in Chatsworth, Grey Highlands, Southgate, West Grey
February 05, 2021
Mayor Christine Robinson and members of council attended the 2021 Rural Ontario Municipal Association Conference on January 25 and 26.
This annual event—held entirely online this year—gives municipalities the opportunity to speak with provincial ministries, attend workshops and network.
“West Grey was well represented at this year’s conference,” said Mayor Robinson. “We had clear goals of bringing West Grey’s initiatives to the forefront and advocating for funding and support to continue building our community. I am pleased with the positive dialogue and knowing those goals were achieved.”
The West Grey delegation met with Minister Jeff Yurek, Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks to advocate for two climate change related issues. The first called for urgent public education to mitigate flood damage given the increase in basement dwellings to make up the shortfall in affordable housing. The second asked for support for environmental initiatives including steps to catalogue, maintain and protect West Grey’s natural assets and to develop a more comprehensive asset management plan.
West Grey also met with Parliamentary Assistant Randy Pettapiece, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) to discuss how to prepare for the influx of population growth from urban centres. During this delegation, Mayor Robinson acknowledged the provincial investments in broadband and noted that rural Ontario communities will need further investments in recreation, housing and programs for newcomers.
“The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks accepted our invitation to join us in more detailed conversations about climate change and supports for municipalities—including West Grey—who have declared a climate change emergency,” Mayor Robinson said. “We also received a commitment from OMAFRA to bring our points about urban migration to their discussions within the ministry.”
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