TORONTO, Jan. 15, 2018 - More than 1,000 rural municipal officials from across the province will participate in the 2018 Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) Conference in Toronto from Sunday, January 21 to Tuesday, January 23 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, 123 Queen Street West, Toronto.

This will be ROMA's second standalone conference, as the association shines a spotlight on the pressing challenges and emerging opportunities facing rural communities in Ontario. It is also the last major municipal conference prior to the provincial election.

The conference will help municipal leaders to forge relationships and foster partnerships, learn about new opportunities and advocate for change. The program features about four dozen plenary sessions and workshops reflecting the broad scope of municipal responsibilities.

Keynote presenters include:
  • Hon. Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario (invited)
  • Hon. Bill Mauro, Ontario's Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
  • Hon. Jeff Leal, Ontario's Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs
  • Patrick Brown, Leader of the Ontario PC Party
  • Andrea Horwath, Leader of the Ontario NDP
  • Lynn Dollin, AMO President
  • Amanda Lang, award-winning journalist
The conference will also host the all Ministers' forum - a popular open question and answer period. Other speakers include author James Raffan, Norman Ragetlie of the Rural Ontario Institute, Glen Murray, Executive Director, Pembina Institute and Cat Criger, Indigenous Elder. In addition to the conference program, municipal elected officials will take part in more than 300 delegation meetings with provincial and federal ministries.

Key session topics relate to economic development, financial management and environmental matters. Program information is available online.

All media are required to register in the VIP Room on the Concourse Level at the Sheraton Centre. Attending media are encouraged to book accommodation as soon as possible, if needed.

About ROMA
ROMA is the most representative and effective voice for Ontario's rural municipal governments. About 270 of Ontario's 444 municipalities have populations of less than 10,000, while scores more are rural in character. Through its relationship with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, ROMA advocates for policies and programs that will help build thriving rural Ontario communities.

Follow the conference on Twitter: @ROMA_Ont, Hashtag: #ROMASpeaks