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Flood Bulletin #6

April 03, 2017

Manitoba Infrastructure’s Hydrologic Forecast Centre reports overland flooding continues across much of southern Manitoba, often due to ice in the drainage network.

Ice Jams and Overland Flooding

  • Ice jam-related flooding continues on some major rivers and smaller tributaries.  It can occur when the run-off begins before the river ice melts and is difficult to predict.
  • Netley Creek is running very high as ice jamming on the Red River slows the creek from draining into the river.
  • Municipal and provincial crews are working to thaw culverts on a priority basis.
  • Partial ring dike closures are underway or completed at St. Adolphe and Brunkild.

States of Local Emergency/Evacuations

  • To date, the following states of local emergency have been registered with Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization (EMO):  the municipalities of Prairie Lakes, Grassland, Brenda-Waskada, Dufferin, Grey, La Broquerie and Two Borders, and the Town of Carman.
  • Ice jams on the Boyne River and surface run-off is affecting some homes in the Carman area.
  • Evacuations have taken place at the Peguis First Nation and Sioux Valley Dakota Nation.  The Canadian Red Cross is working with both communities to co-ordinate the response.

Advisories, Watches and Warnings

  • High water advisories remain in effect for the Overflowing, Valley and Vermillion rivers.
  • A flood watch has been lifted from the Whitemouth River.
  • A flood watch has been issued for the lower Assiniboine River from Portage la Prairie to Headingley due to possible ice issues.
  • Flood watches remain in effect for the Woody, Whitemud and Red Deer rivers.
  • Flood warnings have been issued for Birdtail Creek, the Turtle River and the upper Assiniboine River between the Shellmouth Dam and Holland.
  • Flood warnings remain in effect for Swan River near Minitonas, Fisher River downstream of Dallas, the Morris River, Pipestone Creek and the Red River and Netley Creek near Petersfield due to ice jamming.

Red River

  • The Red River Floodway began operation Friday morning.
  • The water level at James Avenue in Winnipeg is 19.2 feet, very close to the predicted level.
  • Depending when the ice runs on the Assiniboine River, a minor increase in water levels may occur at James Avenue.  It is expected that ice will move over the next two days.
  • Water levels at James Avenue are expected to stay around 19 ft. for the next few days.  At this time, the Red River in Winnipeg is expected to crest April 4 to 5.
  • Decisions about the use of a ramp on PTH 75 in Morris will be based on conditions over the next few days.  It is expected PTH 75 will remain open.

Pembina River

  • The Pembina River at Windygates is nearing its second crest, which will not be as high as the first peak.  Manitoba is removing the partial dike closure at the border at Gretna.
  • Water levels and flows on the Pembina River, which flows into the Red River south of Manitoba, are stabilizing as ice jams subside.

Assiniboine River

  • The Portage Diversion began operation on Friday morning.  It is being operated to limit flows on the lower Assiniboine River and to minimize ice jams.
  • Major tributaries of the Assiniboine River are still increasing including Birdtail and Silver creeks, Arrow, Oak, Little Saskatchewan, Little Souris and Cypress rivers.
  • The risk of ice jamming in drains and small tributaries is present as flows continue to rise.

Souris River, Parkland region, The Pas and northern Manitoba

  • Flows on the main stem of the Souris River in Manitoba are continuing to react to the run-off from the melt and tributaries of the Souris River are increasing.
  • Tributaries in the southern Parkland are beginning to respond to run-off from the Riding Mountain.
  • Run-off is starting in the Saskatchewan and Carrot rivers watersheds.

Flood Information

  • People are reminded to be watchful of local waterways, as flood conditions can develop quickly.
  • Avoid driving through moving water as the water depth can be unpredictable and current can push vehicles off the road.
  • People are reminded that ditches and culverts contain fast-moving water which could be hazardous and should be avoided.
  • It is strongly advised that people be careful if venturing out onto what may appear to be frozen rivers and lakes, due to potential weak ice conditions.
  • Since run-off may occur quickly, landowners who normally store a portion of run-off in dugouts for irrigation or other water-retention structures are encouraged to retain water.
  • Homeowners should check their sump pumps and hoses to ensure they are fully functional.

Up-to-date flood information can be found at or on Twitter at

For current highway conditions, call 511, visit, or follow the Twitter account at for closures.  A Manitoba 511 app is now available for download at

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William Prince Wins JUNO Award for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year

April 01, 2017

The envelopes were opened, the names were read, and artists from Manitoba are heading home with JUNOS. The hardware was handed out at the glittery 2017 JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards, which took place at Ottawa’s Shaw Centre on April 1.

Singer/songwriter William Prince, who was a double nominee this year, won in the Contemporary Roots Album of the Year category for his debut solo recording, Earthly Days. Prince, who was also nominated for Indigenous Music Album of the Year, took the stage at the gala to perform the In Memoriam Tribute. Prince earned a 2016 Western Canadian Music Award and nods from the Canadian Folk Music Awards for Earthly Days. Read Lessons in Grace: William Prince Builds Community and Shares a Legacy One Song at a Time

DJ collective A Tribe Called Red, which features Winnipeg-based producer Tim “2oolman” Hill alongside DJ NDN and Bear Witness, picked up the Jack Richardson Producer of the Year for its latest album, Halluci Nation.

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Going Home Star: Truth and Reconciliation — which features the music of Steve Wood (Mistikwaskihk Napesis), the Northern Cree Singers, Tanya Tagaq, and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra — won for Classical Album of the Year: Large Ensemble or Soloist(s) with Large Ensemble Accompaniment.

Manitoba-born, B.C.-based Tim Neufeld landed his second Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year award, this year for his album Hootenanny! with his band The Glory Boys.

Homegrown acts were up for several awards this year, including nods in the Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year for Steve Bell and Jaylene Johnson.

For a complete list of 2017 JUNO Awards winners from the gala, go to


Province Launches Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Manitoba

Educating Manitobans is Key: Squires

The Manitoba government will recognize April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month by raising awareness, sharing information about available resources and fostering a greater understanding of consent, Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Rochelle Squires, minister responsible for status of women, announced today.

“Manitoba has a high rate of sexual violence and sexual assault against women and girls.  Unfortunately, many victims don’t feel comfortable coming forward to report these incidents,” said Squires.  “We must change the dialogue to support survivors.”

According to a Statistics Canada’s Uniform Crime Reporting Survey, there were 1,356 police-reported sexual assaults in Manitoba in 2015, a rate of more than 104 sexual violence victims for every 100,000 people.  The national rate is approximately 59 victims per 100,000 people.  Statistics Canada’s 2014 General Social Survey on Victimization shows 95 per cent of sexual assaults nationally are not reported to police.

“It is important for all of us to think about how we can prevent sexual violence to keep women and girls safe in Manitoba, and what we can do individually and collectively to support survivors,” said Squires.  “One approach we can all take is to become more informed on what consent means.”

The Manitoba Status of Women Secretariat is hosting two information sessions in April:

  • Supporting Survivors of Sexual Assault – What You Need to Know, 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, April 7, Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, 445 King St. (Event Hall).  Speakers include representatives from Ka Ni Kanichihk, Klinic, Manitoba Victim Services, Manitoba Prosecution Service, RCMP and Winnipeg Police Service.
  • Creating a Culture of Consent – Experiences from Working with Kids, Youth and Adults, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, April 26, Brandon University (Louis Riel Room).  Panelists include representatives from Brandon University, Brandon Pride, the Sexuality Education Resource Centre and Women’s Resource Centre.

Members of the public are asked to RSVP by phoning 204-945-6281 or 1-800-263-0234 (toll free) or emailing  Both sessions are available via webinar by registering at

Manitobans are encouraged to visit for information on consent, how to report an assault and resources to support survivors of sexual violence.

The government will use social media to share information all month of April.  Manitobans can participate in the discussion using the hashtags #Consent, #SAAM2017, #EndSV, #SupportSurvivors, #ConsentCulture and #YouAreNotAlone.

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MMIWG: Date to Apply for Standing Extended to April 18

Deadline for Standing Extended to April 18

The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls has extended the deadline to April 18 from April 10 for interested parties to apply for standing.

The application forms and instructions are available on the National Inquiry’s website, at under “Legal Notices and Documents.” There is also an opportunity for those parties seeking standing to apply for funding.

Applicants will receive written decisions from the Commissioners on whether their applications for standing and funding have been accepted and, if so, on what terms. Applications can be submitted by:

fax: 1-604-775-5009
mail: National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Head Office, P.O. Box 500, Station A, Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 2N3.

For more information about standing, interested parties may call 1-604-775-9702.

Importantly, family members of missing or murdered Indigenous women, girls, two-spirited individuals, and survivors of violence who wish to share their experiences with the Commissioners do not have to apply for standing. There is no need for these individuals to apply for funding under the standing process, as their reasonable expenses for attending to give their testimony will be paid by the National Inquiry, in accordance with the guidelines established.

Families and survivors who would like to share their stories with the National Inquiry should send an email to or call toll free 1-844-348-4119.

For more information, please contact:

Christa Big Canoe, Commission Counsel or Susan Vella, Lead Counsel via Sue Montgomery 514-240-0368 or


Province Launches Northern Economic Summits, Engages Northern Communities in Shared Pursuit of Economic Growth

April 3, 2017

Partnerships Key to Long-term Success in Manitoba’s North: Cullen

OPASKWAYAK CREE NATION—Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Cliff Cullen was here today to launch a series of Northern Economic Summits, the next step in the Manitoba government’s Look North Strategy for long-term and sustainable economic development in the province’s north.

“These summits are a unique opportunity to build meaningful partnerships that are necessary to capture the opportunities for growth and long-term development in the region,” said Cullen. “They will bring together communities, Indigenous and non-Indigenous businesses, industry and labour leaders in a collaborative forum to identify pathways leading to renewed growth and economic diversification. Strengthening relationships with northern communities and their leaders is a priority for our government.”

Northern Economic Summits will be held in The Pas today and tomorrow, in Thompson on April 4 and 5 and in Churchill April 5 and 6. The summits will be led by Look North Task Force co-chairs Onekanew (Chief) Christian Sinclair of Opaskwayak Cree Nation and Chuck Davidson, president and CEO of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, with a mandate to develop a northern economic development strategy in collaboration with Manitobans. Sinclair and Davidson welcomed the launch of the summits.

“We are looking forward to sharing ideas and helping to inspire long-term solutions for the economic sustainability of our communities,” said Sinclair. “These summits are an important first step toward increasing Indigenous participation in building the economies of Manitoba’s northern and remote regions.”

“Engagement with northern communities and leaders will inform the task force as we develop a strategy to develop existing expertise and attract new businesses and investment to the north,” said Davidson. “Northern Manitoba holds tremendous untapped potential and has been widely recognized as a region with significant opportunities for growth and renewal.”

Cullen noted that a number of community roundtables have also been organized throughout the province as part of the open discussion on northern development, adding that a stronger northern economy will be built on partnerships with communities and businesses to generate the sustained growth and job creation needed to ensure a prosperous future in the region.

Manitobans are encouraged to continue contributing their creativity and vision for the north via social media using the hashtag #looknorthmb or by submitting short videos, photos or in writing. Ideas can be submitted to

The minister added those from outside Manitoba considering investing in the region are encouraged to visit to access information about building a business in northern Manitoba.

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Northern economic summits being held this week – Thompson Citizen

April 3, 2017

The Look North task force launched its first of three economic summits in Northern Manitoba April 3 in The Pas, with the second one in Thompson running April 4-5 and the final one in Churchill April 5-6.

“These summits are a unique opportunity to build meaningful partnerships that are necessary to capture the opportunities for growth and long-term development in the region,” said Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Cliff Cullen, who launched the summit series. “They will bring together communities, indigenous and non-indigenous businesses, industry and labour leaders in a collaborative forum to identify pathways leading to renewed growth and economic diversification. Strengthening relationships with northern communities and their leaders is a priority for our government.”

The summits are being led by Look North task force co-chairs Opaskwayak Cree Nation Onekanew (Chief) Christian Sinclair and Manitoba Chambers of Commerce president and CEO Chuck Davidson.

Read More:

David Alexander Robertson and IsKwé stand up for missing and murdered Indigenious women – CBC

April 03, 2017

Winnipeg artists David Alexander Robertson and IsKwé addresses a First Nations epidemic through the character of May, an Indigenous teenager who discovers the dark and tragic stories of missing and murdered Indigenous women in the graphic novel, Will I See?. The collaborative effort between the graphic novelist and singer-songwriter aims to galvanize a nation by calling attention to the culture of fear and anxiety that permeates Indigenous communities.

​What May represents

DAR: I think about how strong she is, but I think about the fact that she’s under threat right now. We have this epidemic happening in our country. The other day my daughter was taking the bus to swimming. She didn’t call us when she got to the swimming pool. Because I know this is happening to thousands of our women, I drove across the city just to see her in the pool. That, to me, is who May is. She embodies Indigenous women that are powerful, strong and beautiful but under threat right now. A lot of the book is standing up against that threat together and saying no to it, that we’re not going to stand for it anymore.

Read More:

Circle tour offers Superior travel experience; splendours of Gichigami abound – CP

Source: The Canadian Press
Apr 3, 2017 

By Colin Perkel


TORONTO _ It might not have the must-do cachet of California’s Highway 101, of South Africa’s Garden Route or of the Rockies.

Yet a voyage around the world’s largest freshwater lake, the big sea they once called Gichigami, reveals a sublime and in-your-face spectacular natural wonderland unrivalled anywhere.

The 2,000-kilometre “Circle Tour,” done over multiple visits or for the more adventurous in one go, is to be savoured like one of the fine Group of Seven paintings the area north of Lake Superior inspired.

“It’s like every piece of shoreline is different and unique in some way,” says Dan Bevilacqua, executive director of Superior Country. “It goes for the communities as well.”

There are the Ontario city splendours of Sault Ste. Marie or Blues Fest in Thunder Bay. At its most westerly point, travel Bob Dylan Way through a charming Duluth, Minn., perched above the lake at the start of Highway 61, near the place from where the famed poet-singer hails.

In between, find out where a bear cub named Winnie-the-Pooh began his long journey to literary fame, check out the motel where renowned pianist Glenn Gould would get away from it all, or take in the striking monument where a cancer-stricken Terry Fox gave up his one-legged trans-Canada run.

Stop and admire the revamped main street of Terrace Bay, or on the south shore _ which the Americans call the north shore _ meander through picturesque Marquette or breeze past Christmas on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Mostly, however, it’s about a lake that splits its sparkling waters between Canada and the United States.

Indeed, as the largest of the Great Lakes, Superior offers seemingly boundless shoreline _ log-strewn beaches, gentle river mouths, pristine sunbathing sands, rock cliffs and waterfall trails _ all replete with oceanic vistas. In fact, it would be easy to confuse the greatest of the lakes for an ocean _ were it not for its glass-clear water that on serene summer days makes for a bracing, salt-free swim.

At other times, however, that water can turn ferocious _ with steely-grey waves two or three storeys high. Moodiness and power both awesome and breath-taking. Stop and look out over where the Edmund Fitzgerald sank in a November gale in 1975 just a few kilometres from safety _ a tragedy immortalized in song by Canadian singer-songwriting legend Gordon Lightfoot.

Getting a sense of scale is difficult. At its longest, Lake Superior stretches some 560 kilometres as the eagle flies, abutting one province and three states. By some counts, if you poured out its water, it would flood the entire continents of North and South America to a depth of 30 centimetres.

The shoreline of twists and turns that runs to about 2,780 kilometres offers stunning views and unsurpassed magnificence around most every corner _ not to mention stupendous motorcycling or driving territory for the enthusiast.

Everywhere there are surprises, some steeped in indigenous history that traces back as far as 10,000 years, such as the Ojibwa pictographs at Agawa Rock. There is the delight of Old Woman Bay, where river meets lake, or places whose very names are the lure: Rabbit Blanket Lake, Pinguisibi Falls or Kakabeka Falls, nicknamed Niagara of the North.

Hunt or fish. Walk or cycle innumerable trails. Camp out in well-equipped provincial or federal parks, or stop by at hotels, motels, inns or lodges along the way. But mostly, says Bevilacqua, stop and talk to the locals for their advice on what secret treasures their communities might offer.

“There’s lots of little hidden gems,” says Bevilacqua, whose Superior Country not-for-profit puts out a Circle Tour guide full of ideas. The guide can be picked up at tourist information spots or ordered online.

“The one thing that we strive to do is not make it an inexpensive journey, but to make it an experience that you want to do no matter what,” he says.

The route, he says, appeals to baby boomers, RVers and motorcycle enthusiasts, although increasing numbers of younger adventurers are discovering the excellent hiking or kayaking opportunities. Others prefer to do the circumnavigation by boat.

More and more, Bevilacqua says, there’s a move toward event-based travel, with people asking, “What’s happening here at this time?”

One answer, for example, might be the three-day Live from the Rock Folk Festival in Red Rock, Ont., south of Nipigon and its striking suspension bridge over the Nipissing River that joins east and west along the Trans-Canada Highway.

This year, Superior Country has revived a “passport” program for both lake and auto travellers. Visitors can collect stamps along the way and, ultimately, a certificate of completion if they get all the way around. It’s also an opportunity for the organization to gather intelligence on who exactly is doing the touring.

“It’s absolutely fascinating how many people are interested in doing the Circle Tour,” Bevilacqua says.


If You Go…

_ Plan stops, don’t rush and remember to carry a passport if crossing the border.

_ Check out the Circle Tour guide at

_ Get provincial park info at



Remote Manitoba First Nation Fire declares emergency after fire destroys store – CP

Source: The Canadian Press
Apr 3, 2017 13:22

BROCHET, Man. _ A remote northern Manitoba First Nation has declared a state of emergency after fire destroyed the community’s only grocery store.

The fire began early Sunday morning and gutted the Northern Store of Brochet-Barren Lands Nation.

Chief John Clarke says the building was still smoldering 12 hours later but no one was injured in the blaze.

He says his community of 600 people is in crisis and officials are working around the clock to get essential goods delivered.

Clarke says he’s hoping the Red Cross can deliver some supplies as early as today.

Manitoba RCMP say the fire is suspicious and is being investigated as an arson.

Brochet-Barren Lands Nation is about 900 kilometres north of Winnipeg near the Saskatchewan boundary.

Residents of Shamattawa First Nation, 700 kilometres north of Winnipeg, were left without a Northern Store, as well as the adjacent band office, radio station and 911 centre after a fire last September.

The fire prompted a state of emergency on the remote reserve, leaving the 1,500 residents without supplies or emergency services.

Six youngsters were believed to have been involved in setting the Sept. 22 blaze, but five are under the age of 12, so they can’t face charges. A 12-year-old boy was charged with arson.

Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson, who represents northern Manitoba First Nations, said this latest fire “is another reminder about how vulnerable many of our northern First Nations are and how we need to do more to keep our communities safe.”


Awareness is the first step – The Projector

April 3, 2017

Robertson, illustrator Gregory Chomichuk, and musician Iskwé (Marcia Ostashewski) hosted the launch for their new graphic novel, Will I See?, at The Good Will Social Club. The graphic novel was inspired by Iskwé’s song “Will I See” that’s about missing and murdered Indigenous women.

“She wanted to make a music video for her song and contacted me for some ideas,” said Robertson, 40. “I emailed her back saying we should make the song into a graphic novel, and then animate the characters into a music video.”

This is Robertson’s 16th graphic novel, and it isn’t his first about missing and murdered Indigenous women. His life as a professional writer started in 2008, when he released a graphic novel called The Life of Hellen Betty Osborne. Hellen Betty Osborne was an Indigenous woman murdered in The Pas in 1971.

Read More:

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