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Cell service, infrastructure, flooding top resolution debate

Over 1,000 registered delegates will be voting on resolutions for cell service, infrastructure and flooding at the Association of Manitoba Municipalities 14th Annual Convention.

The Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM) 14th Annual Convention takes place from November 26-29, 2012, at the Winnipeg Convention Centre. Over 1,000 registered delegates will vote on resolutions which will form the AMM’s lobbying direction for the coming year.

According to AMM President Doug Dobrowolski, although the 54 resolutions up for debate span a wide variety of issues, a late resolution will be debated in the #1 spot due to its critical subject matter. “In October, the south eastern part of the province experienced a devastating wild fire followed by a snow storm,” he explained. “The lack of cell service in this area created a life-threatening situation where emergency personnel couldn’t communicate with each other or with citizens in need of assistance. This was the latest in a series of emergencies in this area where the lack of cell service has endangered lives, and this resolution calls on the provincial and federal governments to come up with a plan to fix this situation once and for all.”

It would not be an AMM convention without resolutions in infrastructure, and this year is no exception. Resolution #5 calls asks for “an additional 1 per cent Municipal Infrastructure Levy over and above the existing levels to be distributed as they are with the Gas Tax Fund.” President Dobrowolski expects this resolution to generate a great deal of discussion, noting “the AMM’s own polling numbers show 64 per cent of Manitobans would support such a levy if the money were dedicated to municipal infrastructure.”

Resolutions related to the 2011 flood continue to be a focus this year as well. Resolution #18 calls on water level information to be provided in a more timely manner; #23 asks specifically for adequate flood compensation for Assiniboine Valley producers; #32 and #33 call for adjustments to the Portage Diversion; and in a related subject, resolutions #24 and 25 focus on staffing levels and volunteer compensation during emergencies. “Clearly, Manitoba municipalities continue to feel the impact of the flood of 2011,” says Dobrowolski.

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