Tag Archives: Ritchot

July 2016 – Celebrating 20 years of Publishing

July 2016

Managing Editor: Dan Guetre

News Writers: Marianne Curtis and Dan Guetre

Columnists: Lee Guetre, Peter Friesen, Anni Markmann, Peter Martins

Production and design: Dan Guetre, Myriam Dyck, and Monica Guetre

Advertising: Karen Jorgenson and Dan Guetre

CONTACT

Dan Guetre: Editor, publisher, owner

editor@dawsontrail.ca

***

Marianne Curtis: journalist 

mariannecurtis@dawsontrail.ca

***

Karen Jorgenson, Sales 

sales@dawsontrail.ca

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June 2016 – Celebrating 20 years of Publishing!

may 2016

Managing Editor: Dan Guetre

News Writers: Marianne Curtis and Dan Guetre

Columnists: Lee Guetre, Peter Friesen, Anni Markmann, Peter Martins

Production and design: Dan Guetre, Myriam Dyck, and Monica Guetre

Advertising: Karen Jorgenson and Dan Guetre

CONTACT

Dan Guetre: Editor, publisher, owner

editor@dawsontrail.ca

***

Marianne Curtis: journalist 

mariannecurtis@dawsontrail.ca

***

Karen Jorgenson, Sales 

sales@dawsontrail.ca

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March 2016 – Celebrating 20 Years of Publishing!

March 2016

Managing Editor: Dan Guetre

News Writers: Marianne Curtis and Dan Guetre

Columnists: Lee Guetre, Peter Friesen, Anni Markmann, Peter Martins

Production and design: Dan Guetre, Myriam Dyck, and Monica Guetre

Advertising: Karen Jorgenson and Dan Guetre

CONTACT

Dan Guetre: Editor, publisher, owner

editor@dawsontrail.ca

***

Marianne Curtis: journalist 

mariannecurtis@dawsontrail.ca

***

Karen Jorgenson, Sales 

sales@dawsontrail.ca

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Ritchot council shuts down doctor plans

The RM of Ritchot council has killed plans to bring a doctor and pharmacist to the second floor of the Ile Des Chenes Community Centre. 

By Marianne Curtis

In a move that has upset many people in the community of Ile des Chenes, the RM of Ritchot has shut down a plan that was expected to entice medical services into the town.

At a special meeting of council, the RM of Ritchot met to make a decision after the IDC Community Centre board came to council requesting an advance. The committee asked the municipality for an advance against future revenues in the amount of $169,000. The money was to be used to finish the 6,000 square foot second store at the town’s new community centre.

Council was told the committee had a commitment from a doctor who wanted to set up a medical clinic and a pharmacist. However in order for the tenants to move in, the entire second floor would have to be finished. The committee formally requested the municipality to consider an advance on revenue so the project could move ahead.

A few days later on July 20 council held a special meeting to discuss the matter. A motion to allow the IDC Community Centre Board to proceed with building a medical clinic on the second from with the municipality funding the costs was defeated unanimously.

RM of Ritchot reeve Bob Stefaniuk confirmed that his council shut down the board’s plans.

“They wanted the money quickly to finish off the upstairs; the assumption that it had something to do with another pharmacist is setting up in town,” Stefaniuk explained. “The profits would not have been what they expected – we didn’t see the payback in their proposal.”

Council then voted to block off the second floor to further use until a suitable tenant is found. A third resolution has council saying they would continue their search for suitable tenants and work with the board to pursue any leads that will result in filling the space and provide rent revenue.

However Stefaniuk denies that council will make the decision.

“It is up to the board what kind of businesses go in there; council is not in the business of making deals,” Stefaniuk continued. “If we handle this prudently we will have a facility that will serve us well into the future.”

Stefaniuk confirmed the municipality is blocking off the second floor.

“We want to see what happens in the future – this project is now in a holding pattern,” Stefaniuk concluded.

The $6.7 million IleDesChenesCommunity center was made possible with $2.77 million in federal funding through the Community Adjustment Fund and the Rural Municipality of Ritchot.

The new center includes a hall and a bilingual public daycare for 94 children. There is also office rental space, with a focus on bringing medical services to the community and surrounding area such as a medical doctor, pharmacy, dentist, and physiotherapist.

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Lightening strike home in Ile des Chenes

Fire crews from the RM of Ritchot, Tache and Town of Niverville all responded to a house fire north of Ile Des Chenes after lightening struck a house and set it on fire.

 

 

By Marianne Curtis

A sudden storm that blew into the Ile Des Chenes area during the morning of July 4 caused a little excitement north of town after a lightening strike set fire to a local residence.

Walter Van Gorp and his wife were on their deck enjoying a cup of coffee at about 9AM when the storm hit.

“We were sitting on the deck when we heard this deafening bang. I thought it hit one of the trees until I saw sparks falling off the roof onto the grass and my wife told me to call 911,” stated Van Gorp while he watched fire fighters sawing into his roof. “My wife couldn’t hear anything for awhile afterwards but otherwise we are okay.”

The retired dairy farmer marvelled how the lightening managed to hit the house considering the aesthetics the farm. The bungalow which is surrounded by over two dozen 25 foot high pines was one of the lowest points on the yard. Three silos adjacent to the old dairy barn which houses theWildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre were also unscathed.

Firefighters from the RM of Ritchot, Tache and Niverville rushed to the scene and extinguished the fire that was burning the roof of the house.

A damage estimate is not yet available.

 

 

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Stefaniuk addresses dump concerns

By Marianne Curtis

   The RM of Ritchot’s municipal landfill became a hot topic during the recent municipal elections. Accusations were made that the municipality was allowing contaminated material to be disposed of at the landfill site without any discretion to material or origin.

  As candidates campaigned for the election, ratepayers were told that the municipality was knowingly accepting contaminated materials at its Class One Waste Disposal Ground without any consideration of the source.

   Mayor Bob Stefaniuk denies those accusations.

   “Our site only takes solid waste such as construction or demolition waste and household waste,” stated Stefaniuk. “Ritchot’s landfill is a licensed facility and is closely monitored and inspected on a continuous basis by the province to ensure that it is in compliance to environmental regulations.”

   According to Stefaniuk, the landfill is set up into two distinctive parts – a soil recycling area and the waste disposal grounds.

   “At the soil recycling facility, soil contaminated by petroleum products is taken in and cleaned. Usually this soil comes from gas stations that are being decommissioned or having new tanks installed,” Stefaniuk explained. “At the facility, the soil is farmed or turned over until all the volatiles evaporate. The soil is then considered safe and complies to provincial environmental standards.”

   Once it passes standards, the soil is then used to cover the refuse in the solid waste portion every day.

    “Before the soil is allowed to be moved after it is processed, it is checked by an independent agency that certifies it meets regulatory requirements,” he added. “The soil operation is licensed by the Province of Manitoba and they regulate and monitor the operation on a regular basis.”

   The RM of Ritchot’s landfill is one of three class one waste disposal grounds in the area that is operated through a private-public partnership which allows the municipality to make money on the operation instead of burdening the taxpayers with the cost of operations.

   “This arrangement makes good political and good business sense that benefits everyone in the municipality,” Stefaniuk added. “This operation is envied by other municipalities in the Winnipeg Capital Region.”

Ritchot’s mayor denies allegations that the municipality does not regulate the materials brought into the municipal landfill.

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Stefaniuk stunned by upset

By Marianne Curtis

   While the RM of Ritchot mayor was able to sit back and watch the recent municipal election from the sidelines, the ending result has left his shocked. When the final ballot was counted, every single incumbent councilor was replaced by a new candidate.

   Bob Stefaniuk was the only member of council that will serve another term after he was acclaimed as mayor for the RM of Ritchot.

   “The outcome of this election surprised me,” stated Stefaniuk. “I thought that some change could happen but I wasn’t expecting the change so be so extensive.”

   The RM of Ritchot’s new council consists of Elmer Hywarren, Ernie Dumaine, Jackie Schwark and Jeannot Robert. Robert went uncontested while the previous three unseated incumbent candidates Valerie Rutherford, Maurice Leclaire and Moe Tallaire.

   “This is all part of the democratic process, the voters wanted a change and they got it,” Stefaniuk continued. “Mrs. Rutherford and Mr. Leclaire, are both dedicated individuals who made significant contributions to the municipality in the years they served on council.  However, the voters collectively wanted a change and they have it.”

   Stefaniuk is optimistic that everything will work out all right despite the newness of his counterparts.

   “From what I have seen of the new council, I am confident that everything will work out alright,” Stefaniuk predicts. “I believe that a new council, in many ways is an asset to the community because everyone is eager and enthusiastic.”

   Stefaniuk added that he feels privileged and honoured to once again to serve as mayor of the municipality.

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Mortars found in Ritchot

 

   The St. Pierre RCMP were called in to investigate a potentially dangerous find in the RM of Ritchot.

   On October 23, two teenagers walking along the Rat River in the RM of Ritchot found what appeared to be rockets.

   Police responded to the call and discovered two items which are believed to be mortar rounds used by the Canadian Armed Forces, said RCMP.

   The area was secured and the RCMP explosive disposal unit and Canadian Armed Forces explosive team was called to the scene. The mortars were removed and taken to Winnipeg where they were safely disposed of.

   Police do not know how the mortars got to the location nor if they were live or inactive explosives. For safety reasons all items such as mortars are treated as live and the two recovered shells will be destroyed at a later date.

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Councilor blames loss on dirty campaign

Unseated RM of Ritchot councilor Maurice LeClaire blames a dirty campaign for the loss of his seat.

Councilor blames loss on dirty campaign

By Marianne Curtis

   Long time councilor Maurice Leclaire was stunned when he received word that he had lost his seat in the RM of Ritchot on October 27 by a mere forty-two votes.

   “I am shocked – this is a big surprise,” stated Leclaire. “But that is what happens when you run a dirty campaign.”

   Leclaire’s campaign to retain his seat on council got off to a shaky start from day one. Prior to the deadline for nominations, rumor around Ile Des Chenes and Grande Pointe had him seeking nomination as both reeve and councilor in the event that Mayor Bob Stefaniuk did not seek reelection.

   At the close of the first day of nominations, a second mayoral candidate stepped forward and Leclaire filed his papers to run for Ward 1 councilor. Then, in a surprising move, just prior to the deadline to “withdraw” the second candidate removed his name from the list, Stefaniuk was acclaimed and Leclaire was committed to run for council.

   “Despite what people were saying, I had no intention of running for reeve if Bob was running again,” Leclaire denies the rumors that he was passing around two sets of nomination papers. “When I heard that the candidate withdrew his papers, I was shocked – it was a mockery of the democratic process.”

   Undaunted, Leclaire began his campaign by posting signs throughout the community of Ile Des Chenes and Grande Pointe. Within days, every single sign was removed or vandalized. Dozens were found spray painted with swastikas and other slurs.

   “It is absolutely disgusting what was happened to my signs,” Leclaire lamented. “I lost over sixty signs.”

   Things got so crazy that by election day, Leclaire was putting up his signs in the morning and removing them shortly after dark so that they would not be removed or defaced.

   While Leclaire is disappointed that he was not reelected, he is also relieved.

   “I am happy now, I have no pressure and it is back to business for me,” Leclaire added. In the days following the election, he established a new construction and consulting business and is going to continue to encourage development in the area from a developers standpoint.

   Leclaire was first elected to the RM of Ritchot council eight years ago. Since then he has worked hard to encourage development in Ile Des Chenes with projects such as an industrial development, new community center, fire hall along with several subdivisions in Grande Pointe are just a few of his accomplishments.

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Councilor indemnities revealed

 

By Marianne Curtis

   In a few short weeks, voters will be going to the polls to elect new municipal representatives. Many perspective candidates have full times jobs and treat being a councilor as a part-time position or similar to volunteering on a committee.

   In some cases, councilors have quit their jobs and have dedicated much of their time to serving the ratepayers while collecting their indemnities and per diems which are paid out of taxpayer dollars.

   Earlier this year, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) released data on the salaries and per diems of municipal councillors, mayors and reeves province-wide.  

   “People often wonder what their local reeve or councillor actually makes,” said CTF Director Colin Craig. 

   Given the large number of municipalities and the diversity of communities in the region it is impossible to determine who deservers how much. However, with this data taxpayers can compare their community’s pay levels with other communities and draw their own conclusions.

   Normally councilors decide how much a year they will collect in indemnities for the year when drawing up their budgets. Expenses and extras are billed separately and added to that amount. For example, in the Village of St. Pierre, councilors can collect up to $180 per day for conducting municipal business.

   Doug Cavers, CAO for the RM of Hanover pointed out that in many causes reeves, specifically Stan Toews is working 70% full time equivalent for Hanover, and individual councilors range from 25% to 40% time.

   So how much does it pay to be a municipal councilor?

 

Municipalities

 

population

number of councilors (including reeve)  

indemnities

Hanover 11,871 7 $162,357.57
Tache 9,083 7 $196,563.65
Ritchot                           5,051 5 $143,674.36
Ste. Anne           4,509 7 $115,071.00
La Broquerie     3,659 7 $109,829.26
De Salaberry      3,349 7 $83,618.31
Piney 1,755 5 $36,318.75
Stuartburn 1,629 5 $46,230.00
Reynolds 1,410 8 $63,316.21
       
Cities and Towns      
Niverville 2,464 5 $52,734.60
Steinbach 11,066 8 $106,058.00
Ste. Anne     1,534 5 $40,700.00
St. Pierre   839 5 $41,104.21

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Mayors and reeves acclaimed

By Marianne Curtis

   The City of Steinbach and the Town of Niverville councils will both go into the next four years without any change at the top. By acclimation Steinbach Mayor Chris Goertzen and Niverville Mayor Greg Fehr have both retained their seats at the head of their perspective councils.

   Goertzen is admits that he is humbled by the community’s support because they returned him to office without any competition.

   “It is a good feeling,” stated Goertzen. “Steinbach is a great city to be in leadership.”

   There are thirteen candidates looking for a spot on Goertzen’s council including Wayne Barkman, Roy Enns, Lee Fehler, Earl Funk, Joel Hartung, Abe Hiebert, Jerry Korman, Cari Penner, Susan Penner, Jac Siemens, Chris Summerville, and Michael Zwaagstra.

   Niverville’s Mayor Greg Fehr will also be spending another term in council.

   “It would have been nice to campaign,” Fehr says. “But the residents are the ones going to vote this time.”
   He noted that during the last election only three councilors were acclaimed and a fourth had to be appointed when no one stepped forward to fill the vacancy.  This time, voters have seven people to chose from including Adrian Bruce, John Falk, John Funk, Darrin Hopkins, Angela Janz, and Kevin Stott.

   At the municipal level, RM of Hanover reeve Stan Toews and RM of Ritchot Mayor Bob Stefaniuk were also both acclaimed. Three councilors have already been acclaimed along with the reeve, including Bernie Stahn, Bob Brandt, Henry Funk.

   RM of Ritchot mayor Bob Stefaniuk was also acclaimed, but only because another candidate after withdrawing his papers on the final day of nominations.  

   “It is always nice to be acclaimed and I take it as an endorsement that people are satisfied with the way the municipality is being managed on an ongoing basis,” Stefaniuk stated. “It is always my goal to provide the best possible governance for the ratepayers of our municipality both fiscally and politically.  I will keep this as my goal.”

   In the rest of the municipalities, there are at least two candidates running for reeve. RM of De Salaberry incumbent reeve Ron Musick is being challenged by former municipal employee Claude Gagne.

   RM of Tache Mayor Bill Danychuk faces opposition from former LUD member Dave Sutherland of Landmark.   RM of Ste. Anne reeve Art Bergmann is being challenged by Real Sarrasin and Allen Moskaliuk while RM of Stuartburn reeve Jim Jim Swidersky is being contested by former reeve David Kiansky.

   Residents in the RM of La Broquerie have three options because incumbent reeve because Marielle Wiebe is being challenged by current deputy reeve Jean Gagnon and Claude Lussier.  

   RM of Piney and Reynold’s residents can expect to see an entirely new face at the helm of their municipalities.

   In RM of Piney, Doug Laing, Duane Boutang and Doreen Gerardy are all vying to fill the shoes of Marvin Havorka who has decided to not run again due to health reasons. RM of Reynolds reeve Donna Shandroski has decided that she won’t run again and Ryan Kuz, David Turchyn, and Andy Pelletier would like to replace her.

 Steinbach Mayor Chris Goertzen

RM of Hanover Reeve Stan Toews

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