March 1, 2021
Dear Honourable Pederson:
We are united in our opposition against the province’s intention to close MASC offices and centralize services. The decision is another blow to rural Manitoba communities and constituents.
Your department has indicated it is important to consider potential economic and societal impacts with this change to centralization. We ask that the province take a hard look at the serious impacts for the rural municipalities and constituents with the plan to vacate twenty-one offices. The trend to centralization hurts rural communities, which are challenged with the struggle to sustain growth and viable economies.
Many producers will continue to rely on the ability to meet face to face with advisors. The long, time consuming distances producers will travel is a major concern. Geographically, eight of the offices to close are on the western side of the province, and west of Provincial Highway 10.
Predictably, local economies will be affected by the loss of revenue. There is concern that when individuals employed by MASC or producers travel to other communities to MASC offices, they will also shop and access other services in those communities.
The pattern of the provincial government to make decisions of this magnitude without consultation is concerning to constituents and municipal governments. We strongly believe that amalgamation and centralization are not always better! Please hear us when we ask that the province reconsider the restructuring plan until consultation with producers and rural municipalities has occurred.
Prairie View Municipality: Linda Clark, Reeve
Hamiota Municipality: Larry Oakden, Mayor
R.M. of Yellowhead: Merv Starzyk, Mayor
R.M. of Oakview: Brent Fortune, Reeve
R.M of Ellice-Archie: Barry Lowes, Reeve
R.M. of Wallace-Woodworth: Clayton Canart, Reeve
Municipality of Harrison Park: Jason Potter, Reeve
Municipality of Clanwilliam-Erickson: Victor Baranniuk, Head of Council