Representatives from the United Counties of Stormont Dundas Glengarry (SDG) returned last Wednesday, August 20 from the annual Association of Municipalities of Ontario Conference in London.
The AMO Conference is one of the largest municipal conferences held in Ontario each year.
SDG continues to participate in this annual conference largely through the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (EOWC), raising awareness on issues facing municipalities throughout the region.
The EOWC was successful in securing delegations with several high profile representatives from the province including municipal affairs minister Ted McMeekin, community safety minister Yasir Naqvi, and the Official Opposition. These opportunities were used to release the EOWC’s Economic Development Strategy for Eastern Ontario, and raise concerns regarding policing costs and infrastructure renewal.
“The AMO conference is another important opportunity for municipalities to lobby the provincial government. It is a forum for us to put forward – with one voice – what our policy and operational challenges are,” stated Warden Eric Duncan. “It is also an opportunity to say thank you, and SDG certainly does not lose sight of that.”
Representatives from the Counties were also on hand for a delegation with infrastructure minister Brad Duguid to promote the Glengarry Regional Water Project. While no formal decision has been made on funding from the province, both North and South Glengarry townships remain optimistic as they continue to pursue this important initiative.
Premier Kathleen Wynne was in attendance at this year’s conference, providing the keynote address to delegates on Tuesday.
The provincial government announced earlier this week that it would be moving forward with a new $100 million per year infrastructure fund for municipalities.
The province also announced that it would not be pursuing any further action on joint and several liability – and important file that municipalities have lobbied strongly for action on in past.