching 43 thousand with 95 percent of doses received administered to date.

COVID-19 Related Numbers are Down in Manitoba.

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin announced 52 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate down to 5.9 percent.  He also reported four additional deaths with two in the Northern region and one each in Winnipeg and Southern health regions.  Roussin says numbers are trending in the right direction noting these are the lowest numbers we’ve seen since early in the fall, the ICU numbers are the lowest they’ve been since November and this is all the result of the work of Manitobans.  He says they can see the restrictions that we have in place are quite tough, they affect Manitobans to different degrees but they are working.

             

Roussin adds updates to the present restrictions will be announced later this week.

             

Of the new cases 31 are in Winnipeg and 12 in the Northern region with single digits in the other regions. Of the total 30,289 reported cases 1622 are active and 27,817 individuals have recovered.

             

The Vaxport site in Thompson is ready to serve remote northern First Nations, municipal and Indigenous and Northern Affairs communities but its launch has been delayed to March 1st in response to vaccine shortages.

The Deadline is Approaching To Apply for Youth Job Grants.

Urban and Hometown Green Team grant applications are now available for organizations to hire youth between the ages of 15 and 29 for summer jobs in Manitoba. Green Team grants allow communities to hire youth aged 15 to 29 to work on community projects between May 1 and Aug. 31. Eligible recipients include non-profit organizations in Winnipeg and rural Manitoba and municipal governments in rural Manitoba.

Priorities for the 2021 summer season are focused on community-based organizations and municipal governments that can offer full-time employment opportunities for youth and on projects that support COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.

The grants cover 100 per cent of wage costs and 250 dollars per position for support costs in non-profit organizations. Municipal governments receive 50 per cent of wage costs and 125 dollars per position for support costs, on a cost-shared basis.

The deadline for applications is Feb. 15. For more information on Green Team applications visit www.manitobago.ca.

Take Precautions When Celebrating Valentines Day.

Manitoba Acting Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Jazz Atwall says people are asking if it’s okay to hand out Valentine’s Day cards.  He explains COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets that come from a person’s throat or lungs when you cough or sneeze and these droplets can fall on surfaces sometimes contaminating that surface, however washing your hands before and after handling and opening the cards as well as avoiding touching your face while handling these materials will reduce the possibility of transmitting COVID-19. He says students need to continue to practice good hygiene while writing and handling the cards and maintaining physical distancing while distributing them and if envelopes are used don’t lick them.  He points out one suggestion for delivering is students provide their cards to the teacher and the teacher does the distribution so lots of people are not handing out cards at the same time.

             

Atwall again emphasizes the importance of washing your hands before and after handling any cards.

Average Numbers of COVID-19 Cases Are Holding Fairly Steady in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Manitoba public health reported 162 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend bringing the five day test positivity rate to 6.1 percent.. They also reported eight additional deaths with seven in Winnipeg and one in the Northern region.  Of the new cases 67 were in Winnipeg and 54 in the Northern region with lower numbers in other regions. Of the total 30,237 reported cases 3265 are active, 26,135 individuals have recovered and 263 are in hospital with 38 in intensive care.  The number of active cases in the Flin Flon, Snow Lake, Cranberry Portage, Sherridon district is listed at three.  On Saturday on outbreak was declared in the dialysis unit at St. Anthony’s General Hospital in The Pas.

            

Saskatchewan health reported 458 new cases bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 220.  They also reported seven additional deaths with two each in North West and Regina zones and one each in Far North West, South East and Far North Central zones. Of the new cases 110 were in Regina, 103 in Saskatoon, 58 in North West with lower numbers in other zones including 26 in Far North East with the number of active cases in that zone listed at 160.  Of the total 25, 403 reported cases 2363 are considered active, 22,701 individuals have recovered and 211 are in hospital with 28 in intensive care.

 

 

Vaccinations for COVID-19 Continue in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan health reported 269 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 225.  They also reported three additional deaths with one each in the North East, Far North West and North Central.  Of the new cases 66 are in Saskatoon, 41 in Regina, 30 in North West, 22 in South East and North East with lower number in other zones including 15 in Far North East.  Of the total 24,946 reported cases 2299 are considered active, 22,315 individuals have recovered and 224 are in hospital with 28 in intensive care.

             

Saskatchewan has received another shipment of vaccines and the number of people having received vaccines is approaching 39 thousand.

 

Health and Education Funding and COVID Numbers Were All Part of Manitoba Government Announcements.

The Manitoba government has provided more than sixty million dollars to regional health authorities to cover COVID-19 related costs incurred over the first two quarters of 2020-21.  They also announced the public school system will see an increase in the Funding of Schools Program for 2021-22 school year of 20.8 million dollars or 1.56 percent.

             

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin announced 110 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate down to six percent.  He also announced one additional death in the Winnipeg region.  Of the new cases 40 are in the Northern region and 38 in Winnipeg with lower numbers in other regions.  Roussin noted they are working in the Northern Health Region to bring their numbers down.  The number of active cases in the Flin Flon, Snow Lake, Cranberry Portage, Sherridon district is listed at three.

             

Of the total 30,078 reported cases 3353 are considered active and 25,887 individuals have recovered.

Flin Flon RCMP Are Investigating a Home Invasion.

At approximately 10:30 Wednesday night  Flin Flon RCMP responded to a call for assistance at a residence on Fifth Avenue East in Flin Flon.

Officers immediately responded and were advised by the residents that five people had forced their way into the residence, assaulted an occupant, stole a television, and fled. 

Of the people in the home at the time of the break-in, a 23-year-old female and a 48-year-old male had no reported injuries. A 40-year-old male was assaulted with a weapon, but did not require emergency medical services. 

The investigation led officers to a nearby residence, where they located four out of the five suspects and the stolen television. They have been charged with break and enter with intent and robbery. 

Police continue to look for 19 year old Rocky Bighetty.  He is described as 5’4”, 154 pounds, with short black hair and large tattoos on the tops of both hands. 

If you have information call Flin Flon RCMP at 204-687-1423, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477, or secure tip online at www.manitobacrimestoppers.com.

Information of Future Forestry Plans is Coming to Your Community Virtually This Year.

Canadian Kraft Paper and Nisokapawino Forestry Management Corporation are holding virtual information meetings for northern communities over the next few weeks.  Senior Planner Mike Paddock says they’ll discuss their forest harvest and renewal plans for the two years starting June 1st.

             

Virtual meetings for this area will be held next week.  For The Pas, Wanless, Cormorant, Cranberry Portage on the Saskatchewan River Forest Section the meeting is Tuesday at 7 pm, for Flin Flon, Cranberry Portage, Sherridon, Snow Lake on the Highrock Forest Section Wednesday at 7 and for Thompson and Wabowden on the Nelson River Forest Section Thursday at 7. Meeting links are available by calling 204-623-8545, email NFMC@niso.ca or on their website www.canadiankraftpaper.com.

 

This is not a Weekend to Party.

Manitoba Acting Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Jazz Atwall says you have to follow public health orders even though it is Super Bowl weekend.  He explains indoor group gatherings remain at two designated people you have chosen to come to your home, no new people should enter your home to watch the game. If you’re planning an outdoor gathering remember it’s only five people from outside your household and it’s going to be a cold weekend so think about that.  He also reminds you the fundamentals apply to those outdoor gatherings as well so wear a mask, physical distance, wash your hands and cover your cough and even having your two designated people over to your home try to physical distance if it is possible to do that.

             

Atwall adds most importantly don’t attend indoors or outdoors if you are sick.

 

Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 are Approaching 30 Thousand in Manitoba While a Variant Has Been Found in Saskatoon.

Manitoba public health reported 110 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to 6.7 percent.  They also reported two additional deaths both in the Winnipeg region.  Of the new cases 39 are in the Northern health region, 33 in Interlake Eastern and 26 in Winnipeg with single digits in the other regions.  Of the total 29,968 reported cases 3340 are active, 25,791 individuals have recovered and 264 are in hospital with 36 in intensive care.  The number of active cases in the Flin Flon, Snow Lake, Cranberry Portage, Sherridon district is now listed as four.

             

Meanwhile Saskatchewan health reported 250 new cases bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 234 along with seven additional deaths.  They also report a third case of the UK.COVID-19 variant being a person who travelled to South East Asia.  There’s no report of community transmission taking place.  Of the new cases 49 are in Saskatoon, 44 in Regina, 37 in Far North East and 24 in North West with lower numbers in other zones.  Of the total 24,680 reported cases 2265 are considered active, 22,086 individuals have recovered and 216 are in hospital with 30 in intensive care.

 

A Lot More Activities Could be Allowed in Manitoba.

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin reports the province is looking for your input on the next step in reopening our economy.  He listed some of the proposed changes to public health orders being considered.  That includes allowing food services including restaurants and lounges to re-open to 25 percent capacity with closure time of 10pm, allowing personal services including nail salons and tattoo parlors to re-open at 25 percent capacity with adequate physical distancing and protective measures, allowing places of worship to re-open at a maximum of ten percent capacity with a cap of 50 people whichever is lower, allowing libraries to open at a maximum of 25 percent capacity with any group limited to households only and allowing organized outdoor sports to resume for games or practices however multi-team tournaments would not be allowed.

             

These proposed changes and others could come into effect at the end of next week following your input which can be provided at engagemb.ca.

You can apply for Grants for Your Group or Organization.

The Northern Neighbors Foundation is accepting applications for grants they make available each year.  Their Chairperson Jane Robillard says the grants are available in the communities of Flin Flon, Creighton, Denare Beach, Cranberry Portage, Snow Lake and Sherridon.  She explains anybody that is a non-registered charity can apply and the grants can be in the fields of arts and culture, education, environment, health, heritage or recreation and sports so that covers a lot of groups in our community.

             

Information and application forms can be found on their website www.northernneighbors.com or call Jane at 204-687-6488 and will be accepted through the mail to Box 802, Flin Flon, R8A 1N6 or they can be sent by email to nnfdninc@mts.net.  The deadline to apply is February 15th.

 

Manitobans Continue to Face Fines for Private Gatherings.

The Manitoba government has provided an update on ongoing enforcement efforts to protect people from the spread of COVID-19.  For the week of January 25th to 31st 159 warnings and 56 tickets were issued.  That included 42 – 1296 dollar tickets to individuals for various offences with 31 of those in relation to gatherings in private residences or outdoors and 14 tickets to individuals for failure to wear a mask in indoor places.  They note all retail establishments are now open for business provided they maintain physical distancing and occupancy limits and enforcement officials continue to work with these businesses to provide guidance and the majority of interactions are educational in nature.

             

Since enforcement efforts began in April a total of 2758 warnings and 899 tickets have been issued resulting in more than 1.2 million dollars in fines to businesses and individuals.

 

 

Advice has been issued for Valentines Day.

Saskatchewan health reported 194 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 233.  They also reported eight additional deaths covering five zones including two in the Far North East.  Of the new cases 62 were in Regina, 49 in Saskatoon, and 26 in North West with lower numbers in other zones including six in Far North East.

             

Of the total 24,430 reported cases 2254 are considered active, 21,854 individuals have recovered and 194 are in hospital with 26 in intensive care.

             

For Valentine ’s Day public health does not recommend sharing gifts, chocolates or food in schools and at workplaces.  If you are sharing with close friends or loved ones give only individually wrapped unopened store bought treats and if sharing cards put them aside for 24 hours before handling.  

 

Following the Rules Will Lead to Improvements in Public Health Orders.

Manitoba Acting Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Jazz Atwall announced 126 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon.  He also announced three additional deaths with two in Winnipeg and one in Southern health.  Atwall said they are reviewing the public health orders and the level of success we see during the modest re-opening will determine the amount we are able to open as these orders expire so if people are thinking of skirting the orders you’re not only putting yourself at risk but you and those you gather with are impacting the re-opening process.  He adds we all need to continue to make these sacrifices in the short term so we can be safe in the long term.

             

Of the new cases 55 are in the Northern health region, 32 in Winnipeg and 24 in Interlake Eastern with single digits in the other regions. Of the total reported cases 3358 are active, 25,665 individuals have recovered and 260 are in hospital with 34 in intensive care.

             

The vaccine super site in Thompson opened on Monday and pop up sites will launch in Flin Flon and The Pas next week to provide vaccines to eligible health care workers but they report all first dose appointments at the three sites have been booked.

It Was a Fairly Quiet Start to a New Year for the Flin Flon Fire Department.

At their meeting last night City Council congratulated northern Mayors and Chambers of Commerce on their success in convincing public health to remove the essential items only list and allowing our northern businesses to re-open.

             

They also received the Fire Chiefs report for January.  It indicated three incidents in the month with the total fire loss estimated at five thousand dollars.

             

The afternoon of January 2nd they received a report of alarms sounding at Walmart.  Crews found a large cylinder of compressed CO-2 was leaking in the McDonalds restaurant. They quickly contained the leak and closed the tank.

             

On the afternoon of January 8th a private alarm system detected a fire in a home on Creekside.  Crews responded and found the alarm had been triggered by some light smoke from cooking.

             

And early in the morning of January 11th they received a call indicating a portable toilet was on fire on Bracken Street.  Crews found a plastic toilet on fire which they quickly put out.

             

The Fire Department also began CPR and First Aid training and set up a program to return to regular weekly practices maintaining physical distancing and all health protocols.

 

You Can Apply for a Job Counting People in Canada.

Statistics Canada will conduct the next census in May and is staffing 32 thousand jobs across Canada to collect crucial data that will be used to plan for the future.  Schools, housing and health and emergency services are all planned using census data.  Census procedures have been redesigned to ensure the safety of respondents and census employees with all equipment required provided by Statcan and employees will work close to home in their local communities.  The rate of pay varies by position from $17.83 to $21.77 per hour plus authorized expenses, you must be available to work flexible hours mainly during evenings and weekends, start and end dates vary by position and location but are between March and July and you must be 18 or older.

             

For more information and to apply go to www.census.gc.ca and visit the Census jobs page.

A COVID-19 Variant has Been Detected in Regina.

Saskatchewan health reported 223 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 227. They also reported eight additional deaths with single deaths in a number of zones across the province. Premier Scott Moe announced the UK COVID-19 variant has been detected in two residents in the Regina zone. He noted we know this is a more contagious variant which serves to re-enforce to each of us why we need to keep doing what we know works to reduce the spread of this virus regardless of which variant it is.

             

One case had travelled to the United Kingdom and the second is a close contact of the traveler.  Both residents quarantined and are now no longer infectious and all contacts have been identified with no indication of further transmission.  Non-essential travel is not recommended at this time.

             

Of the new cases 65 were in Regina, 38 in Saskatoon, 28 in North Central,18 in North West and 14 in Far North West with single digits in other zones including eight in Far North East.

             

Of the 24,236 reported cases 2320 are considered active and 21,602 have recovered. Hospitalization data is not available as the system is being updated.

Manitoba is Working to Expand the List of Who Can Deliver COVID Vaccines.

Manitoba public health announced 83 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to 7.6 percent.  They also reported due to a data reset there are no deaths being reported noting the reset puts into place additional checks and balances, increases consistencies and improves regional data.

             

Of the new cases 53 are in the Northern health region and 18 in Winnipeg with single digits in other regions. Of the total 29,733 reported cases 3421 are considered active, 25,480 individuals have recovered and 254   are in hospital with 36 in intensive care.

             

The government has been working with its existing network of physicians and pharmacist flu vaccination partners to prepare for the rollout of new vaccines once they are approved for use in Canada. At this time approval dates and supply volumes for the vaccines that do not require special handling and transport are speculative.

 

A Large Donation of Clothing Will Benefit Two Flin Flon Organizations.

The Executive Director of the Womens Resource Centre Colleen Arnold reports they and the Flin Flon Friendship Center are sharing a donation of clothing from Winnipeg. Arnold says they received a call from YM Inc which represents Stitches as well as Suzy Sheer and Bluenotes indicating they had way too much inventory and decided to donate to them.  She explains they originally said there was about 40 bags for each organization but there’s probably 400 bags of sweaters, coats, scarves, tuques, pajamas, boots,etc and Gardewine also donated like 80 or 90 percent of the transportation costs to bring them from Winnipeg so they send a huge thank you to both those places as it’s just amazing how generous people are.

      

       

 

 

Lake Winn Has Obtained the Quartz Project Manitoba with Historic Gold Intercepts.

Lake Winn Resources Corporation reports it has obtained a new gold project in the Flin Flon gold belt.  The Quartz Project lies near the southern shores in Reed Lake between the Reed Lake and Four Miles Island VMS deposits.  They report the project contains multiple drill hole intercepts containing gold including a hole drilled by Hudson Bay Exploration and Development Company in 1975 intersecting 1.28 meters at 19.9 grams per tonne gold.   The area was further drill tested by Tribune Uranium Corporation in 2007 and they encountered multiple gold intercepts including 5.8 meters at 12.8 grams per tonne.  Lake Winn plans to begin drilling before the ice melts prior to April depending on permitting and weather.

             

Lake Winn will pay William Ferreira 50 thousand dollars and 100 thousand shares for the one hundred percent purchase of the Quartz Claims totalling 254 hectares along with granting a two percent overriding Royalty of which one percent may be purchased for one million dollars.  The transaction is subject to TSX approval.

COVID-19 Cases Have Topped 24 thousand in Saskatchewan.

           

Saskatchewan health reported this afternoon 147 new cases of COVID-19.  They also reported two additional deaths both in the North West zone.  Of the new cases 33 were in Regina, 24 were in the North West, 21 in North East and 13 in Saskatoon with lower numbers in other zones including four in Far North East. Of the total 24,011 reported cases 2369 are considered active, 21,336 individuals have recovered and 202 people are in hospital with 30 in intensive care. The number of death related to COVID-19 has reached 306 with nearly half of those in January.

 

We Can Again Shop For Non-Essential Items in the North.

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin reported 87 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to 7.9 percent.  He also reported three additional deaths with two in Southern health and one in Winnipeg. Roussin says in the last two weeks they have seen significant travel from the Northern Health Region to obtain non-essential goods so in an attempt to reduce that they are going to eliminate the essential list as well in the Northern Health Region so in that capacity all retail stores can remain open and won’t be limited by that non-essential list.  The 25 percent capacity with a maximum of 250 will remain.

             

This comes into effect at 11:59 tonight until February 12th when the restrictions for the whole province are reviewed.

             

Of the total new cases 42 are in the Northern health region, 22 in Interlake Eastern and 18 in Winnipeg with single digits in other regions. Of the total 29,651 reported cases 3466 are active, 25,353 individuals have recovered and 255 are in hospital with 38 in intensive care.

Northern Concerns Will Be Reviewed by the Manitoba Government.

Representatives of Chambers of Commerce from the Northwest side of Manitoba met with health and government officials to discuss restrictions placed on businesses in the north. Chambers represented were from The Pas, Flin Flon, Snow Lake and Manitoba Chambers.

             

The Chambers feel the northern community is too large to be treated as a single entity.  They requested the province consider adjusting the Northern Health Region into North Eastern and North Western zones using highway six as the dividing line for COVID restrictions only.  They feel that COVID cases in communities 400 to 800 kilometers away have little bearing and impact on people in the North West zone.  They note failure to lift the restrictions will cause people to travel outside their communities for shopping and other services increasing the chances of spreading the virus.

             

The Vice President of The Pas and District Chamber of Commerce Alan McLauchlan says they feel the meeting was successful and their request will be reviewed by the province in the near future but until that time continue to follow the Code Red restrictions to keep our numbers low so our businesses can re-open.

 

The Manitoba Government Has Awarded a Tender for Creation of a Pregnancy Related Program Across the Province.

Mental Health, Wellness and Recovery Minister Audrey Gordon has announced the government has awarded the tender to the Womens Health Clinic to develop, implement and co-ordinate a provincial pregnancy and infant loss program in Manitoba.  They are investing more than 200 thousand dollars for the program.  It will provide individual and group counseling and support to assist individuals and families who are dealing with complex grief and mental health issues associated with the loss of a child during pregnancy and infancy which is the first year of life which can include increased risk of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, substance use disorder and other mental health issues.

             

The Women’s Health Clinic will develop, implement and co-ordinate the program which in addition to providing counseling and support will deliver education, training and access to the program’s services across the province.  The target is to serve a minimum of two hundred clients per year.

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