Election day for Killarney’s new mayor this Wednesday


Election day to decide Killarney’s new mayor is this Wednesday, June 23 at the Shamrock Centre.

Matthew Reimer, former farmer, and Merv Tweed, retired MLA and MP, are both vying for council’s hot seat. 

Both candidates were asked the same two questions, which came from the community, and they were also asked to list their top three priorities if elected mayor.

Question 1) What’s your view on hog barn expansion in Killarney-Turtle Mountain?

Matthew Reimer

The hog barns that are already in our municipality provide jobs, competitive markets for grain, and a fertilizer source for nearby farmland that increases production. They also smell, increase the traffic on our roads, and have some tiny risks of something very bad happening such as a lagoon leaking into the groundwater supply.  

Every barn undergoes a public hearing and I would like to hear from the residents and decide at that time whether or not to go ahead. I have learned that maintaining our rural roads is very expensive, so I would be less likely to support a barn that is a long way off a highway. I also think that residents who live very close to a proposed barn, (approximately two miles) or three to five miles if they are east of the site (because of the prevailing west winds), should be taken very seriously if they oppose the barn.

Merv Tweed

Expansion of the pork industry has been very beneficial to the community of Killarney-Turtle Mountain. 

With two feed mills and several barns there are now over 100 people working, living, and contributing to our community. Add in the trucking industry, service industries and more, the taxes generated have allowed us to continue moving forward. 

While there are no new applications for hog barn expansion in Killarney-Turtle Mountain, if a new application were to come forward, I can assure residents that all conditions will be met and acted upon before any decision would be considered. 

Question 2) What’s your view on the proposed Town Office renovations? Should they proceed as planned?

Matthew Reimer

My position on the town office from the beginning of this campaign has been that it needs to be done but not while lumber prices are at all time highs. Fortunately lumber futures prices are down 40 percent from their
peak in May. I don’t know how long it will take for the prices to adjust at the retail level, but it is coming. I expect that by the time we need to purchase lumber the prices will be reasonable.

Merv Tweed

Experience has taught me that delays generally end up costing more. We are now seeing a decline in prices and I would anticipate prices will stabilize soon. 

The elected council unanimously voted to approve this project based on all appropriate information provided to them. 

As mayor I will support this decision and offer my experience and support in completing the project on time and on budget. 

What are your top three priorities if elected mayor of Killarney-Turtle Mountain?

Matthew Reimer

1) Because I lack experience, my first priority will be to ask a lot of questions. From the beginning I have been learning about the job as much as I can so that I don’t impede the progress the town is making,
but there will be a lot for me to learn. My intention if elected is to use this short period of time before the next regular election to learn and grow and then run for mayor again in 2022. Government is like a big ship, you can’t make large changes to the course quickly, so if elected I would hope to continue in the role for a regular four year term.

2) In order to affect change outside of things the municipality has direct control over (such as affordable housing, adequate healthcare staffing levels, and economic development) we need to work together
with provincial governments, business leaders, not for profits, and community members. It takes time to build the relationships and trust amongst these groups so that there is enough political will to tackle
big problems. I will work at this relationship building so we can all work together for the common good.

3) One of my campaign promises is to increase communication between the council and the public. So my plan is to provide written updates about the topics that come up at council meetings that are of public
interest. I will post them on Facebook and they could also be published in The Guide or emailed to anyone who is interested. 

Some matters that are dealt with at council only involve one property owner or maybe a dispute between neighbours and I think talking about those things is just gossip. However, other matters would be of interest to the whole community or different groups within the community and talking about why council decided one way or the other would be helpful for people to know. The minutes of the council meeting are devoid of those details.

What are your top three priorities if elected mayor of Killarney-Turtle Mountain?

Merv Tweed

1) Recruiting health care professionals and providers. 

As we continue to make Killarney a healthier community (hospital, spa, walking trails, gym, etc.) it is important we focus on identifying the needs of our community and develop a plan to address same. 

2) Housing. 

As we continue to grow there is a need for more housing. 

I will work with community investors to determine the need and next steps. 

There is also a growing need for assisted living spaces. I will appoint a community advisor team to assist council with information and recommendations. 

3) Infrastructure.

Roads. I will work with council to develop a long-term plan for road repair and construction (10 year plan).

Internet. I believe we are being underserved by all providers. I will request a meeting with local providers to advocate for better service. 

On both the above issues I will personally lobby governments for more resources to achieve maximum benefit. If elected I will work tirelessly for the people of Killarney-Turtle Mountain.

To read more about mayoral contenders Matthew Reimer and Merv Tweed, from previous Killarney Guide stories, keep scrolling.

Voting stations will be open on Wednesday at the Shamrock Centre, 725 Broadway Avenue, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Election date approaches to select a new mayor

Advance polling scheduled for Wednesday, June 16, at the town office


Two candidates are now vying for the mayor’s seat, and voting time is coming up soon.

Merv Tweed and Matthew Reimer were the only candidates to throw their hats into the ring, and the official polling day to cast your ballot is coming up in just a few weeks, on Wednesday, June 23, at the Shamrock Centre.

But there are other ways to mark your paper, says Ernie Epp, Senior Election Official for the Municipality of Killarney-Turtle Mountain.

Advance voting can be done on Wednesday, June 16, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., at the municipal offices, he announced. 

“Advance voting is for the purpose of accommodating persons who are qualified to vote, but who have reason to believe that they will be absent, or otherwise unable to attend their proper voting place on election day,” he said.

For those who live in places like Bayside, or reside in a health care facility, a mobile voting station will be on location at both the Tri-Lake Health Centre, and at Bayside Personal Care home. The date for these opportunities will be announced at a later date, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

A third method of voting is via application to vote by sealed envelope, said Epp.

“Eligible voters, especially those with medical conditions, as well as those who, because of COVID-19, wish to minimize interaction with others, are strongly encouraged to vote by sealed envelope,” he said.

For more details on how to apply to vote by sealed envelope in person, in writing, or by fax, contact Ernie Epp at 204-523-7247. The application form is available at Killarney.ca.

Mayor Rick Pauls held Killarney’s hot seat up until the end of December of 2020, when he resigned after serving 13.5 years as head of council. 

Deputy Mayor Janice Smith has been shouldering the role of acting mayor since that date, and will continue to do so until the new mayor is elected through this by-election. 

“Rick stepped down on December 21, 2020, and the new mayor will start his term at noon the following day after the election, on June 24,” said Smith.

While tempted to run for the seat herself, it proved to be a difficult time-issue choice, she said.

“I would like to say thank you to the Municipality of Killarney-Turtle Mountain for their support, cooperation, and kind words that they gave me,” said Smith. “It was a difficult decision not to run for mayor, but it was a time issue for me, and the head of council has many more responsibilities they must handle and speak to. With that, I have learned so much over the last six months, and really feel I have become a better councillor. I look forward to helping and working along with the successful candidate to keep Killarney moving forward in a positive and progressive manner.”

On the big day, voters need to come equipped with government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, and must also wear masks (which they bring themselves) in compliance with Public Health orders.

Read on to find out more about Merv and Matt and their ideas, and watch future editions of The Guide for more on the mayoral election and the candidates.

Former MLA and MP joins two-way race for mayor


Merv Tweed of Killarney, a former MLA and MP, wants to be mayor of Killarney-Turtle Mountain.

Tweed, who served as MLA of Turtle Mountain (1995-2004), MP of Brandon-Souris (2004-2013), and president of Omnitrax for several years after that, says he misses politics and has more to offer.

“I started in municipal politics in my twenties, and have kind of been involved in politics ever since,” said Tweed. “Including my experience in the north, which taught me a whole different set of political rules. And I think I can take the experience I’ve had at all three levels of government and offer something to Killarney for the next few years.” 

Tweed feels all this experience would make him a good fit for mayor. 

“I think having worked with many communities like Killarney across Manitoba and across probably most of Canada, I’ve seen things that work with governments, I’ve seen things that sometimes don’t work, but what I’ve learned is that council leads itself,” he said. “A mayor is just one person and one vote at the table. I hope the things I’ve seen in other communities I can bring to here.”

One example of that would be a better rural Internet strategy, he said.

 “I think the services that we get out here are far less than what we need,” Tweed said. “And we’ve learned with COVID that more and more people are working from home, so we need to make that available to make us more attractive for people.” 

Another example of what he’s seen in other communities and what he’d like to see here is more housing. 

“We need to build some sort of housing in this community,” said Tweed. “Be it apartments, condos, or housing itself. If we want to grow, we have to have that as an alternative. I think that with lots of people coming in with the expansion of HyLife and other opportunities, having apartments or something like that available to them gives them an opportunity to live in the community, and decide where they might want to build a house or buy a home.”

Increasing health care services is also a priority for Tweed.

“When I look at what we offer in this community, I am amazed at the amount of services that we provide, and the opportunity continues to be there,” said Tweed of the prospect of expanding those services. 

“We have so many new young professional men and women that now is the time to offer them more in our community, and also attract new professionals to our community, be it doctors, be it lab techs, be it any type of health care that we can grow. I think that only gives us a better opportunity to sustain in the future.” 

Tweed added that he sees a local council that’s been pretty successful together, and he would like to build on that.

“Councils have disagreements and so they should, but at the end of the day the goal is to work for better in the community, and sometimes you have to put aside your own personal thoughts or beliefs to make things happen,” he continued. “My ability and success as a politician has always been to be able to work with people, and I’ve done that at all three levels. And I think I’ve done that, in my humble opinion, in a reasonably successful way.”

So far it’s just Merv Tweed and Matthew Reimer running in a two-way race for mayor of Killarney-Turtle Mountain, with nominations for mayor closing on May 18.

The by-election for mayor is scheduled for June 23, 2021. Acting Mayor Janice Smith has been serving as head of council since Rick Pauls resigned as mayor in late December.

Merv Tweed

Matthew Reimer

To see what Matthew Reimer had to say in The Guide’s Spring Edition keep reading below.

Mayoral race heats up

Two hats resting in the ring


The race for mayor of Killarney-Turtle Mountain is heating up, with two hats now thrown into the ring.

Matt Reimer filed his nomination papers for the office of mayor last weekend, while former MLA and retired MP Merv Tweed registered as a candidate later this week.

The by-election for mayor is scheduled for June 23, 2021. Acting Mayor Janice Smith has been serving as head of council since Rick Pauls resigned as mayor in late December.

Former farmer Matt Reimer was one of 12 candidates running for a council seat in the 2018 municipal election, but admits he’s glad he lost that race.

“At the time I was farming, and to be honest I was relieved (that I lost). I just didn’t have the time for it then,” acknowledged Reimer. “But I’ve sold my farm, and I have some extra time. I’ve always had an interest in politics and leadership.”

Reimer says that for he and his wife Heidi, it’s their faith that is the guiding principle in their lives.

“The guiding principle that I want to run under is the command in the Bible to love thy neighbour,” said Reimer. “How do you do that with municipal politics? I really think the way that you do that is by providing services to everybody at the lowest possible cost. Not lousy services, good services at the lowest possible cost, while being fiscally responsible. I think that’s the way you do that, and hopefully that encourages businesses to move here.” 

Reimer and his wife and two girls now live in town beside Killarney Lake, and they have rental properties in Killarney as well. He feels that with his years of farm experience, coupled with his new town life, he’s able to understand both rural and urban issues.

“I just want to give back to the community, and continue to keep Killarney growing,” said Reimer. “Certainly if businesses want to move to Killarney, I would be open to working with them and seeing what they need to make that happen.”