The Intermountain Conservation District will be amalgamating with the Turtle River Watershed Conservation District next year making this past weekend’s annual banquet its last.

“Since it’s the last year of Intermountain Conservation District before we change to a watershed district we’re just trying to celebrate the past as well and just give everyone a taste of the future of what it’s going to be like in 2020.”

But Jeff Thiele, the manager of Intermountain, says this kind of event will keep going into the future.

“We haven’t really got to those details with the Turtle River Conservation District, but yes, maybe we’ll need a bigger hall next year for a bigger party.”

This year’s Conservation District Family was the Welland family, from Garland. They also celebrated several long term members if the conservation district.

This year’s banquet was held in Garland, which is just north of Ethelbert. 

Intermountain and Turtle River are amalgamating on January 1st, 2020 creating the Inter-Mountain Watershed District.

Weight restrictions in the RM of Lakeshore are now in effect.

The two roads affected are Road 102W (Cameron Trail) from highway 5 to Highway 20 and Road 94W (Turtle River Road) from Highway 5 to Road 140N.

The restrictions are in place until further notice.

If you have any questions, you’re encouraged to call either municipal offices.

Riding Mountain National Park has implemented spring weight restrictions.

The move is intended to minimize the impact to highways from damage during spring thaw conditions.

Highway #19:

Effective immediately, weight restrictions of 6,006 lbs or 2,730 kg gross vehicle weight will be enforced on Hwy #19 within the boundaries of Riding Mountain National Park. As an approximate guide, the largest vehicle allowed would be an empty three-quarter ton truck or a loaded half-ton truck. 

This limit will remain in effect until road and weather conditions permit restrictions to be lifted.

Highway #10:

Closure to heavy truck traffic (three axles or more) on Hwy # 10 within the boundaries of Riding Mountain National Park remains in effect.

Advance signage will be posted to allow alternative routes to be used. Please be advised that in order to ensure compliance there will be unscheduled enforcement of these restrictions.

Vehicles with three axles or more will be allowed access to the townsite, the Parks Canada’s Maintenance Compound, and the Clear Lake Golf Course from the south entrance of the park only for delivery purposes.

Windmill Microlending is a charity that gives low-interest loans to immigrants and refugees so they can get the proper credentials to continue a high skilled job in Canada.

Olukayode Jegede is from Nigeria but living in Swan River, and says Windmill has worked for him, adding it’s pretty easy to apply.

“I just put in if I worked and I got in the mail a letter I was scheduled for a Skype interview, after that, I was connected with the financial department and they told me how to request for the loan at every point I needed.”

National Director of Marketing and Communications for Windmill, Mary Ellen Armstrong says Canada really tries to attract skilled immigrants and refugees.

Armstrong says it’s very common for newcomers to end up not returning to their careers, which means they end up working in a lower skilled, lower paid position than what they are trained to be doing.

Windmill has helped over 4000 skilled immigrants and refugees all over Canada since starting in 2006. Manitoba clients had 2 loans in 2006, in 2018, the number jumped to 18. Almost all Manitoba clients are nurses to help with the nursing shortage some areas are facing.

Over 8 thousand dollars was presented to 10 Gilbert Plains community groups on Saturday.

The Gilbert Plains Community Fund held its annual Awards and Grant Recognition evening at the new community hall.

Charlene Gulak says it’s always been a special event for Gilbert Plains, noting it’s one of the first annual of the spring, which brings people together.

“What’s been so special this year is that the event has been held in the new community hall, which is just a wonderful facility. It’s one of the first events being held here and we’re just pleased moving forward to be able to have local celebrations.”

It was a night of big donations, both from the Community Fund and to the fund. Gulak notes they received two legacy donations that grew the fund by 35 thousand dollars.

“To receive a legacy donation like we did this last year, in particular, just really just represents how important and significant the fund is in supporting local community projects.”

The fund has practical value in charitable giving and supporting people’s own tax plans. Gulak says that’s something to be mindful of.

The list of recipients includes:

Richardson Pioneer Gilbert Plains Community Hall received $2,175,

 Veselka Dancers were given $500,

and the Gilbert Plains Community Resource Council received $200.,

The Gilbert Plains Curling Club received $500,

The Gilbert Plains Recreation Commission was given $2,175,

Gilbert Plains Legion #98 received $700,

Heartland Lanes received $850,

the Gilbert Plains Personal Care Home received $700,

The Daily Discoveries, Inc. was given $250,

And the Gilbert Plains Drop-In Centre received $500.

One year ago, the Humboldt Broncos team bus collided with a semi, changing the lives of players, family, and friends.

Hayley Kennedy, executive director of Partners Family Services, a counselling service in Humboldt, recalls her first thoughts upon hearing about the tragedy.

“It was actually via social media and my first thoughts were just immediately to how many families and our community and how they’d be impacted. It was absolutely devastating and heartbreaking.”

Sixteen people were killed and 13 were injured after the Saskatchewan hockey team's bus collided with a semi driven by a novice trucker who blew through a stop sign at a rural intersection.

Kennedy says the community is committed to moving forward, but the tragedy will always be a part of their history and in their minds.

“Humboldt as itself will not be defined by the accident, any more than the Humboldt Broncos team is defined by the accident. We’ll still be a resilient community, we’ll build off some of the lessons that we’ve learned. There is a path forward. We’ll never be the same as we were April 5th. It will be different but we’ll still be a strong community.”

Organizers of a vigil are expecting about three-thousand people to attend today's memorial marking the first anniversary of the Humboldt Broncos tragedy. A moment of silence will be held at the exact time of the deadly crash, 4:50 pm.

Kennedy was in the 29 forever documentary of the tragedy.

“Since April 6th, I’ve coordinated quite a few of the mental health supports that have been available in Humboldt and area. Through my role coordinating those supports, as well as my role supporting the Humboldt Broncos team, I was approached by TSN and asked if I would be willing to share some of my thoughts on the community. How the tragedy’s impacted the community, and where we see ourselves going forth.”

The tragedy moved people across Canada and around the world to put hockey sticks on their front porches in solidarity with the Humboldt community.   

RCMP Commanding officer of F Div, Asst. Commissioner Mark Fisher made a statement regarding the tragedy.

“The Humboldt Broncos Bus tragedy affected the people of Saskatchewan and any person that rode a bus or put their child in the care of others on a bus.   

Within the RCMP, the collision, first response, investigation, court proceedings, and now the anniversary has impacted our employees that worked directly or indirectly to the RCMP response to the tragedy.  

The number of RCMP employees that worked in this investigation would be incalculable.  Close to the entire division fulfilled some role in the investigation, directly or in a support role, and I believe all were affected in one way or another. 

The RCMP is acutely aware of the demands and effects such a tragedy can have on our employees and we have several emotional supports and mental health services available to our entire membership.  We reflect on the past year, assess our role and what we could have done better.    As we near the anniversary of this tragedy, our thoughts are of the families, the community, and all of those affected by this tragic day.”

To avoid becoming a victim of tax scams, it’s important to know what’s out there.

Jessica Gunson with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre says scams can come in many forms like a phone call, an e-mail, or even a text message.

“Know what’s out there. So again I go back to that ‘Recognize, Reject, Report.’ Recognize the scam. So that when that phone call is received, the e-mail is received, the text message comes in; you’re able to recognize it.  Lastly, it’s to tell as many people as you can. Because we’ve had consumers that have said, ‘you know what I was talking with my neighbour; I didn’t even realize this kind of thing was out there. The next day I got an e-mail and would have fallen for it.’ So just by you telling someone if you belong to a group or club, talking to your family members, talking to your friends, you may save somebody from losing lifetime savings by making them aware that these kinds of scams are out there.”

These kinds of scams usually increase during tax season, but scams can happen at any time of the year. So it's important to be aware and be prepared.

 “Scams are cyclical. Just because it’s not tax season, we know of consumers that have fallen for something just before Christmas. Because the fraudsters will make it seem like it’s a past issue and it’s just being caught now. So it doesn’t really matter the season.”

Gunson says anyone can be a victim. Saying they’ve had calls from all ages.

“The CRA will do callbacks on the phone occasionally if they are running a certain campaign. But they are not going to call you back and tell you; you need to pay right away. That’s the difference.”

Tips to follow if something asks for money or your information:

  • Avoid clicking on any links,
  • Don’t pay. The government will never ask to pay with bitcoin, gift cards, or band drafts.
  • Or if the class sounds suspicious just hang up.

April 4th, Manitoba First Nations Police Service executed a search warrant in Sandy Bay First Nation.

During the search, an AK-47 style rifle, along with various types of ammunition and a high capacity magazine were found.

No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing.

At the beginning of May, there will be a course for Wilderness First Aid.

The course is for outdoors people that may run into a situation where there’s an emergency and can’t contact emergency services.

President of the Parkland Paddling Club, Mick Lautt, says this course is about being prepared in the backcountry to deal with a situation with proper training and the confidence you can take care of someone in your group should you need to.

Lautt says the course is hands-on, so there is a classroom and theory part where they will provide manuals and written information about the materials.

He adds they’ll spend a lot of time doing scenario work because it’s a great way to ingrain the knowledge and get hands-on experience.

The course will run from May 2nd to 5th. They are hoping to have at least 12 people registered. If you’d like to register, click here

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.