After a second-year nursing final was found to be compromised, students and faculty at Brandon University are still looking for answers.

While it has not been determined exactly how the exam was compromised, some say that it was because students used an online practice exam containing questions on the actual final.

The president of the Brandon University Student’s Union has requested to meet with the dean of health studies to try and get to the bottom of the situation.

Nursing students were allowed to rewrite the test with a maximum possible grade of 70 percent. Students have also been allowed to appeal the school’s decision.

The school’s spokesperson says that the school may release more details regarding the compromised final, later this week.

A compensation program for survivors of Indian day schools in the country is now open for applications.

Under the settlement, survivors can apply for individual compensation for any harm caused by attending a federally run institution.

Starting in the 1920s, 200,000 Indigenous children attended over 700 Indian day schools, often suffering physical and sexual abuse.

The government expects thousands of Indigenous people across the country will be able to receive federal compensation from the settlement.

All survivors will receive a minimum of $10,000 in individual compensation, while people who endured more severe cases of abuse will be eligible for greater compensation.

The settlement that was approved by the Federal Court last summer, is also set to provide $200 million for community-based projects to support things like health and wellness programs, “truth-telling” events, and commemoration.

The funding will be administered by the McLean Day School Settlement Corp, who is currently working to develop guidelines and procedures for organizations to follow in applying for grants for projects. Those rules will be made public in the next few weeks.

Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister, Carolyn Bennett says the settlement is an important step towards healing and justice for survivors and their families.

The Indian day schools were run separately from the residential-school system. As a result, they were not included in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement approved in 2006.

Due to a string of hot and dry summers, the grasshopper population is on the rise in the province.

Provincial Entomologist John Gavloski, says that this year will be the third consecutive year of population growth.

While the population has seen an increase, Gavloski says he wouldn’t go as far as calling it an outbreak.

“It’s not at the point where we’re going to call it an outbreak or anything, but there certainly are increased levels,” said Gavloski. “If we get another hot dry year, there likely will be areas in the northwest where grasshoppers are a concern and growers may need to be managing them in some way.”

Gavloski says the western part of Manitoba will be hit the hardest with high counts of grasshoppers, particularly around Brandon, Virden, and Russell. He added the Interlake may be severely affected as well.

The province’s grasshopper forecast is based on several factors, such as counts of populations in August, weather data, and recent trends in populations.

High grasshopper populations can affect lots of crops, and result in significant damage.

Gavloski urges producers to be vigilant and check field edges and ditches early in the year, and be prepared to spray.

While it may be the dead of winter, summer is closer than you think.

Riding Mountain National Park is now taking camping reservations for this summer.

You can reserve sites in Wasagaming, Moon Lake, and Lake Audy. Otentiks, yurts, and the park’s microcube are also available for reservation.

To book your campsite, go to RMNP’s website.

Applications are now open for the Indigenous and Northern Initiatives Grant Program.

This grant program gives funding for projects and initiatives lead by indigenous and non indigenous organizations, and communities.

Projects that improve relationships between indigenous and non indigenous people in Manitoba, projects that improve the quality of life for indigenous people, particularly economic development, job creation, and educational initiatives, projects that support activities that align with the Path to Reconciliation Act, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's Calls to Action, or the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and projects that show clear, concrete and positive benefits that align with the provincial government's speech from the throne will receive priority.

The grant program is designed to support small grants up to 25 thousand dollars, but there will be consideration given to larger projects that show significant partnerships and have the potential for exceptional regional or provincial impact.

Only single year projects will be considered and the deadline to apply is February 7th.

If you'd like to apply, click here

Defence lawyers in the province have decided to suspend a planned week-long walkout, scheduled for today, after the Manitoba justice department agreed to meet with them.

150 defence attorneys were threatening the walkout over tensions over legal aid pay rates.

Private defence lawyers have not seen a raise in legal aid rates in 12 years, despite handling a majority of cases in Manitoba.

The Criminal Defence Lawyers Association of a Manitoba has planned the walkout after failing to reach an agreement with the province since May of 2018.

The meeting between the group and the province is scheduled for January 27th.

A Ukrainian film crew was in the Gilbert Plains area for a hockey-related shoot Sunday, January 12.

The crew is filming a documentary here because Ukraine has taken inspiration from Canada for its hockey program.

The video will include kids having a scrimmage while wearing hockey jerseys of players with Ukrainian descent.

This is happening in the Gilbert Plains area because when Zee ran into the producer of the documentary, they were looking for an outdoor venue to shoot the video and Zee said if anybody can pull this off it’s Gilbert Plains because there’s good volunteers and former Dauphin Kings.

The chosen venue is the Wilson River.

Former Dauphin King, Dean Murray has been making sure the ice surface is good to go and he has the directions.

“It’s three miles east of Gilbert Plains on Markham Road, then three-quarters of a mile south, then you turn left into a lane by some spruce trees before you cross the bridge.”

A Western Canadian Ag project aimed at improving the taste and quality of plant-based proteins around the world has received a boost from the federal government.

The feds invested $9.5 million into the Protein Industries Supercluster, a group of Manitoba-based companies. Private donations were also given to the group, totalling $19.1 million in funds, to try and improve the protein industry in the country.

The Prime Minister’s special advisor for the Prairies, Jim Carr said: “As consumers become more and more discriminating in what they put into their tummies, this is going to move that needle significantly.”

The investment will source close to 20,000 acres worth of canola and peas grown in the Prairies, according to Merit Functional Foods, one of the companies in on the project.

They added that the money is expected to over 100,000 metric tonnes of the protein products within 5 years.

Carr said that this kind of project is a prime example of how Canada is developing the kind of products that are necessary for the rest of the world.

“This protein supercluster serves as an anchor for innovation, for job growth, and for job creation that will help Canada capture premium markets for agri-business as we truly feed the world,” said Carr. “We are letting the rest of the world know that Canada is a global leader in the plant-protein market.”

Carr added that the investment is expected to create increase the country’s GDP and create more than 50,000 jobs.

The Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation has announced that the Hay Disaster Benefit (HDB) has been activated and associated payments will begin shortly.

Federal Ag Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and Provincial Ag Minister Blaine Pedersen said that estimated payouts for 2019 are expected to be in excess of $5 million on approximately 1,500 claims.

“We recognize it has been a difficult harvest for many families in Manitoba,” said Bibeau. “The Hay Disaster Benefit is one of the ways our government is supporting farmers to protect their businesses against weather-related risks, such as forage shortfall.”

“The HDB is a complimentary feature of the AgriInsurance program that compensates insured forage producers for the increased cost of hay and transportation when there is a severe provincial forage shortfall,” said Pedersen. “All producers who are enrolled in the Select Hay Insurance and Basic Hay Insurance programs are automatically enrolled in the HDB.”

The Disaster Benefit was first introduced in 2014 as part of a revamped forage insurance offering. Producers first received payments in 2018.

All insured hay types (alfalfa, alfalfa grass mixtures, grasses, sweet clover and coarse hay) are eligible.

For producers to receive HDB payments, at least 20 percent of producers with Select Hay or Basic Hay Insurance must harvest less than 50 percent of their long-term average hay yield. For the 2019 crop year, producers will receive an additional $40 for each tonne below their Select Hay or Basic Hay Insurance coverage.

The benefit will not cost producers anything. The premiums are cost-shared 60 percent by the Government of Canada and 40 percent by the Province of Manitoba.

For more information on forage insurance in Manitoba contact a MASC office or visit their website.

Yesterday we reported on the creation of a Youth Advisory Council on Climate in Manitoba. 18-year-old Caitlin Stewart from Swan River is on the council

“It feels incredible. I couldn’t believe it when I first heard it, there were 85 applicants and I was 1 of 9 that got picked.”

Stewart shares her motivation.

“Here in Swan we have an incredible environmental program and I’ve taken lots of courses there and my mom’s a biologist. My teacher and my mom both inspire me to try and fight for climate justice.”

She’s hoping to change peoples’ opinions on climate change.

“Especially from the Swan River area, there’s a lot of stigma around climate change about if it’s real or not and I’m hoping that people will be able to realize that it’s happening and the very rate it’s happening at. Hopefully, help create some positive change in the world.”

The council will report to the Expert Advisory Council, which makes recommendations to the minister of conservation and climate on all aspects of the climate and green plan including the pillars of climate, jobs, water and nature. Their first meeting will occur in early 2020.

Second-year nursing students at Brandon University are facing disciplinary action after a recent exam was found to be compromised.

A spokesman for BU says the incident involved a December exam for a class of 46 to 48 students.

In a press release, the University said: “Academic dishonesty is always subject to penalties on a scale appropriate to the level of the infraction, possibly including a grade of F and a permanent mark of Academic

Dishonesty on a student’s transcript.”

All of the students will be given a chance to rewrite the test, with a maximum grade of 70 percent. The students will also have the opportunity to appeal their grade if they feel the disciplinary actions taken are too harsh after retaking the exam.

“Integrity is especially critical in a field like health-care, where trust relationships are central,” said the University. “Given the circumstances of this particular case, BU has worked with the faculty member, the student’s union, and the students in the class to fairly and appropriately deal with this serious infraction.”

The school added that by allowing the students to appeal, it will give them a chance to pursue a grade that fits their circumstances while not holding back the entire cohort from second-term classes.

According to BU’s spokesperson, the university has introduced a new exam policy that stresses academic integrity and is working on finalizing an academic integrity policy.