Manitoba’s community newspapers pleased by amendments to Bill 19

The Manitoba Community Newspapers Association (MCNA) has applauded the provincial government for its move to amend Bill 19, The Planning Amendment Act, so that Manitoba municipalities will still be required to place public notices in local newspapers.

“The MCNA board and all our members are very pleased that Bill 19 was amended,” MCNA president Ken Waddell said.

“We extend our thanks to everyone who appeared at the hearings of the Standing Committee on Social and Economic Development and who offered their opinions to bring about this change. We especially appreciate the many letters of support MCNA received from towns and municipalities.”

Bill 19, as originally written, would have eliminated the requirement for governments to place notices in newspapers, which would have limited the ability of many Manitobans to learn of the activities and plans of local government. MCNA lobbied all political parties, the Association of Manitoba Municipalities, and appeared before the standing committee to
argue that being afforded public notice is a democratic right of the people of Manitoba.

On May 29, the provincial government and Hon. Jeff Wharton, municipal relations minister, tabled amendments in the Manitoba Legislative Assembly withdrawing sections 19.2 and 25 of Bill 19, which dealt with public notice. Unanimous consent was required and was given. Final reading and voting on the newly amended bill will take place Thurs., May 31.
However, the MCNA notes that Bill 8, The Government Notices Modernization Act, which will be considered this fall by the Manitoba Legislature, also eliminates requirements that notices be posted in local newspapers.