Dauphin, Canada
The president of the Association of Manitoba Municipalities says the provincial election taking place in April will be a big focal point at this week's AMM convention.
Chris Goertzen says the leaders of the three main party's, the NDP, PC's and Liberals, will be at the convention for what he calls the first leaders debate of the season.
 
"This has never happened before at an AMM convention, and we have all three leaders coming to tell us what they're going to do for municipalities and our communities and how they're going to partner with us. We think that's a great opportunity to show our leadership and listen to what leadership they're going to be giving us."
 
Goertzen says partnerships with other levels of government will be one big topic of discussion at the convention.
 
"It's certainly a great opportunity for municipalities across Manitoba to tell their stories. There's a great infrastructure challenge that we need partnerships with other levels of government to solve and now with the new federal government, and obviously the provincial government listening intently as there's an election approaching, we think it's a prime opportunity to tell the municipal stories so that we can make all of our communities a better place for our citizens."
 
As for what the big theme is for this year, Goertzen says it's creating strong leadership in the municipal level of government.
 
"We have a lot of new people involved in each municipality. We have approximately 40 or 50 per cent of the municipal officials who are new. We want to make sure that we take opportunities. Part of being leaders in our communities is taking opportunities to make sure that we tell our story so that we can create a better community."
 
 There are a total of 137 municipalities attending the convention which runs from today to Wednesday at the Keystone Centre in Brandon.