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ROMA Conference Highlights

Posted January, 26, 2024

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Deputy Mayor Dan Osborne and Town Manager Harry Schlange attended the annual Rural Ontario Municipal Association conference (ROMA) in Toronto this week. The theme of the conference was “Closer To Home”.

Of the 444 municipalities in the province just over 400 are considered rural , there were 1700 attendees the largest ever.

We were made aware of new announcements of provincial grants both in providing support for water infrastructure to build homes faster and economic development grant. The Town will be pursuing both to see if we can get some of the available funding into Gore Bay.

 The number one issue at the conference was Health Care, both in the issues with closing emergency rooms and the lack of primary care. Over 500,000 residents in rural Ontario do not have family doctors. There was a ROMA paper issued on this matter, visit the link for more information: ROMA Report

 The Town had very successful delegations with the Minister Rickford on Northern Development. We thanked the Ministry for their support of several projects and advocated for current grants in the pipeline, specifically Downtown Revitalization and the expansion of the Marina of 65 new slips.

We received very positive feedback on the projects and the Minister encouraged us to expedite the files and ensure we meet all deadlines in providing the necessary supporting documentation to be awarded these grants.

Town Manager and Deputy Mayor meet with Minister Rickford
Town Manager Harry Schlange and Deputy Mayor Dan Osborne meet with Minister Greg Rickford of the Ministry of Northern Development

The other delegation was with the Ministry of Long Term care we were joined by the CEO of St Joseph's Health Care Kari Gervais. We made the ministry aware that Jarlette will not renew their license beyond June 2025. We conveyed the importance of continuing to support residents close to home at the end of their life and we have created a unique partnership with the Town, St Joseph's, and the private sector to continue to provide this service (in current location) while concurrently building a new 64 bed facility. The Ministry was very positive stating that the key principle of this government is providing this type of service close to home. Although there is lots of work to do we were all very encouraged on the support we received.

Deputy Mayor Osborne and Kari Gervais of SJHC meet with PA Jordan
CEO of SJHCS Kari Gervais and Deputy Mayor Dan Osborne meet with Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Long-Term Care John Jordan

The Town will be participating in other key task forces impacting the northern communities and there will be future updates provided. Overall a very value added conference that promoted the Town of Gore Bay with the Province.

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