Morden’s Multicultural Winterfest Is Coming

Morden’s Multicultural Winterfest is Saturday, Feb 16, 12:30-4:30 p.m. at... Details Here

Close to 200 people turned out for an All-Candidates Forum Tuesday night in Altona.

The event, hosted by the Altona and District Chamber of Commerce, was organized to give voters a chance to hear from the candidates running for town council in Altona.

Six council seats are up for grabs in this election with three candidates running for re-election and six newcomers.

Al Friesen was elected as mayor by acclamation.

curt letkeman 2018Curt Letkeman

 Curt Letkeman said, if elected, he'd like to ensure that businesses in Altona thrive, but he is also looking for opportunities to do things more efficiently.

The CFO of Friesens Corporation is comfortable working with big financial numbers and is familiar with the concept of governance, having served 20 years on the Access Credit Union board of directors, which he currently chairs.

"Being chair of the board of a $2.5 billion organization with people from different communities and backgrounds has instilled in me the need to be able to work together with others who have a different perspective. My hope is to be able to serve the citizens of Altona ... an I believe my experience on various boards and in the community will help town council."

harv schroeder 2018Harv Schroeder

Harv Schroeder was given some advice when he decided to let his name stand for town council. If he was going to get into local politics, he needed to make himself available and listen to the people.

Schroeder has taken that sage advice to heart while on the campaign trail stopping in at homes and businesses and getting a sense of how local residents want to see the town move forward.

While some of the candidates have a business background, Schroeder has a unique knowledge of Altona's infrastructure after having worked in the town's public works department for 30 years.

During that time he has seen a lot of changes in the community and has worked under five different mayors.

"Because of my experience in working for this community I understand the infrastructure and believe that I would be an asset in making positive decisions on your behalf at the council table," he told the audience.

terry wiebe 2018Terry Wiebe

Veteran councillor Terry Wiebe is running for re-election and is hoping voters will send him back to council for another term.

One of the questions raised at Tuesday's forum pertained to Altona's economic growth and the role that town council should play in that process.

Wiebe said one issue that could stall future economic growth is connected to the town's industrial park.

"Right now we only have about six industrial lots available. That becomes a huge challenge. All it takes is for a couple of businesses to purchase those last six lots and then there would be nothing available. For a community that wants to grow we have to have room for businesses to set up shop."

john falk 2018John Falk

John H. Falk feels town council can play a direct role in Altona's economic growth.

Falk would like council to encourage economic development by helping existing businesses to grow as well as bringing new businesses into town.

"This may include some tax relief or some other incentives that make it attractive to either expand an existing business or to get new businesses to locate in Altona."

Falk also believes Altona should continue to work together with Rhineland Municipality to create additional opportunities for economic growth.

jordan siemens 2018Jordan Siemens

On the issue of growing Altona's economy, Jordan Siemens suggested town council explore some new ideas when it comes to encouraging more business startups.

"One of the things I'd like to see council look at is the idea of tax increment financing so that if you expand your business and the value of that property goes up the town will not increase your taxes accordingly for a set period of time."

Siemens also suggested the town needs to create room for industrial development.

"I think industrial jobs will be easier to create in Altona compared to retail jobs, and I think that will be key to moving forward."

donna rosling 2018Donna Rosling-Wolters

Incumbent councillor Donna Rosling-Wolters fielded a question on the shortage of child care spaces in Altona and what town council is doing about it.

She says council has looked at the issue and considered things like providing space for a day care operation or offering some tax incentives to help someone start up a day care.

Rosling-Wolters said, based on their study of the issue, the lack of day care spaces in town is connected to another problem area.

"One of the bigger issues is the lack of available day care professionals, and that is one of the big challenges that we're seeing. Town council can always encourage people to acquire their licenses and hopefully that would lead to some job opportunities and some available spaces."

ernie buhler 2018Ernie Buhler

Ernie Buhler said Altona is moving in the right direction when it comes to economic growth, especially with the creation of the a new group called Supporting Entrepreneurs through Economic Development, also known as S.E.E.D

"I think the big thing is businesses getting jobs here. I think the people will follow if we have the jobs. I think S.E.E.D. is probably one of the most encouraging things I've seen in Altona since I moved here and I think it has great potential when you get the entrepreneurs themselves involved rather than elected people."

joel pankewich 2018Joel Pankewich

Joel Pankewich was asked to share his thoughts about the future expansion of Altona's walking trail.

A question was raised as to town council's role in eventually building a paved walking path that surrounds the entire town.

Pankewich said the walking trail is an attractive feature of Altona and it promotes healthy living.

"I think, however, you have to take a hard look at how much something like that is going to cost, because it would involve taxpayer money. If we can fundraise or if we can get small business involved somehow then I'm all for it, but it would definitely have to check out financially.

glen robinson 2018Glen Robinson

Meanwhile, incumbent councillor Glen Robinson outlined a number of health issues that need to be high on the priority list for the next members of council.

He currently chairs the local health board committee and feels there are some outstanding health issues that Altona needs to address.

"I think it's very important to the community that we keep our hospital. We need to ensure that we have an emergency room and we need to ensure that we keep our clinic and that we actively recruit more doctors."

Voters will make their choice on October 24.

More Local News

Sledge Hockey Game Raises $3,200 For Spina Bifida And Hydrocephalus

Monday marked the 3rd annual Sledge Hockey Fundraiser for the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of Manitoba. Nancy Spenst is President of the Association, one of the event organizers, and…

Garage Fire Contained On Southview Dr. In Winkler

The Winkler Fire Department (WFD) responded to a house fire on Southview Dr. on Sunday. The alarm came in at approximately 5:00 p.m, February 17. WFD reports the fire was contained to the garage and…

Graydon Pushing For Restoration Of Constituency Name

The MLA for Emerson is not giving up in his efforts to restore the name Emerson to his constituency. The Manitoba Electoral Divisions Boundaries Commission has decided to rename the riding as…

Vehicle Stolen From Morden Resident's Driveway

Morden Police are investigating the report of a stolen vehicle over the long weekend. On February 17, police received a report from a victim explaining their vehicle went missing from their driveway…

Altona Woman Sets Sights On Borderland PC Nomination

A second candidate has entered the race for the Progressive Conservative nomination in the newly formed Borderland constituency. Verna Heinrichs of Altona says she would like to use her broad and…

GVSD Board Not Changing Indemnities, Despite Federal Tax Exemption Changes

Trustee indemnities for the Garden Valley School Division board will be staying the same for the time being. With zero percent increases for their staff, due to the pending provincial Bill 28 to…

MP Bergen Calls Proposed September Stat Another "Nice Gesture"

The Member of Parliament for Portage-Lisgar isn't sure how a day off for federal employees will benefit Canada's First Nations People. Candice Bergen is referring to the House of Commons Heritage…

Plenty of Construction This Year On Hwy 75 Near Morris

Manitoba Infrastructure has several construction projects planned this year on Highway #75 near Morris. Larry Halayko, executive director of Construction and Maintenance, says some of the work will…

Raising Funds To Revamp Green Space At Vita Health Centre

The Resource Coordinator for Services to Seniors in Vita says they are hoping to revamp the overgrown outdoor green space at the Vita and District Health Centre and make it more accessible for…

Despite Less Than Ideal Detour, Groening Pleased New PR422 Bridge Is Happening

Work is underway to build the bridge along PR 422 in the Municipality of Morris up to 2009 flood standards. Construction crews moved into the area southwest of Rosenort earlier in February and are…

PembinaValleyOnline.com is your only local source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Login