An update from Mayor DeViet on this year's AMO Conference.
Meetings with Provincial Ministers at AMO Conference
This past week, I attended the 2020 Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) Conference, which brings together municipal leaders, the province and a large number of public sector vendors. It was the largest virtual gathering of government leaders since the COVID-19 pandemic began!
AMO is the association of Ontario’s 444 municipalities.
As part of the association, municipalities work together to achieve shared goals and meet common challenges. Through policy development, cost-saving programs, conferences and training opportunities, AMO provides municipal officials with tools to succeed, and programs to help maximize taxpayer dollars.
As part of the conference, our municipality met with a number of Provincial ministers including Ministers Clark, Crawford, Hardeman, Jones, and Yurek. (We’ll be speaking with our local MPP, the Hon. Monte McNaughton, in the coming weeks.)
In our meetings, we reinforced priority issues, informed the Ministers of our accomplishments and thanked them for support of large projects.
- The pandemic has highlighted the variability in broadband access and we were able to reinforce the gaps in our local service and the impacts of poor connectivity on access to online learning, services like health care and the ability to work remotely.
- We discussed infrastructure projects like ‘Old River Road’ and collaboration between the municipality and conservation authorities.
- We also discussed the importance of strong and stable municipal services and the relationship with economic growth in the context of COVID-19.
A virtual conference is certainly different than meeting face-to-face with colleagues and ministers. On the down side, the opportunities to speak with exhibitors, make new acquaintances and re-connect with peers across the province is limited. Having said this, it also has its advantages. I’ve already listened to a number of sessions I missed while in delegation meetings, there was no time lost in getting to and from the conference, and the cost certainly is minimized!
It takes all levels of government to work together to address the challenges we as residents of Middlesex Centre and Ontario face, and I appreciate the opportunity to attend the AMO Conference to advocate for change, to inform our leaders about the issues and challenges we have, and to let others know about the great place we live in here in Middlesex Centre.