City council report: Firefighters share donation data, Blueberry Jam awarded

A few of Flin Flon’s finest have raised thousand of dollars for firefighting-related cancers.

Four members of the Flin Flon Fire Department (FFFD) have returned from the Wellspring Stairclimb Challenge, an annual fundraising event held at the Bow Tower in Calgary. Each year, firefighters climb from the base of the tower up to the top in full turnout gear; a total of 775 vertical feet and 1,204 steps in gear that can weigh between 60 and 70 pounds.

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Chief Chad Cooper, James Dauk, Nathan Elliott and Aaron Simon formed the Flin Flon contingent. Groups from the Creighton Volunteer Fire Department, Denare Beach Fire Department and the Hudbay Fire Department also participated in the event.

Cooper represented the FFFD at the May 21 meeting of city council, briefing councillors and officials on the group’s showing at the event.

Out of the four FFFD participants, Dauk finished quickest, climbing to the top of the tower in 15:43.

“All the guys were training hard the last three, four months,” Cooper said.

As for his own time, Cooper took 31 minutes to climb to the top, results that he took in stride.

“I didn’t train. It’s pretty good for coming off the couch,” he said, adding some of his colleagues have been giving him a hard time.

“I can lift more weight than they do,” he quipped.

“They’re picking on me a little bit, but I’ve got thick skin.”

More importantly, the Flin Flon quartet raised $3,070 for Wellspring, a cancer charity affiliated with the Stairclimb event. In total, all groups participating in the event raised $393,000.

Blueberry Jam

Council members also paid tribute to the organizing group of last year’s Blueberry Jam Music Gathering, represented by board member Ted Elliott.

Blueberry Jam was recently handed an award for best event at the Northern Manitoba Tourism Awards in The Pas.

“We just want to thank you guys for all the work that you guys put in. And I know it hasn’t stopped and this year is supposed to be bigger and better and the whole nine yards,” said Mayor Cal Huntley.

“I think it’s important to acknowledge. I believe it was Ted who brought this idea to us. I remember the presentation,” added councillor Colleen McKee.

“And how this event has grown. After we said, ‘Yeah, we think it’s a good idea,’ now it’s grown into something that is so phenomenal that I think it’s turned into an additional festival that brings people to our community. That’s what we want.”

Cannabis

As of the May 21st meeting, no members of council or city officials had been contacted by any representative from either of the two companies that recently received permits to retail cannabis in Flin Flon.

The two companies, Garden Variety and Auxly Cannabis, were selected by lottery to be the primary and standby retailers for cannabis in Flin Flon. Current city zoning bylaws would limit any cannabis retailer in Flin Flon to operating in the uptown business area.

Each retailer selected in the lottery had until May 31 to confirm whether or not they would pursue opening a retail location in Flin Flon. Garden Variety has been confirmed to have interest in opening a cannabis retail store in Flin Flon.

Two locally based groups had previously expressed interest in opening retail locations, but it is unclear if either group qualified for the provincial lottery.

“I wonder why they’re thinking twice. Is there not enough usage here?” quipped Huntley.

If neither selected retailer chose to pursue operations in Flin Flon, another potential licensee would be selected, likely from the existing applications.

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