Gas prices across Dauphin and the rest of the Parkland has jumped.

In Dauphin gas went from 120 yesterday to around 126.9 today.

According to GasBuddy historical data, Manitoba gas prices on April 1st ranged widely over the last five years.

Last year's April 1st gas was around 112 and in 2016 it was 90.

Highway 10 in Riding Mountain National Park has re-opened after being closed for about an hour and a half.

Manitoba 511 is showing that the road is still icy and foggy.

 

 

An official with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency explained how there are different standards at play during a meeting studying the escalating trade dispute with China. 

Member of Parliament Robert Sopuck is part of the federal agriculture committee that held two emergency meetings dealing with the canola crisis.

“Both Canada and China have different testing methodologies for testing the quality of canola, and that actually floored me because I would assume that they would be comparing oranges to oranges if you know what I mean. But with two testing methods, China is always going to be able to say ‘well our method is better or more efficient and we don’t trust what Canada says.’”

Sopuck says it’s nonsense given how well Canadian canola is received around the world.

A science-based solution is what the government of Canada is putting forward to resolve the canola issue with China.

But Sopuck thinks these trade issues are murky and complex and often not related to the commodity at hand. “I am concerned that there are larger issues in the shadows that are not being discussed in the way that they are supposed to be.”

There are other markets, but because China buys 40 per cent of Canadian canola, it’s causing difficulty for both producers and the industry.   

“We want to ensure that the world and China know that we’re not only watching this, but we know that our canola is safe and it’s the best in the world. That’s based on science.”

China indicated they have a quality concern with canola seed, but canola oil and meal are not subject to the same challenges.

MPI has provided the police in Manitoba some funding for a campaign to focus on finding distracted drivers.

Brian Smiley, with MPI, says they have provided the RCMP and police services around the province, 175 thousand dollars for the month of April. The money is to pay for officers’ overtime hours to work on this program.

The money will get spread out based off of which officers do more overtime work. Typically, the Winnipeg Police Service, RCMP and Brandon Police Service receive the bulk of the funding but the smaller police agencies will get money too.

Smiley says MPI is doing this because people in the Parkland should be able to drive on the roads safely without issues. Those that are out driving while texting or talking on their phone are putting people’s lives at risk.

In the last 6 years, this campaign has resulted in 13 thousand offences. Distracted driving results in about 30 deaths yearly in Manitoba.

Anyone caught driving while being distracted will receive an automatic 3-day license suspension, 672 dollar fine, and upon conviction, the driver will receive 5 demerits as well. A second offence within 10 years will result in a 7-day license suspension, the same 672 dollar fine and 5 demerits.

Starting May 21st, spring cleaning for the City of Dauphin will begin in the Day 1 Area.

After the Day 1 area has been completed, crews will go through the rest of the 4-day cycle.

Crews will be collecting compostable materials such as garden waste, grass, leaves, shrubs, and tree branches.

The materials must be free of recycling, household and hazardous waste, and must be in a clearly identifiable pile, or packaged in biodegradable bags or boxes.

The pick-up will occur in the back lane if you don’t have a back lane place your items on the boulevard near the curb.

Crews will be using large equipment and ask for items to be placed close to the lane or curb to avoid property damage.

For more information, call 204-622-3202.

BellMTS says CDMA services are being replaced by the latest 4g LTE network. 

New LTE technology is going to provide better safety and expanding coverage is part of the overall plan.

The transition to LTE for all remaining CDMA customers in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic region will be fully completed on April 30. 

Bell is expanding wireless service in Manitoba as part of a $1 billion investment plan for the province.

 “To change from old to new technology, it’s not something that happens overnight. I’m glad that the government is making a move to improve rural cellular coverage and communications. It’s something that I’m happy that the government is moving towards. It can’t happen fast enough for me, said Dauphin MLA Brad Michaleski. “There is gaps in this technology. I know I’m fairly aware of this across the constituency. And I know the government made a fairly significant investment and agreement with Bell over a five year period to increase and address some of these service gaps in the area.”

Michaleski says he brings this issue up with the responsible government department and they are aware of what’s going on. 

Anyone in the CDMA coverage area will still have service. Although there may have been signals picked up in areas that were not formally part of the coverage area. Those customers will lose service. 

All affected customers north of Dauphin have been notified and replacement phones have been sent free of charge.

The 2019 Firefighters Appreciation Evening was last night in the Aspen Lodge.

Here are Cam Abrey’s thoughts on the evening.

“It was a great evening and we really want to thank both the city and RM elected officials and administration that have made this a long-running tradition of treating the firefighters to a special recognition evening. This has been going on for a lot longer than I’ve been around and to see it continue on like this, I know the firefighters appreciate the recognition that they get from our elected officials it’s not just that they’re volunteering for the community but they feel the pat on the back too.”

Abrey gave out awards for service years to Daniel McKay who has served 10 years.

Daniel McKay Firefighter

Dave Height was recognized for 15 years of service.

Dave Height

Jack Bay was also honoured in his retirement from the Dauphin Fire Department after 36 years of service.

Jack Bay

Greg Acevedo, who has achieved 25 years, and Allan Gray, who has achieved 40 years, were not in attendance. 

Abrey says in the past, before him, badges were given out to firefighters but disappeared quite a few years ago.

Level One Firefighter Badge

Each firefighter with a level 1 qualification received the badge and took an oath of office.

All The Firefighters

Following that, every firefighter received a challenge coin, which when shown is a subtle way to say I need help, let’s talk.

Challenge Coin

David Angus, President and CAO of Johnston Group, will present at the upcoming Chamber Lunch Series event on Tuesday, April 9th. At the request of the Manitoba Government, Mr. Angus published an economic report on the province in December.

"He'll give some insight into that report, and break it down a little bit... putting it in terms of what does it mean for rural Manitoba, and what does it mean for the Parkland and what we can do out here" said Stephen Chycota, Executive Director for the Dauphin and District Chamber of Commerce.

Chycota recommends attending the presentation as it will provide insight into some hot topics regarding economic development, tourism, and other development strategies. Get your tickets before the end of the day tomorrow(Friday) by going to the chamber's website. You can also call 204-622-3140, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Things will get started at 11:45AM, next Tuesday April 9th at the Aspen Lodge in the Parkland Rec Complex.

Assiniboine Community College’s Alumni Association announced the recipients of this year’s Parkland Region Alumni Awards.

This year’s recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award is Jamie Harvey. The award honours alumni of the college in the Parkland Region who have distinguished themselves in both their chosen profession and the community.

The Excellence in Teaching Award honours a faculty member for extraordinary contributions to teaching and the student experience. The award will be shared by two recipients from the same program, Cheryl Sorenson-Voigt and Melanie Hawranik-Sobering. They are both instructors in the Practical Nursing program at Assiniboine’s Parkland campus and have been nominated by their students for the award.

The Alumni Association is recognizing Joan Clarkson for her work serving the college community. Clarkson will be honoured with the newly established Excellence in Education Award. It recognizes a non-teaching staff member who has exhibited devotion to the college community and furthering opportunities of students.

 The awards are being presented at the annual Parkland Region Alumni Celebration in Dauphin on April 11.

Farmers are heading into the fields north of Dauphin without cell coverage.

Lorna DeVos says rural residents don’t need the most advanced technology.

“We’re just begging to be able to make a phone call. It’s not a lot to ask.”

BellMTS is ending its CDMA service this month causing many rural residents to worry about their safety.  

“We’re now starting a whole new seeding season in our rural area and there is going to be a lot of equipment on the move and a lot of people on the roads. There’s always the potential for things to be happening. And just so everyone knows, everyone north of Sifton won’t be able to communicate with each other.”

She expected the service to stop at the end of April. But yesterday morning she found out she could not make a call or send a text. Even with a good cell connection, she was directed to a voice messaging system with BellMTS saying service was ending.

She continued, “it’s been the feeling of loss about it.  I was never one to be on the phone that much. It was just a flip phone. But when I go out and I’m driving, I know that if there was some kind of crisis and I hit a ditch or if I came across someone having a medical emergency that there is no one to call.”

CDMA services in Manitoba are expected to be fully turned off on April 30th. The company has been sending replacement phones, they say will work with the new technology.

DeVos says farmers and those in the small communities rely on cell phones for their businesses. “It’s sort of making us second class citizens.”

We reached out to BellMTS, and they say their CDMA network coverage did not formally extend to Mossey River. A spokesperson says it’s possible signals could be picked up in the area.

The company is also expanding its wireless services as part of their  $1 billion investment plan for the province. But they do not have any announcements right now about expanding services in that particular area.

Voices of Angels is a fundraiser that promotes local talent while raising money for mood disorders.

The money raised will go towards mood disorders to improve current programs, create new programs, and allow Snitka to travel the Parkland region to help more people.

Eleanor Snitka says there’s still a lot of stigma around mental illnesses just like cancer or diabetes.

“People just don’t understand it and they don’t all get that it’s a real illness. Those of us that live with mental health issues can’t just snap out of it, we have to deal with it and we have to feel that we are accepted by the rest of society.”

Snitka says since it’s the 10th anniversary they are doing something special and there will be new performers. Kamryn and Levi Winters, a jazz combo from the high school directed by a student, Chris and Cheyenne Flett also known as Country Rose, Johnathon Pacey, Jeannette Richot and Esther Fyk.