Ambulances, Bipole, gophers on municipalities’ agendas


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RURAL ambulance service, Bipole III, the recycling of electronic products and gopher poisoning are among the topics up for debate when representatives of Manitoba's 198 municipalities gather in Winnipeg later this month.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/11/2010 (4391 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

RURAL ambulance service, Bipole III, the recycling of electronic products and gopher poisoning are among the topics up for debate when representatives of Manitoba’s 198 municipalities gather in Winnipeg later this month.

The Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM) will also decide whether to push the province to allow local governments to tax hydro lines crossing their boundaries, and whether to demand directors of regional health authorities be elected.

The AMM is one of the few municipal organizations in Canada that represents both rural and urban municipalities. The City of Winnipeg is a member but it did not sponsor any of the 40 resolutions that will be considered at the association’s annual meeting Nov. 22-25 at the Winnipeg Convention Centre.

The Town of Virden is behind a motion to lobby the province to institute point-of-sale fees to cover the costs of recycling electronic waste. It said an electronic waste recycling program is necessary to help divert used electronics from municipal landfills, where they’re an environmental hazard.

The RM of Morton, in southwestern Manitoba, said it’s been overrun by gophers and wants the provincial government to reinstate the restricted use of strychnine to kill them. The municipality said Saskatchewan has already approved the poison’s use on an emergency basis. It said other control methods have proved ineffective.

In western Manitoba, the RM of Shoal Lake is pushing the AMM to lobby the province to allow municipalities to tax overhead hydro lines, as they do with natural gas lines.

Four RMs in the central and western regions of the province are supporting a motion opposing the construction of the Bipole III power transmission line along the west side of Lake Manitoba. They raise health concerns on behalf of people who will live near the line and say it will harm farm operations. They also point out an alternative route east of Winnipeg would cost less to build.

A half-dozen municipalities are behind a motion to press Manitoba Public Insurance for compensation for false alarm calls to emergency responders. With the proliferation of cellphones, rural firefighters are increasingly being called to accident scenes, they say. But often their assistance isn’t needed, and passing motorists making the calls haven’t stopped to determine whether emergency personnel are required. The municipalities say they are incurring significant equipment and personnel costs because of the false alarms.

Meanwhile, the RM of Reynolds, in eastern Manitoba, is worried that proposed amalgamation of some rural ambulance services will lead to dangerously long response times.

Larry Kusch

Larry Kusch
Legislature reporter

Larry Kusch didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life until he attended a high school newspaper editor’s workshop in Regina in the summer of 1969 and listened to a university student speak glowingly about the journalism program at Carleton University in Ottawa.

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