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Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association

Councillor's Corner - Wednesday May 16th, 2018
Thank you for opportunity to go to the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association’s Annual General Meeting and Conference, it was a pleasure to represent our community. The conference was insightful for a number of reasons but also a tremendous learning experience.
During the conference I was able to take in all the sessions plus had a tour of the Ignace Water Treatment Plant, Tour of the Kenora Detox Centre, a business lunch and was invited to attend the Spring Feast at the Detox Centre. It was long and exhausting week but I didn’t want to miss anything and wanted to absorb as much information as I could.
In my report submitted for council I have included all the material and information that I collected. In this brief synopsis there are few things I would like to highlight. At the Annual General Meeting we reviewed the standing resolutions that NOMA continues to support and keep at the for front for action, especially important to review this year, as we may have a new provincial government. These resolutions had me thinking of what types of things we stand up for and what we want to continue to stand up for as a municipality. We have the power at council to create resolutions for change and elevate them to these collective associations like NOMA, the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) and Association Municipalities Ontario (AMO). Council has done this in the past as it is not a new thing on council, but it was the first time that the collective power of it all really jumped out at me. So, as we move forward I will be thinking about ways that we can help Hornepayne but also our neighbouring communities for a better Northern Ontario.
At the conference we got the opportunity to listen to each of the three main party candidates convey their platform for the upcoming election. It was interesting to hear them speak in person and see the different delivery styles. On the Facebook page Cheryl T Fort there is a double sided postcard that is being jointly produced from NOMA, FONOM and AMO with good questions to ask candidates. The questions are thought provoking but also make the provincial government respond to some municipal needs. Municipalities only see 9 % from combine tax dollars but, yet we maintain the most amount of infrastructure combined. This is a time to get involved and vote on June 7th.
The presentation throughout the conference included Diverse Choice for Change, Governance in Northern Ontario – Taking Ownership, Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC), Forestry Industry, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation, Health Equity – the relationship between health and income, and policies that address inadequate income, Valuing Public Libraries – Return on Social Investment, Collaboration in an Evolving. Energy Sector, Road Assessment Case Study, Ontario Trillium Foundation and Ontario Good Roads Association and lastly Tourism Northern Ontario. It was a full agenda and with 175 members participating in it was a intimate manageable crowd which allowed for a lot of dialogue.
Since being back from the conference it is my hope to learn more about MPAC and get a better working understanding about how the property tax system works and how zoning can benefit us. In the coming weeks learning more about The Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Infrastructure Ontario are also top priority as well.
As always, I need to put a plug in for dedicated community members to get involved. There are opportunities on boards for you to have a voice for our community and the north. Very few individuals from our area commit to boards but the experience and benefits for our northern communities are invaluable. Thank you to those courageous people who have stepped out and filled positions within and outside of community. If you are looking to get experience on a board, please contact me and I can give you a few suggestions.
As always you are welcome to contact me with questions or anything to do with the conference or council. Again, it was my pleasure to go away to this conference and it’s my utmost desire not to swindle away the learning but to put it into practice for the betterment of our community. Looking forward to great summer as we celebrate our 90th birthday!
Have a great week Hornepayne!
Councillor Cheryl T Fort
This column is open to all member of council and is only filled by Cheryl T Fort in the absence of information.