One issue that's been brought to the table by the Association of Manitoba Municipalities for several years is increasing costs mandated by the federal government on cities and towns. President Kam Blight says they're lobbying for both retroactive and newer costs, which are becoming a frustrating trend. He notes the problem is, however, that municipalities have to tax residents to cover those costs.

Blight says one example is RCMP expenses which have dramatically increased over the last few years.

"There is the cost of body-worn cameras," says Blight. "What we're seeing is a real trend by the federal government to download high costs onto municipalities, specifically, the body-worn cameras issue that was an election campaign promise by the Prime Minister. He suggested that all officers with boots on the ground are going to be required to wear body-worn cameras which in theory, to a certain extent, sounds like a positive. But what he failed to mention is that municipalities will be picking up the tab for this."

He explains that they've been calling for the feds to not make promises with someone else's wallet. Blight emphasizes it's a real concern, seeing as it's just another additional cost for municipalities who really only have one way of generating revenues, and that's through taxation. 

"And we're also the only level of government that must balance our budget," notes Blight. "When they continuously download these additional costs on the municipalities, it puts a massive strain on the finances of each municipality, and it's going to cost us either the services that we're providing, or it's going to cost the additional tax increases to our residents. It's a trend that we're trying to push back and fight against and it's really unfortunate. There are a lot of decisions being made without the consequences being thought through."