The Rural Municipality of Portage la Prairie heard from the head of the Assiniboine River Basin Initative (ARBI) -- a group that features 51 stakeholders, 17 from North Dakota, 17 from Saskatchewan, and 17 from Manitoba.
ARBI Executive Director Wanda McFadyen says RM of Portage Reeve Kam Blight is on the board, but she also wanted to chat with the rest of the RM.
"I'm just going to provide council with an update on our activities. They've been engaged," says McFadyen. "Reeve Blight has been involved with our board for some time, but just to provide Council an update on our initiatives and activities, and to answer any questions or concerns they might have."
Reeve Blight appreciated McFadyen coming to make the presentation as he knows how busy she is.
"Oh, absolutely. It's great to hear that information first-hand, and coming from the executive director, Wanda McFadyen, who does phenomenal work, and she's been there since day one. We certainly appreciate all her efforts and everything that she has done, and as well as the board," says Blight. "I think it's just great for our council to hear everything that they do."
Blight and Portage Mayor at the time, Earl Porter, attended one of the first meetings on this topic back in Virden, before the group was created in Regina. Blight calls it vital to have every voice at the table.
"I think it's very important that there's equal and proper representation of all types from all across Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and the United States," says Blight. "We certainly do have that. We have a voice and we're kept abreast of decisions in the direction that's being made by the Assiniboine River Basin Initiative. We're very happy to be part of this board."
McFadyen says they heard from many different people who bring their interests and perspectives to the board.
"We work at a transboundary level with state and provincial governments, local governments, producer organizations, NGOs, First Nations, Métis," says McFadyen. "We're very pleased to report that, and we continue to build those relationships, answer transboundary questions, and work on transboundary projects."