09/11/2013 04:35 EDT | Updated 11/11/2013 05:12 EST

Manitoba government softens stance on municipal mergers; allows exceptions

WINNIPEG - The Manitoba government is allowing some exceptions to its plan to force small municipalities to merge.

The government is going to let two summer resort communities — Victoria Beach and Dunnottar (duh-NOTT'-urr) — remain as they are.

Residents had complained that the merger plan did not recognize that the two communities swell in the summer with cottage owners and others.

The government is also extending the Dec. 1 deadline for other tiny municipalities to submit an amalgamation plan, if they have been hit by flooding or other natural disasters.

The province announced last year it would require communities with fewer than 1,000 residents to merge.

A bill to enforce the plan is expected to receive final approval in the legislature later this week.