The President of the Association of Manitoba Municipalities says there are many big issues with which the lobby group is continuing to work on from last year. Kam Blight says the focus remains on getting through the pandemic and advocating for members.
"We will continue to advocate for greater supports, including funding to offset operating losses," says Blight. "But one of the major issues is a specific policy issue that we're continuing to deal with. That is to call on the federal government to absorb all retroactive costs resulting from the RCMP's first collective bargaining agreement. Salary increases were exclusively negotiated by the federal government while municipalities were excluded from the discussions, despite being a paying contract partner. So, we're going to continue to call on the federal government to absorb all of these retroactive costs."
Blight noted, another key ongoing concern involves his personal participation, on behalf of the A.M.M., on the new provincial education funding model task force.
"I'm going to be part of that and to make sure that the new model is reflective of municipal concerns," continued Blight. "I'm also representing the A.M.M. on the development of the Manitoba Water Strategy. Given the potential for risk of severe drought and the drought that Manitoba went through last year, I think this is a very critical group to be a part of. I'm very grateful to be representing A.M.M."
Blight notes you never know what kind of issues will arise in 2022.
"So, we'll sit back, but we'll be ready for it," added Blight. "And if they do arise, we'll take them all head on. We have a great team at the A.M.M.."