Toronto, Ontario, January 26, 2021 ROMA Board members have elected Robin Jones, Mayor of the Village of Westport, as Chair for a two-year term. Kevin Holland, Mayor of the Township of Conmee, was elected First Vice Chair and Eli El-Chantiry, Councillor, City of Ottawa, will continue to serve as Second Vice Chair.
 
“ROMA is motivated by the belief that rural communities are critical to the social, cultural and economic fabric of Ontario,” said Mayor Robin Jones, Chair of ROMA. “I’m honoured to serve as ROMA Chair and will continue to advocate for support that meets the unique needs and challenges of Ontario’s rural municipalities.”
 
Mayor Jones addressed Conference delegates, recognizing the service of outgoing ROMA Chair Mayor Allan Thompson. “Mayor Thompson has been a passionate advocate on rural matters. During his term as Chair, we have seen the ROMA Conference prosper and our influence grow.” Mayor Jones also thanked outgoing Vice Chair Chris White, Mayor of the Township of Guelph Eramosa for his “steady leadership and contribution to ROMA.”
 
Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs announced the launch of the second intake of the Municipal Modernization Fund. The Province is investing $40 million to help small and rural municipalities with service delivery reviews and modernization efforts, targeting 405 municipalities across Ontario.
 
Opposition and Cabinet members also addressed delegates on the final day of the 2021 ROMA Conference.
 
Provincial ministers were once again online to field questions from municipal elected officials in an open forum. Topics included economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, Blue Box transition to full producer responsibility, municipal insurance costs and joint and several liability, broadband access, and funding for transportation infrastructure.
 
Featuring more than two dozen speeches, sessions and workshops, the 2021 ROMA Conference facilitated nearly 300 online delegation meetings between municipal governments and provincial ministers and associate ministers. More than 1,100 participants took part, virtually, in the first large gathering of municipal officials in Ontario since the pandemic entered its second wave.
 
About ROMA
ROMA takes pride in promoting, supporting and enhancing strong and effective rural governments. About 270 of Ontario’s 444 municipalities have populations of less than 10,000, while scores more are rural in character. The rural arm of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, ROMA advocates for policies and programs that will help build thriving rural Ontario communities.
 
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For more information about ROMA or the 2021 Conference, contact:
Stef Lach, ROMA Media Contact, 289-962-5009, lach@redbrick.ca
Follow the conference on Twitter: @ROMA_Ont, Hashtag: #ROMA2021