Jennifer Laviolette

Jennifer Laviolette

Last month, one of The Pas Fire Department’s (TPFD) was recognized by the Manitoba Association of Fire Chiefs and presented with a 35-year Fire Service Award. Captain Keven Iles, has been serving and helping the community for longer than that.
“I’m on my 42nd year with TPFD,” said TPFD Captain Iles. “In 1982, a good friend, Ken Gurba, asked if I would like to join the fire department. I was already doing ambulance work with him. In those days you had to be voted in by the whole department.
“It was a natural progression of helping the persons of the community to help the whole community as a whole. As with the ambulance, there was a camaraderie that was unique and there was a lot to learn.

Published in Opasquia Times News

An important and traditional Indigenous ceremony was held again in the Opaskwayak Cree Nation. Opaskwayak Sundance was from July 4 to 7 and brought forth many to celebrate Indigenous culture and healing. For Cheryl Antonio and some others, this was a first-time experience at Sundance, and it was a remarkable one.
Antonio knew a bit about Sundance ceremonies but never attended one until this year.
“Growing up as a Metis and Ukrainian person, I had very little knowledge of First Nation ceremony,” said Antonio. “Yet, at 10 years old, a book I picked up stands out in my mind, as it was about the Sundance. The story has stuck with me over the years and when I heard about a local event, I was very interested.

Tuesday, 16 July 2024 12:15

Coming together as a family within TPFD

When a place of work brings its employees together and they form a bond similar to family, it becomes a remarkable thing to be a part of. The Pas Fire Department (TPFD) has established this kind of bond with its members and has now rallied together to help a fellow firefighter during his time of need. Xander Wadelius is currently in a fight against cancer, and his fellow firefighters want to make sure he knows that he is not alone in this battle.
“TPFD is a family, and we support each other in our challenges,” said TPFD Firefighter Karen Gallagher. “Sometimes that looks like lending each other a hand with dump runs and home renovations and other times we show our support for much bigger challenges, such as the fight for another member’s health and well-being.

Published in Opasquia Times News

An unfortunate event happened in the Otineka Mall last week, that led to a small fire breaking out in one of the units on the main south floor. The fire was not caused intentionally or through vandalism, but rather a mishap.
“The fire started just after midnight on July 9,” said Otineka Mall Manager Gloria Asmus. “It happened in one of the units and was caused by an e-bike plugged in that had a battery explode while it was charging.

Published in Opasquia Times News
Tuesday, 16 July 2024 08:24

CT Scanner reduces wait times

The new CT Scanner at the Swan River Hospital has been an investment well worth the while. It has been reducing both wait and travel times for people in the Valley to receive diagnostic services. The CT Scanner has been operational for just over a month and has completed over 200 scans.
“The new CT scanner in Swan River scanned its first patient on May 15, 2024, as part of training exercises, with the system formally coming online on June 17, 2024,” said a spokesperson for Shared Health. As of July 8, 2024, 283 patients had received CT scans in Swan River.
“In the first three weeks of operations, approximately a dozen scans per work day have been completed on patients who would have otherwise had to leave the Swan Valley area and travel to Dauphin, Brandon, The Pas or Winnipeg for care.”
Thanks to the local contributions, half of the costs of the CT Scanner was funded from the Valley, with the remainder from the provincial government.
“Community groups raised more than $1 million towards the $2-million-plus capital project, which includes equipment, installation and renovation of the space,” said a spokesperson for Shared Health. “Shared Health assumes ongoing operational costs.
An open house for the Swan River CT Scanner is being planned for the near future.

Children in The Pas will once again have the chance to experience a storytime-like opera through the Manitoba Underground Opera as the organization resumes their summer tour throughout rural and northern Manitoba..
“Manitoba Underground Opera’s Neighbourhood Opera Tour, which was previously known as our Opera for Children Tour, is a summer tour presenting a short opera in English to families across Manitoba,” said Manitoba Underground Opera Tour Coordinator Mélanie Dupuis. “The tour’s goal is to make sure that no matter where people live or what they can afford, they get a chance to experience opera.
“Our performances are presented in library meeting rooms, gymnasiums, community centres, or whatever is available all at no cost to audience members and host locations.

Local Indigenous fashion designer and creator Shauna Ponask stunned a crowd yet again with another one of her designs. This time Ponask’s creation was modelled at this year’s annual Nellie McClung Lilac and Lace Luncheon in Winnipeg at the Fort Garry Hotel. The event took place on June 20 and showcased the Threads in Time fashion show, which Ponask’s creation was a part of.
“I was contacted by Suzanne Barbeau from the Aseneskak casino, who then put me in contact with Giselle MacDonald in Winnipeg,” said Ponask.
“The name of the outfit is Northern Beauty. It consists of a shawl, a wrap skirt, wrap-around moccasins, and caribou tufted earrings. Each piece is made from white deer hide, and plum-coloured Melton wool, completed with white floral beadwork. Each item is completely stitched by hand.”

Accessibility is a huge factor in determining how welcoming a community can be, especially towards those with disabilities. One resident in The Pas has faced some challenges and an encounter that no one should have to go through, but she remains positive that improvements can be made to make The Pas a more inclusive community.
Stella Lathlin experienced a health condition as a young adult that eventually led to her losing a lot of her mobility.
“I had my daughter at the age of 18 and a few months later I started to have symptoms,” said Lathlin. “I had heard of MS, but it was the last thing on my mind. My daughter was six to seven months at the time when I started to go blind and lost hearing in one ear. It was a very traumatic and scary time in my life.

Just last week The Town of The Pas passed the resolution to appoint a new fire chief for The Pas Fire Department as the position was vacant. This allowed the department’s current deputy fire chief to step into that role.
Byron Shangraw is the perfect candidate to lead The Pas Fire Department, for he found his passion in helping people and keeping both his team and the community safe.
“There’s the sense of duty and knowing you can make a difference in someone's worst moment, that you can be one of the ones who help them through a crisis,” said The Pas Fire Department Fire Chief Byron Shangraw. “That's a powerful motivator. Second, there's the camaraderie. Firefighters are a family but not only the firefighters, but their spouses, parents and children are part of the fire family as well, and that bond is forged in the heat of the moment. You trust the person next to you with your life, and that creates a special kind of teamwork.

Published in Opasquia Times News

One member of The Pas Road Runners (TPRR) Swim Club attended their first-ever Junior Provincials meet at the beginning of June. India Parks went to Winnipeg to compete against some of the top swimmers in the province.
“The Manitoba Junior Open Provincials meet took place at the Pan Am Pool in Winnipeg on June 7 to 9,” said TPRR Swim Coach Emily Doucette. “The meet was hosted by the St. James Seals Swim Team. This meet is open to swimmers who meet the current Manitoba ‘A’ qualifying time standards in their applicable age group. It takes place twice a season, in February and June.

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