Under The Dome

Planning Amendment Act will bring greater efficiency to rural planning
Our government is listening to Manitobans while governing in partnership with them. After consulting residents and municipalities in the Riding Mountain constituency and across the province, we are making changes to improve rural planning legislation that we introduced earlier this spring.
Our new changes to Bill 19, the Planning Amendment Act which brings greater efficiency to rural municipal planning, will require municipalities to continue posting public notices in their local newspapers. We have decided to keep this requirement in place after many Manitobans and their local governments told us at recent committee meetings that our initial proposal to change the public notification process is not what municipalities want.
In fact, more than 20 Manitoba municipalities made it clear that our initial version of Bill 19 would have adversely affected their local communities. We are listening to local governments about their needs for communication with their residents, and have amended the legislation accordingly.
The previous NDP administration did not carry out these kinds of consultations with Manitobans when it forced amalgamations of rural municipalities without any concerns about local opinions or conditions.
Our government and Manitoba municipalities will continue to post planning notices in local newspapers, though we are modernizing the public notification process by making the provincial Manitoba Gazette free and accessible online.
The Planning Amendment Act will also modernize local planning in rural areas and make it more efficient by removing regulatory burdens, and by allowing rural municipalities to use an evidence-based approach in ensuring fair opportunities fordevelopment. The new legislation updates the zoning approval process to provide municipalities with options to set thresholds for conditional-use hearings for livestock operations, based ontheir needs.
As well, Bill 19 allows proponents of livestock operations and aggregate quarries to appeal local government denials of conditional-use applications to the Municipal Board, ensuring evidence is used in these decisions.
We are improving Manitoba’s regulatory framework by consulting and working with municipalities and industry. The newly improved Planning Amendment Act strengthens our Progressive Conservative government’s commitment to giving municipalities a fair say on issues that affect their local development and growth.
Greg Nesbitt is the Member of Legislative Assembly for the Riding Mountain constituency. He can be reached at 204-759-3313, toll-free 1-844-877-7767 or by email at gregnesbittmla@mymts.net.