Ontario Premier Doug Ford was among the speakers featured on the first day of the 2020 Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) annual conference today. The AMO conference, which runs to August 19, is being offered entirely online – a first in the more than 120-year history of the event.

This conference has been described as Canada’s most comprehensive gathering of government leaders since the global pandemic began. More than 1,300 people are participating through an online platform.

“COVID-19 has changed our world. We need the AMO conference now, more than ever. As always, it provides the opportunity to come together, to learn from one another, and to find solutions to pressing challenges,” said Jamie McGarvey, president of AMO and Mayor of Parry Sound.

In his keynote presentation, Premier Ford announced funding to help municipalities support local priorities, recognizing the unique challenges facing Ontario’s northern, remote and rural communities.

“I am pleased to announce today that, for next year, our government is maintaining the $500-million envelope and structure of the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund,” said Ford.

He added that there were over 528,000 jobs added in June and July ― 72,000 new jobs in manufacturing and 47,500 new jobs in construction.

“This recovery in jobs has brought employment to over 90 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. But we need to keep it going,” added Ford. “And there’s no better way to get our economy going than making critical investments in infrastructure. That’s why we are making it easier to get shovels in the ground and build roads, bridges, highways, and transit.”

Ford also reflected on the various levels of government that are investing billions of dollars in major infrastructure projects for Ontario:

  • $27 billion in hospitals over the next 10 years.
  • $12 billion in educational institutions.
  • $2.6 billion in the provincial highway network this year.
  • $1.75 billion in long-term care homes over the next five years.

The AMO conference program features more than 40 speakers, sessions and workshops, covering topics such as: COVID-19, municipal services and economic recovery; long-term care; broadband internet quality and coverage across Ontario; diversity, equality and women in leadership; building strong relationships with Indigenous communities; climate change; waste management and the transition to full producer responsibility; and, more.

For further information on the AMO conference, click here.

For further information on the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund, click here.

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