Manitoba's official opposition party is calling on the PC government to protect health care facilities.

The NDP has put forward a bill today in the legislature to see buffer zones around hospitals and personal care homes to prevent healthcare workers from being subjected to protests.

The party's leader, Wab Kinew, says we all know where this is coming from,

"So my colleague Nahanni Fontaine introduced a bill today that would create a buffer zone around health care facilities, and we all know where this is coming from. We saw those really disturbing anti-vax protests taking place and really causing chaos around hospitals, including right here in Manitoba; nobody wants to see that. First of all, I think everyone should get vaccinated, but if you do have to protest against lifesaving vaccinations, then please don't do that at a hospital, please don't do that in a way that is going to harass patients or nurses or doctors, and we think the government has to go and take action now."

Kinew says he is hopeful that the government will support this bill to help keep Manitobans safe.

According to the provincial dashboard, there are 130 new cases of COVID-19 in the province.

Manitoba reports that 90 of today's cases are from unvaccinated people, seven from partially vaccinated people, and 33 from fully vaccinated people. 

Public Health officials also note that of today's cases:

  • 16 are in the Prairie Mountain Health region
  • 18 are in the Interlake-Eastern Health region
  • 33 are in the Northern Health region
  • 43 are in the Southern Health–Santé Sud health region
  • 20 are in the Winnipeg Health region

Dauphin still has one active case of the virus in the city.

The numbers of active cases in other Parkland health districts are:

Riding Mountain (0), Swan River (3), Duck Mountain (5), Porcupine Mountain (2), Agassiz Mountain (5), Asessippi (14), Little Saskatchewan (3), Whitemud (0). Brandon has 54 active cases.

In the Interlake, the Eriksdale/Ashern health district has four active cases. The Fisher/Peguis district has 13 active cases.

The current five-day test positivity rate is 3.4 percent provincially. 3,296 laboratory tests were completed yesterday.

There are 927 active COVID-19 cases in the province.

48 Manitobans are hospitalized with active COVID-19.

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

On Wednesday, it was announced a tentative agreement had been reached between the Manitoba Nurses Union and the government.

The agreement still needs to be voted on by more than 12,000 members of the union.

This deal comes seven weeks after mediation talks had begun between the two parties and more than four years without a collective agreement in place.

The proposed contract would end in 2024 and see a general wage increase of 9.6 percent before compounding. 

Other perks in this tentative agreement include improvements to shift premiums, overtime and other allowances. Incentives for travel and transfers. Protections against inordinately long shifts. Signing bonuses and other incentives.

A date of a vote to ratify this agreement hasn't been specified, but it is expected that there will be more news on this situation in the coming days.

A 24-year-old cyclist from Brandon is dead after a collision on Highway 1 Wednesday night.

The cyclist and a vehicle collided near the community of Austin.

The investigation has determined that a 54-year-old driver from Regina was driving in the left lane when he suddenly saw a cyclist in the same lane and collided with him.

Officials believe the dark lighting conditions and the fact that the cyclist was wearing dark clothes were factors in the collision and that alcohol and speed were not involved.

The investigation continues.

Some people and several businesses in Manitoba were given fines for breaking public health orders last week.

A total of 35 warnings and 19 tickets were dished out.

Five $1,296 tickets were issued for various offenses, two $298 tickets for not wearing a mask in an indoor public place, and 14 $5,000 tickets were given to businesses.

The Association representing the University of Manitoba Faculty (UMFA) says that they want salaries more in line with other universities in the country.

So much so, they're willing to strike to get what they say is only fair.

UMFA President Orvie Dingwall expressed frustration with the situation,

"The University of Manitoba Faculty Association has been bargaining with the university since August 5th of this year, but the crux of the current issue is our negations on salary. We have had our wages frozen since 2016 and have had the government interfering in our bargaining since then, and this is really the first opportunity we've had to try to freely and fairly negotiate on salaries."

She went on to preach the importance of job and education security,

"Our members want to provide stability for students, we know it's been very hard on them being at university virtually during the pandemic, and we're calling on administration to come to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer so that students can continue their term and their year uninterrupted."

UMFA's president says the two sides met earlier this week and will continue talks today,

"It's always a good sign when the bargaining teams are at the table. UMFA is certainly committed to reaching a deal before we have to take a strike vote. UMFA is really committed to keeping students in their classes and hopes that the administration is as well."

Lastly, Dingwall shared an impactful message about the union not wanting to see students and their education suffer from these negations,

"We know they're the future of our province; they're our future nurses and doctors, economists, musicians and engineers. All the people that are going to help us come out of this pandemic and to provide a stable economy and a vibrant Manitoba going forward."

The union authorized a strike vote on Wednesday.

And unless both sides come to an agreement prior to the vote, it will take place from October 16th to 18th, with results coming in on the 19th.

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The Draconid meteor showers will be peaking tonight!

Although this year's installment of the Draconid showers won't be the most exciting, Astronomy Lecturer Gary Boyle says it won't be too hard to catch a glimpse.

"The great thing too is that you don't have to wait until about two o clock in the morning as per other showers. As soon as it gets dark enough, step outside and look up, and you should hopefully see something. Because the Draco is really between the big and little dipper up in northern part of the sky, so it's accessible as the sky darkens."

Boyle explains what precisely a meteor shower is and why you should look up tonight.

"Meteor showers are bits of debris from comets. In the case of the Dracoinds coming up, it's a very small meteor shower, not too many per hour, only about ten per hour or less as opposed to what we had in the summertime with the Perseids and coming up in December for the Geminid. They are going to very slow-moving meteors, only about 20 km per second, which seems fast but very slow compared to others. Also, the moon will not interfere this year, so anyone outside walking the dog or taking a stroll will squint and notice a meteor or two, it's not a great shower, but any excuse to get out under the stars to look up at the milky way, at the planets and the southwestern horizon is always a good excuse."

The forecast is calling for a partly cloudy evening for tonight's Draconid peak, but don't worry... the Draconids will continue to be visible for the next few days.

According to the provincial dashboard, there are 132 new cases of COVID-19 in the province.

Manitoba reports that 78 of today's cases are from unvaccinated people, 17 from partially vaccinated people, and 37 from fully vaccinated people. 

Public Health officials also note that of today's cases:

  • 24 are in the Prairie Mountain Health region
  • 10 are in the Interlake-Eastern Health region
  • 37 are in the Northern Health region
  • 33 are in the Southern Health–Santé Sud health region
  • 28 are in the Winnipeg Health region

Dauphin has one new case to report today, and it is the only active case of the virus in the city.

The numbers of active cases in other Parkland health districts are:

Riding Mountain (0), Swan River (2), Duck Mountain (5), Porcupine Mountain (1), Agassiz Mountain (4), Asessippi (13), Little Saskatchewan (4), Whitemud (0). Brandon has 57 active cases.

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

The current five-day test positivity rate is 3.4 percent provincially. 4,000 laboratory tests were completed yesterday.

There are 868 active COVID-19 cases in the province.

45 Manitobans are hospitalized with active COVID-19.

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

Manitobans can now apply for medical exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. Joss Reimer, Medical Lead for the Vaccine Implementation Task Force says the first step people need to take is talking to their healthcare provider.

"If the specialist agrees they will submit the exemption to Manitoba Health and Seniors care. Only licenced specialists can submit that to us. There's a secure way for them to share it with us, and that information is only provided to the specialists who are able to do that."

Some situations where an exemption might be considered include having a severe reaction to the first dose, receiving treatment that prevents immune response, or if there was a severe allergy to the vaccine.

Reimer says the card exempt Manitobans will receive will be the exact same as those for people who are fully vaccinated.

The Hoof 'N' Holler Weekend kicks off this Friday in Ste. Rose.

Hoof 'N' Holler Committee member Ashley Vandepoele says she’s really excited to go forward with this year’s events.

“We’re really excited to be able to bring something to our community. We know that it’s a lot smaller than we’ve done in past years, but we’re just looking forward to seeing the community together, and out and doing some events.”

The annual parade has been cancelled this year, but Ashley says there are still many events happening.

“We’re kicking off Friday with our Diamond Disk Dog Show, we actually had them booked in 2018 but there was a snowstorm and they weren’t able to make their way here. After the dog show is the drive-in movie followed by fireworks. Saturday Charlie Brown Daycare is partnering with us for a craft sale, queen bed races down Main Street, and a scavenger hunt. Then to wrap up our weekend on Sunday we’re having a pancake breakfast where the proceeds are going towards the Ste. Amelie Ridge Riders, which is our local snowmobiling group.”

Events start Friday at 4:30 at the Ste. Rose Arena. Attendees must show proof of vaccination.

Assiniboine Community College is currently accepting nominations for the 2022 Parkland Alumni Awards.
 
Nominees can be graduates of any Assiniboine campus but must be residents of the Parkland region.

People can nominate Parkland alumni for one of three categories:

1) Distinguished Alumni Award (up to two recipients): Awarded to college alumni who have distinguished themselves in both their chosen professions and their communities.

2) One to Watch Award: Awarded to college alumni, 35 years or younger, who have demonstrated exceptional achievement and significant contribution to their professions or communities.

3) Excellence in Education Award: Presented to a current staff or faculty member who has made an extraordinary contribution to teaching and the student experience.

Director of the ACC Parkland campus, Valerie McInnes, says she anticipates some top-notch alumni being nominated,

“I know Parkland campus offers an exceptional college experience for those in the region and has an impressive community of alumni. I look forward to hearing about the challenges and successes of those who will be nominated.”

While getting through the COVID-19 pandemic, the college could not present these awards over the past two years.

The deadline for the 2022 Parkland alumni award nominations is Friday, December 17th, 2021.

For nomination forms and more information, click here, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.