Building Permits Highlight $11, 486, 226 in Construction Completed in 2020

Despite the uncertainty and restrictions around COVID-19, construction investments remained steady in Thompson for 2020. Property owners invested $11, 486, 226 in construction in 2020, slightly up from $11, 019, 004 in 2019.

The value of residential alterations jumped to $878, 901 across 48 projects in 2020, more than threefold from $272, 685 across 34 projects in 2019. Residents also built 16 garages last year at a total value of $253, 685, up from one garage worth $35, 000 in 2019.

Commercial properties saw $7, 071, 511 in alterations across 21 projects this year, up from $3, 006, 772 across 24 projects in 2019. One new commercial project saw an investment of $864, 000.

Public institutions, including schools, saw $1, 692, 430 in alterations.

“With people stuck at home due to the pandemic, many have chosen to improve their homes and their businesses,” said Mayor Colleen Smook. “We’re excited to see those Thompsonites investing back into their community and their life in the north.”

As COVID-19 Restrictions Loosen, Thompson’s Case Numbers Are Slow To Improve. Here’s Why.

As COVID-19 restrictions loosen in the province, positive COVID-19 cases in Thompson have increased slowly but steadily since the winter holidays. begging the question: where is the transmission within our community taking place?

Last week, the City of Thompson sat down with NRHA officials and northern leaders to discuss where our current cases are coming from.

Although several cases have been reported among students of local schools, the NRHA has noted that all of these cases have been acquired outside of the classroom.  Currently public health officials have seen no evidence of transmission within schools.

Transmission downtown, including among Thompson’s homeless residents, has also remained low.

Rather, contact tracing by the NRHA has determined that the largest source of infections so far is visitation against public health orders: people visiting each other in homes that they are not supposed to.

Home visitation carries a number of risk factors: close quarters in smaller rooms, poor ventilation, common surfaces and sustained contact all contribute to the high likelihood of spread due to residential visits, compounded by the likelihood that people remove their masks at home.

WE have the power to turn the tide.

Whether we’re placed on lockdown or free to roam our gyms and stores, the fundamental guidelines haven’t changed since the fall.

  • Wear your mask properly indoors. Make sure it covers *all* of your face holes.
  • Give your peers space and limit close contact to what is absolutely necessary.
  • Send only *one* household member shopping. Plan your grocery trips so you need them less often.
  • Wash your hands properly, for 20 full seconds, or use hand sanitizer if you can’t.
  • Limit your contacts. Don’t throw parties. Meet your friends outside if you have to.

Restrictions are loosening. Now what?

It’s important to remember that just because restrictions are loosening does not mean that we can abuse them without consequences. If we do abuse them, they will be tightened back up in short order.

Though we have more freedom to take part in the activities we love, it’s important enjoy them responsibly. This means making decisions like:

  • Eating at home today, so you can eat out when you have that really, really bad day;
  • Doing body weight and free weight exercises for simple muscle groups at home, and saving the gym for more specialized exercises;
  • Meeting your friends outside for a walk, so you can visit them at home sooner.
  • Plan an outdoor photo shoot, instead of in a studio.

Enjoying public life in moderation will allow Manitoba to control the pandemic, and keep restrictions to a minimum. Most importantly though, enjoying public life in moderation helps prevent us from getting COVID-19, and passing it on to someone else.

COVID-19 Vaxport In Thompson Takes Shape Through Collaboration

The delivery of the COVID-19 Vaxport program in the City of Thompson is beginning to take shape, and the City of Thompson is proud to be working with the Province of Manitoba and our regional partners to ensure the program’s delivery meets the needs of Thompsonites and northern Manitobans as a whole.

The City of Thompson has been engaged with the Province since the Vaxport site was announced on January 5, 2021 in order to ensure the roll-out plans best serve Thompson and northern Manitoba.

Mayor Colleen Smook notes that changes and adjustments will always be a part of charting new and unknown territory, and the City of Thompson had, and continues to have, ample opportunity to provide input.

“We’re disappointed that provincial media has portrayed our relationship with the province as terse and oppositional,” said Mayor Smook. “We’ve kept close contact with our provincial ministries since day one of the pandemic to ensure northern voices are heard, and that relationship hasn’t changed. We suggested improvements to the delivery of Vaxport in Thompson, and the Province listened.”

The Vaxport program will utilize the Thompson Regional Community Center and the Thompson Regional Airport to distribute doses of the Pfizer vaccine to local patients as well as those from remote outlying communities, respectively.

The airport is being utilized as doses of the Moderna vaccine are limited, and the Pfizer vaccine cannot be easily transported and stored at remote locations. Patients from remote communities will need to be transported to receive the vaccine in a more accessible location, and delivering the vaccine directly at the airport minimizes exposure across communities.

The TRCC, closed under Critical status restrictions, provides an accessible location for pedestrians, motorists, and public-transit users, as well as ample room for safe social distancing. It is also a well-known facility for locals and visitors, and easily accessible for intercity transport by land.

Thompson was selected for the Vaxport program as recognized northern hub for healthcare and transportation that is equipped to receive air and ground traffic from across northern Manitoba. “Thompson has been a medical hub for northern Manitobans for more than three decades,” said Mayor Smook. “We understand the challenges of the north, and we’re well-equipped to meet them.”

The Vaxport program is expected to open in Thompson on February 1.

Council Approves $500, 000 Gift from Canadian Jumpstart Charities To Construct New Multisport Court

Mayor and Council has approved a $500,000 gift from the Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities to construct a new Inclusive Multisport Court in the existing Westdale Tot Lot, located on Thompson Drive near the intersection of Thompson Drive and Beaver Crescent.

The 13,200 square foot fully inclusive court will include opportunities for play for children of all abilities to experience a multitude of sport and adapted sport activities that include basketball, tennis, ball hockey, volleyball, pickleball, and more.

The court is marked with strong, contrasting colours to support users with visual impairments, lit up by high-powered LED lights, and features shaded, double-wide benches and wheelchair-accessible seating. The court is located along the City of Thompson’s existing wheelchair-accessible multi-use path.

The Inclusive Multisport Court is funded by a $500,000 gift from Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities and Thompson’s local Canadian Tire Dealer, Mike Howell. The contribution is provided as part of Jumpstart’s Inclusive Play Project, which focuses on accessible infrastructure and programming, to help give Canadian kids of all abilities access to sport and play.

The City of Thompson will provide $100,000 in project supports and ensure infrastructure is in place so that the court is fully accessible.

The court is expected to be constructed and completed in 2021.

“Affordable and accessible recreation is a priority of our council this term, and we’re thrilled to accept this gift from Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities,” said Mayor Colleen Smook. “We’d like to extend our thanks to Mike Howell, the Dealer of our local Canadian Tire location, who has been an active member of our Community Wellness and Safety Advisory Committee and an active member of our community at large.”

“Through Jumpstart’s Inclusive Play Project, the Charity is always looking for opportunities to help improve accessibility and inclusivity for kids across Canada,” said Mike Howell, Canadian Tire Dealer, Thompson. “Bringing a multisport court to the Thompson community will provide kids of all abilities with additional opportunities to access sport and play – opportunities that are needed now more than ever as we emerge from these challenging times.”

Council Approves New Committee Structure at 2020 Organizational Meeting of Council

Last night, at the City of Thompson’s annual Organizational Meeting of Council, Mayor and Council approved a new committee structure designed to streamline council business and improve the sharing of information among departments.

Mayor: Colleen Smook

Deputy Mayor: Duncan Wong

Legislative and Finance Committee

Formerly the Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs (LIGA) Committee and the Finance Committee

Many of the issues discussed at the original Finance committee are directly related to our lobbying efforts with other levels of government, such as grants, transfers, and provincial tax allocations. By combining Finance and LIGA committees, we can more closely align our lobbying efforts with our financial priorities.

  • Deputy Mayor Duncan Wong (Chair)
  • Councillor Valentino
  • Councillor Lundmark
  • Mayor Colleen Smook

Human Resources Committee

The structure of the Human Resources Committee remains largely unchanged.

Your Human Resources Committee Council members are:

  • Councillor Brian Lundmark (Chair)
  • Councillor Braden McMurdo
  • Mayor Colleen Smook

Public Works and Infrastructure Committee

Formerly the Public Works Committee and (partially) Development Review Committee

Infrastructure, asset management, and capital projects like road renewal and building renovations have long been the responsibility of the Development Review Committee, while maintenance activities have functioned separately under Public Works. Now, decisions surrounding upgrades will be made hand-in-hand with the departments responsible for maintaining them in the long-term. This can help is better identify areas that need attention, and better overview of the lifetime cost of new assets and infrastructure.

Your Public Works and Infrastructure Committee council members are:

  • Councillor Kathy Valentino (Chair)
  • Councilllor Brian Lundmark
  • Mayor Colleen Smook

Recreation and Community Services Committee

Formerly the Recreation Committee and Public Safety Committee

The Community Safety Survey published in August reinforced the connection between recreation, community services, social cohesion and public safety in Thompson. As a direct result, Council has integrated Public Safety and Recreation committees into the single Recreation and Community Services Committee. Public safety will continue to be discussed in the committee, while recreation will be approached with an emphasis on accessibility and community-building, and how Thompson’s built environment can both foster community while ensuring safety.

Your Recreation and Community Services Committee councillors are:

  • Councillor Braden McMurdo (Chair)
  • Councillor Kathy Valentino
  • Mayor Colleen Smook

Development Review Committee

The Development Review Committee structure remains largely unchanged, with the exception that capital projects are more substantially discussed in the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee. Otherwise, the committee will continue to review business and zoning applications within the city.

  • Councillor Andre Proulx (Chair)
  • Councillor Jeff Fountain
  • Mayor Colleen Smook

Communications Committee

The Communications Committee has been dissolved: communications activities will now be planned within existing committee frameworks and centrally supported by the Communications Officer. This way, news is more directly delivered to the Communications department, and public awareness initiatives can be coordinated more directly with the departments they serve.

We Want To Help Businesses Support Electric Vehicles in Thompson!

Help pioneer electric vehicle infrastructure in Thompson! Natural Resources Canada has announced that businesses interested in hosting Level 2 electric vehicle charging stations can apply to have 50% ($5,000 max per outlet) of the purchase and installation costs covered by the federal government under the Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program.

Each application must be submitted as a community, and requires a minimum of 20 outlets to be considered for the grant. The City of Thompson will coordinate identifying interested businesses and organizations in Thompson, who would like to take advantage of this grant opportunity, as we work in putting together a submission.

We would like to have as many interests being expressed by October 30, 2020 to demonstrate to the Federal Government that Thompson is serious about taking a unified approach towards becoming a greener, EV-friendly community.

If you’re a commercial or multi-unit residential property owner and are interested in accessing the grant, please contact our Economic Development Coordinator, Keisha Davis at ecdev@thompson.ca to find out more.

We’ve applied for one charging station so far!

Back in July, Council approved the application to fund the purchase and installation of a Level 3 charging station at the TRCC with the help of Natural Resources Canada.

A Level 3 charger is among the fastest consumer chargers, and can charge a vehicle battery from 0-80% in roughly 20 minutes. However, the cost of these charging stations limits the number that we can effectively purchase and install.

Why are we keen on Electric Vehicles?

Charging stations in Thompson also open up new opportunities for Winter Weather Testing in Thompson by delivering the infrastructure that testers need, and open doors to help the next generation of electric vehicles ready for the real-world rigors of northern Canada.

Electric vehicle battery technology also relies heavily on nickel, which means supporting the adoption of electrical vehicles also supports our local mining economy.

Contact for Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program:

Keisha Davis
Economic Development Coordinator
ecdev@thompson.ca

Council Selects Stantec Consulting To Design New Pool Facility!

On September 8, Mayor and Council accepted the recommendation of the Community Pool Committee to award Stantec Consulting with the contract to design a new pool facility to replace the Norplex Pool!

We received proposals from 13 different design firms before the RFP closed on July 8. Three evaluation teams were created to tackle the submissions, with each team including a citizen representative from the Community Pool committee’s planning and design team.

Respondents were evaluated based on the experience of their over all firms and the experience/qualifications of their lead personnel. This includes experience specific to our circumstances, including government/municipal projects, aquatic facilities, an working on projects in northern, rural, and remote areas.

The proposals themselves were judged based on their ability to demonstrate:

  • Green design and energy efficiency;
  • Understanding construction challenges in northern/remote areas;
  • Accommodating our wish-list, with the ability to scale the design down depending on budget limitations;
  • Understanding the expectations of our community and stakeholders;
  • Safety compliance;
  • Sound, innovative ideas

The recommendation of administration and the Community Pool Committee is expected to be put forward for approval at the August 24 regular meeting of Council, and the chosen firm will have their first meeting with city administration within a week of being notified that they have won the bid.

What Else is New?

Public fundraising activities are starting to ramp up again after being on hold due to public health orders and responsible social distancing: they have a few exciting ideas lined up for this winter! In the meantime, our team has continued to apply for grants as they become available, and public donations are always welcome!

The City and the Community Pool Committee still hasn’t received word from the federal government regarding the Investing in Canada’s Infrastructure Program grant: earlier in the spring, we received word that large grants will likely not be announced until Fall of 2020, so we hope to hear back soon as September approaches!

Last Week of Community Clean-up + End of Month Prizes!

It’s the sixth and last week of Clean Community Month in Thompson, and this week, we’re cleaning up ALL of Thompson! Anywhere! If you see a problem spot, gather your friends and pick it up, to enter to win!

Send us your photos and the names of your clean-up team for a chance to win a Hub of the North Hoodie, a prize pack from Recycle Everywhere and the Thompson Recycling Center, Two Vale swag bags, and this week’s big prize from Canadian Tire: a 6-foot Pelican Sit-on-top kayak! Perfect for this season: who knows, maybe we’ll have more water than land by the end of August!

Contest extended by one week!

We’ve had a lot of wet and cold weather during this contest, and we feel that residents didn’t have much time to get out and about on the dry days. Now that it looks like summer is here properly here, we want to make the most of it.

We’re offering up another week of prizes between June 26 and July 3, for a city-wide clean-up. If you see a problem spot *anywhere* in town, clean it up and send us your photos!

GRAND PRIZE DRAWS!

A number of businesses and community organizations approached us throughout the contest to donate their own prizes to the contest. We’ve saved them up until the end, and we’ll be raffling them all off on Monday, July 6! Everyone who took part in Clean Community Month, and who hasn’t won a weekly prize, is eligible to win!

AMP INDUSTRIES

Interior/Exterior Cleaning, Oil Change

Nickel Days Committee

$500 in various gift cards

NCN THOMPSON BUS

Small and Large Hoodies

ASSANTE WEALTH MANAGEMENT

$50 Gift Card – Sobeys

Thanks to our participants this week!

A big thank you goes out to the Morin family this week, who braved the rain to carry the Clean Community torch last week!

Week 4 of Clean Community Month Starts Today!

It’s the fourth week of Clean Community Month in Thompson, and this week, we’re in the Westwood and Burntwood areas!

Send us your photos and the names of your clean-up team for a chance to win a Hub of the North Hoodie, a prize pack from Recycle Everywhere and the Thompson Recycling Center, and this week’s big prize from Canadian Tire: A two-piece CANVAS Beaumount Patio Chair set!

As the wind picks up, it seems like there’s still plenty of litter still blowing into the downtown area. We’re more than happy to accept entries from downtown cleaners as well!


Thank you to our sponsors!

Thompson Recycling Center

Recycle Everywhere!

Canadian Tire

AMP Industries

NCN Thompson Bus

Assante Wealth Management


THANKS TO ALL OF OUR VOLUNTEERS THIS WEEK!

Thank you to EVERYONE who participated in Week 3: Individuals can’t win the draw a second time, but if you go out to clean up again, other members of your team definitely can! If you didn’t win last week, you can still participate and get a second chance this week!

Thompson Connect Launches Today!

As a City, we’re always looking for new ways to ensure residents the information they need, exactly when they need it. We also recognize that not everyone is comfortable with social media, or with the web. That’s why we’re launching Thompson Connect!

Thompson-Connect pushes messages, updates, and alerts directly to you, through either text messages, emails, and even automated voice calls. That includes messages sent out through the Canada-wide Alert Ready emergency messaging system.

Connect will also be able to deliver area-specific notices for issues like water breaks, road closures, events, and more! You won’t be bogged down with messages about water breaks on the other side of town.

Sign up today at www.thompson.ca/p/connect! Once you sign up, you’ll receive your own password in case you need to change your settings in the future. You can also call City Hall and ask for a physical registration form!

Residents registered with Manitoba White Pages will also be receiving an automated call informing them of the new system, encouraging them to register. This is the ONLY time that we will utilize White Page listings, other than a city-wide emergency. Otherwise, only registrants will be contacted.