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Dawson Trail Dispatch

Celebrating Over 25 Years of Service to Our Communities!

February 2021

La Broquerie Council Free Library “Book Tour” Opens Suspends in Stuartburn Area Reeve for 45 Days

Hanna Brandt and Laura Reeves officially open the Gardenton Little Free Library. Top two (left) Zhoda Free Library (right) Sundown Free Library and (bottom right) Vita Free Library. Submitted photos

By Marianne Curtis During January, five out of six Little Free Libraries were officially erected and stocked throughout the RM of Stuartburn and Franklin thanks to the work of volunteers and students from Shevchenko School. Two years ago, Laura Reeves announced the project, citing inspiration from a free library at a Laundromat. A Little Free Library is a community owned weatherproof bookshelf stocked with books for anyone to borrow on a “take a book, leave a book” basis.

“Unfortunately, the project has been plagued by delays and isn’t rolling out with all the pomp and fanfare that I’d envisioned, but the libraries are finally going up,” Reeves announced. Initially the project included the installation of Little Free Libraries in Vita, Gardenton, Sundown and Stuartburn. Now, Zhoda and Tolstoi have been added to the roster making. “This gives new meaning to book tour,” Reeve explained. “People will soon be able to do a loop from Sundown to Zhoda to Tolstoi, exchanging books as they go.”

Reeves, who is a local author was motivated to undertake the project due to the lack of public library resources available to RM of Stuartburn residents. “We don’t have a local library; we have access to the school library in St. Malo or we can also get a membership to the Jake Epp Library in Steinbach, but that’s not practical for people who don’t or can’t travel to Steinbach very often,” Reeves explained. “Little Free Libraries have no set hours of operation, so we can drop off or pick up books any day, any time.” Continued on Page 2...

The Reeve of the RM of La Broquerie has been suspended after attending an anti-mask rally in Steinbach in November 2020 and was observed watching another one January 2021. On January 27, Reeve Lewis Weiss was suspended for forty-five days after a 5-0 vote at a regular council meeting; there was one abstention. Councillors agreed that in attending the rally and in propagating misinformation about the pandemic, Weiss breached the RM’s code of conduct. The vote came after five councillors filed a complaint following the rally. A report on the results of a formal investigation undertaken by the municipality will be made public after confidential information has been redacted. At the November protest, Weiss was the only elected public official to speak, telling the Free Press after his address that, “It’s always worth it to speak your mind”. He further claimed that the pandemic was a hoax and COVID-19 is no worse than the flu. Enforcement officers handed Weiss a $1,296 fine for breaching public-health orders. His actions even upset the Premier. “Sir, we live in the Red River Valley, it is flat between you and I, but the world is not flat,” Premier Brian Pallister said at a news briefing in a message to Weiss. “You need to understand… it’s a pandemic, and people in your area are getting COVID, too. So please sir, it’s not a myth, it’s a reality... let’s work together and make sure that we lessen the impacts on Manitoba families.” The five councillors who voted in favour of this motion included Ivan Normandeau, Alvin Derksen, Paul Gauthier, John Letkeman, and Laurent Tétrault. Councillor Darrell Unger abstained from voting. Weiss was unable to vote as the matter directly pertained to him.






February 2021

Celebrating Over 25 Years of Service to Our Communities!

Free Library “Book Tour” Opens Continued from Page 1... in Stuartburn Area The libraries were fully stocked with a variety of books from day one, and a new trend of adults wanting to exchange puzzles may have upped the bounty. “Our stewards will ensure there’s a good balance of materials so that the libraries remain attractive to a wide range of interests,” Reeves continued. “I have a feeling one of our stewards may add an addition to the Vita library specifically for puzzles, but I don’t have confirmation on that.” This initiative is “by the community, for the community”, so community members or organizations take responsibility for locating, building, stocking and maintaining the little libraries. All Little Free Libraries are registered with littlefreelibrary.org, given an official registration number and added to the global map.

Dawson Trail Dispatch

Care Home COVID Vaccinations Wrap Up At of the end of January, all residents living within long term care facilities in the southern region have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Health and Seniors Care Minister Heather Stefanson said the province had committed to ensuring all first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were available in all licensed personal care homes within 28 days. “I am pleased to announce this vital step in our immunization plan will be completed in three weeks, said Stefanson. “I want to thank all the health-care providers on the front lines and the members of the Vaccine Implementation Task Force (FIT) for making this possible, as well as for their hard work, detailed plans and commitment to protecting some of the most vulnerable Manitobans.” A spokesperson for Southern health-santé sud has confirmed that this announcement includes residents living within the care homes throughout southern Manitoba. “The vaccination campaign at all Southern HealthSanté Sud personal care homes is scheduled for completion today,” stated a spokesperson on January 29. However, he was unable to confirm how many vaccines were actually delivered. “The province is leading the vaccine rollout in Manitoba. They are best able to answer your questions as they report updated data on personal care home vaccination numbers,” the spokesperson noted. In three weeks, the FITs have visited every licensed personal care home in communities across the province including Ste. Anne, Steinbach, Niverville, Vita and St. Pierre-Jolys.

Heather Plett, a registered nurse from Southern health-santé sud shows where she got her first dose of the Moderna vaccination. Supplied photo

As of January 27, a total of 5,259 long term care residents throughout the province received the COVID-19 vaccine but figures specifically for the region were not listed.

Southeast Creative Community Fest is Virtual and Free

“We are thrilled to announce that The Steinbach Arts Council (SAC) just received funding from the Safe at Home Manitoba program to share the arts with the entire southeast region,” said Cindi Rempel Patrick, Director of Development at the Steinbach Arts Council. “The impact of engaging people, of all ages, in their homes with arts education and performances by local artists is quite significant and everyone wins with this support; the artists, the audiences, and the Steinbach Arts Council.” COVID-19 has certainly presented challenges to everyone in the community, including charitable organizations such as the SAC. However, this funding will offer, free of charge, programs and concerts that bring residents of southeastern Manitoba together while physically apart. There is no better time than now when children, families and seniors need an outlet for creativity and artistic expression values, essential to promote positive mental and physical wellbeing. Although the number of programs and events and classes in dance, music, theatre, wellness and visual arts at the Steinbach Cultural Arts Centre has been reduced, many of these will now be provided online at no cost. Other programs for preschool children, the After School Arts Program and a Spring Break Camp will be added to this roster. Anyone may stream this programming through steinbacharts.ca website, from any location, and enjoy these stay-at-home activities. David Klassen, Director of Programming said, “Being able to offer programming in a virtual format al-

lows us to break down barriers in many ways, we’ll be able to offer our classes to anyone who wants to participate with no cost attached, regardless of where they are,” said Klassen. “I believe that programming like ours, including classes, lessons and concerts, teaches skills and confidence that help build community leaders, and it’s a privilege to be able to invest in our community this way.” Visit steinbacharts.ca for information on all the classes and concerts that are available to the public for free. Updates to our programs will be made often, so please check our website frequently. The Steinbach Arts Council respects the government’s mandate that containing the spread of COVID-19 is everyone’s responsibility. The funding received is greatly beneficial to maintain the operations of SAC and Council very grateful to have been recognized as a recipient of this funding. Within this Safe At Home Manitoba program, we work together with our provincial government in our mission: “To Enrich the Quality of Life Through the Arts.” Klassen added, “Our goal through this pandemic has been to prioritize the health and safety of our members and their families, and this also allows us to continue doing just that.” For more information contact Cindi Rempel Patrick, Director of Development or David Klassen, Director of Programming, phone 204-346-1077, email CRPatrick@steinbacharts.ca or DKlassen@steinbacharts.ca.

Fatal Collision Near Roseau River

At 7:30 am on January 4 Morris RCMP responded to a report of a semi-trailer that had hit the ditch on Highway 59, located approximately 2 km north of Roseau River, in the RM of EmersonFranklin. When Officers attended the scene they were advised by the uninjured driver, a 64-year-old male from Ile des Chenes, that he was travelling southbound along Highway 59 when he suddenly struck

a farm tractor that he did not see on the highway. The collision resulted in the farm tractor being pushed a considerable distance off the highway and into the wooded area with the semi following behind and its trailer rolling onto its side. The driver of the farm tractor, a 72-year-old male from the RM of Emerson-Franklin, was pronounced deceased on scene. Alcohol and speed were not factors in the collision.


Dawson Trail Dispatch

Celebrating Over 25 Years of Service to Our Communities!

February 2021



Goertzen Reflects on Deputy Premier Appointment

Deputy Premier Kelvin Goertzen in his new office at the Manitoba Legislature Building.

By Marianne Curtis Steinbach MLA Kelvin Goertzen has had a few weeks to settle into his new position after being appointed as Deputy Premier when the cabinet was shuffled the first week of January. He was also named Minister of Legislative and Public Affairs and retains his role as government House Leader. “Minister Goertzen has served exceptionally in two major government portfolios for over four

years and asked that he be given the chance to concentrate on a personal passion of his, the legislative assembly and connecting citizens with their government and legislature,” said Premier Brian Pallister. “His commitment to democracy is second to none and I am delighted with this new role and opportunity for Minister Goertzen.” While the Premier voiced confidence, Goertzen admitted to being surprised by the appointment. “Yes,

Supplied photo

I was surprised. I have served as the Deputy Leader of the PC Party in the past so I have appreciated the confidence that Leaders and Caucus members have placed in me, but it isn’t something I was expecting,” he admitted. Goertzen said his new role is there to help take on responsibilities when the Premier is unable to for whatever reason. “If the Premier needs to be away from the Legislature or a Cabinet

Government Closes Local Ag Offices In an effort to modernize service delivery for rural farmers, Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Blaine Pedersen is closing 21 government offices and combining others, leaving a total of 17 offices between agriculture and resource development. Manitoba Agriculture will maintain 10 agriculture service centres including the one in Steinbach. This location will continue to provide local producers with products and services offered by Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC), as an access point

for permits and licenses issued by the department, and deliver department and general government services program information and referrals. The St. Pierre-Jolys and Vita are listed among the twenty-one Ag offices to be closed effective April 1. To support the multichannel service delivery model, an interactive online chat program, which will allow clients to access real-time assistance from a smartphone, tablet, and computer or through a toll-free number will be developed in the future, the Pedersen noted. In addi-

tion, the Steinbach office will have a client-accessible kiosk to access online services and connect virtually with other government service providers. While it was known the province was conducting a review of its agriculture delivery model, department staff was surprised by the closures. A senior source in the department said there will be no job losses, and that staff will not have to move out of their communities. The province has not said how much money it expects to save as a result of the changes.

meeting for example then it would be my responsibility to take on some of those responsibilities or others that he assigns,” Goertzen explained. “I don’t think it will change my accessibility to the constituency any more than being Minister of Health or Education did. Both of those roles are among the largest in government and while it certainly did put a strain on my time, I try my best to prioritize constituent matters because that is my main job, it is the only one that I ran for and it is my most important job.” He added that connecting with constituents is much more difficult since the pandemic. “Not being able to connect personally or at events has been a real challenge and I very much miss that part of the job. I hope that changes soon so I can connect with constituents more personally again,” Goertzen noted. While Goertzen has been in politics a number of years now, seeing himself in this new position is not something he ever foresaw. “Some people know that my father died when I was only 11 and it

was a struggle for my Mom to raise my sister and I as a single mother. It would have been difficult for anyone to imagine then that I would be given this opportunity in my life but I feel very blessed by God and by the support of many people,” Goertzen continued. “When I ran for office I really just wanted to be the best MLA I could be and didn’t set my sites on much more than that. And really, that is still my main goal. As to any other future goals, those are always family decisions when they arise. My wife and son have always been very supportive of my work and I always seek their guidance and support before any big decisions.” Goertzen said that it is a difficult time for many in society and a difficult to be in an elected position. “I would say that a month into the position, I receive many more calls and contacts from people around the province about issues and have taken on more responsibility for matters in the Legislature itself. But these are far from normal times so it is difficult right now to see what the normal role of the job will be. But I think we all hope for a return to normal as soon as possible.




February 2021

Celebrating Over 25 Years of Service to Our Communities!

Viruses and Politicians After one year of avoiding COVID-19, waiting in that the long line for a vaccines, I can sympathize with frustrations but when delivery of vaccines appears so close, let’s all aim for the finish line. It is important that we not forget social distancing, mask and hand sanitizing, more so at this time because the virus has mutated three times already. It is fighting hard against our defenses. The more contact it has with people, the more chance of a worse mutations happening. While we near the finish line in the form of vaccines, this virus is not waiting around patiently. We owe it to our families and ourselves to continue the good fight. This struggle has had the greatest amount of worldwide casualties ever. It is also appears that the number of deaths due to this virus have been under reported by some countries. It has been fought by a vast amount of front line workers in spite and despite our collective “faut pas”, which culminates in more hard work for our protectors. Let’s hope that they remain safe and don’t give up. We now have seen three different mutations of this virus. It may even throw a mutated curve, which will offer unforeseen difficulties. Let’s hope our scientific leaders can manage. Importantly the political leadership appears either timid or inconsistent. Giving tickets for flagrant unmasking in crowds was met with approval, but why not the same ticket for each day an elected person is not in Manitoba without a reason. Same should apply to an unelected government official. These “entitled” knuckleheads are demoralizing to us who pay their salaries and have quarantined for a year despite politicians loosening restrictions, because we realized early on to follow the science not play Simon says. To many of our Federal and Provincial and even some municipal authorities are not on the same page, this includes the opposition playing games. If there ever was a need to have an effort from all stripes, this is it. Playing politics during a pandemic seems pathetic and petty.

Dawson Trail Dispatch

Debt is a Moral Issue – Part I Something is owed by one to another, with the understanding that what is owed must be paid back. This is a basic principle and one almost universally understood within the contexts of business, finance and even personal relationships. If you borrow money from the bank to finance the purchase of a home or vehicle, there is an understood and binding agreement as to how and when that loan will be paid back. The borrower has taken on that debt and, with it, the responsibility for repaying the amount borrowed from the lender. A commitment has been made to restore the financial situation of the lender. The refusal or failure to do so will result in penalties, or, at the very least, adversely affect the credit and financial wellbeing of the borrower. To borrow without the ability and a clear plan to repay is foolish. To borrow under dishonest circumstances is fraud. While in our culture, some debt is usually unavoidable, it is a reality most of us try to avoid. We don’t want to be in debt. We want to be free. Sadly, when it comes to government spending, most people are quick to throw these common and agreed upon understandings out the window. Most Canadians understand

that there is no such thing as free money, but, when it comes to government spending, too many choose that fiction over reality, believing government to be a never-ending supply of generosity. It’s not, and it cannot be. The reason is simple. Government does not have its own money. It has only the money it receives from the taxation of citizens. When your tax dollars cease to satisfy the spending needs-or more often desires-of government, they have three choices: to raise taxes, cut spending elsewhere, or borrow. In times of crisis, such as war, depression or pandemics, governments are often forced to borrow. But when the government borrows it isn’t borrowing against its own money as capital. It’s borrowing against its citizens. It’s borrowing against you and your family. When they do so, in a democracy, it is incumbent on government to empirically justify the need for their actions, but also to ensure they are not unduly burdening, not only their citizens but, future generations. To borrow and spend someone else’s money recklessly is foolish but to mortgage the future of generations to come is immoral. Sadly, that is exactly what the Liberal Government has done and continues to do at unprecedented levels. Their record levels of peacetime debt preceded COVID-19, but their

pandemic spending has eclipsed what even the most pessimistic decrier of deficits could have imagined. I can appreciate the initial need for reactive measures, as governments took time to sort out what was going on, and voted accordingly. But over the past few months I have become increasingly disturbed by the haphazard and, in too many cases, wasteful spending by the Liberals. That’s why, in the coming weeks, you’re going to be hearing more from me about debt and deficits. Shining the light on how money, borrowed to “beat COVID-19”, has been used for other things, wasted and, in some cases, seems to have just disappeared. Money the Liberal Government borrowed under the guise of helping Canadians, when, in too many cases, they’ve just been helping themselves. For more information on this or any issue please feel free to contact my office toll free at 1-866-3331933 or at 204-326-9889. Visit me at Facebook.com/TedFalkMP. You may also write my office at 76 PTH 12N, Steinbach MB, R5G 1T4 or visit my website at tedfalk.ca.

Get Engaged in Budget 2021 Our PC government recently announced an investment of over $210 million in K-12 school capital projects across the province to provide staff and students with safe, modern, and accessible learning facilities. This includes investing in seven future school sites, muchneeded major repairs and accessibility upgrades and future designs for major projects. I am pleased to share that in our community, the crawlspace remediation needed at Ecole Lagimodiere has been approved under this funding. This project will help improve the school building in a timely and cost-effective way to best fulfil the needs of students and teachers.

As we prepare for our upcoming 2021 provincial budget, our priority is to support and protect Manitobans through the COVID-19 pandemic. I encourage all constituents to have your voice heard by participating in our Winnipeg virtual engagement session on February 4 at 6:30 pm. Registration details may be found at engagemb.ca/budget-2021. Manitobans can also email comments and ideas to budget2021@gov. mb.ca. In the coming days, I am looking forward to virtually participating in I Love to Read Month. I Love to Read Month is always a highlight of the year, and due to COVID-19, it was uncertain if it would still take place. Even though it will be a different format than previous years,

I’m glad that we’re still able to get together and celebrate the importance of reading and literacy. In addition to reading to the students, I am also looking forward to answering all of their unique and interesting questions about our provincial government and my role as their local MLA. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact my constituency office at ca.lagasse@outlook.com or 204-807-4663.


Dawson Trail Dispatch

Celebrating Over 25 Years of Service to Our Communities!

A Year in Health Care Like No Other Happy New Year and let us all hope for a better 2021. On January 5, I had the honour of being appointed as Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration, a new stand-alone ministry focusing on advanced education and skills development opportunities for Manitoba graduates and immigrants. I must thank my family and my constituents for their ongoing support in this new role. I must also thank the Premier for the trust and confidence he has given me with this important responsibility. 2020 was a year unlike any other with unprecedented challenge and change for all of us. With the COVID-19 pandemic still greatly affecting the lives of so many Manitobans, a strong and reliable healthcare system is more important now than ever before. A truly sustainable system is there for everyone not just for today, but for tomorrow as well. Our PC government has made numerous investments to improve our healthcare system and ensure every Manitoban has access to better care closer to home, and sooner. We have committed to improving patient access and wait times for access to care including emergency departments, diagnostic tests and surgeries and that is what we are doing. We have guaranteed an additional $2 billion of investments towards health care

services and facilities to help improve medical services in rural and remote Manitoba communities. In the last year alone, we have spent over $500 million more on healthcare than the NDP ever spent during their time in office. Under the former NDP government, quality and accessibility of healthcare services quickly deteriorated as service suspensions became the new normal. Emergency departments in the Prairie Mountain Health Region and in the InterlakeEastern Health Region experienced suspensions, downgraded services and physician shortages. The NDP grossly mismanaged our healthcare system, leaving Manitobans with the longest wait times and worst outcomes in the country. In fact, 17 emergency departments across rural Manitoba were either closed or operating under reduced hours under their watch. They also closed obstetrics units including at Pine Falls General Hospital in 2000 and Arborg and District Health Centre in 2004. The former NDP government made politically-motivated quick-fixes that resulted in unsustainable spending growth, massive debt and a damaged healthcare system. Ambulance fees under the NDP were the highest in the country. The NDP left Manitobans with a stagger-

ing $500 ambulance bill per trip. No family should be stuck with this large bill after facing a medical emergency with a loved one. Our government has taken strong action and reduced these fees down by 50 per cent, in addition to hiring 35 full-time rural paramedics and purchasing 65 new ambulances to enhance emergency medical services for Manitobans. These are real steps to help protect our healthcare system for you and your family. As we look ahead to 2021, many of us feel a renewed sense of hope and optimism for the future. Our PC government will continue making smart investments to help ensure our healthcare system is here to support all Manitobans, no matter the circumstances we might face. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to email me at wayne@wayneewasko.com, or call me 204-268-3282. Also, you can follow me on twitter @ wayneewaskomla and friend me on Facebook.

The Art of Celebrations I would like to wish everybody a very happy and prosperous New Year. Although last year was a challenging time for so many, I pray that 2021 will bring better days. During the summer of 2020, our beautiful Province celebrated two outstanding milestones. We commemorated the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of The Manitoba Act, which officially recognized Manitoba as a Province within Canada. We also celebrated the 100th birthday of our Legislative Building, which officially opened its doors on July 15, 1920. In celebration of these impressive milestones, a time capsule, that will remain sealed for 100 years, was filled with 75 objects. A face

In 2009, Darren formed Stainless Concepts Inc, and continues to provide a positive and supportive work environment for his employees and customers. His career within the industry has allowed him to be involved with a variety of exciting projects and to become engaged with his community. Apart from the time capsule, Darren is also known for his other pieces of artwork entitled “The Gathering” and “Sky Spirit”. These sculptures can be seen at the corner of Broadway and Smith St. and in the community of Sage Creek in Winnipeg. Darren uses his artwork as an opportunity to express and educate himself on his Indigenous background. Every project has its own story and meaning, which truly brings every piece to life. Apart from metal fabrication, Darren also loves spending time with his family, friends and neighbours. Carol and Helmut Sakwi, proud parents and grandparents live in Seven Sisters Falls, Manitoba. Congratulations to Darren and the employees of Stainless Concepts Inc. We look forward to projects you will create in the future, and I am certain your work will be admired for centuries to come. The work I value most is serving you and your family as your MLA for Springfield-Ritchot. I welcome any questions or comments by email at Ron@RonSchuler.com or by mail to Box 150, Oakbank, Submitted photo MB R0E 1J0.

mask, cell phone, letters from government officials, and items that represent different cultures, including Inuit, Métis, and First Nations were included. There is also one mystery object that will remain secret until the capsule is opened in 2120. Local Niverville artist Darren Sakwi, designed and created the beautifully crafted stainless steel time capsule. Instead of being buried underground, the time capsule will be on display in the Manitoba Legislature for all to see. Darren is an Indigenous artist, a fabrication designer and the owner of Stainless Concepts Inc., who moved to Niverville 10 years ago with his family. With a career spanning over 20 years, his passion for metal fabrication began long before the creation of this time capsule. Darren is a graduate of Red River College, with a Certificate in CAD (computer-aided design). His college education has been the foundation for his entire career in the metal fabrication industry.

New Time Capsule designed by Niverville artist Darren Sakwi.

February 2021

Building Sustainable Community Grants Now Open With the start of 2021 upon us, I am pleased to share that our PC Government has opened applications for Building Sustainable Communities Grants. Last year, this grant program supported various community development projects throughout the province, including and a number of successful applicants from my constituency of La Verendrye. The 2021 program intake has been expanded to include support for larger-scale capital projects. This includes a maximum grant contribution of 50 per cent of eligible capital project costs, up to $300,000. The current maximum grant contribution of 50 per cent of eligible projects cost, up to $75,000, will continue to apply for all other project categories. I would encourage community organizations, non-profits, charities, municipalities, and northern affairs community councils with projects in need of funding to consider applying. The deadline for application is February 28, 2021. For more information about the Building Sustainable Communities Grant Program or to apply, visit manitobago.ca. Application forms are available at gov.mb.ca/grants. The 2021 Urban and Hometown Green Team grant applications are also now open for organizations to hire youth between the ages of 15 and 29 for summer jobs in Manitoba. Green Team programs support summer employment for hundreds of young Manitobans between May 1 and August 31. Non-profit organizations in Winnipeg and rural Manitoba and municipal governments in rural Manitoba are eligible to apply for these grants. The deadline for applications is February 15. For more information on Green Team, visit manitobago.ca. Our PC Government is investing an additional $50 million in K-12 school capital projects across the province to provide staff and students with safe, modern and accessible learning facilities. This includes investing in seven future school sites, much-needed major repairs, accessibility upgrades and future designs for major projects. I am proud to share that the Hanover School Division will receive funding to replace the roof on the Green Valley School in Grunthal under this investment. We recently launched consultations to hear Manitobans priorities for the next provincial budget. There will be a telephone town hall on February 3 at 6:30 pm for rural Manitobans to share their views. I invite everyone to participate and help shape the provincial budget. Please sign up to have your voice heard engagemb.ca/budget-2021. The Manitoba Government recently amended our public health orders to restrict interprovincial travel to protect Manitobans from COVID-19 and to help prevent possible variants entering the province. The public health orders were amended on January 29 to specify that anyone entering Manitoba from anywhere in Canada will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. Current exemptions to self-isolation measures are still in effect including those traveling for essential work and people travelling inter-provincially for medical purposes. Manitobans have worked incredibly hard over the last two months to flatten our COVID-19 curve, which has allowed us to take a cautious, measured approach to reopening some services in our province. These new travel restrictions are to protect Manitobans from the risks of COVID-19 being introduced to us by travel including any new COVID-19 strains from other jurisdictions. I look forward to hearing from you with your questions or concerns. I can be reached at 204-424-5406 or at dennis. smook@leg.gov.mb.ca.






February 2021

Celebrating Over 25 Years of Service to Our Communities!

Dawson Trail Dispatch

Provincial Budget Consults Go Virtual Each spring, members of the Provincial government finance department tour the province to various locations so that residents can attend in person pre-budget discussions. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions these meetings will be held virtually. This year, the provincial government is inviting Manitobans to participate in virtual and telephone engagement sessions and an online survey to help shape Budget 2021. Finance Minister Scott Fielding said, “With the pandemic restricting the ways we gather, this

year we’re inviting all Manitobans to share suggestions in a safe way as we launch our first-ever virtual engagement process.” Fielding noted the Province remains focused on its pandemic response and has yet to set a date to release Budget 2021 as it awaits information from the Federal government in regards to its budget date and final transfer amounts to provinces. The annual pre-budget meeting process is a key component while the province creates the upcoming budget. A telephone town hall meeting took place February 2 for

rural Manitoba’s and a virtual meeting took place January 27. For those who missed the meetings, the Manitoba government launched an online budget survey through EngageMB and invites Manitobans to complete the survey and register for the virtual public engagement meetings and telephone town halls at engagemb. ca/budget-2021. In addition, comments and submissions can be sent to budget2021@gov.mb.ca or mail written submissions to Minister of Finance c/o Budget Consultations, 103-450 Broadway, Winnipeg, MB R3C 0V8.

Governor General Forced to Resign Governor General, Julie Payette stepped down, last week, amid what sources describe as a “scathing” report into allegations of bullying and “toxic” workplace behaviour at Rideau Hall. Provencher MP Ted Falk said according to those who worked for her, Payette turned Rideau Hall into a “house of horrors”, “exploding” at staffers, berating them, sometimes for hours at a time. “According to one source, ‘there was a victim in every meeting, it’s bullying and harassment at its worst,’” said Falk on Payette throwing tantrums when her constitutional duties interfered with her personal schedule, and often ignored them, garnering a reputation for being lazy and “diva-ish”. “Our previous Conservative Government created a non-partisan appointment process to nominate Governors General,” said Falk. “Justin Trudeau chose to ignore this process and handpicked Payette.” Payette’s swearing in ceremony cost Canadian taxpayers $649,000. Falk said that she demanded $250,000 of unprecedented privacy upgrades to Rideau Hall but refused to move into the official residence and publicly, lashed out at people of faith.

“Make no mistake, Payette’s bullying, erratic and diva-ish behaviour was well known long before her appointment as Vice-Regent,” said Falk. “Justin Trudeau knew about her 2011 charge for assault and her brief tumultuous tenure at the Montreal Science Museum; one characterized by discord and staff resignations,” said Falk. “He knew those she’d worked with in Canada’s Military saw her as arrogant to the point of being dangerous. He knew about her resignation from the Canadian Olympic Committee after not one but two separate investigations into her abuse of staff members.” Falk noted that Payette has brought shame on one of Canada’s most important institutions. “As such, I wholeheartedly agree with Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole that she should not receive the customary post-mandate expense account,” said Falk. “Canadians deserve a Vice-Regent who possesses the humility, grace and heart of service that the job requires.” In our Parliamentary system the Governor General acts, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, as Canada’s ceremonial Head of State. The constitutional duties include swearing in the Prime Minister, Cabinet ministers and the Chief Justice of Canada; summoning, proroguing and dissolving Parliament; delivering

the Speech from the Throne; granting Royal Assent to acts of Parliament; appointing members of the Privy Council, lieutenant governors and certain judges, on the advice of the prime minister; and signing into effect official documents, such as orders-in-council that take legal effect only when signed by the Governor General. It is the oldest continuous institution in Canada pre-dating Confederation and designed to be non-partisan and apolitical.

Julie Payette.

File photo

Province Funds Northeast Red Water District Bob Lagassé, MLA for Dawson Trail, was pleased to highlight funding for the Northeast Red Watershed District 202021 budget totalling $310,000 to support conservation and watershed planning and provide a sustainable environment for future generations to enjoy. “Our PC government is committed to strengthening con-

servation and ecological planning efforts, as part of our Made-inManitoba Climate and Green Plan,” said Lagassé. “The work being accomplished through this funding ensures our community plays our part in keeping Manitoba the cleanest, greenest, and most climate-resilient province in Canada.” The funds come from the core

grant funding provided by the province as part of the 3:1 match for municipal contributions under the program. Funding of the watershed districts, included $87,000 from the Conservation Trust for the Ste. Genevieve Water Retention Project, and $50,000 through the Manitoba Ag Action Fund for the Edie Creek, Stream Bank Stabilization Project.


Dawson Trail Dispatch

Celebrating Over 25 Years of Service to Our Communities!

February 2021



Community Skating Trails Open

These volunteers have been helping create the first ever public skating trail through Tetrault Park in La Broquerie. Submitted photo

Indoor ice rinks may be closed due to Code Red restrictions, but councils in both the RM of La Broquerie and the Village of St. Pierre-Jolys found a creative way to encourage residents to get active by creating skating trails through their communities. RM of La Broquerie Leisure Services Coordinator David Little said that community response has been positive to their first skating trail located in Tetrault Park. “People are coming from all over the region to skate, and its awesome not only for La Broquerie, but it has become a regional thing,” Little noted. Due to the trails inaugural success, Little is optimistic that this will become an annual venture. This project was supported by council but it was the volunteers who deserve the credit Little added. “The weather has been great for being outside, but not great for ice making so volunteers have been working early mornings and late nights to make the ice,” said Little. “I’d like to give them a big shout out.” In St. Pierre-Jolys, Mayor Raymond Maynard said he’s wanted a skate trail in the community since 2006 and he is thrilled to see it finally a reality. “Previous councils would not want to

Volunteers Needed for 2022 Winter Games The 2022 Manitoba Winter Games planning committee has put out the call for key volunteers to help organize the upcoming event when it takes place in Niverville. It has been a year since it was announced that the 2022 Manitoba Winter Games will take place in Niverville from February 26 to March 5, 2022. Now, the organizing committee is looking for a number of volunteers for various leadership positions. “We are currently looking for a number of chair and co-chair roles,” confirmed a spokesperson from the planning committee. Volunteers are expected to be passionate about sports

and community, organized and taskoriented, have experience managing volunteers, and want to be a part of Niverville’s history. The board is currently looking for sports co-chairpersons, for the many outdoor and indoor winter events. There are also four chairperson positions available, including Friends of the Games Chair, Merchandise and Procurement Chair, and a transportation chairperson. These roles require a 13-month commitment leading up to the games, with flexible hours throughout the year, and a greater time commitment during the games. The Manitoba Games 2022 is expect-

ed to bring hundreds of athletes to the community to compete in events including hockey, ringette, alpine and cross country ski, badminton, curling, futsal, gymnastics, figure and speed skating, and wrestling. Administered by Sport Manitoba, the Manitoba Games powered by Manitoba Hydro are the largest ongoing multisport event in the Province. It follows the Olympic cycle, taking place every two years, alternating between summer and winter events. Anyone interested in volunteering for the 2022 Manitoba Winter Games can email niverville2022chairs@whereyoubelong.ca for more information.

Sunrise Corner Celebrates Community’s Ingenuity Last year was a challenging year for everyone and in rural areas such as the RM of Piney and the RM of Stuartburn businesses had to get more creative to reach residents and maintain community spirit. Monique Chenier, with Sunrise Corner Economic Development said that last year there was a significant impact on how the businesses and the residents worked together. “During the pandemic, many of our stores and restaurants stepped up to provide new options for shopping, ordering and delivery. Local service businesses found safe ways to deliver their services, for as long as they were allowed to remain open,” said Chenier. “The Southeast Farmer’s Market continued

their long run out of Pinegrove Seniors in South Junction and the StuartburnEmerson Franklin Local Food Initiative offered outdoor markets. Even when they were forced to close, these dedicated vendors pivoted yet again to provide curbside pick-up, delivery and shipping options.” Chenier noted that even though festivals, tournaments, fall suppers were cancelled, several community groups created unique ways to raise money. “Residents lined up for miles to enjoy drive-through fall suppers supporting community halls,” Chenier continued. “A first-time gift card sales initiative successfully partnered volunteers with local businesses to raise funds for the local arena.”

She even noted how the Vita Christmas Cheer Board and Piney Regional Chamber of Commerce adapted their Christmas hamper program to ensure safe donations, socially distanced packing, and curbside pick-up. “2020 has clearly demonstrated that with a little out-of-the-box thinking, long-held traditions can be adapted to meet changing needs,” Chenier added. The third benefit seen in the region was how residents returned to nature by exploring their backyards and exploring the region more than previous years. “As pandemic restrictions begin to relax, let’s be sure to keep supporting these dedicated neighbourhood businesses. Remember, money spent here stays here,” Chenier urged.

do this, but now we have a council that agrees that this is good for the community,” said Maynard. He added that this year has been a busy year for the park and the river. “My house backs to the park, and I have never seen so many people using the park in the winter in my life,” Maynard concluded.




February 2021

Celebrating Over 25 Years of Service to Our Communities!

Dawson Trail Dispatch

Ewasko Joins Cabinet in New Ministerial Position By Marianne Curtis In January, Lac Du Bonnet MLA Wayne Ewasko was named to his first ministerial portfolio, for the newly created Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration. A former teacher and guidance councillor, Ewasko enters cabinet for the first time. “This new department will focus on aligning advanced education institutions with the needs of the labour markets of today and tomorrow by giving young Manitobans the skills they need to succeed and new immigrants the job opportunities our province can offer,” said Premier Brian Pallister. “Minister Ewasko’s 17 years of experience as a teacher and guidance counsellor makes him particularly well-suited to carry out this important task.” Ewasko admits that he was “pleasantly surprised” by the appointment. “I would like to think that I am coming into this portfolio that it is somewhat in my wheelhouse. I am not coming into

this green, I have had the pleasure of meeting many of the people I will be working with when I was critic as well,” Ewasko explained. Ewasko’s new department is a stand-alone ministry created to promote access to advanced education opportunities for Manitobans through strong, competitive postsecondary universities and colleges providing the quality education and skills development for today’s and tomorrow’s workforce, and that supports new economic and social opportunities for Manitoba graduates and immigrants. “Part of the reasoning for it, so that we are ready for post-pandemic; we all know that in regards to education, anything after high school is a bonus,” Ewasko continued. “We just have to make sure that we are ready with skilled labour and ready to go. Immigration is part of the portfolio, we need skilled labour.” His portfolio includes the delivery of student aid and financial assistance programs and bursaries that reward and incentivise more educational opportunities for young Manito-

Wayne Ewasko.

File photo

bans. Along with taking a leadership role in developing and delivering quality, relevant skills programming that increases the participation of all Manitobans in the economy through greater adult learning and literacy, attract and welcome more immigrants to Manitoba through the province’s renowned Provincial Nominee Program and connection with community partners. Ritchot-Springfield MLA Ron Schuler maintains his position as Minister of Infrastructure.

Volunteer Opportunity in Ritchot Area Ritchot Senior Services is looking for a couple of volunteers that would be interested in representing us to provide Victoria Lifeline to members of our community. Volunteers must be able to travel to all of Ritchot communities, St. Adolphe, Ste. Agathe, Ile des Chenes, Howden, Glenlea and also Lorette at this time.

Training for installation and service will be provided by Victoria Lifeline in Winnipeg. Volunteers would be responsible for installing and maintaining Victoria Lifeline medical alarm safety within these communities. The time commitment could be a 1/2 hour for service to 1 hour for install, and varies from month to month. All service must be provided with in

24-48 hours of call. The volunteer duties would start April 2021 depending on COVID restrictions and training must be completed by mid-March. Criminal background check must be completed and must have a valid driver license and vehicle registration. For more details, contact Janice at 204-883-2880 or email ritchotseniors@mymts.net.

Steinbach Shows Off New Truck

The City of Steinbach’s Solid Waste department started off the year with a brand new commercial roll off garbage truck. This new truck replaces the 25-year-old truck which will finally be retired with more than one million kilometres on the odometer. The new garbage truck was put to work immediately emptying between 50-70 commercial garbage bins around the City that week.


Dawson Trail Dispatch

Celebrating Over 25 Years of Service to Our Communities!

February 2021



Spring Opening for Grunthal Lumber Expansion Compiled by Luke Friesen Over the past few months, visitors to Grunthal would have noticed a large new building going up along Main Street. This massive structure will soon be the new home for Grunthal Lumber. According to owner Mel Funk, the 15,000 square foot building currently under construction will be opening in March. In an exclusive interview, Funk said, “We were wanting to build this for a long time because our last building could only display 30% of our stock.” Funk said they will also be adding a gift shop area to the store, along with bringing in a variety of new items. “I don’t know what the new products are but I know that there will be,” Funk noted there might not be a lot that kids may be interested in. “Probably not, it’s a hardware store, but there will be a gift shop kind of area that might be of interest.” A number of new staff will be joining, but according to Funk they already have done their hiring. The new Grunthal Lumber building will be opening this spring.

Photo by Marianne Curtis

Steinbach Chamber Remains Resilient Amidst Pandemic

This past year has been the most challenging on record for many businesses around the world. Amidst it all, the Steinbach Chamber of Commerce has remained on top of things with keeping members up to date on changes and government programs. Wayne Patram, President Steinbach Chamber of Commerce said that Steinbach is made up of resilient people; however this year was tough even for the toughest business person. “Steinbach is made up of resilient people. This is something that I have always believed to be true. However, this year I witnessed this displayed consistently by our local business leaders and community at large as we have faced closures, supply in-

terruptions, job losses and in some cases, the possibility of doors closing permanently,” Patram stated. “In reflecting on our experiences of the last six months, I am reminded of these lines penned by Alexandre Dumas in his book, ‘The Count of Monte Cristo.’” He writes, “Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next.” Patram said that the most encouraging part of the year has been the conversations people have to come out stronger on the other side. “Our community has come together, supported each other, and is successfully weathering a storm that has impacted the entire globe,” Pa-

tram continued. “As a Chamber, our Board and Staff have also worked to meet the challenges of the year.” He explained how the Chamber was able to quickly adapt their programming and disburse new information as available. “Our position was that public safety and economic recovery are not mutually exclusive and must be pursued simultaneously to reduce the overall strain on the community,” Patram noted. Despite the many closures, the business community was able to reconnect briefly through events such as Steinbach Burger Days, and the annual Business Excellence Awards.

Join the Jack Frost Challenge Looking for something to do this February? Manitobans are invited to participate in the 2021 Jack Frost - Bougeons en Hiver Challenge. This free event is running from February 7 to 13 and a great way to enjoy the outdoors and possibly win some prizes. The Jack Frost Challenge centres on activities that increase outdoor physical activity. Health authorities advise that people stay active and get fresh-air for their mental and physical health; this week-long challenge will help emphasize the importance of that. Organized by Green Action Centre, along with CAA Manitoba, Red River Mutual and Access Credit Union, this year’s event is expected to be bigger than ever. According to Kris Kuzdub, Sustainable Transportation Coordinator with Green Action Centre, “Due to stayhome measures and social activity limited to being outside, there’s never been a better opportunity to embrace outdoor recreation,” said Kuzdub. “The goal is to simply enjoy outdoor physical activity, and most importantly to have fun during the winter.” For the challenge, teams of one to five people are expected to log 130 kilometres of outdoor activity. These can include walking, running, biking, skating, cross-country skiing, snowshoe-

ing, tobogganing, building snow forts or anything else that gets one moving. Teams do not necessarily mean that you do the activities and kilometres together, but that teams work together to reach the 130 km goal. “With so many people missing travelling this year, Green Action Centre calls Manitobans to explore your own backyard and see what it has to offer,” Kuzdub continued. A variety of activities have been set up for participants to enjoy while completing their kilometre goals, including Winnipeg specific activities and Manitoba fun. Teams of one to five people are expected to log 130 kilometres of outdoor activity. These can include walking, running, biking, skating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, tobogganing, building snow forts or anything else that gets one moving.

There is also a variety of activities for kids and schools are encouraged to register their classrooms for the kid-friendly challenge with teams of 5 with Jack Frost Challenge for Kids. Green Action Centre is a Winnipeg-based environmental non-profit that specializes in sustainable transportation and waste reduction programs in Manitoba. For more information and to register for the Jack Frost Challenge visit greenactioncentre.ca/jackfrostchallenge.


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February 2021

Celebrating Over 25 Years of Service to Our Communities!

Dawson Trail Dispatch

How to Manage Financial Stress in Uncertain Times Although a constant worry for many of us, financial stress may be worse than ever during the pandemic. With employers cutting jobs, businesses shutting down and demand for financial assistance programs increasing, our mental health is taking a hit. Research shows that for those who are already living with mental health challenges such as dementia, depression or anxiety, managing personal finances can be even more difficult. Feelings of fear, anxiety and worry are heightened. Receiving professional help is one way to end the cycle around financial stress and mental health. Fortunately, there are free and lowcost ways to access this support and handle money stress. There are many financial advisors, credit counsellors and financing agencies who are prepared to help, and it’s important to always do your due diligence regarding their legitimacy and cost of service.

Many of the same services are also provided for free from banking and credit institutions. Attending free financial literacy workshops can also drastically improve your financial literacy, helping you to take control of your finances. For example, ABC Life Literacy Canada’s Money Matters program is a free introductory financial literacy program for adult learners offering workshops on a variety of topics including spending plans, banking basics, borrowing and ways to save. Workbooks are written at a grade four to six reading level, making even the most complex financial topics more accessible. In addition to workshops, adult learners can also access free financial literacy resources and online courses to improve their skills independently. Learn more and access free workbooks and activities at abcmoneymatters.ca. Article courtesy of newscanada.com

Although a constant worry for many of us, financial stress may be worse than ever during the pandemic.

Tips to Help You Get Back on Top of Your Finances

During uncertain periods, try to avoid taking on more debt

As the Canadian economy recovers from the disruptions caused by COVID-19, it has become clear that a growing number of Canadians are under increased financial stress. If you are among those facing financial pressures, the following tips and tools can help you gain the upper hand and take charge of your personal finances. 1. Set up a budget Setting up a budget is key in all circumstances, especially during an emergency. It will help you to identify your income and expenses, and establish spending and debt repayment plans. If you have money left over, it’s a good idea to create an emergency fund to help you prepare for unexpected events and emergencies.

If you need help getting started, try the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s interactive online budget planner. It includes tips, advice and alerts to help you take charge of your personal finances. 2. Get financial advice During this uncertain time, it is always best to live within your budget. However, if you are struggling with your finances and you have to borrow money, get financial advice. A good first step is to speak with your financial institution to find out about borrowing options available to you. They may be able to defer the payments on some of your credit products, such as your mortgage. A financial professional, such as a licensed financial advisor or an ac-

credited credit counsellor, can also help you develop a plan to deal with an emergency. 3. Avoid more debt During uncertain periods, try to avoid taking on more debt. If you must borrow money, do your homework. Make sure you understand the cost of different credit products before you make a decision, and borrow only what you need. And remember that certain credit products are more expensive than others. For example, a payday loan should be your absolute last resort, as they often carry very high fees. To learn more about how you can maintain good financial health during challenging times, visit canada. ca/money. Article courtesy of newscanada.com


Dawson Trail Dispatch

Celebrating Over 25 Years of Service to Our Communities!

February 2021

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Working from Home Deduction for Employees During 2020, many employees worked from home for the first time in their working careers. Some employees did so for several weeks and others for several months and are still working from home. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) fortunately realized there needs to be an option to easily claim some employment expenses on your tax return. We have always had the ability to claim working from home expenses if it was a requirement for the job. First your employer needed to provide a form T2200, Conditions of Employment. For the deduction you claimed you needed to keep track of all expenses and keep all receipts as proof in case CRA requested as part of their review. With so many employees working from home, it would be unreasonable to have every employer complete a form T2200 for every employee that worked from home at least part of the year. CRA introduced two new options to the “regular” way to claim employment expenses. These options are only for those who worked from home due to COVID-19 in 2020; either required by your employer or you chose to. The easiest way to claim working from home expenses is the new temporary flat rate method. If you worked from home more than 50% of the time for at least four weeks since March 15, you can claim the flat rate method. You can claim $2 per day for each day you worked from home. You cannot claim for days that you did not work because of vacation or sick days or stat holidays. The maximum you can claim is 200 days since March 15 or $400. There is a good Working Days Calculator at this website to calculate your number of days: timeanddate.com/date/workdays. Remember to subtract any vacation days and any sick days or any other days you were not working at home; watch for days the calculator may not take into account such as Remembrance Day, Christmas Day, Boxing Day seems to be missing from this calculator. Keep in mind, the $2 per day is a deduction. If you are in the lowest tax rate, your savings are $25 for every $100 deducted. If you are in the highest tax bracket, your tax savings may be $50 for every $100 deducted. The tax savings are modest. Should you use the new Temporary Flat Rate Method? We have done some calculations to see what method may be better or at least easier. If you worked from home but it was a shared workspace (you worked in your kitchen, dining room, or living room), we recommend you use the flat rate method. Because you only used the space for a limited time (maybe 40 hours out of 168 total hours per week), the percentage of your expenses becomes quite low. When you calculate your square footage (say 12% of your home) and the percentage of hours (40/168 or 24%), it becomes a low number: 2.85% of your operating home expenses, for example. This example equates to $2 per day if the operating expenses are $1400/month.

If you worked less than full time, the Flat Rate Method is likely the best for you because of the prorated hours. The Simplified Method The second option is to claim the expense details using form T2200S and T777S. To use this method, you still needed to work from home at least 50% of the time for a period of at least four consecutive weeks since March 15. If you have a dedicated room like a bedroom, you can claim your home expenses based on a percentage of the square footage of the home and if the space was not used for personal purposes, you do not need to prorate by the hours worked. Keep in mind there are limited operating expenses you can claim a percentage of: electricity, heat, water, internet access fees, basic cell phone fees, maintenance & repairs, and rent. Commissioned sales employees can also claim a percentage of home insurance and property taxes. Mortgage interest or payments cannot be claimed by employees. Maintenance expenses are limited to items like light bulbs, servicing the furnace, or other similar expenses for the entire home. Capital expenses like major renovations are not maintenance expenses. There is a good list on the CRA website you can review; search “CRA home workspace expenses”. You can claim office supplies using this simplified method. When determining which method to use, keep in mind your total operating expenses may be limited; the work that is required to calculate the total expenses; the proof you need to keep in case you are audited; an increased possibility of being audited; and if using a tax preparation firm like ours, additional fees may be charged to claim this expense on your personal tax return. The Regular Method If you are claiming vehicle expenses or other employment related expenses, you need to use the regular method: T2200 and T777. If you worked from home as an employee before COVID, you must use the regular method. Here is a summary of each of the methods you can use: Temporary Flat Rate Method - Only if working from home due to COVID. - Employer certification not required. - No receipts required. - Easy calculation: $2 per day; max $400. - No forms to complete. - No other expenses can be claimed (vehicle, office supplies). - Work space can also be used for personal space. Simplified Method - Only if working from home due to COVID. - Employer certification required: T2200S. - Receipts required. - Claim the actual amounts paid; supported by documents and receipts. - Need to prorate based on space and hours if shared space. - Need to prorate based on space if dedicated room. - No other expenses can be claimed (vehicle, tools).

- Work space can also be used for personal space (pro rate). - Reimbursement from employer will reduce deduction. Regular Method - Worked from home due to COVID or prior to COVID. - Employer certification required: T2200. - Receipts required. - Claim the actual amounts paid supported by documents and receipts. - Need to prorate based on space and hours if shared space. - Need to prorate base on space if dedicated room. - Claim other expenses like office supplies and vehicle. - Work space can also be used for personal space (pro rate). - Reimbursement from employer will reduce deduction. The above information should help you decide which method will be best for your situation; and what is worth your time and effort. If there is more than one person in the home that worked from home, they can each make a separate claim using their own chosen method. A reminder that the tax filing date remains April 30 2021. (At least at the time of this writing). We

suggest you file your taxes as soon as possible; especially if you received some COVID benefits like CERB or CRB or EI. You may end up owing CRA some money instead of a refund and you want to file before April 30 to avoid late filing penalties! Even if you cannot pay it immediately, CRA will add interest after April 30, but not the monthly penalties if you file by the deadline. Those who are self-employed (and their spouse), can wait until June 15 to file without penalty. CRA opens February 22 2021. We can start e-filing that week. Anni Markmann is a Personal Income Tax Professional and Certified Financial Planner; living, working, and volunteering in our community. Contact us at 204-4226631 or 36 Dawson Road in Ste Anne (near Co-op) or Info@SAtaxes.ca.


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February 2021

Celebrating Over 25 Years of Service to Our Communities!

Dawson Trail Dispatch


Dawson Trail Dispatch

Celebrating Over 25 Years of Service to Our Communities!

February 2021

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February 2021

Celebrating Over 25 Years of Service to Our Communities!

Dawson Trail Dispatch

Youth Duo Opens First Exhibit at SAC The Steinbach Arts Council (SAC) has the privilege to debut the artwork of two young first time exhibitors in our Hall Gallery. Local artists Jasmine Beaucage and Kayla Friesen have been making beautiful artwork for years, but now for the first time ever have the chance to display their artwork for the public. The SAC thrives on mentoring and providing opportunities for young artists to grow in their abilities and experiences. Their shared exhibit, “Finding Peace Though Art and My Thoughts and Feelings on 2020”, opened on January 13. SAC is currently closed to the public due to restrictions, so the exhibit has been moved online. Find the Virtual Exhibit on our website, SteinbachArts. ca to view Jasmine and Kayla’s

stunning and thought-provoking art work from January 13 -April 1. Beaucage creates art that is soft and flowing with details that brings it to life. She mainly draws, but has worked with acrylics, watercolour, photography, animation and 3D modelling. She makes stunning portraits as well as realistic charcoal sketches. She looks forward to challenging herself and exploring new forms of art in the years to come. Friesen is a graduate of 2020. She spent her last months of high school staring at a screen rather than being with her peers. It gave her plenty of time to create works of art based on what she was feeling; the fear, the anger, the disappointment and how the world looked through her eyes. She creates thought-provoking oil, watercolour and acrylic pieces inspired by her experience and what is happening in the world around her. (top) Kayla Friesen and artwork, (bottom) artwork and Jasmine Beaucage. Photos SAC site

Municipal Fire Chief Named in Piney The RM of Piney recently named Bill Stowe as the new municipal Fire Chief. As the new RM of Piney municipal Fire Chief Stowe will oversee all three of the municipality’s fire departments, including Piney (Station 1), Sprague (Station 2) and Woodridge (Station 3). “I am looking forward and very pleased to be able to work with the caring, dedicated men and women of the RM of Piney’s 3 Fire Stations,” said Stow. All three fire crews work closely together to respond to fire calls, motor vehicle accidents, ground search and rescue along

with STARS, CN/CP Railways, the Department of Natural Resources, and the Buffalo Point Fire Department. “As change happens and the shift of population from city to country occurs, the demand for emergency services grows,” Stowe added. “Our goal is to help people see fire fighters as who they are and all the support required by those individuals.” One of the first tasks on hand is to put out the call for new volunteers. “Being a firefighter has challenges, but also has incredible rewards and satisfac-

tion,” Stowe noted. “If you think you have a desire to care for your neighbors and help in a time of need, I’d like to hear from you.” The RM of Piney fire department is looking for able bodied volunteers interested in driving, mechanical ability, and knowledge of first aid. “Or simply the time and the desire to help, I’d like to hear from you,” Stowe invited. Volunteers interested in joining the RM of Piney fire department are encouraged to email Bill billstowe@rmofpiney.mb.ca.

Piney Trails Plan in the Works The RM of Piney along with the assistance of Allison Driedger of Bluestem Consulting are working together on developing a trail plan for the municipality. According to Driedger, the municipality received a provincial grant to develop a trail plan. The project focuses on identifying areas for future trail development, and provide an approximately timeline for construction. “The goal of the plan is to identify areas for trail construction and looking at how the trails can create linkages within the communities,” said Driedger. “This

plan will assist the RM in obtaining future grants for the development of these trails.” Driedger noted that community involvement is one of the most important parts of the process. “Community involvement is key in ensuring that the trails plan results in identification of trails that will be used, trails that will be located where you would like them and trails that connect the communities to itself,” she noted. This project is pretty exciting for the area, but COVID has placed limi-

tations on the project thus far especially the ability to meet with residents, council and the RM staff to gather input. “Thus far the trails plan is still in its infancy, we have begun on boarding of materials, researching other trail plans and looking at the RM of Piney data as part of an environmental scan,” she continued. “We are hoping to be able to connect with residents in the new year to begin identifying where the trails should be located.” The municipality expects that it will take about two years to move forward with the RM of Piney Trails Plan.

Piney Approves Event Grants Four community festivals hosted within the RM of Piney will benefit this summer thanks to grants totaling $6,300. The RM of Piney council recently announced this year’s festival grant allocations that will go in support of events taking place this coming summer in South Junction, Vassar, Woodridge and Sprague. The largest grant of $2,500 is slated to help out with the 15th Annual South Junction Canada Day which is hosted by the South Junction Community Club. Two grants of $1,500 each will go to the Vassar Community Recreation Centre to help host this year’s RM of Piney Summer Camps and Sprague Community Centre for Sprague Fest. The final grant was given to the Woodridge Community Club in the amount of $800 for the 3rd annual Summer Fun on the Ridge.


Dawson Trail Dispatch

Celebrating Over 25 Years of Service to Our Communities!

Actif Epica 2021 Cancelled By Marianne Curtis Initially, it looked like Actif Epica 2021 would hit the Crow Wing Trail from St. Malo to Winnipeg in spite of COVID-19 Code Red restrictions. Organizers say they were ready and able to roll on February 12 and 13 within the restrictions until a court ruling in December brought their plans to a sudden stop. The annual event challenges diehard athletes to take on 130 km of snow packed trail as bikers pedal or run from St. Malo to St. Boniface. “We’re pretty disappointed and discouraged to announce this,” stated organizers. “The recent Springs Church court judgement and interpretation of the law was a huge surprise to us, ruling that more than 5 people, each in their own separate cars, grouping within a large proximity for a common purpose was a punishable offence. We simply didn’t foresee things getting this strict after we were already at a critical level and already had comprehensive restrictions in place.”

According to organizers, when registration opened the province was under Level Orange which allowed some room to make adjustments to the event and confidently carry on. Days later, the province moved to Level Red but still allowed for onetime outdoor events with group sizes limited to cohorts of 5. “We could make sure that no more than 5 racers had direct, sustained contact with one another during the event and would have to maintain proper social distance from everyone else before and at the start of the race, during the event, and at the finish,” the spokesperson continued. “We were prepared for roving and checkpoint volunteers to strictly monitor this.” The committee put together a plan to stagger start times, and maintained that racers would adhere to social distancing if they met on the trail. They were also prepared to limit the number of support personal and vehicles along the trail as well. “We simply never imagined that

the rules would become this restrictive,” the committee noted. “Plainly speaking, this sucks. We put this race on as a labour of love and enjoy giving back to a community that has given us so much, and especially this year we wanted to be a positive force during a trying time.” Utilizing the length of the historic Crow Wing Trail, the annual Actif Epica is one of seven qualifying events for the internationally-renowned Iditarod Trail Invitational in Alaska. Dubbed as a Celebration of Human Resilience, the event attracts participants from as far as California, Colorado and even Brazil. The race has earned several distinctions, including being named as one of Canada’s 10 Big Rides (Canadian Cycling Magazine, 2013), a Manitoba Tourism Award for Event of the Year (2014) and one of Canada’s ultimate adventures (Impact Magazine, 2016).

Province Not Prepared for Animal Disease Emergency The Auditor General has issued a warning to the Province that they are not adequately prepared in the event of an animal disease emergency. In a report released in the middle of January, Auditor General Tyson Shtykalo said more needs to be done for Animal Disease Preparedness. The audit assessed whether the Department of Agriculture and Resource Development (the Department) is prepared for an animal disease emergency. The audit found the Province has taken steps to prevent animal disease emergencies, but preparation efforts have been inadequate. “Even with rigorous prevention activities, some animal disease will still occur,” Shtykalo said. “As a result, it’s important that appropriate preparation is done to minimize the impact of diseases when they occur. We found the Department has not taken sufficient steps to prepare for an animal disease emergency.”

He noted that an animal disease emergency could have significant consequences for the economy and potentially threaten the health of Manitobans. Manitoba’s agriculture sector is responsible for 9% of the provincial GDP in 2019. That year, farm cash receipts were valued at $6.6 billion, with $2.4 billion of that coming from livestock. “If an animal disease were to disrupt the agriculture industry, there could be significant consequences, including widespread consumer alarm and the culling of livestock,” Shtykalo said. The audit found the Department identified known and emerging animal diseases that are of higher risk for Manitoba, but no documented rationale for prioritizing these diseases. The audit also found response plans were not in place. As a result, the Department had not determined what equipment, supplies, and per-

sonnel would be needed to respond to an emergency. The audit also found Manitoba has a livestock traceability system in place to track the movement and location of animals, but improvements are needed. This could result in delays in sharing critical information during an animal disease emergency. In addition, the audit found that while legislation authorizing prevention activities exists, many needed regulations have not been developed. The report notes the Department has given limited consideration to recovery from an animal disease emergency. Recovery efforts could be needed for the people involved with the animals including producers, veterinarians, and department staff, and could include financial assistance, mental health supports, and job retraining.

Niverville to Install Two Vehicle Charging Stations The Town of Niverville is excited to announce that they have received a grant from Natural Resources Canada to install two electric car charging stations at the new Niverville Community Resource & Recreation Centre. According to Council, the stations will be funded by the Town

of Niverville and the NRC grant. “These stations will allow for four electric vehicles to be charged on a pay-per-use platform,” stated a spokesperson. “These stations will represent the first publicly accessible charging stations in Niverville as the Town works towards expanding the network of charging stations

in the region and help to reduce its carbon footprint.” The pair of Level 2 charging stations is expected to be installed by Eco-West Canada and ready by the time that the Niverville Community Resource & Recreation Centre opens during summer 2021.

February 2021

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My Son Asked Me If I Like Capitalism By Michael Nesom Recently my son asked me if I liked capitalism. We are both studying economics at university; he is going to the University of Winnipeg and me at LSE. I feel that capitalism and free markets are the most efficient means of distributing resources and productivity. Market economics has allowed us as a society to create enough wealth to lift our country’s peoples out of poverty. However, ever since the late 1950s, our country has slowly moved from a society with free markets to becoming a market society. A market society is one in which everything and everyone is valued based on their wealth or their potential to create wealth. The shift towards becoming a market society has long been developing in the background of our communities; as people valued by their age, education, jobs, and income levels find different treatment in our medical, judicial, and education systems. Slowly our culture has shifted the paradigm that determines a person’s worth, no longer by the Judeo Christian standard which says we are all created by God in his image; it is now by the value of their bank account or their potential to earn wealth. The SARS COV2 virus with the COVID- 19 sickness is pulling back the curtains and forcing us to acknowledge what we have become. Governments, which are an extension of our society, are now publicly praising front line employees even as those workers have to cope with years of governments of all stripes cutting their jobs, their hours, and their wages. The same governments now praising front line workers have in the past found it most comfortable to cut their salaries to ensure balanced budgets and economic prosperity for a select few. Nurses and doctors asked to perform miracles are coping with PPE shortages, staff shortages, and bed shortages. People allowed their governments to cut services to the infirm and weak because it was convenient for them to believe they were not responsible as long as taxes were less or people who were producing for the greater good were not inconvenienced by the poor or sick. I think we are fighting not just for our lives and the lives of our loved ones but for the soul of this country. In this fight with COVID- 19, there seems to be a camp which is emboldened enough to come out from the shadows. I have heard many times an argument that we shouldn’t be quarantining or wearing masks because the deaths that have occurred so far have overwhelmingly happened to older people or people with pre-existing conditions. This is not to say that there are no legitimate or legal concerns. There are good reasons people should protest the quarantine and activists who do so should be applauded rather than derided. The government is curtailing the fundamental freedoms of movement and association guaranteed in the Charter, and vigorous debate on the necessity and efficacy of such actions should always accompany such extreme measures. Although I agree with the government’s protocols, everyone should be aware of the damage that following the health orders will cause on the very people we are trying to save. Humans are herd creatures and isolating our elderly, who are not as technically savvy as younger generations will have a toll that may cause irreparable psychological harm. I know many people whose church activity is the majority of their social contact. We are asking people to isolate at a time when most Christians get together with family and friends in annual worship services that have been practiced for hundreds of years. However, not every argument is based on compassion for the affected. This year is the first I have ever heard in my lifetime where segments of society have attempted to quantify the value of human life. Both John (my son) and I hope that humans are sons and daughters of God, created by him, in his image, and we believe the human soul is immortal and each has a spark of divinity within it. Anyone who believes this by extension will think the value of human life is priceless at any age. If all we have to do is stay quarantined at home and wear a mask when we go out to save the life of someone who is eighty-eight years old, then we do that because the value of his or her mortal existence is not diminished by the amount of time they have already lived. If we allow market decision rationale to prevail in this debate, and we are willing to sacrifice people, not because the pill may be worse than the poison, but because we have used free market principles and valued their lives not worth as much as the aggregate market place. The economy is going to survive this pandemic; it will be battered but not broken. However, in the end, the economy is a tool for organizing labour and distributing resources and has no intrinsic value; it is not worth the life of one older person. We will help those who the businesses and livelihoods did not make it. This country is founded on people, not markets or economies. This is a new era in our culture where our generation is deciding what the worth of a human life is. Right now I hear people talking about older people being expendable and I realize that I am not far away from being included in the group of expendables. I can only hope my generation isn’t remembered for being the leaner, meaner generation who decided the greatest generation had outlived their usefulness. Michael Nesom resides in Manitoba and is a student at the London School of Economics and Political Science in London UK.


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February 2021

Celebrating Over 25 Years of Service to Our Communities!

Dawson Trail Dispatch

Learning to Be Content A person’s perspective, or the way they look at things in life makes a big difference. Let me illustrate. When you look at a rose you can rejoice in the pretty flower and the pleasant fragrance, or you can complain about the sharp prickles along the stem. When it snows, you can complain about having to clean the driveway or you can be happy the children have some nice fresh snow to occupy their time for a while. When you have a flat tire on your car, you can be grumpy about having to change the tire or you can be thankful there was only one flat because you only had one spare. In the Bible, God gives us some advice on how to face circumstances in life. Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say, Rejoice.” Notice it doesn’t say rejoice in your troubles; rather it says, “Rejoice in the Lord.” When you are carrying a heavy burden (maybe personal, family, friends, work, etc.) you don’t have to rejoice that there’s a problem. We are to rejoice that God in Heaven is in full control and He has a purpose and a plan for every one’s life if they turn and follow Him. Psalm 37:23 says, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.” Bad things happen to good people and to bad people. Matthew 5:45 says of God, “...for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” God’s reasons for troubles vary. He may be drawing people to Himself so they trust Him as their Saviour. He may be disciplining His children or just training or teaching them life lessons they need, so they can serve Him effectively. The Apostle Paul went through many troubles (beaten, shipwrecked, bitten by a serpent, and many other perils). In Philippians 4:11 he said, “...for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” If I wrote that verse, I would rephrase it to, “I am learning to be content.” Don’t let the circumstances of life defeat you. Look to the Lord God of Heaven. Trust in Him, hope in Him, rejoice in Him and learn to be content in Him. This can only truly happen when you have trusted Jesus Christ, God’s Son, as your Saviour. I trust you will do this and begin to change your perspective or outlook on life.

Memberships: 2021 memberships until January 31 for $25 per person, after January 31, for $30 per person. Join now to enjoy our member’s benefits! Hogs & Kisses: Special Valentine’s Day Meal on February 12. What better way to treat yourself or someone you love on the international day of love than to a delicious meal cooked with love from our Meals on Wheels kitchen! This special lunchtime meal is delivered straight to your door (Steinbach & Grunthal residents) or available for pickup at the Centre for only $7 and includes pork loin, mashed potatoes, vegetables, cornbread and dessert. Orders MUST be placed by Tuesday, February 9 at 4:30 pm. Please call 204-320-4605 to order. Payment can be in person with cash, debit, credit or cheque or over the phone with a credit card. Police Academy 2021: Older Adults Division is an innovative program that has been developed to empower older adults by providing them with information on safety and security issues to enable them to make well-informed decisions. Topics include: El-

der Abuse, Planning for your Future, Identity Theft/Internet Safety, Frauds & Scams, Falls Prevention, Safe Banking Practices and Medication Safety. Beginning February 3 every Wednesday and Friday from 10 – 11 am a guest speaker will present important Topics over ZOOM Meetings. For more information and how to register for the Program call us at 204-320-4600. Fireside Stories: On Tuesdays and Fridays at 1 pm on Facebook! Grab a cup of tea/coffee and get cozy every Tuesday afternoon at 1 pm as Meg and Cathy from our Circle of Friends program read from the Stuart McLean collection. Join us live on Facebook/patporteral at 1 pm or watch later on your own time. PPALC 2021 Calendars: Come grab a calendar for 2021! Featuring beautiful photographs submitted by local photographers. $5 each, available for pickup at the Centre. Give us a call at 204-320-4600 to order one today! Centre Closure: The Pat Porter Active Living Centre will be closed to all non-essential programming and services until further notice. We are following the public health authority recommendations and encouraging

you to stay home as much as possible and make sure we all reduce our contacts. This is for your safety, my safety and the safety of all of our loved ones. This is a community effort and we can do this! We will remain open for essential services: - Meals on Wheels in Steinbach and Grunthal will remain open for meal delivery only, please make sure you call by 9 am if you would like to order a lunch. - If you need help with shopping, mobility equipment or transportation call to make arrangements for us to provide assistance. - If you, or someone you know just needs someone to talk to, please call us 204-320-4600 and one of us will gladly spend some time with you. Staff will be at the Centre from 9 am – 4 pm if you need support or assistance. Please feel free to call and we can assist you. We are here for you! We are in this together and we will come out of this together. Stay safe, stay healthy and stay home! For more information on our programs, activities or volunteer opportunities from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm call Sonja at 204-320-4603 or reception desk at 204-320-4600.

Cadets Honour Fallen Member By Marianne Curtis The father of a St. Malo teen was moved to tears when the 3234 Manitoba Horse Cadet Corps in St. PierreJolys paid tribute to his son at their annual mess dinner. On November 25, seventeen year old Alix Chouinard passed away

The program from this year’s 3234 Manitoba Horse Cadet Corps mess dinner.

Table set for a fallen cadet.

shortly after surgery due to complications from heart disease. Alix was very involved with his school, the community, the local cadet program and in his church. His father Pierre Chouinard fondly remembers his son as a kind man with a good heart who loved God,

and serving those around him. “Alex was so proud to be a cadet. His only regret was that he was not able to participate in all the activities assigned because of his heart issues,” Chouinard explained. “At times he felt that he did not belong, but he would not let his health issues discourage him. It only gave him more motivation to carry on to the best of his ability.” Chouinard said his son is being remembered as a man of courage with a faith that moved mountains, who even taped a video message for people before leaving for surgery. “My son faced a lot of challenges and brokenness in his life, but he refused to let them defeat him. He was recognized that there were so many others worse off than he. His circumstances made him a stronger person,” Chouinard continued. “Alex’s message to us is, ‘no matter what life throws at you, embrace it. No one ever said life would be fair. Do not let trouble defeat you. There is someone who needs to hear the message of love. Jesus offers the only hope in this sad and fallen world.’” The community has rallied around Chouinard ever since word came back to St. Malo that his son was not doing well after heart surgery. A gofund me page was created to raise money so the family could bring Alix home for burial. “I can’t say thank you enough to this community,” Chouinard conSubmitted photos cluded.


Dawson Trail Dispatch

Celebrating Over 25 Years of Service to Our Communities!

February 2021

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Weighing the Truth Free Online Classes and Concerts We’re picking up the pace at the Steinbach Arts Council. As recent recipients of the province of Manitoba’s SAFE AT HOME grant, we are rapidly developing online opportunities for our community. Visit our website for all the information you need to sign up for free concerts and classes. We have something to keep everyone busy (and safe!) from now until March 31, no matter what your age. And don’t forget to visit my blog at steinbacharts.ca, to discover the inside scoop on everything that’s happening at SAC. Safe at Home Grant – the Southeast Creative Community Fest The Steinbach Arts Council is thrilled to announce that we have received funding from the Safe at Home Manitoba grant. This funding will offer, free of charge, programs and concerts that will bring residents of southeastern Manitoba together while we are physically apart. There is no better time than now when children, families and seniors need an outlet for creativity and artistic expression values, essential to promote positive mental and physical wellbeing. It’s a Creative Community Fest. Many of our programs and concerts will now be provided online at no cost. Other programs for preschool children, the After School Arts Program and a Spring Break Camp will be added to this roster. Our website will be updated with new programs and concerts, so we encourage everyone to check it frequently during the weeks to come. The Steinbach Arts Council respects the government’s mandate that containing the spread of COVID-19 is everyone’s responsibility. The funding received is greatly beneficial to maintain the operations of The Steinbach Arts Council and SAC is very grateful to have been recognized as a recipient of this funding. Within this Safe At Home Manitoba program, we work together with our provincial government in our mission: “To Enrich the Quality of Life Through the Arts.” Madeline Hildebrand Concert and More Last weekend SAC presented our very first livestream concert of the new year which was offered for free. This was not your average livestream; there were multiple cameras that caught this very

On February 26 you will experience the Paint the Town! Celebrate the Arts 40th Anniversary Fundraising Gala at the most exclusive venue in Steinbach…your home.

cool concert from every angle, including a bird’s-eye view of our pianist. Known as one of our community’s very own success stories, Madeline Hildebrand entertained and amazed audiences of all ages. Visit SteinbachArts.ca for more exciting concerts. Ballgowns & Black Tie….or Pajamas and Pumps! The choice is yours! It’s the virtual event of the season. On February 26 you will experience the Paint the Town! Celebrate the Arts 40th Anniversary Fundraising Gala at the most exclusive venue in Steinbach…your home. Everything will be delivered to your door and your ticket will include fine wine, classic cuisine by Friedensfeld Community Centre, Jewelry Tombola, an auction with a twist, Michelle Sawatzky as the MC, and entertainment from musical theatre to comedy. You can also join our Martini hour, and watch your martinis change colour. Reserve your tickets or table on our website or call the SAC office 204346-1077. A large portion of the ticket

Known as one of our community’s very own success stories, Madeline Hildebrand entertained and amazed audiences of all ages at her livestream concert on January 24 at the Steinbach Arts Council.

is tax receipt able. Get the details at steinbacharts.ca. Auction with a Twist Place your bids online starting February for our auction, available to all Manitobans. A Fine Art auction showcases 6 local artworks, and our ‘Auction with a Twist’ features gift packages from local businesses, and unique experiences from community members. Enjoy ‘Celebrity Hour’ with your favourite politician, a private painting class with a local artist, or a bread making session with Corny Rempel. New items are added weekly. Highest bids announced at the Gala night on February 26. Visual Arts Local artists, Jasmine Beaucage and Kayla Friesen are excited to share their artwork in the hallway gallery at Steinbach Arts Council in their shared exhibit, “Finding Peace Through Art and My Thoughts and Feelings on 2020”. Visit SteinbachArtsCouncil.ca to view the exhibit online from January 13 – April 1.

Will it be Ballgowns and Black Tie or Pajamas and Pumps? You decide! Make it a fun evening with your household and join our party.

John 20:24-28… 24) Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came, 25) So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. 26) A week later his disciples were in the house again and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27) Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe,” 28) Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” (NIV) Doubt comes to us when we reach the limits of our understanding. When we encounter unexpected hardship. There have been times when we prayed for something noteworthy but somehow the opposite became apparent. When a respected Christian suddenly rejects Jesus Christ as Lord of his life. We have done things we thought was right then we suffered for it. When we have worked a lifetime at a job doing the best we knew how, but we find out the best just is not good enough anymore. When we take a course at school that seems to make more sense than the faith, we have been raised in. There are twists and turns during our lifetime that make extraordinarily little sense. Situations or circumstances that precipitate unsettling uncertainties… But should we be afraid of those questions? Run from them? Never! Christians who honestly face the questions raised by their doubts would today be called “thinking Christians”. A question asker, one who finds in every experience something that requires further investigation. Thomas was such a person; he was a thinker. He dared to question, to admit that he also had struggles, he dared to raise his hand and say, “Wait, hold on there just a minute, I just do not understand what you are talking about. You are not making sense. Perhaps we need to think like Thomas for a moment. After Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion his faith spun out of control, touched off by the powerful uncertainties that mocked everything he believed. “There is no kingdom. Jesus a Messiah? He is dead! How could he call himself a Messiah? Was he a fake, we have been had? What a fool I have been. He was not about to say he believed what he did not understand. He had to be sure. Faith and obedience was never an easy thing for Thomas. He was the type of person who had to be sure; he was the type of person who had to count the cost. But once he was sure, and once he had counted the cost, look out! Step aside! He was the type of person who went to the ultimate limit of faith and obedience. A faith like Thomas’ is better than any earthly profession; and obedience like his is better than an easy acceptance which agrees to do a thing without counting the cost, then renege on the commitment. We should live honestly and with an open mind. Oh yes, there will be moments when we doubt, there will be times when we feel that we cannot stay on the straight and narrow. How do we keep growing amid those difficulties? By not placing our salvation in the things we can see and touch. By questioning and probing that which we do not understand, not blindly accepting the popular worldly wisdom which fools most of humanity into thinking that a loving God would never send people to hell. All of us fight our way through doubts to firm up our convictions, we do not want to be counted with those who give up and run. There is nothing wrong when doubts come our way. Remember Thomas, he was slow to be sure, slow to surrender; but once his surrender was made, it was complete. His faith in Christ never wavered. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV). To God Be the Glory Great Things He Has Done. Would you pray this prayer with me? “Lord Jesus, come into my heart. Forgive my sins. I want my life to change. My thoughts and my attitude need to change. I do not have peace in my heart. I really want that peace, joy, and happiness that I long for. Please let the Holy Spirit help me be the kind of Christian that will bring honour to Your Name.” Amen.


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February 2021

Celebrating Over 25 Years of Service to Our Communities!

RCMP FILES If you have any information in regards to any item here you are asked to contact the Steinbach RCMP Detachment at 204326-4452 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or manitobacrimestoppers.com or text “TIPMAN” plus your message to Crimes (274637).

Traffic Unit Seizes Drugs During Traffic Stop

On January 6 at approximately 2:55 pm, RCMP stopped a vehicle on Highway 1, in the RM of Reynolds. A search of the vehicle led to the seizure of approximately eight kilograms of cocaine. The driver and sole occupant, a 44-year-old male from Alberta, was arrested. Llewellyn Ellsworth has been charged with Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking and was remanded into custody. It was determined that the drugs seized were destined for Newfoundland and Labrador. “Eight kilograms of cocaine is a significant seizure anywhere, but in Newfoundland and Labrador this is even more significant given our small population and geography,” said RCMP Sergeant Adam Palmer, Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of Federal Serious and Organized Crime in St. John’s Newfoundland. “We are thankful Manitoba RCMP were able to intercept these drugs before they arrived in our province.”

Trailer Stolen from Hanover Property On January 26 at approximately 11:30 am, Steinbach RCMP received a report that an enclosed trailer was stolen from the 19000 area of Road 30 East in the RM of Hanover. The trailer is a grey and enclosed with Manitoba marker W567W. Along with the trailer, custom power washing equipment was taken, as well as a large battery charger. Two vehicles were seen on the property at 4:30 am, one seemed to be a red Ford F-150 with a chrome trim and the other vehicle was a Ford Windstar. If you have any information in regards to the above matter, you are asked to contact the Steinbach RCMP Detachment at 204-326-4452 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or manitobacrimestoppers.com.

St. Pierre-Jolys RCMP Respond to Armed Bear Spray Robber On January 26 at approximately 2 pm, St. Pierre-Jolys RCMP responded to a report of an armed robbery located at a financial institution on Main Street in the community of Ile des Chenes. Officers were advised that a lone male, carrying bear spray, entered the financial institution where he threatened the staff and demanded money. The suspect was provided a sum of cash where he then fled the scene in what is believed to be a dark-red coloured fourdoor vehicle. The suspect is described as male, approximately 6’0” tall, slim build with blonde hair. He was wearing a high visibility reflective vest, black and yellow coloured ear protection, black jacket and pants, brown boots and a black neck warmer pulled up over his face. A search of the area did not locate the male or vehicle but officers did recover the safety vest, ear protection, neck warmer and bottle of bear spray used at the time of the robbery. These items were found in the ditch near Dumaine Road and Poirier Road, located one kilometre east of Ile des Chenes. RCMP are asking anyone who can identify the suspect or who may have information in regards to this robbery to contact the St. Pierre-Jolys RCMP at 204-433-7433, call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800222-8477, or submit a secure tip online at manitobacrimestoppers.com. St Pierre-Jolys RCMP continues to investigate.

Toothbrush Robber Sought On January 15 Shoppers Drug Mart reported that an unknown male entered the store and stole approximately 14 electronic toothbrushes, a total retail value of roughly $3,000. The suspect departed the store via the self check out. Police are seeking the publics’ assistance in identifying the male. If you have any information in regards to the above you are asked to contact the Steinbach RCMP Detachment at 204-326-4452 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or manitobacrimestoppers.com or text “TIPMAN” plus your message to Crimes (274637).

Dawson Trail Dispatch

Tools Stolen from Trailer On December 27 at 11:10 am, Steinbach RCMP were advised of a theft that took place overnight on December 26. Thieves broke into an enclosed trailer at a construction site off of Harmony Lane stealing multiple tools. If you have any information in regards to the above matter, you are asked to contact the Steinbach RCMP Detachment at 204-326-4452 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or manitobacrimestoppers.com.

RCMP Seek Help on Cold Case Arsons On July 21, 2019 at approximately 7 am, Steinbach RCMP responded to two fires near Mitchell. The first was an old barn on an abandoned lot situated on Road 30 E and the second was a bridge located at Road 30 E and Road 39 N in the RM of Hanover. No suspects have been found responsible and police are asking the public’s assistance in locating those responsible. If you have any information in regards to the above you are asked to contact the Steinbach RCMP Detachment at 204-326-4452 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or manitobacrimestoppers.com or text “TIPMAN” plus your message to Crimes (274637).

Trailer Winch Stolen On December 31, the Steinbach RCMP received a report of a theft from a Hylife barn along PR 302 in the RM of La Broquerie. The theft occurred between December 24 and December 28. A winch that was attached to a trailer parked in the driveway of the Hylife location was removed. The winch was described as a Columbia Winches & Hoists. Manufactured by Allied Power Products Inc. Model # WG3700-1A17-L-02. The Winch is valued at $7,000 and is unique built to fit the specific trailer. If you have any information regarding the above incident or any other information in regards to the above matter, you are asked to contact the Steinbach RCMP Detachment at 204-326-4452 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or manitobacrimestoppers.com.

RCMP Identify Driver of Stolen Vehicle The Steinbach RCMP, with the public’s assistance, have identified the driver who was being sought for questioning in relation to a stolen vehicle investigation. The male in the photograph was seen operating the stolen vehicle at the Shell Gas Station in Falcon Lake but abandoned it once police arrived. According to the RCMP, the investigation is still ongoing.


Dawson Trail Dispatch

Celebrating Over 25 Years of Service to Our Communities!

Woman Assaulted in La Broquerie On January 27 between the hours 7:30 am to 8:20 am a young woman was assaulted outside the La Broquerie Hotel. It was reported to police that, while out for a walk, a Grey Toyota Camry pulled up beside the young woman. The passenger got out of the vehicle and hit the young woman in the head with a beer bottle. The passenger returned to the vehicle and drove off. The passenger described as wearing a black jacket and black toque and grey hiking boots. The driver described as an older male with a grey bread and moustache. If you have any information regarding this assault, police ask that you contact the Steinbach RCMP Detachment at (204) 326-4452 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or www.manitobacrimestoppers.com.

Report Suspicious Vehicles to RCMP The Sprague RCMP Detachment is reminding the public of the importance of reporting suspicious vehicles or activity to the police immediately instead of waiting until another time. Corporal Richard Graham is asking that residents report suspicious vehicles in the area. “All too often, our members are approached by the general public days, or weeks after witnessing a vehicle, or person that they feel is acting in a suspicious manner,” Graham explained. “There is very little we can do that long after the fact.” He suggested that when a resident suspects that someone is in the area that should not be to call the local detachments emergency line so that an on duty officer can be dispatched to the area to check it out. “Leaving a message on our general line mailbox doesn’t really help either,” he added. “You’re not bothering us. It’s our job! If it’s suspicious to you, it’s probably worth a closer look by us.” Graham offered a number of suggestions to residents such as gathering as much information about the vehicle or person as possible. “If you can get a license plate number safely, please do so. If not, provide the RCMP dispatch with the best description of the vehicle, or person you can, including direction of travel,” Graham continued. “In the words of the main character from the hit Netflix show The Mandalorian, ‘This is the way.’” The Sprague RCMP Detachment continues to be closed for walk up service. Graham noted that essential worker can still get criminal record checks completed at the detachment by contacting 204-437-2041 to get further details.

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Wrestling Flashback

St. Pierre-Jolys RCMP Lay Charges in Kleefeld Fraud On February 1, 2019, the St. Pierre-Jolys RCMP were contacted by officials from the RM of Hanover regarding an alleged misappropriation of funds from the Kleefeld Recreation Association (KRA). The officials advised that during the course of a regularly scheduled annual audit, they identified a number of suspicious transactions from within the KRA. This led to a commission of a Forensic Financial Review which, when completed, identified a misappropriation of funds valued at over $100,000. The Forensic Financial Review report identified a number of irregularities dating between 2011 and 2018 where un-supported payments were made for non-KRA related expenses, including credit card payments and payments to retailers. This information was passed on to the St. Pierre-Jolys Detachment for review, and with assistance of RCMP Major Crime Services, conducted a criminal investigation. On January 15, 44-year-old Nicole Rempel, of Kleefeld, who held various titles with the KRA, including President, Secretary and Treasurer, was charged with Fraud Over $5,000 as well as Using a Forged Document. She was served a Summons to appear in St. Pierre-Jolys Provincial court scheduled March 23, 2021. No further investigation is anticipated at this time.

February 2021

Have you ever been on YouTube and saw something that affected you emotionally, maybe even left a lasting impression in your life? I’m sure that most every one of us would say yes. After all, who hasn’t watched a cute kitten video and smiled, who hasn’t watched a few fail videos and cringed at the sight of someone’s body smacking or bending in ways that the human body was not meant to do. From brake-check videos to cute kids saying the funniest things, YouTube has so much entertainment to offer. Recently I was on YouTube, just scrolling about without any plan or viewing preference when I came across a video of the 1992 WWF Royal Rumble. Seriously? I haven’t watched wrestling since I was a very

young man at a friend’s house (his brother was a huge fan and watched it a lot!). To clarify, a Royal Rumble is a wrestling match where two wrestlers enter the ring and begin to wrestle and an additional wrestler will join every two minutes until all thirty competitors have entered. The only way to lose in this type of match is when a wrestler is thrown over the top rope and his feet touch the ground. While the ring does get crowded sometimes, more often than not, people will be tossed out of the ring. Since the video was just over an hour long I figured that I’d just watch a part of it... no way was I going to spend an hour watching something that I don’t really care about. Wouldn’t you know it, my son joined me and we watched the entire match. While I’m sure that my son didn’t get as much out of it as I did, he did seem to be enjoying the theatrics of it all though. After all, what grown man of some 200 pounds of muscle doesn’t stagger back and clutch their chest after getting an open hand slap to their solid pecs? My son and I had many a good chuckle at some of the punches that looked like they’d been hard swung but which we could see were not landing on their opponent’s body...

over and over. The thing about this video that kept me watching, was the joy I received from seeing the wrestlers from my childhood being brought “back to life” and to see them in all their glory. It was awesome to see such wrestlers as Hulk Hogan (my alltime favourite) battling Rick Flair, to see Randy “Macho Man” Savage pummelling Jake “the Snake” Roberts and to see the monstrous form of The Undertaker “choking” whoever found themselves in his path. Watching this Royal Rumble sure made me smile and gave my son a very small glimpse into his Daddy’s past. While I never aspired to become a wrestler, having neither the body nor the mind for it, I did enjoy the show that these athletes put on. While I do see the pulled punches and the exaggerated injuries, I also have seen documentaries about the physical punishments that these athletes are subjected to. There are often times where the punch connects, the kick lands or when the body slams onto the ring’s surface with too much force. That is why, despite the theatrics and the soap-opera like qualities of it, I still call these warriors of the square ring athletes. Until next time, take care and keep your world spinning.


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February 2021

Celebrating Over 25 Years of Service to Our Communities!

Dawson Trail Dispatch

Local Producer Spotlight

Bridgehill Pottery Workshop Brought to you by the Stuartburn Franklin-Emerson Local Food Initiative Each month, we profile a local producer from the area whose products are available for purchase. This month, the profile is on Joanne Graydon from Bridgehill Pottery Workshop in Woodmore. Joanne Graydon and her husband Gord live on the farm overlooking the Jordon creek for the past 28 years. She teaches in Vita and Dominion City, where she shares her love for the arts in her early year’s classroom, and staging and staging musicals with junior and senior high students. Graydon’s passion for pottery started with finding a pottery wheel, kiln, tools, glazes, and books for a price she couldn’t refuse. The wheel was tucked under the basement staircase with an old lamp hanging upside-down lighting the small cozy space. She bought a “how to” book with colored illustrations and began to teach herself how to throw a pot! It wasn’t long before Joanne realized she had found a passion for working with clay and over the next few years, after the wheel came up from the basement, she enjoyed creating new shapes and textures while honing her skills on the wheel and in handbuilding. Eventually she built a workshop attached to her home where there would be more space to house three wheels, a glazing area, drying racks, a kiln and many useful tools. In 2013 Bridgehill Pottery Workshop opened its doors to the public. For the next six years, many talented, curious people came to the shop to learn about making pottery. Joanne’s insatiable thirst for learning was shared with the people in the shop as ideas, techniques and experiments heightened her passion for collaboration. It was a journey she never expected and will never forget. While Joanne’s pottery business grew so did her awareness of other local artists. She decided to bring them together in the workshop for Harvest the Arts Artisans Craft sale. With help from her family, the workshop was transformed into a cozy space with artisans selling their unique crafts. Hundreds of neighbors and friends drove out to the farm early in November to meet our local crafters and do their Christmas shopping. Joanne’s inspiration comes from many sources. While she loves the satisfaction of production pottery, she also explores sculpting whimsical characters, building humorous scenes and more recently added a new and colorful glazing technique. The possibilities are endless working with clay and Joanne sees herself continuing to learn, grow and master skills to create pottery for many years to come. To get in touch with Joanne for a tour, a lesson or to do some shopping, call 204-4272967 or email to jograydon@gmail.com.

After receiving a gift of pottery, Joanne Graydon creative curiosity started a long journey exploring the joy of working with clay. Submitted photo

Local Author Releases Children’s Book By Marianne Curtis First time author, Andrea Thiessen is excited about the recent release of her new children’s book Little Kite and the Big Wind. At a young age, Thiessen knew she wanted to be an author. Growing up in Steinbach, the love of books and writing was cultivated at an early age with a love to search out local authors in the library, and creating a physical book while still in school. “Seeing my stories come to life became my dream,” Thiessen said. The dream lay dormant for many years; the opportunity presented itself in an unusual way. While serving in her local church with the children’s program, she often adapted material to use in the children’s feature on Sunday mornings. She has written many puppet skits and has three fulllength Christmas programs to her credit. “Breaking into the book market seemed daunting as most publishers were looking for writers with previous publishing experience,” Thiessen recalled. She decided to self-publish which allowed her complete control over the entire creative process while receiving helpful advice and the support of qualified staff along the way. Little Kite and the Big Wind recounts the tale of a little red kite who finds himself grounded on a windless day. Longing to fly with his kite friends, he sets off in search of the wind, where along the way he meets a wise oak tree, a lazy hound dog and a blue shirt who all share their own experiences with the wind. Through the eyes of a little kite we learn a heartwarming lesson in child-like faith.

Arnaud author Andrea Thiessen shows off her new book Little Kite and the Big Wind. Submitted photo

“The illustrations started out as an experiment to bring about a vision I had for the story,” Thiessen explained. “It involved countless hours of creating templates which would be layered to bring life and depth to her storybook characters on 12x12 sheets of card stock.” Little Kite and the Big Wind can be enjoyed by all ages, including adults, but is best suited for children 5 – 11 years old. It is currently available at Mennonite Heritage Village and Ten Thousand Villages in Steinbach, but can also be purchased by contacting Andrea directly by email at thimar@mts.net.

Profile for The Dawson Trail Dispatch

Dawson Trail Dispatch February 2021  

Southeast Manitoba news and features.

Dawson Trail Dispatch February 2021  

Southeast Manitoba news and features.

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