Premier, Provincial and Municipal Leaders Meet Online for 2021 ROMA Conference

Toronto, Ontario, January 24, 2021 Premier Doug Ford and Minister Christine Elliott, as well as NDP leader Andrea Horwath, are among provincial leaders addressing the first day of the of the Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) Conference tomorrow. The virtual conference will be held from Monday, January 25 to Tuesday, January 26.
“This conference comes during a crucial time in the battle against COVID-19. It offers rural municipal officials the opportunity to learn from one another on joint challenges and to advocate for shared priorities,” said Mayor Allan Thompson, Chair of ROMA. “It is important to bring a rural lens to provincial-municipal matters.”
Thompson, Association of Municipalities of Ontario President Graydon Smith, and national political commentator Chantal Hebert will also speak at the conference on Monday. Other keynote speakers at the conference include:

  • Hon. Steve Clark, Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
  • Hon. Ernie Hardeman, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs
  • MPP Stephen Blais, Ontario Liberal Party
  • Mike Schreiner, Leader of the Green Party of Ontario
  • Hon. Maryam Monsef, Canada’s Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development

This year, ROMA is partnering with TVO and the team at The Agenda with Steve Paikin, TVO’s flagship current affairs program, to deliver aspects of the conference and to expand its reach. Production of the conference was modified to meet changing provincial public health measures.
More than 1,100 participants will take part in the conference, which features more than two dozen speeches, sessions and workshops. Topics include: economic recovery, community paramedicine, flooding, broadband, Blue Box changes, policing, seniors services, implicit bias and more.
Municipal staff and elected officials will take part in nearly 300 online delegation meetings with provincial ministries. Provincial ministers will also answer questions submitted by municipal elected officials in two separate forums.
Registered media will have access to the entire conference online. Reporters are encouraged to register well in advance by contacting Stef Lach at We ask for patience as requests for full access are processed.
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 more information about ROMA or the 2021 Conference, contact:
Stef Lach, ROMA Media Contact, 289-962-5009,
Follow the conference on Twitter: @ROMA_Ont, Hashtag: #ROMA2021