Council Priorities: 2023 Association of Municipalities of Ontario Conference
August 25, 2023
As Mayor, I was proud to represent Greater Sudbury, along with my Council colleagues, Councillors Fortin, Lapierre, Labbee, and Parent at the 2023 Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference.
In addition to workshops, the annual conference program included keynote speeches from Provincial government leaders, including the Premier.
Our delegation participated in several positive and productive meetings with ministers and other provincial ministry representatives regarding our priorities and to discuss ways we could work together to achieve our goals. The following are some of the highlights of these meetings.
Like many communities, the City of Greater Sudbury is being challenged with finding solutions to the complex mental health and addictions crisis. Minister of Health, Sylvia Jones and Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Michael Tibollo, were very interested in hearing about the ongoing work of our Assertive Community Treatment Team (ACTT), which, through the help of Health Sciences North, provides wrap-around support services for residents in transitional housing. Further, we spoke with the province about the opportunity to develop a coordinated approach to attract and retain healthcare professionals.
As a result of a recent strategic investment from the province, the Pioneer Manor bed redevelopment project will be going ahead. Support of this kind is crucial to meet the demands of an aging population. We had the opportunity to share the success of the Community Paramedicine Programs with Parliamentary Assistant to Long Term Care, John Jordan as well as discuss other community care needs of our aging population.
Minister of Transportation, Caroline Mulroney and her team heard from our delegation about the improvements to road infrastructure needed to support the future development of our City and I am confident that we can work together to achieve this goal.
We had an interesting meeting with Minister Greg Rickford and he encouraged us to work with the Northern Ontario Heritage Corporation (NOHFC) as well as levels of government for support with special projects.
Greater Sudbury is geographically the largest municipality in Ontario, with dozens of public buildings and thousands of kilometres of roads and pipes to maintain. The unique challenges this presents to our municipality were explained to Parliamentary Assistant of Infrastructure, Armarjot Sandju.
While we work to increase the number of residential units across the housing spectrum, we must also ensure our infrastructure keeps pace with growing pressures of a larger population base.
As the demand for battery electric vehicles and other technology continues to grow, we must ensure we are able to maximize the economic prospects inherent in a growing critical minerals sector.
I am very appreciative to have had the opportunity to meet with the provincial government officials about the needs of our city.
I also had the opportunity to connect with my colleagues from across the province, including members of the Northern Ontario Large Urban Mayors (NOLUM) and the Ontario Big City Mayors (OBCM) groups. Together, we had the opportunity to collectively speak about challenges that affect us all during meetings with Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark, Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy, and others.
I will continue to advocate for more support from all levels of government as we work together to achieve Council’s – and our community’s – goals.