The province's municipal officials are coming off the 24th annual Fall Convention for the Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM) that took place this past week in Winnipeg. The confernece serves as the annual general meeting of the entire AMM membership, bringing together over 800 delegates.
Nancy Penner is a Councillor for the City of Morden and serves as a Central Region Director for AMM. She feels this year's convention was a success.
"The theme this year was Setting the Direction, and with many new faces around council tables, I think municipal elections saw probably 40 per cent newly elected officials...it was very appropriate," she said.
The conference started off by educating members on the AMM's various partners, followed by addresses by Premier Heather Stefanson, Opposition leader Wab Kinew and Liberal leader Dugald Lamont.
A Minister's Forum also allowed delegates to ask questions of government decision-makers. Penner says many common themes came up during the Q & A session, in particular, healthcare.
"Many municipalities are dealing with nursing shortages, retention of doctors, capital infrastructure - how do we pay for some of these big ticket items?"
Other common concerns included veterinary shortages, fire fighting regulations and EMT training requirements.
Penner feels this year's convention was also a great opportunity for municipal officials to network with each other and find common areas of concern/interest.
"The ability to learn from other municipalities and see how they're dealing with it," she explained.
Coming out of the convention, Penner says AMM is dedicated to its mission of continuing to lobby the Province on behalf of Manitoba's municipalities.
"We've just come through a year where AMM saw the highest number of policy successes in any given year, and they thank the province for working with the organization and making several positive investments that benefit municipalities throughout this past year."
Members AMM's executive are now off to meet with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to continue lobbying on behalf of Manitoba communities.