The United States is filing another formal dispute over what it considers a failure from Canada to live up to its trade obligations to American dairy farmers and producers. This is the second time the U.S. has launched such a dairy-driven escalation, formally known as a dispute settlement panel, in less than two years.

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai says the new panel is necessary because Canada has so far refused to take the steps necessary to properly address the first one. That panel ruled in December 2021 that Canada was indeed violating the terms of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement with the way it was allocating import quotas for U.S. dairy products.

U.S. trade officials and dairy industry advocates say a large share of those quotas were being allocated to processors rather than producers.

The U.S. says the federal government amended its policies, but that the new procedures remain "inconsistent'' with the terms of the agreement, known as USMCA in the U.S. and CUSMA in Canada.

Manitoba's largest First Nation has become the province's first to take control of its child welfare system.

Peguis First Nation, Peguis Child & Family Service Agency, and the federal and provincial governments have all signed the agreement known as the Peguis Act, which gives the first nation control over its own children.

During his opening remarks at the ceremony, Chief Glenn Hudson of Peguis First Nation says it's about time this happened, and it really makes you think of all of the people that came before.

"For me, I thought of my Dad, I thought of my Grandparents, I thought of my Grandmother. When you think of those people, and what has happened in their history, and I know many of you that are here have had a tainted history in terms of Child and Family, and even beyond that, the Residential School process, you know that's where a lot of this began."

Federal Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu represented the federal government at the signing in Winnipeg today, and she says the agreement is a new way of thinking about how to help people stay together.

The Peguis First Nation is one of just over two dozen communities to have notified Indigenous Services Canada that it intends to handle its own child and family services.

A full video of today's ceremony can be found on the Peguis First Nation Facebook page.

Your annual chance at booking a camping spot in Riding Mountain National Park (RMNP) has been pushed back a little bit, and it will look slightly different.

Parks Canada announced that the reservation system they use for bookings is moving to a new platform. They recommend that by Sunday, February 26th, you should log in to your existing account and take note of any sites you have reserved in the past. That data will no longer be available after that date.

The system will then be under maintenance from February 27th to March 2nd, and you can make a new account starting March 3rd.

Bookings in Manitoba for RMNP begin on Monday, March 27th at 8am. Click here for more information. If you prefer to make a booking for a camp spot by phone, you can call 1-877-737-3783.

Four New Cabinet Ministers were sworn in this morning, while six had changes made to their portfolio, as Premier Heather Stefanson shuffled her cabinet. Over the past few months, several MLAs, including five cabinet ministers, have resigned or announced they won't seek re-election this October.

Among the MLAs that aren't running again, there were four current Cabinet Ministers including Deputy Premier Cliff Cullen, Municipal Relations Minister Eileen Clarke, Government Services Minister Reg Helwer, and Minister of Indigenous Reconciliation and Northern Relations Alan Lagimodiere.

Finance Minister Cameron Friesen announced last week that he is resigning to run for a seat in the House of Commons. He'll be running in the Portage-Lisgar riding which is currently held by Candice Bergen, who announced in the fall that she won't be seeking re-election.

The newly appointed ministers are:

  • MLA for Seine River Janice Morley-Lecomte: Minister of Mental Health and Community Wellness
  • MLA for Radisson James Reitsma: Minister of Consumer Protection of Government Service
  • MLA for Fort Whyte Obby Khan: Minister of Sport, Culture, and Heritage
  • MLA for Kirkfield Park Kevin Klein: Minister of Environment and Climate

The following ministers had changes made to their portfolios:

  • MLA for Spruce Woods Deputy Premier Cliff Cullen: Minister of Finance
  • MLA for Agassiz Eileen Clarke: Minister of Indigenous Reconciliation and Northern Relations
  • MLA for Red River North Jeff Wharton: Minister of Economic Development, Investment, and Trade
  • MLA for Fort Richmond Sarah Guillemard: Minister of Advanced Education and Training
  • MLA for Waverley Jon Reyes: Minister of Labour and Immigration
  • MLA for Lagimodière Andrew Smith: Minister of Municipal Relations

Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) has a new President as Jill Verwey was elected at last week's annual meeting.

Verwey has been involved with KAP for eight years and served as a Vice President for the last five. She's also been involved in the agriculture industry for her entire life.

"I was brought up actually on a farm in the Neepawa area, and took some agricultural education through the U of M, I received a diploma in agriculture. I was involved in ag-financing, and then, later on, settled down with my husband in Portage, and we farm south of Portage in part of a four-generation family farm there."

Verwey is the first female President in the organization's history and says while it is a milestone, she feels very comfortable on the board.

"We have a number of women that sit on the board. It's certainly a milestone having a woman take over that role but feeling very comfortable working with the board that I have been for the last number of years."

Verwey takes over the position from Bill Campbell, who served a maximum of four, one-year terms in the position.

The City of Dauphin is asking residents to avoid parking on Main Street or in the downtown business zone Sunday night (January 29th) when snow clearing gets underway.

City staff along with Manitoba Transportation & Infrastructure, will begin clearing snow around 8 pm.

🚨 On Sunday, January 29, 2023, around 8:00 p.m., Manitoba Transportation & Infrastructure (MTI) and City of Dauphin...

Posted by City of Dauphin on Saturday, January 28, 2023

Please refrain from parking in those areas until the snow has been cleared.

A new project is in the works in Ste. Rose which hopes to promote health and wellness in the community.

"The Court Project" has been undertaken by a group of citizens in Ste. Rose who plan to build an NBA-sized basketball court in the community to be completed this fall. For anyone who wants to play basketball, the only option right now is the courts at the Ste. Rose school which are in disrepair and are designed for children under grade 6.

"I think it's a good idea for the community just for the fact that the courts we have right now are in terrible shape and they're so busy ... I'm hoping that this encourages even more youth to come out and be active," said Ashley Hopfner, a member of the project's fundraising committee.

The committee says that basketball is increasing in popularity in Ste. Rose and that much of the youth in the community love playing it already. The new court will also allow for tournaments, a basketball league, and another great option for youth to remain active.

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[Photo - Sample Court Drawing]

They have applied for grants to help support the project, and they hope to get lots of support from the community as well. Cash sponsorship levels will soon be available for you to consider, and they are looking for individuals/businesses who would be interested in helping with the construction phase of the project. That would involve assisting with landscaping, fencing, electrical, hauling gravel, etc. Strilkiwski Contracting has also been secured as the general contractors for the build.

Outside of that, they have a "field of dreams" fundraising project which will require lots of help as well.

"We're looking for acres, currently we have 60 acres -- two farmers have donated land, so we're looking for donations of inputs, people to help with harvest and the seeding and all the aspects of that," explained Hopfner.

If you want to pitch in with organizing the fundraising efforts, they would welcome that help too.

"The undertaking is quite large, it's a very big project, we're gonna need a lot of help."

Donations to the project can be made to "The Court Project" and mailed C/O Derek Brunel, Box 658, Ste. Rose, MB, R0L 1S0. There will be a facebook page created in the near future which will have lots more information and updates about the project.

An extreme cold warning is in effect for the Parkland, along with most areas across the province.

A long period of extreme wind chill is expected as an arctic air mass moves into place over the eastern prairies. We're expecting Wind chill values near -40 overnight, with cold temperatures expected to stick around through the weekend, and into next week.

Wind chills are expected to moderate briefly tomorrow during the day but extreme values are expected to return Saturday night and the warning will likely be expanded. Risks are greater for young children, older adults, people with chronic illnesses, people working or exercising outdoors, and those without proper shelter.

Frostbite can develop within minutes on exposed skin, especially with wind chill, and remember, if it's too cold for you to stay outside, it's too cold for your pet.

The Dauphin RCMP has arrested a 15-year-old for allegedly pointing a firearm after receiving a report of an assault and pointing of a firearm on January 20th.

On January 25th, officers executed a search warrant at a residence in Dauphin and took the youth into custody while the search was completed. During the search, officers seized a sawed-off .22 rifle and a pistol that fires .177 BB ammunition and is a replica of a Walther 9mm pistol.

The 15-year-old has been remanded into custody and charged with Assault with a Weapon, Pointing a Firearm, Possession of a Prohibited Firearm, and Possession of a Firearm While Prohibited.

An investigation is underway.

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A student at Fisher Branch Collegiate is facing charges after allegedly pointing a firearm at another student.

Fisher Brand RCMP received a report around 2:30 yesterday afternoon that a student at the school had pointed a firearm at another student on Wednesday. Officers immediately went to the school and met with the administration, but the suspect wasn't there.

Officers went to the suspect's home in Fisher Branch and he was arrested without incident. The suspect was found to be in possession of a loaded firearm, ammunition, and bear spray.

He's facing the following charges:

  • Pointing a Firearm
  • Uttering Threats
  • Careless use of a Firearm x2
  • Carrying a Concealed Weapon x4
  • Possession of a Weapon for a Dangerous Purpose x4
  • Unsafe Storage of Firearm x2
  • Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm

He remains in custody at this time and Fisher Branch RCMP continues to investigate.

The government of Manitoba has announced that all provincial parks will be free throughout February.

Environment, Climate, and Parks Minister Jeff Wharton made the announcement today and says that winter is a season worth celebrating in provincial parks.

"Our government is pleased to make it easier for Manitobans to participate in invigorating, enjoyable winter experiences surrounded by our province’s natural beauty.”

Vehicle permits won't be required, however, Snopasses are still required for snowmobiles using trails. Trail users are also being reminded to only use trails for designated activities, keep dogs on leashes and practice the principles of “Leave No Trace.”