Delegations from Brampton, Caledon, and Mississauga, led by Mayors Linda Jeffrey, Allan Thompson and Bonnie Crombie respectively, recently attended the 2018 Association of Municipalities of Ontario’s (AMO) conference in Ottawa. The annual event gives municipalities the opportunity to bring important issues to the attention of provincial representatives and to connect with colleagues from across the province.
Cabinet ministers, Members of Provincial Parliament and industry stakeholders were among government officials participating in the discussions. A recently appointed provincial government (under the leadership of Premier Doug Ford) added a new dynamic to this year’s AMO.
Brampton tabled requests for funding for the expansion of the Peel Memorial Centre and backing for the upcoming Ryerson/Sheridan university campus. Housing, community safety, transit improvements, development of the downtown core and cannabis legalization were among other initiatives which Brampton hoped the province would offer its support.
“Working in partnership with the provincial government, we remain focused on advancing key initiatives for Brampton’s continued success and sustainability,” said Jeffrey. “As the second-fastest growing city in Canada, Brampton is not only facing pressures in health care, housing and community safety; our residents are also asking for enhanced transit, post-secondary education, innovation and environment-driven initiatives. We look forward to discussing all these issues with the province.”
The Caledon delegation brought forward a variety of issues including transportation planning, the need for better access to broadband internet, access to affordable housing for seniors, gravel pit rehabilitation and support for Headwaters Hospital.
“With a new provincial government now in place, we as a council need to build relationships with decision-makers and advocate on behalf of our residents,” said Thompson. “You can’t just sit back and hope for change. We need to be squeaky wheels to make sure our provincial colleagues are aware of – and act on — Caledon’s specific challenges.”
Mississauga brought forward important topics such as transit, climate change, community safety, cannabis legislation, infrastructure, economic development, job creation, NAFTA and affordable housing.
“The AMO conference is an important opportunity to meet with government officials to discuss what matters to Mississauga,” said Crombie. “It was especially important this year with a new provincial government. we need to introduce to a new audience our priorities, as well as the challenges we face as a maturing city. I was encouraged by our positive discussions with ministers, MPPs, as well as the Leader of the Official Opposition and remain confident and focused on advancing these discussions. I’m confident Mississauga made its mark on the new government.”