For these first few days of Municipal Government Awareness Week, the Association of Manitoba Municipalities 2022 Fall Convention is taking place in Winnipeg.
Portage la Prairie Mayor Sharilyn Knox is there and notes municipal governments are the closest level of government to the people.
"This Awareness Week just recognizes the importance that they've had play in our community," says Knox. "Often our governments make decisions about programs, facilities, and infrastructure. They provide amenities like drinking water, waste management, road maintenance, surface water, fire, and police services. All those things are directly in front of us. We just want to recognize the people who are involved in local government as well the elected officials and the staff."
She notes AMM started with many introductions Monday.
"Monday morning was spent really about understanding AMM for the new officials," continues Knox. "We have 45 per cent new officials in this province. Another note that I just heard is that there are actually 22 heads of council in this province that are women, so that's pretty exciting a new record."
Knox says Tuesday is always a big day seeing as they can ask provincial ministers questions that are important in municipalities and, sometimes, put them on the hot spot.
"Also, we have a regular meeting where motions are passed and the regular levels of business that you have to do at these types of meetings," says Knox. "But it's also really about networking with our municipal colleagues. It's nice to meet people who are of similar-sized communities and be able to talk about some of the challenges and solutions that we all have found."
She adds she is not bringing any specific issues to the table but is definitely supporting some that include the ambulance service in our province.