County delegation to meet virtually with Ministers Yurek, Mulroney and Clark

(Gazette file photo)

JASON PARKS

STAFF WRITER

While municipal officials won’t be able to score any face time with members of the Ontario government this week, they will be getting some FaceTime (or a similar version of it) with Ministers overseeing the  Environment, Conservation and Parks, Transportation, and Municipal Affairs and Housing portfolios.

Mayor Steve Ferguson and councillors John Hirsch and Phil St-Jean will hold virtual meetings with several provincial ministers next week during the 2020 Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference August 17-19.

Mayor of Prince Edward County Steve Ferguson. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)

AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 444 municipal governments. AMO supports strong and effective municipal government in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada’s political system.

Typically, a municipal delegation including senior staff members would attend a central conference in Toronto that would include meetings with Ministers as well as key note addressees and and information sessions on the ever-developing world of municipal operations and best practices.

Those important knowledge base building sessions will still be available however the COVID-19 pandemic has forced AMO to do things differently in 2020.

“These are challenging times for Ontario municipalities, which makes this AMO conference incredibly important,” Mayor Ferguson said. “Even though we can’t get together in person, we are fortunate to still have the opportunity to meet virtually with provincial ministers and share with them some of the pressing issues Prince Edward County faces.”

The County will meet with Jeff Yurek, Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks, Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation, and Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. Some of the issues on the agenda include:

  • Sandbanks Provincial Park and issues surrounding increased tourism
  • Roads needs including Country Road 49 and the Picton town hill intersection
  • COVID-19 economic and social recovery

The County of Prince Edward along with Town of Greater Napanee and Lennox and Addington will have a joint delegation meeting with Minister Mulroney to propose improvements to the Glenora Ferry service.

The 2020 AMO conference will be Canada’s most comprehensive gathering of government leaders since the global pandemic began, and for the first time in its history, the 121-year-old organization will deliver its entire program online.

Ontario’s largest municipal conference will once again bring together municipal, provincial and federal officials to work collectively to overcome municipal challenges and plan for the future – despite the difficulties brought on by COVID-19.

Key session topics this year include COVID-19, municipal services and economic recovery; long-term care; broadband internet quality and coverage across Ontario; diversity, equality and women in leadership; building strong relationships with Indigenous communities; economic perspectives on immigration and youth retention; climate change; waste management and the transition to full producer responsibility; disruption, data use, and digital governance; the future of 911 service; and much more.

Conference news releases, fact sheets and presentations from a number of key speakers will be posted on AMO’s website throughout the duration of the conference at www.amo.on.ca.