Municipal and Provincial Leaders Gather Online for Major Meeting before 2022 Provincial Election

TORONTO, Jan. 17, 2022 - Nearly 1,000 rural municipal officials and other participants from across Ontario will attend the upcoming Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) Conference virtually from Monday, January 24 to Tuesday, January 25, 2022.

This year's conference will be one of the last major gatherings of provincial and municipal leaders before the provincial election. The conference provides an opportunity to ensure community needs are understood and addressed in provincial policy platforms before Ontarians go to the polls in June.

Themed Rural Opportunities, the conference includes the launch of the ROMA Board of Director's growth and recovery plan for action: Opportunities for Rural Ontario in a Post-COVID World. The ROMA Board commissioned Kathy Wood, CEO of Pivotal Momentum Inc. to develop a plan to foster rural resilience and rethink the role of rural communities in the economic and social vitality of the province.

ROMA 2022 will offer plenary sessions, workshops, keynote speakers and learning opportunities that reflect the broad scope of municipal responsibilities. Key topics relate to rural housing, community safety and wellbeing, rural and Northern health, and timely issues such as climate change.

Delegates will hear from:

  • Hon. Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario
  • Hon. Steve Clark, Ontario's Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
  • Hon. Lisa Thompson, Ontario's Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Hon. Kinga Surma, Ontario's Minister of Infrastructure
  • Andrea Horwath, Leader of the Ontario NDP
  • Stephen Del Duca, Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party
  • Mike Schreiner, Leader of the Ontario Green Party
  • Hon. Helena Jaczek, Canada's Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
  • Jamie McGarvey, President of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario

Chief Perry Bellegarde, Former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, will provide the opening presentation on Monday about how municipalities can best work with Indigenous communities. Dr. Bruce Lourie, a best-selling author and environmental policy expert, will address delegates on Tuesday about mitigating climate risk and transitioning to a net-zero economy.

The conference will also host two Ministers' Forums, a popular open question and answer period, and municipal officials will take part in hundreds of delegation meetings with provincial ministries.

Members of the media are asked to register ahead of the conference for full access by contacting Megan Abraham, at Visit for a full conference schedule and additional information.

In addition, backgrounders on a wide range of municipal policy matters can be found on the Association of Municipalities of Ontario website.

Follow along as the conference unfolds online at ROMA's Twitter account, @ROMA_Ont, and participate by using the hashtag #ROMA2022.

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.

For further information: For more information about ROMA or the 2022 Conference, contact: Brian Lambie, ROMA Media Contact, 416-729-5425,