Amalgamation and election hit AMM board a body blow


By Ken Waddell

The Neepawa Banner

When the Province of Manitoba forced municipal amalgamation in 2012, the Association of Manitoba Municipalities took a split stand on the issue.

They said that amalgamation wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but they objected to it being forced on communities. Eventually AMM took the province to court in a losing bid to stop the amalgamation. 

That wasn’t surprising on two accounts. One, many AMM members wanted to fight the province but second, the province has full authority over the municipalities so it was no surprise that AMM lost the court case.

When the 2014 elections rolled around, all 18 AMM board members were up for election, some in amalgamated municipalities. The AMM board lost eight out of 18 members in the election process. 

In western Manitoba, board members who didn’t get re-elected included Gladstone mayor Eileen Clarke, RM of Hamiota reeve Randy Lintz and Rossburn mayor Shirley Kalyniuk. Those eight seats will have to be re-filled but there’s another problem. For amalgamating municipalities, those that can vote at the convention are the previous council members, both those returning and those defeated or those who chose not to run.  Those elected in amalgamated municipalities cannot vote at the convention but are being encouraged to attend.  AMM has been advised that elections for board members will have to be conducted after Jan. 1 when the amalgamated council members officially take office.