The Assiniboine Community College has announced that they have partnered with the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples to deliver a new program at their Brandon Campus.

The new program is a tuition-free Agriculture Equipment Operator program that is open to Indigenous (First Nations, Metis and Inuit) people living off-reserve beginning February 28, 2022.

The program will train the students to work on skills for a variety of farm operations including grain/oilseed and pulse forage operations. During the program, students will gain skills with all types of equipment, systems and safety regulations in the hopes of getting a job in the agriculture industry.

The program will offer a wide variety of in-class material as well as hands-on training to work a variety of Canadian farms. Students will be attending in-person classes full-time in Brandon as well as travelling to a practicum farm site.

The 13-week program includes:

  • a 1-week preparatory course component (February 28, 2022 to March 4, 2022)
  • an 11-week Agriculture Equipment Operator program, and finally (March 7, 2022 to May 13, 2022)
  • an 80-hour paid work placement (May 16, 2022 to May 27, 2022)

Anyone interested in this program must attend an online information session either this afternoon at 2 pm or January 25 at 2 pm as part of their application.

For all the information about the course head to the colleges' website here.

South Korea has lifted its temporary suspension of Canadian beef imports that were imposed after an atypical B-S-E case was confirmed in an Alberta cow last month.

It was Canada's first B-S-E case in six years and prompted three countries -- South Korea, China and the Philippines to establish restrictions.

South Korea imports about 90-million dollars worth of Canadian beef per year.

An atypical case can occur naturally in older cattle on rare occasions, while classical B-S-E is caused by a cow eating contaminated feed.

The Dakota Tipi First Nation, near Portage La Prairie, has received funding from the Federal Government to search residential school sites in five communities. The communities include Sandy Bay, Portage la Prairie, Assiniboia, Brandon, and Fort Alexander.

Dakota Tipi Cheif, Eric Pashe, talked about the historic agreement in a news release;

"This is a historic time for the Dakota people. The time has now come for our history to be properly told."

A survivor-led committee will search each of the sites and will research records from the Catholic Church, Hudson's Bay Company, and the Winnipeg-based National Centre of Truth and Reconciliation.

The Manitoba Government announced this afternoon with Health Minister Audrey Gordon that the province is shifting their methods for the screening of colon cancer as well as hiring more anesthesia clinical assistants and sending some spinal surgery patients to the U.S for their procedures.

This announcement came in a press conference held at the Manitoba legislature today with regards to the steps that the diagnostic and surgical recovery task force held.

The task force announced that it’s working with the Maples Surgical Centre as well as other local partners in order to increase gynecological surgeries as nearly 3,000 women are waiting for care with almost two-thirds of which can be taken care of in day surgeries.

They also announced that they are introducing a new way to screen for colon cancer which will provide more accurate results and will reduce the need for an endoscopic procedure.

The province is also preparing a plan to train and hire up to 13 new anesthesia clinical assistants across the province over the next three years.

The final part of the conference was that the province is working on an agreement with Sanford Health in Fargo, North Dakota to help with spinal surgeries as a part of Manitoba’s out-of-province Medical Referral Program.

Minister Gordon announced the creation of the Diagnostic and Surgical Recovery Task Force in December 2021. The work of the task force builds on existing provincial investments and measures to reduce waitlists and support access to care.

The province has already invested more than $8.8 million in agreements with public and private service providers, resulting in a net increase of more than 9,000 procedures completed in 2021-22 including cataract surgery, echocardiography, hernia surgery, pediatric dental surgery, spine surgery and endoscopy.

For more on the announcement head to the Governments website here.

Public Health officials identified 919 new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba today.

*Dauphin now has 126 active cases of COVID-19*

The test positivity rate has decreased to 33.1% provincially.

The case breakdown for today's numbers are:

92 in the Prairie Mountain Health Region.

102 in the Interlake/Eastern Health Region.

79 are in the Northern Health Region.

70 are in the Southern Health Region.

576 are in the Winnipeg Health Region.

The numbers of active cases in other Prairie Mountain Health districts are:

Riding Mountain (57), Swan River (74), Duck Mountain (58), Porcupine Mountain (112), Agassiz Mountain (188), Asessippi (255), Little Saskatchewan (193), Whitemud (246). Brandon has 2,277 active cases.

In the Interlake, the Eriksdale/Ashern health district has 104 active cases. The Fisher/Peguis district has 300 active cases.

There are 41,708 active COVID-19 cases in the province.

601 Manitobans are hospitalized with active COVID-19.

49 Manitobans are in intensive care units with active COVID-19.

For more information check out the provincial dashboard here.

Manitoba Ag Days has announced the recipients of their annual Ag Days Gives Back program. Each year, Ag Days gives 100% of the 50/50 funds raised at their show to agricultural organizations and communities throughout the province.

You still have time to purchase a ticket here, or by calling the Ag Days office at (204) 866-4400. Ticket sales will stop at 4:00 PM on January 20th, with the winner being drawn at 4:30 PM the same day.

There are 15 Community Improvement recipients this year that will each get $1,000. The recipients in each region are:

  • North-East Region
    • St. Eustache Minor Hockey – St. Eustache, MB
    • St. Francois Xavier Community Club – St. Francois, MB
  • North-West Region
    • Silverton Community Centre – Silverton, MB
    • Gilbert Plains Recreational Complex – Gilbert Plains, MB
    • McCreary Centennial Arena – McCreary, MB
  • South East Region
    • Lloyd Orchard Community Arena – Miami, MB
    • Sanford Community Rink – Sanford, MB
    • Centre Recreatif de St. Leon – St. Leon, MB
  • South-West Region
    • Doc Bonar Arena - Deloraine, MB
    • Neepawa Curling Club – Neepawa, MB
    • Wawanesa Recreation Centre – Wawanesa, MB
    • Heartland Multiplex – Macgregor, MB
    • Strathclair Rink – Strathclair, MB
    • Goodlands Community Rink – Goodlands, MB
    • Angusville Community Centre – Angusville, MB

There is also $13,000 given out for Agriculture Youth Education and Leadership. The recipients are:

  • Agriculture in the Classroom - Manitoba $10,000
  • ACC Diploma Scholarship - Stephanie Manning $1,000
  • U of M’s Diploma Scholarship - George J. Meggison $1,000
  • U of M’s Degree Scholarship - Nyla Hacault $1,000

For more information about Manitoba Ag Days visit their website here.

First, it was a snowfall warning and now, an extreme cold warning is in effect.

Cold, arctic air spread over the Prairies overnight as a ridge of high-pressure tracks through the region.

Overnight lows in the low -20s combined with winds of 20 to 30 km/h are producing extreme wind chill values near -40 this morning.

These extreme wind chills will moderate slightly during the day Wednesday but will return again tonight for several regions.

A system moving through the area on Thursday will push warmer air through the region and bring an end to the extreme cold warnings.

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UPDATE: Maurice Merrick has been found and arrested while the RCMP are still searching for Jordan Chartrand and Mitchell Hunter.

On Monday the RCMP were called to a house in Portage La Prairie for reports of an armed robbery.

Three male suspects entered the house with one of them holding a shotgun and one male carrying bear spray. The residents of the house were forced into their basement and sprayed with bear spray.

The three suspects stole multiple items and fled the scene before officers arrived.

Upon arrival, the Mounties searched the area but could not find the three men but recovered the gun in a yard nearby.

All three suspects have been identified and have warrants out for their arrest.

The suspects are:

  • Maurice Merrick of Portage La Prairie who is 29 years old and is described as 5’11”, 130lbs with black hair and brown eyes and is wanted for:
    • 2 counts of Robbery with a firearm
    • 2 counts of pointing a firearm
    • Break and Enter
    • 2 counts of unauthorized possession of a firearm
    • 2 counts of administering a noxious substance
    • 2 counts of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose
    • 3 counts of weapons possession contrary to an order

Maurice MERRICK copy

  • Jordan Chartrand who is 27 and is described as 5’5”, 120lbs with black hair and brown eyes and is wanted for:
    • 2 counts of robbery with a firearm
    • Break and Enter
    • Unauthorized possession of a firearm
    • 2 counts of administering a noxious substance
    • Possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose
    • Weapons possession contrary to an order

Jordan CHARTRAND copy

  • Mitchell Hunter who is 38 and described as 5’11lbs, 205lbs with black hair and brown eyes and is wanted for:
    • 2 counts of robbery with a firearm
    • Break and Enter

Mitchell HUNTER copy

Portage La Prairie RCMP is asking for the public’s help in finding these men. If you have any information on where they may be you are asked to call Portage La Prairie RCMP at 204-857-8767 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477, or you can submit a secure tip online here.

Today at the Manitoba Legislature in Winnipeg, Premier Heather Stefanson welcomed three new members as well as a well-respected former member into her provincial cabinet.

During the announcement today, she unveiled new reframed portfolios to address the challenges posed by COVID-19, a plan for economic growth and recovery, and a better focus on the priorities of all Manitobans.

A few of the changes to the cabinet include:

  • Eileen Clarke (MLA for Agassiz) is returning to cabinet as Minister of Municipal Relations.
  • Derek Johnson (MLA for Interlake-Gimli) is the new Minister of Agriculture, he is taking over for Ralph Eichler who is no longer in cabinet.
  • Wayne Ewasko (MLA for Lac du Bonnet) as Minister of Education and Early Childhood Learning.
  • Scott Johnston (MLA for Assiniboia) comes into the cabinet and will lead the new Department of Seniors and Long-term Care.
  • Audrey Gordon (MLA for Southdale) will lead the reframed health portfolio as Minister of Health.
  • Sarah Guillemard (MLA for Fort Richmond) takes on the new role of Minister of Mental Health and Community Wellness.
  • Doyle Piwniuk (MLA for Turtle Mountain) as Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Among the ministers that stay in their positions in cabinet is Alan Lagimodiere (MLA for Selkirk) who remains Minister of Indigenous Reconciliation and Northern Relations.

The Premier ended her changes by thanking former ministers Ralph Eichler and Cathy Cox for their outstanding service and dedication to the people of Manitoba in their various cabinet positions since 2016.

For a full list of the cabinet today head to the Government of Manitoba's website here.

Those affected by the 2011 flood of Lake Manitoba could be entitled to part of a settlement from the province. In 2011, the Manitoba government diverted water away from the Assiniboine River to reduce the risk of flooding in Winnipeg.

On Thursday, a Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench order approved an $85.5 million settlement agreement for anyone who had businesses or owned personal property like cabins that were affected by the floods.

Those on First Nations are not entitled to money from this settlement because three years ago, the courts approved a separate, $90 million settlement for members of the four First Nation affected.

Anyone affected has until April, 14th to make a claim. 

Public Health officials identified 847 new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba today.

*Dauphin now has 125 active cases of COVID-19*

The test positivity rate has decreased to 34.2% provincially.

The case breakdown for today's numbers are:

132 in the Prairie Mountain Health Region.

55 in the Interlake/Eastern Health Region.

128 are in the Northern Health Region.

78 are in the Southern Health Region.

454 are in the Winnipeg Health Region.

The numbers of active cases in other Prairie Mountain Health districts are:

Riding Mountain (56), Swan River (74), Duck Mountain (52), Porcupine Mountain (111), Agassiz Mountain (178), Asessippi (241), Little Saskatchewan (188), Whitemud (238). Brandon has 2,245 active cases.

In the Interlake, the Eriksdale/Ashern health district has 100 active cases. The Fisher/Peguis district has 288 active cases.

There are 40,805 active COVID-19 cases in the province.

588 Manitobans are hospitalized with active COVID-19.

46 Manitobans are in intensive care units with active COVID-19.

For more information check out the provincial dashboard here.