By Don Norman
The first RM of Alexander regular meeting of 2020 was held on January 7 in the council chambers of the Administration Office. The meeting began with a visit from Selkirk-Interlake MP, James Bezan. It was the first meeting between the municipality and the area’s federal representative since his re-election in October as well as the first since the 2018 municipal elections.
The bulk of the discussion with Bezan centred around the difficulties the municipality has been having getting approval for the new boat launch planned for Traverse Bay. The issue has been objections raised by Sagkeeng to the project who presumably think it will disrupt the Sagkeeng commercial fishery. Council said that one of the major concerns was safety. If someone was drowning Victoria Beach emergency services have no place to launch boats on that side of the point. Councillors were asking Bezan what he could do to help the process along. Bezan said he would raise the issue at the minister level and see if he could get any answers.
Council had another visitor from Ainsley Cook of the Association of Manitoba Municipalities who was there to provide information about the benefits of the Association’s Trading Company that allows municipalities to purchase equipment and supplies in bulk.
Regular business saw council approve a letter of support for the Winnipeg River Heritage Museum for their Building Sustainable Communities Grant Program application.
Council also responded to a request from Community Futures Winnipeg River regarding Pinawa’s pursuit of Small Modular Reactors manufacturing plant. Council discussed the benefits that the project would have for the entire region. They approved a letter of support for the project.
Council had a discussion regarding the recommendations they commissioned from QUEST Canada consultants. It was pointed out that their hands were tied with many of the recommendations because they would require huge amounts of support and input from other levels of government to be effective. In the immediate future, council said they would pick the “low hanging fruit” from the report to continue their efforts to inform, educate and involve the community in the process.