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some of the municipality's problems. Rhineland had previously been involved with planning of sorts when it joined the Pembina Valley Development Corporation along with other area rural municipalities and towns in 1964. Lack of input and a lack of any tangible results in Rhineland, however, had by the late 1970's led to dissatisfaction with the corporation." Following the passage of the Provincial Planning Act in 1976 and increasing pressure from the provincial government to form a planning district with neighbouring municipalities, the R.M. of Rhine­ land council initiated plans to adopt their own development plan and zoning by-law. Receiving final reading in December 1983 the Develop­ ment Plan goals were built on a number of principles: (1) That agricul­ ture was the primary land use of the municipality and that agricultural production and the rural lifestyle associated with this production will be preserved and strengthened; (2) That the villages provide an essential residential and service function in the municipality, support agricultural production and otherwise contribute to the prosperity and well being of the municipality and will therefore be preserved and strengthened; (3) That rural non-farm residences and other rural agricultural uses are alternatives which will only be considered where they will not be in conflict with the primary agricultural and urban lifestyles in the munic­ ipality."

No amount of government planning, however, can take the place of the high morale of a community which knows itself and where it is going. While Rhineland has clearly become both Canadianized and to some extent urbanized, it is still characterized by strong rural values. The municipality is still dominated by the farm economy, it is charac­ terized by strong co-operative organizations and its smaller towns and communities remain committed to retaining their local identities. One indication of the reassertion of the agricultural roots of the municipality was the election of the Rhineland Agricultural Society Board in 1978. For the first time since the society took over the running of the Sun­ flower Festival, all directors were from rural areas. This renewed sense of rural needs and roots bodes well for Rhineland's second century.


1. Census of Manitoba 1885-86; Census of Canada. In 1886 Mennonites made up 70 per cent of Rhineland's population. Since the 1960's Mennoniteshave constituted over 90 per cent of the population of Rhineland.

2. W. L. Morton, Manitoba: A History, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1967, second edition), page 491.

  1. Red River Valley Echo, June 15, 1983.
  1. Manitoba, Department of Industry and Commerce, Regional Development Branch, Regional Analysis Program: Southern Manitoba, "Working Paper # 1 Economic Charac-