While the Town of Ste. Anne is growing at a rapid pace, Mayor Yvan St. Vincent says they want to make sure the town can maintain important services, such as healthcare.
There were more building permits issued in the first half of this year compared with the same period last year.
St. Vincent recently spoke about the need to expand town boundaries to make sure they do not run out of land which would put a halt to growth.
With an increasing number of residents, St. Vincent says it is important that the town makes sure services can be maintained.
Healthcare is one of those services. Of the 10 emergency departments in southern health, six of them are only open 12 hours a day, including the one in Ste. Anne, which has the ER open daily from 8am until 8pm. Steinbach, Portage, Crystal City, and Morden/Winkler are the only communities in the region that have 24/7 access to emergency health care in their local hospitals.
St. Vincent says the town needs to be a place that is attractive to healthcare professionals, even though they are not directly responsible for doctor recruitment.
“That’s something we've actively been engaging with, especially our CDC,” he explains. “Our Community Development Corporation has been trying to work with Southern Health and the various associations to ensure we do have enough medical human resources. We have a beautiful hospital in Ste. Anne, and clinic, but it's important that we make sure that the staffing is adequate. It's not our job but we certainly advocate for that, and especially for the bilingual component of that where possible. We want to ensure that we're still offering that bilingual service at our hospital as well.”
As the town’s population nears 3,000 and development continues for more residential neighbourhoods, St. Vincent says it is an exciting time that comes with challenges.
“The major challenges are just to make sure that our level of service is where it always has been,” he says.
“Not only do we want to make sure that our residents are looked after, but we also want to make sure that those doctors and nurses stick around and stay around for a long time because they're enjoying being part of that community as well.”