Manitoba Sustainable Development is asking for public input on a draft regulation governing water drainage.

Jody Tucker, from the Turtle River Watershed Conservation District, warns wetlands are in trouble if there are no changes to the regulations. 

Last June the provincial government passed the Sustainable Watersheds Act, establishing no net loss of wetland benefits and requiring compensation to restore the benefits lost through drainage activities.

According to Tucker, permanent wetlands were basically untouchable. Now that’s no longer the case. Landowners now have a few options like paying, purchasing, or protecting.

“The protect component would allow someone who already owns land that contains an existing wetland or wetlands, to permanently protect the existing wetland with a conservation agreement. And that would be at a ratio of 3:1. So you can protect three acres of existing wetland which would allow you to drain one acre of existing wetlands.” He continues, “So one acre plus three acres equals four acres of existing wetlands before protection. So you protect the three acres and drain the one. So 4-1=3, which means you are still out an acre of wetland that was there before. “

Across Manitoba, 70 percent of wetland habitats have been drained, damaged or destroyed because of agricultural and urban development. The province is losing wetlands at a rate of 5400 acres a year in southwestern Manitoba a year.

Another concern for Tucker is of compensation. “You can pay. In the plain language proposed regulations right now it’s not really entirely clear where the money will go to other than what they call an approved organization.”

The ratio is 2:1 with compensation costs of $6,000 per acre.

The Lake Winnipeg Foundation says there is to monitoring, auditing or evaluation processes included in the regulation to measure its ecological impacts.

“It took ten thousand years to get most of our wetlands to the state they’re in. In the proposed regulations one of the components allows the creation of new wetlands. It sounds good, but, newly created wetlands are actually a net contributor to greenhouse gasses for 80 to 100 years whereas a newly drained wetland is no longer a carbon sink; it becomes a carbon emitter.”

“I understand the need for good farmland. But at the same time, we need a healthy environment to live, and wetlands play a critical role in that. We talk about climate change resiliency and flood mitigation, biodiversity, to name a few. But what they’re proposing is pretty much just the opposite,” Tucker said.

The deadline to voice your concerns is this Saturday. You can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also go to the government's website at https://www.gov.mb.ca/sd/consultations/index.html

Lake Winnipeg Foundation created a template you can copy and paste into an email. Yhe link to their site is found here

A 28-year-old man in Birdtail Sioux First Nation has been killed after being stabbed Monday evening.

Manitoba First Nations Police received a call reporting a man having a cardiac arrest.

On scene, it was discovered the 28-year old received an apparent fatal stab wound.

Charges have not been laid at this time.

The Manitoba First Nations Police Service and RCMP major crimes Unit will continue to investigate.

Police request that anyone with information call the Manitoba First Nations Police at 1 204 5684539, RCMP Major Crimes at 204 983-5420, or Crime Stoppers at 204 786 8477.

There are only a couple days left to nominate a person or family for the Manitoba Beef Producers Lifetime Achievement Award.

Brian Lemon says the award is given out every five years.

“What we’re looking for is people who are current or past members of the Manitoba Beef Producers who have been active advocates with a real genuine interest in the industry whose achievements have left a lasting benefit for our industry and who have been involved in the industry.”

The award is being presented during the President’s Banquet at the 40th Annual General Meeting in Brandon on February 7th.

Nominations are due by 4:30 on Friday. You can find the forms by going to mbbeef.ca or calling the office at 1-800-772-0458.

The current collective bargaining agreement between Doctors Manitoba and the provincial government will expire on March 31st.

This could lead to a tense situation, as the provincial government passed the Public Services Sustainability Act in 2017 to put all public-sector employees on a wage freeze, but it hasn't been made into official law yet. 

The act says that all public-sector employees would undergo a 2-year wage freeze at the end of their collective bargaining agreements.

Canadian courts have ruled in the past that governments have the right to impose wage-restraint legislation as long as it's time-limited and broad-based.

Students at Gilbert Plains Collegiate are about to learn the importance of integrity and ethics and how both affect them right now and in the future.

In February students are taking a course created by the Better Business Bureau called the 'LIFT Business Ethics Certification Program.'

Renee Minshull says the curriculum fits in well with their vision program where they focus on developing after-school skills to be successful in life.

She says this certification gives the students a bit of an edge when they are applying for a job.

“It’s a neat program, and it’s really kind of interring to get the kids to think about how it’s actually going to play out for them. How these little decisions are going to affect their life, and I think it’s going to be really cool to see where they take these ideas and scenarios.”

It consists of five different workshops focusing on topics like character development and building, and personal values.

“It’s actuary a pretty well run course. They provide us with everything that we need. It has PowerPoint presentations and the activities and the assignments, the handouts and everything. So basically we’re somewhat of a facilitator leading them through these ethical decision making activates.”

Minshull explains that vision courses are 30 minutes each day. The first week of February they are doing workshop one and two. The second week is workshop three and four. And then they have around five classes to work on their final project.

The course ends with a final presentation that makes students relay what they learned back to their own lives now and what they think their lives will be like in the future.

“It is important to give our students valuable skills in order to be successful in life after high school, whether that be post-secondary education or the workforce. The real world is tough, so we hope that this program will give our students the edge they need to be successful in whatever they choose.”

Four men were caught hunting at night with lights on December 10th in two different areas of the province. 

In Ashern officers patrolling near the community saw a vehicle driving down a municipal road, using a spotlight to light up areas just off the road.

Officers watched as two men in a 2017 Ford F-150 pickup truck used the spotlight for over a mile before they moved in and stopped the vehicle.

The two men from Lake Manitoba First Nation face a number of charges including hunting at night with lights, hunting on private land without permission and carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle.

Their truck, loaded rifle and spotlight were seized as evidence.

Later that night two men were charged after aerial surveillance observed spotlighting activity along PR 366, northeast of Inglis.

Officers on the ground tracked the vehicle to the yard of a rural residence.

One male was from Alberta and has been charged with hunting at night with lights and carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle.

The other man was from the RM of Riding Mountain West and has been charged with hunting at night with lights.

A 2011 Chevrolet 3500 pickup truck, loaded rifle, other hunting equipment and a spotlight were seized as evidence.

Anyone with information about illegal activities is asked to call their local Manitoba Sustainable Development office or the Turn in Poachers (TIP) line at 1-800-782-0076.

Thompson RCMP seized drugs and guns from a residence in Split Lake, 143 km northeast of Thompson.

They found about 32 grams of cocaine, two pellet guns, four shotguns, 5 rifles, ammunition, and drug paraphernalia.

55-year-old Baptiste Brightnose and 20-year-old Bruce Brightnose were arrested and charged with Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking, Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm, and multiple counts of Careless Use of a Firearm.

The Thompson RCMP will continue to investigate.

Tear up the lease agreement!

Dauphin's CN Park - which the city has been leasing from CN since the 80s, is almost officially in the hands of the city of Dauphin.

At last night's council meeting, Mayor Allen Dowhan and City Manager Sharla Griffiths were given authority to sign the "deed of gift" for the park - one of the last steps in the process. According to Griffiths, the process is very close to wrapping up.

In 2017, it was announced that CN would "gift" the land of CN Park to Dauphin as part of the Canada 150 celebrations.

Power is back to most people after the massive outage that left almost 2000 people without power this morning.

The large outage was caused by high winds.

Manitoba Hydro says because of damage to equipment at the substation customers around the Sifton area are dealing with a longer outage.

The restoration time was pushed back until around noon today. It was initially supposed to be back up around 11.

You can find out when power should be restored in your area by viewing Manitoba Hydro's outages website here

Students from around the Parkland are encouraged to take part in ‘The Meaning of Home’ essay contest.

The Dauphin chapter of Habitat for Humanity is asking students in grades 4, 5, and 6 to write a poem or short essay explaining what home means to them.

Mariann Harvey says for every essay submitted by a student $10 will be donated to the Dauphin build project.

The winner will receive a $25,000 grant to a local Habitat for Humanity build of their choice. 

The Dauphin committee has partnered with the  Mountain View  & Turtle River School Divisions. 

The contest ends on February 18.

The Dauphin Fire Department responded to 229 incidents in 2018, which is two fewer responses from 2017’s 231.

Fire Chief Cam Abrey presented his first report of the year at last night’s City Council meeting.

He shared that last year there were 187 responses in the City and 38 incidents in rural areas, with the remaining being for mutual aid.

Rural calls accounted for 17 percent of the incidents but 31 percent of total hours.

5,450 hours were spent responding to city incidents, 2,387.5 hours were spent during rural responses, and 90.5 hours were spent on mutual aid responses.

There were 65 false alarms, 29 kitchen fires, 50 motor vehicle collisions, 32 outdoor fires (that included grass, brush or dumpsters), 20 structure fires, and seven carbon monoxide alarms, seven vehicle fires, and 14 other (EMS Assist, Hazardous Materials, Rescue, etc.).

They also had 3,282 hours of training on Wednesday evenings.