The Association of Manitoba Municipalities’ 20th Anniversary was last week and RM of Dufferin Reeve George attended to voice some positives and concerns within the RM while taking in all the event had to offer.
“It’s a very important part of any municipal official’s life,” said Gray. “I’ve attended every year since I joined the council. I took all the meetings/presentations in.”
One program, in particular, Reeve Gray was very interested in was the Municipal Road and Bridge Program, which is being restructured.
“That was something that affected all of the RMs in the program,” he said. “That program, up to a certain dollar, matched 50/50 with road and bridge work. They would supply funds for bridge reconstruction and now they’re doing some work to the program and hopefully it will be restored and some help to us more.”
Gray said he also took in a few meetings with Manitoba Infrastructure, the highways department, sustainable development.
“We had some great conversations with ministers,” he added. “They’re very helpful, and their deputies and all the people involved. They listen intently and we have a great relationship with their departments.”
Gray was ever vigilant when discussing water levels in the RM at the meeting and said he will continue to fight for better reserves and flows to Stephenfield Lake to help drought-proof the region.
“We actually had a drought-proofing meeting with Pembina Valley Water Coop with all 14 municipalities and they’re formulating a drought plan so if there is prolong drought we can handle it,” said Gray. “We’re also working on more water for Stephenfield Lake. Some opportunities that are hopefully there in future, but not too far off, because the lake is our lifeline and the community and commercial enterprises depend on the health of that lake.”
One thing Gray noticed at the meeting was a big change in elected officials attending, saying there were a lot more women than previously, which is encouraging.
“There was about 30-to-40 per cent new delegates because of retirement and elections, and a good portion of them were women, and that’s wonderful to see,” Gray said. “It’s nice to see women getting involved and elected into these roles.”
Gray enjoys the AMM meetings as it’s a time for him to voice concerns he’s heard from the citizens that who put him in his position.
“The ratepayers of the RM of Dufferin have given confidence in me for the next four years and I want to continue to better the region,” adds Gray. “We have a great council and a lot of plans to help out the ratepayers. It’s our job to listen to them and then help make the RM even better than it already is.”