More details have been released about the $5 million Dine-In Restaurant Support Program, as well as applications opening up.

Executive Director of the Dauphin and District Chamber of Commerce, Stephen Chychota, says it’s a rebate program trying to offset food delivery costs for restaurants that were dine-in and had to switch their model.

“It also applies to restaurants that already had occurring delivery programs, but with those ones, they would be more on a percentage base and then the ones that have had to create the whole delivery program themselves or sign up to get into delivery programs like Skip or Dash, there’s rebates for the fees associated or for the costs the restaurants would take on.”

Restaurants or bars that had to create a delivery service or have a delivery service are eligible for the program.

Chychota says the program covers the time period a region was under code red measures. So, that means the program doesn’t cover the full year, just when code red started, Chychota adds that when code red ends, that’s when the program will stop.

The amount of money a business gets from the program will vary.

“It varies depending on which region you’re from. Some areas like Winnipeg vs the rest of the province went into it at different start dates. So just depending on where everyone’s located, you’ll have to watch for when the rebates would start kicking in.”

Chychota encourages local restaurants to look into the program because every little bit helps.

If you’d like to go to the application, click here.

A local bylaw official wants the community to know he’s not responsible for issuing tickets to COVID rule breakers.

Jack Bremner is a councillor for the R.M. of Dauphin and is also a bylaw control officer, and says the calls he’s been getting reporting health order violations should be directed to the appropriate channels, and not him.

“There’s a rumour going around that I’m the COVID police.”

Bremner says that although he is a bylaw control officer — who deals with things like messy yards, dogs running loose, building on land without a permit — he is not responsible for giving out COVID tickets.

“It’s all over town,” he said, adding “I’ve had three phone calls from people wanting me to go out and write a ticket.”

He says the first call he received was from a councillor in another municipality wanting Bremner to write a ticket to someone breaking the rules. He later received a call from a blocked number asking him to deal with someone having a party in the community. 

Bremner tells CKDM he also got a third phone call to see if he would issue a ticket to someone else reportedly breaking the rules.

Although the province has enabled municipal bylaw enforcement to issue COVID-related public health orders, both the R.M. of Dauphin and City of Dauphin have elected not to have bylaw enforcement issue tickets.

“I don’t know who started the rumour. Maybe it’s because the bylaw officer in Winnipeg, Brandon and Portage are writing tickets, but not here. I know the guys here that are [writing tickets] and they’re civil servants that were told this is going to be their job.”

Current code red restrictions in Manitoba limit social contacts to people in the same household, and limit all gathering sizes to a maximum of 5. Non-essential businesses and churches must close under the current public health orders, and masks have to be worn in indoor public places.

“I’m really [ticked] off at people who break the rules, because they’re putting us all in danger.”

Bremner suggests people report COVID rule-breakers in the community to the appropriate channels.


Reporting Health Order Violations

Manitobans can report compliance and enforcement issues by visiting the online reporting tool, or by calling 204-945-3744 or 1-866-626-4862 (toll-free) and pressing option three on the call menu.

Since enforcement efforts began in April, a total of 1,962 warnings and 672 tickets have been issued, resulting in more than $984,000 in fines to Manitoba businesses and individuals.

Fines for not wearing a mask in indoor public places are $298, while fines for individuals violating public health orders have been set at $1,296, and $5,000 for tickets issued to corporations.  

RCMP have made another arrest in connection to the death of a Métis woman last seen in Portage la Prairie.

36-year-old Tamara Benoit (Norman) was reported missing on July 10. Her remains were located in the RM of Portage la Prairie on September 3.

A 15-year-old male from Winnipeg was arrested on Tuesday, Jan. 5, and released without charges. 

On Wednesday, Jan. 6, 37-year-old Ryan Peters from Long Plain First Nation was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.

On Thursday, Jan. 8, 36-year-old Tova Jeanie Peters was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and accessory after the fact to murder.

Both Ryan and Tova Peters remain in custody.

The boil advisory for all Eclipse water co-op members has now ended.

A boil water advisory was issued earlier this week for Eclipse water co-op members located along highway 20, east of Ecoil Recycling.

The advisory ended as of 1 p.m. on Friday.

On Friday health officials announced 222 new cases of COVID-19 and nine deaths due to the virus.

It was also a day on which a two-week extension to the lockdown restrictions was announced.

The measures — first put into effect November 12 — have closed non-essential businesses, gyms, restaurants, casinos, recreation facilities, movie theatres, concert halls, libraries, and churches.

Current public health orders also limit close contacts to people within the same household, and cap indoor and outdoor gathering sizes at 5 people.

Looking ahead, Dr. Roussin has been seeing improvements in our numbers, but says health officials are concerned about a possible spike related to the holidays.

Officials say 355 current cases in Manitoba are linked to holiday gatherings, with nearly 1,900 contacts as a result. Roussin says public health is aware of one holiday gathering of more than two-dozen people.


Today’s Numbers

The current five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 10.1% provincially and 10.3% in Winnipeg. The total number of lab-confirmed cases in Manitoba is 25,963.

There are 4,582 active cases and 20,655 individuals who have recovered from COVID-19.

There are 227 people in hospital with active COVID-19 as well as 88 people in hospital who are no longer infectious but continue to require care (315 hospitalizations in total).

There are 31 people in intensive care units with active COVID-19 as well as four people who are no longer infectious but continue to require critical care (35 ICU patients in total).

The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 is 726.

Today’s COVID-19 data shows:
• 16 cases in the Interlake–Eastern health region
• 69 cases in the Northern health region
• 27 cases in the Prairie Mountain Health region
• 13 cases in the Southern Health–Santé Sud health region
• 97 cases in the Winnipeg health region

According to the province’s data, there are active cases in the following Parkland health districts: Dauphin (9, up from 6 yesterday), Riding Mountain (1), Swan River (2), Porcupine Mountain (72), Duck Mountain (2), Asessippi (8), Little Saskatchewan (5), Whitemud (3), and Agassiz Mountain (24). Brandon has 40 active cases.

In the Interlake, the Eriksdale/Ashern health district has 51 active cases, while Fisher/Peguis has 44. 

Public health officials advise nine additional deaths in people with COVID-19 have been reported today including:
• a male in his 70s from the Northern health region
• a female in her 70s from Prairie Mountain Health, linked to the outbreak at Fairview Personal Care Home
• a female in her 90s from Prairie Mountain Health, linked to the outbreak at Fairview Personal Care Home
• a female in her 90s from Prairie Mountain Health
• a male in his 50s from the Winnipeg health region
• a male in his 50s from the Winnipeg health region
• a female in her 50s from the Winnipeg health region, linked to the outbreak at Health Science Centre GH4
• a female in her 60s from the Winnipeg health region, linked to the outbreak at the Southeast Personal Care Home
• a female in her 80s from the Winnipeg health region

Public health officials have declared several outbreaks across the province today, including one at Lions Prairie Manor in Portage la Prairie. The site has been moved to Critical (red) on the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System.

Manitoba’s code red restrictions will remain in effect for another two weeks, the province announced today.

The measures — that have closed non-essential businesses and limited close contacts to people within the same household — have been in effect since November 12.

One small change to the public health order will mirror what’s already been decided in some other provinces — NHL teams and their affiliated officials will be exempt from the self-isolation requirements.

These lockdown measures will be in effect for another two weeks while officials monitor possible increases to case numbers as a result of the holidays. 

“Already, public health officials have seen more than 355 cases and nearly 1,900 contacts linked to holiday gatherings, and we expect to see higher numbers in the coming days,” said Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin.

“That is why we’re extending the public health orders with a minor adjustment. We need to continue to protect our families and friends by staying home as much as possible.”

Auto-insurance fraud charges were up by 44% in 2020.

Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) reports that a total of 130 charges have been laid against 49 people, up from 90 charges to 34 people in 2019.

Suspicious claims handled by the MPI Special Investigations Unit saved more than $10 million last year.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada claims that insurance fraud costs Canadians more than $3 billion a year in premiums.

Only 74% of Manitobans will likely be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of 2021, according to a document released by the Manitoba government this week.

“Manitoba’s Immunization Rollout Plan” also projects 53% of adults would likely receive both doses by the end of September.

The Pallister government says these numbers point to a failure by the federal government to meet its targets on acquiring enough doses.

Here in Manitoba, just one immunization clinic is in operation, located at Winnipeg’s RBC convention centre. Another site is expected to open at Brandon’s Keystone Centre by January 18.

As of Thursday afternoon, the province reports 6,026 Manitobans have received the first dose of the vaccine since the campaign began — including 255 priority healthcare workers from Prairie Mountain Health.

That works out to less than half of one percent of the population having received a dose of the vaccine at this time.

Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two doses of the vaccine about a month apart to provide optimal protection against the virus.

To date, Manitoba has received a total of 22,230 doses of the Pfizer vaccine — 7,000 of which were delivered earlier this week.

The province has received 7,300 doses of the Moderna vaccine and 5,300 have been allocated for First Nation immunization priorities.

The remaining Moderna vaccine doses will be used to support the immunization campaign at personal care homes, which pledges to offer the first dose to all Manitoba care home residents in a 28-day campaign.

Manitoba health officials are reporting a slightly higher number of cases today with 208 new infections, along with 12 deaths.

Two of the deaths are in the Prairie Mountain Health region – a man in his 60’s, and a woman in her 90’s at Fairview Place Care Home in Brandon. The number of deaths in the province is 717.

A list of the most recent deaths due to COVID-19 in Manitoba can be found at the bottom of this article.

Public health officials advise a COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at the McCreary/Alonsa Health Centre in McCreary. The site has been moved to Critical (red) on the Pandemic Response System. No other details have been made available at this time.

Today’s COVID-19 data shows:
• nine cases in the Interlake–Eastern health region
• 60 cases in the Northern health region
• 17 cases in the Prairie Mountain Health region
• 17 cases in the Southern Health–Santé Sud health region
• 105 cases in the Winnipeg health region

The current five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 9.9 percent provincially and 10.5 percent in Winnipeg.

Of the 25,742 cases province-wide, 4,506 are active and 20,519 people have recovered from COVID-19.

There are 228 people in hospital with active COVID-19 and 91 people in hospital who are no longer infectious but continue to require care (319 total hospitalizations).

There are 31 people in intensive care with active COVID-19 and four people who are no longer infectious but continue to receive critical care (35 total ICU patients).

According to the province’s data, there are active cases in the following Parkland health districts: Dauphin (6), Riding Mountain (1), Swan River (2), Porcupine Mountain (74), Duck Mountain (2), Asessippi (5), Little Saskatchewan (6), Whitemud (2), and Agassiz Mountain (16). Brandon has 38 active cases.

In the Interlake, the Eriksdale/Ashern health district has 48 active cases, while Fisher/Peguis has 43. 


Personal Care Home Visitation Shelters

Personal care home residents will soon be able to welcome loved ones for visits in the province’s new "COVIsitation spaces", which are being installed at 125 personal care homes (PCH) and other sites across the province. 

During Manitoba’s code red restrictions, a maximum of one visitor and one PCH resident will be allowed at a time.

The province says that care homes without a "COVIsitation shelter" will have designated visitation rooms. Visits will be by appointment only, and masks will be mandatory for residents and visitors.

More details will be available from individual care homes in the coming days.

To support the launch of a coordinated and focused immunization campaign in all 63 First Nations communities in Manitoba, the provincial government will be shipping 5,300 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

A statement released by Premier Brian Pallister says “this is a historic day in our fight against COVID-19, built on a strong and respectful partnership with First Nations leadership and the guidance of our public health experts.”

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc., Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin and Southern Chiefs Organization have announced their initial priority groups for immunization, which include essential health-care workers, residents in personal care homes and Elder care facilities, and older Manitobans.

Pallister says it closely mirrors the priority groups chosen by Manitoba’s Vaccine Implementation Task Force, he adds that it “reflects the importance of using our limited supply of vaccine to protect our health-care system and those most at risk of serious illness.”

Since the vaccines require 2 doses about a month apart for optimal protection, another 5,300 doses have been committed to First Nations communities next month.

Pallister finished by saying they’ll “continue to collaborate on an equitable, timely and effective response to COVID-19.”

On Tuesday night at 11, RCMP responded to a house fire at a historical home, on Pelly Ave. in Russell.

It's the oldest home in town and was built in 1888.

When officers arrived, the Fire Department was battling the fire, which had fully engulfed the house.

2 hours later, there was a 911 call from a 22-year-old admitting he started the fire.

Liam Flett gave his location and officers arrested him.

Flett faces charges of arson, mischief and break and entering to commit an offence.

The investigation continues.