The RM of Piney and Sunrise Corner has made a lot of progress in 2023, when it comes to accessibility, transportation and taking steps toward a greener southeast corner of the province.   

Chief Administrative Officer for the RM, Martin Van Osch notes they are very pleased to announce that they’ve entered into a Memorandum of Cooperation with Buffalo Point First Nation for the improvement of services to residents and ratepayers that live in the Southeast Manitoba.  

Van Osch then refers to the Buffalo Point-Piney Transit initiative, which they’ve already secured funding for and have purchased a Hybrid Van, which will service residents in the RM’s of Piney, Stuartburn and Buffalo Point First Nation residents.  


“So, we've got a lot of exciting things that are happening with regards to transit, and it's all about moving ourselves forward to how the whole transportation industry is going to change.” 

Van Osch notes they’ve also started a climate action plan.  

“We received a grant from the province of Manitoba earlier this year for $30,000, and we've started our community consultation meetings in Woodridge, Piney, Vassar and Middleborough. We've also reached out to our neighbors, the RM of Stuartburn and Buffalo Point. Our consultant has also held presentations in two schools, one in Shevchenko School in Vita and we've also held a whole-day session in Ross L. Gray School in Sprague. So, we're reaching out to students, ratepayers and residents about climate change and how it affects our municipality, how it affects our region, and how we could be better prepared for those changes.” 


Van Osch notes they are also continuing work on the Southeast Regional Transit Initiative together with municipalities in the area.  

Another accomplishment and highlight for the RM of Piney in 2023 was a resolution that council recently passed to join the Association of Bilingual Municipalities of Manitoba. Van Osch explains.  

“This really has been a nine-year journey for the municipality. We started discussions way back in 2014. It’s exciting to now be at the stage where the RM of Piney has the opportunity to join the association, which will be approved by RM of Piney Council in the New Year.”  

When it comes to growth in the region, Van Osch says, they saw their 2nd highest year for building permits in 2023.  


“We have 59 building permits issued, that's up 10 over last year, and our overall assessment from 2022 to 2023 grew by 14%. We sold another three lots in our Sandilands subdivision and these numbers are what we expected given the rising mortgage interest rate, but we are looking forward to 2024 as we work to open up phase two in our Sandilands subdivision. So, the growth for our region is what we expect and hope to see. I mean, we always want more growth, that would be a good thing, but we're happy with where we are, and we continue to see growth and that is a very positive thing for our region.” 

When asked what challenges the RM of Piney faced in 2023, Van Osch notes that although they continue to see the effects of inflation in the southeast, along with rising costs of daily operations in the RM,  


“The RM of Piney doesn't have any debt. We're very financially stable. We're able to manage those costs and anticipate what they will be and provide a valued service to our residents. We did receive a large number of grants this year, for transit, for climate action, business attraction, asset management, recreation, and master plan housing which has created somewhat of an organizational challenge for us as we need to meet the timelines that are identified within the grants, but these are exciting times for us and as a result, it's kept our staff very busy here at the RM.”