GFM Network News

Derek Johnson, minister of municipal relations, speaks during a meeting of the standing committee on social and economic development on April 19.  photos: SCREENSHOT/KAP

Bill 37 a step closer to law, despite municipal leaders’ concerns

Changes to planning laws sorely needed to keep Manitoba competitive, developers say

A law that will allow developers to go over municipalities’ heads if land-use applications are rejected is one step closer to reality after it passed the committee stage on April 19. Bill 37, the Planning Amendment and City of Winnipeg Charter Amendment Act, would give the Municipal Board (a provincially appointed tribunal) jurisdiction to hear

AMM passes resolutions on municipal autonomy

AMM passes resolutions on municipal autonomy

Municipal leaders fear provincial Bill 37 will strip authority from local elected officials in favour of provincial tribunals

Manitoba’s municipalities are calling for the province to stop undermining their authority. Delegates passed two resolutions calling for changes to a provincial bill which they fear will reduce municipal governments’ power over their constituencies during the Association of Manitoba Municipalities virtual AGM on November 23. “(Bill 37) allows applicants to challenge the decisions… that duly elected municipal councils make in

No bullies allowed on municipal councils: AMM

AMM offers ongoing training for elected officials in handling conflict and working with difficult people, executive director says

There is no place for bullying around any municipal council table. That’s the message the Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM) hopes is heard after bitter acrimony led to the recent dissolution of what was left of the RM of Ritchot’s council earlier this month. On May 10 Indigenous and Municipal Relations Minister Eileen Clarke appointed

Local government wants greater share of tax dollar

Local government wants greater share of tax dollar

Municipalities say the money is needed to sustain key infrastructure

Most Manitobans agree local councils should get a fairer share of infrastructure tax dollars and have greater say in how they’re spent. That’s according to a recent poll conducted for the Association of Manitoba Municipalities which showed 85 per cent of those surveyed by NPG Research in January think local government should have access to

Federation of Canadian Municipalities ‘road map’ identifies needs

Federation of Canadian Municipalities ‘road map’ identifies needs

Infrastructure, housing, safety, and environment highlighted

Canadian municipal leaders want the next federal government to commit resources that directly benefit communities, and are tracking the commitments party candidates make on that front. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) rolled out its wish list last spring, titled A Roadmap for Strong Cities and Communities, which identified the key needs and issues facing

People want to genuinely love the place they live, a Calgary marketing strategist tells Manitoba municipal leaders.

How to kill your community

A marketing strategist warns local leaders 
of what comes from rejecting change and 
acting ‘dumb’ so less is expected of them

Revised, Dec. 13, 2013 — All small-town coffee shops should have a designated ‘be happy’ section, says Chris Fields. Coffee shop critics with all their “nattering and chittering” are part of what’s killing rural communities, says Fields, a senior marketing strategist with the Alberta-based Twist Marketing Firm. “Coffee shops are horrible places for that. They’re

Municipalities need 3,000 people to prosper

Municipalities need at least 3,000 residents and a hefty tax base in order to prosper, according to a new study by Brandon University’s Rural Development Institute. The study used census data from Manitoba to look at factors such as population gain, an expanding tax base, favourable demographics (such as a rising percentage of females aged

Merger saved money, sped up decision-making, says mayor

The voluntary merger that created the Municipality of Shoal Lake 
saves taxpayers $60,000 annually and improved local government efficiency

Don Yanick is getting a lot of calls from municipal officials across the province these days about the hot-button issue of amalgamation. And when asked if it was worth it, the mayor of the Municipality of Shoal Lake points to $60,000 in annual savings and a much more efficient local government. “Right off the top,

Province expands subsidies to prevent basement flooding

Municipalities are offering up to $3,000 for homeowners to install sump pumps, pits and in-line backwater valves

The province is strongly encouraging homeowners across Manitoba to take advantage of the current subsidy program offered by 22 municipalities to help reduce the risk of basement flooding, Local Government Minister Ron Lemieux said in an April 15 release. “The threat of flooding has become an all-too-frequent reality facing Manitoba families and municipalities. That’s why

Municipal leaders protest forced amalgamation

Municipal leaders say most Manitobans don’t realize what’s at stake as the province pushes municipalities with fewer than 1,000 residents to amalgamate. “It’s like Bipole III,” said Doug Dobrowolski, president of the Association of Manitoba Municipalities. “If you ask the average person on the street, ‘What is that?’ they can’t tell you. It’s the same