Over the past three days an important municipal conference took place at the Royal York in Toronto. It is called the Ontario Good Roads Association/Rural Ontario Municipalities Association (OGRA/ROMA).
This is a very valuable opportunity for elected officials and staff to network, to hear best practices to meet suppliers, ministry staff and.....Provincial Ministers. Worth every penny it costs to send staff and politicians.
In fact, one of the main reasons for going for many elected officials is to request a delegation with Ministers to discuss important issues in their municipalities. Two examples are as follows:
"New Tecumseth mayor Mike MacEachern told Free Press Online yesterday that among his duties at the conference, included meeting with the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, on behalf of the five municipalities in Simcoe County..."http://www.madhunt.com/roads-roma-conf-20100223.htm
"Wasaga Beach council has requested four meetings with provincial ministers during the conference. " http://www.wasagasun.ca/wasagasun/article/155717
March 3, 2010 - another one: "On February 22 representatives from Grey Highlands council and staff held meetings with provincial officials at the combined Rural Ontario Municipalities of Ontario and Ontario Good Roads Association conferences in Toronto."
Wow, that sounds like a terrific opportunity. Who did our Mayor meet with? Was it the Minister of Natural Resources, Municipal Affairs, OMAFRA, Minister of Environment or all of them???
Well, no. She was asked at the February 18 meeting of Council which Ministers she had requested meetings with. Her response - well no one, that the Ministers were always late to these things and she just didn't request meetings with anyone.
(INSERT COLLECTIVE GASP OF ASTONISHMENT HERE)
I have to ask: What in the hell else does our Mayor have to do, except wait a few minutes to meet with various Ministers to discuss one of THE biggest issues in Ontario right now? A 2,400 acre, 200 foot open pit mine which has the potential to impact the drinking water for more than 1 million Ontarians and remove thousands of acres of prime agricultural land from production FOREVER, and impacting her municipal revenues, tax base and population?