Westlake Employment asks for support from Town of Neepawa


By Eoin Devereux

The Neepawa Press/Neepawa Banner

Neepawa Town Council - Tuesday, Apr. 4, 2017

Westlake Employment Skills and Services made a presentation to Town Council, on Tuesday, Apr. 4. Board members and representatives noted that the operational budget for the not-for-profit service from Aug. 2017 to July 2018 will be $68,765. The Province of Manitoba’s education and training program is their main source of funding, making up about 79 per cent of the total budget.

In the past four years, the province has provided one funding increase, a two per cent bump back in Aug. 2013. It also factored in an adjustment in Oct. 2015 to assist in the increase of rent, when Westlake moved to their new location (41 Main Street E.) from the Resource Centre. Other sources of funding come from partnerships with local governments.

As a non-profit, Westlake does not have the ability to raise funds through other means other than the two listed, as any amount raised would be held back from the province, as per the funding contract. 

Westlake Employment has requested $12,700 from the Neepawa, which would ensure their full time operations. That amount was chosen as it covers the percentage of Neepawa specific people who are using their services. Town Council has taken the funding request under advisement. Other municipalities in the region will also be approached with similar request, but for grants that are in line with their resident usage of the program. 

Novak resigns

Amanda Novak, Neepawa’s Leisure Services Manager recently informed the town that she would be leaving the position. A representative with the Town did note that Novak will assist through the transition period as the Town searches for a new individual to step into the role.

During a recent meeting of the Yellowhead Investment Corridor, to which Neepawa is a member, PRED (Portage Regional Economic Development) informed the group that it is withdrawing from the partnership. The YIC brings together communities along the Manitoba portion of Highway 16 (Portage La Prairie, Neepawa, Minnedosa, Shoal Lake and Russell-Binscarth) to increase awareness of the region’s attractiveness for external business investment.

Neepawa has received a grant of $5,000 from the federal government to assist with the staging of festivities for the Canada 150 celebration. 

The R.M. of Yellowhead has asked Neepawa to support its request for the construction of passing lanes on PTH 16 to the Saskatchewan border. Similar work was recently done along the 16 from Neepawa to Portage la Prairie. Other municipalities and regional businesses have also been asked to support the effort.

A resolution spearheaded by the Town of Neepawa for the establishment of a municipal census has been dropped by the Association of Manitoba Municipalities. The resolution requested that the AMM ask the province to enact legislation to allow municipalities to conduct a census. On Mar. 23, the AMM board of directors removed the request from the list of active resolutions, noting that municipalities are already able to conduct such work. The Town argued, however, that while municipalities can do that work, it is not formally recognized by the provincial government as official and the AMM should push the province to do so. The resolution had received majority support during the AMM midwestern district meetings. The Town will look at the possibility of resubmitting the resolution.