This year’s Association of Ontario Municipalities (AMO) conference August 17 to 19 was in virtual form as delegates met via electronic teleconference with provincial ministers and other government officials, including members of the NDP caucus which leads the Official Opposition.
The Eastern Ontario Wardens Caucus (EOWC), which represents the 16 counties in Eastern Ontario along with the City of Kawartha Lakes, presented its priorities list with emphasis on economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic situation and support for the ultra-fast Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) Gig project and also the Cell Gap project for improving cellular phone service.
“The EOWC pivoted when the pandemic hit,” stated Andy Letham, EOWC chairman, “and our priorities were adjusted to reflect the needs of municipalities and local businesses. The EOWC appreciated the province’s willingness to hear our perspectives, as it will take strong partnerships between our governments to face the challenging years ahead.”
Warden Pierre Leroux, representing the United Counties of Prescott-Russell, also expressed confidence that the EOWC will achieve its goal of better and faster Internet service and cellular phone service through its plan for public-private partnerships with senior level government support.
“We will achieve this through our usual persistence and perseverance,” stated Leroux. “The perfect example of this is the alignment that we heard repeated throughout the conference around broadband, coming from the EOWC, EORN, AMO, and the provincial ministers.”
EOWC members also discussed the long-term care situation in the region, including the number of COVID-19 outbreaks that occurred at several long-term care and nursing homes.