It’s been two weeks since the Niverville residents first heard that the town was in the process of annexing land from the RM of Hanover.  

In that time, many conversations have been had around the coffee table, kitchen table or pool table. 

Now it’s time to hear from the Mayor of Niverville, Myron Dyck who says, first and foremost, “we are very fortunate to have as quality a neighbor as we do with the RM of Hanover. In my time here on town council, now since 2004 and I know even before that, but I'll just speak to my time, they’ve been extremely good to work with. We understand each other. We've done things together like the Niverville Industrial Park. We did an annexation together back in 2016-17 and we've done, you know, water agreements, and now we're working on the wastewater treatment plant. So, we are just feeling very fortunate that as two municipal neighbors, we have the relationship we do.”  

Dyck mentions that in talking with other Mayors and Reeves from around the province, “not everyone has what we have here, and we don't want to take that for granted. So, we truly appreciate it.”  

He continues, “In all of the conversations, the hard questions, the discussions that we have, it's always amicable. We're not afraid to ask each other the tough questions, but at the end of the day, it's all about trying to make it a win-win, and we believe that this annexation agreement is good for our region as a whole, for both our municipalities.” 

Dyck notes there have been a lot of conversations regarding the potential for a business corridor along Hwy 59, but he clarifies and says, “Right now, there is no timetable on what could happen. We want to give the landowners assurance that while we do have a vision and it is our job as municipal leaders to plan for growth, the study said that Niverville would be out of land in 15 to 20 years and so it is our duty to plan ahead. Niverville going to continue to grow, and it's my philosophy and the philosophy of many others, that communities, either go forward, or they go backward. There is no such thing as staying the same.  

“So, to try and allow Niverville and Hanover to be all that it can be, this is the vision we share, but that does not mean it'll ever materialize because we want to give assurance to the landowners that as they are using their land, they have every right to continue to use their land in exactly the same way. It would only be developed if the landowner would be willing to sell their land to someone who had interests in developing it into a business corridor.” 

Dyck comments that perhaps the vision that Hanover and their Council and the Mayor and their Council share may come to fruition. “But that would be in a year or two, or perhaps that could be in 25 years, perhaps, it might never happen. That's also within the realm of possibility. We just don't know.” 

He explains what the annexation will mean for Niverville residents.  

“So really, all there is, is a boundary adjustment. Instead of your assessment notice coming from the RM of Hanover, it would come from the town of Niverville. Your land is, what your land is. If you're growing crops on it, if you're raising animals on it, or if you are currently using it as a rural acreage or whatever it is, that all stays the same. There's no change. It merely provides the opportunity, should a developer happen to call the town office and the landowner would say, you know, if you get those calls here's my number, you know, please have them call. We can do that or the other way around, make sure they don't call me.” 

Dyck notes that Hanover Council and Niverville Town Council have been through this process about six years ago, and many of the questions residents had back then are being asked this time around as well. He encourages residents to come out to the Public Hearings and feel free to ask their questions.  

He has been asked questions like, “Are folks getting booted off their land?” To which he replies, “No. Nothing like that. It is important for people to understand, and many do, but for those that are still not quite sure, annexation is merely a boundary change. Expropriation is when someone is trying to forcibly purchase your land, this is not expropriation. That is not happening, it is merely annexation. The RM of Hanover and the town of Niverville are working together in conjunction with the province of Manitoba, to help Niverville grow.” 

“This annexation is not necessarily for the here and now, it could only be something for generations to come.” 

In speaking directly to the residents of Niverville and Hanover in the affected proposed annexation area, Mayor Dyck says, “I want to assure you that no one is coming to forcibly take your land. You are free to use your land as you will. We believe that there are possible benefits to those landowners should they wish to sell to a developer. However, if they want to enjoy it for what it is, that is also fine and wonderful. And to the residents of Niverville wondering if there is going to be a cost to them for all of this? I mean, this allows the community the opportunity to grow. We hear a lot of things from residents like, ‘it sure would be nice if Niverville had this or that or the other thing, and without land that and the other thing, is not possible. So, that's the benefit for everyone, what potentially the land could be used for. Future schools for. Future businesses. Future job opportunities. And even less of a reason to rely on other regions, when those options are available within our own region. And it's good for both municipalities. We are looking forward to sharing together in this initiative.”  

The town plans to connect individually with each affected property owner to discuss any concerns they may have. There will also be two public meetings for Niverville residents to attend. There will be no formal presentation, but individuals can come and go at their convenience.   

Public Meetings will be held this week Thursday, on December 8 and on Tuesday, December 13 from 5pm to 8pm at the Niverville Heritage Centre.   

The proposed annexation will be completed in 2023 once the consultation period with landowners and hearings with the Manitoba Municipal Board has been completed and then approved by the Municipal Board and the province.