The following program is continually being updated. Details will be added as they are confirmed.

Sunday, January 23  
12:30 – 5:00pm Info Booth Open and Delegation Meetings
Monday, January 24  
8:00 – 8:10am Welcome, O Canada
8:10 – 8:50am Opening Keynote: How Municipalities Can and Should Work with Indigenous Peoples, Chief Perry Bellegarde, Former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations.

Chief Perry Bellegarde has dedicated his life to championing the rights and well-being of First Nations. For 35 years, he has held various First Nations leadership roles, including two terms served as the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN). Chief Bellegarde believes passionately that at the heart of the original Treaty relationship sits a vision of peace and friendship that is the key to building a better and brighter future for Canada. 

A member of Little Black Bear First Nation, Chief Bellegarde credits the wisdom shared by the First Nations Elders of Saskatchewan for instilling in him a deep sense of pride in his culture, as well as a lasting conviction that Indigenous knowledge and values are crucial to building a more just and inclusive society. He describes himself as an oskâpêwis, a Cree word meaning “helper”, and he believes this understanding of the role and responsibilities of a leader applies to many walks of life. 

Chief Bellegarde has championed that vision through all his leadership roles. As National Chief, Chief Bellegarde campaigned tirelessly to close the gap in the quality of life between First Nations and other families in Canada. He led the AFN through a period of profound transformation in public awareness of First Nations concerns and priorities. Critical accomplishments include the passage of Canada’s first national legislation recognizing and protecting Indigenous languages, much needed changes in how government services in First Nations communities are funded, and securing a legal commitment to national implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  

In recognition of his work, Chief Bellegarde has been awarded the Confederation Medal, the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal, and both the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and Golden Jubilee Medal. In 2018, he was recognized with the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, and in 2019, was awarded an Honourary Doctorate of Laws from Queen’s University for his extraordinary contribution to public service, arts, culture, law, and government. The Empire Club of Canada has recently selected Chief Bellegarde as The Nation Builder of the Year Award 2021.

8:50 – 9:10am ROMA Update and AGM
9:10 – 9:20am Jamie McGarvey, AMO President
9:20 – 9:30am The Hon. Premier Doug Ford 
9:30 – 10:00am Meet with Exhibitors
10:00 - 11:45am

Concurrent Session A

  1. Navigating the New Regulations under the Conservation Authorities Act
    - The changes outlining what and how Conservative Authorities are to do business are completed. Now comes the work of transitioning to this new model. Hear from three points of view (council, staff, and CA leadership) on top priorities, major challenges and advice on how to be successful.
  2. Human Services Transformation for Poverty Reduction
    - Poverty has taken on a new dimension with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The unique characteristics of poverty in rural and northern areas will be explored with discussion of the current human service transformation initiatives that can help reduce it.
  3. Community Safety and Well Being
    - This session will explore the challenges and opportunities that Community Safety and Well Being planning presents for Ontario municipalities. With a rural lens, panelists will discuss how they met the July 1, 2020 deadline to have a plan in place and how they are moving forward with the CSWB plan implementation.
11:45 – 12:45pm Lunch and Zone Networking Sessions
12:45 – 2:00pm Concurrent Session B
  1. The Continued Quest to Improve Connectivity in Ontario
    - Learn about the state of connectivity in rural Ontario.
  2. Homelessness in Rural Ontario: Challenges and Opportunities
    - Examining the unique context of homelessness in rural and northern Ontario, this session will showcase initiatives and recommendations that can be implemented in communities, ultimately working toward the goal of ending homelessness in Ontario.
2:00 – 2:30pm Meet with Exhibitors
2:30 – 2:40pm Andrea Horwath, Leader of the Official Opposition and NDP 
2:40 - 2:45pm A Message from Intact Public Entities
2:45 – 3:15pm Opportunities for Rural Ontario: Post-COVID Recovery
ROMA recommendations and strategies on the recovery and growth plans for Ontario’s rural communities
3:15 - 3:25 pm ROI
3:25 - 3:40pm The Hon. Minister Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing 
3:40 - 4:25pm

Ministers’ Forum: Adapting Health and Social Services for Rural Communities in a Post-Pandemic Environment 

  • The Hon. Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing  
  • The Hon. Doug Downey, Attorney General 
  • The Hon. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services 
  • The Hon. Jane McKenna, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues 
  • The Hon. Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities 
  • The Hon. Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education 
  • The Hon. Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development 
  • The Hon. Christine Elliott, Minister of Health 
  • The Hon. Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions 
  • The Hon. Rod Phillips, Minister of Long-Term Care 
  • The Hon. Raymond Cho, Minister of Seniors and Accessibility 
  • The Hon. Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General 
  • The Hon. Parm Gill, Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism
Tuesday, January 25  
7:30 – 8:00am Meet with Exhibitors
8:00 – 8:35am Keynote Speaker
8:35 – 8:45am Steven Del Duca, Leader, Liberal Party of Ontario 
8:45 – 9:30am Michael J. Smither Question Box Panel
9:30 – 10:00am Break and Networking Events
10:00 - 11:45am

Concurrent Session A

  1. Fines and Enforcement: Advancing the Local Administration of Justice
    - Penalties and fines are an important part of administering justice in your municipality. Learn what steps the Ministry of the Attorney General has taken to improve municipal fine collection and how your municipality can control roadway speeds using automated enforcement in specific areas.
  2. Taking a Pulse Check on Rural and Northern Health
    - Access to health services is a challenge in rural and northern Ontario. To help meet the needs of residents, a diverse panel will examine the current situation and discuss opportunities for innovative solutions.
11:45 – 12:45pm Lunch and Networking Events
12:45 – 2:00pm

Concurrent Session B 

  1. Climate Change and Municipalities: How Community Energy Plans and Land Use Planning Can Help
    - The goal of this session is to broaden participants' understanding of how climate change, energy and land-use planning intersect, and provide an overview of scale-able and accessible solutions for municipalities of all sizes.  
  2. Innovative Housing Solutions in Rural Ontario
    - New strategies and partnerships are required to address the housing crisis and support affordable home ownership opportunities in rural Ontario. This session will showcase innovations and partnerships with the potential to be applied  in communities across rural and northern Ontario.
2:00 – 2:30pm Meet with Exhibitors
2:30 – 2:40pm Mike Schreiner, Leader, Green Party of Ontario 
2:40 – 3:15pm Post-COVID Recovery: Opportunities in Practice for Rural Ontario
3:15 - 3:30pm The Hon. Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs 
3:30 - 3:35pm A Message from NWMO
3:35 - 3:50pm The Hon. Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure 
3:50 - 4:30pm

Ministers’ Forum: Sparking Rural Economic Growth with the Environment, Infrastructure and Resource Development

  • The Hon. Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
  • The Hon. Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
  • The Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance
  • The Hon. Kaleed Rasheed, Associate Minister of Digital Government
  • The Hon. Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
  • The Hon. Nina Tangri, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction
  • The Hon. Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation / Francophone Affairs
  • The Hon. Stan Cho, Associate Minister of Transportation
  • The Hon. Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure
  • The Hon. Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry / Indigenous Affairs
  • The Hon. David Piccini, Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks
  • The Hon. Todd Smith, Minster of Energy
  • The Hon. Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries
  • The Hon. Ross Romano, Minister of Government and Consumer Services
  • The Hon. Prabmeet Sarkaria, President, Treasury Board