January 2022
2022 ROMA Conference Highlights

2022-01-26 4:26:09 PM

The 2022 ROMA Conference has come and gone! AMCTO was pleased to attend the conference and share that we had productive Government delegations with Associate Minister of Digital Government Kaleed Rasheed, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education Sam Oosterhoff as well as delegations with the Ontario NDP, Liberal, and Green Parties.  

Ministers’ Forums 

Once again, this year’s conference had two “Bear Pits”, with one focussed on adapting health and social services for rural communities in a post-pandemic environment and the other on sparking rural economic growth with the environment, infrastructure and resource development.  

Delegates raised important issues with the participating Ministers on both days, including the lack of qualified Chief Building Officials, the shortage of student housing contributing to pressure of affordable rental, the reporting burden and red tape for small municipalities applying for grants, and updates on the introduction of the digital ID project and digitizing the marriage license process.  

A question was asked about the Government’s commitment to act on joint and several liability and to release the results of the 2019 review. Attorney General Downey stated that he is not seeing a clear connection between joint and several liability of the rising cost of insurance, and is now looking at a technical review. He is calling a meeting of a taskforce on this matter with AMO and other partners. AMCTO continues to be active in on this file, collaborating with other associations including with our recent letter to Attorney General Downey supporting AMO’s call to action.  


Both Premier Ford and Minister Clark addressed the delegates on Monday, January 24th.  

Premier Ford began by thanking municipalities for their hard work to keep their communities safe during the pandemic. He highlighted investments in healthcare, specifically increasing hospital capacity. He also reminded delegates of his Government’s  investments in the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF) and broadband infrastructure, their plan to deliver highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass, and the Government’s commitment to increasing housing supply.  

Minister Clark focussed his speech on the housing crisis, mentioning the Housing Supply Action Plan, and his Government’s changes to the Growth Plan and the Provincial Policy Statement. He reminded delegates that he and Premier Ford hosted an Ontario-Municipal Summit with big city mayors and regional chairs and a Rural Housing Roundtable with ROMA’s Board members and other rural and remote municipalities to discuss the housing supply crisis, and of the additional investments made through the new Streamline Development Approvals Fund. He re-iterated the Government’s commitment to making investment across the housing spectrum, highlighting investments in community, supportive and Indigenous housing programs. 

Municipal Modernization Program Intake 3 successful projects were also announced. The Ministry is providing over $28 million for 322 projects in small and rural municipalities. 


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