Merv Tweed sworn in as Killarney’s new mayor


A long-time political force, who has always considered Killarney his home, has captured the civic office’s hottest seat.

Merv Tweed has been declared Killarney’s new mayor, after defeating Matthew Reimer 668 to 493 in Wednesday’s mayoral by-election, which had a 45 per cent voter turnout.

Tweed, who served as MLA of Turtle Mountain (1995-2004), MP of Brandon-Souris (2004-2013), and operated as president of Omnitrax from 2013 to 2018, said earlier that he missed politics, and still has more to offer to the town.

“I started in municipal politics in my twenties, and have been involved in politics ever since,” said Tweed, in an interview last month with The Guide, “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 praised the work of contender for the mayoral seat, Matthew Reimer, who performed valiantly in the election.

“He did really well,” said Tweed on Thursday morning, while awaiting his swearing-in outside the council offices. “Matthew started early, and he had a strong following.”

Tweed, who lives on the beautiful Killarney lakeshore with his partner, said that he had enjoyed semi-retirement for the past two years, following the completion of his time with Omnitrax in Churchill in 2018. But now he felt a calling towards the council offices, which is why he entered the mayoral race.

“I did a lot of yard work on our property, which we bought three years ago, and had a bit of a break,” he said. “And now I felt it was just time for me to get involved with local politics. My father used to say, if you want to complain about something, you should get involved.”

Tweed said he was looking forward to meeting and working with the existing council members, creating constructive cohesion, and also in bringing some fresh thoughts to the table.

“My challenge is to work with this council,” he said. “I have some ideas, regarding different issues, which I would like to take in a different direction.
They include health care, housing, and infrastructure. And we have a lot of young people coming into the community, and they don’t have a good choice of accommodation. I will be looking at ideas about new residential builds, housing for retirees, and for assisted living.”

Although he was raised in Medora, an hour west on Hwy. 3, Tweed considers Killarney as his true home.

“My family owned a Chrysler dealership, which actually ran here at The Guide offices, from 1991 to 1995. And I ran the dealership,” he said. “In 1995 I went into provincial politics. But Killarney has always been my home base. This is my town. And it’s a great town.”

NEW MAYOR FOR KILLARNEY – Merv Tweed is the newly elected mayor for the Municipality of Killarney-Turtle Mountain, after winning Wednesday’s by-election. Strong contender Matt Reimer captured 493 votes, while Tweed garnered 668 votes. Here is Mayor Tweed on Thursday morning, ready to roll, and to be sworn in as the official new leader of the municipality.