Jennifer Laviolette

Jennifer Laviolette

OCN’s Smart Farm has had a few successful harvests so far under their belts for the month of August.

Despite not having any produce last year due to COVID-19, the return of the Smart Farm’s produce has been a huge success, leaving nothing to go to waste.

“We’ve been in operation for about six years,” said OCN Smart Farm Operations Manager Stephanie Cook. “Unfortunately the pandemic shut us down, because they were using the hall as a COVID-19 hall and test site for OCN, so we basically just got back up and running.

We have done two harvests now in the community and they were very well received. We had no produce left over at the end, which is really good.

“There were over 50 families that came to get produce at each one of our harvests. There are families that consist of two people or some with six to eight, and as a result, this produce is feeding a lot of people.”

There’s a familiar face on the fire department that has a new role as the Town of The Pas Fire Chief. Cody Langlois started his new role as Fire Chief last Monday and is excited to be back in the community.

“I’m not necessarily a stranger to the community, but new to the role I’ve been hired for,” said Town of The Pas Fire Chief Cody Langlois. “I’m originally from Winnipegosis, which is a small town about 30 minutes north of Dauphin. That is where I attended my grade school and began my firefighting career as a junior firefighter through a school program we had.

“This junior program sparked a career long passion for helping others when in need. I was always a kid who cared for others and this was a career path I knew I could enjoy.”

Published in Opasquia Times News

Food security is an issue in Manitoba thanks to rising cost of food and the high level of poverty in the province. Most communities have a locally run food bank to assist those who are struggling to provide enough food to feed themselves on a regular basis.

The Pas Friendship Centre took on the role of running and facilitating the food bank during the spark of the pandemic, but now has no choice but to close it down.

“The Pas Friendship Centre has run the tri-community food bank since March 2020 and we just can no longer do it,” said The Pas Friendship Centre Executive Director Douglas Bartlett. “We started it because the pandemic put a strong focus on food shortages in the tri-community. We were up to about 200 hampers a month and then it went down to 150, with 100 of those hampers going to seniors.

Published in Opasquia Times News

A historic partnership emerged from the provincial and federal government investing in Arctic Gateway Group’s (AGG) Hudson Bail Railway (HBR).

AGG received up to $147.6 million to support the rail line and future opportunities for northern Manitoba.

HBR is essential for supply chains, local food security, and is the only year round mode of transportation for passengers and freight trains to the north.

“The Hudson Bay Railway is an engine for economic development, job growth and tourism opportunities, and our government is proud to support this vital transportation network connecting people and businesses in northern Manitoba with the goods and supplies they need to live, work and invest in their communities,” said Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson.

“This historic investment and partnership represents a new and exciting chapter for northern Manitoba and today’s announcement demonstrates what we can accomplish when we work together to advance shared opportunities in the spirit of reconciliation and collaboration. Building our northern economy is essential to our province’s future economic and social success, and I am confident this investment will provide economic benefits for the North, Manitoba and all of the Prairie provinces for years to come.”

Published in Opasquia Times News
Tuesday, 09 August 2022 12:18

Memorial walk keeps woman’s memory alive

This past Saturday marked the third annual Remembering Kendara Memorial Walk in the tri-community. Kendara’s family started this walk to raise awareness of her case, with hopes to make it inclusive to all those who have missing and murdered Indigenous loved ones.

“This year’s walk we decided to start transitioning towards as this being a walk for missing and murdered Indigenous people (MMIP),” said Gloria Ballantyne-Packo. “It’s still going to be about Kendara, but we also have invited families of missing and murdered Indigenous men and boys. We had families participated for different loved ones. That was one of our biggest goals to transition the walk to include others and this year we were able to achieve it.

“It was really great because we were able to support these other families by giving them a platform to be able to have that opportunity to speak about what they’ve been going through and to know they have this community of people who understand this very kind of specific loss.”

Welcoming other families of MMIP to participate in the walk is a way for them to connect with others who have experienced the same kind of loss. It’s a different type of loss that often leaves families feeling isolated due to the fact that not everyone can related what they are experiencing and going through.

Tuesday, 09 August 2022 12:15

Rescue helps pets stranded from fires

Over the weekend a fantastic group of unsung heroes in the community met with the high rail trucks during the late hours of the evening to do intake of the animals coming in from the fire zones as well as any surrenders from The Pas.

The Manitoba Animal Alliance (MAA) has been busy rescuing animals that have been left behind as a result of the forest fires that raged in Pukatawagan and Mathias Colomb First nations.

The homeless pets left behind still depend on people to provide food and water, while some of them need medical care and treatment.

MAA has stepped in to transport these animals out of harm. The animals were making their journey on to Winnipeg where they will receive necessary medical treatments, be reconnected with owners if possible or adopted to new homes. The MAA has also been collecting donations of pet foot and kennels for the animals to send up north to feed them and have the necessary crates to transport them out of the area if needed.

Published in Opasquia Times News

Just after the long weekend, the Province signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Mosakahiken Cree Nation (MCN) and Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN) that will work towards developing revenue sharing that will see up to 45 percent of revenues from timber dues.

“This is a historic day for MCN,” said MCN Chief Vincent Bercier. “We will be the first reserve to have revenue sharing as part of this agreement with the logging industry. The revenue sharing and stumpage fees will differ depending on how much logging is done in the year. It will benefit the community by giving us more opportunities for infrastructure, create jobs and just allow us to do more for our community and people.”

“In the spirit of reconciliation, this is a great first step that allows us to assert our sovereign rights as the OCN,” said OCN Chief Sidney Ballantyne.

“This revenue sharing concept has been talked bout for years with our community and to see this finally come to action gives me hope as a leader. Not only will the added revenue help with improving our services for our people, it will benefit both our community and our neighbours in MCN with added opportunities.”

Published in Opasquia Times News

With some rural emergency rooms being temporarily closed for the summer, another threat has seemed to loom. Just last week, it was made public that the Winnipegosis Post Office was closed for several days due to staff shortages, which resulted in Winnipegosis residents having to travel to Dauphin to pick up their mail.

“There’s a public concern that this could be setting a precedent when it comes to the potential closing of post offices in rural Manitoba communities,” said Mossey River Reeve Ron Kostyshyn. “We’re hoping that’s not the case.”

There wasn’t a notice issued that the Winnipegosis Post Office would be temporarily closed, until the community became concerned as to why it wasn’t open the next day. There was a lack of communication starting back to when this initially happened and not everyone was properly informed.

“We learned of the situation when the Winnipegosis Post Office was closed on a Tuesday for the day,” said Kostyshyn.

Get the FULL STORY in this week's Dauphin Herald!

Published in Dauphin Herald News

The Red Cross Swim Program announced earlier this year that they would no longer be continuing to offer their accredited swimming lesson and lifeguard training programs. Instead, their swimming lesson program would be transferred over to the Life Saving Society of Canada.
The Red Cross first established their swimming program in 1946, when they saw the drowning rates in Canada were considerably high. Over 40 million Canadians have received swim training and life saving skill through the Red Cross.
The deadline for aquatic centres and pools to switch over to the Lifesaving Society of Canada’s Swimming Program is at the end of this year. A system has been established to help determine what level swimmers would be at from the Red Cross Program transferring over to the Life Saving Society’s swim program.

Tuesday, 02 August 2022 13:14

Art show provides a hands on experience

If you ever wanted to try out different art mediums, the Try It Yourself Art Show hosted by Uptown Emporium 53, the Sam Waller Museum and The Pas Arts Council was the place to do so. The event was open to people of all ages and free for participants. It was held last Saturday at the Christ Anglican Church Hall and brought in an excellent crowd.
“There were approximately 80 people of all ages that came through,” said Uptown Emporium 53 Champion Cheryl Antonio. People had lots of different styles of art to try at the Try It Yourself Art Show. Local artists from the area taught all of the various art mediums to participants.
“There were several different art mediums for people to try,” said Antonio. “Anita Genaille showed people how to paint with watercolours, acrylics, and oil. Anisa Eliuk and her daughter Emily Heape taught how to make beautiful, beaded bracelets. Shelly Hanchuk, from Handmade by Shelly, brought in her sewing machine and helped participants to make fantastic hair scrunchies.

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