EOWC advocates strongly for priorities at ROMA Conference

Toronto, January 31, 2019 – The Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (EOWC) held a series of key meetings this past week with Provincial officials, namely to advocate for the improvement of cellular and mobile broadband networks, as part of the 2019 Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) Conference in Toronto.

Led by 2019 Chair Andy Letham and Vice-Chair Jennifer Murphy, the 13-member Caucus met with various Cabinet Ministers to emphasize the importance of the Province’s partnership in helping achieve and implement – this year – the region’s top priority: building the Cellular and Public Safety Broadband Network in tandem with the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN).

This $213-million project would be funded by all three levels of government, as well as the private sector, to close the many cellular network gaps in the region, boost mobile broadband service, and increase public safety for residents and first responders during emergencies.

The EOWC membership reminded the Provincial government of the importance of nominating this project, this year, and again extolled the economic benefits of the project during meetings with:

  • Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
  • Monte McNaughton, Minister of Infrastructure
  • Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Food, Agriculture and Rural Affairs
  • Laurie Scott, Minister of Labour
  • Todd Smith, Minister of Economic Development and Growth
  • Jim McDonell, PA, Municipal Affairs and Housing
  • David Piccini, PA, Training, Colleges and Universities
  • Andrea Horwath, Leader of the Ontario NDP Party, and Caucus members

“Given the importance of this project, the EOWC has kept its focus simple, and our members were informed, organized, cohesive, collaborative and professional in each and every one of these important meetings,” said Chair Letham. “Throughout ROMA, the EOWC made its voice heard and our message was clear: let’s work together to make Eastern Ontario an even greater place to live and work, and a model for all of Ontario.”

“The benefits of this project are long-lasting and long-reaching, bringing positive benefits to all sectors and government Ministries, whether for economic development, job creation and growth, public safety, health care, and rural infrastructure,” added Vice-Chair Murphy. “Eastern Ontario is ready to be at the forefront of the latest technological advancements.”

Peter Emon 2023 EOWC Chair

EOWC Wardens meet with Provincial Ministers at the ROMA Conference on January 29, 2019.