Leadership with the City of Kenora say they’ll be lobbying provincial and federal ministers for additional mental health supports, dedicated infrastructure funding and a reduction in policing costs next week.

The City of Kenora says Mayor Andrew Poirier will join Councillors Kelsie Van Belleghem, Bob Bernie and Barbara Manson as the city’s delegation to the 2023 Rural Ontario Municipal Association conference in Toronto as they meet with provincial and federal ministers on several major items for the community.

One meeting already scheduled for the city is one with new Solicitor General Michael Kerzner, as Kenora, Sioux Lookout and Pickle Lake all lobby the minister for reduced policing costs – as the three municipalities pay three times the cost of other municipalities in the province.

Other items on the City of Kenora’s agenda include an improved and dedicated infrastructure funding stream to improve local roadways and bridges, as well as additional mental health and addiction supports as the city continues to tackle safety concerns downtown.

Of note, this year’s ROMA comes just six months after Premier Doug Ford and his PC government were re-elected – and this will be the first time the Premier will be able to address municipal leaders since the fall legislative session.

Items on ROMA’s agenda include supporting rural Ontario as municipalities recover from COVID-19, Ontario’s new housing laws and how the province plans to address its ongoing housing crisis.

Premier Ford, opposition leaders and provincial and federal ministers will all have time to speak, as well as keynote speakers Jesse Wente, Dr. Thomas Homer-Dixon and AMO president Colin Best.

The conference takes place between January 22 and 24 in downtown Toronto.