A local municipal group had a chance to communicate its priorities to a number of provincial politicians last week.
Pembina Valley Mayors and Reeves, also known as PVRAM, met with Health Minister and Morden-Winkler MLA Cameron Friesen, Borderland MLA Josh Guenter and Doyle Piwniuk, MLA for Turtle Mountain.
One of the issues local municipal leaders raised with their provincial counterparts was the need for increased provincial funding to assist public libraries and local women's shelters like Winkler's Genesis House. "Those are two areas that haven't had any increase from the province of Manitoba, either from this government or previous governments, for quite a number of years," said Winkler Mayor Martin Harder. "They run very tight budgets and are continuing to ask municipalities for support, so we asked that the province ... try and give them a helping hand."
Over the past few months, representatives from Genesis House have appeared before local municipal councils throughout the region requesting additional financial support to assist them with their operational budget. South Central Regional Library has also seen operating costs climb requiring increasing support from its local municipal members.
Meanwhile, local politicians also discussed the Investing in Canada infrastructure program with their guests. Harder said they were given assurances that projects, which are ready to go, will get priority under the program. He said they wanted to make sure that infrastructure projects in which all the preliminary work has been completed are at the top of the list for funding. "We were informed that the applications that were shovel ready were to be forwarded to the federal government for consideration and were being taken as a priority rather than ones that were not quite ready to move forward."
Municipal leaders are hoping to hear announcements on infrastructure funding by early spring.