Mayor Darrin Canniff and councillors, Amy Finn, Aaron Hall, Karen Kirkwood-Whyte, Mary Clare Latimer and Carmen McGregor as well as CAO Don Shropshire will attend the 2019 Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) Conference in Toronto from Jan. 27 to 29.
Chatham-Kent officials have secured meetings with provincial officials to discuss topics including North Chatham-Kent Well Water Concerns, Ultra High-Speed Broadband Communication in Southwestern Ontario, Great Lakes Erosion and Climate Change impacts in Chatham-Kent and the Endangered Species Act and its effect on municipal drains.
Officials will also take part in meetings regarding tourism, the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Cities Initiative and the Western Ontario Wardens Caucus.
There will be nearly 50 sessions and workshops on topics as diverse as cannabis legalization, rural transit, labour laws that impact municipal government and property tax assessment. More than 1,000 rural municipal officials from across Ontario will take part in the event.
Canniff said ROMA provides municipal representatives from rural areas a chance to bring their perspective forward to provincial officials and politicians.
“There are unique issues which are rural and nature and some which are really specific to our own particular part of Ontario,” he said in a media release. “It’s an excellent opportunity to get our point of view across to those people who are involved in writing provincial regulations or setting policy.”
Premier Doug Ford will address the group Monday morning.
ROMA is the most representative and effective voice for Ontario’s rural municipal governments. About 270 of Ontario’s 444 municipalities have populations of less than 10,000, while scores more are rural in character.