Municipal leaders will debate the merits of nuclear power to meet Manitoba’s long-term energy needs when they meet in Brandon for their annual convention next week.
A resolution from the Local Government District of Pinawa asks delegates to press Manitoba Hydro to consider “all options,” including a nuclear power station as part of its ongoing investigation into alternative power sources. The Public Utilities Board has directed Manitoba Hydro to look at options to northern dam projects and Bipole III.
This isn’t the first time nuclear power has been a topic for discussion among local leaders — a similar resolution passed in 2006, then was dropped in 2009 after Manitoba Hydro announced its long-term commitments to hydraulic generation and expanding wind power.
The impact of this summer’s one per cent hike in the provincial sales tax is on the agenda, as are two separate resolutions on Bill 33, the contentious act requiring municipalities with populations under 1,000 to merge. Those municipalities face a Dec. 1 deadline to put forward their amalgamation plan — although it’s not known how many will do so.
The 38 resolutions up for debate also include calls for improved disaster financial assistance, more timely responses for development plans, meeting the training needs of volunteer firefighters, and boosting provincial funding for rural palliative care programs.
The City of Thompson has put several resolutions forward this year, including two expressing its concerns for the negative impacts of VLTs and misuse of alcohol among its residents. Another resolution from the northern city includes a call for a longer season for provincial parks.
Delegates to the 15th annual convention of the Association of Manitoba Municipalities will also hear from newly appointed Municipal Government Minister Stan Struthers, who took over the renamed department from Ron Lemieux in a cabinet shuffle last month.
This is the final of the four-year terms served by municipal leaders elected in 2010. Manitobans go back to the polls Oct. 22, 2014 to re-elect local governments and school boards.
The convention takes place Nov. 25 to 28 at the Keystone Centre in Brandon.