Dawson Trail Dispatch December 2013

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Christmas Spirit Kicks Off in Niverville The glow of joy and sparkle of anticipation was clearly visible in youngster’s eyes as the community of Niverville gathered on November 29 to light the town’s Christmas Tree. The town’s Main Street was closed for a block as residents gathered to enjoy a candlelit evening of carolling and celebration. The highlight of the night was the lighting of the community’s tree in memory of those who are no longer around to celebrate. Cara Dowse, Niverville Chamber of Commerce President, estimates that about 400 people attended the event, three times as many as last year. “It was amazing. We had more of a crowd than we had last year,” stated Dowse. “We are going to stick to a formula of having the tree lighting on the last Friday of the month. If we stick to that we will get more people every year.” The evening included Christmas carols lead by students from the Niverville Elementary School, who were joined by over a hundred residents gathered on the street to enjoy hot chocolate, sleigh rides and candy canes. Attendees also helped fill the bin by bringing nonperishable items for the Helping Hands hamper collection bins.

Operation Red Nose Ready to Roll By Marianne Curtis For the first time since the program’s inception, Operation Red Nose will be available to people in the Steinbach and La Broquerie areas. Whether you have celebrated too hard or not fit to drive due to fatigue or medication, volunteers will be available to provide drivers with a safe drive home. The program has been organized and will be operated by the Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) from Ecole StJoachim in La Broquerie as a school fundraiser, along with partners from the community including the City of Steinbach, the RM of La Broquerie and the Steinbach RCMP. Photo by Marianne Curtis

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Operation Red Nose continued... Continued from page 1 Operation Red Nose is a free program that brings drivers home after a night out, along with their vehicles. The service is not exclusive to motorists who have been drinking. It is also available for those who do not feel fit to drive because of fatigue or medication. “The City is concerned about the safety of our residents,” stated Keri Penner, on behalf of the City of Steinbach. “We are very pleased to be a part of Operation Red Nose. Safety means we will all enjoy a wonderful Christmas together.” RM of La Broquerie Reeve, Claude Lussier, is confident that once the word spreads, the program will be well utilized this season and for many years to come. “It’s about time we had Operation Red Nose here and I am glad that people are interested and supporting the program,” Lussier added. The RM of La Broquerie is contributing financially to the program now and for the foreseeable future. “I will admit that when I was living in Montreal many years ago I used Operation Red Nose once personally and it was a lifesaver, so I am behind the program 100 percent.” Ecole St-Joachim PAC Spokesperson, Mariette Kirouac, is thrilled with the support the inaugural launch has received. “We want people to take advantage of this program. It’s free. You wake up in your own bed and your car is in your driveway. How can you top that?” Kirouac said. “This is not a taxi service. We only respond to calls where a driver needs to get themselves and their vehicle home.” Volunteers are still required to act as drivers, accompany drivers, answer phones or work at the dispatch center. On top of reimbursing their fuel, volunteers waiting for calls at the dispatch centre at École St-Joachim will be treated with prizes, snacks and food, Kirouac added. The La Broquerie and Steinbach area Operation Red Nose will be in operation between 9 pm and 3 am on the weekends of November 29-30; December 6-7, 13-14, 20-21 and New Years Eve. It will not be available on December 24 and 25. Call 204- 424-9555 for a ride. Donations received from those using the service will go towards the installation of an electronic billboard outside of Ecole StJoachim. Operation Red Nose was first organized in Quebec in 1984 and came to Winnipeg in 1995. Last year, 3,700 rides were given in 11 communities throughout the province.

(l-r) Member of the Steinbach Pistons, Francois Grenier; Ecole St-Joachim PAC President, Corny Rempel; 97.6 FM; Mariette Kirouac, PAC spokesperson and Officer Sendall, Steinbach RCMP are all thrilled to support the first Operation Red Nose in the southeast region. Photo by Marianne Curtis

Operation Red Nose Boasts Successful Start The Steinbach and La Broquerie Operation Red Nose reports that on their first weekend of operation (November 29 and 30) they provided 18 free rides to clients. According to Mariette Kirouac, a dozen volunteers per night helped make the weekend a huge success. “People in the Steinbach and La Broquerie region called and were picked up from the bars, home parties and lounges, to be taken safely to their next destination,” stated Kirouac. “In some cases, the destination was home, or the next party and we were more than happy to oblige.” Most of the clients were picked up from Steinbach and La Broquerie and driven to Mitchell, Ste. Anne, La Coulee and Marchand.

Old Highway 12 Closed The RM of Ste. Anne has made the decision for temporary closure of the old Hwy 12, north of the fire hall. According to council, it has been determined that the old Hwy 12 between the Town of Ste. Anne and Caledonia Road is in a condition that poses a potential threat to the safety of those who travel on it. “It would cost a lot of tax dollars to bring this road back up to safety standards,” confirmed Reeve Art Bergmann. Over the winter, the RM of Ste. Anne will determine if the closure will become permanent or if they should repair it next year. In the meantime, barricades have been installed.

Province Proposes Stiffer Construction Zone Penalties By Marianne Curtis The province is moving forward with new legislation, which is expected to protect workers in highway construction zones. Once approved the amendments would double the speeding fines for drivers who speed through construction zones. The proposal also allows for clear signage indicating when reduced limits are in effect, what they are and when they end. “When you enter a construction zone you are entering someone’s workplace. We want to ensure the safety and protection of construction workers,” said Labour and Immigration Minister Erna Braun. “In addition to this important legislation, Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health will be stepping up enforcement measures to ensure that worker safety standards are maintained at the highest level during construction.” Other amendments establish strong requirements for traffic safety management in construction zones and require the use of specified traffic control devices such as barriers, rumble strips and speed readers as appropriate in construction zones. “With these changes drivers, workers and employers will know what’s expected of them to ensure everyone is safe and does the right thing,” said Kevin Rebeck, President, Manitoba Federation of Labour. The changes came after a Lorette man; Mitchell Blostein was acquitted in the accidental death of 21-year-old Brittany Murray in October 2010. During a brief trial, Blostein testified that he did not reduce his speed through a 60 km, posted construction zone because he did not see any workers. He also claimed that he did not see Murray until she stepped in front of his car. The judge acquitted Blostein partially based on witness testimony that placed part of the responsibility on the flagger and her employer. The victim was still wearing ear buds and an IPOD was found nearby when rescue personnel arrived.


New Bothwell Family Brings Cheer to Children’s Hospital Jorgina (9), Cianna (6) and Cyrus (2) Friesen from New Bothwell are collecting toys for children forced to spend their Christmas in the hospital in memory of their brother Cash, who passed away in March from a brain tumor.

By Marianne Curtis The Christmas season is upon us and families are focusing on making the holidays wonderful for their families and those who are less fortunate. While many individuals focus on hamper toy drives, one family is bringing another cause to the forefront by making the holidays more cheerful for children forced to spend their Christmas in hospitals. Nine months ago, a brain tumor claimed the life of 2-year-old Cash Friesen from New Bothwell. In his memory, Jen and Clif Friesen and their three surviving children have been trying to find a way to give back in their toddler’s memory to those who helped them during their time of need. Over the past few weeks, the Friesen’s have been collecting a variety of toys and games to donate to the Children’s Hospital, specifically to the CK5, which is the Cancer Treatment Ward. Response has been so strong that toys will be distributed throughout the Children’s Hospital, not just to CK5. “This came about from me wanting to do this together as a family in memory of our son and brother Cash,” explained Jen. “Our girls, of course, were on it right away. Jorgina said she wanted to buy gifts with her own money and so we went shopping! It then spread to family and friends and eventually people from all over. I have messages coming in everyday; some gifts are coming in from as far as Toronto!” Jen explained that while they were blessed to have their son home last year for his last Christmas, there are many other children who are not so lucky. “Cash was well enough and taking chemo like a trooper so that we were able to spend the holidays at home with

family,” Jen recalled. “I know of some families who have spent more than five months and other families for other medical reasons who were there over a year! Hospital, no matter which ward, is not easy.” According to Jen, some kids are in isolation rooms where they cannot leave the room at all because of sickness and they are taking certain treatments that they cannot be exposed to anything. “It’s not easy to be there, you hope for a room with a view! What these kids go through day to day is unimaginable yet they do it with temporary tears but come out smiling,” Jen continued. “Sadly some of these kids are enduring surgeries and rounds of chemo well before they even start walking. It’s the sad reality that most who haven’t experienced it just don’t realize.” Jorgina and Cianna know a little of hospital life because of Cash but Cianna experienced it first hand in May when she was admitted into Children’s Hospital for a 3-day stay. She was the

recipient of little gifts for being brave through needles, just as Cash was the recipient of many as well. These small gifts help take away the fear and pain of what they are going through. “This is just a small way for us to give back all that we have received throughout our own journey,” Jen noted. “It is our duty to give and my kids do it because they want to, not because I make them! Cianna for her 6th birthday party collected gifts for the hospital rather than receive her own gifts. They have wonderfully loving big hearts and as we do this, it helps us heal.” All gifts donated to the hospital, whether for Christmas or anytime of the year, help these kids as they go through treatments, ease them through needles or just to take some of the sadness away. Anyone wishing to help can contact Jen at 204-388-6664, email jj.freezeninc@gmail.com, or go to the Prayers for Cash facebook page.


Soldiers Deserve Better Three Afghanistan veterans committed suicide this week. They have joined in their despair, 25 suicides in 2011- 2012. This has become an epidemic. A national disgrace. PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or TBI Traumatic Brain Injury is way too real and the armed forces culture of machismo and cover-ups is exacerbating the problem. We must remember that in the last decade we have evolved as a nation from peace keeping to peace making, the cold war has long become a memory. Now the enemy is diabolical and has no nationality. Fanatical religiosity has no recognizable rules or boundaries, except perhaps glorifying their own death, so for those who would wish we went back to peace keeping, forget it, this train has left the station. We have to create peace first. For those amongst us who preach pacifism look at the holocaust and all the other genocides, nothing was rectified by turning the other cheek. Throughout history, principals and dignity have been bought and retained by humans paying the ultimate price. We Canadians have not shirked our duty. For those who argue that PTSD is new phenomena and perhaps it is a problem for today’s soldier, guess again. In WW1, this was called “shell shocked”. In WW11, it was called “combat fatigue”. Every war produces PTSD no matter what it is called and war in all cases produces PTSD in the civilians caught in combat zones. We can be thankful that within our Canadian borders this has not turned into an insurmountable problem even though every day it is reflected on our thin and sparse camouflage line of brave volunteers that hold the devil at bay. First, we must recognize not only the problem but also the severity of this problem. There must be understanding that PTSD may strike years after repatriation. Secondly, the reintegration of a soldier and their family may take the whole community. Thirdly, the DND budget must reflect this on going cost since the trauma was acquired in the military, and the military is the owner of the problem. The Canadian Government has to realize that the necessary criteria have changed from peacekeeping problems to peace making problems. The complexities of these are immense. We as a nation must be thankful that we are well served by a volunteer army and reserves, our gratitude must be accompanied by time, effort and budget. Anything short of success will be a disgrace. Have a wonderful Christmas and peaceful New Year.

NDP is Spending Manitobans’ Trust Like it is Nothing Trust is something that is key to a successful democracy. Each election, voters go to the polls and vote for someone that they can trust. Politicians make promises in election campaigns. These promises form a bond between the voter and the person on the ballot. People are only as good as their word, in business, in politics, in everyday life, and trust is key to forming relationships that will last for a long time. Trust is letting the people of this province exercise their democratic rights. The PST increase required a referendum from the people of this province. Rather than hear from Manitobans, they decided to go ahead and eliminate the Balanced Budget and Taxpayer Protection Act, which protects Manitobans from major tax increases. The NDP broke the law and now they want to eliminate it all together. This would put you at risk of further tax increases, something the NDP has not ruled out. Trust is working with Manitobans to build the province. The NDP has promised that they are going to spend the 14 percent PST increase on infrastructure, but in the last five years, alone they have cut their infrastructure budget every year. The Throne Speech they introduced two weeks ago read more like a Christmas wish list than a plan to build the province. It is becoming clear that the NDP just doesn’t have a plan for Manitoba, and that’s a dangerous way to govern. Trust is something that a government needs to work to earn. During the last election campaign, the NDP went door to door and promised they would not raise taxes, calling that very idea “nonsense”. They made a lot of big promises, they worked to gain your trust, and then they broke it. They raised your taxes after they said they wouldn’t. They told municipalities that they had to amalgamate with no exceptions. They closed 19 emergency rooms. That’s not earning your trust. That’s breaking it. You face a choice each and every time you go to the ballot box. You can vote for a party that believes this province can be stronger. You can vote for a party that believes that illegal tax

increases are not what Manitobans deserve. You can vote for a party that will work to earn your trust each and every day. You have a choice. It’s time for a change. I look forward to hearing from you with any questions or concerns you may have. I can be reached at my constituency office at 204-424-5406, my legislative office at 204-945-4339, or at dennis.smook@leg.gov.mb.ca.

Food Banks on Increase with NDP Dear Editor: Children and youth are the future of this province, and all levels of government have the duty to recognize that the future leaders of this province need to be treated with respect. In the case of the NDP, however, respect is a word that falls by the wayside. Since 2008, the usage of food banks in this province has gone up by nearly 50 percent, the greatest usage increase of any province in Canada. This year, 44.7 percent of the more than 60,000 food bank users in Manitoba are children. At the same time, the government increased taxes that affect the most vulnerable Manitobans even greater. This is a government that created a department specifically for children and youth, giving it a budget of $48 million. The Minister seems to spend the majority of his time attending media events, while children lose hope and go hungry. Issues like poverty and child hunger need real solutions, not band-aids and ribbon cuttings. Our party has called for the EIA rental allowance to be raised to 75 percent of the median market rates, and we will do that within the first year of taking office. We will also lower the PST to seven percent in our first term, rolling back the NDP’s unnecessary tax increase and its negative impacts on hardworking Manitoba families. Steps like these are important to Manitobans and are important to making sure youth are given the opportunity to succeed. Sincerely, Dennis Smook PC Critic for Children and Youth Opportunities La Verendrye MLA

Serving the communities along the historic Dawson Trail and beyond.

The Dawson Trail Dispatch is a monthly newspaper distributed free of charge to 50 Southeastern Manitoba communities. Published by: One One Consultants Inc. Box 308, Richer, MB R0E 1S0 Phone: (204) 422-8548 Fax: (204) 422-9768 Dan Guetre, Managing Editor One One Consultants Inc., Publisher News Writers: Marianne Curtis and Dan Guetre Columnists: Lee Guetre, Peter Friesen, Anni Markmann, Peter Martens, Raylene Snow, Dave Millar Production/Design: Dan Guetre, Myriam Dyck, Monica Guetre and Wilma Priebe Advertising: Karen Jorgenson and Dan Guetre

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AMM Supports Steinbach Mayor’s Resolution A resolution presented by Steinbach Mayor, Chris Goertzen, has gained the support of the Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM) during their annual convention at the end of November. The resolution calls for the province to change the legislation, which currently forces civic politicians to resign from their positions upon being nominated for provincial office. Goertzen’s resolution requested that the AMM lobby the province to allow civic politicians to take a leave of absence while campaigning for office instead of resigning. “Most provinces only require civic politicians to resign when they are actually elected to office,” stated Goertzen. “This requires municipalities to hold additional by-elections, which is unfair to taxpayers.” “If you look at many instances, we have less and less people running for political office, let’s make it easier and more accessible for all,” Goertzen told the AMM delegates. While Goertzen made some valid points, not everyone agreed. RM of Armstrong Reeve, Garry Wasylowski, was against the resolution. “If someone in municipal politics wants to move into another position they should resign and not sit on the fence,” Wasylowski stated. The resolution was narrowly approved with only 56 percent of the votes in support. The last time a councillor stepped down from his position from municipal council to run in a provincial election within our region was in 2007. RM of Ritchot Mayor, Bob Stefaniuk, was forced to leave his post as Mayor after successfully winning the Tory nomination for La Verendrye. After he failed to gain the provincial seat, he returned to council by acclamation after a by-election was called.


Province Passes Motion to Abolish Senate By Marianne Curtis The Province of Manitoba has put forward a motion urging that the federal government begin consultations with all the provinces with the aim of abolishing the senate. Attorney General Andrew Swan introduced the motion in the provincial legislature. “In this province, we abolished the upper house in 1876,” said Minister Swan. “We’re calling on the Government of Canada to start negotiations with the provinces. It is time to get started on abolishing the Canadian Senate.” Manitoba’s position includes the results of public hearings, which took place in 2009 that heard overwhelming support from Manitobans for outright abolishment or reform, Swan added. The motion reaffirms the province’s position, further stating that today’s Senate too often serves partisan objectives rather than public interest and that any confidence Manitobans had in the upper house has been shaken due to the events of the past year. However, Steinbach MLA Kelvin Goertzen said that, while the Conservatives support senate reform, the motion is premature. “The federal government has referred this issue to the Supreme Court to find out what the rules are around Senate reform,” stated Goertzen. “It’s not as easy as walking into a room and saying we are going to abolish the senate.” He added that there are constitutional issues involved that could present challenges. “You have to know what the rules are,” Goertzen explained. “You cannot just go and open up the constitution.” One of the questions being investigated is whether the federal government can abolish the senate on its own or if 50 percent of the population in at least seven provinces needs to be in support. “Once the rules are clear Manitoba can discuss its position further,” Goertzen said. He further suggested that the motion is a means to distract from the fact that the NDP government is less than popular at the moment after increasing the PST and because of the ballooning debt. “They will do anything to stop Manitoban’s from thinking about that.” Goertzen added that personally, he has changed his position from senate reformation to abolishment. “Abolishment is a more likely alternative and perhaps the better alternative,” Goertzen concluded. In August of this year, Manitoba made a submission, known as a factum, which addressed the constitutional questions posed by the federal government to the Supreme Court of Canada. The province’s position was that Parliament does not have the constitutional authority to enact significant unilateral changes to the structure of the Senate or to the selection of its members.

Village Launches New Website In an effort to become more accessible to the public, the Village of St. Pierre-Jolys recently launched a new website. According to council, the new website makes it easier to communicate with residents and those who want to live in the community. “The information is related to council and public works,” council explained. “We will still be relying on the main website for other information.” Until this change, the Village posted their information on a website managed by the St. Pierre-Jolys Chamber of Commerce. The new website can be found at villagestpierrejolys.ca.


Progressive Conservatives Look to Youth Engagement By Marianne Curtis

Pat Porter Active Living Centre offers programs, activities, services and volunteer opportunities, striving to promote healthy and active living for older adults of the southeast region. We invite you to come and pay us a visit and consider participating in some of our programs. For more information drop by the Centre, Monday to Friday 9 am - 4 pm, call 204-320-4600 or online patporteralc.com. Membership is only $25 per year due by January 15 of each year for those 55 years of age and older. The fee after January 15 is $30. Join early and avoid the $5 late fee! Benefits include reduced program rates, a voice in business meetings, voting rights, and eligibility to serve on the board or committees. The centre is CLOSED on Wednesday, December 25, Thursday December 26 and Wednesday, January 1 for the holidays. Up and Coming Events and Monthly Programs: Annual Christmas Luncheon: On Friday, December 20 at Noon. Cost $5.50. Reservation required. Christmas Banquet: On Thursday, December 12 at 6 pm. A traditional catered Christmas meal will be served. Special guest gospel singer, Jodi Faith will be performing for us. Cost is $15 for members and $18 for non-members. Contact the centre for more information and for ticket pick up at 204-320-4600. Movie Screening: Light in the Darkness on Wednesday December 4 at 5:30 pm and Friday, December 6 at 4 pm. Mall Walking: Christmas Breakfast on Monday, December 16 at 8 am. Annual Fundraising Banquet: Mark your calendars. On Thursday, January 23, 2014, we are having our annual event. Cost $40 and includes a $25 tax receipt per ticket. Raffle tickets are available at 4 for $5 and 10 for $10. Many fantastic prizes to win. Come to the Centre for your tickets! Bingo: We will be hosting BINGO night on Tuesday, December 10. Doors open at 6:30 pm and games start at 7 pm. Contact centre for more information at 204-320-4600. Fitness Class: Low impact aerobics and strengthening fitness classes with instructor Shanley on Monday’s and Friday’s from 9:30 -10:30 am. P.A.C.E. Program: We are happy to announce that we will be offering the P.A.C.E. fitness program with our Urban Poling class on Thursday mornings. The program is a half hour of P.A.C.E. and a half hour of poling. Classes start at 9:30 am. Contact 204-320-4600. December Birthday Celebrations: Wednesday, December 4 at 2 pm. Celebrate with us! Bring your friends! Guests pay $2 for coffee and cake. Computer Classes: Now be offering computer classes every Wednesday. Classes are 1 hour long at 9, 10 and 11 am. Contact 204320-4600 for an appointment. Computer Lab: Need help with your computer skills? Labs are 1 hour long and available every Wednesday morning from 9 am - noon. Contact 204-320-4600. Foot Care: On the first Tuesday and Wednesday and third Tuesday of the month from 9 am - 2 pm. Run by a professional foot care nurse. Cost $30. Bring your own towel. Contact the centre to book an appointment. Beltone Hearing: On the third Friday of each month. Contact 1-800661-2653 for appointment. Wood Carving: Try your hand at our wood carving. The group meets every Monday evening at 6 pm (excluding the summer months). The cost is $ 1 for the evening. Please bring your own supplies. Book Club: We would like to start a book club at the centre. Anyone who is interested, please call and let us know what time or day you would prefer to meet. Weekly Programs: Monday 9:30 - 10:30 am Low impact fitness class with instructor 12 - 4:30 pm Drop-in Pool 1 - 4:30 pm Model Trains 1 pm Canasta 6 pm Wood Carving 7 pm Tai Chi Tuesday 9:30 am - 3 pm Circle of Friends 12 - 4:30 pm Drop in Pool Wednesday 8:30 - 9:30 am P.A.C.E. Program and Urban Poling 12 - 4:30 pm Drop in Pool 1 - 4 pm Cribbage 1:30 pm Floor curling 7 pm Old Time Country Band Practice Thursday 9:30 - 10:30 am P.A.C.E. Program and Urban Poling 12 - 4:30 pm Drop in Pool 1 - 4 pm Whist Friday 9:30 - 10:30 am Low impact fitness class with instructor 9:30 am - 3 pm Circle of Friends 12 - 4:30 pm Drop in Pool Noon meals are available Monday through Friday. Cost $5.50. Contact 204-320-4605 by 9 am to reserve your meal for that day. Purchase your meal ticket at the receptionist desk before noon. Monthly menus available at the office or in the newsletter. Bring a friend. Volunteer Opportunities include perogy making, decorating and setting tables, birthday party hosts, food preparation and serving, clean up, greeters, receptionists.

At the Progressive Conservative Party’s annual general meeting last month, Candace Maxymowich from Vita was elected as the Youth Representative for the party. Maxymowich’s goal is to rally young people to come forward and get more involved in politics. Maxymowich is no stranger to provincial politics. She currently serves as an intern with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. This past summer Maxymowich worked as a member of Brian Pallister’s team on the Progressive Conservative Party’s Blue Crew. On November 8, she spoke during a Youth Engagement event at the Manitoba Legislature. “Like everyone else, young people want to do things that matter and there’s really no substitute for hands-on experience. At the federal level, the Conservative Party has an internship program that runs every summer. I think we should consider doing something similar,” Maxymowich said. “I think we should consider maybe an internship program during the summer or during an election, where young members would be integrated into the party’s activities, participating in fundraisers, rallies, literature drops, phone banks and so much more. We need more young people involved in our party in order to win the next election.” Maxymowich stressed that there is a need to come up with ways to encourage young people to become involved in provincial politics in some way. “There is a need to develop activities that seek to educate young

people about what the Progressive Conservative Party stands for and what our values really are,” Maxymowich added. “But there is also a need to develop activities that engage our current youth members.” However, she admits to the difficulty of engaging younger members. “Constituency association meetings aren’t the most exciting thing and attending party events and volunteering in campaigns can be very intimidating, especially when you don’t know anyone,” Maxymowich noted. “Many of our young members are high school or university students who many not be able to afford to attend an AGM or party events due to finances. We need to make it so that our young members are able to attend these events.” Maxymowich is determined to put together more events that will encourage young members to connect with each other and with the many provincial MLA’s. “Young people are the future of

Candace Maxymowich, from Vita, has been named the new Progressive Conservative Youth Representative for Manitoba.

our party and the future of our province and it is vitally important that we work to create opportunities for our young members to become more involved. Young people possess qualities fraught with limitless possibilities and bring with them the winds of change with an enormous and irrepressible vitality.” The position of Progressive Conservative Youth Representative had been vacant since December 2012.

Seine River Reviews Mission Statement The Seine River School Division is looking over its mission statement and has requested that residents provide their input into the process. According to the Board Chairperson Wendy Bloomfield, the Seine River School Division recently concluded three public meetings where the board discussed its goals and objectives. “We want our goals and objectives to remain relevant, especially in the area of technology,” stated Bloomfield. “There are all sorts of different technologies and media, and we want to know if we need to be using it more.” It has been a decade since the Seine River School Division last reviewed its mission statement. People can provide their input into the process by going to the division’s website srsd.mb.ca to complete the questionnaire.



Southern Health Holds First Annual Public Meeting

First Regional Chamber of Commerce Established

Interim Secretary, Roger Perron and interim President, Derek Roth invite all business owners and other interested parties to join the newly formed Ritchot Regional Chamber of Commerce, which is a first in Manitoba. Photo by Marianne Curtis

By Marianne Curtis

By Marianne Curtis

reflects its core values of compassion, integrity, excellence Approximately 120 people and respect. attended the first annual public “We asked a lot from our staff meeting since the Central and and they responded remarkably,” South Eastman Health regions said McPhail. “Despite the initial merged. Amalgamation was the uncertainties, they willingly topic of the meeting, which took embraced change and adopted a place in Sanford. ‘can do’ mindset. Their resilience Southern Health Board and dedication has been Chairperson Denise Harder spoke absolutely commendable.” about the actions taken following McPhail said the board is the merger to bring together two committed to meeting with separate entities and establish the communities across the region to values, vision and mission that ensure that feedback and ideas are guides the new organization. received for the ongoing strategic “There has been a lot of hard planning process. work done and a lot of progress “Although much has been made since Southern Health-Santé achieved in the first year, the task Sud officially came into being in is far from completed. There will May 2012,” said Harder at the continue to be ongoing merger public meeting. activities over the next few years,” CEO Kathy McPhail emphasized said McPhail. “Southern Healththe commitment and dedication of Santé Sud will continue to develop the real “heroes in our story,” the and strengthen relationships and 5,600 employees, physicians and partnerships within the region to volunteers who have transitioned help achieve its vision of to a new Southern Health–Santé ‘Together leading the way for a Sud without missing a beat in healthier tomorrow.’” terms of delivering health care that In presenting the 2012-2013

The Founding Board of Directors of Southern Health-Santé Sud (back row, left-right): Jean Balcaen (Richer),Donna Harasymec (Morden), Cheryl McKitrick (Crystal City), Roy Enns (Steinbach), Leo Van Den Bussche (St. Adolphe), Paul Cenerini (Notre Dame de Lourdes), Ron Tardiff (Lorette), Don Kuhl (Winkler); (front row, left-right) Line Leclerc (La Broquerie), Armande LeClair (Letellier), Guy Levesque, Vice-Chair (Ste. Anne), Denise Harder, Chair (Portage la Prairie), Susan Hart-Kulbaba (Buffalo Point), Guy Gagnon (Ste. Agathe) and Kathy McPhail, Chief Executive Officer. Missing from photo: Daren Van Den Bussche (Portage la Prairie).

budget alongside Guy Levesque, Vice Chair, Board of Directors, Ken Klassen, Vice President of Finance & Capital, praised the financial team that had the arduous task of bringing together two separate budgets, accounting and payroll systems. Merging two large health organizations into one has involved every aspect of operations from communication and finance to emergency medical services and human resources.

Ste. Agathe and St. Adolphe have all had organized groups but they eventually folded for various Businesses within the RM of reasons. Ritchot are being encouraged to “This is why we decided to form join the first regional Chamber of a regional chamber, it’s hard to go Commerce to form within the it alone based on the size of some province. Over the past few of these communities,” Perron months a group of likeminded added. “With the regional chamber business owners have gathered businesses from everyone, together to form this unique including the communities of organization to better showcase Grande Pointe, Glenlea, Ile des the vast variety of products and services available throughout the Chênes, Howden, Ste. Agathe and St. Adolphe will be represented.” municipality. Interim Chamber President Derek Interim Secretary and outgoing Roth, owner of Adventure Power Community Development Corporation representative, Roger Products in Ile des Chênes, said joining the chamber makes sense. Perron, said the Chamber was “There is strength in knowledge formed after the CDC preformed a and each community has different gap analysis earlier this year that needs and strengths. It is hard for included interviewing 47 local one business to achieve business owners. something but with multiple “The CDC also conducted breakfast meetings throughout the visions coming together things can happen,” Roth explained. “The municipality and we had 70 businesses attend,” stated Perron. Chamber will enable us to put names and faces of businesses “Businesses in every community together; joining a Chamber is the feel that joining would benefit best investment that a business them because it provides them can make.” with a united voice.” Based on a CDC published This is not the first time that a Chamber of Commerce has formed business directory, there are over 230 various businesses and within the RM of Ritchot. The services available within the communities of Ile des Chênes, municipality. Perron hopes to see many of these business owners at their first general meeting. The first Annual General meeting for the Ritchot Regional Chamber of Commerce is on Tuesday, December 10 at 7:30 pm in the TransCanada Centre, in Ile des Chênes. Chuck Davidson, President of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, will be the guest speaker. Those in attendance will also be able to put their names forward or vote for the first Board of Directors. Anyone with a business, corporation or firm can sign up as a member of the Ritchot Chamber of Commerce. Individuals, nonprofit organizations and Friends of the Chamber are two other categories of membership that non-businesses can join. The Ritchot Regional Chamber of Commerce will be the 64th Chamber to form in the province. There are only six other chambers in the region, including Steinbach, Niverville, St. Pierre-Jolys, St. Malo, Grunthal and Landmark.


New Provencher MP Heads to Ottawa By Marianne Curtis It has been an exciting few days for newly elected Provencher MP Ted Falk. The day after capturing the support of 60 percent of the vote, Falk flew to Ottawa to meet with Prime Minister Harper to get a feel for what it is like to be at the centre of federal politics. A newcomer to politics, Falk captured the overwhelming support in Provencher despite a few controversial moments in the days preceding the November 25 the by-election. When all the ballots were counted the Conservative candidate walked away with 60 percent of the 22,413 votes cast. Falk admits that initially he was overwhelmed as the numbers rolled in but after a visit to Ottawa, it is starting to sink in that he is now a member of the Harper team, steering Canada’s social economic and political direction. “While I was confident on election night that we had done everything possible to win, there is nothing that can completely prepare you for the moment when the results officially come in,” recalled Falk. “It is quite overwhelming and humbling.” While Falk admits that while he enjoyed a few days getting familiar with Ottawa in the days following his election, he is not in the position to speculate if he will be given a role in government beyond his duties as MP. “I look forward to representing the people of Provencher and any additional duties that the Prime Minister may have for me,” Falk admitted. “I won’t speculate on what those duties may be.” Falk goes to Ottawa with a wealth of information that could see him at the head of a portfolio or two. At home, he is the owner of Diamond The day after capturing the Conservative vote, newly elected Provencher MP Ted Falk met with Prime Minister Harper in Ottawa. Construction and Gravel, which employs more than 75 people. For the last 16 years, he has also served as President and Board Chair of the Steinbach Credit Union, the largest credit union in Manitoba with more than $4 billion in assets. When it comes to contending with issues where constituents’ values and party’s values on topics such as abortion and same sex marriage may By Marianne Curtis differ, Falk said that his Christian faith would guide him. With recent senate scandals in the forefront of everyone’s mind Falk The Provencher by-election is over, but voters sent a strong message to Ottawa said Liberal contender noted that one thing he hopes to see is “an elected senate, or at the very Terry Hayward. least a reformed one,” while he is in office. At the November 25 by-election, the Conservatives may have earned the seat with sixty percent of the On the more controversial side, Falk declined any further comment on vote, but Liberal candidate Terry Hayward feels encouraged despite his loss. After capturing 30 percent of pre-election issues, including offering an apology to a young high school the vote, Hayward said that Provencher residents have sent a strong message to Ottawa. student Evan Wiens after he suggested the teenager staged being called “Although I was not victorious I feel we succeeded in sending a message to the Conservative homophobic slurs while conducting media interviews. Previously he told Government,” stated Hayward. “I am proud that we have substantially increased our vote total since the media “it could have been staged”, which caused outrage across the 2011 general election.” province. Prior to the passing of Bill 18, the anti-bullying bill, Wiens told He added that while the election result may have not been what he had hoped for, his party will “continue media he was being bullied for wanting to start a Gay-Straight Alliance at to work hard and engage Canadians striving for a better Canada.” a Steinbach school and while he was on television several adults and “The voters of Provencher sent a message of disapproval for the actions of the current Government, as teenagers could be heard on camera calling him derogatory names. is evident by the clear shift in the voting results from the last election,” Hayward continued. “The message is clear and simple. Canadians want a strong alternative to the Harper Government and they have faith that Justin Trudeau, his team and the Liberal Party is the best party to govern.” Hayward added that while it is too early to speculate with certainty that he will put his name forward for the next Federal election in 2015, it is not impossible. In the last federal election in 2011, the Liberals lost capturing only 7 percent of the vote. Previously, in 2008, the Liberals claimed 12.5 percent of the votes and in 2006, they captured 15.8 percent of the vote.

Liberals Gain Ground in Provencher

Pre-Christmas Art Show Takes Place

This year, while visiting Santa at the Mall in Clearspring Centre during the weekend of November 29 and 30, shoppers had a wonderful and unique opportunity to wander through a wonderland of art. Southeast Artists Group displayed handcrafted creations from traditional to contemporary to abstract. Shoppers could also watch local artists demonstrate painting techniques and see masterpieces unfold before their eyes. The Artists Group is made up of local artists representing Steinbach, Lorette, Ste. Anne, New Bothwell, Vita, Dufresne, St. PierreJolys and Landmark. Over the past four years, Southeast Artists Group has grown from six to eight artists to over 20, with more people jumping in every week. Gary Holden a group member and local painter said that the Southeast Artists Group is a “Unique opportunity for amateur artists to learn from seasoned, professional artists.” “The opportunity for mentorship and networking is very inviting,”

During a two-day pre-Christmas art show at the end of November, local artists took over Clearspring Centre as part of a special show and sale.

stated Holden. “The environment is relaxed and not intimidating, which has influenced its growth and the quality of the art being produced is exceptional.” The Group meets informally every Tuesday morning at the Steinbach Cultural Arts Centre to paint and create together. They also hold a series of shows and live demonstrations throughout the year, including at the Summer in the City Festival.


Lorette Woman Flexes Her Muscle By Marianne Curtis

The Pleasure of Fresh Books! My wife and I love books. Okay, that actually might be an understatement. We have books in almost every room of the house and we even have a small library of sorts. When my wife and I first bought our house, we saw a small ten by ten “nook” off the side of the living room. Immediately, we both thought of how this would make a great book area. After settling into our house, we bought some lumber and our little library was ready. Since we’d been booklovers all of our lives, the two of us had a few boxes of books that we now had to unpack and place on our shelves. Blissfully, we placed book after book upon the shelves until we ran out of books. Together we had quite a collection of paperbacks, young adult stories and even a few children’s books. As time went on our library continued to grow as more and more were added. Yes, despite the popular belief within our families, some books were removed, these to be donated to the local book sales and others to be given away. With two of our children being avid book-lookers and one being an actual reader, there seems to be no end in sight to the growth of our library. Its funny how a book, something that is simply ink on paper and bound together, can be such a simple thing and yet the stories that are contained within can be something no less than magical to the reader. When you find an author that knows what he or she is doing and has the ability to craft words, well then… there is no stopping the reader from being drawn into the adventure and living vicariously through the characters within those ink filled pages, sharing the tragedies and the triumphs, the glory of combat, the solving of clues or even the wonder of a new found romance. Sigh, I love books. For a few years now, my oldest son has been going to school and bringing home, school library books. What a great thing for him and for me. This school year has brought our family of booklovers something greater… my daughter going to school and bringing home, school library books too! I get to read even more books, fresh books that I’d never had the chance to read. Oh sure, they enjoy having the books read to them and to look at them themselves but I wonder if my children will ever realize the joy that I take from reading to them. Someday they will be too old to have Daddy read to them but until that time, I’m going to enjoy every story. Until next time, take care and keep your world spinning.

The community of Lorette can boast about having some muscle in its midst after Alberta native MarieJosée Arès-Pilon moved into town two months ago. An unknown locally, the 31-year-old woman has made a name for herself internationally after being crowned the Gold Medal Canadian Champion when competing in the Senior World Weightlifting Championships in October in Warsaw, Poland. The event drew 317 weightlifters from around the world representing 57 countries. Canadian Weightlifting Champion Marie-Josée Arès-Pilon is training twice daily in preparation for the Western At the competition Arès-Pilon, who competed in the Canadian Weightlifting Championships in March. 69 kg weight class, executed a 96 kg snatch and 114 kg clean and jerk for a total of 210 kg. In the snatch, the “My goal is to qualify for these barbell is lifted from the floor to an overhead position in Games,” she admitted. one motion. The Clean & Jerk consists of two stages; Originally, from Alberta, Arèsthe clean stage is a lift where the barbell is picked up Pilon and her fiancé and coach, from the floor and placed on the shoulders in one motion. Paul Dumais, who is also a After a pause, the athlete lifts the barbell into an Canadian Weightlifting Champion, overhead position while placing the legs in a lunge moved to Manitoba for his work position with one leg in front of the other. as a mason. When she is not At the end of the competition, she placed 16th, training for competition twice daily worldwide, but was the first Canadian to place and earned she works as a massage therapist. the title of Canadian Champion. She has also started a “I matched my best performance of the year, as well as weightlifting club in Lorette, where the Manitoban records I hold,” stated Arès-Pilon. “I she will train boys and girls aged participated at the 2011 Senior World Weightlifting 10-20. Championships in Paris, where I ranked 25th, so I’m up “To get into this sport you have nine spots.” to start young. I got into it late in As a member of the Canadian National Weightlifting life and had to do a lot of catch Team, Arès-Pilon is one of four women and three men up,” she explained. “We need more from Canada qualified for World Competition on Team people entering our sport.” Canada. She is the only female weightlifter competing Anyone wishing to sign up can from Manitoba. The rest of the team is from Quebec. contact her at 204- 813-1945. Arès-Pilon is currently gearing up for the 2014 Western Canadian Weightlifting Championships that will be held in Winnipeg next March. This will be the first qualifier MJ was named Canadian Weightlifting Champion after executing a 96 kg snatch. for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Tache Eyes Recreational Reserve Fund

for future development. According to Mayor Bill Danylchuk, the municipality has given first reading to a bylaw that will establish a recreation reserve as a means to ensure funding is available in the event of unforeseen circumstances, or to help fund future construction. The RM of Tache is looking at “A few years ago we had to pay a establishing a recreation reserve fund large bill to upgrade Landmark Arena to handle emergency repairs and plan because of air quality issues,” explained

Danylchuk. “Council was left scrambling trying to deal with the issue.” He added that having an established recreation fund would also allow for facilities to save money towards future construction projects. At the first reading of the bylaw, Danylchuk said the bylaw will see a quarter mil of property taxes collected to be put towards the fund each year. “This works out to be about $50 per

resident on an average home of $250,000,” stated Danylchuk. This would ensure that about $100,000 will be deposited into the fund per year, an amount that could increase based on growth and future assessments. Before council gives final reading to the bylaw councillors are expected to go back to the residents to get feedback from the community to ensure that everyone is in agreement.


Hanover SD to Reduce School Zone Speeds The Hanover School Division has started the ball rolling towards reducing the speed limits around all the division’s schools with its first request made to the City of Steinbach. A few months ago, the province gave the green light to municipalities and communities for the reduction of school zone speed limits from 50 km/ h to 30 km/h. Mayor Chris Goertzen said that while the request may seem simple, it is actually a complicated process. “Each school is unique and we have to look at each particular area and the needs for that particular school,” Goertzen explained. He noted that Elmdale School is bordered by two major highways. “We have to ask ourselves how we want to reduce speed in that area.” The City of Steinbach plans on meeting with the Hanover School Division to discuss the matter further before making any decisions on how to proceed. If reduced, the new limits are expected to be clearly marked and effective only during school hours or at the discretion of each community. The Town of Ste. Anne was the first community in the region to move towards reducing the speed through school zones. Council had previously tried to reduce speeds and needed final approval by the province to proceed.

Hanover SD Adopts Bill 18 By Marianne Curtis The Hanover School Division has officially adopted the controversial Bill 18 after the province made the bill law earlier this month. Bill 18, titled Safe and Inclusive Schools will affect how divisions across the province handle bullying and inclusion. At a workshop earlier in November, the Hanover School Board met with teachers and other staff to discuss how the Bill will be dealt with. Hanover School Division ViceSuperintendent, Geri HarderRobson, said that one of the things the division needed to review with staff was how to be an affective supervisor. “We talked about how to recognize bullying in the schools and how to intervene,” explained Harder-Robson. “With more serious incidents there is an obligation to report it immediately when we see stuff going on with our students.” For the most part, Hanover School Division does not foresee any major changes as they feel they are already on top of the issue and proactive within the schools, Harder-Robson added. However, the matter of social media and cyber-bullying was another issue. “We did have to discuss how we need to deal with social media,” she added. “What this bill has done, along with the controversy surrounding it, is bring the issue to the forefront, which will help people become more aware of what is going on around them.” At the meeting it was clarified that teachers and education assistants should not “friend” students on any social media site until after they graduate. The same goes for texting with students. Bill 18, otherwise known as the

Bullying Bill, has caused endless controversy in the region since it surfaced earlier in the year. The bill amends The Public Schools Act in the areas of bullying and respect for human diversity. Under the legislation, schools across Manitoba are required to report and act on cyber-bullying incidents that take place outside of school or after hours if a student or the school environment has been negatively affected. They are expected to expand policies related to the appropriate use of the internet in schools to include social media, text messaging and instant messaging. Furthermore, schools are expected to accommodate students who want to establish and lead activities and

organizations that fight all forms of bullying, and accommodate any student-led groups that promote a positive school environment that is inclusive and accepting of all students, including groups that want to use the name gay/straight alliance, establish respect for human diversity policies that are consistent with the principles of the Manitoba Human Rights Code and create a safe and inclusive learning environment that is accepting of all students. While the premise of the bill is expected to promote inclusion, one portion upset people within the community of Steinbach. This portion specifically names the inclusion of student activities and organizations that use the name “gay-straight alliance.

License for Lagoon Expansion Approved

complete with strip mall has forced the municipality to expand the lagoon. “There are a lot of senior citizen complexes, condominiums and other things being built,” stated Stefaniuk. “We’ve seen significant growth and our lagoon is close to capacity.” In November, the RM of Ritchot received a grant under the CanadaManitoba Building Fund to expand the Ile des Chênes lagoon and Manitoba Conservation has now issued a license approving the lagoon expansion for land situated on NE 29-8-4E. Stefaniuk said that the municipality is looking at either expanding the existing facility or constructing a new lagoon. The project is still in the design stage but it is expected to be completed in the next year. The RM of Ritchot has already purchased the land needed for the project. In April, the municipality spent $450,000 to purchase 40 acres adjacent to the existing facility.

The RM of Ritchot is moving forward with expanding the lagoon in Ile des Chênes in order to accommodate a recent building boom. Mayor Bob Stefaniuk said the municipality is going to spend a few million on expanding the lagoon as soon as possible. The creation of several new residential subdivisions, construction of nine apartment and condominium complexes, plus an industrial park


Regional Quick Care Clinic Lives up to Name By Marianne Curtis QuickCare Clinics offer an alternative by providing care for unexpected health needs during times when most other clinics are closed or during times when it is not possible for individuals and their families to access their physician the same day. The first QuickCare Clinic in the Southern Health-Santé Sud region was opened February 21, 2012 at the Clearspring Shopping Centre in Steinbach. On average, a patient spends 25 minutes at the QuickCare Clinic, which provides care on a walk-in basis by either walking in or calling to make an appointment. Kristi Jensen has been leading the implementation of this project since inception. “Staff at the QuickCare Clinic can provide the connectivity and referrals for individuals in the region to assist in receiving the care that they need,” said Jensen. “It provides a first point of contact into the health system and good collaboration of care with family practitioners and other health care providers.” The QuickCare Clinic is staffed by a Nurse Practitioner and a Primary Care Nurse who can diagnose and treat minor health issues. Information about a client’s visit to the clinic can be shared with his or her regular health care provider to keep their medical records accurate and up to date. According to Jensen, the QuickCare Clinic has already had a positive impact on Steinbach’s emergency rooms and physician clinics. Out of all the patients seen over the last year, only a small number have been referred to an emergency room, which she said is a good indication that the clinic is fulfilling its role of treating people who need quick medical care rather than having those people seek care at an emergency room for conditions that are not urgent. “The QuickCare Clinic provides care when people need it most,” Jensen added. “They are an excellent team who are doing a great job and have been very much embraced by the community.” The staff can also refer patients to other health care professionals, such as the diabetes or chronic disease teams, home care, public health or the mental health team if required. These clinics can also help connect individuals who do not have a family doctor with one who is accepting patients. QuickCare Clinics are a component of the provincial strategy that is aimed at ensuring every Manitoban has access to a physician by 2015. QuickCare Clinics have been implemented in the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, Southern Health-Santé Sud and Interlake-Eastman Region to date.

An Incredible Proclamation Galatians 4: 4-7 (NIV) ... 4) But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, 5) to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. 6) Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba Father.” 7) So you are no longer a slave, but a son and since you are a son, God has made you an heir. (NIV) Christmas reminds us of the fact that Jesus came to this Earth at just the right time. In our text today, we are told that when the fullness of the time came God sent forth His Son. Have you ever thought that there was a right time for Jesus to come? It is an incredible statement. Does this mean to say that there was one time in all-human history when all things were perfectly in line for the first coming of Jesus? Moreover, that there was no other time when Christ could have come? I believe that is precisely what the text is saying. Our celebration of Christmas highlights that perfect timing of His coming… as our text for this month says, when the right time came, the time that God had declared it would happen; Jesus was born, born of a Jewish woman by the name of Mary. We know the Christmas story so well, but how often does that familiarity cause us to forget or over look what happened in the Land of Palestine before Christ was born? I know this is true of me. We get so busy with our own preparations that we lose sight of all the activities and preparations behind the scene in Palestine before the birth of Christ. Just as we prepare for the Christmas season, there were preparations made for this special Child about to come down from heaven to be born in a manger. There were political preparations for His coming. We learn from Scripture that God directed the necessary events so that all prophesy would be fulfilled. Little did Caesar Augustus know that when he was in power and called for a census that he was, in fact doing God’s will? That census required all the people to return to their place of birth to be counted. That meant that an expectant woman and her husband had to make an historic journey to Bethlehem. Mary, the virgin mother of Jesus, was guided by the Holy Spirit of God to the place prophesied in the Old Testament where Christ would be born. Can you see the hand of God at work here? God had planned how this was to happen long before this night in Bethlehem. He had a reason for this event. You can feel the love in the heart of God as He is about to reveal His plan of salvation for all peoples. This is what the first coming of Christ provided for us. At the right time, God sent His Son. He, that is Jesus, can be trusted to do things in our lives at the right time as well. We are invited to become Children of God, heirs together with Christ. He is leading us to reign with Him in eternity, but also to rule in victory in this life. This is what Christmas has done for us. “For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be the sign unto you, ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:11-12) Thus, when the fullness of the time came, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law: Unable to contain heaven’s joy any longer, the angels would explode with the cry of jubilation, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, and good will toward men ... (NIV) Merry Christmas ... Have a wonderful New Year! 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 the peace in my heart that I yearn for. I really want that peace, joy and happiness that will fulfill my heart’s desire. Please let the Holy Spirit help me be the kind of Christian that will honour Your Name.” Amen.


Personal Care Home Project Inspires Communities Nationally By Marianne Curtis The spokesperson for the Heritage Personal Care home in Niverville is amazed by the international attention received since the new facility opened at the end of August. After the CBC story about the Heritage Life Personal Care Home that was aired nationally, Gord Damon, President of Heritage Life PCH, was amazed the nerve that had been touched across country by the community’s unique story. The $13.7 million project that was community funded became an international success story because it was constructed without any government funding. “The emails, the voicemails and the phone calls were constant the last two weeks of August,” stated

Breakfast with Santa in St. Malo

Damon. However, one call left an impression with Damon. “This call was different.” “When I called I discovered he was living in BC, was nearing retirement, had been very successful in the energy and aeronautics sectors and grew up in Manitoba where his parents remained until their deaths,” Damon explained. “He told me he was moved and inspired by our story as he always felt that his parents needed greater housing options in their senior years. He shared he wanted to move them to BC, but they insisted on remaining in rural Manitoba as that was home.” When he saw the story about the Heritage Centre he said he knew immediately that is what would have made the difference in their lives and, getting emotional, he Do not forget your lists. Santa is making a special appearance at a breakfast in St. Malo on Saturday, December 7. This annual event for children and their families will be in a new location at the St. Malo church basement. Hosted by the St. Malo Chamber of Commerce, the event includes a pancake breakfast at 9 am, face painting, children’s crafts, a visit with Santa and many more activities. Lou Lou the clown will be performing a magic show at 10 am.

A commemorative plaque for the Heritage Centre Personal Care Home was unveiled recently by (l-r) Steven Neufeld, Executive Director of Heritage Life PCH; Greg Fehr, Niverville Mayor; Bernadette Preun, ADM of Manitoba Health; Kathy McPhail, CEO of Southern Health and Gordon Damon, President of Heritage Life PCH.

stated he did not want any other seniors in his former community to struggle like that again, Damon explained. “About ten minutes into our call he asked me if I would lead the construction of a Heritage Centre concept in the community of his youth,” Damon recalled. “He asked how much it would cost and I stated likely around $50M. He stated he was hoping to keep his donation to $10M but that he could manage $50M if it was

You Have a Choice to Make As we approach the Christmas season, our thoughts are drawn to the manger scene at Bethlehem. As we contemplate who that little baby really was, we will come to one of three decisions. Throughout Jesus Christ’s life, He claimed to be God. He accepted worship from others, knowing that worship is reserved for God alone. He performed miracles, even to the raising of the dead. When asked in Mark 14:61, 62, “Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” Christ answered, “I am.” In Philippians 2:6, it says Christ “thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” The only way you can be equal with God is to be God, because Deuteronomy 6:4 says, “The Lord our God is one Lord.” So, this Christmas, we all have a question to answer. Was the Christ of Bethlehem really God or not? If He was God, He still is God and we need to make a decision to accept or reject Him. If we accept Christ as God, then we must accept what He said as truth. He claimed that all men are sinners, fall short of God’s glory and are hopelessly incapable of coming to God except through Him. Christ died, shed His blood as perfect payment for our sins and when we believe this personally and ask Him to forgive us, He will do that and make us God’s child (John 1:12). However, if a person does nothing with Christ, that’s the same as rejecting Him and John 3:36 tells us, “the wrath of God abideth on him.” Now let me stimulate your thought processes for a couple minutes. If Jesus Christ were not the God He claimed to be, then there are still two possibilities for who Christ really was. The one possible answer is that Christ was a Liar. If He wasn’t God, He lied to the whole world and all so-called Christians today are living a lie. Because Christ claimed to be God, to lie would make Him a hypocrite, a deceiver and a fraud. He also would have been a fool because He actually died for His beliefs even when He had a chance to recant. If you decide, Christ really was a Liar, then forget about Him and don’t give Him another thought. No one in their right mind would put their faith and trust in a Liar. The only other possibility is that Christ was a lunatic. He could have been sincerely deluded as to who He really was. He might have been just an ordinary person, like you or I, but He really thought He was God. Again, no one in their right mind would follow a lunatic. So, if that’s what Christ was, forget you ever heard of Him. So, you now have a decision to make about Jesus Christ this Christmas. There are only three choices. Christ is either Lord, Liar or Lunatic. Which choice will you make? I trust you will come to the right and logical decision and make Him Lord of your life. If so then your life ought to reflect that Christ is Lord. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact me. Have a joyful and blessed Christmas and anticipate the New Year as you live for God.

necessary. I was dumbfounded. He made it very clear that he would cut the cheque for the whole amount as he was at a stage in his life that he wanted to leave a legacy in memory of his parents.” Damon said that while this call was the most interesting contact, it was not initially seen as catalyst to create a unique desire to replicate this experience in communities across Canada, from Yellowknife, North West Territories to Swift Current,

Saskatchewan and numerous communities across Manitoba. “Our story brings hope as it is one of sustainability for rural communities through an Aging in Place concept resulting in an age friendly community,” Damon concluded. “Our story also inspires communities to innovate. Getting here took a lot of old fashion bull work and it is only through the innovative approach of creating a social enterprise that we have succeeded.”


Local Trucking Company Honoured by Peers On November 14, Penner International was among several members of Manitoba’s trucking industry recognized by the Manitoba Trucking Association (MTA) at its annual Fall Awards Gala. At the event, the MTA-SHAW Tracking Distinguished Member Award was presented to Penner International in recognition of generations of dedication to the efforts of the MTA and the industry. Penner International is a three-generation family company that began with one truck in 1923 and now serves the country with

The owners of Penner International accept the MTA-SHAW Tracking Distinguished Member Award.

locations in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia. The Penner family has also been active with Provincial and National Trucking associations, with several of their team serving in

executive positions with the MTA. Two members of the family have also served as presidents for MTA and ten members of their team have been inducted into the MTA Pioneers Club.

Give the Gift of Creativity… 15% off Winter Classes before Tuesday, December 17 Register now for Creative Wellness, Visual Arts, Creative Cooking, Kids in the Kitchen, French or Spanish. Stocking Stuffer Stuck? The perfect gift for any age… a gift certificate for fun and unique Winter classes at the Steinbach Arts Centre. Call before Tuesday, December 17 and receive 15% off! Or purchase gift cards for delicious cinnamon buns. Bun prices have not been increased. It’s exactly like buying right from the Love & Buns company. Get Active, Feel Great NEW! Easyoga, Gentle Hatha Flow Yoga, Rhythmic Vinyasa Flow Yoga, Pilates Core Basic, On the Ball Pilates, Pilates Fusion (a combination of ball and mat work exercises), Noon Zumba and Zumba. Just Try It! Adults – Digital Photography, Exploring Acrylics, Mixed Art for Adults, Intro to the Pottery Wheel, NEW! The Wonderful Wheel & Other Things; Teens – Digital Photography, Cartoon Illustration, Exploring Acrylics, Pottery Passion; Kids – NEW! Saturday Morning Create with Clay, Hand Building with Clay, Cartoon Illustration, Art Adventures, Art XTravaganza NEW! Dessert Art With culinary artist Cassandra Milcharek, experience art through cake decorating, chocolate, sugar and pastry desserts. Learn about cake design, fondants and icing techniques. French for Kids For ages, 10-16 – Learn to speak our nation’s second language at the Arts Centre through weekly themebased classes. Develop vocabulary, grammar and conversation skills through games, fun activities and projects. Saturday Workshops coming soon! Try Introduction to Silk Paintings and Gorgeous Glass Fusing coming up in February 2014. Call for details or check our website. View Local Art Over Christmas Stop by the Loewen Green Art Scene at 306 Reimer Ave, our beautiful heritage home gallery. View hours online. Calling Artists of All Ages Applications for the Southeast Open Judged Art Exhibit will be online starting Tuesday, December 10! Enter your artwork – any medium – in our April exhibit, open to all!

Backyard Theatre Company Ages 5 - 15 will love the Backyard Theatre Company, where they have unlimited access to our closet full of costumes and props. Learn about storytelling, puppet shows, and lessons on voice projection and memorization. Arts4Tots Preschoolers will love Arts4Tots! Ages 3 - 5 will thrive in our Arts focused preschool program… where Math and Science, and other concepts, are learned through Drama, Dance, Crafts, Music… and Culture! Spaces open in our Monday/Wednesday 1 - 3:30 pm classes. After School Art Program NEW! After School Art Program for ages 13 - 17 runs Wednesdays and Thursdays, 4:15 - 6 pm at the Cultural Arts Centre. Projects include group murals, funky fence, individual art projects and more. Check it out! ASAP. It’s free! Creative Community Corporate Campaign The Steinbach Arts Council is celebrating 35 years of applause… and making a creative community! With your support, we make our community a better place to live, work and play. By donating to the Arts Centre, you can help keep members of our community healthy and actively engaged, thus encouraging creativity in YOUR future employees! Join our Creative Community Corporate Campaign today. On Now in our Hall Gallery Barn Dance by Lynda Toews runs until Thursday, December 19. Coming up… Don’t miss the opening ceremony for This & That, featuring local watercolor artist Don Hoeppner. Come to the Steinbach Arts Centre Hall Gallery on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 and enjoy the artwork and refreshments. There is no admission. The exhibit runs from Wednesday, January 8 – Saturday, February 15, 2014. Steinbach’s Got Talent Check for applications online! Welcoming amateur acts of all ages from the southeast. To be held Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at the SRSS Theatre, Steinbach. Prairie Theatre Exchange Tickets on Sale NOW! Coming up January 2014… Prairie Theatre Exchange brings the indelible characters of Robert Munsch to vibrant life on stage Friday, January 17 at the SRSS Theatre, 6:30 pm. This year’s show, Portage & Munsch: includes reenactments of Zoom, Pigs, A Promise is a Promise, and 50 Below. Come with the whole family for milk and cookies… and don’t forget to wear your pyjamas! Call now for tickets and special pricing for families of four.


Year Round Hazardous Waste Depot Opens By Marianne Curtis In the middle of December, anyone using the Steinbach Landfill will be able to access a year-round hazardous waste collection depot. This permanent solution was established after overwhelming community response to yearly annual one-day collection depots

hosted by the City of Steinbach. In 2006, the City of Steinbach began the annual collection depots to encourage residents to get hazardous materials out of their garages and shops. Eldon Wallman, Solid Waste Department, said a permanent collection depot would be more convenient for everyone. “Storing hazardous items in your home can be a fire hazard and dangerous to your family. Also, it is unlawful to dispose of hazardous items at the Steinbach Landfill,” stated Wallman. “It’s a good thing to be able to provide residents of Steinbach and the surrounding area with this worthwhile service.” The building, which consists of a simple sheet metal structure, is being constructed by City staff. It will be stocked with pallets, drums, and other containers year-

Tax Tips to Remember for 2013 You have less than one month to arrange your affairs (legally) to minimize your 2013 taxes payable. The only tax planning that you can delay up to March 1, 2014 is the RRSP contribution. 2013 is the final year you can adjust your 2003 taxes. What could you possibly want to adjust? First, if you had a disability at that time you don’t have much time to get the doctor to complete the Disability Tax Credit form and get it into CRA to have your 2003 taxes adjusted. In addition, did you have any capital losses that year (investments) that you did not claim? CRA does allow us to adjust our taxes up to 10 years back. RESP: Registered Education Savings Plans do not provide a tax savings on your 2013 taxes, but they can help pay for education in the future. The deadline is December 31 each year. There are some very good (20 percent or more) government grant incentives to encourage you to save. Remember there is the RESP Bond available to those with low income and all you need to do is open a plan and apply for the grant; no contribution required. RESPs are best for children under 16 years of age if you don’t have one already. RDSP: Registered Disability Savings Plans also do not provide tax savings, but depending on the family or individual’s income, there are some very substantial grants available to those under age 50. The deadline is December 31 each year. Remember to gather the receipts for all of your children’s activities that may qualify for the Fitness Credit and/or Arts Credit for 2013. Last month I wrote about the First-Time Donor’s Super Credit (visit annimarkmann.ca to see it again). If you did not donate from 2008 to 2012 (inclusive for you and your spouse), then you get some fabulous credits for donations up to $1,000. You can get back about two-thirds of what you donated! This Super Credit is in place until 2017, so if not this year, maybe next year? Do you already have a lot of medical expenses this year (out of pocket) that you may be including on your 2013 taxes to reduce your taxes payable? Maybe add your dental appointments and eye exams and eyewear (zennioptical.com) before December 31 so that you can increase your medical expense claim (remember you get about 26 percent back on the amount over 3 percent of your net income; come and see me or call me to help with the calculation). Keep your 2013 calendar with all of your medical appointments listed! You’ll need that if you want to claim the medical travel (for trips more than 40 km for medical services you cannot get locally). Are you self-employed? Top up some of your expenses or purchase some assets you might otherwise buy in 2014; may as well claim them on your 2013 taxes if it will help reduce your taxes payable! Do not forget to record the odometer on all vehicles you used for 2013 business income. You need to know how many km you drove for the entire year for both business and personal to determine the percentage of business vehicle expenses you will be claiming. If you cannot prove this during an audit, all your vehicle expenses may be disallowed by CRA! Claiming home office costs? Remember that self-employed can claim a percentage of all the home costs if you operate out of home. Commissioned sales people can only claim utilities, maintenance and repairs, rent, insurance, and property taxes. Employees working out of home who do not earn a commission can only claim utilities, maintenance, repairs, and rent. Anni Markmann is a tax professional and owner of Ste Anne Tax Service, working, living, and volunteering in our community. Contact Anni at 204-422-6631 or annimarkmann@mts.net or 36 Dawson Road in Ste. Anne.

round for the safe disposal of hazardous waste. Previously the City, together with Miller Environmental, would schedule the annual one-day drop off for public at the Steinbach Fire hall. Now Miller Environmental will safely transport and dispose of the hazardous items whenever the City’s depot is full. The Hazardous Waste Depot is tentatively set to be open every

week, Tuesdays through Saturdays. Items expected to be collected at the new facility include: disinfectants, bleach, ammonia, abrasive powders, mildew and rust removers, kerosene, lighter fluid, paint, spray paint, lacquers, solvents, turpentine, epoxies, acrylics, wood preservatives, furniture polish / wax, hair dyes, hair sprays, medicine, polish remover, batteries, household cleaners, pesticides,

insecticides, fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides, automotive batteries, waxes, polishes, antifreeze, gasoline and brake and transmission fluids. The project is funded is through Green Manitoba and was initiated by Product Care Incorporated based out of Surrey, British Columbia, a not-for-profit industry association that manages product stewardship programs for household hazardous and special waste for its members.


Toys & Cookies Wanted Niverville Helping Hands Ministry is currently holding their 2013 Christmas Drive for toys and cookies. The Drop off for new and unwrapped toys should be on or before Thursday, December 12 at either Niverville Family Chiropractic, Niverville Credit Union, Wm Dyck & Sons, Chicken Chef, or Connie’s Cafe. Helping Hands’ Cookie Drive is in need of 100 dozen homemade Christmas Cookies by Thursday, December 12. To donate please call Irene Adams at (204) 388-4071.

A Valuable Gift If you really do a lot of ‘gifting’ to friends and family at Christmas, ask yourself what gifts you gave them last year. Do you remember? For that matter, ask those you gifted what you gave them last Christmas. Do they remember? Christmas comes and Christmas goes. Year after year, we are caught up by all the advertising and music playing in the stores and we begin to buy again. Yes, we all know that the real meaning of Christmas is not to be a corporate windfall, but for some reason, it always is. We always start buying gifts for our loved ones. After all, what would my family think if I had not “thought” of them and placed some thing under the tree for them!! HHMMM. So, this year I am starting a new ‘gifting’ theme that I intend to do from now on. I’m not sure how it will go over, but I have a feeling it just might be what the ‘Doctor ordered’. I want to send the message of good health habits with every gift. I write this article titled, “Health is Wealth” and I really truly believe this. As a result, this year my Christmas gifts will all carry that message. Our town has everything I need right here so I need not fight the crowds, line-ups and jammed parking lots. There is a new Health Food Store, a great physiotherapy clinic, a wonderful chiropractic clinic, a wellness spa, and a pharmacy. A product, gift certificate, or pre-paid appointment is easy to get from any of these places. As I write my gift list I will write a health concern beside their name, then think of a healthy gift. Here are some gift ideas: Gramma & Grampa - Aches, pains and sleep concerns. - Set of tennis balls to roll on the wall with their body (self-massage). - Organic, herbal cream for pain relief - Omega 3 fatty acid supplements. - Herbal tea that promotes sleep. Mom - Fibromyalgia and low energy. - A Spa Gift certificate that includes a steam, hot tub and a deep tissue massage with aromatherapy. - Herbal teas that help detoxify the liver. - Organic, herbal pain relief creams. Dad - Aching, sore knees. - Stretchy elastic knee wraps for support. - Capsaicin topical pain cream. - Gel packs for cold therapy. Teenagers - Pimples and skin issues. Poor diet. - Organic skin care products (both male and female) - Exfoliating skin buffer mitt to keep skin deeply cleansed. - Organic daily multiple vitamins. - Organic make-up or toiletries. Little ones - More exercise and fresh air. - A pool or ski pass. - Organic daily vitamins. - Real wool mittens with a crazy carpet. - An organic cake mix to bake and decorate together. Sister - Weight problem - Spices and herbal teas that increase metabolism. - Organic smoothie mix. - Reiki energy treatments (gift certificate). - Juicer Brother - Arthritis/lower back pain. - Essential oils for stiff muscles. - Epsom salts for hot soaks. - Herbal pain relief salves. - Hot/cold pack. I think you get my drift. I really hope you follow my lead. This year give them a gift that shows your love, a gift of health. They may never remember what it was I gave them when a year has passed, but I planted the seed of good health. I gave them something VALUABLE. I have planted the idea that health is a true GIFT! Raylene Snow is a health advocate, retired teacher and owner/ operator of Raylene’s Wellness Spa located south of Ste. Anne on Hwy. 210 S. You can reach her at 204-422-6234.

Niverville Mayor Calls It Quits By Marianne Curtis The Town of Niverville is currently running without a mayor after the sudden resignation of Greg Fehr at the beginning of November. Fehr was first elected to Niverville council in 2004 and became mayor in January 2006 when his predecessor, Gordon Damon, stepped down. “I have really enjoyed my time on council as both Councillor and Mayor, but it is time to re-invest back into my family and my home,” stated Fehr. During his nine years as Mayor, Fehr oversaw the transition of Niverville from a village to town and helped prepare the community for the transition into a city, which is expected to take place in either 2014 or 2015. “I chose to step down to give council time to prepare before their annual planning session,” Fehr added that he was confident in the town’s future. “As a resident I am extremely optimistic about the future. The existing council is extremely capable and I am comfortable with my decision.”

One of Greg Fehr’s (left) last official duties before resigning was to cut the ribbon at the grand-opening of Heritage Life Personal Care Home in Niverville along with resident Wally Pauls and former Mayor Gord Damon (right).

The Town of Niverville has appointed John Funk as Acting Mayor after accepting Fehr ’s resignation. “It was a surprise to council,” Funk admitted. “But the office is functioning well, thanks to his leadership. Greg will be missed, he was a tremendous Mayor.”

Council has yet to decide if they will leave Funk in place until the next election, appoint someone else as Acting Mayor for the duration or hold a by-election. However, with less than a year until the next municipal election, the Town of Niverville is not required to hold a by-election.

Reynolds Polls Residents on Tax Incentives A poll on the RM of Reynolds website could open the door to discussions on offering incentives to residents considering growth in both homes and business. The poll asks ratepayers if they think tax dollars should be used for incentives towards construction of new houses or to start new businesses. Chief Administrative Officer, Trudy Turchyn, said she posted the question on the website after

the idea was brought to the table by a resident during a recent Economic roundtable discussion. “The website question is just a question; there has not been any discussion at the council table about providing incentives,” Turchyn stressed. “It was an idea raised by a person in attendance who asked about incentives for business and residential development.” Turchyn said interest was raised after the LGD of Pinawa recently

announced tax incentives for residential and commercial developers by offering free municipal taxes for two years to qualified applicants. The initiative is part of an effort to encourage developers with homes built with an assessment value of more than $100,000 and for businesses with an assessment value of $75,000. If this criterion is met then developers are eligible to receive two years of free municipal taxes.


On-line Voters Decides Awards for Best Businesses By Marianne Curtis

Above: Customer Service Award went to Let’s Celebrate Rentals. Below: Ron Loeppky Fairway Ford earned the Community Involvement Award.

Four outstanding businesses in the area were recently honoured by the Steinbach Chamber of Commerce. This is the tenth year the Steinbach Chamber has recognized businesses and their owners for their contribution to the community. Awards are presented in four categories including the Young Entrepreneur Award, the Customer Service Award, the Community Involvement Award, and the coveted Business of the Year Award. The 2013 Business of the Year award went to Penner International for maintaining a “we deliver what we promise” approach with their customers. This approach has given them recognition as an industry leader in Canada. Above: Penner International was named Business of the Year. The Future Leader award was Below: Tricia Fontaine-Unger of Avenue Hair & Skin Studio wins the Young Entrepreneur given to Tricia Fontaine-Unger of Award. Avenue Hair & Skin Studio for being a young entrepreneur under 35 years of age who has established or expanded a business in the past two years. The Community Involvement is awarded to the business that demonstrates exceptional performances in its support of recreation, amateur sports, arts and culture and charitable or non-profit volunteer groups. This year ’s winner was Ron Loeppky Fairway Ford. The Steinbach Chamber of Commerce took to the internet for customers to cast their ballots for this year’s Customer Service Award winner with 19 nominations to choose. After hundreds of votes, the top three nominees were separated by only 20 votes. The winner of the 2013 Customer Service Award went to Let’s Celebrate Rentals.

Local Musicians Support Helping Hands By Marianne Curtis Music is a powerful tool that can heal troubled hearts and sooth broken souls and southern Manitoba’s own Jammin’ Sam has taken things a step further. By using their love for Credence Clearwater Revival (CCR), this group of musicians are determined to make a positive difference in other people’s lives by releasing a CD to raise funds for the local food bank. Since 2003, Jammin’ Sam has donated their time and talent to various individuals and organizations by offering family-friendly CCR cover performances. Whether it is to perform free benefit concerts to raise money to send a patient for lifesaving treatment, raising money for medical equipment or to support the local food-bank, this group is making a difference one performance at a time. In this case, all funds from the compact disc will go in support of South East Helping Hands food bank. “I always wanted to have a Credence cover band; it is the music I first learned to play and still love to play,” said

lead vocalist Allan Dueck. “It is music that makes people feel good, and it makes us feel good to be able to help others and this is the best way that we can.” “We enjoy what we do and we play because we love it; this way we can do both and make a difference” added lead guitarist Michael Dueck. “You can’t go wrong with a little Credence; people of all ages recognize it and listen to it.” For their first CD, Jammin’ Sam has stayed true to their roots by choosing eleven well-known CCR essentials including Down on the Corner, Who will Stop the Rain, Up Around the Bend, Proud Mary, and Bad Moon Rising. With the help of other local musicians including Stef Gislason, Cory Tetrault, Darryl Hiebert and Jeff McMaster, the group spent over 1,000 hours in studio recording this special edition of CCR covers in support of South East Helping Hands. South East Helping Hands helps individuals and families in Steinbach and over 25 other small communities in South Eastern Manitoba. On average 400 bags of food are given to families each month. Over 1000 people are served each month and approximately 48 percent are children.

Just in time for Christmas, Jammin Sam has released a CD containing a special collection of CCR songs to raise money for South East Helping Hands.

Piney Updates Website The RM of Piney has created a new municipal website and would like to update their business directory. According to council, anyone with a business or planning a community event is encouraged to let them know. “If anyone would like to add, remove or update their business information they can contact us,” stated council. “We would also like to display any organizations or events that happen in our communities.” The new website offers residents a complete listing of businesses, non-profit organizations and services available throughout the municipality, along with council information like bylaws, minutes, agendas and tax information. Ratepayers can contact the RM of Piney by phone or email to update their information on the website at rmofpiney.mb.ca.


Register Early for Christmas Hampers By Marianne Curtis

Vita: Contact the RM of Stuartburn office for information at Deadlines to obtain a Christmas 204-425-3218. Grunthal: The Grunthal Churches, hamper arrive earlier this year. In Credit Union, gas stations and preparation for the upcoming holiday season, the Dawson Trail Grunthal Grocery are accepting Dispatch has compiled this year’s donations of foodstuffs and toys to provide their area residents from hamper disbursement list to help the community and area with ensure that no one is missed this hampers. Call 204-434-6793 for year. more information. Almost every town or Rural Lorette and Landmark: The Municipality is doing what they can to help provide less fortunate Tache Hamper Committee is collecting goods for Tache families with the basic needs so residents. You can contact 204-878children will not go hungry or without gifts this holiday season. 3329 for information on how to give or provide the names of Donations of all kinds are still needed by all these organizations someone in need. Niverville: Offers assistance to with the need for volunteers to help with deliveries so please give those in need from communities including Niverville, New Bothwell, generously. Otterburne, St. Adolphe, Ste. Anyone needing a hamper or Agathe, St. Pierre-Jolys and St. knowing someone in need are Malo. Call 204-388-4166 for more encouraged to contact any of information. these organizations.

Ste. Anne: Knights of Columbus in Ste. Anne provide hampers for families within the RM of Ste. Anne. You can contact the parish at 204-422-8823 for more information. St. Adolphe and Iles des Chênes: The RM of Ritchot collects the names for people wanting a hamper while the food bank in Ile Des Chênes and the Salvation Army takes care of the collections and delivery. Contact the RM office at 204-883-2293. Steinbach and Area: SouthEast Helping Hands in Steinbach delivers the most hampers in the region. You can call 204-326-2599 for more information or pick up a registration form at the Clearspring Mall Info Centre, Helping Hands or AM 1250. A new online registration form has also been set up at steinbachcommunitychristmas.com.

Landmark Church Gets Liquor License The RM of Tache has given the green light to one of the Landmark area churches to hold a liquor license. Last month Marc Janz came to council on behalf of the Brunstad Christian Church of Landmark to request support on a dining room liquor licence application from the Manitoba Liquor Control Commission. Citing no concerns, the RM of Tache agreed to support the application. This is the first time a Christian church has come forward to request a dining room liquor license in this area of the region.

Hamper Campaign Begins in St. Pierre-Jolys Area The Christmas Hamper Campaign for St-Pierre-Jolys, St. Malo, Otterburne, Dufrost and surrounding areas is now underway. Persons wishing to drop off non-perishable items, unwrapped gifts for children under 12 and monetary donations may do so from Tuesday to Friday between 11 am and 4 pm or every Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm at the Village Connection in St-Pierre-Jolys or in collection boxes placed in various locations. To make a monetary donation, cheques should be made payable to Village Connection Inc. marked for Christmas Hampers and dropped off or mailed to: Village Connection Inc. Thrift Store, Box 324, 482 Sabourin St., St-Pierre-Jolys, MB R0A 1V0. Donations must be received by Monday, December 16 so that hampers can be delivered by Friday, December 20. If families are in need of a hamper, please contact Tracy Carriere at 204-370-6073 before December 8 (St. Pierre/Otterburne) or Carmelle Bourgeois at 204-347-5685 (St. Malo/Dufrost).


Southern Health Honours Physician Recruiter By Marianne Curtis Southern Health recently presented Quality Service Awards to four staff members at the Southern Health–Santé Sud Annual Public Meeting in recognition of the dedication and commitment to the delivery of quality health care in the region. Vice President of Human Resources, Jim Hunter, said that people are the core strength and greatest asset of Southern Health– Santé Sud. “All four employees exemplify the organization’s core values of

compassion, integrity, excellence and respect,” stated Hunter. “What makes the award even more special is that nominations are submitted by their colleagues.” Lorri Beer, Southern Health’s physician recruiter from La Broquerie, was one of four women recognized. According to Hunter, she was nominated because she “goes above and beyond in her continual pursuit to ensure service continuity, to fill hospital shifts and to work with physicians, looking after coverage in all areas.” “Her co-workers describe her as having a humble disposition,

wonderful sense of humour and a ‘can-do’ attitude. That means Lorri rarely meets a barrier she can’t find a way over, through or around to reach a workable, respected resolution,” Hunter praised. Beer said she was thrilled with the commendation, especially since it came from her co-workers. “Coming from your co-workers makes this award pretty wonderful,” said Beer. “That someone sees that little bit extra you do is amazing. I work with wonderful people that surround me with support and encouragement, and without them I could not do what I do.”

RM of Stuartburn Becomes Age-Friendly The RM of Stuartburn has been named as one of 14 communities and municipalities that recently joined the Age-Friendly Manitoba Initiative. This most recent intake brings the number of age-friendly communities across the province to 100. To become an age-friendly community an agreement is made that actions will take place to make a difference for seniors and all members of their communities. “Reaching this milestone (100 age-friendly communities) is something we all can celebrate. By working together we are helping to ensure Manitoba is recognized as one of the most age-friendly provinces in the country,” stated Healthy Living and Seniors Minister, Sharon Blady. “The initiatives on which communities are taking action on are making a real difference for seniors and all members of their communities.” Out of 100 communities across the province, only five, including the RM of Stuartburn, are from the southeast. The RM of Ritchot joined the initiative in 2008. The City of Steinbach and the RM of De Salaberry both joined in 2009. The province has invested more than $2.5 million in age-friendly initiatives through partner organizations and communities to develop and enhance age-friendly programs and services throughout the province. Part of the community agreement criteria includes promoting the participation of older Manitobans in all aspects of our community, engaging stakeholders in building age-friendly communities and creating an accessible, safe environments for older adults. Manitoba is seen as a world leader in creating supportive communities for older adults, with more than 80 percent of the population living in communities committed to supporting seniors, the minister said. The Age-Friendly Manitoba Initiative supports seniors in leading active, socially engaged, independent lives that contribute to healthy aging. For more information on this initiative, please visit agefriendlymanitoba.ca.

Grunthal Auction Hosts First Ever Foodgrains’ Cattle Donation By Marianne Curtis Historically, the Canadian Foodgrains Bank focuses on various grain grow projects, but for the first time farmers are invited to donate cattle which will be auctioned off in support of the organization. On December 10, the first-ever Manitoba cattle auction in support of Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFB) is taking place at the Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart. Livestock farmers will be donating cattle which will be auctioned off to support the Foodgrains Bank’s hungeralleviation programs in the developing world. Harold Penner, Canadian Foodgrains Bank Regional Coordinator, said that at 1 pm buyers would have the option of purchasing either beef cattle or dairy cattle, with proceeds going to the Foodgrains Bank. “It’s a great way for both sellers and buyers of cattle to be able to contribute to the work of the Foodgrains Bank in a way that is meaningful for them,” said Penner. “It was great to see the auction mart people immediately offer to donate

their services to make this possible”. Traditionally, it has been grain growing projects in Manitoba that have raised money for the Foodgrains Bank, but organizers are hoping to turn the auction into an annual event, something that is already a regular occurrence in other parts of Canada. “Perhaps this is something that can be duplicated in other parts of Manitoba in future years,” Penner noted. The Foodgrains Bank auction will be part of a normal auction Tuesday at the Grunthal Auction Mart. Things will precede as usual except that at 1 pm the donated cattle will be brought out and sold. Cattle donations from any farmers of beef or dairy animals will be accepted, Penner added. “Anyone wishing to donate can do so by calling the Grunthal Auction Mart or by showing up at the auction mart with their cattle as usual and letting the receiver know which animals are for the Foodgrains Bank,” Penner explained. “Both farmers and non-farmers are encouraged to attend with their families and enjoy the event.”

Upon request, donors of cattle will receive a tax receipt for the value of the animal. Cash donations will also be accepted during the sale. For further information about donating animals, contact the Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart at 204-434-6519. For general Foodgrains Bank information, call Harold Penner at 204-347-5695.

Quality Service Awards were presented to four staff members at the Southern Health–Santé Sud Annual Public Meeting, recognizing the dedication and commitment to deliver quality health care in the region. The four 2013 Quality Service Award recipients in the back row are (l-r) Lorri Beer; Kyla McCallum; Brenda Dow; Front Row (l to t) Denise Harder-Chairperson, Rachelle LeDuc, Kathy McHale, CEO.


Seniors’ Independent Living Complex Unveiled in Niverville By Marianne Curtis The construction of a new personal care home in Niverville is complete and now Heritage Centre is excitedly moving towards their next and final stage of the project. Heritage Centre President, Gord Damon, recently announced that they are ready to proceed with the final stage of their vision, which includes adding a 55 Plus Life Lease to the complex. “Because of our creative commitment to aging in place, because of our innovative commitment to social enterprise and our passionate commitment to doing what is right, it gives me great pleasure to unveil the next chapter in our story,” stated Damon. “Our Board, recognizing the need to ensure that all seniors are able to participate in our aging in place model, will begin marketing a new independent living life lease project this coming winter.” Not all the details have been finalized but the Heritage Centre hopes to connect a 55 plus life lease project to the existing complex on the south end of the campus site. The new addition includes 56 suites on four floors, complete with underground parking. “This place is designed for people who want to live life independently Heritage Centre President, Gord Damon, recently announced they are moving towards the final stage of their ‘aging in place’ vision which but still have access to meal services, laundry and housekeeping services,” will see the construction of a 4-story 55 Plus Life Lease at the existing complex in Niverville. Damon explained. “This has always been part of the final plan for the Heritage Centre.” Plans also include a large recreation area for family and community events and a separate exercise room for the young at heart. All the units will include balconies, separate storage units, indoor scooter parking and, Two baseball players, an official and an organizer were among several individuals recognized by most importantly, be integrated into the Heritage Centre and have optional Baseball Manitoba during a special event. access to meals, housekeeping and laundry services. The unit sizes will All four individuals were presented with their awards during the Baseball Manitoba Awards Banquet, range from just under 800 square feet to just over 1,200 square feet with which took place in Morden on November 9 at the Access Event Centre. the potential for two penthouse suites of nearly 1,500 square feet each. At the banquet, Seine River “AA” player Troy Blad received the Midget Player of the Year Carillon “We are working toward various tenancy options with both partial and “AAA” award. For the second year in a row, Carillon Sultans player Jamieson Krentz, was named Junior full life lease refundable contributions to provide rental flexibility to the Player of the Year. Both are from Steinbach. residents,” Damon added. Grunthal’s John Unger, an umpire for the Carillon Minor League, received the Umpire Award of Merit, Construction is expected to begin in late 2014 or early 2015. while Curtis Smith from Lorette was named as a member of the Honour Society. Each year Baseball Manitoba recognizes the accomplishments of everyone involved through the season and thanks those who have contributed to another successful year through the annual event.

Baseball Manitoba Honours Local Players

Fentanyl Trafficker Ring Busted On November 1 at about 2:30 am resulting from an ongoing investigation, Steinbach RCMP arrested 19-year-old Kyle Barker of Steinbach for Possession For the Purpose of Trafficking Fentanyl and MDMA. When police identified Kyle Barker as a passenger in a vehicle, Barker exited the vehicle and fled on foot. After a foot pursuit, the police arrested Barker and seized a quantity of Fentanyl and MDMA on his person. Barker was charged for Possession For the Purpose of Trafficking a Controlled Substance, Resisting Arrest, Breach of Recognizance and Breach of Probation. He was remanded in custody and appeared in Winnipeg Provincial Court on November 5 and remains in custody. Also on November 1 at about 5:30 pm, Steinbach RCMP, with the assistance of the Federal RCMP Serious and Organized Crime Unit and the RCMP National Weapons Support Team, obtained and executed both Drug and Criminal Code search warrants at a residence and property rented by Dean Barker and Tanya Bell in the Rural Municipality of Hanover. Police intercepted a vehicle departing the Barker residence and seized a quantity of Fentanyl, which police believe was just purchased from the Barkers. Thirty-one year old Kris Fast of Steinbach was arrested and subsequently released for Possession of Fentanyl. Police executed the search warrants and arrested 46-year-old Dean Barker, the father of Kyle Barker and his spouse, 39-year-old Tanya Bell, for Possession For the Purpose of Trafficking Fentanyl, resulting in another seizure of Fentanyl. The search of their residence and property led police to seize weapons, namely, a sawed off semi-automatic rifle, a blowgun and a push dagger. Dean Barker and Tanya Bell were charged and remanded into custody for Possession For the Purpose of Trafficking Fentanyl and a number of prohibited weapons offences. Both Dean Barker and Tanya Bell appeared in Winnipeg Provincial Court on November 5 and have been released on their own recognizance. Police have noted an increased prevalence of Fentanyl related incidents including overdoses within and around the City of Steinbach over the past two years. Police believe that these arrests will significantly minimize the availability of Fentanyl and thereby reducing over-doses and threats to the community. Fentanyl is a controlled substance and considered 100 times stronger than morphine and is used to treat cancer related break through pain not controlled by other pain medications or as anesthesia in operating rooms. MDMA, which is also, know as Ecstasy, is a highly addictive illegal drug with stimulant effects and causes damage to the brain’s serotonin neurons.


Biathlon Athlete Megan Imrie “Advance Access” Medical Available in Ready for Sochi St. Pierre-Jolys

Those needing medical attention at the St. Pierre Clinic now have access to Advanced Access instead of a walk-in clinic. According to the Rat River Health Council, Advance Access promises that patients can make an appointment to see their regular doctor instead of bogging down the local emergency room. “Although new to our clinic, it is a model that has been in place and successful in Manitoba for several years,” stated Murielle Bugera, with Rat River Health Council. “The goal is for patients to get an appointment with their own health care provider when they have an illness of concern.” The De Salaberry Primary Health Centre’s emergency room is still accepting patients for urgent needs and emergencies. However, if a patient needs to see a doctor and it is not an emergency they now have the option to call the clinic and ask for an appointment within 24 hours of their call with their doctor. Members of the Rat River Health Council are expected to meet with Southern Health in December to discuss ways to make the St. Pierre Clinic more stable in the future.

Falcon Lake’s Megan Imrie is looking forward to representing Canada in the biathlon at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

By Marianne Curtis From the early stages of training and competing in the biathlon at Falcon Ridge Ski Area to representing Canada in the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, Megan Imrie’s determination keeps her climbing steadily to the top. Imrie’s next big step is the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia and she has the support to back her up. The Falcon Lake resident has been training in Canmore, Alberta in preparation for competing in the biathlon, which includes crosscountry skiing and rifle shooting. Whether it is a local fundraiser or some positive verbal support, Imrie has all of her small town’s support compared to what many athletes in larger centres only dream of having. “There’s not a day that I don’t

appreciate the support I get from back home. Meeting kids who want to do what I’ve done is the ultimate motivation. I want to train and race for them,” said Imrie. “It’s a good feeling to know that I’m connected with people at every level. I know who groomed the ski trails, who held fundraisers for me, who sent me letters of encouragement, who sponsored me or offered advice, who read the newspaper articles, watched the interviews, and otherwise felt like they were a personal part of my journey.” When she was seven years old, Imrie began cross-country skiing in an after-school program. She and her classmates also practiced rifle shooting in the gym. “I lived close enough to school that I could ski all the way to school on the snowmobile trails,” she recalled.

Imrie stuck with it over the years and eventually qualified for the Olympics. Biathletes tend to reach their potential in their late 20s and early 30s, so the 27-year-old Imrie is on the cusp. “It takes a lot of technical work, a lot of video analysis, before you can even get close to what you want to be,” she said. “But with challenge comes opportunity. I did my best to make use of the terrain and infrastructure I had and make those my strengths.” This will be Imrie’s second Olympic appearance as part of Team Canada. While competing in the Vancouver 2010 Olympics the biathlete participated in three races. Her best finish was to place 15th as part of the women’s biathlon 4 x 6 kilometre relay.

NDP Questioned About Drugs in Schools and Fentanyl Awareness “There is a feeling that the availability of drugs in schools is increasing and that the types of drugs being made available are more deadly than ever before.” Steinbach MLA, Kelvin Goertzen, spent the early part of the new session of the Manitoba Legislature questioning the NDP government on the amount of information that is being provided to students on deadly drugs and the prevalence of drugs in Manitoba schools. “The issue of drugs in schools is something that has been raised as a concern by students, teachers and parents. There is a feeling that the availability of drugs in schools is increasing and that the types of drugs being made available are more deadly than ever before,” said Goertzen. Goertzen has asked the new NDP Minister of Education, James Allum whether there was any

information being provided to students about the prescription drug Fentanyl, a powerful painkiller that has been sold as a street drug. The question follows a recent drug bust in Steinbach where there was alleged illegal selling of Fentanyl. The Minister of Education refused to answer the question. “Both the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba and local law enforcement have sounded the alarm about this drug and the fact that many young people may not know what it is when it is presented to them. Knowledge is a powerful tool for young people in combating drug use and I was disappointed the Education Minister did not address this

issue,” said Goertzen. Goertzen asked the Education Minister how many times drugs were found in Manitoba schools last year and how many suspensions or other consequences occurred for drug use by students. The Minister of Education was unable to provide any information. “It’s not good enough for the NDP to talk about how keeping drugs out of our schools is important,” said Goertzen. “We need to actually be keeping track of what is going on across the province so we can tell if things are getting better or worse and if strategies to reduce drugs in schools are working.”


St. Labre 200 Committee Presents Cheques By Marianne Curtis On November 20, the organizers of the fast-paced St. Labre 200 presented cheques in support of three local community organizations. At the St. Labre 200 annual general meeting representatives from Today’s House, Eastman Recreation Opportunity for Children and the LGD of Piney Community Resource Council were all presented with funds. All three groups received cheques for $3,000 each. Joel Grenier, one of the organizers of the annual St. Labre 200, said their group is pleased to be able to donate to local groups. “St. Labre 200 was proud to distribute some money to charities of choice through their ‘Giving Back to the Community’ campaign,” stated Grenier. “Throughout the five years running the St. Labre 200 has been able to give back to their community and has handed out over $30 000 to local initiatives, daycares, charities and more.” Money raised during the annual St. Labre 200 with a community supper, concessions, merchandise, team auction, onsite donation jar and raffle are what make it possible for organizers to Give Back to the Community. A call to organizations wishing to receive funding is expected to be made early in the New Year. The next St. Labre 200 will take place on July 11 and 12, 2014. The main event is a 24hour go-cart build-off followed by a 200-lap race (50 miles). Other activities on the grounds include excavator rodeo, bounce castles, R/C racecars, Rubber Boot Toss and live bands. Above: St. Labre 200 President, David Gerady, presents a cheque for $3,000 to Moni Loewen of Today’s House. Left: Shauna Doerksen-Kozak, with Recreation Opportunities for Children, accepts $3,000 from David Gerardy, President of St. Labre 200.


New MPI Centre Opens in Steinbach

Minister of Justice Andrew Swan was on hand for the opening for the newly renovated MPI Claim Centre in Steinbach.

After one and a half years of construction, the $4.5 million expansion at the Steinbach Manitoba Public Insurance Claim Centre is finally complete. Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) President Marilyn McLaren said the project amalgamates two separate claim centres in the community into one building. “For more than 15 years we’ve had staff in two separate buildings and we are really excited to bring everyone together in this newly renovated functional building,” stated McLaren. The newly renovated claim centre is expected to benefit MPI customers throughout the region. “This will now be the one stop for MPI services,” McLaren explained. “Before, they would have to write their tests in

one building and the physical damage claims and injury claims were in another.” Steinbach Mayor Chris Goertzen was on hand at the opening. “I hope most of Steinbach doesn’t need to see the inside of the building for insurance reasons but it might just be worth taking a look,” stated Goertzen. “It’s a beautiful work place and now all the offices are located in one efficient place. Good to see investment in Steinbach.” Minister of Justice, Andrew Swan, said the expansion of the region’s only claim centre is the result of growth in the region. “This is a sign about how vibrant this community is,” added Swan. “This will make sure we can take care of the needs of southern Manitoba.”

Theatre and Curling Rink Goes to Tender On November 13, the blueprints for Steinbach’s new 23,000 square foot curling facility were being finalized and are expected to be released for tender early next week. The building of a new movie theatre has also been confirmed as part of the new facility. Mayor Chris Goertzen said the city is excited to reveal the plans for the new curling facility.

“Recreation facility renewal is a priority for council...” “Recreation facility renewal is a priority for council and a new curling facility is part of the continued improvements we want to see in our city,” stated Goertzen. As part of the project, the City has entered into an agreement with Pete Schellenberg to lease a portion of the facility, which will house a 170-seat, state of the art theatre in terms of picture, sound and seating. Schellenberg was the owner of Steinbach’s previous theatre, Keystone Cinema that was closed to facilitate the expansion of the Steinbach Credit Union. “I give the City a lot of credit,” said Schellenberg, “It has been a pleasure and a good experience working with the City to make this happen.” Deputy Mayor Michael Zwaagstra welcomes the return of the theatre. “The return of the theatre to Steinbach is very exciting,” added Zwaagstra, “It certainly fits with our strategy to maintain and build on our vibrant downtown.” Once blueprints are released, contractors will be able to submit their bids on the entire project. A closing date has not been finalized but is expected to be about three weeks from date of issue. Bids will then be reviewed and recommendations will be given to council to consider and award. Construction on the curling rink and theatre is expected to commence quickly after the tender is awarded with an anticipated completion date next Fall.


Goertzen Speaks Out About Morris Issues By Marianne Curtis The community of Morris has been embroiled in an alleged racial controversy over the past few weeks after a restaurant owner accused the community of racism. This was the third time in the last two years the community has come under fire. The previous owners of the establishment accused the community of bigotry because they were a homosexual

couple, which forced them to close their doors. Prior to that, the Morris newspaper came under fire after printing a racist political cartoon. All three incidents combined have caused outrage and placed Morris on the negative spotlight internationally. The Morris Constituency is currently without provincial representation after Mavis Tailleau resigned earlier this year. However, her counterpart, Steinbach MLA Kelvin Goertzen, issued a statement on the matter because of the ensuing controversy.

Seminar Helps Those Grieving Through the Holidays By Marianne Curtis For many people the Christmas season fails to bring the joy and happiness advertised on television or on greeting cards as they may be facing the holidays after the death of a loved one. To help with the process a one-day seminar is taking place in Niverville to help individuals prepare. Elin Hiebert started the GriefShare group in Niverville this past spring. Since its inception, two 7-week sessions have taken place. “The people who can benefit from this program are people who are grieving the death of a loved one, regardless of age and circumstance,” said Hiebert. “Many people find themselves alone in their grief, even when surrounded by people, and many people find it is hard to explain their feelings in a manner that helps the people in their life understand. GriefShare brings up topics that are common for those experiencing grief.” At the one-day class, participants will watch a DVD that addresses difficulties in facing grief over the holidays, triggers and then gives tools in how to deal with these things. “After the DVD we will have a conversation about what we learned and how it relates to each of us. This is how a typical GriefShare class looks. This is a one time class where anyone is welcome,” Hiebert explained. “Our next cycle of GriefShare classes (13 sessions, 7 evenings), will start again early spring.” Hiebert stresses that anyone can participate and it does not matter if the loss occurred last week or ten years ago. “Some people hesitate to come because their grief isn’t new, it may have been years since their loss, but it’s still a struggle. It is still perfectly fine to come even though the grief isn’t new,” Hiebert added. The one evening class is begins at 7 pm on December 16, at the Word of Life Mission Church on 3rd Street in Niverville. For more information call (204) 381-1155 or visit www.nivervillegriefshare.com.

Ritchot Entrepreneurs Honoured Two entrepreneurs from the RM of Ritchot were honoured by the Conseil de developpement economique du Manitoba (CDEM) at a special Entrepreneurship Pioneer Recognition Event. Raymond Poirier and Henri Baudry, both from Ritchot were two of the entrepreneurs to be recognized for their achievements that evening. The gala took place at the Hotel Fort Garry on December 4.

“For those few individuals (and I do believe they are comparatively few in number) who do not treat our ethnic community respectfully or as the Golden Rule says, as we would like to be treated, I would say they are not just hurting their community, they are hurting themselves,” stated Goertzen. “Because we hear of incidents of racism in our region doesn’t mean it is ‘rampant’. The fact people are coming here, bringing their families, and making this their permanent home in such large numbers is evidence of that,” Goertzen continued. “But it does show that there is more that needs to be done to ensure our communities are welcoming and safe for all who want to come and be a positive part of them.” Goertzen said that the growth of rural communities such as Steinbach is fuelled by immigration, not long-time residents with big families and there is no place for racism. “Immigration, not just by Germans but by many Filipinos, Columbians and literally from every part of the globe,” stated Goertzen. “Almost universally I hear from them that the residents of Steinbach and the region have welcomed them with open arms.” While he admits that, some people are unkind or act in ways that could be seen as discriminatory, the vast majority of the region welcomes immigrants from every corner. “I wish our community was perfect and that our world was perfect. It is not. But what I hear from my new Canadian friends is that they love living here and they feel welcome here. It’s why Steinbach and the southeast is one of the most successful and prosperous areas of Manitoba,” Goertzen concluded.


Bethesda Auxiliary Celebrates with Community By Marianne Curtis On November 15, approximately 250 people came out to help the Bethesda Health Care Auxiliary celebrate their 75th anniversary of service to health care in the region. During the banquet, attendees were treated to a bit of a history lesson, a delicious supper, and live entertainment by a local quartet. When the Auxiliary was founded in 1938, the group consisted of dedicated women supplying the hospital with food for patients, helping with laundry and sewing for patients. Since then, their efforts have shifted to fundraising and less “hands on”. Auxiliary President Phyllis Toews said the group is proud of the many years of service they have given to make the community a better place by improving health care services. “Many changes and compromises have been made to keep up with the times,” Toews said. “From rag drives, canning, mending and milking the cows we have moved to be a purely fund raising group.” The Auxiliary raises approximately $30,000 per year through fundraising and donations. Since 1980, the Auxiliary has provided close to $450,000 towards the purchase of equipment and health scholarships. Jan Gunness, VP Clinical Standards and Chief Nursing Officer for Southern Health, and Ian Krochak, Health Services Director of Bethesda Regional Health Centre, accept a $20,000 Ian Krochak, Health Services cheque from Phyllis Toews, President of the Bethesda Health Care Auxiliary, during their 75th Anniversary banquet. Director of Bethesda Regional Photo by Marianne Curtis Health Centre, is grateful for the hard work of this dedicated group of with their twice-annual book fair. volunteers During the banquet, many volunteers were also “Words cannot express how recognized. grateful we are for the hard work of “We rely on about 150 volunteers per year and we the Auxiliary,” stated Krochak. On are grateful to every single one,” Toews continued. behalf of the facility, Krochak “Ten people giving four hours is 40 hours, 100 accepted a cheque for $20,000 people giving four hours is 400 hours. It all adds towards either a bedpan washer, up.” which comes with a $20,000 price Volunteers help with the Book Fair and assist by tag, or a bath chair that will cost sewing and knitting items for the hospital gift shop, $15,000. The Auxiliary is committed which is currently closed for construction. They to raise the funds needed to also knit caps for every newborn delivered in the purchase the equipment the hospital hospital and mittens for the annual Christmas Craft does not purchase out of the two sale.

Representation Delayed is Representation Denied By the time NDP Premier Greg Selinger finally gets around to calling a by-election in the provincial constituency of Morris, residents will have gone without representation in the Legislature for a year. Manitoba Progressive Conservative House Leader, Kelvin Goertzen, says that is both undemocratic and politically motivated and has introduced legislation to ensure it doesn’t happen again. “Our democratic system is based on people having an elected person in the Manitoba Legislature to represent their views and advocate for their best interests. Premier Selinger has denied the residents of the Morris Constituency that democratic right for nearly a year,” said Goertzen. “While I would prefer to be able to rely on the honour of the Premier to call by-elections in a reasonable time, that doesn’t seem to be an option with this Premier.” Under existing Manitoba law, a by-election has to be called within one year of a seat becoming vacant although it has been rare that a year has been taken. The new legislation would require by-elections to be called within six months except if there is a state of emergency in the vacated riding or a general election was within a year. It would correspond to timeframes in federal legislation and most other provinces. Goertzen said despite repeated calls for the by-election in Morris to be called the Premier has refused, raising the concern that it has not been called sooner because the NDP feels it may not win the seat. “This is a Premier that can’t seem to put his own personal self-interest aside and put the interests of Manitobans first. Representation delayed, is representation denied,” said Goertzen.


Remember Holiday Safety Trees strung with lights, fireplaces warm and bright, and festive decorations aglow can only mean one thing, the holiday season is upon us. It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but make sure it’s a safe time as well by following a few important safety tips: - Toss any holiday lights or electric decorations that have damaged wires, loose connections, or cracked sockets. - Keep little hands and paws away from any decor that uses electricity. Even small lights can produce a deadly shock if they’re not used properly. - Extension cords, lights, and electric decorations that are meant to be used indoors should never be used outdoors. Even those that are safe for outside use should be kept clear of snow and standing water, and plugged into an outlet protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). These devices are designed to interrupt an electric current if a fault occurs, preventing you from receiving an electric shock. - Take care not to encounter power lines if you’re decorating a tall tree or building. - Install carbon monoxide (CO) detectors on each level of your home, or test those you already have. A qualified heating contractor should perform a regular maintenance check of your furnace and venting system, fireplace, chimneys, and all fuel-burning appliances. Malfunctioning furnaces and fireplaces, a clogged chimney, inadequate venting or back drafting of flue gases can result in dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

All That Glows at the Manitoba Electrical Museum

’Tis the season for holiday lights displays, and the Manitoba Electrical Museum & Education Centre has a spectacular one you’ll be sure to enjoy. At the annual All That Glows, Then and Now exhibit, you’ll see how holiday lighting has changed over the years. You’ll walk through a magnificent, 3-metre wreath lit with 600 LED lights as you enter the museum, continuing through displays of holiday trees that display vintage lighting from the 1880s to today’s high-tech options. While enjoying the holiday lighting, you’ll also be able to explore the history of electrical development in Manitoba through interactive exhibits. You can climb inside a streetcar with one of the earliest uses of electricity in the province, push buttons on the giant talking robot, or test your safety knowledge with the Play It Safe game. Kids will love visiting too, as they can hunt for Manitoba Hydro’s Electrosaurus mascot while they learn energy saving tips. The Then and Now exhibit runs until January 9, 2014. The museum is open during its regular hours of 1 pm to 4 pm, Monday to Thursday, with extended holiday hours as follows: - Wednesdays - December 4, 11, and 18, from 1 - 8 pm - Saturdays - December 7, 14, 21, and 28, from 1 - 4 pm The museum will be closed December 24 to 27, inclusive, December 31, and January 1. Contact 204-360-7905, email museum@hydro.mb.ca or visit hydro.mb.ca/museum for information or to arrange a group tour.




Barn Burns in Grunthal

On November 22, the Grunthal Fire Department responded to a barn fire just outside of Grunthal shortly after 9 am. According to Kleefeld Fire Chief John Schroeder, the vacant barn was fully engulfed by the time fire crews arrived. “It was a vacant barn,” stated Schroeder. “There were no animals inside.” Schroeder said that there was a home nearby but there was no danger of the fire spreading. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

New Bothwell Buys Larger Capacity Fire Truck Christmas came early for the New Bothwell Fire Department after they added a new pumper truck to their department’s fire fighting arsenal. According to Ken Hiebert, New Bothwell Fire Chief, the new pumper is a 350 horsepower diesel capable of pumping 1,250 gallons of water per minute, double the capacity of their previous truck at

650 gallons per minute. “This is something we’ve been waiting for awhile,” stated Hiebert. “We are very appreciative and proud of what we got.” Hanover Reeve Stan Toews said that the RM of Hanover purchased the new truck to meet new standards that require that fire trucks be replaced every 25 years. The new pumper will replace the current 1990 truck, which is now sitting outside the Grunthal Fire Hall until council makes a decision on disposal. The new truck, which was built by Grunthal Emergency Vehicles, cost $295,000 and will be paid with funds from the RM of Hanover fire department reserve fund.



Hadashville Tae Kwon Do - Every Wednesday at 6 pm at the Hadashville Community Club (Reynolds Recreational Centre) from 6 years old to adults. Pursue a black belt or learn new skills, great stress release and have an excellent workout at the same time. Cost after registration fee is $40/month per person. Ask about 2 week free trial. Contact Shelly at 204-426-5266 or KSTA.academy@gmail.com.

Niverville GriefShare - If you or someone you know has experienced the loss of a loved one we wish to help, you get support and learn about the grieving process. Contact 204-381-1155 to register or go to Nivervillegriefshare.com.

Moms N’ Tots Playgroup - Moms with children up to age six. Wednesday mornings from 9:30 - 11:30 am located in the lower level of Fourth Avenue Bible Church (62 4th Avenue S.). Free drop-in program with coffee and snacks provided, Ile-des-Chênes First AGM – On Tuesday, December 10 for the Ritchot Regional along with a large open space for the kids to play while the Chamber of Commerce at 7:30 pm at the TransCanada Centre. moms visit. Contact Karen at klenzrpeters@hotmail.com. Guest speaker will be Chuck Davidson, President of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce. Jean Gaudry representative Otterburne for the Chamber Group Insurance benefits also will be there. Vigil – On Friday, December 6 from 11:10 am at Providence If you are a business, corporation or firm, please sign yourself College for the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Contact Meghan, Agape House up as a member of the Ritchot Chamber of Commerce. 204-326- 6062. Our Lady of the Roses Prayer Group – Meets on the first Saturday of every month, at 6:30 pm to recite the Rosary and learn Festival of Christmas Praise - On Friday, December 6 and about Our Lady of the Roses, Mary Help of Mothers and receive Saturday, December 7 at 7:30 pm at the R. W. Affleck Chapel, Blessed Rose Petals and other Sacramentals from Blessed Providence University College. Visit website providenceUC.ca. Mother’s place of miracles. Contact Corinna 204-878-4908 or email her at corinnaswetz@hotmail.com for more info Piney Bingo - Every 2nd Friday. and register. Kleefeld Christmas in Kleefeld - On Saturday, December 7, from 4 – 7 pm at the Recreation Centre with a Tree Lighting, a visit from Santa and a new Toboggan Run Grand Opening. Free Hotdogs and hot Chocolate. Crazy carpets available for 5075 kids. Contact Gord @ firstgear@mymts.net.

Prawda Circuit 30 - Alternate aerobic and weight exercises, with cool down and stretch exercises. Wear comfortable clothing, clean runners, and bring a bottle of water. Cost $2/class, Mondays and Thursdays at 7 pm, in the Reynolds School Gym. Contact Wendy 204-348-2433.

Community Playgroup - for parents, caregivers and children Busy Bodies Playgroup – Every Wednesday from 9 - 11 am ages 0-5. Activities include time for playing, stories, songs at the Reynolds School Gym. Free to parents and children. and snacks. Every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month at the Snacks provided. Contact Cassie 204-793-8290. Kleefeld Rec Centre. Contact Irene Ascough 377-5013. Richer Seine River Services for Seniors Programs: La Broquerie Wii Love Seniors Bowling Challenge 2013-2014 - 5 Tai Chi for Seniors – On Thursday at 6:30 pm at the Richer challenges in different towns including La Broquerie, Lorette, School, Gym. Free. Instructor Sara Trudeau. Seniors are Ste-Anne and St. Adolphe and then one more day of fun to encouraged to consult with a doctor before starting this program. end it all. Our next challenge on Wednesday, January 15, For all programs, you must register with Seine River Services 2014 in St. Adolphe at Le Club Amical - 344 Main Street. for Seniors – Contact Juliette Rowan Community Resource Challenges are on Wednesdays from 1 - 3 pm. Refreshments Coordinator at 204-424-5575 for Richer services or email provided. We ask for a donation of a Loonie each event. labseinerss@gmail.com. Beginners welcome. Contact Juliette 204-424-5285 or Richer Recovery AA - Group meets every Thursday and Denise 204-883-2880. Saturday from 7:30 - 8:30 pm at LUD Hall in Richer. Contact Seine River Services for Seniors- Health Centre/Centre de Lee at 204-451-0255. Santé from Monday to Friday 8:30 am - 4 pm. Offers services and programs for seniors. Income Tax help, Lifeline, mobility Monday Night Bingos - To raise funds for Stacey Pchajek equipment, foot care, hair care, transportation, home Memorial Foundation Inc. The foundation provides maintenance, yard maintenance, Telecheck, the E.R.I.K. scholarships, bursaries and prizes to students graduating program, puzzles and games. Contact Community Resource grades 8 and 12. Children Under 14 must be accompanied Coordinator Juliette Rowan at 424-5285 or by an adult to be on premises and must play bingo. Doors Open at 5:30 pm at the Young at Heart Club 22 Dawson Rd. labseinerss@gmail.com. Shopping Trips - Winnipeg’s St.Vital Mall every first Thursday in Richer. MGCC License # BI/BO4164. Contact Doreen of the month, leaving at 10 am - 3 pm. Cost $15. Steinbach’s Pchajek at 422-5243 or doreen@spmf.ca. Clearspring Centre every last Thursday of the month, leaving Sprague at 10 am - 1 pm. Cost $10. Bingo - Every 2nd Wednesday. Lorette Parade of Lights and Market – On Saturday, December 7. A St. Adolphe Market will be held at the Lorette Collegiate from 10 am - 4 Wii Love Seniors Bowling Challenge 2013-2014 - 5 pm. The Parade of Lights begins at 6 pm and Community challenges in different towns including La Broquerie, Lorette, Tree Lighting and Fireworks at the Notre Dame de Lorette Ste-Anne and St. Adolphe and then one more day of fun to Church at 6:45 pm. Refreshments at the Lorette Parish Hall end it all. Our next challenge on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 in St. Adolphe at Le Club Amical - 344 Main Street. at 7 pm. Challenges are on Wednesdays from 1 - 3 pm. Refreshments Fred Penner Duo – On Friday, December 15, the Lorette provided. We ask for a donation of a Loonie each event. Family Fun Group hosting event at the Lorette Collegiate at Beginners welcome. Contact Juliette 204-424-5285 or Denise 204-883-2880. 2 pm. Citizens on Patrol Program (COPP) – Volunteer opportunities. If you go for walks, bike rides, jogs or even just drive around the community, please put on a COPP vest and show your support or help with administrative duties. Can you donate an hour per month? Contact Trevor @ 204-955-3434 Lorettecopp@gmail.com.

St. Malo Breakfast with Santa – On Saturday December 7 at the St. Malo Church basement from 9 am – noon. Pancake breakfast, Lou Lou Bell the clown magic show at 10 am. Bring a nonperishable food item for the Christmas Hamper drive.

World Winter Wonderland – Starts on Tuesday, December New Horizons Seniors - Play cards, Scrabble, Wii and more. 17 at the École St.Malo School. Contact stmalo@rrvsd.ca Drop in Tuesdays 1-5 pm at Foyer Notre Dame Lorette 12 for more information. St.Amant Ave. Contact Iris 204-878-3552. St. Pierre-Jolys Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba – Depression support Mitchell Breakfast and Social - every Tuesday morning, 7:30 - 9 am group meetings held on the 4th Tuesday of every month at 7 except the last Tuesday of the month when the social is held pm. Located at the Health Corner DeSalaberry Hospital. instead. Lunch starts at noon at the Mitchell and Area Seniors Contact Judy Dunn 444-5228. Centre. Contact 204-326-6944.

St. Adolphe Curling Club Social – On Tuesday, December 31 at the Pioneer Hall. Tickets are $15. Available at St. Adolphe Esso, the Caisse or contact curlstadolphe@gmail.com. Silent auction, party favours and DJ music. Ste. Anne Songs of Christmas – On Sunday, December 8 at 2:30 pm at the Ste. Anne Catholic Church. Free admission. Please bring non-perishable food or make a monetary donation for Christmas hampers organized by the Ste. Anne Knights of Columbus.

programming@jakeepplibrary.com. Ladies Get Fit Classes - Sponsored by Eastman Immigrant Services, every Wednesday at 7:15 pm at the Woodlawn School gym. Aerobic, circuit training, weights, mats and stretching exercises. Suitable for all ages and levels of fitness. Register contact Lois 204-346-6609.

Steinbach Girl Guides - Every Tuesday at the United Church of Steinbach, 541 Main St. Registration for girls 5-17. Develop personal values and well-being, self-respect and respect for others; promote fun, friendship, adventure and challenges through new experiences; develop leadership and Seine River Services for Seniors – Invite to all seniors decision-making skills; give service to the community; value interested in the Wii Bowling game to come, try it out and the natural environment. have fun. On Monday at1 pm, at Le Club Jovial. Contact Juliette Rowan at 204-424-5285 Community Resource Green Drinks South Eastman - South Eastman Transition Coordinator for local services or e-mail Initiative presents Green Drinks South Eastman. On the 3rd Tuesday of every month at 7 pm at LBees, 5-275 Main St. labseinerss@gmail.com. Grab a coffee and discuss sustainable living. Contact rebecca_hiebert@yahoo.com. Ste. Geneviève Breakfast with Santa - On Saturday, December 7 at 10 am. Santa will bring a special gift for your child (up to the age of The Steinbach Rotary Club - meets every Monday at noon at 12 years). All children must be registered by December 4 by the Pat Porter Centre for active living. Contact Cornie at 326signing up at the Domo or by calling Tashia at 204-422- 3155. 9964. Please make sure to leave your child’s name (first and last) age, gender and phone number. Breakfast is Mental Health Information and Support sessions - for family available for $5 per adults, $3 for children ages 3-12 and and friends of people with mental health issues are held the FREE for ages 2 & under! Volunteers needed for gift-wrapping, 2nd Tuesday of every month from 7 – 8:30 pm at the Eden East building, 21 Loewen Blvd. Contact Kim at 371-0824 breakfast prep and decorating. Contact Tashia today! or email eastmanmss@mts.net Library Night - Bibliothèque Taché Library at the Community Centre on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month, from MS Monthly Self-Help group meeting - for people living with 6:30 - 8 pm. Selection of books in both French and English, multiple sclerosis. The group meets on the second Thursday all ages. Over 21,000 books including audiobooks, DVDs, evening of each month from 6 - 7 pm at Fernwood Place CDs, large print books and magazines plus they can import apartments. Contact Nadine Konyk, Rural Client Services books from any library in Manitoba. Special requests can be Coordinator at 1-800-268-7582 or email made to the librarian, Brandi Schmitz at 204-878 - 9488, nadine.konyk@mssociety.ca. bibliotachelibrary.com or in person. MS Lunch Group- on fourth Thursday of every month, from 12 – 1 pm at the Village Green Restaurant. Contact Nadine Steinbach Grand Opening - Workplace Essential Skills Training (WEST) Konyk, Rural Client Services Coordinator 204-326-1434 on Thursday, December 5, from 3 – 6 at Unit 2- 90 Brandt or email nadine.konyk@mssociety.ca. Street. Ribbon cutting ceremony at 4 pm. All training is free. Contact Donna Whyte-Watts and Carole Tetreault 204-371- Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba individual and support groups - for persons experiencing depression, anxiety, 1238 or west.steinbach@wem.mb.ca. stress, bi-polar disorder and other mental health/emotional Free Community Christmas Dinner – On Thursday, concerns. Meets on the first Wednesday of each month at December 5 from 3 – 7 pm at the Royal Canadian Legion. Jake Epp Library from 7 – 9 pm. Contact Judy Dunn 204Gladly accepting cash donations or a tin for the bin. All 444-5228. donations will be going to Southeast Helping Hands and Breast Cancer Society. Hosted by K&S Insulation Services and The Bethesda Regional Healthcare Auxiliary - meets on the Friends. Contact Ken or Shelly Madison 204-392-9688 or first Tuesday of every month except for the months of July and August at the Bethesda Hospital. We welcome anyone shellymadison@hotmail.com. interested in auxiliary work. Contact Verna Thiessen at 326Vigil – On Friday, December 6 from 7 – 8 pm at the Red 3028. River Community College Campus for the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Steinbach and Area Lions Club meets on the second and fourth Wednesdays of every month at the Magnolia Contact Meghan at Agape House 204-326- 6062. Restaurant. Contact 204-326-2313. A Touch of Christmas - From Friday, December 6 - Sunday, December 8, at the Mennonite Heritage Village. The Red Carillon Toastmasters - meetings are open to adults who Nose Christmas Show and The Living Nativity every night want to improve their leadership and communication skills. @ 6:30 pm. Bring flashlights, Cost is Free. Sleigh rides at Thursday evenings starting at 7 pm at the Jake Epp Public Library 255 Elmdale Street, Contact Doreen 204-326-7525. 5 pm and fire pit at 6:30 pm. Edith Place Christmas Craft sale and Home Show – On Saturday, December 7 at 314 Reimer Ave. A large variety of different vendors, complimentary coffee, tea and desserts. Live entertainment, door prizes, games and lunch. Contact Bridget Riley 204-326-6000 or edithsplace@envisioncl.com. Women’s Business Network Lunch – On Wednesday, December 11 at 11:30 am, at All D’s Restaurant and Lounge, 104-320 Main St. Elaine Palson from the Canadian Youth Business Foundation will speak about the programs available for entrepreneurs. After, join us for the continuation of our strategic planning session from 1:30 - 4:30 pm at the Steinbach Chamber of Commerce office at 284 Reimer Ave. Contact Jeannette info@turning-points.ca.

Steinbach AA 12 Step Recovery Program - Meetings are held on Wednesdays at 7 pm. Steinbach United Church, 541 Main St. Ring the front door bell.

Agape House to Host Vigils On December 6, residents’ of the southeast are invited to attend the Vigils in commemoration of Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Community members are invited to attend and commit to take action to confront all forms of violence against girls and women and to remember those women who have died because of violence. There will be three vigils hosted throughout the Eastman area on December 6 and each will run about a half hour in length. Established in 1991 by the Canadian Parliament, December 6 marks the day that fourteen women lost their lives in an act of gender violence at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal in 1989. Every year Canadians are asked to take a moment to remember women in our communities for whom violence is a daily reality. This year the vigil will include poetry reading, art display, words from local politicians and a moment of silence for those women who have lost their lives to genderbased violence. If you would like to find out more information on the services visit the Agape House website or phone the administration line at 204-326-6062. Vigil Times and Locations: Otterburne at 11:10 at Providence University College Beausejour at 4 pm at Sandy Saulteaux Spiritual Centre Steinbach at 7 pm at Red River College Steinbach Campus

Snowmobile Safety

Young moms to be - Bi-weekly support group starts at 4:30 It’s winter in Manitoba and that pm at Anna’s House B-11, Hwy 12N. Contact 204-346means another season of fun for 0413. Woodridge Bingo - Every 2nd Sunday night at 7 pm.

General Get Better Together - Take control of your health and learn to live better with your ongoing health condition with a free 6week health awareness program in your area: Steinbach - Mondays from 6:15 - 8:15 pm. Book Sale - Bethesda Healthcare Auxiliary – On Tuesdays Landmark - Thursdays from 6:45 - 8:45 pm (gently and not-so gently) used book sale at Clearspring Marchand - Wednesdays from 7 - 9 pm. Centre. Book donations accepted year round at Clearspring St. Malo - Mondays from 1:30 - 3:30 pm. Contact to register Madeleine at Southern Health-Santé Sud Centre from 9:30 am – 4 pm. at 204-346-6692. Healthy Eating Cooking Classes - Every other week on Thursdays at South East Helping Hands. No Charge, enjoy a Free Monthly Bus Trips to the Casinos of Winnipeg - Join us meal with other community members and learn how to plan for a great day of fun and friendship. We visit McPhillips Street & prepare healthy meals on a budget. Contact and register Station in the morning and Club Regent in the afternoon. Pick 204-326-2599 or southeasthelpinghands@gmail.com. ups in Steinbach, Ste. Anne and Paradise Village. Must be 18 years of age or older. Prizes and $10 cash for everyone. All Adult Book Club - Tuesdays from 7 – 9 pm. Bring book passengers qualify for special Christmas draws. Bingo played suggestions or peruse our book lists. Meet some other book on the bus to and from the casinos for those wishing to play. lovers too and bring a friend. At the Jake Epp Library 255 Contact Marilyn at 204-326-4939 to reserve your seat. Elmdale St. Contact Tracey Pankratz 204-326-6841 The next scheduled trip is Tuesday December 10.

snowmobilers. Just as you wouldn’t hit the trails without your helmet and other essential gear, you shouldn’t head out for a ride without knowing a few guidelines to help you get home safe: - Keep your speed down so you have time to see-and react to-any obstacles in your path. - Don’t drink and ride. - Pack a repair kit with items such as a spare belt, spark plugs, tools, and a towrope. A first aid kit, a cell phone and supplies such as a knife, compass, matches, flashlight, whistle, and food can also come in handy in an emergency. - Stay off rivers and lakes whenever possible, especially at night. It can be difficult to spot dark or slushy patches until it’s too late. - Dress for the elements by wearing full snowmobiling gear every time you go out for a ride.


Minister of Health Temporarily Suspends STARS Following a recent patient transportation incident with STARS air ambulance service and advice from medical professionals, Health Minister Erin Selby announced the temporary suspension of STARS. “On the advice from medical professionals, I’ve instructed my department to take this action. Up until now, I’ve been assured that STARS is providing appropriate emergency care, but concerns have been raised following a recent incident,” said Minister Selby. “We all know STARS has played a vital role in our health-care system saving many lives every year, but we must ensure that each patient receiving care on board STARS is receiving the right care.” Late in the evening of Nov. 28, STARS was transporting a patient in the Southern Health Region to Winnipeg for further specialized care following cardiac arrest. At the time of the flight, the patient was cleared for takeoff, however, after landing in Winnipeg and, despite the best efforts of medical staff on the ground, the patient later died. At the time of the incident, a doctor, paramedic and critical care nurse were on board along with all appropriate medical equipment. “This is a tragedy in which my deepest sympathies go out to the family. I can’t begin to understand the hurt they are feeling and my thoughts are with them,” said Minister Selby. “This case is now being reviewed as a critical incident so we can get to the bottom of what happened and provide answers to the family.” The pause in STARS service will remain in effect pending the results of the critical incident investigation, she added. Manitoba Health has had to take the step of temporarily suspending ground and other air ambulance services in the past until issues of concern were resolved. A contingency plan has already been enacted during the absence of STARS, the minister said. Lifeflight and basic air-ambulance service has been expanded into southern communities and, if deemed medically necessary, physicians will accompany patients on land ambulance transfers. Manitoba Health currently has 24 basic air ambulances and two Lifeflight jets that are always staffed by a critical care physician, who is available as part of emergency medical services in the province. They are dispatched in the same operational manner as STARS. During the floods of 2009 and 2011, Manitoba contracted Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS) to provide specialized emergency medical services via helicopter. Based on that experience, Manitoba decided to implement a permanent helicopter ambulance program with STARS. Since arriving in Manitoba in 2011, the STARS helicopter ambulance has flown over 694 missions resulting in over 434 patient transports.

Bothwell’s Marble Cheddar Reclaims Top Spot Manitoba’s Bothwell Cheese has reclaimed top spot in the Marble Cheddar category at the 86th Annual British Empire Cheese Show winning first place for the seventh time in the past eight years. The company also took first place in the American style category for the third time in five years with its Monterey Jack and second place in the hard cheese category with its newly created Smoked Parmesan. “It is very exciting to once again win with our Monterey Jack since it is the base cheese for almost all of our specialty flavoured cheeses.” says Bothwell Cheese Director, Sales & Marketing Mike Raftis. “This is the first year that Bothwell has made parmesan cheese, and to place second among manufacturers who have been producing this variety for years is indeed a remarkable achievement.” “We are genuinely elated and very proud to have received these awards at the British Empire Cheese Show. Winning this particular competition is significant,” says Bothwell Cheese President & CEO Ivan Balenovic, “because we’re judged by our peers who truly understand and appreciate excellence in cheese. Our company has been making cheese for 77 years and these awards further validate the extraordinary efforts of our exceptionally skilled cheese makers, who take great pride in making superb cheese.” The British Empire Cheese Show has a long and distinguished history. Since 1927 cheese makers from around the world have entered the competition, hoping to win one of its highly coveted awards. Billed as Canada’s largest display of Canadian & International Cheese, the show is presented by the Central Ontario Cheese Makers Association.


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