Tag Archives: Ken Mantie

June 2016 – Celebrating 20 years of Publishing!

may 2016

Managing Editor: Dan Guetre

News Writers: Marianne Curtis and Dan Guetre

Columnists: Lee Guetre, Peter Friesen, Anni Markmann, Peter Martins

Production and design: Dan Guetre, Myriam Dyck, and Monica Guetre

Advertising: Karen Jorgenson and Dan Guetre

CONTACT

Dan Guetre: Editor, publisher, owner

editor@dawsontrail.ca

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Marianne Curtis: journalist 

mariannecurtis@dawsontrail.ca

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Karen Jorgenson, Sales 

sales@dawsontrail.ca

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Unity wanted in La Broquerie

By Marianne Curtis

   With municipal elections around the corner the eyes of the southeast are focused on one of the most controversial municipalities in the province.  In recently months, the RM of La Broquerie has been subjected to numerous ombudsman investigations, RCMP investigations and public scrutiny. This is not making it easy for candidates when they are knocking on doors and making contact with voters.

   Councilor Jean Gagnon is challenging his counterpart, current reeve Marielle Wiebe for the seat at the head of the municipal table. He hopes to straighten things out and bring pride back to a municipality that has been brought to its knees.

   “There are a number of things that I would like to do when elected reeve,” stated Gagnon. “One of them is cleaning up the issues that have surfaced recently and correcting the mistakes that have been made.”

   Gagnon could be accused of being part of the problem because he has been a councilor in the municipality for over twenty-years. However, he is confident that while he has been silent in the past, he is no longer afraid to speak out.

   “I have obviously been saying something I shouldn’t have otherwise council would not be trying to keep me quiet,” he added, referring to a resolution of council to censure him two months ago. The resolution was made after he allegedly informed the ombudsman that council was not being honest in their responses to the numerous investigations.

   Gagnon is not the only one that is fighting for unity, transparency and accountability in the RM of La Broquerie. Former councilor Cornie Goertzen is making another attempt to return to the table after a four year hiatus.

   “Council has not always been united over the past four years and it is time for councilors to get back onto the same page,” stated Goertzen. “Municipal employees are afraid to open their mouths or they will lose their jobs and that needs to stop.”

   Ward 1 candidate Joseph Giesbrecht is new to the municipal field, however he is not afraid to help straighten things out even if it means taking on two incumbent councilors in the middle of the chaos, namely Ron Hamilton and Ed Oswald.

   “I can’t sit by and watch the municipality that my family now calls home fall apart,” noted Giesbrecht. “It is frustrating as a ratepayer to have questions and not get answers – we need an open government and I am prepared to be a part of it.”

   Former reeve Ken Mantie agrees and he is seeking election as councilor in Ward 2.

   “Whatever council is elected they are going to have a lot of cleanup to do,” stated Mantie. “There is a lot of work to be done.”

   Voters in the RM of La Broquerie have a long list of candidates to choose from when they head to the polls. There are eight candidates running for three seats in Ward 1 including Blaine Pasichnyk, Cornie Goertzen, Joseph Giesbrecht, John Stinson, Romanda Martens, Edwood Oswald, Darrell  Unger and Ron Hamilton. In Ward 2, seven candidates including Ken Mantie, Ken Tallaire, John Unrau, Claude N. Moquin, Wilfred Chabot, Richard Turenne and Ron Vielfaure are competing for three seats.

Photos by Marianne Curtis

This election signs in La Broquerie make it very clear what ratepayers will be looking for when they elect a new council on October 27.

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Reeve candidates step up in La Broquerie

Reeve Candidates Step Up in La Broquerie

By Marianne Curtis

   Over the past few months, the RM of La Broquerie council has been embroiled in controversy. Various allegations and numerous investigations have left voters disillusioned in the ability of the current council, so it is no surprise that some candidates are already stepping forward to make a bid for the reeve’s chair.

   Claude Lussier, who works in the community’s only financial institution, was the first to announce that he was running for reeve. He is the brother-in-law of former administrator Larry Tetrault and said that while he has not lived in La Broquerie for very long, he is well aware of the issues he would face if elected as reeve.

   “The RM of La Broquerie has lost its shine and its sense of welcome – it’s scaring off developers and people that want to live here,” stated Lussier. “We will have to bring in corrective measures so that we can move forward.”

   He added that “the past is the past” and the newly elected council will have to focus on moving forward instead of looking back.

   Jean Gagnon, a 24-year veteran councilor who is also the current deputy reeve, has officially announced that he intends to seek election as reeve.

   “I want a real open government for the RM of La Broquerie, I want to treat everyone fairly, not just a few. I want to clear this up and get the RM going back into the progressive municipality that we were before, a building community, not one that is defeating itself.”

   As a member of the current municipal council that has been plagued with investigations both from the government and the police, Gagnon said that campaigning will be a challenge.

   “Campaigning is always a challenge, but I know what is going on and I am not going to be running on hearsay,” Gagnon said. “I am in the middle of it but I’ve been fighting for the ratepayers even though I’ve been a lone voice.”

   Ken Mantie is the first candidate to announce that he is running for council but he is not running for reeve despite being encouraged to do so.

   “If Jean is running for reeve I want to be on his council – I have a lot of respect for him,” stated Mantie. “Whoever gets elected in the new council will have four years of cleanup to do.”

   If elected, Mantie is confident that a new council in La Broquerie will be able to clean up ongoing issues. He’d like to see the municipality working with builders and private residents to ensure that growth restarts in the area.

   While the RM of La Broquerie office would not confirm that Marielle Wiebe was planning on seeking re-election, the current reeve has told other media that she will be seeking a second term at office.

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Former reeves upset with missing gun

By Marianne Curtis

   Allegations that a gun owned by the RM of La Broquerie which was allegedly removed by the current reeve and claimed to be destroyed by her husband has upset two of the municipality’s former leaders.

   Former reeve John Giesbrecht, who was a member of council for over three decades before losing his seat to former police officer Ken Mantie remembers the pistol in question and the history behind it.

   “I was there when former administrator Larry Tetrault removed the gun from the old municipal office and brought it to the new one when we moved,” stated Giesbrecht. “It has been there for as long as I remember.”

   Giesbrecht was on council when the municipality formed their own police department back in the 1970’s. Mantie, a new police officer at the time, was named the community’s law enforcement officer. He clearly remembers the 32 caliber handgun that was placed in a cardboard box in the municipal vault, along with a set of handcuffs and a baton.

    “Council gave me that gun to use and as far as I was concerned it was a piece of junk – I was a new officer and I wanted something shiny. That gun worked but it was an antique,” recalled Mantie. “As far as I could tell it was a working gun because the cylinder turned when I pulled the trigger.”

   Mantie also noted that along with the gun, baton and cuffs, the container containing the firearm also held a slip of paper with the weapon’s serial number on it.

   Some question why the pistol was in the municipal office in the first place.

   “It was a part of history,” explained Giesbrecht. “It was given to the RM of La Broquerie for protection when the municipality was first established by the province over a hundred years ago and it was never disposed of.”

   The Steinbach RCMP have confirmed that they are investigating the matter further. The investigation includes questioning the current reeve Marielle Wiebe and her husband. Wiebe has been accused by former administrator Lori Wood of allegedly asking Wood to remove the weapon from the vault and telling her to deliver it to the reeve’s residence.

   “I find this very upsetting,” stated Mantie. “As a resource teacher that molds young minds and a former magistrate you would think that she (the reeve) would know to possess this gun is against the law. Furthermore I can not believe that she instructed this poor staff member to take it to her (the reeve’s) house – she should have known it was illegal.”

   The current location of the weapon is unknown at this time. To be properly decommissioned that gun would have to be turned into a non-working firearm. This can be achieved by either removing the firing pin or filling the barrel with lead to make it unusable. However, if this is done, the value of the weapon would be greatly diminished.

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