Rural Roundup — March 9, 2023
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Family members of Rudy and Geraldine Kovar were on hand at the Glenboro Agricultural Society’s annual general meeting recently to accept a prestigious award.
The ag society’s Honourary Membership Award was given posthumously to the Kovars, who were represented by their three children, Diane, David and Val, as well as their four grandchildren, Cole, Kaitlinn, Cassie and Alyshea.
Diane Kovar said it was an honour to have her parents recognized for everything they’ve done for the ag society.
“They would have been happy but humbled at receiving the award. They didn’t do what the did for recognition. They just wanted to support he community in any way they could,” she said.
Kovar said her parents taught her the importance of respect and volunteerism.
“In addition, we were taught to work hard and never take anything for granted,” added Kovar, who is also a volunteer with the ag society.
» The Gazette
The provincial government announced 40 daycare spaces would be coming to Baldur to serve local families last month through the Canada-Manitoba Wide Learning Agreement and Childcare Agreement.
Melita will also receive support for 40 new daycare spots as part of the ready-to-move child-care project, a plan that will create more than 1,000 daycare spaces across the province.
Mike Everett, reeve of the Rural Municipality of Argyle, said the project also incudes a contribution from the municipal government.
“They are providing us with a ready to move building to convert into a daycare,” he said. “The daycare in Baldur had to apply for it, but the RM has to provide two acres of land for the building.”
The RM can’t charge the daycare rent for 15 years as part of the plan, and after those 15 years are up, the daycare will own the building.
Providing more daycare spaces will help keep young families in the area, Everett said.
» The Gazette
The municipal waste-transfer station in Glenboro-South Cypress will be the site of a three-month study regarding the items and origins of waste and recyclables being disposed of in the community.
The municipal council initiated the study, which will run from March 1 to June 1, and collect information regarding how the dump is being used by area residents.
During the monitoring period, visitors will be asked to speak to the station supervisor, informing him where they are from and what they are bringing into the site for disposal.
The ultimate goal of the monitoring project is to determine how the waste station might be improved or changed to better suit the needs of area residents.
» The Gazette
The Sandy Lake Congregate Meal program, which was suspended in September 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, restarted at the Sandy Lake Community Drop-in centre on Feb. 21.
The meals served are healthy and well-balanced, and are enjoyed in a group setting. Sponsored by Prairie Mountain Health, the gatherings provide an opportunity for social engagement that might otherwise be missing in a senior’s life.
Doug Hayhurst, president of the program, said he’s excited about Terry Gonzalez-Ruis from Erickson joining the program as its cook.
“I was worried we might lose some of our volunteers,” Hayhurst said, “but almost everyone stepped up again.”
A total of 16 volunteers work together assisting Gonzalez-Ruis, serving the meals and cleaning up afterward.
“If it weren’t for the dedication of our volunteers, we wouldn’t have a program,” Hayhurst said. “That’s how important they are.”
The program is aimed at seniors aged 55 and over, but attendees are welcome to include family members, regardless of their age. Seats must be booked in advance, and meals are posted ahead of time. The service costs $12 per person. Booking information is posted on the door of the Sandy Lake Drop-in centre and in the Sandy Lake post office.
» Crossroads This Week
Action to recruit new doctors to the Killarney area from overseas has begun.
Council members recently voted during a regular meeting to enlist the services of recruitment company Waterford Global Inc. to attract two new doctors to Killarney’s medical clinic and facility.
The Municipality of Killarney-Turtle Mountain has used the company before in 2016 with good results. Though it is a costly venture, the municipality has been rewarded with good service over many years, Mayor Janice Smith said.
Council had received three proposals from recruiting firms, said CAO Meghan Cuvelier Klassen. Tenders from New York, Ontario and Waterford Global Inc., based in Winnipeg, were all considered, and council ultimately passed a resolution to meet to sign a letter of engagement with Waterford Global Inc.
In 2016, Dr. Kate Roche and Dr. Mark Bemment were recruited through the company, Cuvelier Klassen said. Their contract was for four years, but they’ve both practised in the community for five.
“It was very successful. And there is no increase in the fee rate for Waterford Global. It is the same as in 2016,” Cuvelier Klassen said.
Around half of the fee was reimbursed by Prairie Mountain Health over four years back in 2016.
Smith said the process of securing new doctors through recruitment can take anywhere from six months to a year.
“It could be sooner,” she said.
Currently, Dr. Aisha Jan, Dr. Saheed Balogan and Dr. Srinivas Sudigala remain as full-time doctors at the Killarney Medical Clinic. After several years of service, Sudigala announced that he will be closing his Killarney practice on June 29.
To help with temporary doctors, called locums, the municipality has recently leased an apartment building near the hospital an within walking distance for locums and other staff to say in, Smith said.
» The Guide
After about a decade, the sport of snowmobile drag racing returned to Russell in the form of the Russell-Gambler Snowmobile Drag Races on Feb. 12.
Around 100 snowmobile drag racers came together from provinces as far afield as Alberta and Ontario to battle for the best — and fastest — of their class.
The races ran 15 different classes, resulting in 100 heats of high-speed snowmobile racing. Garry Naherniak, Anthony Longclaws and Richard Shingoose had been organizing and operating snowmobile drag races for 10 years in Waywayseecappo First Nation before bringing the event to Russell.
Naherniak hosted the first event in March 2020. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was put on hiatus until last month, when Gambler First Nation helped to bring it back.
The Russell-Gambler Snowmobile Drag Racers are part of a Drag Race Series where racers travel to five different locations twice a year to qualify for points. Racers with the highest points at the end of the race season are eligible for trophies and prize money.
The next meet in the series will be held on March 11 in Waywayseecappo First Nation. Races begin at noon.
» The Russell Banner
The mayor of Carberry is searching for ways to preserve hospital services in his town, especially in light of the temporary closure of the emergency department service at Glenboro Hospital.
Ray Muirhead, who was elected mayor in October, said the Glenboro closure highlighted the need for his community to take whatever actions it could to maintain staff and services for area residents.
“As a town, we are pretty concerned about it,” he said. “I think we as communities have to do something about it.”
Muirhead said meetings with Prairie Mountain Health made it clear there were more problems than answers when it came to dealing with the health-care crisis in rural Manitoba and across Canada.
Factors affecting the crisis include bureaucracy, staffing, money and management, Muirhead said.
“The bottom line or general gist of it is the communities have to start looking after their own doctors and nurses. We can’t rely on the government or the health region anymore.”
Muirhead said Carberry needs to take effective action immediately, considering the lone remaining doctor’s term at the town hospital ends in around five months. After that, the clinic will have one nurse practitioner working at the clinic.
At a recent meeting of town officials with local providers of health-care services, ideas were heard for the creation of a strategy to secure staff and maintain services, Muirhead said. So far, the plan includes going directly to recruitment firms to find potential doctor and nurse candidates as well as providing possible incentives to bring those people to the area.
Looking ahead to the October provincial election, Muirhead said town council has scheduled a meeting with Opposition Leader Wab Kinew regarding what an NDP government might offer rural hospitals if they take power.
» The Gazette
Sheila Elder, a Wawanesa farmer and member of Manitoba Crop Alliance, recently returned from South America, where she was part of a delegation promoting Canadian wheat.
Elder said the industry members she met with during the tour, which was facilitated by Cereals Canada, were curious and interested about methods of producing grain in Canada.
“They wanted the input, and they asked the questions,” she said. “It helps their industry to improve their products, so they are of high quality and so they can make high-quality flour.”
The Canadian delegation visited a number of South American countries, including Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Chile. Elder’s role as a member of the group saw her provide insight and ideas regarding the production of wheat in Canada.
“I communicated our practices on our farms to the people there,” she said. “A lot of them had questions about sustainability, about looking after the environment — the air, the water and the soil practices we follow.”
Elder said all of the people she talked to on the trip had a very high regard for Canadian wheat.
» The Gazette