With just days into the new year, the newly elected Reeve for the RM of Stuartburn, Michelle Gawronsky, has planned out a busy year.
One of her plans is to upgrade Provincial Road 201 to RTAC standards.
Gawronsky says getting this done sooner rather than later is crucial for the RM.
“It is essential to be able to improve our RM and build our community. We are going to need that highway upgraded for sure.”
The Reeve will have meetings with the government department of Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure.
She’s also requested a meeting with the Minister of Transportation to make sure they’ve got this signed, sealed and delivered to get started this spring.
Gawronsky says the work on Provincial Road 201 will help local farmers haul and sell their crops.
“We need this highway built up because it's a gateway to the East side and it's a gateway to the West side. And the best way to have your truckers going through your communities is to make sure that you've got a safe and productive highway,” she says. “We are going to be holding this government accountable for their promise and looking forward to being able to work with them.”
Another project the RM will be working on in 2023 includes working with the Roseau River Watershed District.
“I’ll be attending conferences and conventions to be able to stay on top of what’s going on. We're looking forward to working together with the Nature’s Conservancy and Tallgrass Prairie, so that the decisions we make will benefit all the farmers, the orchids, businesses, everyone,” she says. “The only way the community is going to build and be productive is to work together.”
The Reeve says the RM also needs to improve their health services.
“We need to be seen as a corner of the province that deserves to have equal healthcare. We're looking forward to future meetings with our province’s health minister and sharing ideas that would be beneficial to our community.”
She explains that what used to be the Vita Hospital is now a 44-bed Care Home, which isn’t fulfilling the needs of the residents.
“There is a doctor's office that has minimal doctor coverage, which is a huge disappointment to us. Our hospital is now a kind of an interim care place that's no longer a hospital.”
She notes if residents in Stuartburn can access healthcare closer to home, they wouldn’t need to go to healthcare facilities in their neighboring communities.
“Folks who need health services have to go to places like Bethesda Hospital in Steinbach, and take up space and time at a facility where the folks in Steinbach could be enjoying their healthcare a lot sooner.”
Gawronsky says when they closed the hospital it was detrimental to the RM. Both the upgrades to the highway and improved healthcare would mean great growth for the region.
“We definitely need to have it back. We need it for the growth of our school. We need it for the growth of our businesses.”
When asked what would make 2023 better than the past year, Gawronsky says, “if all that we're looking forward to becomes a reality, we would have an amazing year. The folks in the RM of Stuartburn deserve no less. I really feel that the RM of Stuartburn is on the cusp of new beginnings and opportunities, and we all need to be working together to build on that.”
with files from Adi Loewen