On Dec. 11, the Association of Manitoba Municipalities launched a legal proceeding to challenge the province’s implementation of the Municipal Amalgamations Act.
The challenge is directed at two aspects of the amalgamation process. Below are the requests contained in the challenge, as described by the AMM:
• If the Minister is considering adding or removing a municipality, or otherwise differing in any material way from a submitted amalgamation plan, then they must give notice of the change to affected municipalities and their residents, consult with them, and take into account any information received out of the consultation in making a decision on amalgamations.
• The amalgamation decision made at the end of October 2013 be set aside, and that the Minister be required to provide notice to the councils of the 32 municipalities affected by the amalgamation decision that if they wish to amalgamate, they may submit an amalgamation plan by a date fixed by the court, and that the Minister has to consider the plan in accordance with the Amalgamation Act. If one of these municipalities decides it doesn’t want to amalgamate, and not file a plan, the challenge asks that the province not proceed any further with the amalgamation of that municipality.
According to an AMM news release, the municipalities proceeding with voluntary amalgamations would be unaffected.
The challenge follows a vote taken at the recent AMM convention that saw two-thirds of delegates asking the AMM to oppose forced amalgamation through legal proceedings.