Manitoba mayors present priorities for next provincial government

As this fall’s provincial election approaches, Manitoba’s municipal leaders are speaking out about what they want from the next provincial government.

The Association of Manitoba Municipalities launched its pre-election advocacy campaign Friday at the North End water treatment plant. The campaign, called “Let’s Grow Manitoba Together,” focuses on four main areas: funding, infrastructure, crime, and health care staffing.

“As Manitobans head to the polls later this year, it is essential that the concerns and needs of our municipalities be forefront in their minds,” said AMM President Kam Blight.

The campaign is asking the province for a permanent infrastructure fund, better rural broadband and cell phone service, increased police funding to tackle rising violent crime, and more health care staff in all regions.

“We need to get care closer to home, we need more paramedics, doctors, nurses in our communities,” said Thompson Mayor Colleen Smook, who appeared at the announcement alongside the mayors of East St. Paul and Winnipeg.

The AMM also wants a PST rebate for municipalities, as well as more steady revenue stream from the province.

“In the upcoming provincial election, we need parties to commit to long-term, predictable municipal funding, a model that protects the services that we deliver,” said Scott Gillingham, mayor of Winnipeg.

Carla Devlin, mayor of East St. Paul, said rising crime rates are a concern among her constituents.

“We are calling on all parties to make a commitment that they will press the federal government for bail and conditional release reform to be tougher on repeat offenders,” she said.

The campaign also calls on the provincial government to change legislation which gives the municipal board the final say over development disputes, instead of elected councils.

Manitobans go to the polls on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023.

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