AMM Lends Support For Ecological Goods And Services Program

Manitoba municipalities have put their support solidly behind an ecological goods and services program that would pay farmers to protect natural lands.

At their November convention leaders backed a resolution in support of seeing what’s known as the ecological goods and services program, rolled out by KAP back in 1999, implemented province-wide.

The resolution came from the R.M. of Blanshard where, in 2005, a pilot project then called Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) was put into effect.

“It’s a good program and we should get behind it,” said Randy Lints, reeve of the R.M. of Hamiota, before a vote calling on the AMM to actively participate as stakeholder member in a group now working with a provincial interdepartmental committee to advance the program.

Another resolution supported by delegates calls on the federal and provincial government to help financially support a municipal wetlands tax credit program launched this year in the R.M. of Dufferin. That initiative now has the municipality leasing land ($40 per acre) from private landowners willing to re-establish wetlands previously drained. To date 375 acres have come under the program.

FORTY-THREE RESOLUTIONS

Other resolutions supported at the November convention call for conservation groups to start more widely circulating their intent to enter into agreements with private landowners and for the province to exempt minor maintenance works, such as culvert replacements and existing drain maintenance from regulatory licensing requirements.

The delegate body was divided on, but ultimately backed, a resolution calling for the reinstatement of strychnine as a means to control gopher populations.

In all, 43 resolutions were debated at the 12th annual convention, including calls for municipal authority to set speed limits in school zones, for elections of regional health authority boards of directors to improve geographic representation, and for the Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation to reinstate local road testing for those pursuing a Class 1, 2 or 3 licence. Local testing was withdrawn at the beginning of March resulting in anyone pursuing this licence now having to travel to wherever testing is offered.

The convention delegates acclaimed R.M. of Macdonald councillor Doug Dobrowolski to serve a third one-year term as the association president. Rural vice-president Roger Wilson was also acclaimed. Gladstone Mayor Eileen Clarke will assume the role of urban vice-president having defeated incumbent Shirley Kalyniuk.

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It’sagoodprogram andweshould getbehindit.”

– RANDY LINTS, REEVE OF THE R.M. OF HAMIOTA

About the author

Reporter

Lorraine Stevenson

Lorraine Stevenson is a reporter and photographer for the Manitoba Co-operator with 25 years experience writing news and features. She was previously a reporter with the Farmers Independent Weekly and has also written for community newspapers in Winnipeg and Manitoba's Interlake.

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