Local News Archives for 2022-08

Its Back to School in Creighton Tomorrow.

Students from Creighton Community School are getting ready to go back to school tomorrow.  Principal Patty Korchinski explains opening day…..

 

“The grade one to twelve students start on September 1st.  They’ll all go to their home rooms and get their timetables and meet their teachers.  Our Pre-K and kindergarten students should have messaging from our teachers telling them when to come.  They’ll have a soft start coming in next week and we just get rolling on Thursday.”

             

If you need more information you can call the school at 306-688-5138 or check their Facebook page and Instagram account.

Parks Season Continues in Both Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

The Manitoba government is once again providing free entry to provincial parks over the Labor Day long weekend.  Vehicle permits are not required to visit provincial parks from this Friday to Monday, however regular fees still apply for provincial campgrounds.  Individuals who want to camp can check site availability and make reservations through the Parks Reservation Service at www.manitobaparks.com or call 1-888-482-2267.  Several provincial park campsites, cabins and yurts remain open through the fall allowing campers to stay as late as Thanksgiving.

             

The Saskatchewan government says don’t pack away the camping gear just yet.  Campsites are available to be reserved online until September 30th in nearly all provincial parks with full services and amenities available. Parks Minister Laura Ross notes with a number of exciting special events taking place it’s a great opportunity to get out to a park, take in an activity or two and experience the beauty of fall in Saskatchewan parks.  To book fall camping and to pre-register for fall special events visit http://parks.saskatchewan.ca.

Improvements are Coming to Northern Provincial Parks.

The Manitoba government is investing 1.1 million dollars from the Provincial Parks Endowment Fund to support park enhancements across the province. In the north accessibility improvements including washrooms, building access and picnic tables are taking place at Clearwater Lake, Paint Lake, Pisew Falls and Wekusko Falls.  Beach improvements include picnic shelters and washrooms at Bakers Narrows Wekusko Falls and boat launch upgrades at Bakers Narrows, Clearwater Lake, Moose Lake and Grass River. Trail upgrades including signs, non-modern washrooms and bridge boardwalk repairs will take place at Clearwater Lake and Moose Lake.

             

Launched in 2021 with an initial investment of 20 million dollars the Park Endowment Fund is expected to generate approximately one million dollars per year to enhance visitor experiences at Manitoba’s provincial parks.  Priorities for the fund are determined through a process involving engagement of citizens and stakeholders.

Both You and Your Pet Have to Be Aware of Bears.

While black bear season has been tamer compared to last year the provincial government is still advising caution when out in bear country.

 

Wildlife biologist Janine Wilmot explains........

 

“There’s a lot of things to think about when you’re active in bear country. You probably want to make sure you’re letting somebody know about where you’re going, your travel route and your intended time to return.  You want to make sure that you’re always aware of your surroundings so that means not having your phone or ear buds in to listen to music.  You want to be able to hear what’s going on around you.  You want to watch for signs there could be bears active in the area so that might be things like tracks on the ground, maybe fresh droppings.  Another good idea is to carry deterrent spray with you as well as some noise making devices, maybe a walking stick, air horn or whistle.”

 

Wilmot adds it’s important for people going into bear country with a pet that they’re kept on a leash so they don’t provoke a bear into an aggressive response should they encounter one.

 

For more on bear safety, visit the Government of Manitoba website.

 

A 45 Million Dollar Environment Protection Project in Northern Manitoba Has Been Completed.

   

As part of the Manitoba government’s commitment to protect the environment and expedite work to clean up orphaned and abandoned mine sites the 45 million dollar multi-year remediation project at the Ruttan Mine is now complete.

        

The mine, located near Leaf Rapids, has been closed since 2002. Remediation work began in 2006 and diverts clean water away from tailings and diverts impacted water to an open collection pit so contaminants can be removed before the water is discharged. The work also included covering exposed materials in tailings management areas with clay, peat and grass to reduce the risk of contaminants entering the air and water. The province will continue to treat water and monitor the site to ensure environmental standards are maintained at this location.

         

Environment Minister Jeff Wharton noted the government has made a strong commitment to expedite the cleanup of orphaned and abandoned mine sites to help protect our environment and the completion of this major initiative at the Ruttan Mine is another significant step toward that goal.  He added at its peak this multi-year project at the Ruttan Mine created more than 50 local jobs in northern Manitoba.

RCMP Calls for Service in Northern Manitoba Were Down Ten Percent in July Over July Last Year.

RCMP report during July 2022 Manitoba North District reported decreases in all occurrence groups except crimes against property over July 2021.  Common police activities overall decreased 26 percent from 1107 to 822 with decreases in all sub-categories.  The largest decrease was in the breach of peace sub-category where occurrences were down from 530 to 359.  Persons reported missing also decreased from 235 to 164.

             

Crimes against person decreased from 1212 to 1020 with the largest decrease in sexual offences down from 74 to 37 and assaults decreased from 945 to 811. Crimes against property increased from 1098 to 1386 with an increase in mischief occurrences from 824 to 1094 and theft over five thousand dollars increased from 25 to 35 occurrences.  And drug enforcement occurrences were down from 57 to 49 with possession down from 14 to 6.

Tourism Will Be the Focus of a New Job in Our Region.

The FDC Regional Economic Development Commission has welcomed Brooke White as Regional Tourism Officer…..

 

“I’m the Tourism Officer for the region of Flin Flon, Creighton and Denare Beach and I’m very excited to work alongside the communities to further build up the tourism sector and I’m looking forward to the opportunity of highlighting the beauty of the north and to share with others what we all know and love about the region.”

             

The Commission notes White was born and raised in the north and after graduating from Creighton Community School she moved to Winnipeg to pursue her post secondary education.  She completed a Business Administrative program at Red River College.  Since returning to Flin Flon she has established connection with the Flin Flon Arts Council and served as the Project Coordinator and Marketing Director for the Uptown Emporium.

 

Creighton Council Learned About Reduced Funding This Week.

At their meeting earlier this week Council reported receiving a letter from the government of Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations regarding the Northern Municipal Revenue Sharing Grant for 2022-23.  The Northern Municipalities Regulations require that each municipality be informed in writing of the amount of its Northern Municipal Revenue Sharing Grant including an explanation showing how the amount was determined.  For 2022-23 all municipalities experienced a 4.84 percent reduction in MRS Grants from the previous year due to a 4.84 percent reduction in provincial sales tax revues earned by the province.  All municipalities must be compliant with the MRS eligibility requirements to receive the full grant.  The Town of Creighton has satisfied all six MRS requirements and will receive the full grant of one million one hundred and eighty one thousand three hundred and sixty-five dollars.  Council said they have made allowances in their budget so Town operations will be fine as they’ve seen reductions in the past.

 

COVID-19 Numbers are Both Up And Down in Manitoba.

Manitoba public health reported 473 laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19 for the week of August 14th to 20th an increase from 455 the previous week.  Winnipeg reported 195 new cases followed by the Northern health region with 93 down from 103 the previous week.  The volume of lab tests decreased to on average 324 people tested per day compared to 326 the previous week with a test positivity rate of 23.9 percent an increase from 23.8 percent in the previous week.  There were 60 hospital admissions down from 72 and 8 ICU admissions down from 19 the previous week.

             

Manitoba health is advising that all children aged 5 to 11 can now receive a booster dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine especially children with an underlying medical condition and there should be a minimum six month interval between the child’s last dose and the booster dose.  Appointments are currently available at regional vaccine sites, public health offices, pharmacies and medical clinics.

Eight Weeks of Fun Summer Activities for Kids Wraps Up Tomorrow.

Summer in the Parks which started July 4th for kids ages four to ten years old comes to a close tomorrow.   Supervisor Ashley Andersen says it was a really good summer…..

 

“We’ve had an awesome great eight weeks of fun and lots of laughs but now sadly it’s come to an end.  Our final day is going to be this Friday, it’s going to be a big party with lots of celebrating.  I’d like to thank everyone for coming and making our program possible and I’m already getting super excited for next summer’s Summer in The Parks.”  

             

             

Andersen had noted earlier in the summer they were averaging 17 to 20 kids per day.

             

Summer in the Parks is sponsored every summer by Flin Flon Parks and Recreation.

 

Back to School Events Were Highlighted at the School Board Meeting.

The Flin Flon School Division Board of Trustees held their first meeting of the up-coming school year this past Tuesday.  Classes for students begin on September 7th.  As Superintendent Tammy Ballantyne mentioned in her report the Trustees are eager to see the smiles on the student’s faces.  She also recognized the hard work over the summer break done by the custodial and maintenance teams. The classrooms look amazing and are student ready.

             

The Board passed a motion to sign personal contracts with the following staff for the new year: Fawn Brown Community Schools Connector at Ruth Betts, Erin Dadson  Community Liaison Worker at McIsaac, Linda Lowe Mentor/Essential Skills Coordinator for the Division, Courtney Lycan Family Liaison Worker at Ruth Betts, Joanne Montgrand Parent Child Programmer at Ruth Betts, Jill Rideout Family Liaison Worker at Hapnot and Many Faces, Kayla Reeves Youth Engagement Worker at Many Faces and Doreen Roman Youth Engagement Worker at Hapnot.

             

The Board also agreed to sign the annual collateral agreement and the letter of agreement for the Manitoba Public School Employees extended health plan between Flin Flon School Division and the Flin Flon Teachers Association of the Manitoba Teachers Society.

A Warning Has Been Issued About a Scam With Threats to Personal Safety.

Saskatchewan RCMP are advising the public of a text message scam that has been recently reported within their jurisdiction.

 

In each report the complainant received a text message from a sender claiming to be from an escort company accusing the victim of having used their services without paying. The sender then demands payment and advises the victim that if they do not pay their personal safety or that of their family or friends will be in danger. These text messages have also been accompanied by graphic images of violent scenarios including assaults and homicides.

 

The Saskatchewan RCMP would like to remind you to remain vigilant when receiving unsolicited text messages, never provide personal or sensitive information to the requestor and never send money even if the message sounds urgent.

 

If you or a family member has been contacted by a scammer report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre even if you didn't give them any money.  If you or a family member did lose money as a result of fraud contact your local police as well as the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

A Summit will Focus on Rural and Northern Physician Shortages.

Doctors Manitoba in conjunction with the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce will convene a stakeholder summit this fall to assess rural and northern Manitoba Physician shortages. 

             

The summit to be held September 21st in Portage La Prairie will bring together a variety of health, economic development and community leaders to review current challenges, examine physician recruitment and retention best practices from within Manitoba and from other Canadian jurisdictions, participate in facilitated discussions and build consensus about the actions and strategies needed to attract and retain more doctors in rural and northern Manitoba.

             

Chambers President Chuck Davidson notes their members told them in a recent survey that health care system recovery and investment is their top concern because accessible, reliable and efficient care enables Manitobans to flourish wherever they reside while ensuring the region is attractive to potential new residents and investment.  Follow up steps will include the development of a formal report for the consideration of government and health care system representatives as well as information to be shared with municipalities, rural and northern hospitals, community leaders and media.

The Play It Safer Network will be hosting a memorial march and candlelight vigil for International Overdose Awareness Day next Wednesday.

The march will start at 3 in front of their office across from A&A Auto on Main Street and proceed to Rotary Park for an awareness event from 4 to 5.  The Committee’s Tara Dutcawich says the event will raise awareness of overdose…..

             

“Flin Flon is a community known for gathering together and helping other members through challenging times and this event will really help us understand that we have to fight against the stigma that surrounds drug use and the harms associated with it because lots of times people don’t feel that they can access real help because of them using substances so that and also just acknowledging that loss is loss and whether people have lost a family member to illness or from overdose it’s all worth sharing and providing support and compassion.”             

           

The awareness event at Rotary Park will include a slideshow of loved ones lost and have access to service providers such as AFM, mental health supports, a performance by the Sliver Evening Star Singers and traditional dancers and will have naloxone and overdose prevention available for anyone interested. Those attending the parade are encouraged to wear purple and attend the sign making events this coming Friday and Monday from 2 to 4 at the Primary Health Care Centre.

The President of UCN Has Received a Contract Extension.

University College of the North has approved a five year contract extension for President and Vice-Chancellor Doug Lauvstad running until July 31st, 2028.                               

             

UCN’s Governing Council Chair Becky Cianflone explains UCN has experienced significant growth during Doug’s first five years having seen enrolments increase by over one third to 32 hundred, a doubling of revenue for their community and industry training program from 800 thousand to more than three million dollars annually. Under Doug’s Leadership UCN created the department of Reconciliation, Research and Academic Innovation to strengthen reconciliation.

             

Going forward the Governing Council will be directing the executive of UCN to develop a new five year strategic plan that will advance the mission of UCN to provide quality education, training and research that will support the growth and prosperity of northern and Indigenous people of Manitoba.

 

Good Results Continue to Come in from Expanded Drilling West of Flin Flon.

Foran Mining Corporation has released additional results from drilling at the recently discovered Tesla Zone on its McIlvenna Bay Project 65 kilometers west of Flin Flon.  A wedge hole intercepted 11.9 meters grading 6.2 percent copper equivalent including 5.4 meters at 10.2 percent copper equivalent and a step out hole with assays pending appears to intercept the Tesla Zone.

             

Foran’s Executive Chairman Dan Myerson states to achieve success rates and intercept these robust zones at such an early stage in a new discovery is truly remarkable.  Additional follow up drilling at Tesla is planned for later in the year after the winter freeze. Their helicopter supported seven thousand meter summer drill program is currently underway at the Marconi project on the Bigstone property 25 kilometers west of McIlvenna Bay and the summer program will include the Flinty Prospect and other regional targets in the Hanson Lake District.

Two Local Businesses are Moving to New Locations.

Nasselquist Jewellers is advising the community that University College of the North will be renting the Nasselquist Sals Fitness building on Main Street. They report Sals Fitness will be relocating to the old McMunn building at number 1 Park Street with the opening coming soon.  Owner Treasure Daneliuk says the last day for Nasselquist Jewellers at their current Main Street location will be September 10th……..

 

“Myself, Sheryl, Helena, Donna, our past and present staff are going to miss serving all our communities and all our clients dearly.  We felt very fortunate to be a part of Main Street and this community for a long time.  The store was established in 1930 so we’re hoping that someone else might take the torch and carry that on for us but don’t worry we’re actually moving.  We’re going to do a holiday pop up store down at the old Gateway on the restaurant side so just keep tuned to our Facebook page and different posts around town so you can see when we’ll be open.  We’re hoping it will be late October and hope to see you all then.”

             

Nasselquist Jewellers was started in 1930 by the Nasselquist family and at an unknown date it was sold to Alfie Boyce.  In 1983 Sheila Dubreuil took over and in 2005 Treasure Daneliuk bought the store.

 

34 Million Dollars Will Flow This Year to Support Community Initiatives.

The Manitoba government is opening the 2022-23 intake of applications for the new Arts, Culture and Sport in the Community Fund.  Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Andrew Smith explains the new fund will provide grants to support the arts, culture and amateur sport sectors. It will include three programs.  The first is capital projects where organizations will be able to apply for up to five million dollars on a 50-50 cost sharing bases for large projects that will support the development and renewal of spaces and facilities used for arts, culture and sport programming and activities.  Under community celebrations events, festivals and celebrations that promote cultural exchanges and are rooted in inclusion and belonging can receive full funding up to five thousand dollars and under small capital and special initiatives projects can receive between 50 and 100 percent of eligible expenses depending on the projects overall cost and will support such initiatives as organizational development opportunities, training and technology, volunteer and equipment development.

             

For more information or to download application forms visit www.manitoba.ca/acsc.

 

The Manitoba Wildfire Service Advises That Wildfire Danger Levels are Low to Moderate Throughout the Province.

 In their latest update the Wildfire Service reported on the fire at the Saskatchewan Manitoba border.  Estimated at 2300 hectares they are working with crews from Saskatchewan to enhance fire protection in the area located 37 kilometers north of Flin Flon.  Wind conditions over the next 24 to 48 hours may produce increased smoke activity in Flin flon.  Local fire crews are focusing on protecting several remote properties in the area.

             

 As well less than one kilometer east of Mathias Colomb Cree Nation the fire is estimated to be just under 58 thousand hectares.  Due the vicinity of the wildfire the community had been evacuated.  Favorable weather conditions and progress on firefighting efforts have decreased the risk to the community and critical infrastructure and some community members are beginning to return home.

             

And in the Burntwood Lake area the fire is approximately 24 thousand hectares but is not an immediate threat to any community or properties.

 

 

University College of the North has Appointed Helga Bryant as Their Next Dean of Health.

Bryant will be taking her position as Dean of Health in May after recently announcing plans to retire as CEO of the Northern Health Region in the spring.

             

In a release UCN notes Bryant has been a registered nurse since 1974 and has lived and worked in northern Manitoba for more than a decade and comes to UCN with over two decades of executive leadership experience in Manitoba’s health system.  Since 2011 she has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Health Region.  Prior to that she was the Executive Director and Registrar of the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba, Vice-President and Chief Nursing Officer with the Health Science Center in Winnipeg and spent 30 years in clinical and leadership roles in Brandon.

             

UCN President and Vice-Chancellor Doug Lauvstad notes in addition to her leadership skills Helga brings extensive knowledge to UCN of Manitoba’s health care system and particularly health care issues in northern Manitoba.

Reported Cases of COVID-19 Continue to go Up In Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Manitoba public health reported 455 laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19 for the week of August 7th to 13th an increase from 347 in the previous week.  Winnipeg reported 224 new cases followed by the Northern health region with 103 up from 94 the previous week.  The volume of lab tests increased to on average 326 people tested per day compared to 298 the previous week with a test positivity rate of 23.8 percent an increase from 20.8 percent the previous week.  There were 72 hospital admissions up from 57 the previous week with 19 ICU admissions up from 12 the previous week.

             

In their monthly report Saskatchewan health reported for the period of July 17th to August 13th COVID-19 activity has been increasing. They report 1524 new cases or 381 per week for the month compared to 209 per week for the previous three week period with a test positivity rate of 7.4 percent.  Hospitalizations for the period were 488 or 122 per week compared to 265 or 88 per week in the previous period with ICU admissions at 27 or 7 per week compared to 18 or 6 per week in the previous period.  Far Northeast reported a test positivity rate of 3.2 percent compared to 2.8 percent in the previous period.

Generators Will Allow Residents of Pukatawagan to Go Home.

PHOTO BY MANITOBA HYDRO

After just over a month of planning, transportation and installation work Manitoba Hydro energized two large industrial generators to bring power back to the community of Pukatawagan.  The wildfire that threatened the community and caused residents to evacuate damaged 77 poles on the power line feeding the community so two 1500 kilovolt generators were shipped by train to The Pas and attached to a train along with other cars hauling poles, spools of power lines, insulators, guy wires, specialized vehicles, transformers and fuel for total of 27 cars. Manitoba Hydro will now get to work setting poles in and around steep cliffs, marsh and rock with assistance from helicopters.

             

Mathias Colomb Cree Nation Chief Lorna Bighetty noted installing the generators means that essential services such as health, water and sewer, service to our homes, access to the outside world through internet services and other media will be available again.

 

People with autoimmune arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis as well as transplant recipients face an increased risk of severe outcomes due to COVID-19.

This is according to a recent study published by Arthritis Research Canada which finds autoimmune arthritis patients are 30 per cent more likely to be hospitalized and be in ICU and are 60 per cent more likely to be on a ventilator.

 

The study is especially relevant in the north as the organization’s Doctor Antonio Avina-Zubieta says people living in rural and northern areas are more likely to be diagnosed with an autoimmune rheumatic disease compared to those living in larger urban centres.

 

He adds Indigenous people are more likely to be diagnosed than non-Indigenous people.

 

Arthritis Research Canada says the study indicates public health should keep the chronically ill top of mind as they formulate future COVID-19 policies, especially when it comes to vaccination.

 

Agreements Were Part of the Flin Flon City Council Meeting Last Night.

At the meeting Council renewed their agreement with Strelezki Mechanical Services Limited for the operation of transit services in the City for six months.  The service will remain as is and at the end of the year the new Council will review ridership with people no longer going to Hudbay on the early morning runs and make any necessary adjustments.

             

Council approved the Municipal Funding Application by the Community Garden in the amount of 15 hundred dollars.  The Committee states the project is to build a beautiful and pleasing fence to highlight the community garden area and to define the space from the broader area of the Rotary Park.

             

Councillor Bill Hanson and Mayor Cal Huntley encouraged people to run for Council in the October election and help move the City through the next four years by sharing your ideas with other Councillors.  Huntley encouraged those thinking of running to attend a meeting before the election to get an idea of what Council does.

             

And Councillor Tim Babcock noted there’s a lot of road construction underway so if you see a barricade on the road obey it.

Foremost Continues to Expand its Lithium Properties in the Snow Lake Area.

Foremost Lithium Resources and Technology has announced it will issue just over 335 thousand common shares and has paid 50 thousand dollars in cash.  This is in satisfaction of its first anniversary option payment pursuant to their option agreement with Mount Morgan Resources to acquire a 100 percent interest in its Jean Lake lithium-gold project 15 kilometers east of Snow Lake. The five claim 1002 hectare property hosts the historic west northwest striking Beryl lithium pegmatites rediscovered in August of 2021 in blasted trenches beneath 80 years of organic deadfall and glacial sediment as well as the shear zone hosted Sparky Gold Occurrence discovered in 1918.

             

Foremost Lithium is committed to having a critical role in the production of high quality battery grade lithium hydroxide to fuel the electric vehicle and battery storage market. They note they are hyper focused on continued exploration and growth in their six lithium projects: Jean Lake, Grass River, Zoro, Jol and Peg North Claims in Snow Lake and its Hidden Lake Lithium Project in the Northwest Territories.

RCMP Calls for Service in Northern Manitoba Were Down Seven Percent in June Over June Last Year.

RCMP report during June 2022 over June 2021 of all categories Manitoba North District reported the largest increase in crimes against property and the largest decrease in common police activities.  Common police activities had an overall decrease of 16 percent with 1087 down to 912 with the largest specific decrease in the breach of peace sub-category down from 524 to 376.

             

Crimes against person decreased from 1051 to 1030 with the largest decrease in sexual assaults down from 56 to 38.  Crimes against property increased from 997 to 1367.  Theft over five thousand dollars increased from 23 to 39, mischief increased from 766 to 1065 and break and enters increased from 73 to 93.  Overall the drug enforcement category decreased from 56 to 47 with trafficking down from 39 to 33.

 

Canadians are equally as stressed inside the workplace as they are at home.

That’s according to LifeWork’s latest Mental Health Index conducted in June which found that workers are experiencing increasing strain as the mental health score declined after four months of improvements.

 

Respondents cite work volume, performance demands and lack of support as the leading sources of workplace stress.

 

The report adds those who felt supported by their employers said the top two actions their employer took were offering flexibility and promoting mental health services and resources.

 

 Senior VP Paula Allen shares what the big takeaways are from the index........

 

“We cannot at any point in time take our mental health for granted.  We had this massive decline that we have one third of the working population considered at high risk for mental health issues up from about 12 to 14 percent pre-pandemic so a huge increase and these stressors on an ongoing every day basis we have to be able to deal with them reaching out for social support, professional support, even one session with a counsellor can make a difference because it does impact virtually every aspect of our lives so we have to really invest in our mental health in order to get the best life experience possible.”

 

Allen says respondents felt equal amounts of stress in both their personal and professional lives at 26 per cent each.

A Missing Woman Has Been Found.

A woman reported missing at Granite Lake has been located.

Creighton RCMP reported last evening that Margaret Barney has been located and is safe.  She was reported missing from the Granite Lake Campground 50 kilometers west of Creighton on Highway 106 Saturday Evening.

Children are Invited to a Free Fun Event Saturday at the Blueberry Jam Stage.

The Flin Flon Arts Council presents Manitoba Underground Opera’s Goldie B. Locks and the Three Singing Bears Saturday afternoon.  The Arts Council’s Crystal Kolt says it’s going to be a lot of fun….

 

“It’s the  first time that the Manitoba Underground Opera has had the opportunity to tour the province and this is a show directed specifically for little kids up to age 11.  They say 5 to 11 but I’m sure there’s some little siblings in there that might want to enjoy that and I believe it’s about 35 minutes long and it’s a lot of fun.  There’s a bit of extra things that happen during the show as well, a little bit of coloring that will be handed out.”

             

Goldie B. Locks and the Three Singing Bears will be presented at 2 Saturday afternoon at the Blueberry Jam stage in the Flin Flon Campground with no charge to attend.

Everyone is Encouraged to Check a Tree This Month.

Throughout August the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is asking you to check for invasive pests in your backyard in honor of Tree Check Month.  Check local parks, gardens, backyards and vehicles for unwelcome pests.  Contact the CFIA if you suspect you have found an invasive plant, insect, disease, snail or other plant pest foreign to the area and don’t move firewood, burn local or heat treated firewood.

             

The Agency’s Chief Plant Health Officer David Bailey states the power of everyday citizen scientists should not be underestimated as the finding and reporting from even one person could be a big help to Canadian tree and plant health. The Plant Health Hero challenge is open to anyone in Canada and features activities for youth.

             

You can learn more by visiting www.inspection.canada.ca/pests or via apps like iNaturalist.

Ceighton RCMP Are Searching for a Missing Woman at Granite Lake Campground.

Shortly after midnight yesterday Creighton RCMP received a report of a missing woman at Granite Lake Campground.  The campground is located about 50 kilometers west of Creighton on Highway 106. 66 year old Margaret Barney was last seen walking in the Campground around 6:30 Saturday evening.

             

Margaret is described as a 66 year old white woman of heavy build with grey hair and brown eyes.  She usually wears glasses and was last seen wearing a brown shirt, Capri pants and blue-green running shoes.  She has a dragon tattoo on one of her arms.

             

Creighton RCMP officers are currently searching the area with volunteers and have organized for a drone and La Ronge Rangers to join the search.

             

If you see Margaret Barney or have seen her since she was last seen contact Creighton RCMP at 306-688-8888 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or www.crimestoppers.com.

 

Hudbay Set a Production Record in the Last Quarter.

In Hudbays second quarter 2022 financial report President Peter Kukielski reported full year 2022 production and operating cost guidance is reaffirmed as second quarter production was in line with expectations….

 

“We achieved a solid operational quarter setting us up for a strong second half of the year.  Our consolidated copper production in the quarter was 25.7 thousand tonnes in line with our expected quarterly cadence and 4 percent higher than in the first quarter.  Consolidated gold production increased 9 percent another record for Hudbay due to higher gold grades in Peru and higher output from New Britannia in Snow Lake.  Consolidated zinc production was 23 percent lower than the first quarter primarily due to lower tonnes and grades at Triple Seven as the mine approached the end of its life and the continued transition towards mining the gold lenses at Lalor with a corresponding decrease of production from the base metal zones.”

             

Kukielski noted net earnings in the second quarter of 2022 were 30.5 million dollars after adjusting for the non-cash gain related to the revaluation of the environmental provision in Flin Flon and the specific asset impairment loss at Rosemont in Arizona among other things.

 

Reported Cases of COVID-19 Are Up Again in Manitoba.

Manitoba public health reported 347 laboratory confirmed COVID-19 cases for the week of July 31st to August 6th an increase from 257 the previous week.  Winnipeg reported 163 new cases followed by the Northern health region with 94 up from 47 the previous week. The volume of lab tests increased to on average 298 people per day compared to 278 in the previous week with a test positivity rate of 20.8 percent an increase from 17.9 percent in the previous week.  There were 57 hospital admissions up from 53 the previous week with 12 ICU admissions up from 7 the previous week.

             

Saskatchewan health releases their next monthly report next Thursday.

Theres Just Over a Month Left to Submit Pictures of the Creighton Denare Beach Area.

Tourism Saskatchewan’s annual Explore Saskatchewan Contest is still looking for photos of your favorite Saskatchewan adventures to win great prizes.  Amateur and professional photographers and videographers are encouraged to submit their most striking content that captures the natural wonders of Saskatchewan and tells stories about its people and communities.  There are seven contest categories that include prairie, people and places, wildlife, winter, woods and water, food and drink and video.  The prize winning photographer in each category will receive a 500 dollar Visa gift card with the grand prize winner receiving an additional 500 dollar Visa gift card.

             

For complete rules and to submit your entry visit TourismSaskatchewan.com/Photo-Contest or call Tourism Saskatchewan at 1-877-237-2273.  The deadline for entries is September 15th.

 

Hudbay Continues to Expand Its Holdings With Exploration at Its Canadian and US Operations.

In the Hudbay second quarter 2022 financial report President Peter Kukielski outlined plans for continued exploration in Peru, Nevada and Manitoba as Snow Lake development moves forward….

 

“In Snow Lake we have been actively conducting drilling activities in the area with success in identifying extensions of the copper-gold rich feeder zone at the 1901 deposit and compiling results from ongoing infill drilling at Lalor.  In Manitoba we are advancing our Snow Lake gold strategy with plans to achieve 53 hundred tonnes per day at Lalor.  We’re also implementing a recovery improvement program at the Stall Mill this year to increase copper and gold recovery.”

             

Hudbay further refined the process to separate gold and base metal ores from Lalor to optimize feed for the New Britannia and Stall Mills.

 

Foran Mining is Looking Forward to Commercial Production.

Foran Mining Corporation has entered into a non-binding term sheet with the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board.  It contemplates a transaction that if completed would have Ontario Teachers invest up to 200 million dollars in the McIlvenna Bay Project 65 kilometers west of Flin Flon.  The parties are now under exclusivity and intend to enter into definitive documentation in the third quarter this year.  It is anticipated that closing the proposed investment will be subject to among other things TSX Venture Exchange approval, Foran obtaining a binding commitment for a senior secured credit facility to further advance the project, execution of joint operating and governance agreements as well as other conditions customary for a transaction like this. Foran notes they are well advanced in the process to obtain a senior secured credit facility.

             

The proceeds of the proposed investment together with proceeds from the anticipated senior secured credit facility will be used for the development of the McIlvenna Bay project towards commercial production. 

Flin Flon Employees Have Been Recognized by the Hudbay President.

In presenting their second quarter 2022 financial results Hudbay President Peter Kukielski acknowledged the team in Flin Flon for their efforts over the 18 years of steady operations at the Triple Seven Mine….

 

“Many of our workers come from multi-generational families of Hudbay employees over our 90 years of continuous operations in Flin Flon.  Since our discovery in 1915 Hudbay has developed and operated 29 mines in the Flin Flon Snow Lake Greenstone Belt and we will continue to evaluate future exploration programs in the area while we ramp up production at our operations in Snow Lake.  The last ore was hoisted up the Triple Seven shaft on June 17th and closure activities to safely decommission the mine and place the Flin Flon concentrator on care and maintenance are well underway.  Hudbay employees and equipment have been transitions from Triple Seven to Lalor to support Lalor’s ramp up to 53 hundred tonnes a day by the end of the year.  Our sincere thanks go to everyone in Flin Flon for their hard work over the life of the Triple Seven Mine and for contributing to the successes of the entire Flin Flon operation.”

             

Kukielski added in the second quarter they have been focused on closure activities in Flin Flon and a smooth transition of the work force to Snow Lake..

A New Exhibit is Included in the Flin Flon Station Musuem.

Board Chair Tom Heine says the display includes the former Flin Flon Glee Club and the formation of the Flin Flon Community Choir.  He says he found a history of the Glee Club that was formed in 1946 and its full blown musicals…..

             

“They actually had a formal position on their executive as historian. They kept reasonable records but also they included some of the stories associated with the Glee Club which folded in 1978 and unbeknownst to Crystal when she first arrived in the community, Mark and Crystal Kolt put together the Community Choir and our second performance was a full blown musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat.”

             

The Museum is open daily from 10 to 6.  He adds they will soon be receiving a ten cubic yard Scoop Tram from Hudbay for their outdoor display.  The Museum has also received Manitoba Heritage Conservation Grants of six thousand dollars for exterior painting and window repairs and 25 hundred for conservation planning for the building.

A Lot of People Had a Great Weekend of Music and Socializing.

The Blueberry Jam Music Gathering wrapped up Sunday night after three days of music at the Flin Flon Camp Ground.  Committee Chair Colleen Arnold said it was a fabulous weekend with a lot of work by the committee and musicians…..

 

“It was absolutely fantastic music, great musicians.  We were very pleased with the turnout.  Friday the diehards came out, we are Flin Flonners, we know we won’t melt so we aren’t scared of a little rain so we still had about 634 come out on Friday and then Saturday when the weather cleared up there was over 1700 adults came to that and in total we had over the weekend 3970 in attendance, 712 of those were youth and everybody had a fabulous time and enjoyed the music so much, there were so many fabulous entertainers and it was a great weekend.”

             

You can see highlights of the weekend on the Flin Flon Blueberry Jam Facebook page.

Fishing is getting a whole lot better in northern Manitoba.

The Pas Fish Enhancement committee has been hard at work stocking the gravel pits north of Clear Water Lake with rainbow trout.

 

The waters that were stocked are Spruce pond, Cedar pond and Pine pond.  Signs have been placed leading the way as you follow along highway 10 north of town.

 

The process to get the ponds stocked has been quite involved according to the Committee’s Al McLauchlan.

 

He explained their Chairperson Devon and some other volunteers went out over the winter time to check oxygen levels on different pits and ponds north of The Pas to determine which ones were feasible for over wintering the fish.

 

 

The stocking was done in cooperation with Natural Resources and the Northern Fish Stocking program.

The Canadian Government is Investing in the Revitalization of Indigenous Languages.

Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez recently announced 11.1 million dollars in funding over this year and next to support the efforts of Indigenous communities and organizations in Saskatchewan to reclaim, revitalize, maintain and strengthen Indigenous languages.  The funding will increase the number of community driven activities that will allow language learning activities to take place, including language instruction, language nests, language and culture camps, language development and translation, mentor apprentice programs and language training for instructors.  The investment will also allow for the development of multimedia resources, dictionaries, online/digital language training and strategic language plans.       

             

Rodriguez adds the investment will support Indigenous People in building the next generation of speakers of Indigenous languages.

The federal minister for Northern Affairs was in Thompson last week to announce over 2.3 million dollars that will go towards seven community projects in the north.

Dan Vandal made the announcement at the grand opening of the new PrairiesCan service office in Thompson.

 

One of the projects is getting 364 thousand dollars for the Thompson Community Development Corporation which will go towards the winter weather testing sector through the government’s Community Economic Development and Diversification program.

 

Additionally CEDF is getting 100 thousand dollars to deliver digital training to tourism businesses in Thompson, Flin Flon, and The Pas.

 

Also UCN is receiving over 380 thousand dollars to construct outdoor Indigenous gathering spaces at its campuses in Thompson and The Pas.

 

 

Mobile Wireless and Internet Access Will Improve for Some Northern Manitoba Communities.

The CRTC has announced ten projects will receive up to 20.5 million dollars from the Broadband Fund.  The projects will support the rollout of fourth generation, also known as LTE or LTE-A mobile wireless access along 425 kilometers of roads and highways in Manitoba, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador. They will also support improved Internet and mobile wireless access in 35 communities.

             

In Manitoba Bell Canada will receive 863 thousand dollars to improve download speeds from 10 to 1500 and upload speeds from 10 to 940 mega bytes per second with unlimited data in two communities with 600 household in Cranberry Portage and Snow Lake.  Bell Mobility will receive 487 thousand dollars for LTE-A mobile wireless access with unlimited data along 20 kilometers of road in Camperville.

             

Prior to receiving funding recipients must complete a statement of work setting out details of each project which must be approved by the CRTC and construction for most projects will start late this year or early 2023.

Thompson will be the focal point of an upcoming conference focused on winter weather testing and alternative fuel.

The Thompson Community Development Corporation’s executive director, Connie Krahenbil, shares what the Ready, Set, Test conference in Winnipeg and Thompson will entail.......

 

“We’ve got some networking, meet and greet, the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, a full day of engaging speakers and we have break out sessions and lots of opportunities to network among all the people attending  and then we’ll jump into Thompson and that where we’ll look at opportunities to fly with Calm Air helping us to manage that and we’ll have some of our testing to visit, visit some of our infrastructure, we’ll enjoy a traditional feast with some entertainment and we  hope to have a show for our visitors who come and visit the north.”

 

The conference was made possible through a partnership with Sub Zero North and Transport Canada and will be held in mid-November.

 

Reported Cases of COVID-19 are Up a Bit in Manitoba.

Manitoba public health reported 257 laboratory confirmed COVID-19 cases for the week of July 24th to 30th an increase from 242 in the previous week.  Winnipeg reported 137 new cases followed by the Northern health region with 47 down from 50 the previous week.  The volume of lab tests increased to on average 278 people tested per day compared to 269 the previous week with a test positivity rate of 17.9 percent an increase from 17.1 percent the previous week.  There were 53 hospital admissions up from 45 the previous week with 7 ICU admissions down from 8 the previous week.

             

Saskatchewan issues its next monthly report on August 18th.

Praise was Part of the Flin Flon City Council Meeting Tuesday Night.

Council received a letter from the Manitoba Wildfire Service Aviation Services Fire Operations Manager Travis Smelski. He noted the excellent service they and their out of provinces resources received during the time of increased fire load in our area of the province.  He explained in the past couple of weeks they have used our airport with the provinces water bombers and also basing a Northwest Territories group that they brought in to assist with fires.  He added your staff goes above and beyond when any of the aircraft arrive at your facility. In expressing thanks to the airport staff Mayor Cal Huntley stated even though we know about the quality of service our staff provides it’s always great to get it confirmed from an outside source.

             

Councillor Tim Babcock had praise for all involved in completing the upgrades at the Whitney Forum including the installation of the new scoreboard in time for the Roller Goodwin Hockey Tournament this past weekend.

             

And all Council encouraged people to get out to the Blueberry Jam Music Gathering this coming weekend.  Councillor Ken Pawlachuk noted the amount of work that goes into organizing the event and mentioned the large number of people who have volunteered to help out over the three days.  Anyone still interested in volunteering can contact the Flin Flon Arts Council.

The Arctic Gateway Group is receiving up to 147.6 Million Dollars to Support a Rail Line.

Up to 60 million dollars is coming from the federal government on top of its existing support and up to 73.8 million from the province over two years to support operations and upgrades to the Hudson Bay Railway owned and operated by the Group.  Federal Minister of Northern Affairs Dan Vandal explains the importance of the rail line from The Pas to Churchill…..

 

“It is critical to connect people of northern Manitoba, it is the only affordable year round all weather mode of transportation available to passengers and freight to access the numerous northern Manitoba Bayline communities.  The railway is essential to supply chains, to local food security and is essential for small businesses and tourism operators because it brings people to Churchill from all around the world.”

             

Churchill Mayor and Chair of the Arctic Gateway Group which is a partnership between 41 First Nation and Bayline communities Mike Spence stated this advances their vision to restore a true Arctic gateway and northern trade corridor through Canada’s only rail connected deep sea Arctic port.

 

A Reduced Speed Bylaw is in Effect.

At their meeting last night Flin Flon City Council passed on final reading their Reduced Speeding Bylaw.  The bylaw will officially establish a speed limit of 50 kilometers an hour for vehicles on Provincial Trunk Highway 10A on the portion of the highway from where Highway 10 crosses Highway 10A at the turn off below Walmart to the junction of Green Street and Highway 10A. It had never been officially designated a 50 zone.

             

Council received an application for Municipal Funding for a Community Garden addition. The Community Group requested 15 hundred dollars for their project. The application notes the project is to build a beautiful and pleasing fence to highlight the community garden area and to define the space from the broader area of the Rotary Park.  They explain Community Gardens are well known for providing space for neighbors to grow fresh healthy food close to home. But beyond improving food access community gardens provide the space for powerful neighborhood level social change adding when a group of people join together to organize, build and manage a community garden they bring an impressive array of benefits to their community.  The request was referred to the Finance Committee.

A Massive Music Event Will Take You Through the Coming Weekend.

Flin Flon’s Blueberry Jam Music Gathering happens this weekend.  Committee Chair Colleen Arnold has highlights…….

             

“This year we’re going to have two outdoor stages active on Friday night and Saturday afternoon and evening.  One is the new outdoor stage in front of the Station Museum called the Museum Stage and the other is the familiar Campground Stage.  We won’t be having anything at the Rotary Wheel this year and on Sunday only the Campground Stage will be active.  We don’t have any capacity limits this year and there won’t be any admission charge or tickets but wrist bands will be given out at the gate to record overall numbers.  Also once again this year Rotary will be having a beer garden and some food vendors, Creighton’s Pizza will be there as well as a few other vendors so come out and enjoy a great weekend.”

             

The Music Gathering takes place at the Flin Flon Campground, Friday from 4:30 to 10 and Saturday from 2:30 to 9 on the Museum Stage and Friday from 5 to 12, Saturday from 2:30 to 12 and Sunday from 11 to 8:30 on the Campground stage. A shuttle service will be available to provide transportation from the former Extra Foods across the highway to the stage area.

 

A Home Providing Support to Many Northern Manitoba Families Continues Plans For Expansion With a Major Gift.

Ronald McDonald House Charities Manitoba is excited to announce the new McCain Cares Kitchen partnership with major supporter and RMHC national funding partner McCain Foods. This includes a gift of one million dollars in support of RMHC Manitoba’s Capital Campaign to build a new Ronald McDonald House growing from 11 thousand square feet to 48 thousand square feet and from 14 to 40 bedrooms with private washrooms, two kitchens to support meal programs, multipurpose rooms, specialty suites to serve bone marrow and organ transplant patients, secure parking and indoor and outdoor play areas.

             

RMHC Manitoba provides a home away from home for critically ill and seriously injured children and their families.  In 2021 they supported 866 families with essential services, provided 3892 nights of accommodation and saved Winnipeg and rural Manitoba families an estimated one million dollars in costly out of pocket expenses. Construction is well underway and the new Ronald McDonald House will open this summer.

Battery Electric Equipment is Heading for McIlvenna Bay.

Foran Mining Corporation has reached an agreement with Sandvik to supply initial underground equipment for development at its McIlvenna Bay Project 65 kilometers west of Flin Flon.  The initial equipment order includes battery electric underground drills, trucks and loaders that will be used for the mine’s development and production activities.  As part of the agreement Sandvik will provide and maintain all batteries through a service agreement and will support the Foran maintenance team through embedded OEM battery and equipment technicians.

             

Chief Operating Officer for Foran Dave Bernier stated utilizing battery electric equipment with semi and fully autonomous capabilities can help them achieve their carbon neutral targets and provide a safe working environment which is part of their Net Positive Business Strategy as they look to deliver critical metals essential for global decarbonization in a responsible and social empowering way.

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