Members of Northumberland County Council have joined more than 1,200 participants from across the province at the 2023 Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) Conference. The conference is being held in-person, in downtown Toronto, until January 24, 2023.
The conference comes six months after the Ontario Government was re-elected. It will be the first time Premier Ford will address municipal leaders since the fall legislative session. In response to the housing crisis, the Government of Ontario has made swift and significant changes that impact on land-use planning, public infrastructure financing, environmental protection, and municipal governance.
The conference theme, Breaking New Ground, focuses broadly on ROMA’s advocacy work completed over the past year, including ROMA’s action plan: Opportunities for Rural Ontario in a Post-COVID World. Additionally, ROMA’s Attainable Housing Task Force published an in-depth report in 2022 featuring practical steps to address Ontario’s rural housing crisis.
Key presenters for the 2023 conference include Ontario Premier Doug Ford, opposition leaders, and provincial and federal ministers. Keynote speakers include Jesse Wente, broadcaster and Indigenous advocate, speaking about the current state of truth and reconciliation in Canada and what can be done to further the process, and award-winning author Dr. Thomas Homer-Dixon, who will discuss why our planet is in crisis, and the powers we possess to renew our imperiled world. Rural Ontario Municipalities Association Chair Robin Jones and Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) President Colin Best will also speak.
In addition to these keynote presentations, Northumberland County Warden Mandy Martin is particularly interested in engaging with counterparts on topics related to affordable housing and homelessness, rural economic development and workforce attraction, and infrastructure management. During the conference, interviews with Warden Martin can be accommodated by contacting: