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RM brings plethora of issues to annual Municipalities Convention

By Brian Oliver, The Graphic

AMM logo.

AMM logo.

The Rural Municipality of Portage la Prairie is bringing with it several grievances it hopes to air during potential one-on-one meetings with provincial ministers at next month's Association of Manitoba Municipalities' 19th annual Municipalities Convention in Brandon.

Although meetings aren't guaranteed – as preference is given to those municipalities who, due to distance or availability, are seldom afforded the opportunity to be in front of Cabinet Ministers – the Portage council will be making requests to speak with the ministers of justice, infrastructure and sustainable development regarding ongoing concerns in the RM.

“We're pretty fortunate being located in close proximity with the city of Winnipeg and so we have pretty good access to the ministers in that sense,” says Kam Blight, Portage RM Reeve. “But we're still going to try and get together with some of them at the AMM Convention.”

Among the concerns council hopes to have addressed next month include the junction at Highway 1 and 16 – an area that saw a number of fatal collisions in recent months – along with the overpass used to enter Portage from the west, as it is in need of repairs and upgrades.

Council has also made requests to speak to sustainable development minister Rochelle Squires regarding drainage along with the Minister of Justice in regards to ongoing crime issues plaguing rural areas throughout the municipality.

“There are some incidents taking place that we would like to see cracked down on,” Blight adds. “We know our local RCMP detachment are doing the best that they can and we really appreciate all their efforts, it's just council wishes that we had a few more members to service the rural area.”

The council was unable to score any one-on-one time with ministers at last year's convention in Winnipeg, as approximately 900 delegates representing municipalities across the province attend the annual event.

“Hopefully we get the opportunity to sit down with one or more (of the ministers),” says the Reeve. “That would be great, and if not, we'll continue to try to connect with them here throughout the year.”

The AMM convention is set for Nov. 27-29 at Brandon's Keystone Centre.

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