On Jan. 10 in Oak River, 10 municipal corporations and Progressive Conservative MLA Leanne Rowat met to discuss the Province of Manitoba’s recent announcement that municipalities with a population of less than 1,000 people would have to amalgamate in time for the 2014 municipal elections.
The municipalities represented at the meeting were the RMs of Blanshard, Daly, Hamiota, Harrison, Miniota, Saskatchewan, Strathclair and Woodworth, and the Towns of Hamiota and Rapid City.
With much discussion on this subject, all municipalities at the meeting were unanimously opposed to forced amalgamations. We, as municipal officials cannot see any benefits to amalgamation and and our ratepayers and residents should be the people to tell elected councils on which direction they should proceed.
Municipalities with less than 1,000 population are required to submit a preliminary indication of their amalgamation partner or partners by Jan. 31 to Manitoba Local Government.
The delegates at the meeting were opposed to forced amalgamation and agreed that the form should not be completed by municipalities that are opposed to forced amalgamation.
It is hoped that all affected municipalities will take a united stand in this matter. Residents and ratepayers who are opposed to forced amalgamation are urged to contact their MLAs and make their views known.
BRENT FORTUNE, reeve
RM of Blanshard