By Cecilia Nasmith
Following their recent meeting with the Federal MPs of the region, members of the Eastern Ontario Wardens' Caucus this week held a meeting with the provincial MPPs of the region joining the wardens – including Northumberland Warden John Logel.
The meeting was co-hosted by EOWC chair Andy Letham and MPP Todd Smith, who is also Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.
“The EOWC recognizes the province’s support for our number-one priority, being the improvement and expansion of the cellular and mobile broadband networks in Eastern Ontario, and thanks our MPPs for their efforts in securing the province’s $71-million contribution to the project,” Letham stated in the press release.
The meeting was a opportunity for the region's wardens to update the MPPs on the group's advocacy work on behalf of their constituency, including submissions they made to the province on red-tape reductions and regulatory burdens encountered in the fields of housing and long-term care. They also spotlighted some of the impacts on the province's recent budget amendments that affected municipal-service delivery in such areas as paramedic services, child care, Ontario Works and public health units,
“We realize that the Province of Ontario has set important efficiency goals for itself and for the municipal sector, in order to achieve specific financial targets in the coming years,” Letham stated.
“The EOWC acknowledges the government’s intentions, and today we reiterated the value and importance of having our voices around the discussion table – namely, to provide a local perspective that is well-researched and well-respected.”
The wardens asked for clarity on the province’s current priorities, and specifically how the EOWC could contribute its unique insight on governance, structure and funding models.
“We need a voice to transition properly and budget appropriately over the next few years,” Logel stated.
“Local municipal taxpayers are contributing to program and service delivery, and we look forward to working with the province on achieving its goals while maintaining the quality of our services for the residents of rural Eastern Ontario.”