Eastern Ontario, March 21, 2022 – The Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (EOWC) met on Friday, March 11, 2022 in the County of Lennox and Addington for a priority setting meeting in order to establish its 2022 advocacy efforts. This was the first in-person meeting of the Caucus since the emergence of COVID-19.
The Caucus has identified the following key priorities for 2022 including;
- Affordable and Attainable Housing;
- Ontario Health Team Governance / Structure; and
- Health Care Human Resources / Family Physicians.
The Caucus has also identified continued advocacy items described as issues of ongoing importance that the EOWC has identified in the past and will continue to support on an as-needed basis. These continued advocacy items include COVID-19 municipal recovery, long-term care funding, and Community Paramedicine.
“This is a critical year for both the Province of Ontario and the municipal sector, with elections scheduled for both levels of government,” stated EOWC Chair Debbie Robinson. “The EOWC has strategically evaluated and focused its priorities for 2022 and will continue to advocate strongly for Eastern Ontario residents.”
Affordable and Attainable Housing
Housing affordability and attainability will remain a central focus for the EOWC. To address a housing shortfall in rural Eastern Ontario, the EOWC and the Rural Ontario Institute (ROI) are working together on a digital tool aimed at providing local, reliable, and current rural data to assist municipalities in the planning and construction of new, affordable housing. The EOWC will leverage past work done on this file and will continue to work with the Province and other key stakeholders to facilitate affordable housing initiatives and increase investments and supports for individuals across this region.
Ontario Health Team Governance / Structure
EOWC members are critical partners in the delivery of health care and are responsible for co-funding and delivering a number of health-related services that fall under the Ontario Health Team umbrella. The EOWC is strongly advocating with the Ministry of Health to ensure municipally elected representation is mandated for all Ontario Health Teams throughout the Province.
Health Care Human Resources / Family Physicians
The health care sector faces many human resource challenges, such as the ability to attract, recruit and retain qualified workers. In addition, most if not all rural municipalities have a shortage of family physicians. The EOWC is a collaborative partner and is willing to work with key stakeholders in order to address this longstanding systemic issue.
2022 EOWC Members at Priority Setting Meeting on March 11, 2022