Rural municipal leaders head to Toronto for 2024 ROMA Conference
Toronto, Ontario, January 15, 2024 – More than 1,600 participants from as many as 300 municipalities, as well as organizations across Ontario, will participate in the 2024 Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) Annual Conference, January 21 to 23 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, 123 Queen Street West, Toronto.
Rural municipalities are facing unprecedented challenges related to homelessness, access to primary health care and attainable housing. The conference provides a critical opportunity for provincial and municipal leaders to come together and work collaboratively towards solutions that will strengthen communities and ensure financial stability for rural municipal governments.
The conference theme, “Closer to Home” specifically reflects ROMA’s recent focus on improving rural access to primary health care. ROMA will share its research, findings and recommendations for an integrated and sustainable health care system across rural Ontario.
The event features dozens of speakers, sessions and workshops that reflect the broad scope of rural municipal responsibilities. Keynote presenters include:
• Hon. Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario
• Hon. Paul Calandra, Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
• Hon. Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
• Hon. Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure
• Marit Stiles, Leader of the Ontario NDP and Official Opposition
• Bonnie Crombie, Leader, Ontario Liberal Party
• Mike Schreiner, Leader of the Green Party of Ontario
• Robin Jones, ROMA Chair
• Colin Best, AMO President
• Key note addresses on polarization, the future of work and community engagement
The conference offers municipal officials the chance to foster partnerships and relationships across the sector, and advocate for change. In addition to the conference program, municipal officials and staff will take part in hundreds of municipal delegation meetings with provincial ministries. Provincial ministers will also take questions from municipal officials in an open forum.
All media are required to register in the VIP Room on the Concourse Level at the Sheraton Centre. Attending media are encouraged to book accommodation as soon as possible, if needed.
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.